Mental health is underfunded at the best of times. With COVID-19, Canadians will experience added health concerns, job loss, financial problems, social isolation and more that will increase mental health challenges. I am calling for more resources and funding to address this.
Don Davies, NDP MP for Vancouver Kingsway, said the tough situation facing many renters and landlords shows why more action is needed from the federal government. New Democrats have called for a federal moratorium on rent, mortgage payments and utility bills.
“We need extraordinary measures, I think, to deal with an extraordinary situation,” he said
“I think Canadians expect us and want us, to the extent we can, work across party lines in as a non-partisan way as possible and focus on the task at hand, which is, I think, ferreting out the most comprehensive information we can, holding the government to account, and making sure that we come up with the best possible proposal we can,” Mr. Davies said.
NDP MP Don Davies, Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and Conservative MP Scott Reid are urging the Department of Finance to provide support for the cannabis industry.
In a letter sent to Finance Minister Bill Morneau on March 19, they wrote, “Cannabis firms are new businesses in a fledgling, complicated sector and, like other Canadian businesses, need support from the federal government to weather the economic impacts of COVID-19.”
I hope you are doing well at this difficult time. Although we are all practicing social distancing to help combat the spread of COVID-19, I and my team are working hard to remain open and accessible to you. As part of our efforts to stay connected, we hosted a Facebook Live townhall meeting to keep you informed and answer any questions you may have.
You can view the recording of the townhall at this link. Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.
On March 25, Parliament unanimously adopted the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act. This legislation implements a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period.
These measures will provide up to $52 billion in direct support to people and businesses, along with $55 billion in tax deferrals. Many of the provisions mirror proposals that the NDP has put forward.
However, we still believe that more money needs to flow to more people, faster. We also want wider protection for people, including a moratorium on rents, utilities, evictions and the elimination of interest on credit cards for at least two payment cycles.
We will continue to fight for the best protection available to help get Canadians through this public health crisis.
We are writing to you today as co-chairs of the Parliamentary Cannabis Caucus to request the inclusion of Canada’s cannabis sector in the federal government’s plan to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 13, 2020, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced a joint strategy to provide additional liquidity for businesses, pledging to increase loans typically issued on commercial terms by $10 billion. Although the crown corporations have yet to detail how the new Business Credit Availability program will work, cannabis firms have been informed that they will not be eligible to participate. Dan Sutton, CEO of the B.C.-based cannabis producer Tantalus Labs, was told by a BDC senior account manager that “we do not do business with cannabis firms at this time.”