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Ottawa, May 24 (Canadian-Media): A proposal by the Liberal government of Canada to allow Parliament's special committee on COVID-19 meet for an additional day each week, would be debated in the House of Commons Monday, media reports said.
Canada's House of Commons. Image credit: Twitter handle
The Liberals' proposal also implies that a limited number of MPs convening in the House of Commons would be joined by members across the country visible on two large television screens installed in the House of Commons.
The number of MPs to be allowed inside the chamber was not decided by the parties, but the Conservatives calculated 50 members could be accommodated while still respecting physical distancing.
Operations of Parliament during the summer months, when the House of Commons typically rises for several weeks, would also be discussed on Monday.
The chamber would then take the unusual step of convening the COVID-19 committee four times throughout the season: on July 8, July 22, August 12 and August 26.
During those sittings, MPs would have the ability to question the Prime Minister and members of cabinet on any topic, not just those limited to COVID-19, followed by more hours of question answer session with the government.
The NDP supported the motion subject to a commitment from the Liberals to support those on sick leave and people living with disabilities who are struggling during the pandemic.
The Conservatives, however, remained firm on additional in-person sittings.
The Liberals' motion also implies the addition of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to the list of eight other committees that are already meeting virtually to discuss matters related to COVID-19, a move supported by NDP also.
The issues unrelated to the pandemic would also be discussed on Monday.