Federal COVID-19 Support Package Approved In House Of Commons

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer speaks to reporters on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Friday Feb. 14 2020

"And that is indeed how we've gotten to where we are with the benefits that we are putting forward to support Canadians, the benefits we're putting forward to support businesses and benefits we're putting forward to support our economy", Morneau said.

"They will get to your application". Since last Monday, 1430,000 people have applied for financial assistance from the government.

Both Tam and Njoo regularly repeated the same instructions to Canadians: don't leave home if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, wash your hands regularly and self-isolate unless you need to go out for such "necessities" as groceries or medication. And if you are coming back from travel overseas, go directly home and stay there for at least 14 days.

Along with the income support, the government will defer tax payments of C$55 billion, for a total short-term financial injection of C$102 billion, or almost 5% of Canada's gross domestic product.

Additionally, workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB.

The federal government announced Wednesday that it is planning a $30-million COVID-19 awareness advertising campaign and moving closer to implementing long-promised tax credits for newspapers as it seeks to support Canada's struggling media industry during the pandemic.

Morneau said the new, combined benefit should be simpler to administer and get to workers with a target delivery date of April 6.

Most of the negotiating over the bill's contents was not done in the open, though.

The bill - which also includes C$55 billion in the form of tax deferrals - must now be approved by the unelected Senate, which will meet later on Wednesday.

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Morneau said many times this bill is really just the first step to keep Canadians and the economy as healthy as possible in the midst of a crisis unlike any anyone has seen before.

"This is not going to help us", said SaltWire Network president Mark Lever.

The emergency session was to take place Tuesday but ground to a halt with concerns from the Conservative party of components that would give the finance minister major power to spend money without parliamentary approval. "We hope that additional measures to ensure that furloughed workers' firms still exist after the pandemic-control measures are lifted will be forthcoming".

Nearly a million Canadians have already been laid off, stores and restaurants have been told to close their doors, and Canadians have been told to stay at home.

"Our government is doing everything we can to be there for you".

The bill only needed one party's support to pass the Commons eventually but it needed the support of every MP present to be put through on the one-day schedule the Liberals wanted.

Negotiations between the parties lasted until early Wednesday morning, when the final bill was submitted and pushed quickly through the House of Commons and Senate.

This is what an "effective Opposition" looks like, he said.

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