WARTIME SPENDING: Parliament grants cabinet power to spend at will during coronavirus pandemic

Canadian parliament has granted cabinet wartime spending power for the next ninety days, as coronavirus fears begin to mount across the country.

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

Canadian parliament has granted cabinet wartime spending power for the next ninety days as coronavirus fears begin to mount across the country and across the globe.

The bill was introduced at 10:15 am Monday, and was fast-tracked into law by 12:14 pm, as reported by Blacklock's Reporter.

When asked about cabinet's willingness to spend, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that "the scale of the response will be against the scale of the challenge. We are trying to do what it takes in order to stabilize our economy."

Two other bills, Appropriation Acts worth $47.8 billion, were passed with no resistance.

A third bill, C-12 An Act To Amend The Financial Administration Act, will grant cabinet the power to spend at will "where a payment is required for the public good at any time that Parliament is in session but is not sitting" until the last week of June.

The bills were passed unopposed by any sitting MP or senator.

“It’s important that we did this together and it’s the right thing to do,” said Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez.

Regarding the economy's potential vulnerability, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented that small businesses "will struggle" during the coming weeks, and that the government is actively looking at options to support them.

“We are looking at ways to help Canadians directly, yes particularly vulnerable Canadians who are going to be particularly squeezed if they aren’t able to go to work."

Parliament will be adjourned until Monday, April 20. Parliament hill has also been closed to all lobbyists and visitors.


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