Alberta legislature Speaker apologizes for condemning new COVID health restrictions

·1 min read

EDMONTON — The Speaker of the Alberta legislature is apologizing for publicly opposing the government’s COVID-19 health restrictions.

In a statement read in the debate chamber, Nathan Cooper says it’s paramount that the Speaker remain neutral, and he says he crossed the line on that fundamental responsibility.

Speakers are picked from one of the legislature parties and are expected to be impartial given they control debate in the house.

Last week, Cooper joined several other members of Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative backbench in opposing the government’s revised health restrictions, aimed at reducing the spread of COVID1-19.

In an open letter, they said the new restrictions are a backward step, and promise to continue to fight for the livelihoods and freedoms of Albertans.

Prior to the apology, Kenney said that in 24 years as a parliamentarian he had never before witnessed such a profound violation of Speaker neutrality.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press