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Liberals must come back to work to get Canadians the help they need

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OTTAWA — New Democrats are calling on the Liberal government to come back to work for Canadians who are relying on them for help.

The pandemic has left a lot of Canadians struggling to make ends meet and the Liberals are making the situation worse. By shutting down parliament, the Liberals are making people who depend on the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit to wait to know if more help is coming and what it will look like.

“Canadians are worried about paying their bills, a possible second wave of COVID-19, and the return to work and school. It is completely unacceptable to add to this uncertainty,” said NDP House Leader Peter Julian. “The government must come back to work so that millions of Canadians who rely on CERB can get the support they need to put food on the table and pay their rent.”

Earlier this week, Julian wrote to the Government House Leader, asking that parliament be recalled sooner than September 23, so MPs can vote on and pass new supports that can be implemented before the CERB runs out on September 27. If the government can’t agree to this common-sense solution, New Democrats are asking them to extend CERB until the programs aimed at replacing it are actually in place to help people pay their bills.

In order to pass the needed legislation, the House of Commons needs to sit, but in response to a separate letter from Julian and NDP Whip Rachel Blaney, the Speaker confirmed that the Liberals’ move to shut down parliament also shut down work that was being done “…to facilitate the House’s ability to function more fully during the pandemic.”

“We are still waiting for a plan. The Liberals were in such a rush to save themselves from investigations into their own scandals and now they have no plan to get back to work or to help the people who are relying on supports like CERB to get by. No one needs this kind of stress and it’s completely unnecessary,” said Blaney. “We’re ready to work with the other parties to solve this problem but we need the government to get on board. Our message to the government is simple: get back to work, and let’s get Canadians the help they need.”