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Hybrid Parliament Saves About $6.2 Million a Year, Budget Officer Says

February 25, 2021 4:38 PM | The Canadian Press

By The Canadian Press

Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears at question period virtually during a sitting of the House of Commons Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

OTTAWA — A new estimate suggests the move to a hybrid Parliament could save as much as $6.2 million a year.

The system — which sees some MPs and senators participate in person and most others logged in remotely — has been in place since April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the nuances of how MPs and senators participate have changed since then, the parliamentary budget officer’s report suggests the primary driver of savings is reduced travel.

The report notes that a decrease in travel also has the effect of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by about 2,972 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

The budget watchdog says the financial savings offset the increased costs of running a hybrid model, which include the required technology and a major increase in interpreters’ services.

The provision of those services has been a sore spot in recent weeks as some parties say not enough resources have been allotted to ensure enough interpreters are available and can work safely.

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