Mr. Chair, as communities begin to ease restrictions, I remain mystified that, according to this government, Parliament is not an essential service. If it were up to the Prime Minister, he would not have to answer to anyone. That is not how democracy works.
We in the opposition have been long calling for the return of Parliament, which would be possible while still maintaining public health guidelines. Canadians deserve to be represented in the House of Commons by the elected member of Parliament. While the work we do in our constituencies is incredibly important, it is equally important to bring those voices back to Ottawa to debate, to question and to hold the government to account. This is fundamental to the role of an elected representative.
The role of the opposition is crucial now more than ever when billions of dollars are being spent with little oversight. Our role as members of Parliament is to uphold our democracy and to be present. This is the greatest pandemic in our lifetime. Now is not the time to hide behind a podium. If this government were doing the best job for Canadians, they would not need to hide.