Independent MLA Todd Loewen is raising concerns and formally challenging the conduct of the UCP Government House Leader.
Loewen has written to the Speaker of the Assembly, raising a question of privilege under Standing Order 15.
“Breach of privilege is a serious matter, and this is not a concern I raise lightly,” said Loewen. “Given the circumstances, however, I see no other alternative.”
The question of privilege concerns a specific statement made by the Government House Leader during an angry outburst March 31, 2022.
While arguing a point of order, the Government House Leader used an expletive commonly known as an “f-bomb.” It was the first time in the Alberta Assembly’s history that Hansard has ever been forced to record such unparliamentary language.
The Government House Leader went on to issue a specific threat, that he would “bring a standing order package,” to prevent MLAs from tabling documents before the Assembly.
“Let me be clear, tabling documents is an important part of our Parliamentary tradition, and it is absolutely vital for Members of our Assembly to conduct their duties,” said Loewen. “Threatening to unilaterally change the standing orders just to try to save face from an historic blunder is not acceptable.”
“Executing the standing orders fairly and impartially is central to the Speaker’s role in our Assembly. In my opinion, the Government House Leader’s threat represents an attempt to intimidate the Speaker and obstruct Assembly business.”
Loewen, who represents the constituency of Central Peace-Notley, said he looks forward to the Speaker’s ruling on this matter.
“Premier Kenney’s inner circle has repeatedly demonstrated that they will torque any process and alter any regulations to give themselves a partisan advantage. The recent decision to change the UCP leadership review rules midway through the process is just the latest example,” said Loewen.
“I think it’s time for MLAs to start pushing back. Our Parliamentary traditions are sacred, and we must not allow short-sighted partisanship to further diminish what was a fair and impartial system.”