LAUZON – Prorogation: What and Why
“There has been a lot of discussion about our government’s decision to prorogue the current session of Parliament.
Prorogation is a Parliamentary procedure that is part of the House of Commons’ rules that allows the government of the day to end the current session and to restart Parliament with a new Speech from the Throne setting a new agenda for Parliament. This process or option has been used over 100 times since Confederation. Prorogation has been used 14 times in the past 20 years. The current government has exercised the option to prorogue twice.
The first time our government prorogued Parliament was to prevent the three opposition parties from forming a coalition government which would have essentially given the power to veto all Government of Canada legislation to the Bloc Quebecois.
Our government is now proroguing this session of Parliament in order to refresh the government’s agenda with a new Speech from the Throne to address the challenges ahead in the next 12 months. It should be noted that most sessions of Parliament last approximately 12 months on average.
Our government is the envy of nations around the world for the proactive way we dealt with the global recession as a result of our Economic Action Plan. In order to maintain our leadership role we feel it is necessary to develop a proactive agenda and a budget that will continue our recovery over the next 12 months and lay the groundwork for addressing the deficit we incurred in the past year. These actions require a different plan than the current agenda that dealt with a huge infusion of stimulus into the economy.
It also should be noted that proroguing Parliament does not affect private members legislation on the order paper. In many cases all parties agree to continue legislation that was on the order paper in the previous session. This is subject to the oppositions’ concurrence.
I hope this helps to clarify some of misconceptions on this important issue.”
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