EDMONTON -- A controversial provincial inquiry into anti-energy campaigns will not meet its deadline for the third time.

Steve Allan, the commissioner of the Public Inquiry into Anti-Alberta Energy Campaigns confirmed that the inquiry has received permission to extend its work until May 31.

Allan, a forensic accountant, was tapped to lead the $2.5-million public inquiry in June 2019.

Allan's report was initially due last July but was given two extensions and a $1-million budget increase.

Energy Minister Sonya Savage must publish the final report within 90 days of receiving it.

In a written statement on Friday Allan said the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in delays, and called requests for extensions into public inquiries “not unusual.”

The inquiry has drawn ire from critics who have called it politically motivated, biased and outside provincial jurisdiction.