Nathan Cooper, Speaker of the House for the Legislative Assembly of Alberta (left) and Rachel Notley, Leader of the Official Opposition (right). Tuesday Nov. 19, 2019 (Legislative Assembly of Alberta)
The bill, which was announced Monday, includes a move to "merge and consolidate the Office of the Election Commissioner into the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer,” and the termination of Election Commissioner Lorne Gibson’s contract.
The move comes in the midst of an investigation by Gibson into allegations of illegal donations in the 2017 UCP leadership race.
Notley accused the United Conservative government of obstruction of justice, demanding to know what the government is hiding. Speaker of the House Nathan Cooper demanded an apology, and Notley refused.
"The house leader is misleading the house, but the premier is saying Albertans are subject to one set of rules but when it comes to himself, it’s a whole new world and he can rewrite them as any cover-up demands," she said.
"Why won’t the premier explain to Albertans what exactly he is trying so hard to hide?"
“The leader of the opposition knows full well that she can’t make a statement like ‘the government house leader is misleading the house’. She can apologize and withdraw,” Cooper said.
“I will not apologize until we have fully canvassed the destructive nature of this bill in a historic bill to the people in this province and the members of this house,” responded Notley.
Notley was removed from the assembly for the remainder of the day for her refusal to apologize.
Gibson also spoke out on Tuesday for the first time since his contract termination was announced. In a letter to the media, he said was disappointed by the decision.
"This disappointment stems from my firm belief that the citizens of Alberta must have confidence and trust in the integrity of all aspects of the provincial electoral process, not just the casting and counting of ballots on election day. This includes trust and confidence that the election laws established by the legislative assembly are being followed and that there are consequences for those who choose not to follow them," he wrote.