‘Hy­brid’ sit­tings for House of Com­mons

Lethbridge Herald - - Headline News | Canada & Beyond - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS — OTTAWA

The House of Com­mons will sit this fall with most MPs par­tic­i­pat­ing by video link so they can stay phys­i­cally apart dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­demic.

Gov­ern­ment House leader Pablo Ro­driguez in­tro­duced a mo­tion to set the rules for “hy­brid” sit­tings as the Com­mons sat for the first time in months Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

Those in­clude hav­ing MPs vote via video con­fer­ence un­til a se­cure re­mote vot­ing ap­pli­ca­tion for smart­phones is ready, and re­duc­ing the num­ber of mem­bers who have to be phys­i­cally present for quo­rum.

The plan also in­cludes re­con­sti­tut­ing com­mit­tees such as a spe­cial body ex­am­in­ing Canada-China re­la­tions.

The Con­ser­va­tives had ar­gued for in-per­son sit­tings only, with limited num­bers of MPs in the cham­ber, and had op­posed elec­tronic vot­ing.

But the MPs present Wed­nes­day, in­clud­ing Tories, ap­proved the plan unan­i­mously.

The ar­range­ment is to stay in place un­til Dec. 11, though MPs could vote to ex­tend it then.

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