Act (statute, law)
A Bill becomes an Act after passing three readings and receiving royal assent.
The Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal of Saskatchewan. The Administrator stands in for the Lieutenant Governor as necessary.
Address in Reply
Response to the Throne Speech.
Advocate for Children and Youth
An Officer of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan who works on behalf of the rights, interests and well-being of the province's young people.
A change to a motion or Bill that either inserts, substitutes, or omits certain words or phrases.
A Bill that authorizes the government to spend public money.
backbencher (private member)
Typically, a government member of the Assembly who does not have a position in cabinet. The term is sometimes used to describe an opposition member who does not sit in the front row or have a critic responsibility. Private members tend to sit in the back rows of the Assembly.
A Bill proposes to create a new law or amend an existing one. Members debate its content in the Assembly.
Stages of a Bill in the Assembly:
First Reading: The Bill is introduced and read for the first time. No debate occurs at this stage. The members are given an opportunity to study the Bill.
Second Reading: The member who proposes the Bill (minister or private member) outlines the purpose of the Bill and its provisions. Other members join the debate by critiquing the principles of the Bill.
Committee: The Bill is referred to a committee for detailed examination. Public hearings may also be held before the Bill is examined. Amendments may be proposed.
Third Reading: This is the final form of a Bill, complete with amendments, as passed by the Assembly.
Royal Assent: The Bill is now referred to as an Act or statute. Royal assent is given by the Lieutenant Governor or the Administrator. An Act becomes a law on either a specific date, event, or on proclamation.
Saskatchewan’s Black Rod is a ceremonial staff carried by the Usher of the Black Rod to escort the Lieutenant Governor into the Legislative Chamber. The inaugural use of the Black Rod was on October 23, 2013, at the opening of the Third Session of the Twenty-seventh Legislature.
The Saskatchewan Black Rod is carved from oak that was a gift from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Saskatchewan Legislative Building’s centennial in 2012. Saskatchewan’s first Usher of the Black Rod was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in September 2013.
Board of Internal Economy (BOIE)
The BOIE is responsible for establishing, implementing and controlling financial policy for the administration of the Legislative Assembly.
The government’s estimated revenue and expenses for the fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
The Minister of Finance delivers this speech to the Assembly which lays out the government’s income and expenditures for the upcoming year. In the subsequent budget debate, members have five days to state their support for or opposition to the budget.
A motion that the Assembly approves in general the budgetary policy of the government. This motion is considered a confidence motion.
An election held in a constituency to fill a vacancy that has occurred during a Legislature.
cabinet (executive council)
A body led by the Premier, consisting of cabinet members, who are the head of government ministries. Cabinet is responsible for establishing and administering government policy.
A component part of a bill. Clauses become “sections” after being passed into law.
Caucus consists of all the elected members of a political party. It is also defined as a general meeting of a party’s elected members.
A member who presides over the Assembly or committee proceedings. The Chair recognizes members when they wish to speak, ensures the rules of the Assembly are observed, and asks members to vote on a motion or Bill.
The room where Members of the Legislative Assembly meet to conduct business.
Chief Electoral Officer
An Officer of the Legislative Assembly who oversees Elections Saskatchewan in administering provincial electoral events.
Clerks at the Table
Non-partisan officials who provide advice to the Speaker and members of the Assembly and who record the decisions of the Assembly.
The chief permanent officer of the Assembly who is responsible for the Legislative Assembly Service.
A vote that has significant implications, such as the budget or Address in reply to the Speech from the Throne, or a motion that deals with the Assembly’s confidence in the government.
Conflict of Interest Commissioner
An Officer of the Legislative Assembly who carries out the requirements of The Members’ Conflict of Interest Act.
A constituency is an electoral district that represents a geographical area of the province. Voters in each of Saskatchewan’s 58 constituencies elect a member to represent them in the Legislative Assembly.
Her Majesty the Queen, in her role as head of state, represented in Saskatchewan by the Lieutenant Governor.
Also the executive branch of government; the Queen acting through Her agents (the members of the cabinet).
A formal discussion in the Assembly or committees referring to a motion or a Bill.
The end of a legislature, typically after a four-year term. A general election follows dissolution.
division (recorded division)
A vote on a question in the Assembly or in committee. In the Assembly, during a recorded division, members stand and state their opposition to or support of the motion. The votes are recorded by a table officer.
In committees, a show of hands is used to show opposition to or support of the motion. The vote is recorded by a committee clerk.
The presentation to the legislature of proposed government expenditures for the next fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
Supplementary estimates may be presented for a further grant, for a new expenditure, for an unexpected emergency, to transfer funds from one vote to another, or to extend the purposes of a vote.
Further estimates may be presented after the main estimates have been tabled but before the main Appropriation Bill has passed.
Expenditure plan presented after the main estimates have been tabled but before the main Appropriation Bill has passed.
Every four years in Saskatchewan, voters in each of the 58 constituencies elect a member who will represent them in the Legislative Assembly.
