Unless there is an emergency, the House of Commons won't sit again until April 20th.
Members of Parliament agreed to shut down the house for five weeks over concerns over COVID-19. That means MPs will miss two sitting weeks, as they had previously planned to be away next week and in the first two weeks in April.
“I think this was the right decision and one that will help us get through any crisis there is,” said Banff-Airdrie MP Blake Richards.
The Move comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went into self-isolation after his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, tested positive for the virus after an engagement in the United Kingdom.
“There are a couple of other Members of Parliament in that boat,” said Richards. “If Parliament was to continue as scheduled it could spread among the members of Parliament pretty quickly.”
The decision to go on hiatus led to MPs speeding up the passing of the new trade deal between Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Richards adds the break will lead to a delay in the Federal Budget being delivered. It was slated to happen on March 30th, but has been postponed. A new date has not yet been chosen.
The Banff-Airdrie MP is urging people to take caution and keep themselves and their families safe, but also not to panic. He says cancellations and postponements of different events and sports have been done out of caution. Richards said he applauds local groups for considering public health above all else.
“I think it’s prudent to take the right measures,” he said. “It is really good to see that a lot of organizations and community groups have done proactively what we should be doing,”
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