Senate joins House of Commons in extending suspension until mid-June

Senate joins House of Commons in extending suspension until mid-June

OTTAWA — The Senate is staying closed for two more weeks, not planning to sit again until June 16.

The upper chamber is following the lead of the House of Commons, which doesn’t have a scheduled sitting until the day after that, and only a handful before September.

Senate Speaker George Furey said he consulted all the leaders of the Senate’s various factions and groups before concluding it’s not in the public interest to convene as scheduled next week.

The Conservative leader in the Senate, Don Plett, is dissenting from the consensus.

“Prime Minister Trudeau always promises Canadians accountability and transparency. In reality, we’re getting theatrics,” he wrote in a statement.

“We cannot forget that our founding fathers intended a bicameral Parliament in order to thwart overreaching powers by the executive branch. As we face this ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we need to be mindful of one of our foremost duties as senators, which is to provide sober second thought, and act as an accountability mechanism for the executive.”

Both the Senate and the Commons have committees focused on particular subjects meeting by video and telephone and those will continue.

The House of Commons has all its MPs meeting regularly through a special committee on COVID-19.

In that forum, MPs can question government ministers and debate issues but don’t have the authority to pass laws or use many of the Commons’ other usual privileges.

When the Liberals have needed to pass legislation on emergency COVID-19 measures, they’ve called special sittings and brought in bills whose passage has been negotiated in advance with opposition parties, skipping the usual scrutiny by committees.

Tories in the House have accused the Liberals, and the New Democrats who voted with them to set the limited calendar for the summer, of dodging scrutiny that governments submitted themselves to even during the Second World War.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council approves second attempt for downtown cannabis retail shop

Firestone Cannabis submitted a new application after their first was denied in August

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Three young Sylvan Lake residents are asking for lights to be added to the walking trail system to make them safer and less scary at night. Photo by @workinonmyfitness72
Young Sylvan Lake residents ask for lights to be added to walking trails

Three young Sylvan Lake residents appeared before Council recently to present their ask

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

A man runs across the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘No manual or checklist:’ Yukon ditching fall time change this year

The territory decided to adopt year-round daylight time in March

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains makes an announcement regarding vaccine procurement, in Toronto, on Wednesday, Aug., 5, 2020. Despite its status as an artificial intelligence hub, Canada has yet to develop a regulatory regime to deal with issues of privacy, discrimination and accountability to which AI systems are prone, prompting calls for regulation from businesses and experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Canada crawling toward AI regulatory regime, but experts say reform is urgent

5 million images of shoppers collected without consent at Canadian malls

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie "The Name of the Rose" at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

He died peacefully in his sleep overnight in the Bahamas

(Photo submitted)
Rimbey resident avid author despite Parkinson’s

Wins more accolades for her writing

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

(Pixabay photo)
Spoooky, scaaaary: The ultimate Halloween-in-quarantine playlist

All the costumes, trick-or-treating and spooky-season fun is essentialy off the table due to COVID-19

Most Read