Trucker convoy: MPs to resume debating Emergencies Act on Saturday

Members of Parliament will get back to debating the Emergencies Act on Saturday, a day after the House of Commons canceled its sitting amid a police crackdown on the trucker protest in downtown Ottawa.

Government House Leader Mark Holland announced the decision on Twitter.

Early Friday, MPs had been advised to stay away from the House due to the police operation still underway on and around Wellington Street. The canceled sitting was supported by all parties.

Due to the police operation still underway on and around Wellington Street, MPs were advised to stay away – a move supported by all parties.

“We wish to remind everyone that safety is paramount. The situation is ever-changing. The continued presence of vehicles and demonstrators associated with the convoy, alongside police operations, will impact the downtown core, ”read a letter from House Speaker Anthony Rota.

“If you are not in the House of Commons precinct, stay away from the downtown core until further notice. The [Parliamentary Protective Service] will advise when it is safe to return downtown. Should you already be in the precinct, please remain in the building and await further instructions from PPS officers. ”

MPs began debating the Act on Thursday, however, it has already been enforced and will continue to be for 30 days unless parliamentarians vote to revoke it.

Interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen tweeted on Friday that she is “disturbed” and “saddened” by the events unfolding on Parliament Hill, which has led to at least 100 arrests and the towing of 21 vehicles.

“This situation was created by the PM & his desire to divide Canadians. It’s time for MPs to return to the House tomorrow to stop the overreach by this government & restore unity, wholeness & hope back to our nation, ”she said.

Government House Leader Mark Holland said earlier in the day that the hope was to resume debate on Saturday, with a vote expected on Monday evening.

“Clearly we are going to monitor the security situation to ensure that it is safe not only again as I say for MPs, but for those who work in the House of Commons who make sure that our session can operate,” he said during a press conference.

While MPs do have the capability to debate virtually, as they’ve done through the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person staff is required at the House of Commons to provide services like translation.

“I want to say that this is an incredibly historic and important debate. We will make sure that every member of Parliament who wishes to speak will be afforded that opportunity and will we not allow the pause that has occurred to impact the final outcome, “Holland said.

The Senate, which was also expected to consider the Act on Friday, extended its adjournment period until Monday.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland reflected on the situation in Ottawa stating that it is a day of “real sorrow,” but also “determination.”

“Sorrow because it’s painful for me that this is happening in Canada. I think it is painful for a lot of Canadians. I think we see our body politic really being violated by an illegal occupation of our capital, by blockades of our essential trade corridors, so that is really, really sad, ”Freeland said.

“But it is also a day of determination and it is a day when I think everyone in our government is very resolute.”

Leave a Comment