To strengthen democracy in Alberta, the provincial government says it is proposing legislation that would allow all MLAs to publicly debate referendum topics.
The Election Statutes Amendment Act, 2021, would allow all members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) to take part in public debate and express viewpoints on the topics of referendums.
In 2020, the Referendum Act was passed to allow the government to seek Albertans’ guidance on laws and issues that affect them.
“On important democratic matters, Albertans deserve to hear all viewpoints in the referendum process. This change ensures MLAs are afforded the right to speak their mind during a referendum, and that voters can hear from all sides to make an informed decision on important democratic matters,” said Kaycee Madu, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.
Referendums could be held on government-led initiatives or matters of public interest before they are implemented. Topics could include the recommendations of the Fair Deal Panel and other matters that affect the daily lives of Albertans and the future of the province.