A new session of parliament took a place After five months of pausing
By: Maha Altamimi
Parliament resumed its work on November 22, after taking a hiatus since the election, and a combination of new and re-elected MPs returned to the House of Commons. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opened up thanking all of the winners, saying that Canadians “chose a Parliament that would work together to get big things done.”
New rules requiring everyone visiting the House of Commons and Senate buildings to be fully vaccinated, or have a valid medical exemption went into effect. Regarding the vaccination requirements, MP Holland expressed disappointment that no agreement has been achieved after weeks of discussions to reinstall what was meant to be a temporary, COVID-19-required hybrid sitting arrangement.
“It’s important for people to feel safe here, and it’s frustrating to me that they would not provide that information and then say this place should be sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, force a vote with every member in the Chamber, and they’re not even telling people what their status is,” said Mark Holland, the Canadian Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.
Most of those important challenges confronting lawmakers in 2021 are similar to those confronting MPs in the previous Parliament: the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and appropriate health and economic responses to it, affordability, Indigenous reconciliation, and climate change.
The makeup of the new minority Parliament is indeed very similar to that of the previous minority Parliament, with Canadians returning to Ottawa a near-identical number of MPs from each party as were elected in 2019, forcing the government to find allies on the other side of the aisle to help pass its initiatives.