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2020-03-25 [p.328]
By unanimous consent, it was ordered, — That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House:
(a) the application of Standing Orders 17, 36(8)(b), 39(5)(b) and 56.1 be suspended for the current sitting, provided that the responses to petitions and questions on the Order Paper otherwise due shall be tabled at the next sitting of the House;
(b) ways and means motion No. 4, notice of which was laid upon the table earlier this day, be concurred in, that a bill based thereon in the name of the Minister of Finance, entitled An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19, be deemed to have been introduced and read a first time and ordered for consideration at second reading later this day;
(c) following the adoption of this order, the House shall resolve itself into a committee of the whole to consider matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic for a period not exceeding one hour and provided that the Chair may preside from the Speaker’s chair; that during the proceedings of the committee, the Chair shall call members in a fashion consistent with the proportions observed during Oral Questions; no member shall be recognized for more than five minutes which may be used for posing questions to a minister of the Crown or a parliamentary secretary acting on behalf of the minister; members may be permitted to split their time with one or more members by so indicating to the Chair; and at the conclusion of the time provided for the proceedings, or when no member rises to speak, whichever is earlier, the committee shall rise;
(d) when the committee of the whole rises, the House shall begin debate on the motion for second reading of the bill referred to in paragraph (b); a member of each recognized party and a member of the Green Party may speak to the said motion for not more than 10 minutes, followed by five minutes for questions and comments, provided that members may be permitted to split their time with another member; and, at the conclusion of the time provided for the debate or when no member rises to speak, whichever is earlier, all questions necessary to dispose of the second reading stage of the bill shall be put without further debate or amendment provided that, if a recorded division is requested, it shall not be deferred and that, if the bill is adopted at second reading, it shall be referred to a committee of the whole, deemed considered in committee of the whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage, and deemed read a third time and passed;
(e) when the bill referred to in paragraph (b) has been read the third time and passed, the House shall adjourn until Monday, April 20, 2020, provided that, for the purposes of any standing order, it shall be deemed adjourned pursuant to Standing Order 28, and, for greater certainty, the provisions of paragraphs (m) to (p) of the order adopted on Friday, March 13, 2020, remain in effect;
(f) if, during the period the House stands adjourned pursuant to this order, the Speaker receives a notice from the House leaders of all four recognized parties indicating that it is in the public interest that the House remain adjourned until a future date or until future notice is given to the Speaker, the House will remain adjourned accordingly, provided that (i) in the event of the Speaker being unable to act owing to illness or other cause, the Deputy Speaker or either of the Assistant Deputy Speakers shall act in the Speaker’s stead for all the purposes of this paragraph, (ii) in the event the House remains adjourned beyond April 20, 2020, pursuant to this paragraph, the words “May 1” and “May 31” in Standing Order 81(4)(a) shall be deemed to read “May 27” and “June 15”, respectively;
(g) during the period the House stands adjourned pursuant to this order, the House may be recalled, under the provisions of Standing Order 28(3), to consider measures to address the economic impact of COVID-19 and the impacts on the lives of Canadians;
(h) during the period the House stands adjourned pursuant to this order, the Chair of the Standing Committee on Health and the Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance shall each convene a meeting of their respective committee (i) at least once per week, unless the whips of all four recognized parties agree to not hold a meeting, (ii) within 48 hours of the receipt by email, by the clerk of the committee, of a request signed by any four members of the committee; that during such meetings, committee members shall attend and witnesses shall participate via either videoconferencing or teleconferencing; and that the committees meet for the sole purpose of receiving evidence concerning matters related to the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, provided that, for greater certainty, each committee may receive evidence which may otherwise exceed the committee’s mandate under Standing Order 108(2), all such meetings shall be made available to the public via the House of Commons website, and notices of membership substitutions pursuant to Standing Order 114(2) may be filed with the clerk of each committee by email;
(i) starting the week of March 30, 2020, the Minister of Finance or his delegate shall provide the Standing Committee on Finance with a bi-weekly report on all actions undertaken pursuant to parts 3, 8 and 19 of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act and shall appear before the committee to discuss the report, provided that, until April 20, 2020, or any date to which the adjournment period is extended pursuant to paragraph (f), if the committee is not satisfied with how the government is exercising its powers under the act, it may adopt a motion during a meeting by videoconference or teleconference to report this to the House by depositing a report with the Clerk of the House which shall be deemed to have been duly presented to the House on that day;
(j) upon the presentation of any report pursuant to paragraph (i), the Speaker shall recall the House to consider a motion to take note of the report of the committee which shall be deemed to be proposed and have precedence over all other business that day, provided that proceedings shall expire when debate thereon has concluded or at the ordinary hour of daily adjournment and that at least 48 hours’ notice shall be given for any sitting held pursuant to this paragraph;
(k) the Standing Committee on Finance be instructed to commence a review of the provisions and operation of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act within six months of the day on which the act receives royal assent and to report its findings to the House no later than Wednesday, March 31, 2021, provided that the report may be deposited with the Clerk of the House when the House stands adjourned and it shall be deemed to have been duly presented to the House on that day;
(l) within 30 sitting days of the resumption of regular sittings of the House pursuant to paragraph (e) or (f) of this order, the government table a comprehensive report of all activities undertaken pursuant to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act and that this report be permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Finance; and
(m) the House call upon the government to provide regular updates to representatives of recognized and unrecognized opposition parties on its management of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a bi-weekly conference call between the finance critics of opposition parties and the Minister of Finance.
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