Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Sunday the House of Commons will be recalled on Tuesday at 12 p.m. in order to pass emergency legislation to help fight COVID-19.
Trudeau made the announcement from Rideau Cottage, where he is currently in self-isolation.
Trudeau said this will allow the government to “put their plan into motion,” including up to $82 billion in support for families, workers and businesses impacted by the pandemic.
“I know that together we can protect Canadians, save jobs and set the groundwork for our economy to rebound after this crisis,” he said.
According to a news release, the House of Commons has been recalled on 12 other occasions, the last time being in September of 1992.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez said around 30 members of Parliament proportionate to each party will be present on Tuesday.
“We are all working together in the best interest of Canadians,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said there will be 14 Liberal MPs, 11 Conservatives, three Bloc Quebecois members and three NDP.
In a tweet on Sunday, former Green Party leader Elizabeth May said MP Jenica Atwin will drive from Fredericton to Ottawa to represent the party.
— Elizabeth May (@ElizabethMay) March 22, 2020
In a series of tweets on Sunday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer confirmed a small number of Tory MPs will return to Ottawa on Tuesday to “adopt the government’s emergency economic measures.”
As agreed, a small number of Conservative MPs will return to Ottawa on Tuesday to review and pass the government’s emergency financial legislation. It's essential that we support Canadians who are struggling as a result of this crisis. 1/3
— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) March 22, 2020
“It’s essential that we support Canadians who are struggling as a result of this crisis.,” he wrote.
According to House of Commons procedure rules, there must be a minimum of 20 MPs in the House for business to proceed.
The CPC 11, I’m told, will be: Leader @AndrewScheer (SK); House Leader @CandiceBergenMP (MB); @DanAlbas (BC); @TimUppal & @GarnettGenuis (AB); Deputy Leader @LeonaAlleslev + @PierrePoilievre @MichaelChongMP (ON); @PierrePaulHus + @LucBerthold (QC); and @JohnW_NB (NB) #cdnpoli
— David Akin 🇨🇦 (@davidakin) March 22, 2020
According to Rodriguez, the session is expected to last around 4.5 hours, and will include time for members to ask questions.
He said, though, that it won’t be a regular Question Period.
Earlier this week, Trudeau said the government will provide up to $27 billion in support to Canadian workers and businesses and $55 billion to help meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals.
Trudeau on Sunday said those measures are “only a very first step.”
“We are looking now at what those next steps are to ensure that our economy is able to pick up against once we’re through this, whether it takes weeks or months — It is likely to take months before we’re fully through this,” he said.
On Saturday Trudeau reported the government is also working with commercial airlines in order to repatriate Canadians stranded abroad by the pandemic.
Trudeau said the government is working with international partners to help the largest number of Canadians as possible, but said they would not be able to repatriate everyone seeking assistance.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said officials have been working “around the clock” and have been in touch with “hundreds of thousands” of Canadians abroad.
Champagne also tweeted late Saturday night that he has been speaking with his counterparts in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Morocco, Peru, Turkey and the United Kingdom about how to safely repatriate citizens abroad, including those stuck on cruise ships.
Earlier today, I held a call with counterparts from around the world to discuss helping our citizens and coordinating the international response to #COVID19.@MarisePayne @ernestofaraujo @HeikoMaas @MarocDiplomatie@GMeza_Cuadra@MevlutCavusoglu@DominicRaab pic.twitter.com/x9R2b4DS6b
— François-Philippe Champagne (FPC) 🇨🇦 (@FP_Champagne) March 21, 2020
On Wednesday, Canada’s borders were shut to most foreign travellers in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus.
The closures extended to Canada’s land border with the U.S. on Friday at midnight, banning all non-essential traffic.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada and provincial governments, there are 1,323 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada, with the majority reported in Ontario and B.C.
In Canada, 19 people have died from COVID-19.
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