OTTAWA – New Democrat House leader Murray Rankin says it is a rare thing for his party to join forces with the Conservatives, but that is exactly what it plans to keep doing to fight a Liberal effort to change the way the House of Commons operates.
The two opposition parties are set to resume their filibuster at the House procedures committee today, as negotiations behind the scenes have failed to end the impasse over a Liberal motion that would impose a deadline on their study of proposed changes to the ins and outs of parliamentary procedure.
The issue revolves around a discussion paper that government House leader Bardish Chagger released last month, which suggests changes such as allowing MPs to vote electronically, getting rid of sparsely attended Friday sittings and setting aside one day of the week for MPs to direct all their questions to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
New Democrat House leader Murray Rankin says it is a rare thing for his party to join forces with the Conservatives. (Photo: The Canadian Press)
The Conservatives and New Democrats want the government to agree not to push through any changes without consensus, but Chagger has said that would amount to giving the opposition parties a "veto" over Liberal campaign promises.
Rankin says he stands firmly with his Conservative counterpart Candice Bergen on the need to get everyone on side before making any changes, meaning it is unlikely the Liberals will be able to work out a deal with the NDP alone.
Chagger says she wants to get a sense of where the different parties stand on the issues and the way for that to happen is to start having the "conversation" at committee.
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