House of Commons suspended for 5 weeks due to coronavirus outbreak

The growing threat of coronavirus has hit Parliament as the House of Commons announced they will be shutting down due to the pandemic.
Quinn Patrick Montreal, QC

The growing threat of coronavirus has hit Parliament as the House of Commons announced they will be shutting down due to the pandemic, according to Global News.

Officials have been discussing whether or not to return from their scheduled break for several days. Now, however, all political parties have come to an agreement to suspend any further proceedings. This was announced by Conservative House Leader Mark Strahl and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet.

All the opposition parties agreed for the motion to adjourn. Government House Leader, Pablo Rodriguez, said the House of Commons will return on April 20, after a five-week break.

The decision comes as a preventive measure as the entire globe continues to grapple with the ferocious coronavirus that has now infected more than 135,000 people and killed at least 4,981.

Currently, there are 138 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada and that number is expected to grow significantly.

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is among those who are infected and the Prime Minister himself is in isolation for the next two weeks. He will be working from home.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is also in isolation a matter of precaution after feeling ill, however health officials do not believe his symptoms are those of COVID-19.

Other politicians in self-isolation include Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan and Mary Ng, the small business and international trade minister. Both recently attended a mining conference in Toronto where one attendee was later diagnosed with coronavirus.

Liberal MP Anthony Housefather is in self-isolation as a precaution after attending a conference in Washington, D.C., earlier this month where several people tested later positive for the coronavirus.

Rodriguez said the bill to ratify the new NAFTA agreement has also been adopted at third reading as part of the agreement reached between all of the parties, meaning it has passed through the House of Commons and is now up to the Senate.

Even though the hiatus for the House of Commons is five weeks, only two of the five were scheduled sitting weeks, the other three were already allotted a break for the MP’s to return to their constituencies to work.

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