Alistair MacGregor column: Prorogation of Parliament deeply disappointing

Alistair MacGregor column: Prorogation of Parliament deeply disappointing

The work of Members of Parliament has been sidelined

On Aug. 18, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he had asked the Governor General to prorogue Parliament until Sept. 23, when a new Speech from the Throne will be read. This is a cynical, deeply disappointing, and irresponsible decision made by the Liberal government. Prorogation is essentially a reset, and its use results in all Parliamentary business, including committees probing the WE Charity matter, bills on the Order Paper, and scheduled sittings of the House of Commons, being suspended.

Instead of working with the Opposition to find solutions to issues such as the transition from CERB to EI, the lack of available and affordable childcare, and the ongoing social and economic ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis, the work of Members of Parliament has been sidelined so that the Liberals can attempt some form of damage control in the wake of the WE scandal. Multiple standing committees, including the Agriculture Committee, of which I am a member, were in the midst of important work looking into how COVID-19 has affected different sectors of our society and economy, and their work has now ground to a complete halt for the next five weeks as a result of the prime minister’s decision.

Canadians have been and are struggling in this pandemic, and many are worried about keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table. They deserve a government that is committed to focusing on and working to deliver the help that people across the country need — not one that hides when they’re caught working for their well-connected friends. Canadians also deserve to have opposition parties using all parliamentary tools at their disposal to further the work of oversight and accountability.

Prorogation is not a solution. Its use five weeks out from the expected return of the House of Commons is clearly an attempt to change the channel while the Liberals wait for the fallout of their latest scandal to conclude, and it goes against their 2015 campaign promise to “not use prorogation to avoid difficult political circumstances.” Our nation remains in the midst of a pandemic, with millions of Canadians on CERB unsure of how they will pay the bills next month, all of whom are in desperate need of support from their elected representatives.

The Liberals have unilaterally removed the parliamentary tools opposition MPs were using to further the needs of our constituents, many of whom are counting on us. We have a duty to support Canadians, especially now, when our country is facing a pandemic and economic crisis. Shutting down Parliament and its committees’ work to avoid yet another scandal is disgraceful, and as a Member of Parliament, I am deeply disappointed in the Liberal government for prioritizing their reputation above our nation’s wellbeing. Canada deserves better.

Alistair MacGregor is the Member of Parliament for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford.

canadian politicsColumn

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The old Yount school in Youbou has stood empty for years, but now a group has plans to turn it into a mixed-use property with affordable housing and tourist services. (Submitted)
Group sets sights on tranforming old Yount school property in Youbou

School District 79 has already commenced a process to sell the school through a formal proposal call

North Cowicha to extend the time lines of its official community plan update. (File photo)
North Cowichan to extend time line of OCP review

Municipality also adds $55,000 to OCP budget

Cowichan Capitals’ Logan Rands digs for the puck along the boards in the Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ zone midway through the third period of their BC Hockey League game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Cowichan Capitals pick up first two wins of BCHL season

Brockman, Moffatt both up to four goals on the year

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Police surround building as homeowner held in apartment by adult son

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Most Read