Dan Albas

COLUMN: The effects of proroguing Parliament

Only four hours were allotted for debating $50 billion in deficit spending

Before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prorogued Parliament back in August, it was not set to resume regular sittings until Monday, Sept. 21.

Parliament was again further delayed until Wednesday, Sept. 23.

Last Wednesday was Sept. 23 and became the date of the throne speech that I covered in last week’s report.

This week the government has tabled Bill C-4 that is the latest COVID-19 relief response bill.

READ ALSO: COLUMN: Examining the federal speech from the throne

READ ALSO: COLUMN: Federal government changes benefit plan

What was disappointing about this is that the Trudeau Liberal government only allowed a little over four hours of debate time on a proposed in excess of $50 billion worth of deficit spending.

Why did the Trudeau Liberal government do this?

Because there was not enough time after existing programs all ran out.

By proroguing Parliament, and delaying the return of the house, the time that should have been spent properly debating and reviewing this bill at committee stage was entirely lost.

Why does debate and committee stage review matter?

As many will know throughout this pandemic response there have been a significant number of gaps and unintended barriers that have prevented those in need from getting the help that a response program was intended to provide.

As a result, throughout these past months, the government has been perpetually playing catch up on the fly, typically after these gaps and barriers are raised by the opposition.

Some are still yet to get help because of this approach.

In this instance Parliament finally had an opportunity to be proactive and study and debate a critically important bill prior to it coming into effect.

Instead this opportunity for proactive debate and study was squandered.

As it would happen, the bill was ultimately passed unanimously, however it was not studied in committee nor was it extensively debated.

As a result there are many unknown details.

For example, how smoothly will the CERB benefit transition into the new Employment Insurance version of this benefit?

Likewise, Canadians still have no idea what the current status is of the EI account (which is paid for, through premiums, by employees and employers) and if these proposed new programs are sustainable.

These are all very serious questions and there is no answer to date.

My question this week: Are you satisfied with the current direction of this Liberal government?

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. This riding includes the communities of Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Keremeos, Princeton, Merritt and Logan Lake.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ColumnistFederal Politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A house on Highway 3A caught fire Sunday evening, Oct. 25, 2020.
House fire on Highway 3A in Keremeos

Neighbours acted quickly to help save home

x
Morning Start: Bubble wrap was originally intended to be wallpaper

Your morning start for Monday, Oct. 26, 2020

Roly Russell, the predicted MLA for the Boundary Similkameen, and his wife Christine Carlson celebrate on election night. (Contributed)
B.C. Votes 2020: Russell leads as election heads to mail-in counting

Russell is likely to replace incumbent BC Liberal Linda Larson

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Penticton Indian Band is opposing any hunting of local big horn sheep which are an at-risk population. (submitted photo)
Penticton Indian Band oppose big horn sheep hunts

Local big horn sheep are an at-risk population

FILE – B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts owner, Senator David Braley speaks after the CFL announced Vancouver will host the 2014 Grey Cup championship football game during a news conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Lions owner David Braley dead at 79

Braley had bought the CFL team prior to 1997 season

An Instagram post from Matty Rebman shows his injuries as well as a plea to the driver who struck him. (Instagram/Matty Rebman)
Hit and run kills dog, severely injures West Kelowna man

The car was abandoned but police could not locate its driver

École de l’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak forces closure of Kelowna school

French-language school École de l’Anse-au-sable will remain closed until Nov. 4

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a vehicle that crashed into a Vernon home on 17th Street Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. (City of Vernon photo)
Woman faces drunk driving charges after crashing Mustang into Vernon home

Vehicle occupants and one resident reported sustaining minor injuries in Sunday incident

A heavy police presence was spotted in Lumby, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Facebook)
BREAKING: Police situation unfolding in Lumby

Police call for social media blackout in ongoing incident

Most Read