EDMONTON, AB (January 15, 2016): The NDP government has sent the wrong message to Albertans by announcing the second latest start to the spring session since 1997 at a time when Albertans want action on the economy, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
The NDP has pushed back the start of the spring session to March 8 from Feb. 9, and have only set aside 16 sitting days in the fall.
“Albertans want to see their elected officials working on ways to improve the economy and protect jobs – the things we were elected to do,” Wildrose House Leader Nathan Cooper said. “The NDP has already rejected numerous Wildrose requests for emergency economic debates, and now they’re pushing back the spring session. They have no excuse for this other than that they don’t grasp the urgency to address the economic challenges we’re facing as a province.”
The Alberta legislature sits among the fewest days in the country, yet Alberta is the main driver of the national economy.
In 2015, the Alberta legislature sat for only 44 days, compared to 74 in BC, 65 in Saskatchewan and 85 in Ontario. In May of 2015, Wildrose put forward proposals to improve democracy in Alberta that included more sitting days and an end to around the clock sittings.
“The NDP promised to do things differently but instead we are seeing even fewer sitting days, debates happening into the early hours of the morning, and a reduction in government accountability through fewer question periods,” Jason Nixon, the Wildrose Shadow Minister for Transparency and Accountability, said. “It’s disappointing for Albertans who wanted more democracy and thought that a change in government would at least bring that.”