"Such a tragic event, involving the meaningless death of so many of our fellow citizens, has shocked us all," he said, "adding more collective suffering to an already tragic time in our province, our country and our personal lives.
Among the emergency provisions are increases to family benefits, a six-month interest-free pause on student loans and a biweekly payment of $900 for sick or laid-off workers without employment insurance or sick leave.
The job actions, which come alongside strikes by other teachers’ unions across the province, reflect a new breaking point in relations between public educators and the Progressive Conservative government of Ontario, led by Premier Doug Ford.
Archbishop Richard Gagnon, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, reiterated church opposition to government-sanctioned suicide while slamming the idea that a survey is the way to address "grave moral questions."
The bishops said they welcomed the minister's willingness to revise and enrich the content of the program, on the condition that "this will not be done to the detriment of the notions of religious culture."
The Edmonton victims were of Iranian descent, and their lives were recalled by family and friends at the memorial, which included Persian poetry and song.