OTTAWA – The federal Conservatives have proposed a special weekend meeting of MPs to consider the Liberal’s recently postponed bill to execute a trio of new COVID-19 benefits to fill gaps left by the soon-to-terminate Canadian Emergency Response Benefit program.
“Parliament owes it to Canadians to accomplish the genuine work of ensuring Canadians get the help they need. Canadians need to realize that the help they request, they rely upon, is coming. Our proposition will complete it properly, and complete it on schedule,” said Conservative MP and caucus-party Liaison Tim Uppal on Friday morning.
The Conservatives say, given the amount of spending the bill would then prompt, it needs as thorough a study as possible. Specifically, the caucus suggests sitting in a special committee of the whole on Sunday but is open to other parties’ suggestions.
On Thursday Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough tabled Bill C-2, to enact a trio of promised new COVID-19 aid benefits. The bill would put into place a portion of the $37 billion CERB transition plan, which includes moving most of the millions of Canadians collecting the monthly $2,000 onto an updated Employment Insurance program in early October.
The three new benefits are targeted at Canadians who are out of work because they are sick or have to take care of someone, as well as to offer an equitable benefit to gig workers and others who aren’t eligible for EI.
The bill also seeks to extend federal government powers to spend “all money required” to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, until the end of the year.
The legislation still needs to pass through the House and Senate and Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland urged her colleagues across the aisle to support the Liberals fast-tracking the bill so the new supports can be in place for Canadians as soon as possible.
Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
News source: CTV NEWS