Consists of the cabinet or executive council. Government establishes and administers policy.
The word-for-word written record of Assembly and committee proceedings.
Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition (see: opposition)
There are government and opposition house leaders. The house leaders arrange the Legislative Assembly’s daily business. For example, the Government House Leader determines the order of business under Government Orders.
A confidential meeting at which only members are present.
A member who does not belong to or is not supported by a political party.
The Legislative Assembly created a number of independent officers to assist it in making government accountable and responsive to the public.
Information and Privacy Commissioner
An Officer of the Legislative Assembly who oversees three Saskatchewan statutes: The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and The Health Information Protection Act.
introduction of guests
During routine proceedings, members introduce guests such as visiting dignitaries and school groups who are present in the galleries.
The permanent official record of Assembly proceedings. They are an edited and corrected compilation of the Votes and Proceedings.
Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel
Provides legal advice to members and drafts private members' Bills and amendments to other Bills.
Leader of the Opposition
The head of the political party that forms Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, often colloquially referred to as the "official opposition."
The Acts passed by the Legislative Assembly.
The body of elected members with law-making powers.
Legislative Assembly Service
The Legislative Assembly Service (LAS) serves the Legislative Assembly, its members, and the public by providing non-partisan administrative and support services needed for the institution’s operation. Accountable to the Speaker, the Clerk is the LAS’s chief officer.
legislative committees (see standing committees)
The legislative branch composed of the Lieutenant Governor and the members of the Assembly.
Also the period of time between elections. A new legislature begins after each provincial election.
The Lieutenant Governor represents the Crown in our province and is the official head of state for the Province of Saskatchewan.
Lieutenant Governor in Council
The formal name for Cabinet.
A gold-plated ceremonial staff symbolizing the powers and privileges delegated to the Assembly by the Crown. At each sitting of the Legislative Assembly, the Sergeant at Arms carries the mace into the Chamber and places it on the Table. The mace always remains before the Speaker when he or she presides in the Assembly. The top of the mace bears a crown, which when placed on the table, points to the government side of the Chamber.
Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA)
An individual elected to the Legislative Assembly to represent one of Saskatchewan’s constituencies.
minister (cabinet minister)
A member of cabinet who is appointed by the Premier to be responsible for a ministry, Crown corporation, and/or government agency.
Delivered by a cabinet minister during routine proceedings. The statement announces new programs or policies undertaken by their ministry or the entire government. The opposition responds to the statement.
A government department headed by a cabinet minister. Areas of responsibility include health, education, finance, etc.
A Bill that requires the spending of public money. The Lieutenant Governor must recommend any expenditure to the Assembly. This recommendation is called “royal recommendation.”
A proposal made by a member to the Assembly or committee asking that the Assembly do something, order something, or express an opinion regarding some matter. A motion begins, “I move that...”
naming a member
Members are referred to in the Assembly by the name of their constituency. If a member disregards the authority of the Speaker in some manner, the Speaker may “name” the member by using his or her personal name and then suspending the member for the rest of the sitting day. The Assembly can extend the period of suspension.
officers of the Assembly
Includes the independent officers as well as the Speaker, the Clerks at the Table, the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, and the Sergeant at Arms.
An independent officer of the Assembly who holds the government accountable in matters of fairness.
The party that has the second highest number of members in the Assembly after the governing party.
Order in Council
An order made by cabinet under the authority of the Lieutenant Governor.
Orders of the Day
The official agenda of Assembly proceedings which lists items that may be dealt with during that day’s sitting. Also known as the “order paper.”
Pages carry messages and deliver documents and other material to and from the Assembly during sittings.
A calendar which presents a fixed timetable of sittings and adjournments of the Assembly for a given year, sometimes referred to as the sessional calendar.
A document signed by a group of citizens appealing to the Legislative Assembly to take action on some issue. Petitions cannot directly ask for public money and must be submitted by a member.
point of order
A member raises a point of order to call attention to a possible breach of the rules of the Assembly.
policy field committees
A committee mandated to oversee certain ministries and agencies.
The leader of the party holding the most seats in the Assembly, formally called the President of the Executive Council.
During routine proceedings, members present petitions to the Assembly on behalf of citizens concerned with a particular issue.
presenting reports by standing and special committees
During routine proceedings, Chairs of various legislative committees present their reports to the Assembly.
Private Bills are introduced by private members (not ministers) and relate to matters of particular interest or benefit to a person or persons.
The Assembly is prorogued at the end of a session by the Lieutenant Governor. All business is suspended until a new session begins, and Bills not passed do not proceed any further.
An Officer of the Legislative Assembly who is the auditor of public money managed by the Government of Saskatchewan. The Provincial Auditor Act gives the Provincial Auditor the responsibility, authority, and independence to audit and publicly report on all government organizations.
The Office of the Provincial Secretary coordinates and manages matters relating to official protocol, provincial honours and awards, Government House, and French language services.
