COVID-19 bill would give Liberals power to raise taxes without parliamentary approval until end of 2021

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The Liberal government will table emergency legislation on Tuesday that would equip Finance Minister Bill Morneau with far-reaching powers to raise taxes up until the end of 2021, and bail out companies without apparent limitations, according to a draft of the bill obtained by the National Post. The bill, tabled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, would allow cabinet to create, remove or modify any tax through regulations, and therefore without the approval of Parliament. It would also give Ottawa the authority to “purchase or hold a company’s shares,” offer new lines of credit, and guarantee pools of debt without the need for new legislation, according to the draft. It would allow the health minister to, in effect, break patents on medical devices that might need to be made urgently.