Recent allegations about sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour by two NDP MLAs have raised concerns about how the Legislative Assembly of Alberta deals with these serious issues. Currently, there are effectively “two sets of rules” – one for employees at the Legislature, and another for sitting MLAs and Legislature insiders. This is unfair and heightens risks for abuse of power.
An Alberta Party government will immediately implement the following changes to legislative procedures:
- Update the formal Code of Conduct for all MLAs, to bring it into the 21st century.
- Change the rules so that formal complaints made against sitting MLAs and Executive Council staff are investigated through the Office of the Legislative Assembly. Right now, sitting MLAs are investigated by the Speaker of the Alberta Legislature, who is elected by the governing party. This can introduce a conflict of interest concern when the MLA under investigation is also from the governing party.
- Under the new process, once a formal recommendation is issued by the Office of the Legislative Assembly, it will be delivered to the Speaker, who will then release it to the public in a transparent manner.
"Under the current system a complaint against a sitting MLA is investigated by the Speaker. When it's a member of the government it is simply a case of the fox guarding the henhouse. We need a system that delivers justice to the victim not cover for the government." - Diana Ly, Alberta Party Candidate Edmonton-Gold Bar
Despite a request from Alberta Party MLA for Calgary-Mackay-Nose Hill, Karen McPherson, to the Speaker of the Legislature for more transparency, there are still no public details on the allegations. The nature of the complaints and the names of the MLAs at the centre remain a secret. As it stands now, Albertans have no idea whether the MLAs are standing for re-election as NDP candidates.
"When complaints against sitting NDP MLAs arose Alberta Party MLA Karen McPherson pushed for an independent investigation and was ignored. This is absolutely wrong. An Alberta Party-led government will end this two-tier standard of justice that protects people in positions of power at the expense of victims. All Albertans deserves a safe workplace. We will end this double-standard where Legislature insiders can protect their own." - Stephen Mandel, Leader of the Alberta Party
The Alberta Party is committed to ensuring all Albertans have access to justice and equal treatment.