Federal parties come together to pass emergency response bill

Canada’s federal political parties came together this week to pass emergency legislation to help Canadians cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. (File photo: © Richard McGuire Photo)

Federal parliamentarians of all parties came together yesterday (March 25) to pass a wide-ranging Emergency Response Act to assist Canadians who need financial help during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bill C-13 passed through the House of Commons and Senate and received Royal Assent all on Tuesday and Wednesday March 24 and 25 — just two days — a process that normally takes months. By agreement, only a few dozen parliamentarians were in Ottawa to pass the bill.

The bill provides economic assistance in a number of areas including temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments and providing a taxable Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) of $2,000 a month for up to four months to support workers who lose their income as of result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is also assistance to small businesses, workers, seniors, students and the provinces among others.

See the Department of Finance news release for further details.

The bill hit a snag earlier this week when the Conservative Party of Canada balked at measures the Liberal government added that would increase the government’s spending and taxation authority. In the end, compromise was reached.



Author: Richard McGuire

Richard McGuire is an Osoyoos photographer who worked at the Osoyoos Times between 2012 and 2018, first as reporter and then as editor. He has a long career in journalism as well as research, communication and management at the House of Commons in Ottawa and in the federal government.

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