Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

June 09, 2008 20:05 ET

Opposition Parties Vote to Work Less

... Canadians expect Members of Parliament to work hard to get things done before the summer break,' Van Loan.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 9, 2008) - Today, in an unprecedented move, the federal opposition parties blocked the standard evening sittings of the House of Commons, which its rules contemplate. This routine motion, set out in House standing orders, has never been blocked since it was first introduced in 1982.

"Very few Canadians have the privilege of representing their fellow citizens in Parliament," said Peter Van Loan, Government House Leader. "If Members of Parliament aren't willing to do their work before a three month summer break, they should step aside and let someone else do it."

Since the House calendar was fixed in 1982, the standard motion to extend the daily sitting hours of the House of Commons has always been approved.

"The Government understands Canadians expect Members of Parliament to work hard to get things done before the summer break," continued Minister Van Loan. "The Government has a long list of bills it wants to pass before the end of the spring sitting and this is just another attempt by the Opposition to obstruct and delay that legislative agenda."

The extension of the sitting hours of the House are provided for under section 27 of the Standing Orders, which read:

1. On the tenth sitting day preceding June 23, a motion to extend the hours of sitting to a specific hour during the last ten sitting days may be proposed, without notice, by any Minister during routine proceedings.

2. Not more than two hours after the commencement of proceedings thereon, the Speaker shall put every question necessary to dispose of the said motion.

"The action by the Official Opposition to get out of the traditional evening sitting is consistent with their practice of avoiding work established this spring," continued Minister Van Loan. "The Official Opposition has already missed about one third of votes this session of Parliament, now they won't even let other MP's work."

For more information visit www.houseleader.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Leader of the Government in the House
    of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform
    Michael White
    Communications Assistant
    613-952-4930