(Ottawa) Parliamentarians are entering what could be their home stretch in the House of Commons before the summer recess and the Liberal government will focus on two key laws.
On the agenda, a ban on conversion therapies and a law that would follow Canada’s progress towards achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The government being in the minority, the possibility of calling a general election hangs over the House of Commons at any time. Fall will mark two years since the Liberals won.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his government’s latest briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic to blame opposition conservatives for blocking passage of conversion therapy bills and emissions from greenhouse gas effects.
Some Conservative MPs have expressed concerns about the Liberals’ definition of conversion therapy, which aims to change a person’s LGBTQ identity.
They say they do not support coercive practice, but fear that the government’s definition is too broad and could threaten individual conversations on sexual and gender issues, especially between adults and children.
The Conservatives, along with Green Party MP Elizabeth May, have also voiced concerns about the speed at which the Liberals, with the help of the federal New Democrats, are trying to push through a climate responsibility bill in Canada. the House of Commons.
Parliament will also focus Monday on how to proceed with the President of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Iain Stewart, who has been criticized for refusing to release unredacted documents regarding the dismissal of two scientists from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.
Conservatives have spent months pressuring the government for answers as to why Xiangguo Qiu and her husband, Keding Cheng, were escorted from the site nearly two years ago and later fired for “offenses. to policies ”.
The party cites national security issues involving China.
In addition to searching for unredacted documents related to their termination, a parliamentary committee studying the matter wanted files explaining why viruses and other materials from the high-security lab were shipped to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Opposition parties have passed a motion finding Mr Stewart in contempt of Parliament for failing to disclose the documents and calling on him to appear before the Commons Bar on Monday to be reprimanded by the Speaker and hand over the information unredacted .
“This problem is rapidly evolving into a second, much more serious problem,” Conservative foreign affairs spokesman Michael Chong said of the initial layoffs.
“The government is seriously on the verge of crossing a line and deliberately violating the rule of law […] these House orders, they are not optional. ”
Last week, Mr. Stewart told MPs on a parliamentary health committee that the order of the House does not exempt him from his job of protecting privacy and national security interests.