MPs to meet today to decide on resuming Parliament during pandemic
A House of Commons clerk prepares for the COVID-19 committee to meet in the House of Commons Chamber Wednesday April 29, 2020 in Ottawa. Intense behind-the-scenes negotiations are to continue today among federal political parties over how Parliament should function as the COVID-19 crisis drags on. The House of Commons, which has been largely adjourned since mid-March, is to resume normal operations on Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Published Monday, May 25, 2020 5:41AM EDT
OTTAWA - The House of Commons is meeting today to decide, again, how it's going to function as COVID-19 restrictions gradually lift across the country.
The governing Liberals are proposing four sittings a week of a special committee to talk about the pandemic and how the government is responding to it, using a hybrid system with some MPs in the Commons chamber in Ottawa and others participating by video conference.
They would also have four days scattered through the summer when MPs could press cabinet ministers on other issues.
The Liberals appear to have the NDP's broad backing for the plan, which would be enough to get it passed today.
The Conservatives have been pushing for many more normal sittings of the Commons, with full-blown question periods and a chance to debate legislation, though with a limited number of MPs in the room to reduce the risks of spreading the novel coronavirus.
The House of Commons has been working on how to hold debates and votes with some MPs participating remotely, but hasn't yet solved technical and security challenges.
(The Canadian Press)