South Shore-St. Margaret's MP Bernadette Jordan is pushing back against opposition charges that a House of Commons fisheries committee's proceedings are being unjustly stifled by NDP and Liberal parliamentarians.
"The House of Commons has voted on multiple occasions to prioritize the work of committees which address our response to COVID-19; this includes the important Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, which is in fact meeting for [multiple] days this week," Jordan said June 9.
"The House passed a motion to allow the committee to study any issue within its mandate, in addition to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee can sit during the summer, and as a committee, members are free to determine if they would like to."
Jordan is the Fisheries and Oceans minister in the Trudeau Liberal government's cabinet.
"There is no question that COVID-19 has created uncertainty and financial hardship in our seafood sector, and that's exactly why our government has taken decisive action in support," she told LighthouseNOW.
"This pandemic changed every aspect of our country, from our fisheries to the operations of government itself. The only way to through this is to adapt our practices, and to continue to respond to challenges as they arise. That's exactly what our government is doing, and will continue to do, to ensure that every Canadian and sector has the support they need."
Conservative MPs Mel Arnold, and Richard Bragdon, opposition fisheries critics, said in an opinion piece provided to LighthouseNOW that the committee proposed "a reasonable work plan for the coming four months," but they accused MPs from other parties, including Liberals, of voting "to limit our committee to just eight hours over the summer."