Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer isn’t pulling any punches in his criticism of a move that will not see the House of Commons resume regular sittings until September.
“It is clear that the Liberals want a free pass with zero accountability,” he said, in a news release “We as a democratic country should have a functional Parliament. Instead the Liberals, with the help of the NDP, not only suspended regular House of Commons sittings until the fall, but also shut down debate on this issue yesterday.”
Tuesday New Democrats supported a Liberal motion to waive normal House of Commons proceedings for another four months during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of regular proceedings, government will continue with an expanded version of the special COVID-19 committee that has acted as a stand-in for the chamber over the past month.
Liberal, NDP, and Green MPs supported the move by a 28-23 voted in the scaled down House of Commons.
“Conservatives have long been calling for the full return of Parliament in a safe and responsible way and voted against this motion just like we did in April when the suspension of regular sittings was first extended,” said Zimmer. “I, like with many Canadians, believe strongly that we must have a return to normal Parliamentary business and do our jobs in the House while still respecting public health guidelines.”
Zimmer said the motion means they will not have the opportunity to have opposition days, requests for emergency debates, debate private members bills, order the publication of government documents, or debate and vote on committee reports.
“For weeks we, as Conservative members of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, have been trying to ask questions on behalf of the Wet’suwet’en people regarding the Liberals’ decision to sign an MOU during a pandemic,” said Zimmer. “We have been shut down every time because it isn’t ‘COVID-related’, even though it is. This is shameful and just one example of how Parliament isn’t working as it’s supposed to.”