Canada: COVID-19 aid bill passed unanimously, Liberals survived a confidence vote
Ottawa/IBNS: Backed by the support of Bloc Québécois and the Conservatives, Bill C-4 has been unanimously passed by the House of Commons in the early hours of Wednesday authorizing new benefits for workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, media reports said.
The $500-per-week Canada emergency response benefit (CERB), which ended last weekend after helping almost nine million Canadians to weather the pandemic's impact, is being replaced by the new legislation which gives access to more flexible and generous employment insurance (EI) policy to help people affected by the pandemic.
Those who still do not qualify for EI can have access to a new Canada recovery benefit.
A new sick leave benefit, and a new caregiver benefit for those forced to take time off work to care for a dependent because of the pandemic, were also included in the new legislation.
In the process, the first pandemic-era confidence test of the minority Liberal government has survived, assuring that there will not be any election due to the rapid surge of COVID-19 cases across the country.
The Bill must still be passed by the Senate, which is scheduled to meet Sep 30 to take quick action on the bill.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)