The prime minister asked the governor general to prorogue Parliament and recall it for Sept. 23.
The prorogation brings an end to proceedings before Parliament.
There was a hybrid sitting in the House of Commons planned next week as well as many committee meetings, which are all now cancelled.
Some of the effects of prorogation include any government bill that has not received royal assent being terminated, the government not needing to respond to any outstanding order paper questions, and matters of privilege, and the terms of any privilege motion being nullified.
I was in Ottawa on Aug. 12 and questioned then-Finance Minister Bill Morneau about Canada losing our AAA credit rating from Fitch Ratings earlier this summer.
Little did I know at the time that I would be the last member of Parliament to question Morneau prior to his resignation as finance minister and MP.
I focused on two reasons Fitch cited for our downgrade. First was Canada’s lack of an economic recovery plan, and I questioned when the government would be releasing a plan. Second was due to Canadian interprovincial trade barriers and the government putting all work to remove barriers on hold.
Unfortunately, we did not hear clear answers to either question.
It has become more evident than ever how important parliamentary standing committees are in a minority government with Parliament not sitting fully since March.
Many revelations have come out through committee studies and questions, such as improper government planning for the pandemic and its related programs, the WE Charity scandal and other agreements or contracts, and more. Unfortunately, with the prorogation of Parliament, all committees cease to exist.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, the Industry, Science and Technology Standing Committee that I sit on has studied fraud and the Investment Canada Act.
We looked at whether Canada has strict enough laws against foreign state-owned enterprises purchasing Canadian companies.
We’ve focused on the effects of the pandemic on institutions, workers and businesses.
Recently, Conservatives put motions forth to question the privacy commissioner about the COVID-19 mobile app and Amazon about reports of anti-competitive behaviour, but these are all now cancelled.
Tourism is important to our economy here in the Okanagan. It was one of the first to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and I’m hearing it will continue to have serious ongoing challenges.
It’s disappointing the Industry Committee scheduled only one short meeting to hear from the tourism sector. I made a statement to this effect prior to my questioning witnesses. I believe it is important that the committee hear from all aspects of the tourism industry and make recommendations to the federal government. Tourism operators and organizations can write and share your thoughts with the committee via email at: email@example.com.
You can view videos of my comments about tourism and questioning about our credit downgrade on my Facebook page or website.
It has been wonderful being out in the community more lately connecting (safely) with residents and businesses.
Tracy Gray is the Conservative MP for Kelowna-Lake Country.