Canada's Senate Approves Controversial COVID-19 Spending Bill - Statement

A woman walks past the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto Ontario

A woman walks past the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto Ontario

"It's done. The House has adopted the emergency's now up to the Senate", said Pablo Rodriguez, the cabinet minister responsible for pushing legislation through the House of Commons. The Liberals did agree to scale them back enough to get unanimous consent.

According to Trudeau, up to 1 million citizens have applied for employment insurance, showing the disastrous effects of virus-related shutdowns.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to update Canadians on the COVID-19 situation from the steps of Rideau Cottage.

The CERB would cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.

Those getting EI benefits now would receive the new benefit, dubbed the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, if payments end before October 3 and they can't go back to work due to COVID-19. "It can be hard to get through on the line, and that is frustrating." he said during a news conference.

Bernhard was also skeptical that the measures announced on Wednesday would make a huge difference to media organizations, adding he was anxious the government would be slow in approving tax credits or other assistance at a time when it is facing so many other challenges.

The prime minister said that the House of Commons passed the emergency bill for Canada's $82 billion aid package for those affected by COVID-19.

While reports began circulating around 10 p.m. Tuesday of a breakthrough in talks, the source said the Conservatives did not receive a final draft of the revised legislation until 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, at which time they reviewed the prospective bill before reaching an agreement at 2:30 a.m.

"There aren't faster ways to get money into Canadians hands", he told the Senate, when queried about why the government wasn't getting money to people quicker. He said everyone wants to know the depth of the economic hurt, how long it will last and whether it will come in waves. "There is nothing regular about what we are facing".

The federal government is also "rapidly deploying" workers from different departments to deal with the claims.

Mr. Morneau said officials "are working literally overnight with the banking sector to make sure we can find ways" to offer more credit to companies.

"We are particularly pleased that the federal government has indicated an employer will not have to lay off a worker to allow them to qualify for the benefit", said Dan Kelly, CFIB president, in a release.

Canadian lawmakers Wednesday morning approved a more than Can$100 billion aid package to help individuals and businesses through the pandemic, after all-night negotiations on what emergency powers to grant the minority government.

Scheer added: "Our effective Opposition has also gotten the government to reverse course on other policies".

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