#CanadaParliament; EmergencyWageSubsidyBillPassed; #Covid19Crisis; #RoyalAssent
Ottawa, Apr 11 (Canadian-Media): Collaboration between parliamentarians of all political parties resulted in the parliament passing the federal government's wage subsidy legislation Saturday night after an emergency sitting characterized by House Speaker Anthony Rota as "exceptional day in the midst of exceptional times," media reports said.
Canada Parliament. Image credit: Twitter handle
Expected to receive royal assent from Governor General Julie Payette later this evening, the bill, designed to help companies avoid laying off employees during a pandemic, will flow billions of dollars to companies during the COVID-19 crisis.
Bill Morneau, Canada's Finance Minister said in a news conference Saturday that businesses would soon start receiving money through an online portal operated through the Canada Revenue Agency.
Before the debate commenced, Andrew Scheer, leader of Conservative Party and leader of the Official Opposition, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet delivered remarks on their parties' plans to support the bill.
Scheer said he would facilitate bill's passage now that some of his party's proposed change have been accepted by the the federal government.
Scheer said Parliament has a role to play during this pandemic and the government must be accountable by the opposition parties and that the media should receive regular briefings from ministers and even they be permitted to ask questions at ministerial press conferences.
The NDP leader Jagmeet Singh's calls to improve access to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) were ultimately adopted in the motion, including addressing the needs of seasonal workers and those who have exhausted their employment insurance benefits.
Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May said she was heartened by the teamwork displayed by all MPs to pass the subsidy and improve the CERB.
The Canada Border Services Agency said on Saturday that temporary foreign workers must self-isolate for 14 days before they can start working.