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Liberals offer counter proposal to re-open Parliament

Liberals offer counter proposal to re-open Parliament

Under increasing pressure from the opposition to replace the Rideau Cottage news conferences with actual sittings of Parliament, the Trudeau government had drafted a proposal to be debated Monday.

Under the proposal, the special CIVID committee would meet 4 days a week in a hybrid form—a mixture of virtual and in person sessions. Up until now there were three meetings per week—only one of which was live in the House chamber with a few MPs present—the other two virtual. Under the new proposal all meetings would combine in-person and virtual attendance.

The motion also proposes four sittings of House of Commons in July and August, which would allow question period. That would give MPs the chance to ask cabinet ministers about issues unrelated to COVID-19 – a key concern raised by the Conservatives in recent weeks.

Because they hold only a minority of seats, the Liberals need the support of at least one of the main opposition parties to pass this motion. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer had called for regular daily sitting of Parliament with a maximum of 50 MPs present and maintenance of social distancing.

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