Tories want Parliament declared ‘essential service,’ regular House sittings


OTTAWA — Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer wants Parliament declared an essential service so a reduced number of MPs can resume their House of Commons duties amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Scheer says his Conservatives are proposing a motion to do that because he says daily briefings by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from his home are not good enough to hold the government accountable.

He says MPs need to be able to ask questions on behalf of their constituents across the country.

Scheer says today that up to 50 MPs should be allowed in the House for “normal” sittings, starting Monday, and that 18 of them should be Conservatives, proportionate to his party’s standings in the full 338-member chamber.

Currently, the Commons has turned into a special COVID-19 committee, meeting three times a week, twice virtually and once in person.

Trudeau says he wants to see a functioning Parliament, and is open to a “hybrid” model where some MPs could participate via videoconferencing.


  1. Totally agree with MR. Scheer on this one, parliament should resume,less officials allowing for social distancing, the ruling party should be held to account for its unprecedented spending. Not just a five minute message and the answers to scripted questions. This is not governance. The opposition should be able to question the ruling party, what we have now is not democracy, and not how a Canadian government should be run.

  2. It’s unbelievable that we even have to debate this issue. Of course, Parliament is essential. Trudeau and his enablers in the BQ and the NDP have made a mockery of our democratic process. All the MPs were elected to do a job. Get to the House of Commons and do it! While every national leader is busy doing his/her job, Trudeau is hiding away in some hole and popping out like a groundhog for a few minutes at a time. This, while spending unprecedented amounts of money that Canada does not have. And the press, who should be serving the interests of the people and the truth, simply let him.

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