John Ibbitson reported, in the Globe and Mail, that “The House of Commons unanimously approved wage-subsidy legislation, Saturday afternoon, while Conservatives and Liberals disputed when and how Parliament should meet again … [and] … A smattering of MPs — only 20 are required for quorum — met briefly to approve the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy …
… [then, he said] … The Senate is expected to pass the legislation later today, followed by royal assent from the Governor General.” I believe everything happened, smoothly, after the government accepted a few weeks to its plans.
What needs to happen, soon, is that Parliament must reconvene, somehow. Mr Ibbitson says that “Liberal House Leader Pablo Rodriguez said that Parliamentary committees were already meeting virtually, and that Parliamentarians and House of Commons officials were exploring ways to convene the House remotely.” But the Liberal seem reluctant to have a working House of Commons in which Prime Minister Trudeau and his ministers can be required to explain, to the Canadian people what they have done, are doing and plan to do and why.
It appears that we may be heading into a financial crisis far worse than the Great Recession of 2008-09. It is vital that elected representatives keep control of the public purse. They do that in Parliament.
I can understand the attractions of “virtual” meetings but I believe that, despite the health risks to parliamentarians and staffs, there is a need for “live” face-to-face interactions. Do all 381 need to be together in one place? No, I think. Why could most of them not meet in, say, 20 or 30 different places ~ in large, technologically well-equipped (and interconnected by modern, broadband telecommunications) conference rooms in different cities and large towns across Canada? Maybe a few members would have to call in from remote towns and villages but it seems to me that on most days, 350 of the 381 could “gather” in tens and 20s and then ask questions, debate and discuss.
What Canada does not need is a government that is unchecked.