Scheer presses for more House of Commons powers as coronavirus crisis stretches on

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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says more parliamentary powers must be restored to properly scrutinize the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says the existing thrice-weekly meetings of a special COVID-19 committee and the smattering of other committees still in session aren’t enough.

READ MORE: Some businesses begin to slowly reopen after long weekend

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Scheer says among other things, the current set-up doesn’t allow MPs to compel the government to produce documents or to get witnesses to testify.

He says a demand that business in the House of Commons return to a new normal is not a partisan issue but a question of the need for the vital role of Parliament to be restored.

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The House of Commons adjourned in mid-March as the pandemic began to sweep across Canada, coinciding with the implementation of travel bans, quarantines and physical distancing requirements.

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It’s returned several times since for single-day sessions to pass emergency aid legislation, and meanwhile the special COVID-19 committee also meets.

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