Federal Government Passes New COVID-19 Relief Package

Parliament Hill

The House of Commons has unanimously passed legislation authorizing new benefits for workers left jobless or underemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bill C-4 passed by a vote of 306 to zero in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, after a day of political manoeuvring and just four-and-a-half hours of debate on the actual contents of the legislation.

It must still be passed by the Senate, which is scheduled to gather today to deal equally quickly with the bill.

The bill replaces the now-defunct Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which came to an end last weekend, with a more flexible and generous employment insurance regime.

For those who still don't qualify for E-I, a new Canada recovery benefit is also included.

With the legislation's passing, the minority Liberal government also survived its first pandemic-era confidence test, assuring -- at least for now -- that there will be no election.


With files from the Canadian Press