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View Christine Normandin Profile
BQ (QC)
I see.
My next question is for Mr. Blaikie.
Mr. Blaikie, you talked about the importance of opposition days, when parties have the opportunity to bring up their ideas in the House and encourage meaningful debate. Witnesses have told us that, under the current parliamentary format, it would be technologically possible to hold opposition days. Does the absence of opposition debate right now have more to do with politics? The pandemic and the virtual system are being used as an excuse for everything, because it would be possible to hold opposition days.
To what extent would you say it's more about politics than it is about technology?
Bill Blaikie
View Bill Blaikie Profile
Hon. Bill Blaikie
2020-06-04 11:43
What I suggested, I suggested in light of knowing that the lack of opposition days or opportunities for the opposition to determine the subject of debate would be part of the discussion subsequent to the report and the adoption of the hybrid Parliament. I simply suggested that these things could be looked at as the hybrid Parliament moves forward and the committee makes its reports.
The committee can make recommendations in that regard if it chooses. It doesn't have to be the return of opposition days as such, which would require voting. There is also a tradition of take-note debates in the House, which don't require voting but which nevertheless give opposition parties the opportunity to compel debate on particular topics.
There are a number of ways to go about this. I simply suggested that if this goes forward for any length of time, Parliament in general and the committee in particular might want to look at ways to incorporate things that were not incorporated into the agreement that was reached, as I said, with a looming deadline. That was what was able to be agreed upon at that point. Other things may be able to be agreed upon later.
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