Resolution to Parliament sitting under debate

The weekly editorial for the 100 Mile Free Press

Last week Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer called for Parliament to be declared an essential service so a reduced number of MPs can resume their House of Commons duties. The situation is a real mixed bag. On the one hand, there’s absolutely a need for Parliament to be functioning and have a voice, especially given the minority status of the government.

Perhaps the most recent prominent example some South Cariboo residents will be thinking of is the increased gun legislation. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chosen path of an order-in-council from cabinet will likely continue to receive more opposition than if it had been passed legislatively. Those in favour of the ban may too have preferred a vote as it would have put MPs on the record. It’s also hard to disagree with Scheer that MPs need to be able to ask questions on behalf of their constituents across the country.

Scheer proposed that 50 MPs should be allowed in the House for “normal sittings” to conform to public health requirements on physical distancing. Reasonable as that may seem, no matter how you do it, it presents a number of problems.

First, with the support staff involved, from translators to camera operators you’d likely go over the limit pretty quickly, meaning it’d be adhering to the distancing requirements mostly in spirit only.

Unless the MPs are staying in Ottawa indefinitely, it’ll see them travelling across the country somewhat regularly neither of which is great. Furthermore, with some places, like the Yukon and New Brunswick, requiring anyone arriving from outside the territory or province to self-isolate for 14 days, and travel options more limited than normal, it seems likely a disproportionate number of MPs would be from Ontario and possibly Quebec.

Consequently, while at face value it might seem much more legitimate, it wouldn’t be surprising to see rural areas and some provinces underrepresented.

When considering the alternatives, you certainly wouldn’t want to have all MPs from across the country travelling to and from Ottawa, congregating with hundreds and potentially turning into the worst spreaders in Canada. You do have to wonder why they can’t follow their regular meeting schedules through video conference: something that everyone from Canadian businesses to regional districts have had to figure out.

However, a video conference clip, probably wouldn’t work nearly as well for political posturing and riling up your base which is hard to imagine not being part of the consideration.


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Editorials

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

Just Posted

Cedar Ave by hospital closed due to sinkhole

The hole is deep, at least 15 to 20 feet, and running water can be heard from it

Interior Health issues warning of increased overdose activity in Williams Lake area

H has released a number of safety tips and how to respond to an overdose should one occur

Williams Lake RCMP seek assistance locating missing youth

Angel Emile has not been seen since Monday, July 7

100 Mile RCMP warn the public about the danger of Police scam calls for seniors

This comes after a local senior was scammed out of $7,000 by scammers impersonating a police officer

ATV riders up to enjoy the 100 Mile House track

‘I’ve got a little hole in my tire from a rock but the track’s in great shape’

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Most Read