Parliament must be given more time to study COVID-19 response: Scheer

A modified House of Commons is currently in session with MPs meeting three times a week

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says as provinces begin to ease up on COVID-19 restrictions, Parliament should also return to a more normal routine.

A modified House of Commons is currently in session with MPs meeting three times a week, twice virtually and once in person, in the form of a special COVID-19 committee.

But to pass legislation, the House of Commons must be properly recalled, as it now has been multiple times for response bills.

In each case, the bill was passed in a matter of hours and Scheer said that process is no longer sufficient.

Scheer pointed out that the opposition parties have repeatedly shown that their oversight has provided better programs for Canadians. They have, in the past, forced the government to expand eligibility for benefit programs, for example.

If the House were meeting regularly — the Tories had proposed in-person sessions three or four times a week — then legislation could be given proper study, Scheer said.

“Instead of being transparent, the Liberals continue to operate behind the scenes, forcing opposition parties to agree to artificial government timelines or risk being accused of blocking support payments,” he said.

“Those days are over.”

In addition to the special COVID-19 committee, a variety of House of Commons committees are meeting regularly to debate specific elements around the management of the pandemic and the government response.

Among them is a committee charged with exploring the transition to a fully virtual Parliament and what that will take.

The committee on procedure and House affairs is supposed to report back with ideas for how to achieve that by the middle of this month.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta gov’t to expand mental health supports

The Government of Alberta says a $21.6-million investment will expand online resources… Continue reading

City of Red Deer encouraged residents to participate in Food Bank Ninja Challenge

The City of Red Deer is encouraging residents to participate in a… Continue reading

Central Alberta naturalists fear pristine headwaters will be contaminated by coal mine

Chutes of the Ram constitute one of Earth’s ‘most beautiful’ spots

Every Albertan eligible for COVID-19 testing

22 new cases confirmed on Friday

READER VIDEO: American White Pelicans spotted in Red Deer River

A Red Deer Advocate reader spotted a group of American White Pelicans… Continue reading

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Tooting the importance of whistling

OK, so someone who tattles on another person is a whistleblower, and… Continue reading

Police see increase in speedy drivers on quieter streets during pandemic

Police across the country say they’ve been dealing with more complaints about loud, fast vehicles

‘What do we do now?’ Labour dispute at Regina refinery nears 6 months

About 700 unionized workers were locked out by refinery owner, Federated Co-operatives Ltd., Dec. 5

International student worry about pandemic as decisions loom on travel to Canada

Zohra Shahbuddin is weighing whether to enrol this fall or put off coming to Canada until next year

How finding a ministerial home for CMHC caused ‘madness’ in November

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. manages the national housing strategy

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

The jackpot for the next draw on June 2 will be approximately $15 million

Police need more than an unverified tip to avoid drug-case entrapment: top court

Police need more than an unverified tip to avoid drug-case entrapment: top court

Most Read