Canada’s House of Commons. (File photo)

NDP accuses Conservative MPs of bad attendance

Conservatives fail to attend after demanding parliament keep meeting during pandemic

  • Jun. 25, 2020 12:00 a.m.

The federal NDP party is calling out Conservative party MPs for poor attendance in Parliament’s last session.

The Conservatives had the lowest attendance record of any party with an average participation rate of 40 per cent, compared to the New Democrats with the highest attendance rate for the hybrid sessions at 86 per cent, the NDP claimed in a press release.

North Island-Powell River NDP MP and party Whip Rachel Blaney said, “While New Democrats were fighting for two weeks of paid sick leave for all Canadians and more help for seniors, the Conservatives couldn’t be bothered to show up.”

Parliament created a hybrid COVID-19 committee where members could attend via video conference. MPs met 25 times between April and June.

RELATED: NDP pushing for 10 days of paid sick days for all working Canadians

“The Conservatives seemed to have missed the memo that holding the government to account requires Opposition MPs to attend to their duties,” said NDP Alistair MacGregor in the press release.

The Gazette reached Conservative Dan Albas — MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola Conservative — who defended his party’s attendance, saying if someone didn’t have a specific role in the committee to question government, their time might be better spent meeting with constituents.

Albas was one of the top attending Conservatives, who made it to 20 meetings. On average, his colleagues attended between 10 and 11 meetings. The Liberal party averaged 16 meetings, while the NDP averaged 18. North Island’s Blaney attended 12 meetings.

Meanwhile, Conservatives fielded a proposal called Back to Work Bonus, which would gradually scale back the Canada Emergency Response Benefit of $2,000 as employment income scales up. The proposal would address the drop in pay Canadians could experience if they earn over $1,000, which is the current cut-off to receive the emergency benefit.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca.


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