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Cambridge MP supports hybrid parliament

New, hybrid model to be debated in House of Commons this week, that would give MPs the option to participate virtually

All 338 Members of Parliament are on Parliament Hill this week, in Ottawa, as the House of Commons reconvenes for the first time in almost five months.

On the agenda for debate, is a motion to allow MPs to participate in future sittings virtually.

"Everybody wants to get back to normal, but we're just not there yet," said Cambridge MP, Bryan May. "The option for us to have virtual sittings worked incredibly well, and it's important for us to make sure we examine being able to do that again."

The Liberal incumbent said social distancing in the House of Commons, with 338 people, is not possible. He noted it's not just MPs at risk, but everyone who works within the precincts of Parliament.

"Given all of the learnings from the last year and a half and the work that's gone into making it possible to participate virtually, we need to make sure we continue to provide that as an option until we truly see the other side of COVID." added May

May discussed many substantive advantages to the virtual option, including cost-saving benefits and the efficiency of the voting app. 

"Does it have an impact [negatively] on your work as a parliamentarian? I don't believe it does. I have not personally experienced that," added May. "Having that access to the mobile and virtual options, and to continue to have those options, can only help us move the needle forward into having a more accessible Parliament than we had previously."

Currently, the Board of Internal Economy has said MPs cannot sit in the House of Commons if they are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which May said is even more of a reason why the hybrid model makes sense, as it would benefit those who have chosen to, or who are unable to, get vaccinated.

"We will move forward with the motion, and be pushing to have this determined this week, so that as of next week, we'll have the virtual option," May added. "Get the option available, and then let's get to work. That's what Canadians want, that's what they sent us here to do."