Alberta legislature closure extended as number of ICU patients climb
EDMONTON -- On Wednesday, the government of Alberta announced the spring session of the Legislative Assembly would be extended by one week.
Jason Nixon, government house leader, said on May 2 there was a need to press pause on the spring sitting due to COVID-19 and an increase in variants throughout the province. Because of that, it was decided the sitting would be postponed for at least two weeks until May 17.
On Tuesday, it was determined the adjournment of the spring sitting would last until May 25 at 10 a.m. "due to the ongoing public health concerns arising from the pandemic, and in consultation with the Government House Leader and Official Opposition House Leader," a notice from House Speaker Nathan Cooper read.
Despite saying it worked with the Alberta NDP, the United Conservative government faced criticism from its Opposition over the decision. House Leader Christina Gray accused UCP members of "refusing to show up" when there is critical work to be done.
Earlier Wednesday, Alberta set a record for the number of patients in its intensive care units for the fourth straight day.
According to Cooper, his office and the Legislative Assembly Office have been working on a number of ways to increase the ability for members to participate in the Assembly remotely and will be providing training. For example, MLAs could have the option to vote remotely when they return May 25.