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Pandemic relief programs will cost the country $350 billion dollars, a hefty sum larger than the entire 2019 federal budget, according to Blacklock's Reporter.
The bill made its way through the House of Commons in less than 15 minutes on March 24, though the large sum was only disclosed yesterday. The $350B figure will be the maximum aggregate principal amount that the Minister of Finance Bill Morneau can borrow in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
“We made this decision together, with all the parties, and we did not take it lightly,” said Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez to the House. “Our action demonstrates that we take this challenge seriously.”
This comes as a direct result to the March 13 passing of Bill C-12—An Act To Amend The Financial Administration Act that gave Trudeau's cabinet the ability to spend without parliamentary oversight until June 24—a move that at least one Conservative MP has complained about.
Lanark-Frontenac MP Scott Reid noted that not a single legislator read the bill before voting it in, blaming political panic for the rushed decision.
“These conventions are the oldest and best protections that exist for our political liberties.”
“The House adopted bills it had not actually seen and whose contents were therefore unknown,” Reid wrote. Parliament must not “adopt any further legislation sight unseen."
The $350 billion is also not including the passed Appropriation Acts totalling $47.8 billion, which also passed without Parliamentary debate.