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Opinion

It’s critical for parliamentarians to prepare themselves properly for standing committee work

Liberal MP Emmanuella Lambropoulos, pictured on Nov. 20, 2020, taking part the House Industry Committee. Ms. Lambropoulos recently got herself into hot water during the Official Languages Committee meeting on Nov. 13, when she expressed skepticism about the decline of the use of French language in Quebec. Screen capture image courtesy of Twitter

Most Parliamentarians soon learn that committee work is the heart and soul of their responsibilities as lawmakers. Committees are where MPs and Senators review, examine and debate legislation and policy that affects the lives of millions of Canadians. Most know that to provide useful input, MPs and Senators put in an enormous amount of time and effort into learning as much as they can about the subject and then conduct further research to see if there is room for improvement. Throughout this process they have the assistance of their research staff and caucus research bureaus, and most importantly, the Library of Parliament. Failure to do the expected due diligence or to adequately prepare for the committee discussions can easily lead to embarrassment and unwanted media attention for themselves and their party.

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