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Debate in Parliament, committees paused due to technical issues in Ottawa

OTTAWA – Parliamentary proceedings, including committees and debate in the House of Commons, have been suspended due to technical issues Tuesday evening.

Some members of Parliament weren’t able to get online at all, according to deputy Speaker Chris d’Entremont, and the House of Commons streaming service Parlvu was down.

Some MPs debating Bill C-21, the government’s latest gun control legislation, opted to stop debate because some members participating virtually were not able to take part.

The House of Commons and Senate are adjourned until Wednesday at 2 p.m.

The committee probing the government’s use of the Emergencies Act was also unable to meet.

It was scheduled to hear from the commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, Thomas Carrique, and former Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly.

Sloly resigned amid intense criticism on Feb. 15, a day after the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act.

At the time the occupation of downtown streets by protesters demanding an end to COVID-19 restrictions and, in some cases, the Liberal government, had been ongoing for more than two weeks.

Sloly told another parliamentary committee on June 2 that police and institutions in Canada were unprepared for the scale of the protests as well as the organization and financial resources of protesters.

It’s not clear what the pause in debate will mean for the government’s plans. The spring sitting is scheduled to end this week, but the Liberals have signalled that they want to pass key pieces of legislation, including a law on extreme intoxication, before parliamentarians take their summer break.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2022.


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