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Opposition filibuster over suggested changes to procedure delayed

The Peace Tower is seen through the iron gates of Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 19, 2015.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

An opposition filibuster in a House of Commons committee has been put off to mid-week.

Conservative and New Democrats started a protest at the procedures committee last month, speaking for hours over four days as they tried to prevent the Liberals from passing a motion that would impose a deadline on their study of proposed changes to the way the Commons conducts its business.

The meeting was suspended to allow MPs to go to their ridings for break week, but was to resume today.

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The Liberal chairman has again suspended the meeting to allow for more negotiations behind the scenes.

At issue is a discussion paper that government House leader Bardish Chagger released last month, which suggests changes that the Liberals argue are meant to modernize the House of Commons, making it more efficient and relevant.

Those proposed changes include doing away with Friday sittings, allowing electronic voting and creating a special question period one day a week where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would be the one answering all the questions.

The Conservatives and New Democrats call it a power grab and say the Liberals should not make the changes without their agreement.

Now, with the committee suspended, Chagger and her opposition counterparts will have some time to discuss the proposals.

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