By The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Ninety-eight new MPs are in Ottawa to learn how to manage their budgets, get their parking passes and, later on, protect their sanity.
The House of Commons began welcoming the rookie MPs, including eight who are returning to the job after some time away, last week for training sessions on how to set up their offices and find their way around the parliamentary precinct.
Jeffrey LeBlanc, principal clerk, says learning how to hire staffers is usually the No. 1 concern of new MPs.
When the time comes for the House of Commons to sit again, MPs will come back for another round of training sessions that will include learning how to navigate the ins and outs of parliamentary procedure — a trickier endeavour with a minority government.
Stephane Bergeron from the Bloc Quebecois, elected anew after having served from 1997 to 2005, says it is important everyone keep their heads cool and do their best to collaborate rather than try and trigger another election too soon.
Those later sessions will also include advice from veteran MPs, which LeBlanc says is often a good time to talk about how to balance work with real life.