Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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MPs to vote today on returning to hybrid Parliament

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The Centre Block of Parliament Hill is pictured in Ottawa on Nov. 22.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Members of Parliament will vote today on whether they can attend the House of Commons virtually, or must be there in person.

Members returned to the chamber this week after a months-long hiatus following the September federal election and COVID-19 pandemic, when Parliament operated in a hybrid model.

The Liberal government believes MPs should continue to have the option to appear for votes and debates via videoconference.

They need the support of at least one opposition party to pass the motion in the minority Parliament, and have secured the support of the federal New Democrats.

Conservatives oppose any return to a hybrid model and say the Liberals have used it as a way to duck accountability because not enough ministers showed up in the House.

Tories say MPs knew they were campaigning for a job that requires travelling to Ottawa, while Liberals say it’s a problem that Conservatives refuse to say how many of their 119 MPs are double vaccinated.

A motion passed on Thursday to limit debate on the issue, and a vote is expected to happen in the evening.

If passed, hybrid Parliament would begin Friday.

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