Ottawa, Federal Virtual House of Commons

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    With the words "OK, let's make history" the Speaker of the House of Commons started the first hybrid meeting of members of the Canadian Parliament.

    With the words "OK, let's make history" the Speaker of the House of Commons started the first hybrid meeting of members of the Canadian Parliament.

    It's the first time in Canadian history that MPs are able to either be in seats in the House of Commons or logged in virtually to debate.

    Large screens are suspended on either side of the Speaker's chair, and many of the nearly four dozen MPs present in person are watching them avidly as their colleagues across the country raise a range of issues.

    It's not, however, a normal sitting of the House of Commons with all the rules, tradition and privileges that entails.

    Parliament itself is adjourned, largely replaced with meetings of a special committee focused almost exclusively on the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Yukon Member of Parliament Larry Bagnell, says it works amazingly well and may even become part of our new normal.

    The Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois had argued that was no longer sufficient, but lost out in a vote that saw the NDP back a Liberal plan to continue with the COVID-19 committee in the hybrid form that began today.
     

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