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Dan-in-Ottawa

Response to COVID-19

The House of Commons reconvened briefly this week to allow Parliament to pass Bill C-20:

  • “An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures.”

Bill C-20 proposed a number of different measures, such as allowing the extension of the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) until Dec.19.

The bill also included the ability of government to update much of the CEWS program criteria until Nov. 21.

A CEWS “top-up” subsidy, of up to an additional 25%, will now be available for employers that have been harder hit by the pandemic and are in industries that may require more time to recover.

Aside from the many changes to the CEWS program, Bill C-20 also allows the federal government to share some personal information.

The reason for this is to complete a one-time payment to Canadians with disabilities.

To qualify, an applicant must hold “a valid Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate (eligible persons not yet in possession of such a certificate would be able to apply for one up to 60 days after Royal Assent to be considered for the one-time payment).”

Canadians receiving the Canada Pension Plan disability benefits or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefits as well as those receiving disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada will also qualify.

Those who meet this eligibility criteria will receive a non-taxable, one-time payment of up to $600.

It is expected that approximately 1.7 million Canadians will qualify for this benefit.

Aside from the debate and passing of Bill C-20 in the House of Commons, there were also two days of question period.

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not participate in Question Period the first day, he did attend the second day and was questioned heavily on the decision of his government to sole-source a $910-million volunteer program to the WE Charity, which has since been cancelled.

As the shadow cabinet critic for employment, workforce development and disability inclusion, I was pleased that Parliament was able to pass the much-needed disability benefits in Bill C-20.

My question this week is not about Parliament.

In the Okanagan there have been reports of a growing number COVID-19 cases from local social gatherings.

  • How satisfied are you about the current actions undertaken by all levels of Government to contain
    COVID-19?

 I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

MP Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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