Glossary of Parliamentary Terms

History of Parliament

  • The Canadian parliamentary system is based on the traditions of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The UK’s website provides an explanation of the origins of parliament and the traditions that make up part of our own system of governance. How the UK Parliament Works >>
     
  • Canada’s Parliament website also has introductory information about the functions and history of the nation’s parliament, including classroom activities and teacher resources. Learn about Canada's Parliament >>
     
  • The Saskatchewan Assembly’s website also has a section that outlines parliamentary democracy in Saskatchewan

 
What you’ll see when you watch the Legislative Assembly in action

It might be useful to have your students watch the Assembly at work in the Chamber. During a legislative session (spring and fall) you can watch it live on TV, online, or on a mobile device.

Assembly’s regular hours:

Monday & Tuesday 1:30 - 10:30 pm (recess 5:00 - 7:00 pm)

Wednesday 1:30 - 5:00 pm

Thursday 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Outside of a legislative session, you can watch an archived sitting.

 
Question Period

•  A 25-minute period during routine proceedings where any Member of the Legislative Assembly may ask questions of the premier and ministers regarding matters for which they are responsible, that is, to hold the Government to account.

•  According to the Parliament of Canada website, “Question Period is a free wheeling affair, with tremendous spontaneity and vitality. The main topics raised are often those on the front pages of the major newspapers or raised on national television news the previous evening”.

Presenting Petitions

•  A petition is a formal request that the Legislative Assembly take (or refrain from taking) a specific action to redress a public grievance.

•  Such requests must be presented to the Legislative Assembly by an MLA. It is the responsibility of the petitioners to organise and present the petition to their MLA for presentation in the House.

•  The petition must be addressed to the Legislative Assembly, the government, a Minister of the Crown, or an MLA.

•  Some bills (proposed laws) are based on petitions from concerned citizens.

Guide to Petitions >>

Statements by Members

•  This is a time set aside during daily proceedings where any MLA may give a 90-second statement about any subject of interest or concern.