Glossary

 

 

ActActA bill that has been approved by the Legislative Assembly.
Address in ReplyAddress in ReplyA formal message to the Lieutenant Governor expressing the thanks of the House for the Speech from the Throne. Moved by a supporter of the government, and debated in the House, it is also known as the Throne Speech debate. The Address in Reply may not exceed six sitting days.
AdjournmentAdjournmentThe end of a meeting of the House (e.g. at the end of a sitting day). All business not concluded at the time of adjournment may be resumed at the next sitting or session.
Adjournment of DebateAdjournment of DebateA suspension by the House of a debate before the matter has been decided. The item remains on the Order Paper and may be taken up again at a later date.
AdministratorAdministratorThe Chief Justice of British Columbia, or designate, who assumes the powers of the Lieutenant Governor in her or his absence. The Administrator may read the Throne Speech and grant Royal Assent to bills.
AmendmentAmendmentA proposal to alter a motion, bill, or committee report. Amendments must be introduced by motion and must be adopted by the House before the proposed changes take effect.
Bar of the HouseBar of the HouseA brass bar across the inside entrance of the Chamber that cannot be crossed by non-Members or non-officials of the House.
BellsBellsThe ringing of the bells (chimes) signifies the following activities: sitting of the House (1 long chime), division or quorum in the Chamber (3 chimes), division or quorum in section A of Committee of Supply (4 chimes). The electric chime system is also used to signify a meeting of Cabinet or caucus.
BillBillProposed legislation that is presented to the Legislative Assembly for its consideration and approval.
Black RodBlack RodA ceremonial rod the Sergeant-at-Arms carries when accompanying the Lieutenant Governor into the Chamber to deliver the Speech from the Throne or to grant Royal Assent.
BluesBluesThe preliminary transcript of the debates of the Legislative Assembly produced by Hansard Services. The print version of this transcript has a blue cover page, and the final transcript has a white cover page.
BudgetBudgetThe government’s plan for fiscal, economic and social policies for the forthcoming fiscal year. The Minister of Finance must present the budget address and table the main Estimates in the Legislative Assembly the third Tuesday in February.
Budget DebateBudget DebateThe general debate on the government’s fiscal, economic and social policies that follows the Minister of Finance’s budget address/speech. The debate on the Minister’s motion, “That the Speaker do now leave the Chair for the House to go into Committee of Supply,” continues a maximum of six sitting days and at least eight sittings and concludes with a vote on the motion.
CabinetCabinetThe executive of government, comprising ministers appointed by the Lieutenant Governor. The Cabinet is responsible for the administration of government and the establishment of its policy.
Cabinet MinisterCabinet MinisterCustomarily, a Member of the governing party appointed to the Executive Council by the Lieutenant Governor on the advice of the Premier.
Casting VoteCasting VoteIn the event of a tie, the deciding vote accorded to the Speaker or the Chair.
CaucusCaucusMembers of the Legislative Assembly from the same political party.
ChamberChamberThe room where the proceedings of the House take place, located on the second floor in the centre block of the Parliament Buildings.
Clerk of the HouseClerk of the HouseThe chief procedural and administrative adviser to the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly. The Clerk is responsible for maintaining all official House documents and for the management of Assembly services.
Committee of SupplyCommittee of SupplyA committee consisting of all the Members of the Legislative Assembly, presided over by the Deputy Speaker or by a Chair. Committee of Supply is responsible for reviewing and approving the government’s expenditure plans as presented in the Estimates. The mace is placed under the Clerk’s Table during Committee of Supply.
Committee of the Whole HouseCommittee of the Whole HouseA committee consisting of all the Members of the Legislative Assembly, presided over by the Deputy Speaker or by a Chair. Also known as Committee of the Whole, it is responsible for examining in detail each section of a bill or any other matter referred to it by the House. The mace is placed under the Clerk’s Table during Committee of the Whole.
ConstituencyConstituencyA specific geographical area entitled to elect a representative to be a Member of the Legislative Assembly. Currently, there are 85 constituencies (or ridings) in B.C.
Crossing the FloorCrossing the FloorWhen a member changes political allegiance during a sitting of the Legislative Assembly. A Member of the Legislative Assembly crossing the floor may choose to sit as an independent Member or as a member of a different party.
CrownCrownHer Majesty the Queen, represented by the Lieutenant Governor; the executive branch of government.
DissolutionDissolutionProclamation of the Lieutenant Governor that ends Parliament. It is followed by a provincial general election. Members cease holding their seats upon dissolution.
DivisionDivisionA recorded standing vote taken upon request by a Member. Members divide into two groups ‘yeas’ or ‘nays’ and the names of the Members for and against a proposition are read into the record and formally recorded in the Votes and Proceedings.
