Adapting to COVID-19: Provincial and territorial legislatures compared

Important decisions about how to fight COVID-19 are being made by provincial and territorial governments. But when the pandemic reached Canada two months ago, it brought the work of legislatures to a halt. Since then, legislatures across the country have struggled to adapt to physical distancing and travel restrictions, experimenting with small emergency sittings, special committees, and virtual proceedings—or just closing their doors.

The enormous impact of the decisions being made by Canada’s subnational governments, such as when to reopen schools or businesses, makes it vital that provincial and territorial representatives closely scrutinize the choices made and their implementation. But as legislatures start to re-open, major questions remain about how to ensure scrutiny in the present and in the face of future outbreaks.

Join us for a virtual event in which we'll discuss how provincial and territorial legislatures have responded to the pandemic, what steps they're taking to continue parliamentary work, and how they might resume regular operations over the coming weeks and months.

Hosted by the Samara Centre's Paul E.J. Thomas, special guests will include:
  • Julie Green, Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories;
  • J.P. Lewis, associate professor of political science at the University of New Brunswick Saint John; and
  • Sabrina Nanji, journalist covering Ontario politics from the legislative press gallery, and former democracy reporter for The Toronto Star.

Please RSVP to receive an email with the Zoom link.

New to Zoom? Find out how to join the webinar here.


Want to get caught up before the event? In the latest edition of our Democracy Monitor, we examine how Canada's provincial and territorial legislatures modified their operations after the global pandemic was declared.

Read the report at

May 28, 2020 at 12:00pm - 1pm
José Ramón Martí ·

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