First-time MPs get first taste of their new jobs

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Ottawa – Newly elected lawmakers on Monday got their first glimpse of their new roles in Ottawa as they participated in the preliminary phase of the House of Commons orientation program.

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Of the 52 new members elected to the House of Commons last week, the first 10 came to Parliament Hill to attend a preliminary session, filling out necessary paperwork, setting up their official equipment and what their new jobs would entail. Learn more in

Due to the enduring pandemic, for the first time ever, the orientation program is being hosted virtually and in person. Of the 42 MPs registered so far, only six have opted to participate online.

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On its first day, members visited the West Block and visited the chamber of the House of Commons.

The second day of orientation will focus on his managerial duty as MP, which includes information on human resources and staffing as well as financial accounting and disclosure. The House of Commons is also conducting training sessions on workplace harassment and violence prevention.

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Closer to the opening of parliament – for which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to set a date – lawmakers have the opportunity to choose the brains of their more experienced colleagues.

“It’s nice to have coworkers coming over to talk to your new colleagues about work-life balance, how to set up an office, what to look for in a good assistant, that sort of thing… it’s usually a pretty good one. session,” Jean-Philippe Brochu, co-chair of the members’ orientation program, said during a briefing with reporters.

The new parliament will see a large contingent of returning lawmakers, with 286 incumbent elected in the September 20 federal election.

Officials noted on Monday that the 44th parliament, like the last, could include a hybrid of personal and virtual participation, but it would be up to lawmakers to ultimately decide the structure of the fall session.

“Discussions are likely to take place between the parties and it is for the members to decide what they want to do with their proceedings when Parliament opens,” Brochu said, using the same technology that had been virtually adjusted in previous parliaments. Used to be, is being introduced again.

After nothing more than months of ad-hoc emergency meetings in the early days of the pandemic to pass COVID-19 aid, all parties finally agreed on a hybrid meeting format that allowed lawmakers to vote and participate virtually from their homes or offices. Gave the permission to. Via screens are visible inside the chamber, where usually a small number of nearby MPs attended in person.

Introduced before the massive vaccination effort allowed all eligible Canadians to roll up their sleeves to gain additional protection against the novel coronavirus, the hybrid-sitting format was intended to be a temporary solution.

The final agreement allowing these meetings expired in June when the House of Commons was adjourned.

Information about whether MPs will need to be vaccinated to appear in the Chamber or around parliamentary premises has not yet been detailed by the House of Commons’ Board of Internal Economy – the cross-party committee of MPs that oversees the House. Functioning of.

However, the board has extended the mask mandate till at least 29 October.

During the election campaign, the Liberals and the NDP confirmed that all their candidates had been vaccinated, while the Conservatives declined to say so.

Brochu said necessary public health safety measures such as physical distancing, masking and screening are in place for orientation sessions.

With files from Granthshala News ‘Rachel Aiello’

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