Communique #10 – Legislation

October 22, 2020

National Chairperson of Legislation Betty Colaneri, October 22, 2020


“It is not enough to say we are Christians.
We must live the faith, not only with our words, but with our actions” (Pope Francis).

My dear sisters in the League,

It is my hope and prayer that you and your families are staying healthy and safe.

This is my favourite time of year when God brings out His mosaic of colours for the grand finale. Harvest has begun and looking out into the vineyard is a reminder there is so much to be thankful for—even during a pandemic.

Following the proroguing of parliament, members of parliament returned to their parliamentary duties on September 23rd. Presently 54 bills are before the House of Commons that have completed first reading and 11 bills before the Senate that have completed first reading.

Unfortunately, Bill C-7 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), has been brought back and is among those that have completed first reading. The federal government introduced the bill (sponsored by the minister of justice) and have vowed to move it quickly through parliament. Encourage members to send letters and contact their local member of parliament to voice their concerns. Time is of the essence.

The federal government has put Canadians’ health and well-being first throughout the pandemic. To date, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has helped nearly nine million Canadians and their families make ends meet and stay safe. Bill C-4 An Act relating to certain measures in response to COVID-19, sponsored by the minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion, received royal assent on October 2nd. For Canadians unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19, this legislation creates three new temporary recovery benefits that will be in place for one year beginning September 27th.

According to the federal government website,

Canadians will be able to apply through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for the following benefits…:

  1. A Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) of $500.00 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19; and,
  2. A Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) of $500.00 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

As part of the Act, the federal government is also extending the application of the Public Health Event of National Concern Payments Act (PHENCPA) to December 31, 2020… This extension will allow the government to continue investing in vaccines and therapeutics, to continue to support testing and tracing, and to procure personal protective equipment for essential workers. It will also allow for the continued support of the health-care systems. This act is essential in ensuring ongoing support for Canada and Canadians as they fight the second wave of this virus.

Bill C-4 provides the government an opportunity to help Canadians get back to work safely by supporting Canadians and businesses.

Kindly ask your diocesan counterparts to encourage members to continue to monitor bills at each stage.

May the light of God surround you, the love of God enfold you, the power of God protect you, and the presence of God watch over you and your families.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps 46:1).

Betty Colaneri,
National Chairperson of Legislation