EDMONTON, AB (November 5, 2015): Today, the Wildrose Official Opposition will put forward an amendment to see if the NDP is sincere about changing the Legislature’s rules to make a more “family friendly” work schedule for MLAs.
The amendment would establish that if the government calls a morning sitting, it will not also be able to call an unlimited all-night sitting on the same day.
“I don’t believe the government’s changes to the rules of the legislature are about families at all,” Wildrose Shadow Minister for Human Services and the Status of Women Angela Pitt said. “I actually think the government is looking for a legislative tool to pass laws as quickly as possible without proper scrutiny from Albertans or the opposition. I think these changes are actually about the government’s intention to pass six bills in six sitting days at the end of the month. The government could prove me wrong by passing this amendment.”
“Everyone knows that debating legislation late into the night, away from public scrutiny, is bad for democracy, but it also discourages parents of young children from running for political office,” Pitt said. “We hope that the NDP share our goal to have a more functional legislature. If they are sincere, they will support this common sense change.”
NDP House Leader Brian Mason recently committed to adopting the Wildrose proposal for morning sittings, saying they would help reduce the need for night sittings. Pitt said accepting today’s amendment would put words into action.
“This is a simple amendment that is consistent with the government’s comments on this issue,” Pitt said. “If the government has any sincerity about this issue, passing this amendment is a no brainer.”