The deputies of the National Assembly will finally return to the benches of the Blue Room, next Tuesday, but in limited numbers and with reinforced health measures.
After much discussion, the national director of public health, Horacio Arruda, finally gave the green light to the parliamentary return on Thursday morning.
According to information obtained by our Parliamentary Bureau, the maximum number of deputies who can sit in the Blue Room will be limited to 37, as was the case last fall.
However, additional sanitary measures will have to be applied. The National Assembly has already installed plexiglass inside the rooms, in places where physical distancing is more difficult to respect.
Members of Parliament will be required to wear a mask at all times except when speaking.
Clear indications will also be given for the entrances and exits of elected officials, in order to prevent them from crossing each other.
Public consultations will continue to take place virtually, but the detailed study of bills can take place in person.
Business of the day, which is normally debated after 2:00 p.m. Question Period on Tuesday, will be dealt with in the morning at 10 a.m.
In its opinion, public health left it to the parliamentary leaders to determine whether the resumption of debates before the week of February 8 was urgent and essential.
The government parliamentary wing had notably proposed to postpone the start of the school year for a week, while the opposition parties insisted on a rapid resumption of work.
“We wanted to act as a model, but the opposition insisted that it happen next week, so it will happen next week,” said Prime Minister François Legault, taking stock of the pandemic on Thursday .
On the other hand, the leaders of the opposition will have to put aside the one-hour telephone interview they had with the Prime Minister since the end of the parliamentary session, last December.
“I won’t have an hour to answer during question period next week. So there is no problem, ”dropped the CAQ chef.