Trudeau’s government opts for indefinite work-from-home, raising suspicions of evading scrutiny. Is it a ploy to avoid tough questions or a genuine pursuit of convenience?
If you look around the western world, countries have resumed normal work routines across private and public sectors, including in-person parliament proceedings, but the Parliament of Canada still continues to project Trudeau onto large screens.
To the dismay of the opposition parties, the Liberal Party of Canada has, in a dramatic turn of events, made the Hybrid Parliament a permanent fixture. The opposition’s capacity to express their concerns was constrained by the last-minute decision, which was supported by a Time Allocation Motion card. However, this action appears to have a purpose that goes beyond legislative efficiency.
Liberals choose to work in Pajamas
To avoid difficult questioning in Parliament, Trudeau and his cabinet colleagues have come up with a novel solution: they want to “Work from Home” indefinitely. Although many people have started working remotely since the outbreak, the timing of this declaration raises questions. Could it be a deliberate action to evade the questioning reporters positioned in the foyer?
The House of Commons voted to make hybrid sittings permanent, despite the outcries of the opposition.
The action was taken after the idea was introduced late last week and was the topic of a brief discussion. With the NDP’s help, the ruling Liberals were able to pass a time-allocation resolution that put a cap on discussion of how MPs will conduct their House sessions.
The administration introduced interim measures to permit lawmakers to work virtually at the onset of the epidemic in March 2020. The Liberals opted to extend the present hybrid measures, which were supposed to expire at the end of June. Now, this would allow MPs to continue participating virtually in debates and committee meetings and vote electronically indefinitely.
Speaking last week, Government House leader Mark Holland said he did not need more time to hear the Conservatives air their grievances once more about the hybrid format.
“Well, I’m sorry… The House is moving forward with this because it’s the right thing to do.”
But MPs from all other parties also expressed frustration that they were not further consulted before making the changes permanent at the eleventh hour, before leaving for the summer.
“I’m without words,” said Bloc Québécois MP Gabriel Ste-Marie. “We’re changing the rules of Parliament without proceeding by consensus or near consensus. We’re bulldozing the way of doing things. It goes against the spirit of parliamentarism. It’s shameful for democracy.”
From Parliament Hill to Couchville
Trudeau and his crew are establishing a cosy bubble where accountability and transparency are neglected by working from home permanently. They may carefully control the narrative and avoid awkward questions by avoiding face-to-face interactions with media and opposition members.
This new WFH wonderland causes us to have doubts about democracy. If the government is protected from direct inspection, how can they be held responsible? Why shouldn’t elected officials be approachable and prepared to respond to the issues of the constituents they represent?
Advocates for the hybrid parliament claim that it gives MPs flexibility and a better work-life balance. They feel that by participating virtually, they can manage their tasks more effectively—regardless of their health or other commitments. The opposition contends that making these changes permanent without adequate input will stifle democratic debate and the collaborative spirit.
So Canadians, you wanted accountability from and access to your leaders? Clearly they are looking for ways to avoid it. The absence of the government’s true spirit is undeniable, and it is evident in the nation’s current state of affairs.