Alberta politicians will follow mandatory vaccination policy set out for public servants
Regular negative COVID-19 tests must be provided by anyone not fully vaccinated
Politicians and staff at the Alberta Legislature will all be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the time the sitting resumes on Oct. 25, government House leader Jason Nixon said Tuesday.
The move comes less than a week after a mandatory vaccination policy was introduced for Alberta's public servants.
"All of the government caucus has received one vaccination except one individual who is working through a medical process with their doctors," Nixon said.
He said 56 UCP MLAs are fully vaccinated. Three have received their first shots and expect to have received their second doses before the sitting resumes.
As with the policy brought in for public servants, any MLA who is not vaccinated will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test — procured at their own expense — within 72 hours of each workday.
"The need to be able to make sure the democratically elected officials can take their seat inside the chamber is something that we have to address," Nixon said.
The Opposition NDP has said all of its elected officials and political staff are fully vaccinated.
The vaccination policy also affects political staff as well as employees of the legislative assembly office, including security, pages, clerks and other individuals that work in the chambers, Nixon said.
Nixon was not sure when the policy takes effect for political staff.
The rules also apply to Alberta's two Independent MLAs — Drew Barnes and Todd Loewen, who were both expelled from the UCP caucus in May for their criticism of the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nixon said he did not know the vaccination status of the two elected officials.
Last week's announcement of the policy for public servants was met immediately by calls from the NDP to have a similar policy brought in for all politicians and political staff.