Premier announces Federal Building being renamed after Queen Elizabeth

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The Federal Building, located at 9820 107th St. in Edmonton, will now be called the Queen Elizabeth II Building. (Codie McLachlan/CBC  - image credit)
The Federal Building, located at 9820 107th St. in Edmonton, will now be called the Queen Elizabeth II Building. (Codie McLachlan/CBC - image credit)

The Federal Building on the Alberta Legislature grounds will be renamed after the late Queen Elizabeth in a ceremony later this month.

Premier Jason Kenney made the announcement during his tribute to the Queen in a special one-day sitting of the Alberta Legislature on Thursday.

A visibly emotional Kenney paused for a moment to contain himself before starting his nearly 20-minute address.

"Her death has hit me harder than expected," Kenney said. "As though I lost a grandmother or a long-time friend.

"It is a truly serendipitous honour that my last speech in this place, as her late Majesty's first minister, is to honour her remarkable life and legacy."

Kenney will resign as premier when the United Conservative Party chooses a new leader on Oct. 6. The fall sitting starts Oct. 31.

The government called MLAs to Edmonton so they could make statements in the house to express their sympathies to King Charles and pay tribute to his mother's 70 years on the throne.

Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta
Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta

Kenney's address was followed by remarks from Rachel Notley, leader of the Official Opposition NDP.

Notley spoke about how her late mother, like many women who came of age in the 1950s and 1960s, admired the Queen as a world leader at time where there were very few women in those roles.

She acknowledged that people subjected to colonialism by the British Crown, such as Indigenous people in Canada, would have a negative view of the Queen's legacy.

"We must listen to those perspectives because I believe as well that the example that Queen Elizabeth herself demonstrated — that is exactly what she would do and she would call on us to do," Notley said.

Changing the Federal Building's name to the Queen Elizabeth II Building was originally proposed to mark the Queen's 70 years on the throne. Buckingham Place approved the name last month.

The government will hold a ceremony on Sept. 27 to mark the name change.

Federal government employees worked in the building from 1958 to 1988 before moving to Canada Place in downtown Edmonton.

The provincial government renovated the building after it sat empty for 22 years. MLAs and government staff now have offices there.