North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says the NDP is working closely with all parties at Parliament Hill while Canadians deal with the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.
Parliament has been shut down until April 20, though some MPs will be called back to make decisions on issues such as support for access to Employment Insurance (EI).
“What the NDP is calling for as well is more direct assistance for working-class families who don’t have access to EI, whether that be contract workers or people working in different fields,” Blaney said Tuesday from Ottawa. “We don’t want to see the economy hit too hard, and people suffering to pay their bills as we go through this.”
The NDP is conversing with the federal Liberals about extending tax filing deadlines with the Canada Revenue Agency.
The party is also looking for a strategy for the homeless.
“As we go through this change, we need to make sure that people who don’t have access to clean, running water are getting the supports to be taken care of,” Blaney said. “We’re also asking to make sure that supplies and supports are delivered immediately to Indigenous communities that are rural and remote.”
Before Parliament adjourned, the NDP motion on National Pharmacare was adopted in the House of Commons.
“As we go through this health crisis, I think we see even more clearly how important it is to have an accessible health care system,” Blaney said. “When we leave out the pharmacare, the medication part of that, it can lead to bigger issues, and it has led to that.”
In April, she hopes government gets to work on ensuring that all Canadians have access to the medication they need.
In the meantime, her office continues to work with a number of constituents who are outside of Canada. In some cases, that means supporting their return home as quickly as possible.
Blaney encourages anyone overseas to register with the Canadian consulate in their areas.
“It’s a scary time for everybody because there are some unknowns,” she said.
Blaney’s office is not accepting walk-ins, but staffers are on site to answer phones.
Reach her office toll free at 1-800-667-8404