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Canada Moves to Ratify USMCA Before Suspending Parliament

March 13, 2020
Canada's Senate will meet later Friday to pass the deal, the final legislative step before ratification.

Canada’s lawmakers suspended the House of Commons on March 13, the latest step in the country’s efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Lawmakers voted unanimously to suspend the current session in the House of Commons, which is now set to resume April 20. The motion included a provision that the new North American trade deal, known as CUSMA, would be considered passed in the lower house. The Senate will meet later Friday to pass the deal, the final legislative step before ratification, Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez told reporters.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is governing from home after his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau tested positive for Covid-19. Finance Minister Bill Morneau is due to speak at 2 p.m. in Ottawa, and he may release further fiscal measures to shore up confidence in the economy. Morneau had been expected to deliver the budget on March 30, but that may be delayed, Rodriguez said.

By Kait Bolongaro

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