Alberta Liberal house leader Laurie Blakeman
Credits: IAN KUCERAK/QMI AGENCY
In the waning minutes of the 28th legislature's brief week-long sitting, a quick Tory call for an early close cut off newbie Wildrose members from making traditional maiden speeches -- and it was personal, Liberal house leader Laurie Blakeman said.
"It was deliberate, they knew what they were doing, it's just mean and vicious," the MLA for Edmonton-Centre said.
Thursday's legislature hours stop at 4:30 p.m. by standing orders based on the understanding that MLAs have miles to go to get back to constituency and home.
But when Edmonton-Mill Woods MLA Sohail Quadri suddenly called for a close to throne speech response at the end of his own maiden speech, a chorus of opposition protests set a bell for a time-consuming formal vote in motion, precious minutes were used up as proud family members waited in the gallery to hear their newly elected loved ones make their rite of passage with a voice from the floor.
"It's like Grade 3 games," fumed Ian Donovan, the new Wildrose MLA for Little Bow.
In his planned maiden speech, he was going to bring up the need for more support for crime victims. Waiting in the gallery, family of Otto Loose, an elder in Donovan's constituency who was murdered in January.
"I'm hoping we can get out of these sandbox games and get something done," he said Thursday night.
Thursday's early end was the last sitting day until Oct. 29.
Technically, members have 10 days to make maiden or throne speech response speeches -- but Quadri called for a vote to close response.
The training wheels were on all week; in his final speech, Zwozdesky chided newbies for feeling free to move about the when members were supposed to stay put.
Additionally, up-and-coming Wildrose MLA Shayne Saskiw (Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills) was told to withdraw remarks made about the premier on the floor related to Mount Royal contributions and elections office issue.
Zwozesky gave him chance to withdraw on point of order. He did.