Re: "Three RVC area MLAs oppose public health restrictions," article, April 13, Rocky View Weekly
I have no problem with Airdrie-East MLA Angela Pitt signing the UCP joint letter to the premier against the COVID-19 restrictions being too intrusive. Nor do I have a problem with Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MLA Nathan Cooper doing the same. However, as Deputy Speaker and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, respectively, they should know they were supposed to remain neutral from showcasing any opinion publicly on this. They are to remain 'above the fray.'
If they had resigned as Deputy Speaker and Speaker, and then signed the document as backbench MLAs, there would be no controversy whatsoever. What they did by signing it looks like a crass attempt to reach out to their constituents with their higher profiles to ensure their own re-election.
Their apologies weren't enough. Ms. Pitt and Mr. Cooper should resign so that a special election for a new Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly can be held – an election they should not be able to run in. This election should be run by Deputy Chair of Committees Nicholas Milliken, the MLA for Calgary-Currie. This should be done with the proviso that he himself cannot run for either position or be given any advantage in the vote.
It really is sad that Ms. Pitt and Mr. Cooper showed such disrespect for Her Majesty the Queen, as well as basic protocols. If the Duke of Edinburgh hadn't been buried just a few weekends ago, he'd have been the first to state his disgust at the lack of respect they showed his wife, their sovereign – even worse when considering we are now in the 70th year of her reign!
It's time for new blood in the Speaker and Deputy Speaker positions to guide us through the remainder of this pandemic and the last two years of Premier Kenney's term. Since Ms. Pitt and Mr. Cooper are so opposed to the UCP government's COVID-19 restrictions, I imagine they would be much happier arguing their views from the legislative assembly's back benches.
God Save the Queen,