Vaccine delays top agenda as parliament set to resume after less-than-restful break

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OTTAWA — Members of Parliament will return to the House of Commons on Monday following a month-long break that was anything but restful for the main federal parties, who are coming back battered and bruised from different controversies.

One of the first orders of business will be for MPs to decide how Parliament will continue to function during the COVID-19 pandemic, including whether to adopt a new voting app for parliamentarians who are attending remotely.

The Liberal government is also set to table legislation aimed at preventing people who have travelled outside the country on non-essential business from accessing up to $1,000 in federal support when they quarantine for two weeks.

Yet the slow pace of vaccinations across Canada and a pending delay in the delivery of more inoculations from Pfizer is expected to dominate the proceedings as opposition parties look for answers from — and to assign blame to — the government.

The Liberals are also still reeling from Julie Payette’s resignation late last week as Governor General, with unanswered questions about how she will be replaced — and how she was selected for the vice-regal job in the first place.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives will be looking to turn the page after former leadership candidate Derek Sloan’s ouster from caucus, which followed weeks of Liberal efforts to link the Tories to far-right groups like those that stormed Capitol Hill in Washington.