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Coronavirus suspends most Hill operations

By The Hill Times Staff
Parliament on March 13 voted unanimously to suspend sitting until at least April 20. While parliamentary precinct buildings remain open, access is being restricted to staff, MPs, Senators, and accredited media. Discussions are underway about when to recall Parliament in order to pass legislative measures aimed at softening the blow the coronavirus is having on people's livelihood.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured on March 17, addresses reporters from Rideau Cottage, where he has been in self-isolation since last week after his wife tested positive for Covid-19.

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The West Block foyer sits empty. Parliament voted unanimously to suspend until April 20 to limit the spread of coronavirus.

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A number of services on the Hill have suspended, including the cafeterias and shuttle busess.

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House leaders are convening via teleconference, rather than in person, on March 18 to discuss Parliament's return.

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Access to the parliamentary precinct has been restricted to only accredited media, MPs, Senators, and parliamentary staffers and administration.

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Though Parliament was scheduled to be in recess this week, much of the precinct will be empty for the coming weeks as the government works to flatten the curve.

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Hill reporters and crew assemble at Rideau Cottage to hear from the prime minister. Press gallery members have been asked to limit the number of reporters at briefings and scrums to allow for social distancing.

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