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The federal Liberal government says it wants to make the option for MPs to virtually participate in House business, including committees, a permanent feature.

The move, announced Thursday by Government House Leader Mark Holland, will go to MPs for a vote before their summer break. The last sitting day is scheduled for June 23.

Mr. Holland told media on Parliament Hill that the issue will be debated next week.

“I want to be absolutely clear: We are not leaving Parliament until we get hybrid done,” Mr. Holland said.

If approved by MPs, the move would make permanent the temporary hybrid routines used during the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those routines enacted through a series of agreements among MPs allow for participation in Commons business, including Question Period and voting.

“These provisions have worked well and been used responsibly,” Mr. Holland said. “This should be a signal that the House of the common people is a place where we all run, where somebody who has a family or who has challenges is going to be able to be afforded the flexibility to still represent their communities.”

The House Leader said he is seeking to make enduring changes to the written rules that govern how varied aspects of the House of Commons operate.

Asked for comment, the federal Conservatives issued a statement on behalf of Andrew Scheer, the Conservative House Leader, that raised concerns about the demands a permanent hybrid routine will place on the operation of the Commons.

Mr. Scheer, who as a former party leader raised concerns about the hybrid approach as it was launched in the early days of the pandemic in 2020, said the new plan will lead to the cancellation of important committee meetings.

“House administration has had to cancel dozens of committee meetings this session because of a lack of resources to provide virtual participation,” Mr. Scheer said.

Conservatives have previously voted against sustaining hybrid options.

However, Conservative MP Gérard Deltell said there was some merit to limited use of hybrid options.

The MP from Quebec said such options are helpful in certain serious and exceptional situations in which an MP cannot actually be present.

Concerns have been raised about ear injuries among federal interpreters, leading to new rules to standardize headsets and microphones that MPs and committee witnesses use to facilitate their remote participation.

Mr. Holland said the Board of Internal Economy, which is the Commons governing body and consists of the Speaker and varied MPs including Mr. Holland, is working with the House administration to find solutions to these challenges.

MP Peter Julian, the NDP House Leader, said the caucus will support the Liberal plan because it allows MPs to participate from a distance.

“We’re the world’s largest democracy. It is sometimes 24 hours for me to commute here,” the MP from British Columbia said.

“And when there is an emergency, it is important that I continue to represent my constituents, that I vote on their behalf, that I speak on their behalf. A hybrid Parliament allows us to do that.”

Mr. Julian gave a personal example, noting that when his mother passed away last November, he was able to be present, over two weeks, while continuing to work for his constituents..

The Bloc Québécois did not respond to a request for comment on their position.

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