Return to Commons: re-proposal of the liberal

Retour aux Communes: nouvelle proposition libérale

Retour aux Communes: nouvelle proposition libérale

It is proposed in particular to add one more day to the weekly meetings of the special committee on the COVID-19.


May 23, 2020 15h35

Updated 17: 20


Return to Commons: re-proposal of the liberal

Teresa Wright

The canadian Press

Joan Bryden

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The liberals have tabled a new proposal for the resumption of parliament in Ottawa.

The motion will be debated Monday in the House of commons, the date on which the current agreement expires.

It is proposed in particular to add one more day to the weekly meetings of the special committee on the COVID-19. During the crisis, it was expected that the latter meet once per week with 32 members present in bone and flesh in the House of commons, and twice per week in a virtual way.

The liberals are now proposing to hold four meetings per week until June 17, with a hybrid formula, where a small number of elected officials would show up in person while others join via screens installed on each side of the chair apparatus.

The motion also proposes to hold four sessions in July and August, each with a question and answer period that would allow members of parliament to question ministers on topics unrelated to the pandemic – a bone of contention with the conservatives in recent weeks.

According to Mark Kennedy, spokesman for the leader of the government Pablo Rodriguez, if this motion is adopted it will provide more hours for the opposition to question the government that during a normal week in person to the Commons.

He did not want to comment on the negotiations behind the scenes that continue between the federal political parties on how to run the Parliament while the crisis continues.

Because of their status as a minority government, the liberals need the support of at least one of the main opposition parties that the motion be adopted.

The NDP has negotiated the terms of the motion with the liberal Party and should support it according to a source highly placed within the party that has agreed to entrust to The canadian Press on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak publicly.

However, the NDP would have used its bargaining power to force the government of Justin Trudeau to adopt a request of the chief Jagmeet Singh, either to grant ten days of paid sick leave for all Canadians, which would be achieved from the COVID-19 in order to ensure they are healed before returning to work.

The NDP also calls for measures to help persons with a disability who would not be eligible for the Benefit of canadian emergency.

On the other side, the conservatives have had enough of the special committee. Bitter, they complain about being prevented from asking questions of the government on any other matter that the pandemic, even if this rule has not been applied systematically in the facts.

The leader of the conservatives out, Andrew Scheer, has claimed that the Parliament was formally declared an essential service in order to allow the resumption of work according to the normal schedule of the House of commons – leaving, however, enter a full fifty members at the time to observe the directives of distance physical.

This would allow members to table motions, to ask any questions they wish and to hold that Mr. Scheer qualifies as the “real debate” on the draft law of the government, the draft law, the private and the motions of the opposition.

The conservatives also want to allow all the committees to resume their work in a virtual way and finding all of the powers normally available to them.

These queries are partially answered in the motion, liberal filed Saturday. It is proposed that the standing Committee on fisheries and oceans to the list of seven parliamentary committees already conduct their work virtually for a few weeks.

These committees may also, upon the motion of the liberal, to discuss issues not related to the health crisis – which is not possible at the moment.

The main obstacle to almost normal resumption of the activities of the commons remains impossible for the moment to allow mps to vote electronically.

The government suggests in its motion to ask the standing Committee on procedure and House affairs to submit recommendations on an amendment to the parliamentary rules in order to allow remote voting.

Le Soleil

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