UPDATE – The Bill has now been passed by the Senate which means the Bill now becomes law.
OTTAWA, O.N. – The Federal Governments $82 billion aid package passed the House of Commons early Wednesday morning.
The Conservatives pushed back on Tuesday against the bill because it would give the government the ability to raise taxes, debt and spending without approval from Parliament up until January 1, 2022.
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During all-day negotiations on Tuesday, that provision in the bill has now been removed.
The bill includes the following:
- A temporary boost to Canada Child Benefit payments, delivering about $2 billion in extra support.
- A new Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 biweekly, for up to 15 weeks, to provide income support to workers, including the self-employed, who have to stay home and don’t qualify for paid sick leave or employment insurance. The measure means up to $10 billion could be disbursed.
- A new Emergency Support Benefit to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
- A six-month, interest-free reprieve on student loan payments.
- A doubling of the homeless care program.
- An extension of the tax filing deadline to June 1. There is also a policy change allowing taxpayers to defer until after Aug. 31 tax payments that are due after today and before September.
- $305 million for a new Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation communities.
At a Tuesday morning news conference, Scheer said the Conservatives had no issue with the relief package promised by Trudeau last week. But they wouldn’t agree to give the government a blank cheque to spend and tax as it pleases for almost two years, as initially proposed in a draft of the bill.
“Any conversation about new government powers should not get in the way of passing this much-needed assistance,” he said. “Canadians are counting on us.”
The Senate will now review the bill. That started at 7 a.m. pacific time.