EDMONTON, AB: In an attempt to make the Alberta Legislature a more inclusive and family friendly place to work, Wildrose is putting forward common sense policies, based on best practices from across the country, to be considered by a subcommittee of the Members’ Services Committee of the Legislature, the Wildrose Official Opposition said (Monday).
The recommendations were submitted to the Speaker of the Legislature, chair of the Special Standing Committee on Members’ Services, with a motion asking the Committee to strike a subcommittee to study the recommendations.
“Wildrose believes that Albertans want a family friendly legislature which does not erect barriers to equal representation.” Wildrose House Leader Nathan Cooper said. “It is our sincere hope that these recommendations will be a starting point to develop policies to ensure that Alberta’s Legislature meets or exceeds standards from jurisdictions around the world.”
Recommendations in the letter are based on best practices in other provincial legislatures and the federal House of Commons, and include:
- Ensuring that changes are made to present Legislative Assembly rules to ensure that pregnancy and post-partum leave are approved reasons for MLA absences, and;
- Enacting other changes that will ensure that the Legislature is made to be more family friendly, including:
- Installing change tables in public washrooms in the Legislature and federal building;
- Establishing standards that result in a family friendly precinct, including appropriate procedures and training for all Members for having an infant in the Legislative Chamber;
- Designating family rooms for quiet time or feedings, and;
- Exploring the feasibility of opening a child care facility on the Legislature Grounds with operating costs to be completely covered by users and services to be provided to all on a first-come, first-served basis.
Wildrose will welcome study of the proposals outlined in the letter, as well as others proposals that may be made by other MLAs.
“As a parent of young children who are in Edmonton with me while the assembly is in session, I want to ensure that the arrival of new children of MLAs is as seamless as possible,” Cooper said. “By developing new policies and working across party lines to ensure that becoming a parent isn’t a barrier to being an MLA, we will be serving Alberta’s democracy well.”
View the letter sent to Speaker Wanner here.