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Freeland to face grilling over business aid as part of deal to fast-track bill

OTTAWA — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will face a grilling tonight in the House of Commons over her government’s latest bid to reshape aid to businesses hit hard by COVID-19.

Opposition MPs will have the chance to question Freeland for four hours about different aspects of the bill, known as C-9, and the country’s pandemic-plagued economy.

Billions in federal aid has helped replace lost income and manage costs for companies facing revenue declines.

The aid package would change under C-9 by extending a federal wage subsidy until next summer, cancelling a previously-planned decline in its value, as well as expanding a popular business loan program.

The legislation would also redo a rent relief program that was widely criticized because its original design needed buy-in from landlords, many of whom did not participate.

The Liberals reached an agreement with opposition parties yesterday to fast-track the legislation through the House of Commons and have it passed by tomorrow.

The Senate would still have to take up the bill afterwards before its provisions can be enacted.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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