EstimatesEstimatesThe expenditure plans of all government ministries, consisting of Main Estimates tabled annually and Supplementary Estimates tabled as required. The print version of the Estimates is commonly referred to as the “blue book”.
Executive CouncilExecutive CouncilA council of cabinet ministers who have been appointed by the Lieutenant Governor on the advice of the Premier to act in a formal and legal capacity to carry out their executive powers. The Executive Council (or Cabinet) is the highest formal instrument of government, and is created by section 9 of the provincial Constitution Act (RSBC 1996, c. 66).
First ReadingFirst ReadingThe introduction of a bill to the House. The Member of the Legislative Assembly sponsoring the bill introduces the proposed law to the House and explains its purpose. The bill is not debated, but Members of the Legislative Assembly vote on whether to accept it for further debate. If approved, it is assigned a number and scheduled for second reading.
Free VoteFree VoteA vote during which party discipline is not imposed on individual Members.
GalleriesGalleriesSeating areas in the Chamber set aside for the public, the press, Members’ and Speaker’s guests, and visitors who wish to observe a sitting.
Governing PartyGoverning PartyThe political party that wins the largest number of seats in an election. Its leader is called upon by the Lieutenant Governor to serve as Premier and form a government.
Hansard ServicesHansard ServicesThe Assembly branch that produces the official verbatim transcript of what is said in the Legislative Assembly and in committees. The transcript is available in print form as well as on the Internet. Hansard also broadcasts the live telecast of proceedings throughout the province by satellite.
House LeaderHouse LeaderThe member of a recognized party responsible for managing the party’s business in the House.
Independent MemberIndependent MemberA Member of the Legislative Assembly who is not affiliated with a political party or who does not belong to a recognized political party.
JournalsJournalsThe official record of House proceedings and decisions. The Journals are compiled from the daily Votes and Proceedings. They are indexed and published by the Office of the Clerk at the end of each session.
Legislative AssemblyLegislative AssemblyThe lawmaking body of British Columbia, consisting of all the elected Members, as constituted under the provincial Constitution Act.
Legislative Assembly Management Committee (LAMC)Legislative Assembly Management Committee (LAMC)The governing body of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Chaired by the Speaker, the Committee derives its powers from the Legislative Assembly Management Committee Act and is responsible for the Legislative Assembly’s financial and administrative policies.
Legislative PrecinctLegislative PrecinctThe buildings and grounds occupied by the Members of the Legislative Assembly and staff for the purpose of their parliamentary duties, excluding constituency offices.
LegislatureLegislatureFormally, the Lieutenant Governor acting by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly; term also commonly used to refer to the Parliament Buildings.
Lieutenant GovernorLieutenant GovernorThe Lieutenant Governor is appointed by the federal Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister of Canada, for a term no less than five years, to represent the Queen in the Province of British Columbia.
MaceMaceAn ornamented club symbolizing the authority of the House. When the House is in session, the mace rests on the Clerk’s Table.
MessageMessageA formal communication from the Lieutenant Governor which accompanies government bills.
MotionMotionA formal proposal moved by a Member that seeks to elicit a decision from the House or a Committee. A motion initiates all business undertaken by the House.
Notice of MotionNotice of MotionA formal written announcement of an intention to bring a proposal before the House (required by certain Standing Orders) and placed in the Orders of the Day.
Oath of AllegianceOath of AllegiancePursuant to the Constitution Act, every Member of the Legislative Assembly is required to take and subscribe to an oath of allegiance to the Sovereign, or instead make a solemn affirmation or declaration, before the Lieutenant Governor or some other person authorized by the Lieutenant Governor to administer the oath (usually the Clerk of the House) before taking their seat in the House.
Order in CouncilOrder in CouncilAn order issued by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (Cabinet) regarding the administration of government or appointments to office and other matters.
Orders of the DayOrders of the DayAll items of business on the agenda of the House which may be brought forward on a particular day. Also the name of the daily publication produced by the Office of the Clerk.
Out of OrderOut of OrderContrary to the Standing Orders (the rules of the House) or to the rules of parliamentary procedure.
ParliamentParliamentThe period of time between general elections, composed of a number of sessions that are made up of individual sittings of the House. These periods are numbered consecutively (Thirty-ninth Parliament, Fourth Session). Term commonly used to refer to the Legislative Assembly.

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