1973 - A Full Daily Question Period Begins
By 1973, the Legislative Assembly had instituted a number of parliamentary reforms including the production of a
full Hansard record and the holding of a daily 15 minute
Opposition leader W.A.C. Bennett asked the first oral question on
March 5, 1973. He asked the Premier to withdraw several bills because the “millions of dollars of new expenditure” they involved would cause “hardship on our people.” It was ruled out of order by Speaker Gordon Dowding because, according to parliamentary rules, a question cannot deal with a bill that stands on the
Orders of the Day (the agenda for the Assembly). The first oral question allowed by the Speaker dealt with the sale of poisoned lettuce.
Did You Know?
From 1972 to 2005, the length of Question Period was 15 minutes. By late 2005, it was recognized by the Assembly that 33 years had passed since the first questions were asked, and that an update to the rules was necessary. On February 15, 2006, the Assembly supported a motion to amend the Standing Orders (the rules that guide parliamentary proceedings) to double the time allowed for Question Period to its present 30 minute length.