Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked for the House of Commons to return sitting March 24 to introduce urgent economic measures, as part of his government’s $82-billion response to support Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have to take immediate action to address the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Trudeau said in a Sunday news release. “Canadians are counting on all parliamentarians to work together to help them during this difficult time.”
The prime minister said Canadians are worried about their health and their jobs and asked all to work together to get through the crisis as COVID-19 continues to spread.
The Canadian government revealed a more than $1 billion COVID-19 response package March 11.
Trudeau’s government has been in discussions with other party leaders to minimize the number of MPs recalled, while respecting the current proportion of party representation in the House
This follows public health guidelines about social distancing,” Trudeau’s office said. “A minimum of 20 Members of Parliament must be present in order for the House to exercise its powers, including passing legislation.”
Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez said MPs understand the need for effective and quick action.
“Recalling Parliament to support Canadians now, when they need it most, demonstrates the government’s strong commitment to action,” he said.
The Senate is expected to sit Wednesday to pass Commons’ legislation.
B.C. Sen. Larry Campbell, a former Vancouver mayor, is driving across Canada for the sitting.