YELLOWKNIFE (May 15, 2020) – The 2nd Session of the 19th Legislative Assembly will resume sitting on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 in Yellowknife.
On March 16th, 2020, Members of the Legislative Assembly held their last sitting day of the budget session. Members chose to suspend sitting due to concerns arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. An interim budget was adopted prior to the adjournment to provide the government funding until June 30, 2020. The budgets of several large departments, including the departments of Health and Social Services and Industry, Tourism and Investment, remain outstanding. The priority for the resumption of the sitting is to adopt the final 2020/21 budget, introduce and consider legislation necessary to respond to the crisis and hold the government to account for its response to COVID-19 to date and other non-pandemic issues of importance.
Members understand the importance of remaining accountable to their constituents and, in order to remain diligent in their work as leaders of the territory, feel that the resumption of session is an important step in holding government to account and expressing the concerns of northern residents and businesses.
Mitigation measures will be introduced to maximize the safety of members and staff involved with the sitting. Modifications have been made to the seating arrangements within the existing Chamber to accommodate full Member participation, while maintaining the two-metre physical distancing requirement. The following mitigation measures will also be applied to maximize safety:
This sitting of the Legislative Assembly is being conducted in a manner that respects the Chief Public Health Officer’s (CPHO) orders, while ensuring essential government and legislative functions continue during this critical time.
“The Legislative Assembly strongly encourages all residents to follow the directives of the CPHO, and to continue to support their families, neighbours and communities through social distancing, self-isolating where necessary, and continuing to respond in the best tradition of Northerners by remaining positive and contributing to their communities in safe and healthy ways,” says Mr. Rylund Johnson, Caucus Chair and MLA for Yellowknife North.
Accredited media will be permitted access to the public gallery to observe and report upon the proceedings.