NDP asks Kenney to 'come to work' and reopen legislature

The NDP held a press conference in Edmonton on Monday asking the province to reopen the legislature so a draft bill allowing Albertans to have paid sick leave if they or a family members tests positive for COVID-19 could be debated.

Rachel Notley, the leader of the official opposition has proposed an amendment to the Employment Standards Code. If passed, it would provide people with up to 10 days of paid leave for anyone who is ill or in quarantine.

“An isolating worker would continue to be paid through their employer who would be reimbursed by the provincial government,” Notley said.

READ MORE: Opposition pushes for paid sick leave to curb COVID-19 spread in workplaces

Notley added, the legislation is ready to be presented to the house immediately.

“My message to Jason Kenney is this… Come to work, we’ve got legislation ready for you, come on down, reopen the legislature take a look at what we’re offering, put forward your own alternative if necessary but lets get this work done.”

The spring session of the legislature was put on hold due to a rise in COVID-19 cases and will remain closed until after the May long weekend.

READ MORE: Alberta legislature closure extended as number of ICU patients climb

“With the case numbers coming down I also think it’s very possible for us to comeback and do our work safely,” Notley said.

By providing workers and employers with the benefit of a seamless sick leave policy, Notley said it would help limit spread in the workplace.

"Having MLAs return to Edmonton from all over the province with high active COVID-19 cases would be irresponsible," said Government House Leader Jason Nixon in a statement to CTV News Edmonton. "Continuing the suspension of proceedings is the right thing to do. We continue to strongly encourage all Albertans to follow their local health guidelines and get vaccinated when it’s their turn. We all have to do our part to get through to the other side of this pandemic. The Legislative Assembly will resume proceedings on May 25th, following the Victoria Day long weekend in alignment with public health measures currently in place."