Right to the Point

Government ramming through rule and procedure changes ‘concerning,’ says MP Carol Hughes

OTTAWA—The federal government is trying to ram through rule changes and procedures through the Procedure and House Affairs Committee that could mean the prime minister would only spend day a week in the legislature, claims Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes.

“These proposed changes are quite concerning. One of the things that is being looked at is for the prime minister to only be required to spend one day in the legislature to address questions,” stated Ms. Hughes. “They are looking at eliminating Friday sittings in the legislature so there will be less time for question period.”

“This government said it wanted to be more family-friendly (to MPs) but they are looking at increasing the hours we are sitting in the house until 7 pm,” said Ms. Hughes. “This is not being family-friendly. The proposed changes are very problematic and the opposition has not allowed the government to go forward on these changes and it has now become necessary to push meetings on these issues to April 3, to try to come to an understanding.”

“It’s about accountability and transparency,” said Ms. Hughes. If the changes are made, “it would mean the prime minister would be going further than Stephen Harper did, in only showing up one day a week in the legislature. That means a  lot of questions will not be able to be put forward to the prime minister.”

“Basically what they are doing is filibusting and the opposition is not going to let all these changes take place without a fight,” continued Ms. Hughes. “This is about democracy, fairness, transparency, and accountability.” 

On the issue of the prime minister possibly only having to be in the legislature one day a week Ms. Hughes said, “this is about getting as much control as possible and trying to make sure his government is re-elected.”