Premier Kathy Dunderdale is defending her decision to keep the legislature closed until spring.

She said she expects the government would be working until December to prepare legislation, and next spring is the earliest it would be tabled. 

Dunderdale has questioned the value of spending time in the house of assembly.

"I don't find it a place for a very healthy, open, constructive debate to start with," she said,

"Most of my issues are around the quality of debate and the research and the fact that you can pretty well get up in the house of assembly and say whatever it is you like. You don't have to be concerned with truth."

Dunderdale was responding to criticism from a former leader of the house and a re-elected NDP member of the house.

Former government house leader Tom Rideout said Wednesday he had to defend a similar decision by Danny Williams after he led the Tories to their election win in 2007.

Rideout said he believes it was the wrong decision four years ago, and Dunderdale shouldn’t make the same decision now.

Rideout said he loved life in the house of assembly, but he said Dunderdale and Williams see it as a "necessary evil."

NDP leader Lorraine Michael also criticized the decision not to reopen the house this year.

She called the decision an "irresponsible" move to silence opposition.