Members of Parliament unanimously increased by a day ahead of schedule on Thursday in a move that will see House of Commons at recess until January 31.
The House of Commons has been set to sit until Friday before rising for the winter break, which will see MPs return to their trip after a reeling four weeks of legislative meetings.
Liberal House Leader Mark Holland has outlined four key priorities for the government to pass before Christmas: COVID-19 support measures, paid sick leave, a ban on hospital protests and a ban conversion treatment.
The conversion therapy ban has become law on December 8 following a rare unanimous move by all parties to speed adoption.
Measure C-3, the ban on anti-hospitalization, passed the House of Representatives on Thursday night. MPs agreed to pass a proposal during debate on that bill that saw them agree to the increase a day earlier than expected.
Bill C-3 will ‘help restore trust’ in the criminal justice system to sexual assault survivors, Trudeau says
That bill also includes a Liberal promise to provide 10 days of paid sick leave for federally administered workers. It will now advance to the Senate, which is expected to hold its final day of sitting on Friday before also an extended recess.
The Freedom Bill that sets out promised changes to some government COVID-19 assistance programs also passed Thursday night in a 190-142 vote.
Bill C-2 will also then be passed by the Senate after Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland promised to quickly reach businesses and workers in need.
The decision comes amid a week that has seen cases of newly identified Omicron variants of COVID-19 explode around the world, with Quebec Premier Francois Legault announcing on Thursday evening that His province recorded 3,700 new cases in a day.
The World Health Organization warned this week the variant is spreading at a rate never seen before.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it “scary”, noting that officials are “very concerned” about the impact of a potential increase in cases, even among those who have been vaccinated.
Officials updated Canada’s travel advisories on Wednesday, urging Canadians against non-essential international travel during the holidays.
Holland said on Tuesday that the Liberals would “dramatically reduce” the number of their MPs in the chamber and during this time will move their caucuses to virtual sessions because of the increased cases.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8457593/canada-house-of-commons-rises-2021/ House of Representatives rises until January 31 as Canada’s Omicron cases explode – National