I was in the Commons Monday morning before the House sat, with my mask on & a measuring tape in my hand. My goal: To determine how many MPs can sit in the Commons at one time, while spaced 2 meters apart, as per health regulations. 1/8
The answer: 44 MPs can sit on each side of the Commons chamber, while distancing by 2 meters in all directions. Here’s a map of what the Opposition benches would look like (it’s overlaid on the map my party used, in order to seat yesterday’s MPs). 2/8
Using this checkerboard pattern, it’s possible for 88 MPs to be in the House at the same time, + Speaker. Blue line surrounds all seats allocated to Conservatives. The 88 includes 31 CPC MPs (up from the 17 we are currently seating, and way up from 11 in March & April). 3/8
The spaces between the allocated desks are 2.4 meters between any occupied seat and the one directly behind it, 2.36 meters between any occupied seat and the one beside it, and 2.1 meters between an occupied seat and the one diagonally behind. 4/8
To demonstrate that this is so, I took some pictures. Here’s a photo showing the distance between a seat in the second row, and a seat in the third row: 1.2 meters (using the checkerboard, every second row is left empty, for a distance of 2.4 meters). 5/8
And here’s a video showing that the distance between seats that are separated by two other seats + an aisle is 2.36 meters. 6/8
Finally, here’s a video showing that the diagonal distance between seats that are separated by one seat + an aisle, and are additionally in different rows is 2.1 meters. 7/8
Based on this evidence, party whips for all parties should adjust the number of MPs they are permitting into the Commons for any given seating---starting with those coming to Ottawa next week. 8/8
You can follow @ScottReidCPC.
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