Canadian Parliament Shuts Down Over Coronavirus Spread Fears

OTTAWA, ON - OCTOBER 23: The flag atop the Canadian Parliament building is flown at half staff one day after Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of the Canadian Army Reserves was killed while standing guard in front of the National War Memorial by a lone gunman, on October 23, 2014 in Ottawa, …
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Canadian members of parliament have voted to suspend the activity of the country’s parliament over fears of the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus just a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his self-isolation.

The move comes a day after Prime minister Trudeau’s wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau tested positive for the coronavirus following a trip to the UK, and the Canadian leader announced he would be isolating himself and working from home.

All parties in the parliament agreed Friday to suspend activity for over a month until April 20th, with no MPs voting against the suspension, Canadian broadcaster CBC reports.

The Canadian annual budget, which was expected to be released at the end of the month, is likely to be delayed as well.

Parliament managed to pass the C-4 bill on the subject of the new trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico but that bill will require royal assent from the Governor-General before coming into force.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced a stimulus package on Thursday to help ease the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak after speaking with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney who said that at least $20 billion would be needed.

While Canada has not imposed strict travel restrictions, PM Trudeau said Friday that his government was considering restricting some international travel.

Canadian airline Air Canada, however, suspended all flights to Italy, one of the countries with a major outbreak of the coronavirus, earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, on a provincial level, both British Columbia and Quebec have warned residents about international travel and Ontario has closed all schools in the province for the next three weeks.

“As you’ve seen, there are recommendations not to travel outside of Canada. We’re in the midst of coordinating with the Americans, obviously, on our borders, on our actions. We’ll continue to evaluate what we can do and how we can keep Canadians in security and we won’t close the door on any idea,” Trudeau said in an interview with Radio-Canada.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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