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View Andrew Scheer Profile
Madam Speaker, it is more than disingenuous, but fortunately the rules of the House prevent me from using words to describe what it actually is.
Those in the government, the Green Party and other parties are acting like today is some kind of extraordinary sitting. We were always going to come back on April 20. This was always the date that was agreed to by the House in previous sittings. A sitting of the House was also going to be needed to adopt whatever work plan was agreed upon by all parties. It is completely erroneous and misleading to suggest that today would not have happened if there had been some kind of all-party agreement.
My hon. colleague touched on something. Yesterday, in his press conference the Prime Minister raised the spectre of 338 MPs travelling from all around the country to sit together in this space at the same time. Let us look around. This was never what was intended.
Throughout the week, in good faith, our House leader, the government House leader and the House leaders of other parties were in constant communication, and we made it abundantly clear that we were not going to ask our MPs to fill the seats in this chamber. We proposed multiple solutions to the government to have a drastically reduced number of MPs in this chamber, which would alleviate the demand on the support staff for the administration. The types of arguments we heard are completely phony.
The real question is why the Prime Minister does not want to come into this chamber. I believe it is quite simple: He prefers the controlled environment in front of Rideau Cottage every day, where he controls the number of questions and can call an end to them whenever he likes. We are not able to present the questions and concerns we are hearing from our constituents every single day. He is avoiding that. That is why we have not reached an agreement on the work plan going forward.
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