EDMONTON, AB (May 25, 2015): Under Premier Rachel Notley, the Speaker’s Office is already appearing to be a partisan arm of the NDP government, Wildrose House Leader Nathan Cooper said today.
On Monday, NDP Medicine Hat MLA Bob Wanner announced he will be the next speaker to media, before any election by the MLAs in the Alberta Legislature had occurred.
In his interview, Wanner said the premier had endorsed him, and that the speaker’s chair will give him more, “direct access to the premier and ministers.”
“Not only is this announcement in breach of the traditions and privileges of the Legislature, it is another example of the NDP politicizing the non-partisan institutions of government. Last week it was using the Legislature for fundraising, now it is negating the rights of MLAs to independently, through secret ballot, elect their own speaker,” Cooper said. “The speaker’s chair is not an appointment that the premier can make. The speaker must serve all MLAs on an equal footing.”