“Last Friday, the sitting was suspended for an hour and MLAs of all parties discussed the implementation of hybrid or virtual sittings of the Legislature. It was decided that the Speaker would call a Legislative Administration Committee meeting to discuss the implementation of this system.
With the Moncton zone moving to orange level on November 19th followed by the Saint John zone on November 20th, the Chief Medical Office recommended that MLAs from those zones stay home. The decision was then made to temporarily adjourn the Legislature which was confirmed by a vote on November 24th. On November 26th, the Fredericton zone moved to the orange level as well.
Following the adjournment of the Legislature, the Official Opposition requested that the Legislative Administration Committee meeting be held before the end of this week and that the technical and financial aspects as well as an implementation timeline be addressed.
The Committee meeting was held this afternoon and recommended adopting a virtual system. This system will allow for hybrid sessions so that some MLAs may participate online while others are in the Legislature Building. A service provider will start the implementation process on Monday, November 30th.
Since no timeline has been established, the Official Opposition requests weekly meetings of the Committee to monitor progress until the system is fully implemented and functional.
The Chief Medical Officer recommended that MLAs living in orange zones avoid going to the Legislature Building. MLAs must lead by example in following Public Health’s recommendations and limiting risk of contagion throughout the province. The Legislature must keep on working through Covid-19 outbreaks and beyond. This system will allow us to do just that.
The Official Opposition wishes to thank all parties who cooperated in making this possible. As we have said before, public health and democracy can and must coexist. It is our duty to make sure they do.”