Public Bills are introduced by a minister or private member and relate to matters of public policy.
public galleries (Speaker’s, west, east)
Areas in the Chamber where visitors may sit to view Assembly proceedings.
Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner
An Officer of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan who provides advice about and may investigate disclosures of wrongdoings in government ministries, agencies and Crown corporations under The Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA).
A 25-minute period during routine proceedings where members, typically those that oppose the government, ask questions of ministers of the Crown regarding government policy.
There must be at least 15 members in the Assembly, including the Speaker, to form a quorum. If quorum is not maintained, the Assembly cannot conduct business and ends for the day. In standing committees, quorum is the majority of members.
Regulations, typically made by cabinet, set out the details of an Act.
The principle that ministers are collectively responsible to the Assembly for the actions of the government.
When a motion is adopted, it becomes a resolution or order of the Assembly.
Documents that must be placed before the Assembly in response to a written question or a motion for return. The Assembly orders returns.
The daily business of the Assembly including prayers, introduction of guests, presenting petitions, statements by members, question period, ministerial statements, presenting reports by standing and special committees, etc.
The act of the Lieutenant Governor or the Administrator giving final approval to a Bill.
A message from the Lieutenant Governor that is required for any vote, resolution, address or bill that asks for the spending of public revenue. Only a cabinet minister can obtain such a recommendation.
Rules and Procedures of the Legislative Assembly
The Assembly’s rule book which describes in detail the duties and obligations of members, the number of sitting days, publication and broadcast of proceedings, etc. Sometimes referred to as the “Standing Orders”.
A statement by the Speaker on a point of order or other procedural matter. A previous ruling can serve as a precedent for subsequent rulings.
Sergeant at Arms
The officer of the Legislative Assembly who is responsible for maintaining security in the Assembly and the Legislative Building. The Sergeant at Arms also plays a ceremonial role to symbolize the presence of security and order in the legislative Chamber. For example, at each of the Assembly’s sittings the Sergeant at Arms carries in the mace and rests it on the Table.
The period of time between the first meeting of the legislature and prorogation. There are typically four sessions during a legislature, with each session typically composed of twenty-five days in the fall and forty days in the spring.
A sitting begins when the Assembly gathers at 1:30 p.m. or 10:00 a.m. and ends when the Assembly rises or adjourns for the day.
Speaker (Deputy Speaker, Acting Speaker)
The Speaker is an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly who presides over the Assembly. The Speaker is entrusted with maintaining the traditions of parliament, but he or she does not participate in any debate. The Deputy Speaker or the Acting Speaker performs these duties in the Speaker’s absence.
A group of members appointed by an Order of the Assembly to study a particular matter. Once it has made its final report, the committee ceases to exist.
Speech from the Throne
A speech delivered by the Lieutenant Governor which lays out government initiatives and proposed laws for the upcoming session. A debate follows (Address in Reply) where members debate the content of the Speech from the Throne.
Committees are established by the Assembly rules and are given the authority to consider legislation, estimates, regulations, and bylaws. They also hold public hearings and inquiries or any other activity ordered by the Assembly. Standing and special committees are entities of the Assembly and are typically composed of seven members from the government and the opposition.
House committees include the Standing Committee on House Services, the Standing Committee on Private Bills, and the Standing Committee on Privileges.
Scrutiny committee is the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
Policy committees include the Standing Committee on Crown and Central Agencies, the Standing Committee on the Economy, the Standing Committee on Human Services, and the Standing Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs and Justice.
statements by members (members’ statements)
During routine proceedings, members deliver a 90-second speech dealing with concerns or interests of their constituents or themselves.
standing, sessional, and special orders
Rules and procedures that govern Assembly proceedings such as meeting times, order of business, and rules of debate.
The provision of funds to the government to meet new or increased costs that occur during the budget cycle.
Revenue provided by the Assembly to the government.
Table (table officers)
The Table sits in front of the Speaker’s desk. The ceremonial mace lays at one end of the Table and the table officers – the Clerk, Law Clerk & Parliamentary Counsel and Principal Clerk – sit at the other end.
To submit a document to the Assembly or a committee. The document is then available to all members for scrutiny.
Throne Speech (see: Speech from the Throne)
A committee of Executive Council responsible for reviewing and prioritizing standard government expenditures and programs, etc.
When members vote in the Assembly or in a committee, they formally declare their position for or against a question raised by the Speaker or committee Chair. Decisions of the Assembly are referred to as votes (see also Votes and Proceedings), and each ministry has its own vote number in the estimates book.
Votes and Proceedings
The official record of proceedings in the legislature, similar to minutes. They are published after prorogation under the title of Journals.
Each party chooses a member who acts as the Whip. Whips keep party members current with Assembly business, ensure that members attend meetings where important votes are taken, and supply lists of members to serve on various Assembly committees.
writ of election
The legal mechanism used by the Chief Electoral Officer to order an election. A writ of election is issued for each of the 58 constituencies at the direction of an Order in Council.
Questions in writing that are submitted to the government by opposition members. Written questions typically require lengthy or complex answers.