Canada has passed a multi-billion-dollar relief package to respond to the coronavirus slowdown.
It allows the government to spend C$107bn ($75bn, £64bn) in emergency aid and economic stimulus to assist Canadians from struggling financially.
All parties supported the bill following amendments that removed provisions giving cabinet unprecedented powers.
It received rapid Royal Assent on Wednesday.
The government said Canadians made nearly one million claims for unemployment benefits last week, which is equivalent to about 5% of Canada’s workforce.
A survey from Angus Reid Institute found that 44% of Canadian households had someone who had lost hours due to the coronavirus shutdown. A third said they were concerned about missing a mortgage or rent payment.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had promised to push the bill through parliament this week.
Canada Covid-19 Deceleration
The country’s economy was heading for a decline as businesses close to stopping the spread of coronavirus.
1,000,000 Employment insurance claims in one week
5,000 People dismissed by Air Canada in the middle of the extensive travel ban
$ 5.43 Price a barrel of WCS on March 19
Source: Justin Trudeau, Air Canada, Oilprice.com
Canadian oil and gas sector has also taken a sharp decline as oil prices plummeted, from about $ 35.82 for a barrel of Western Canada Select in January for only $ 5.43 last week. The oil and gas industry accounted for about 10% of the country’s gross domestic product.
What will give the aid package?
The measures in the bill, including encouragement for child support payments for families with children, wage subsidies for small businesses and tax relief measures.
The bill would provide a C $ 2,000 per month for the next four months for people who lose their jobs because of Covid-19. It will apply to people who are quarantined, help family members who are sick, have been laid off or have not received payment from their employer.
In an update on Wednesday, Mr. Trudeau said people will receive the funds 10 days after they made their claims.
The initial version of the bill that Mr. Trudeau’s cabinet given far-reaching powers to tax and spend without parliament’s approval of up to 21 months.
This prompted sharp criticism from opposition parties.
Negotiations between the parties lasted until early Wednesday morning when the final bill was submitted and pushed quickly through the House of Commons and the Senate. The new version will give the finance minister the power to spend and borrow without the approval of parliament until September.
Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal Party led a minority government and need support from other parties to pass legislation.
Tomorrow, we’ll seek to pass the emergency response to the #COVID19. We consulted with the opposition and will bring changes to the draft legislation. We will always work collaboratively and respect the fundamental role of Parliament. #cdnpoli
— Pablo Rodriguez (@pablorodriguez) March 24, 2020
Parliament has been suspended since 13 March to allow MPs to work from home, but reunited while on Tuesday, but with a number of MPs to enable social distance.
What is the situation in Canada?
There are more than 2,790 confirmed cases in Canada on Wednesday morning, according to data compiled by the John Hopkins University. There are more than 25 deaths linked to the virus.
There is also a community spread of the virus.
All non-essential business in Ontario and Quebec – the two most populous provinces – has been closed on the orders of the provincial government.
On Wednesday, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the government is pleading Quarantine Act to mandate that all international travelers themselves isolated for 14 days after returning to Canada.
Ms. Hajdu said there would be “random screening” and “spot-checks” to make sure people obey orders.
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