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Coronavirus pandemic shuts down Parliament Hill, all committee travel, parliamentary functions cancelled

By Beatrice Paez and Palak Mangat       

MPs, Senators talk about facing the ‘unprecedented challenge from the coronavirus.’

NDP whip Rachel Blaney, Conservative MP Doug Shipley, NDP MP Alistair MacGregor, deputy government whip Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Liberal MP Adam Vaughan, Conservative Senator Don Plett, and non-affiliated Senator Dennis Dawson say the threat of the coronavirus has forced them to take certain precautions. The Hill Times photographs by Andrew Meade and file photos

PARLIAMENT HILL—From cancelling town halls to abandoning work trips to suspending Parliament until April, the threat of coronavirus has upended federal politicians’ plans and social interactions, forcing them to retreat from many of their engagements as the world grapples with the unpredictable fallout of the pandemic and the prime minister works from home for the next two weeks.

Beatrice Paez

Beatrice Paez is the digital editor at The Hill Times.
- bpaez@hilltimes.com


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Wage subsidies ‘critical,’ a ‘lifeline’ for businesses to survive pandemic, says Chamber of Commerce president

News|By Mike Lapointe
'This subsidy will make a real difference in your lives and help everyone affected bridge to better times,' said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday, March 27.

Food supply, emergency vehicle repair: keeping Canada-U.S. trade open key to fight against COVID-19, say stakeholders

The 'biggest point of concern right now' is 'making sure that we keep those shipments of fresh vegetables and other commodities rolling in by truck across the border, truck or train,' says John Manley.

Introduction of electronic, remote voting not called for yet, but should be re-examined by House committee, say some MPs

Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie says she doesn’t think such a reconsideration is warranted yet, but could be if COVID-19 keeps Parliament away into the fall.

Lobbyists clamour to get voices heard on COVID-19

The number of lobbying files connected to COVID-19 has exploded in the last week, with 90 registrations for 55 organizations outlining plans to push federal officials on issues ranging from policy to funding.

Feds to spend $2-billion to scale up production of medical supplies, equipment, as it braces for anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases

'We need a sustainable and stable supply of these products, and that means making them at home, and we’re optimistic that they will be available in the coming weeks,' says Prime Minister Trudeau.

Canadian authorities in talks about COVID-19 tracking apps

In Canada, separate projects are underway that would combine phone location data with positive COVID-19 diagnoses to notify individuals about potential exposure in what their creators say are privacy-friendly ways.

Budget 2020, election promises in question amid COVID-19 global pandemic crisis, say McKay, Delacourt

‘It is going to blow a hole in the government’s legislative agenda,’ says Liberal MP John McKay.

Speedy delivery of financial benefits to Canadians key to Trudeau’s handling of COVID-19, says a leading pollster

News|By Abbas Rana
The COVID-19 pandemic is the 'defining moment of Justin Trudeau's prime ministership' and this is a crisis where the government has a central role to play in its management.

Trudeau outlines expansive criteria for 75 per cent wage subsidy to cover businesses, charities hit hard amid pandemic

News|By Palak Mangat
It’s still unclear how much the support will ultimately cost, and how many businesses and organizations will apply and receive such assistance, though Prime Minister Trudeau acknowledged that the 'costs keep climbing.'
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