CALGARY -- Alberta's NDP is calling for an immediate public inquiry into the COVID-19 outbreak at the Olymel pork processing plant in Red Deer.

It also wants today's planned reopening of the plant put on hold.

The plant was shut down in mid-February, after an outbreak that has caused three deaths and infected over five hundred employees.

The company has received a green light to start a gradual reopening.

But NDP leader Rachel Notley says both Olymel and the Alberta government failed in their response to the health crisis, and there should be a full scale inquiry into how it was handled.

She says the Olymel outbreak is now the deadliest at an Alberta meat packing plant during the pandemic.

Notley is also seeking a commitment from the justice minister that he will not intervene with legislation to protect potentially negligent corporations from lawsuits launched by victims' families.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021.