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Message from the Speaker

Welcome to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta’s website.

If you’re here, it’s likely because you have questions. Think of this website as a good first stop for finding answers. This site is updated daily for your convenience.

Whether you’re a student seeking to learn more about our parliamentary democracy, a citizen seeking information about legislation currently before the Assembly or a first-time visitor to the Legislature Grounds, we are here to help.

This website was created and continues to be updated by the Legislative Assembly Office, LAO, a nonpartisan branch of government dedicated to providing all MLAs with the tools they need to best serve their constituents.

The good people who work at the LAO have a genuine interest in our parliamentary traditions. Alberta’s Legislature is a special place, where the weight of history meets our unbridled expectations for the future. It is my distinct pleasure to work with the LAO in sharing our love of this vital institution with all Albertans. I encourage you to explore this website fully. We have posted a wide variety of information on everything from the current debates and legislation to historical profiles of the men and women who have served Alberta diligently as elected representatives.

As Speaker I am blessed to have a front-row seat to the debates of our time, and so can you. We invite you to come watch your MLA in action from the public gallery any day the Legislature is in session. We also provide live coverage of proceedings that are televised and online. Of course, you can also read the transcript, Hansard.

On behalf of the 30th Legislative Assembly it is my pleasure to welcome you and thank you for taking an interest in our parliamentary democracy.

Sincerely,
Honourable Nathan Cooper, Speaker
Legislative Assembly of Alberta

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta is currently the Honourable Nathan Cooper.

Like all other Members of the Legislative Assembly, Speakers are first elected to represent one of the province’s constituencies. In order to be considered for the role of Speaker, a Member must be nominated by another Member. From those nominated a Speaker is then elected by secret ballot at the beginning of the first legislative session following a provincial election. Two deputies, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chair of Committees, are also elected at this time and in the same manner. The Deputy Speaker presides over the debates when the Speaker cannot be present and also serves as chair of the two committees of the whole Assembly. When neither the Speaker nor the Deputy Speaker are available, the role is assigned to the Deputy Chair of Committees. Once elected, Speakers become servants of the Assembly. In this role they must be impartial, and all MLAs must accept their authority.

The Role of the Speaker

The Speaker has a unique role as a member of the Legislative Assembly and as head of the Legislative Assembly Office.

The Speaker´s procedural role is to maintain orderly debate in the Chamber, and to ensure that members conduct their business according to the Standing Orders of the Assembly.

The Speaker does not participate in caucus during session and cannot engage in debate in the Assembly. Nor can questions be directed to the Speaker during oral question period.

The Speaker also has an administrative role as the head of the Legislative Assembly Office (LAO) and is responsible for its overall direction and management. As such, the Speaker oversees the provision of services to Members by the branches of the LAO and is the Chair of the Special Standing Committee on Members’ Services, which, among other things, approves the budgets of the LAO and benefits and allowances for Members.

Presiding Officers

The Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees presides over the debates when the Speaker cannot be present and serves as chair of the two committees of the whole Assembly. Angela Pitt, the MLA for Airdrie-East, is currently the Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees.

When neither the Speaker nor the Deputy Speaker are available, the Deputy Chair of Committees assumes the role. Nicholas Milliken, the MLA for Calgary-Currie, is currently the Deputy Chair of Committees.