Liberals set to introduce bill with targeted pandemic aid for businesses, workers

The Trudeau Liberals are scheduled to introduce a new aid bill this afternoon that aims to provide targeted financial support to businesses still recovering from the pandemic.

The bill listed on the today’s agenda for the House of Commons would also send income-support payments to workers who find themselves off the job because of a public health order.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland outlined the broad details of the plan in late October when the Liberals decided to let a trio of special pandemic benefits expire.

At the time, Freeland said more details on which workers and businesses would qualify for help would come at a later date.

The Liberals estimated that creating new, targeted benefits through to May would cost roughly $8 billion, and the government needs parliamentary approval to spend the money.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Tuesday his party couldn’t support a bill that would cut help for workers, while Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois separately suggested they may support the bill — the former because benefits will go where needed most, the latter because it may mean help for cultural workers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2021.

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