Canadian House of Commons to close for five weeks over COVID-19 concerns

OTTAWA — The House of Commons decided to shut down today for five weeks to help ensure MPs do not contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

All parties agreed to the measure, which means MPs will miss two sitting weeks, as they had previously planned to be away next week and two weeks in April.

Part of the package is hastening the passage of the new trade deal among Canada, the United States and Mexico, with a vote in the Senate expected this afternoon.

The House is scheduled to next meet Monday, April 20.

Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez says the Commons could come back sooner if an emergency requires a meeting.

Rodriguez says MPs will face the challenge together, and get through it together.

Concerns about COVID-19 have prompted cancellation of many large gatherings and sporting events.

{The Canadian Press}

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