Was halting committee work justified during prorogation?

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2020-09-29 17:06 [p.264]

Madam Speaker, it is my first time putting a question forward in this format.

I would agree with the member for Malpeque, in earlier debate today, that this was not a prorogation of the kind that challenges our constitutionality and our Westminster traditions, but it did not need to be weeks long.

I have asked the parliamentary secretary if it is not the case that stopping the work of committees is the key question that has offended us in the opposition ranks. It is not that we lost days of debates in July and August, when, I agree with him, they were not typical, but we did have all the work on committees stopped. How does he justify that?

Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North)
2020-09-29 17:07 [p.264]

Madam Speaker, the former leader of the Green Party seems to imply that she would have been okay with the prorogation if the committees had been able to continue. The tradition of the House of Commons is that when a prorogation takes place, committees stop. Maybe that is something that could be talked about going forward as we look at changing the rules.

At this point in time, I believe it was appropriate, given the nature of the pandemic, that we prorogue. It allowed us to bring in a new throne speech and to set a path for the next months, and possibly years. That was essential.