ALBERTA

Wildrose Opposes Starting Work Earlier In Alberta Legislature

10/30/2015 03:13 EDT | Updated 10/30/2015 03:59 EDT
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Alberta's Opposition Wildrose Party is balking at a proposal for MLAs to move to an earlier start time for their legislative work day.

NDP House Leader Brian Mason wants to make the legislature more "family friendly" by beginning sessions at 9 a.m. and ending them before 6 p.m. three days of the week. Right now, the house sits at 1:30 p.m. which sometimes stretches into the late evening.

"We have a young caucus, many with young families and we want to make sure that the legislature functions in a way that accommodates people that have family responsibilities," Mason told the Edmonton Sun.

However, the Wildrose is opposed to the earlier start — not because of the actual time, but because it says the NDP government is "changing the rules mid-play," said Opposition house leader Nathan Cooper.

He told the Edmonton Journal that the parties had agreed to open the legislature at 10 a.m. Cooper is also concerned about the possibility of night sittings.

This week, Wildrose MLAs dragged out debate on Mason's proposal, leading him to accuse them of filibustering.

"I think it's a shame that they're wasting so much time in this important legislative agenda because they don't want to start work at a reasonable time in the morning," Mason told reporters.

The Wildrose faced scrutiny for raising a fuss on such a motion rather than more substantial matters like the NDP government's budget which was rolled out this week.

The opposition to an earlier start time also raised questions about the Wildrose's commitment to families after its party MLAs voted against a motion to consider including child care spaces in new government buildings.

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