The latest backtrack by the Trudeau government over the decision to sole-source the administration of a $900-Million youth volunteering contract to WE Charity is a further sign that running Canada from the front porch no longer works. There was a time early in the pandemic when giving the government temporary emergency powers made sense, and indeed the government did a good job in doling out emergency funding through the CERB program, loans to businesses and the rent subsidy program. But now with the pandemic subsiding, and the economy slowly re-opening there is no longer any excuse for not recalling parliament. The one thing we heave learned as a nation is that thanks to technological advances like Zoom, it is possible for large numbers of people to meet virtually. Between Zoom, and in-person meetings, it should be possible to restore an almost normal government operation. Using appropriate physical distancing, face covering, and utilizing both the existing house chamber along with the public galleries, it might be possible to safely seat 75 members and another almost 100 more can be brought in on Zoom. A rotation schedule could be established to allow distant MPs to have their turn in the chamber by utilizing government aircraft where social distancing could be maintained.
This government has spent almost $160 Billion dollars as a minority government, and while that was probably justifiable in the early going, Canadians deserve the reinstitution of the checks and balances, such as they are, of Parliament. The MPPs who represent the 60 percent of Canadians who did not support the Trudeau government need to be heard.
What can ordinary Canadians do? They can email their MP, particularly government MPs and Ministers. You do not have to live in a government MP’s riding to contact them. We understand that many government MPs believe it is time to resume Parliament, so the public interventions may be very welcome. You can find contact information for every member of parliament here.