The Trudeau Liberals want to see the hybrid House of Commons that was introduced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic be kept in place for an additional year. This is despite the drastically improved public health situation.
Government House Leader Mark Holland made the announcement during a Monday press conference that there were plans in place to put forward a motion that would see hybrid Parliament, which allows MPs to call in for work from wherever they are rather than attending in person, be extended through 2023.
"We are still in a pandemic reality, and… we need the tools to ensure that members of Parliament participate fully in the proceedings of Parliament," Holland said.
Holland said that he has reached out to opposition parties' House leaders about the plan, which he says will go ahead before the motion allowing for hybrid sittings to expire on Thursday, according to CTV News.
MPs are currently allowed to participate virtually from their homes or constituency offices. MPs have also been able to vote remotely from anywhere in Canada.
Some members of Opposition parties, however, say that an improved public health situation, as well as difficulties that have been had by translators, are reasons to ditch the hybrid setup.
"Canadians elect their representatives to serve them in Ottawa, not to hide behind a computer screen or a voting app. Canadians are going back to work in person. It is time for Members of Parliament to do the same," Conservative House Leader John Brassard in late May.
Virtual Parliament has been the cause for several awkward or unfortunate incidents during meetings, including the use of the F-bomb by the likes of then-House Leader Pablo Rodriguez, as well as an incident involving Liberal MP Will Amos, who was shown walking around naked after a bike ride. Amos would later have to apologize for peeing on Zoom audio.
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