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Manitoba legislature may return to somewhat normal during pandemic, premier says

Premier Brian Pallister says discussions are underway to have the Manitoba Legislature sit starting in October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ruth Bonneville - POOL

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says the legislature will operate more closely to normal when politicians return to the chamber next month, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Progressive Conservative government is trying to move dozens of bills forward that have been stalled since the spring — on topics ranging from electricity rates to Sunday and holiday shopping hours.

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The government also has yet to formally pass a bill that implements many measures in the spring budget.

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Proceedings in the legislature ground to a halt in the spring when the Opposition New Democrats stalled proceedings for several days.

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As the COVID-19 pandemic grew, the legislature recessed and came back briefly, sitting only one day a week with fewer politicians in their seats.

Pallister says negotiations with the opposition are ongoing, but the aim is to have the legislature sit for full weeks when it reconvenes in early October.

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