After sitting through the night, Canadian government passes emergency coronavirus aid package

But the lengthy process was a strange hiccup at the frantic pace of announcements from a government trying to cope with a crisis it had never expected and whose new slogan, according to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, is: “Choose speed over perfection . “On Tuesday, the House of Commons was in limbo for hours when cabinet ministers who worked around the clock were waiting for what would come next.

The unusual lower house meeting began at 12 noon, but was suspended minutes later so that the parties could continue to negotiate the proposed legislation. More than six hours later, MPs reported back to the House of Commons and voted unanimously to extend the session until late in the evening to discuss even more behind the scenes between the House leaders.

Government house chairman Pablo Rodriguez announced shortly after 2:30 a.m. that an agreement had been reached, and MPs returned to the lower house 45 minutes later, where deputy spokesman Bruce Stanton said the procedure with a grim “Everyone ready.” ? ” Two and a half hours later it was all over, the bill was passed, and the MPs packed up their belongings before Stanton could even declare the house adjourned.

The aid package includes $ 27 billion in direct financial assistance to individuals and businesses, and $ 55 billion in tax deferrals announced by the government last week. Individual measures include an increase in Canadian child support, money for the unemployed and a six-month freeze on student loan repayments.

All parties were ready to support the aid package, but the opposition parties questioned provisions that would have given the liberal government unilateral authority to borrow, borrow, and change taxes by December 2021. Late on Monday evening, the Liberals agreed to remove a tax law clause, but that was not enough to satisfy the conservatives.

The agreement reached on Wednesday morning provides for an end date for September 2020 for the government’s power to spend on emergency health measures without Parliament’s approval. The government also agreed to report regularly to parliamentary committees on spending decisions. “Liberals viciously attempted to use a public health crisis to empower themselves to raise taxes, debts, and expenses without parliamentary approval by January 1, 2022,” conservative leader Andrew Scheer said in a statement. “But the government withdrew after hours of negotiations.”

After days of quick decision making, the roadblock on Tuesday caused a strange, unexpected pause. The house is officially postponed until April 20 due to the spread of the corona virus, and just over 30 MPs have been called back to call the house back for this emergency session – mostly MPs who are within driving distance and ministers who are in Ottawa have to deal with the crisis.

For hours they sat scattered in the chamber, which usually contains ten times their number. Some migrated in and out over the hours, while others chatted in small groups and kept a good distance from each other while waiting for the outcome of the negotiations that were taking place outside the home. “What’s up, Pablo, are we going to do it today or not?” Minister of Health Patty Hajdu once asked Rodriguez when he briefly reappeared.

The unexpected delay was perhaps a moment of calm for ministers who had little time to pause. Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne, always animated, told other MPs war stories by telephone negotiations with foreign governments to bring Canadians stranded abroad as more and more countries close their airspace. In Peru, which recently entered martial law, airplanes that were sent to pick up the Canadians must now land on a military base. “Everything is a problem. There is nothing that works normally, ”he said.

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