Member’s Statement: The Role of the Legislative Branch – 11 February 2016

Mr. Speaker, in our Westminster system of parliamentary democracy, according to our own Legislature’s website, it is the role of the Legislative Assembly to exercise control over government action.  Private members on all sides of the House are to represent their constituents, serve as ombudsmen and law-makers, and act as watchdogs on the government and the bureaucracy.  For the members of this Legislature to exercise control over government action on behalf the people who voted us into our seats, we need to be sitting in them.  Mr. Speaker to begin to re-build public trust in this institution, we must be able to do our jobs.  The Executive Branch too often seems intent on trying to exercise control over this Legislature through scheduling of our sittings, through scheduling of committee work, through controlling the availability of committee members from the government caucus, and by controlling the membership of the committees themselves.  Mr. Speaker it is time that this Legislature has a fixed calendar for its sittings and committee meetings so that the members of this Legislature can become masters of the peoples’ House again.