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Opinion

The closing-off of democracy?

By Alexandra Dobrowolsky      

There are lessons learned from the 'virtual Parliament,' that could lead to a reconfigured and renewed body, one that truly engages and encompasses diverse, inclusive, and accessible contributions.

MPs, pictured on May 13, 2020, in the House for a meeting of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic. Various democratic deficits point to dramatic and disturbing departures from even the most rudimentary of parliamentary requisites, coming at the worst of times, when democratic deliberations, oversight, and accountability are more crucial than ever, writes Alexandra Dobrowolsky. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

HALIFAX—As readers of The Hill Times will know, “Parliament” derives from the French, parler, to speak, and Canada’s Parliament and legislatures, rooted in the British Westminster parliamentary tradition, are places in which democratically elected representatives are meant to discuss, debate and deliberate. Yet, by mid March 2020, with the COVID-19 country-wide lockdown, Canada’s formal political institutions fell very quiet, and became quite empty. A range of interim measures gradually took shape to provide a modicum of democratic dialogue, accountability and transparency, but their shortfalls became increasingly apparent and concerning.

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News|By Neil Moss
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Official Languages Committee to probe WE Charity deal

News|By Palak Mangat
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