Coronavirus: Bloc threatens supporting in-person HoC sittings unless demands met

The Bloc Quebecois is threatening to support a resumption of in-person sittings of the House of Commons five days a week if the Trudeau government doesn’t agree to a number of demands — including delivering an economic update next month and holding modified sittings for at least four weeks during the summer.

Bloc Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet issued the ultimatum Tuesday as the Liberals and opposition parties engaged in behind-the-scenes negotiations ahead of the Commons’ scheduled return on May 25.

The House adjourned March 13 to help limit the spread of COVID-19 but has resumed partial operations. The latest agreement among a majority of MPs on how to do business expires Monday. Without a new one, parliamentary work resumes with, in theory, 338 MPs in the chamber in Ottawa.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled that the Liberal government would prefer to continue with the emergency proceedings that have been adopted for the past three weeks: two virtual sittings and one in-person sitting each week of a special COVID-19 committee, on which all MPs are members. He left the door open to additional weekly virtual sittings.

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But for that to happen,


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