Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to defend on Tuesday the choice of his government to shorten the time for parliamentary debates to hastily pass the bill on economic stimulus benefits (PCRE) to follow up on the PCU.
“We are facing an unprecedented pandemic, a crisis that requires everyone to work together and, since the spring, that is exactly what we have done. As parliamentarians, we worked with all the different parties to deliver an ambitious program to help Canadians, ”offered the Liberal leader during question period in the Commons.
The House leader of the Conservatives, Gérard Deltell, replied that he should take inspiration from former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. On Twitter, former Liberal MP and retired Lieutenant General Andrew Leslie claimed that neither Mr. Churchill nor his then Canadian counterpart, William Mackenzie King, cut short parliamentary debates during the Second World War.
“It's a shame to see the Conservatives playing politics while Canadians need help,” replied Trudeau, taking advantage of this intervention in the House to invite Canadians to download the COVID Alert application aimed at to facilitate tracing.
The Liberals have stayed the course on their proposal to limit the study of the $ 500-a-week PCRE bill to four and a half hours, much to the chagrin of the opposition parties.
On Tuesday, they passed a closure motion to force discussions on the time limit to end no later than 8 p.m. A second vote will therefore follow, afterwards, to officially restrict the time allocated to the study of the bill.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) has previously indicated it will support limiting debates reluctantly, arguing for the urgency of offering continued support to providers for whom ECPs ended last Sunday.
New Democrats and Liberals have agreed to changes to the legislation to allow, among other things, greater accessibility to paid sick leave. Bill C-4 should therefore be adopted by the House in the early morning hours, after the four and a half hours of debate.
“We will consider the vote […] as a vote of confidence. Canadians cannot wait any longer. We must move forward, ”added the parliamentary leader of the Liberals, Pablo Rodriguez, on Twitter.
The Trudeau government wants the C-4 to become law before the end of the day on Wednesday, since that is when the extraordinary federal spending power in a time of a pandemic must end. A portion of the bill postpones this deadline to December 31.
Remember that the Liberals prorogued Parliament in August, which postponed the tabling and adoption of a bill to establish post-PKU benefits until the end of September.