This week, a reduced number of MPs met in Ottawa to debate the Government’s latest proposal that would allow MPs to participate virtually in regular sittings of the House. MP Jenica Atwin drove from her riding of Fredericton to Ottawa to represent the Green Caucus in what turned into two full days of debate. The motion was adopted at the end of day two, setting the stage for a new hybrid model of meetings in the House of Commons, in which MPs appearing from their ridings via video screens in the chamber will participate equally with MPs present in the House. The first of these meetings was held the very next day, with Elizabeth May being Canada’s first MP to appear in this new hybrid form of parliament. She spoke from her BC riding to present a petition on national pharmacare.
Until June 19th, MPs will table petitions, provide Members’ Statements, and question Ministers four days a week, in this hybrid fashion. They will also continue to participate in regular virtual meetings of various Parliamentary Standing Committees that study the impacts of the pandemic and advise on solutions. After June 19th, the House will break for a summer recess, but will meet twice in July and twice in August to question Ministers and continue debate on the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her questions this week, Elizabeth pressed the government to follow up on it’s climate targets under the Paris Agreement and file a new climate target this year, and to consider family reunification a reason to allow family members of Canadians to enter the country while the border is closed to non-essential travel.
On Wednesday Jenica held a press conference to raise awareness about what mental health professionals are calling an echo-pandemic in the anxiety and trauma that people are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. She participated in a second press conference on Thursday with other opposition MPs calling on the federal government to commit funding for survivors of human trafficking.
Back in BC, Paul Manly spoke about Petition e-2534 on Tuesday during a webinar hosted by Mark Haden, Executive Director for MAPS Canada. On Wednesday he was interviewed about the Green Party’s call for a national inquiry into long term care. Later that day Paul Manly announced the launch of a series of online Community Conversations where he will talk with local experts about issues that are impacting constituents. Paul’s team has also launched a ThoughtExchange as a way to further engage the community leading up to the first Community Conversation next week. Elizabeth will hold a Virtual Community Meeting on June 2nd for constituents.
Elizabeth May appears from her riding on the 100″ screens installed in the Chamber for the new hybrid parliament (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Question Period and Member’s Statements
Statements and Press Releases
In Their Own Words
Petitions tabled by Green MPs this week
E-petitions open for signature