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Monday, April 23, 2007

baby-steps for democracy in alberta.

Last week, the Alberta Legislature moved to create four new all-party committees that are to review legislation referred to it from the Assembly, review regulations, and other issues referred to them.

Though this is a normal sight for most parliamentary democracies, this is something new in Alberta and will hopefully shift more power from the closed-doors of Cabinet to the elected Legislative Assembly. This said, it's still too soon to tell how much of an impact these committees will have on Legislative Alberta. Hopefully they will prove to be more effective than their broad committee names...

Here's a list of the committee membership:

Standing Committee on Community Services (11 Members)
Chair - Cindy Ady (PC-Calgary Shaw)
Deputy Chair - Weslyn Mather (Lib-Edmonton Mill Woods)
Tony Abbott (PC-Drayton Valley-Calmar)
Dan Backs (Ind-Edmonton Manning)
Jack Flaherty (Lib-St. Albert)
LeRoy Johnson (PC-Wetaskiwin-Camrose)
Art Johnston (PC-Calgary Hays)
Rob Lougheed (PC-Strathcona)
Thomas Lukaszuk (PC-Edmonton Castle Downs)
Raj Pannu (NDP-Edmonton Strathcona)
Shiraz Shariff (PC-Calgary McCall)

Standing Committee on Government Services (11 Members)
Chair - Harvey Cenaiko (PC-Calgary Buffalo)
Deputy Chair - Mo Elsalhy (Deputy Chair)
Moe Amery (PC-Calgary East)
Neil Brown (PC-Calgary Nose Hill)
David Coutts (PC-Livingstone-Macleod)
Alana DeLong (PC-Calgary Bow)
Heather Forsyth (PC-Calgary Fish Creek)
Richard Marz (PC-Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills)
Brian Mason (NDP-Edmonton Highlands Norwood)
Bridget Pastoor (Lib-Lethbridge East)
George VanderBurg (PC-Whitecourt-Ste. Anne)

Standing Committee on Managing Growth Pressures (11 Members)
Chair - Clint Dunford (PC-Lethbridge West)
Deputy Chair - Dave Taylor (Calgary Currie)
Victor Doerksen (PC-Red Deer South)
Denis Herard (PC-Calgary Egmont)
Ray Martin (NDP-Edmonton Beverly Clareview)
Bruce Miller (Lib-Edmonton Glenora)
Ray Prins (PC-Lacombe-Ponoka)
Dave Rodney (PC-Calgary Lougheed)
George Rogers (PC-Leduc-Beaumont-Devon)
Len Webber (PC-Calgary Foothills)
Gene Zwozdesky (PC-Calgary Mill Creek)

Standing Committee on Resources and Environment (11 Members)
Chair - Denis Ducharme (PC-Bonnyville-Cold Lake)
Deputy Chair - David Swann (Lib-Calgary Mountain View)
Pearl Calahasen (PC-Lesser Slave Lake)
David Eggen (NDP-Edmonton Calder)
Gordon Graydon (PC-Grande Prairie-Wapiti)
Doug Griffiths (PC-Battle River-Wainwright)
Paul Hinman (AA-Cardston-Taber-Warner)
Ty Lund (PC-Rocky Mountain House)
Rick Miller (Lib-Edmonton Rutherford)
Len Mitzel (PC-Cypress-Medicine Hat)
Frank Oberle (PC-Peace River)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Even though they would never publicly say so - on pain of excommunication from their respective parties - the Libs and NDs should congratulate Stelmach on this initiative. He campaigned on this as part of his open-ness and transparency platform. Looks like he delivered.

For those who will say "well about time" and "it should have happened sooner", blame the old guy. Stelmach did it as soon as he was able.

I could be mistaken, but there was an earlier offer for NDs and Libs to sit on a charitable giving committee, but they turned it down, saying "it was a waste of time". That's unfortunate.

OldTory said...

Bullshit move by Ed.

Policy should be made by the GOVERNMENT, not by the loonie socialists.

Color me disappointed. The Alliance is starting to look better and better...

Anonymous said...

Wow. Not the reply I would have thought was forthcoming from my comment on dave's original post. I would have expected a negative comment from the other side of the political spectrum.

The government still makes policy, especially when it has a large majority. Having the other parties involved I think has a beneficial impact on how it is put forth, and should speed up the legislative process. It also, finally, make the opposition parties accountable for what they say. They can't simply respond "well, we would have done it differently and better". Whether a member of the ruling party or otherwise, ALL members have a duty to their constituents and to Albertans generally. This simply reinforces that.

At least, that is the opinion of a "newtory".

Amarjeet said...

"It also, finally, make the opposition parties accountable for what they say. They can't simply respond "well, we would have done it differently and better"."

Exactly. It makes the Assembly stronger by forcing MLA's to do better. It also widens the debate when opposition members are allowed to be part of the process in this way.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: "Even though they would never publicly say so - on pain of excommunication from their respective parties - the Libs and NDs should congratulate Stelmach on this initiative."

Laurie Blakeman in Hansard:
"I have to say that there was an openness to discuss and explore some previously forbidden procedures and processes. I appreciate that flexibility that was demonstrated by the government side, and I’m sure it is reflective of the charge that the new Premier gave to his House leader as he negotiated."

Anonymous said...

Well, colour me embarrassed. Blakeman complimented the Premier. Good catch.

Maybe there is hope for bi-partisanship after all.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where the details of how these committees are going to function might be available? Are they going to function as they do at the federal level, i.e. they review main estimates, Bills may be sent to committee after first reading, and the committes are able to launch investigations into most matters?

I just would like to see how much teeth they're going to have. Even at other levels of government, 'Standing policy committees' can be a misnomer if there is a majority government.

WarrenG said...

This is great jujitsu by Stelmach: by stacking committees with Liberals and NDs, now they have NO RIGHT to complain about policy in the next election.

And when they can't get any traction, we'll defeat them all and get back to the business of GOVERNING.

Nastyboy said...

Hey daveberta,

I'm trying to get the bloggosphere behind the Spread the Net campain.

Read about it at:

http://themsfightinwords.blogspot.com/2007/04/spread-net.html

If you like what you see, please spread the word and encourage others to do the same.

Thanks