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Dan-in-Ottawa

PM breaks another promise

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has asked Governor General Julie Payette to prorogue Parliament.

What does this mean? 

Prorogation is a parliamentary procedure where the current session of Parliament is ended.

This is done by a proclamation of the Governor General, at the request of the Prime Minister.

What happens next? 

The PM announced that the second session of the 43rd Parliament starts Sept. 23.

There will be a throne speech, as is the custom of a new session of Parliament, and ultimately a confidence vote following that throne speech.

In a minority Parliament, that could potentially result in an election. 

Why request prorogation? 

Although there can be a variety of reasons, the most common is for the government to outline a new or different direction.

Certainly, that is what Prime Minister Trudeau has indicated in this case.

While it makes sense that the government would want to outline a new direction in a throne speech, there is one other serious consideration that cannot be ignored.

With the exception of a one day sitting of the COVID Committee Aug. 26, the House of Commons was already adjourned until Sept. 2.

So why prorogue the House of Commons when it is already adjourned? 

The answer is the fact that several parliamentary committees were sitting and hearing evidence on the details that resulted in WE Charity foundation receiving a sole-sourced contract in excess of $500 million.

Having read much of the evidence from these meetings, a clear pattern was emerging where details from witnesses would directly contradict what the Prime Minister had previously and publicly stated on the record.

As one example, the PM stated that when he first heard of the proposed WE Charity’s contribution agreement on May 8, he “pushed back” and instructed the public service to do more “due diligence” before cabinet actually approved the agreement on May 28.

However, at the Finance Committee, the Assistant Deputy Minister developing the program stated that: "We entered into a negotiation of a contribution agreement with WE Charity in mid-May.”

Clearly, there was no evidence of any “push back” as the PM stated, but rather there was a rush to get the sole-sourced contract completed. 

Now that the Prime Minister has prorogued Parliament, “no committee can sit during a prorogation."

This means that the Prime Minister has shut down the committees studying and uncovering evidence on the WE contribution agreement that was contrary to what the PM had said publicly.

It should also be pointed out that in 2015, the Prime Minister made a promise that his Liberal government would never use prorogation to escape scrutiny.

My question this week:

  • Do you agree with the Prime Minister proroguing Parliament and shutting down these committees?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

MP Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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