Senate joins House of Commons in extending suspension until mid-June

Senate joins House of Commons in extending suspension until mid-June

OTTAWA — The Senate is staying closed for two more weeks, not planning to sit again until June 16.

The upper chamber is following the lead of the House of Commons, which doesn’t have a scheduled sitting until the day after that, and only a handful before September.

Senate Speaker George Furey said he consulted all the leaders of the Senate’s various factions and groups before concluding it’s not in the public interest to convene as scheduled next week.

The Conservative leader in the Senate, Don Plett, is dissenting from the consensus.

“Prime Minister Trudeau always promises Canadians accountability and transparency. In reality, we’re getting theatrics,” he wrote in a statement.

“We cannot forget that our founding fathers intended a bicameral Parliament in order to thwart overreaching powers by the executive branch. As we face this ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we need to be mindful of one of our foremost duties as senators, which is to provide sober second thought, and act as an accountability mechanism for the executive.”

Both the Senate and the Commons have committees focused on particular subjects meeting by video and telephone and those will continue.

The House of Commons has all its MPs meeting regularly through a special committee on COVID-19.

In that forum, MPs can question government ministers and debate issues but don’t have the authority to pass laws or use many of the Commons’ other usual privileges.

When the Liberals have needed to pass legislation on emergency COVID-19 measures, they’ve called special sittings and brought in bills whose passage has been negotiated in advance with opposition parties, skipping the usual scrutiny by committees.

Tories in the House have accused the Liberals, and the New Democrats who voted with them to set the limited calendar for the summer, of dodging scrutiny that governments submitted themselves to even during the Second World War.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Calgary singer Erin Ross to be featured at ‘Entertainment in the Park’ July 15th

Roots/blues musician can hardly recall a time when she wasn’t passionate about performing

Albertans get an extra free order of COVID-19 masks

Packages will be available July 13 at fast food restaurants

Local resident Ethel Williams is marking a very special milestone this month

The ‘Ethel Williams 100th Birthday Parade’ is taking place July 17th from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

COVID-19 scare sees Latvia-bound troops turn around, return to Canada

Those on board face another 14 days in isolation

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Ford revives Bronco brand, aims at Jeep’s big off-road sales

Two new off-road vehicles to be introduced

Trump-connected lobbyists reap windfall in federal virus aid

Many recipients were donors to Trump’s campaigns

Tories, NDP lay out demands as Liberals prepare to reveal state of economy

Conservatives wants auditor general to scrutinize COVID-19 response

‘You have to show up:’ NDP MP questions virtual attendance of Alberta Tories

NDP MP McPherson says she’s disappointed Tory MPs haven’t been participating in virtual meetings

Flood warning, mandatory evacuation for people in remote Alberta hamlet

A flood warning has been issued for the rain-swollen Smoky River near the Hamlet of Watino

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, Amnesty, sex worker advocates say

‘We need to make sure the existing laws on the books aren’t enforced’

Most Read