The House of Commons will remain closed until March 3, but opposition MPs from across Canada returned to work yesterday.

On the day the House was supposed to reconvene following a six-week break, both the Liberals and NDP held events relating to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to prorogue Parliament.

Claiming the Conservative government has “locked out” the country’s elected representatives, the NDP held a caucus meeting yesterday while the Liberals staged a roundtable on jobs and the economy.

While critical of prorogation, the Bloc Québécois does not plan to send its MPs back to Ottawa this week.

Jesse Root, co-co-ordinator of the Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament rally here over the weekend, was at Parliament Hill yesterday with other supporters to welcome MPs back to work.

“We’re just here to say thank you and welcome those MPs back to work and to thank them for doing so regardless of the decision of Stephen Harper,” he said.

“Very clearly, Parliament should be opening today,” said Peter Julian, NDP MP for Burnaby-New Westminster and NDP international trade critic. “The fact that it’s not should be saddening to all Canadians.

“We’ve come back today, we’re in our seats and we’re ready and willing to work,” he said.

“What we’re doing this week is showing up to work, doing our job and we’re ... putting pressure on the prime minister to do the right thing and to call Parliament back,” he said.

“In a very real sense, Prime Minister Harper has locked Canadians out of their own democratic institution.”

 

WITH FILES FROM the canadian press