EDMONTON -- Alberta's legislature may be closed in a COVID-19 lockdown, but its partisan warfare relocated to the House of Commons as Members of Parliament held an emergency debate last night on the province's soaring caseload and record infection rate.

Edmonton New Democrat Heather McPherson requested the debate and used it to blast Alberta Premier Jason Kenney for mishandling the health crisis every step of the way, leaving the province to become a “Petri dish” for more deadly and contagious mutations of the virus.

She appealed to the federal government to step in and help by directing more vaccines to Alberta's hot zones and enhancing sick leave benefits.

Conservative MPs pushed back against McPherson's claims of Kenney's incompetence.

As the debate was taking place, the Prime Minister's Office says Justin Trudeau was on the phone with Kenney offering support.

This report was published by The Canadian Press May 6, 2021.