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Federal Liberals want to eliminate late-night voting

Photo: Justin Tang Archives The Canadian Press The motion, if passed, would have the House sitting until midnight and resuming the next morning to allow for some rest time.

Mickey Djuric – The Canadian Press in Ottawa

7:24 p.m.

  • Canada

The Liberal government wants to impose health breaks to eliminate nighttime votes in the House of Commons and fight against what it considers to be Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre's personal agenda aimed at “making obstruction and create chaos.”

Government House Leader Steve MacKinnon introduced the motion on Monday, and New Democrats immediately expressed their support.

Mr. MacKinnon says his motion would address “obstruction” by the Conservative opposition for the remainder of the parliamentary session and discourage such tactics in the future.

He presented the main objective of the motion as being to allow the House to do its job, to allow sufficient time for debate on bills and, ultimately, to make the House of Commons a healthy place to work. .

Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer quickly rejected the motion, calling it an attempt by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to cover up his failures. Bloc Québécois MPs also called it an “admission of failure.”

But Mr MacKinnon insisted it was a workplace health and safety issue, saying a person's job should not require them to stay awake for 30 hours straight.

That was the duration of the conservative voting marathon on spending measures last December. Many MPs stayed awake reading books, eating fast food, watching shows on their tablets, or browsing apps like Instagram and YouTube.

“It’s not healthy for anyone,” Mr. MacKinnon said. No workplace would tolerate this kind of behavior, least of all one that votes for billions of dollars in support for Canadians. »

If passed, the motion would ensure that, in similar circumstances, the House would sit until midnight and resume the following morning to allow some time for rest.

Reactions of the opposition

The leader of the opposition, Pierre Poilievre, also recognized the impacts of the December marathon on the health of MPs.

During the votes, Mr. Poilievre tried to rally his caucus – and his stomach – with McDonald’s sandwiches.

“I know it’s not easy,” he said at the time. It's overtime away from the family, it's hard on your health, but we have to make our point. We have said we will fight to remove the tax. »

Andrew Scheer reiterated that argument Monday, saying all the government needs to do to prevent such marathons would be to eliminate the federal carbon tax on all home heating systems, for farmers and for First Nations.

In the meantime, he said, his party is focused on fighting crime, housing issues and cost-of-living solutions, while the government is more concerned with House rules. of the communes.

“If you went door to door in your riding…how many Canadians do you think would say, 'I'm really concerned about the way the House of Commons manages its time, s 'Please go back to Ottawa and sort this out,'” said Mr. Scheer.

“They are wasting this House and Members’ precious time because they cannot admit their failures. »

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116