House of Commons and Senate Recalled
On Sunday, March 22, the Honourable Anthony Rota, Speaker of the House of Commons, gave notice for the House to meet on Tuesday, March 24 for the consideration of measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A limited number of MPs, proportional to the representation of each party, returned to Ottawa to debate and pass relief measures. The House was suspended March 24 almost immediately after being recalled so they could debate emergency legislation privately.
Opposition parties objected to measures included in the Liberals’ $82 billion aid package to allow the government to spend on emergency health care measures without parliamentary approval until Dec. 31, 2021. The Liberals submitted a new version of the legislation with the date revised to Sept. 30, 2020. The Speaker recalled the House early March 25 and by unanimous consent the House passed Bill C-13, an Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19 at all stages, then adjourned.
The Honourable George J. Furey. Q.C., Speaker of the Senate, recalled the Senate in anticipation of COVID-19 legislation. On Wednesday, March 25, the Senate is sitting as a Committee of the Whole to hear from Finance Minister Morneau on Bill C-13.