The Alberta Party doubled the size of its caucus last week and now it can ask twice as many questions in the legislature.

Speaker Bob Wanner ruled Monday the party's two MLAs will get to ask 10 questions over an eight-day rotation starting Nov. 7.

The Speaker also agreed to increase the Alberta Party caucus budget by $136,000. It means Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark can hire additional research staff.

When Clark was the only member of his caucus, he was allowed to ask three questions over eight days.

Last week, he was joined by Karen McPherson, the MLA for Calgary-Mackay-Nose Hill who left the NDP caucus in early October to sit as an independent. But the Alberta Party's allocation in question period only increased to five questions over a two-week period. 

The decision means Clark and McPherson get the fourth question in each question period and the 11th question on another two days.

"It's going to allow us to hold the government accountable and stand up for constituent issues in a more consistent way," Clark said.

Wanner said he relied on precedent in making his decision but also took seriously the introductory paragraph of Beauchesne's 6th edition of parliamentary procedure

"It is the Speaker's role to protect the minority against the majority," Wanner read.

To increase the Alberta Party allocation, Wanner took away one NDP backbencher question and one from the Alberta Liberals, who have a single MLA, David Swann.

Articled from the CBC RSS Syndication CBC.ca - RSS Feeds Copyright is that of their respective owners (CBC).


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