Conservatives propose declaring Parliament an ‘essential service’ amid COVID-19 crisis

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.

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.

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