VICTORIA -- The summer sitting of the B.C. legislature starts today with a much different format than the usual face-to-face political debates.

The pandemic requirements of physical distancing mean the normally crowded 87-member chamber will be limited to 24 politicians and media interviews will be held virtually through Zoom.

Interim Green Leader Adam Olsen says the sitting will be historic and he marvels at what a unique time it is to be a member of the legislature.

NDP house leader Mike Farnworth says talks with the opposition parties, the Speaker and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has resulted in a safe and functional plan for the legislature.

Farnworth says there will be debates and question period, allowing every member to take part either in the chamber or virtually.

The government plans to introduce legislation and pass the budget it tabled in February before the pandemic forced the shutdown.

The session is expected to sit through to August 12th.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2020.