After cancelling and restoring the already scheduled fall sitting of Alberta’s Legislative Assembly only days after becoming Premier, Alison Redford and Government House leader Dave Hancock defended a decision yesterday to hold a two day sitting on October 24 and 25 and then break to reconvene for a longer sitting later in November.
This rescheduling will allow Premier Redford to deliver her maiden speech in her new position, which will focus on the global economic crisis. This odd scheduling will allow Premier Redford’s first moments in the Assembly not to be spoiled by the by those pesky opposition MLAs in Question Period. Opposition leaders will be given an opportunity to respond to Premier Redford’s speech before the month long break begins.
The break will allow the new administration to present a legislative agenda in November, something that would have been rushed if the full sitting were to be held in October.
A year ago he was sitting comfortably in the Tory backbenchers and next week Raj Sherman will kick-off his first sitting as leader of the 8 MLA Official Opposition Liberal Party. While most eyes will be on Premier Redford during her first sitting, others will be watching Dr. Sherman to see whether the wildcard PC-turned-Independent-turned-Liberal MLA can lead his new team in the Assembly.
The Liberals are expected to open the sitting with a full-court press with allegations against senior cabinet ministers and their staff, Finance Minister Ron Liepert in particular.