After almost a day of wrangling, Canada’s House of Commons agreed early on Wednesday to approve a C$27 billion ($18.8 billion) stimulus bill to help people and businesses deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
A few dozen legislators – maintaining social distancing in the face of the highly contagious disease – backed the measures after the Liberal government agreed to remove proposals that would have given Ottawa emergency spending powers without Parliamentary approval until the end of 2021.
The bill – which also includes C$55 billion in the form of tax deferrals – must now be approved by the unelected Senate, which will meet later on Wednesday.
Government officials say they anticipate senators will quickly approve the measures.
A total of 2,792 Canadians have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and 27 have died, while more than a million people have applied for unemployment benefits in less than two weeks.