North Island-Powell River MP will be in parliament

Rachel Blaney to take part in emergency session

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney will join NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and London-Fanshaw MP Lyndsay Mathyssen as the three NDP members in a reduced parliament that will sit on Tuesday, March 24, to pass legislation to enable the government to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to a media release from Blaney, the reduced minority parliament will consist of 14 Liberals, 11 Conservatives, three NDP, three Bloc Quebecois, and one Green MP as per an agreement negotiated among the official parties. Blaney has remained in Ottawa since Parliament was suspended on March 13 in order to serve her role as party whip, which includes negotiating and liaising with the other parties. Following the session, Blaney will return to her riding and undertake 14 days of self-isolation.

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“It has been very hard to be away from my family and my community with all that is going on, but it’s critical that the government be able to enact measures right away to give Canadians the support they need,” stated Blaney.

The media release stated that NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has previously indicated to the prime minister that the NDP will support the upcoming legislation, giving it the votes needed to pass. Singh urged the prime minister to begin rollout of programs immediately rather than wait for legislation to pass, stating that “Canadians cannot wait a moment longer for help.”

Singh, Blaney and theNDPare also proposing additional measures to help Canadians, including a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, and utility cut-offs; ensuring banks waive interest fees for the next two payment cycles; increasing the wage subsidy for small and medium-sized businesses; and ensuring that supports for big businesses are tied to protecting jobs in Canada, the release stated.

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