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Pandemic crisis tests durability of MPs’ parliamentary privileges, say MPs, experts

By Beatrice Paez      

Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu says MPs have little recourse, other than to file a complaint with the House Speaker, for raising concerns about breaches of privilege.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured on April 11 during the second recall of Parliament to pass the feds' wage-subsidy bill, along with cabinet ministers Chrystia Freeland, Pablo Rodriguez, Mary Ng, Bill Morneau, and Carla Qualtrough, who were among those present for the vote. The pandemic has forced MPs to consent to have their voting privileges carried out by party colleagues. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

As parliamentary privileges are tested amid the pandemic, with one MP crying foul over the leaking of draft legislation, experts say it has underscored the extent to which not all MPs have equal standing in the House.?

Beatrice Paez

Beatrice Paez is the digital editor at The Hill Times.
- bpaez@hilltimes.com


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‘Words alone will not be enough’: Black caucus, community cautiously optimistic about feds’ Throne Speech pledges

News|By Beatrice Paez 6:44 PM ET
Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard says she had hoped the speech would have made specific references to the development of a Black-Canadian justice strategy.

‘It’s much lonelier’: MPs talk about doing politics in the age of the pandemic

News|By Abbas Rana
MPs from all parties are also watching the provincial election in British Columbia carefully to learn how to run a campaign in the midst of a pandemic.

Lapse in early pandemic warning system ‘a colossal failure,’ says former federal Liberal health minister Dosanjh

News|By Mike Lapointe
'We would have been far better prepared, we would have had far more robust tools at our disposal, had we not put GPHIN to sleep,' said former federal health minister Ujjal Dosanjh.

Committee should study proposed changes to election rules to prepare for future vote, say MPs

News|By Palak Mangat
'What better time to innovate your election system than during a pandemic? Because you're going to have to start thinking outside of the regular way,' says Stéphanie Plante, who has worked with Elections Canada.

Liberal fall agenda takes shape: what’s new, and what has to go through the House

The Throne Speech included a long list of promises. Most were old, some were new. At least 20 will likely require the approval of the opposition-majority House of Commons.

‘We have to put the safety of Canadians first,’ says NDP MP Jenny Kwan, as Parliamentarians return to work in person and virtually

News|By Mike Lapointe
Some Parliamentarians returned to the House on Sept. 23 for its first sitting following the prorogation of Parliament on Aug. 18.

Conservative riding presidents, 2019 candidates want O’Toole to deliver on promise to return election rebates

News|By Abbas Rana
Erin O’Toole told riding association presidents last week that the party will return election rebates to them. Some of the presidents want to know when the money will arrive.

Conservative Party finalize nomination rules for its 217 unheld ridings

Conservative Party members will be able to vote on the phone, online, mail-in ballots, or by drive-through, in ridings where in-person voting is not possible because of the pandemic, say Conservative sources.

Trudeau says some promises ‘clearly’ touch provincial jurisdiction after premiers slam Throne Speech, but calls for unified approach

News|By Palak Mangat
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