MLAs won’t now reconvene at the Northwest Territories legislature until February 21, a delay of almost three weeks attributed to Covid-19.
Speaker of the House Frederick Blake Jr announced the postponement on Thursday. The sitting dates originally scheduled to begin on February 2 will now start on February 21.
MLAs will sit for 19 days in the rearranged session, four fewer than originally planned.
Sitting dates are now February 21 to 25, February 28 to March 4, March 7 to 11, and March 28 to 31.
While MLAs do have the option to convene virtually, the legislature indicated in a news release that the preference was for territorial politicians to sit in person with a delay.
“Should a virtual sitting be required due to the evolving Covid-19 situation in the NWT, the same dates will apply,” the legislature stated.
The Omicron wave of Covid-19 has peaked in some of the territory’s communities, the NWT’s chief public health officer said this week. Schools and offices in Yellowknife are set to reopen on January 24.
MLAs’ fall sitting dates were also delayed by the earlier Delta-variant outbreak. Two sitting days were lost through that postponement.