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Parliament must be given more time to study COVID-19 response: Scheer

Last Updated May 4, 2020 at 9:48 am PDT

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer holds a press conference on Parliament Hill during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Monday, May 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Summary

Andrew Scheer says the single day that's been given to pass emergency COVID-19 legislation in the past is not enough

MPs are meeting as a large group three times a week, twice virtually and once in person

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says as provinces begin to ease up on COVID-19 restrictions, Parliament should also return to a more normal routine.

Scheer says the single day that’s been given to pass emergency COVID-19 legislation in the past is no longer sufficient.


MPs are meeting as a large group three times a week, twice virtually and once in person, under the auspices of a special COVID-19 committee that includes all of them.

But to pass legislation, the House of Commons must be properly recalled as it now has been multiple times for response bills.

Scheer says the process currently means the Opposition ends up forced to agree to artificial government timelines or risk being accused of stonewalling efforts to help Canadians.

Conservatives are also questioned when its time to turn off the taps of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Scheer argues people might not want work and the program should be cut back.

“A gradual phase-out of the benefit as people earn more and more, we believe would encourage and incentivize people to reenter the workforce,” he says.

He notes if people work too many hours, they won’t be eligible for the CERB, giving them a tough choice to either return to work or keep receiving funds.

Scheer says for government programs and policies to truly help Canadians, the full role of Parliament must be restored.