Conservatives propose declaring Parliament an ‘essential service’ amid COVID-19 crisis

Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer wants Parliament declared an essential service so a reduced number of MPs can resume their House of Commons duties amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Scheer says his Conservatives are proposing a motion to do that because he says daily briefings by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from his home are not good enough to hold the government accountable.

READ MORE: Trudeau open to ‘hybrid’ model for Parliament as parties negotiate return to Commons

He says MPs need to be able to ask questions on behalf of their constituents across the country.

Scheer says today that up to 50 MPs should be allowed in the House for “normal” sittings, starting Monday, and that 18 of them should be Conservatives, proportionate to his party’s standings in the full 338-member chamber.

3:06Coronavirus outbreak: Scheer says return of parliament allows for ‘better legislative process’

Coronavirus outbreak: Scheer says return of parliament allows for ‘better legislative process’

Currently, the Commons has turned into a special COVID-19 committee, meeting three times a week, twice virtually and once in person.

Trudeau says he wants to see a functioning Parliament, and is open to a “hybrid” model where some MPs could participate via videoconferencing.

3:51Coronavirus outbreak: NDP leader Jagmeet Singh proposes UK model for Parliament’s return

Coronavirus outbreak: NDP leader Jagmeet Singh proposes UK model for Parliament’s return

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