The ruling Liberals and the opposition Conservatives are locked in what appears to be a political potato game about why Parliament has yet to be called back to pass the latest COVID-19 economic aid bill.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accuses the Conservatives of refusing to sit to debate the bill without provisions in place that would govern the operation of Parliament in the long term.
Trudeau has hinted that he is ready to suspend his Easter plans this weekend to pass the bill.
“As we continue discussions on democratic processes and the defense of our institutions – which will continue, which is really important to me and all of us – we must move forward to move this legislation forward in the House so we can help the Canadians and that’s my goal this weekend, “he said.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has said that the passage of the bill is not in danger and is not urgent.
He said the government has said the removal of the new wage subsidy program will take up to six weeks, and that the necessary back-end infrastructure is already in place.
Scheer said the Conservatives were taking their time to study the bill and propose improvements, including those aimed at increasing the subsidy, he said.
“These kinds of conversations between the government and the opposition parties right now have no impact on the timelines as to when people receive the benefits,” Scheer said at a conference. press in his hometown of Regina Thursday.
“These are important conversations to have to make sure we get the best results for Canadians, we don’t have to come back and do another job. “
The transfer was the government’s first aid bill last month. It initially included extensive and uncontrolled powers for the government to impose, spend and promulgate regulations, until 2021. The outcry that followed from opposition parties saw these measures reduced.
Scheer described the back-and-forth as normal and constructive, and is optimistic that a resolution will be found.
Scheer said it was the government that had the power to recall Parliament, and his party would run for office when called. It is not clear, however, whether the RSVP is contingent on the implementation of measures to guide the functioning of Parliament.
The NDP is proposing its own improvements to overall economic assistance, including a correction to the emergency response benefit and the wage subsidy so that it reaches more people.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 9, 2020.