Normally the House of Commons is back in session during the third week in September, meaning we would be well into the fall session by now.
Obviously with Prime Minister Trudeau calling an election on Sept. 20, the normal Parliamentary cycle was delayed.
Recently, I have been increasingly asked when will the new Parliament be up and running in Ottawa?
For some context, the 2015 general election that was held Oct. 19 that year, and just over two weeks later, on Nov. 4, Prime Minister Trudeau announced his cabinet and the new Parliament resumed roughly one month after that on Dec. 3 with a Throne Speech on Dec. 4.
We are now three weeks past the Sept. 20 (2021) election and I expect the PM to announce his cabinet within the next week, and Parliament likely to return with a Throne Speech sometime, potentially, as late as December.
It also should be noted that the first action of Parliament, once it returns, is to elect a new Speaker.
Opposition parties will also be announcing who their critics will be, as well as their House administration officers such as the House leader and whip.
The reason why I’m often asked when will the new Parliament begin sitting relates to another question I frequently get relating to the Canadian Recovery Benefit (CRB) program that replaced the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program.
Currently the CRB, much like Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada’s other pandemic relief benefit programs are set to expire on Oct. 23.
Many Canadians are awaiting news as to what will become of these programs.
While there have been hints that discussions around extending these benefits are being held, no conclusive statement has emerged from the government.
From my perspective, I expect the prime minister to have a new cabinet in place ASAP and the fate on the future of these programs will be a priority topic of discussion.
With Statistics Canada announcing that the country’s unemployment rate has now reached pre-pandemic levels, some are suggesting these programs should be wound down.
As the National Post reported on Oct. 9: “A chorus of business, academic and political voices wants an end to the CRB once and for all, claiming it's hindering productivity and worsening labour shortages.”
My question this week:
What do you think should happen with Canada’s pandemic recovery programs on Oct. 23?
I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.