Alberta politicians back for fall session amid falling oil prices

Politicians returned to business under the dome at the Alberta legislature Monday, but with the front doors of the building locked.

EDMONTON — Politicians returned to business under the dome at the Alberta legislature Monday, but with the front doors of the building locked.

Justice Minister Jonathan Denis said it was a difficult decision to close the iconic entryway, but one that had to be made in light of the recent shootings on Parliament Hill.

“It is the people’s building, where people should be allowed to come here and take in the 100 years of history,” said Denis.

“That being said, people who work here, people who visit here also have a reasonable expectation that they are going to be safe.”

Visitors will now go through a side entrance and be subject to security screening and baggage checks.

The formal opening of the fall session will happen Monday afternoon with the speech from the throne to outline the agenda and priorities of Premier Jim Prentice’s government.

Denis, who is also the government house leader, said there will be nine bills on the order paper in the session, which is expected to wrap up a week before Christmas.

One key bills will address property rights issues, and the second will end entitlements and put in place more rules to ensure high ethical standards in government.

Prentice is also expected to address in the coming weeks how falling oil prices will affect the budget.

This will be the first session as premier for Prentice, and the first time Rachel Notley will enter the chamber as the new leader of the NDP.

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