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Canada  

Parliament to close for renos

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the nostalgia about the impending closure of Parliament's main building is understandable, but Canada's democracy will not be affected just because it happens in different rooms.

The Centre Block building on Parliament Hill, where the House of Commons and the Senate meet, is about to undergo at least 10 years of renovations including to overhaul electrical and other systems, remove asbestos and improve earthquake resistance.

MPs are waxing poetic as they have one of their final sitting days in the House of Commons before rising for Christmas.

When they return in January it will be to a temporary chamber specially built in the nearby West Block building.

Trudeau says it might be a bit sad to say goodbye to a chamber that has witnessed so much but that in the end it's just a room, not the centre of Canadian democracy.

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer agrees, saying the privilege to work in the building is big but that parliamentarians will make the new chamber the same beacon for democracy as the old one.



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