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e-2629 (Parliament and politics)

Initiated by Mavis Watson from Canora, Saskatchewan

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Prime Minister

  • The influx of Canadians seeking federal government support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic indicates that the House of Commons should be considered an essential service to Canada and all Canadians;
  • Limiting the business of the House of Commons to matters concerning the COVID-19 pandemic inhibits the ability of members of Parliament to hold the government to account on all other matters of national and international concern;
  • Virtual meetings of the House of Commons or its standing committees are an insufficient replacement for normal sittings of the House of Commons and its standing committees;
  • The Prime Minister’s daily press availability is not an effective forum for holding him accountable;
  • The Prime Minister can only be held accountable and answerable to Canadians in the presence of opposition members of Parliament in the House of Commons;
  • Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, legislation containing unprecedented levels of public spending has been hurriedly adopted without proper consideration of the views of individuals and groups from every region of the country, and has not been duly considered under the normal legislative process;
  • A return to normal, in-person sittings of the House of Commons and its standing committees would allow members of Parliament to effectively vet decisions being made without sufficient debate; and
  • An international crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, warrants an increased level of parliamentary debate, accountability, and oversight.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Prime Minister to immediately reconvene normal, in-person sittings of the House of Commons and its standing committees, in which all matters of national and international concern can be discussed while respecting public health guidelines.

Response by the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Kevin Lamoureux

The issues raised in the petition fall exclusively within the purview of the House of Commons and its recognized parliamentary privilege to regulate its own internal affairs.  Accordingly, it is the responsibility of Members of the House of Commons to determine the most appropriate way for the House to meet during the COVID-19 pandemic or any other exceptional circumstance.

The Government remains committed to supporting this process.

The Government remains open to continuing to work with House of Commons Administration in implementing decisions related to public health guidance, interpretation services or the security of videoconferencing platforms and information technology systems.

Open for signature
May 29, 2020, at 8:55 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
September 26, 2020, at 8:55 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Cathay Wagantall (Yorkton—Melville)
October 20, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00135)
Government response tabled
December 3, 2020
Photo - Cathay Wagantall
Conservative Caucus