MP's to work on the Easter weekend, to pass emergency wage subsidy program

Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario,Canada is seen August 11, 2016.

The House of Commons will be recalled Saturday to vote on the Trudeau government's $73-billion, emergency wage subsidy program.

Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez wrote to Commons Speaker Anthony Rota to request that the chamber be recalled to deal with the legislation necessary to implement the massive program.

As part of the countrywide effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, Parliament has been adjourned since March 13, except for a brief sitting of fewer than three dozen MPs two weeks ago to pass the first phase of emergency aid to individuals and businesses.

Rodriguez's letter gives no details but it's likely that only a handful of MPs, primarily those within driving distance of the capital, will be present in the chamber on Saturday.

The government must have unanimous consent of all parties in order to pass the bill in a single day and negotiations had been bogged down over the past few days.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the Tories of insisting the House of Commons must begin to meet regularly to hold the government to account during the health crisis, while Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said his party supports the program and wants to make it better.