After careful consideration, the Honourable Gene Zwozdesky, Speaker, announced his decision concerning the designation of the Official Opposition in the Alberta Legislative Assembly.
With the reduction in the number of Members in the Wildrose caucus to five, the question has arisen as to which caucus will constitute the Official Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta since the Liberal Opposition also has five Members, while the New Democrats have four Members and there is one Independent.
“Based on a thorough review of authorities and precedents across Canada, I have determined that incumbency is the key factor in the case of a tie and that the Wildrose caucus shall continue as the Official Opposition,” said Speaker Zwozdesky.
Leaders of the Wildrose and Liberal caucuses were notified of the Speaker’s decision on Tuesday afternoon. In his five-page decision letter Speaker Zwozdesky stated that “when faced with the issue of designating an Official Opposition in the event of a tie in caucus standings during the life of a Legislature, the key factor is incumbency or, put another way, which caucus was previously the Official Opposition.”
Speaker Zwozdesky considered a number of practices and precedents from across Canada which are referenced in his decision letter. The letter will be available on the Assembly website: assembly.ab.ca