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Parliament to be recalled Tuesday to approve emergency financial aid, PM addresses nation as COVID-19 spreads

Last Updated Mar 22, 2020 at 9:43 am PDT

FILE: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media during a news conference about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Wednesday March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Parliament set to reconvene on Tuesday to pass COVID-19 measures

The Prime Minister is urging Canadians again to stay in their homes and self-isolate

Trudeau says Canada is not at the point where the federal government needs to take emergency measures

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — On Sunday, the Prime Minister announced the House of Commons will return on Tuesday to approve an emergency financial aid amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Justin Trudeau says, after some consultations with the opposition, all parties have agreed to quickly pass his government’s $82 billion financial aid package as part of this plan.

“We want to boost the Canada child benefit, introduce new benefits to help people who don’t qualify for employment insurance and supplement the GST credit,” he says.

The federal government has indicated they’re looking at only calling in a couple of dozen MPs for a quorum.

Once again, on Sunday, the Prime Minister is urging Canadians again to stay in their homes and self-isolate, especially since pictures are now making the rounds on social media of crowded playgrounds and even beaches out west, the number of Canadians infected with COVID-19 has climbed to above 1,300.

Trudeau also says the government is working with Canadian airlines to bring more Canadians home from abroad. Air Canada, WestJet and Air Transat are all arranging flights around the globe.

As for declaring a federal emergency, the Prime Minister says, Canada is not at that point.

He told reporters Sunday provinces and local governments will continue to take steps to restrict people’s movements, but the federal government stepping in is the last resort.

Nova Scotia is the latest province to declare a state of emergency, restricting gatherings to no more than five people.

Premier Stephen McNeil says people are blatantly ignoring the need for social distancing.

Police in Nova Scotia are being given the power to enforce social distancing with $1,000 fines for individuals and $7,500 fines for businesses.