Normally the House of Commons is back in session during the third week in September, meaning we would be well into the fall session by now.
Obviously with Prime Minister Trudeau having called an election on September 20th, the normal Parliamentary cycle was delayed.
Recently I have been increasingly asked the question when will the new Parliament be up and running in Ottawa?
For some context, the 2015 general election that was held on Monday, Oct. 19th and just over two weeks later on November 4th, Prime Minister Trudeau announced his cabinet and the new Parliament resumed roughly one month after that on December 3rd with a Throne Speech being heard on December 4th.
We are now three weeks past the September 20th election and I would expect the PM to announce his cabinet within the next week, with Parliament likely returning with a Throne Speech sometime potentially as late as December.
It also should be noted that the first action of Parliament, once it returns, is to elect a new Speaker.
Opposition parties will also be announcing who their critics will be as well as their House administration officers such as the House Leader and Whip.
The reason why I am often asked when will the new Parliament begin sitting relates to another question I am also receiving frequently that relates to the Canadian Recovery Benefit (CRB) program that replaced the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program.
Currently the CRB, much like Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada’s other pandemic relief benefit programs are set to expire on October 23, 2021.
Many Canadians are awaiting news as to what will become of these programs.
While there have been hints that discussions around extending these benefits are being held, no conclusive statement has emerged from the Trudeau Government.
From my perspective, I would expect the Prime Minister would have a new cabinet in place ASAP and the fate on the future of these programs would be a priority topic of discussion.
With Statistics Canada announcing that Canada’s unemployment rate has now reached pre-pandemic levels, some are suggesting these programs should be wound down.
As the National Post recently reported on October 9th:
“A chorus of business, academic and political voices wants an end to the CRB once and for all, claiming it's hindering productivity and worsening labour shortages…”
My question this week:
What do you think should happen with Canada’s pandemic recovery programs on October 23?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.