Coronavirus: Bloc threatens supporting in-person HoC sittings unless demands met

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The Bloc Quebecois is threatening to support a resumption of in-person sittings of the House of Commons five days a week if the Trudeau government doesn’t agree to a number of demands — including delivering an economic update next month and holding modified sittings for at least four weeks during the summer.

Bloc Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet issued the ultimatum Tuesday as the Liberals and opposition parties engaged in behind-the-scenes negotiations ahead of the Commons’ scheduled return on May 25.

The House adjourned March 13 to help limit the spread of COVID-19 but has resumed partial operations. The latest agreement among a majority of MPs on how to do business expires Monday. Without a new one, parliamentary work resumes with, in theory, 338 MPs in the chamber in Ottawa.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled that the Liberal government would prefer to continue with the emergency proceedings that have been adopted for the past three weeks: two virtual sittings and one in-person sitting each week of a special COVID-19 committee, on which all MPs are members. He left the door open to additional weekly virtual sittings.

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But for that to happen,


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