MPs will congregate in Canada's House of Commons on Tuesday to vote on an $82-billion relief fund introduced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week. Photo by Justin Tang/CP
Updated at 1:45 p.m. (EDT): A select few Canadian MPs are going to temporarily recall Parliament on Tuesday to vote on an $82 billion funding package—introduced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week—that aims to lessen the economic impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).The Liberals will also table legislation that would give the Trudeau government broad powers to change tax and government spending policies until December 2021, without
parliamentary approval.During his address to Canadians on Tuesday, Trudeau said he has an “unwavering commitment” to protect and uphold the country’s democratic institutions and values.His assertion comes after party leaders said they don’t support legislation that would concentrate long-term economic oversight in a select few Liberal hands.Trudeau responded on Twitter by explaining that the new legislation will be tabled without “clause 2,” but didn’t specify what the clause entails.A debate between the political parties will take place Tuesday afternoon to further fine-tune the proposed legislation.The scheduled vote in the House of Commons follows a virtual meeting Trudeau had with Canada’s premiers late Monday to discuss the Emergency Act, legislation that gives Trudeau and his cabinet sweeping powers to issue orders, such as curfews, and fines or jail time for anyone who disobeys the orders.Trudeau said he and the premiers agreed that invoking the act is a “last resort,” especially if Canadians don’t comply with calls from public health ministers to maintain stringent social distancing.
On Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford ordered all non-essential businesses across the province to close, including bars, nightclubs, various shops, and dine-in restaurants.The Ontario government released a statement late Monday that outlines which businesses are allowed to remain open. Businesses that keep Canada’s supply chain running—manufacturers, distributors, grocery stores—will remain open, as will publicly run liquor stores, pet stores, newspapers, financial institutions, research institutions, mining operations, healthcare and senior services, emergency services, and more.
Non-essential businesses shuttered in Ontario
The premier announced slashed electricity rates for families, farmers, and small businesses on Tuesday. Effective immediately for at least six weeks, Ontarians will pay lower, off-peak electricity rates all the time.
As of Tuesday morning, Canada had more than 2,000 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, with more than 20 recorded deaths. Every province is affected and in a state of emergency. The Northwest Territories and Yukon both confirmed COVID-19 cases, prompting Nunavut—the sole region without a reported case—to limit travel in and out of the territory. Here is the breakdown of COVID-19 cases across Canada:British Columbia: 472Alberta: 301Saskatchewan: 66Manitoba: 20Ontario: 503Quebec: 628Newfoundland and Labrador: 24New Brunswick: 17Nova Scotia: 41Prince Edward Island: 3Yukon: 2Northwest Territories: 1Nunavut: 0There are nearly 350,000 COVID-19 cases globally, with about 15,000 deaths.Follow Anya Zoledziowski on Twitter.