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View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Chair, thank you for that clarification. I think it would be essential to come back to it. We're voting on billions of dollars. The situation surrounding the pandemic is certainly changing the rules of Parliament, particularly because of the physical distancing requirement. That said, we must still take the time to play our role as elected officials.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer said the following:
While these supplementary estimates include a significant amount of the spending announced by the government in response to the global pandemic, it does not include all of the planned spending. The estimates documents only provide details on authorities of appropriated organizations which make payments from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Thus, it does not provide parliamentarians with a complete picture of how much the government will spend on COVID-19 response measures. Some of the measures not included are: the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS); the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) and the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA); and additional benefits delivered through the Employment Insurance Operating Account.
We aren't talking about small amounts here.
Mr. Chair, I understood what you said, but I would like to repeat to all the departmental officials present that, for the public and parliamentarians, it is important to have a complete picture of the situation, including all the measures. This means that an economic update must be presented as soon as possible.
Mr. Cumming mentioned it in his presentation. In my view, the Department of Finance has all the tools it needs to provide this update as quickly as possible. It's important to do that; otherwise, we only have partial details. We do not have the time to thoroughly go through the questions and answers and analyze everything that is presented. So I'm sending this message to the Department of Finance and other officials.
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