Members of Parliament are reconvening in the House of Commons for an additional special sitting on Tuesday, to continue debating and likely passing the federal government’s latest COVID-19 emergency aid bill.
After spending all day Monday debating the proposed aid program changes and new offerings, MPs are expected to wrap up their condensed consideration of Bill C-20 by the end of the day.
Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez said Monday that he anticipated the bill to be passed through all stages and sent over to the Senate for their scrutiny by 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
“Businesses were asking for this in terms of wage subsidy, and also people living with disabilities have been waiting way too long for this. So we’re really happy we can move forward very quickly,” he said.
In the case of the disability aid, it hasn’t been a quick process. In June, the Liberals failed to get the all-party support needed to pass an earlier aid bill that included the one-time payments to eligible Canadians with disabilities of up to $600. Since then the government said it was looking at other ways to deliver the payments but have now returned to the legislative route.
What started as a 75 per cent employee wage subsidy for businesses that could demonstrate a significant impact on income due to the pandemic, the government is extending the timeline for the program to December, and is modifying the criteria to cover portions of workers’ wages on a sliding scale that is proportional to the revenue hit at the business they work for.
To date, 262,200 employers have accessed the federal aid program, seeing the government pay out $20.4 billion.
The bill also includes changes to rectify the risk of Canadians being penalized for missing key deadlines in ongoing legal matters due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After taking a personal day on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to be present in the House of Commons during some of Tuesday’s proceedings, including question period, when he’s set to face more questions on the ongoing WE Charity student volunteer grant program controversy.
4 more Vancouver flights added to COVID-19 exposure list – CTV News Vancouver
Another four flights have been added to the BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 exposures list.
All four either arrived or departed from Vancouver late last month. Three were domestic, while one was international.
The first flight landed in Vancouver from Toronto on July 24. The flight number is Air Canada 119, and rows 12 to 18 are believed to be most at risk of exposure to the virus.
The second flight departed from Vancouver for Edmonton three days later, on July 27. That flight number is WestJet 186. People in rows two to eight may be most at risk of COVID-19 exposure.
The same route – WestJet 186 from Vancouver to Edmonton – also had a COVID-19 exposure on July 30. The highest-risk rows on that day’s flight were rows six to 12.
Finally, a July 29 flight that landed in Vancouver after leaving from Amsterdam was also added to the BCCDC’s list. That flight, KLM 681, had an exposure somewhere in rows 31 to 35.
Since the start of July, 21 domestic flights and 21 international flights have been added to B.C.’s exposures list.
Anyone on one of the domestic flights should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days. Anyone arriving internationally is required to isolate and monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days.
B.C. health officials no longer directly contact people who were seated near a confirmed case of COVID-19 on a flight. Instead, the BCCDC provides updates on flights with confirmed cases as it becomes aware of them.
A full list of recent exposures can be found on the BCCDC’s website.
Inflation Is Back–and the Market Rally Is Back With It – Barron's
The big news of the day was the consumer price index, which rose 0.6% in July from June. The core CPI, which also rose 0.6%, experienced its biggest month-over-month game since 1991. This might seem concerning—high inflation is bad right?—but is more likely a reflection of the recovery than anything else. “It is important, up front, to be clear about what I think this is and what it is not,” writes Amherst Pierpont Securities’ Stephen Stanley. “It is NOT the start of a persistent trend of accelerating inflation. It IS a much larger and quicker reversal of the one-off price drops seen during the lockdowns.”
And today, it’s helping the market head higher.
(GOLD) has advanced 1.1% after getting upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord.
(DE) has fallen 0.6% after getting cut to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.
(HD) has risen 2.6% after getting raised to Accumulate from Hold at Gordon Haskett.
(AN) has jumped 5.5% after getting upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim.
Write to Ben Levisohn at Ben.Levisohn@barrons.com
Unifor launches Big Three negotiations with warning against COVID concessions – BNN
TORONTO – Negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers were launched Wednesday with Unifor national president Jerry Dias warning the union won’t make any concessions, even if there is a “second wave” of coronavirus infection.
Union representatives met with the Canadian arms of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles FCA, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. to start negotiating wages and benefits for the next four years.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the employment landscape was in focus, after auto sales plummeted this spring during the peak months of the pandemic, and production lines stalled as automakers shut down plants.
“Has the pandemic taken some wind out of the sails? Of course it has. And I’d be naive not to acknowledge that, but it’s a different situation today than in 2008, 2009.
Dias told reporters.
“The crash of 2008 and the impending bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler was very much based on an entire collapse of the banking industry started with Lehman Brothers. So when people were losing their houses, they certainly weren’t buying cars,” he said.
These days, dealerships are a lot more full than people were expecting as consumers are nervous about taking public about taking public transit, Ubers and hopping on trains.
“And so I’m hoping that we get out of this crisis a lot quicker than anybody had anticipated.”
Dias said that car companies are planning for demand six years from now, and that temporary pressure from the pandemic cannot be used as an “excuse” to keep new projects out of Canada.
“COVID-19 is a real problem. There’s no question. I feel for families that have lost so many loved ones. But this is an industry that thinks not just for the short-term, but the long-term,” said Dias.
“It’s not as if I have to chase wages in the United States, because that’s not a part of the real equation here today. Obviously, Mexican autoworkers make mere smidgens of what we do … That’s something that obviously we can’t compete with, from that point of view. But where we may not be as cheap as Mexico, we’re definitely more productive, and we’re certainly building incredible quality vehicles.”
Matt Hough, the general director of human resources and labour relations for GM Canada, said the company’s focus is to reach a four-year agreement that is “fair” and “flexible.”
Despite confidence in the auto companies’ balance sheets, Dias said the industry as a whole remains “in peril,” citing lack of investments in electric vehicles as one example. Dias noted that the existing collective bargaining agreements, which expire on Sept. 21, cover 3,600 fewer workers than when they were negotiated last time after downsizing at several plants, notably in Oshawa, Ont.
Dias warned that Canadian consumers would “punish” companies who did not keep local operations running.
“Canadians are really loyal to the companies that build here,” said Dias.
4 more Vancouver flights added to COVID-19 exposure list – CTV News Vancouver
Blanchet will push for election if Trudeau, Morneau, Telford won't resign – CBC.ca
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