Global Markets: House of Commons approves back-to-work legislation

WINNIPEG – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– Canada’s House of Commons approved legislation last night which would end a strike at the Port of Montreal. Every Conservative MP, as well as all but three Liberal MPs voted yes on Bill C-29 by a margin of 255-61. Last Monday, 1,150 dockworkers walked off the job, halting the movement of millions of tonnes of goods including essential medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. However, New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh said the legislation undermines collective bargaining. The bill will be voted on in the Senate on Friday.

– In his first speech to the United States Congress, President Joe Biden delivered the government’s spending plans, including US$1.9 trillion in pandemic relief, US$2 trillion towards clean energy and a newly-announced US$1 trillion plan to expand access to public health care, child care, paid leave and tax credits. People who earn more than US$515,400 per year will see their individual tax rate go up by two per cent. Senator Tim Scott said in the Republican Party’s rebuttal that the new programs were a “wasteful expansion” of government which will pull both Republicans and Democrats apart.

– The Canadian government has given C$700 million in emergency aid to Montreal-based vacation operator Transat, according to Bloomberg News. Last month, Air Canada attempted to buy Transat but failed to do so. Transat suspended all regular flights on Jan. 29 after the government asked air carriers to stop travelling to Mexico and the Caribbean.

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