The Clerks' Table
Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and Table Officers (individuals who support the work of the Clerk) sit at the Clerks' Table on the floor of the
Legislative Chamber, making this wooden table the business centre of the parliamentary process. Those sitting at the table provide advice to the
Speaker and MLAs on parliamentary procedure.
Before the business of the Legislative Assembly can begin, the
Sergeant-at-Arms must place the
mace on top of the table. This signifies that the Assembly has the permission of the Crown to carry out its work. When the Assembly sits as a
Committee of the Whole, the mace is placed on a bracket below the Clerks' Table and the Speaker leaves the Chamber. The Chair of the Committee of the Whole then sits at the Clerks' Table in the chair normally occupied by the Clerk and presides over the subsequent proceedings.
The Clerks' Table has an electronic panel of lights that assists in monitoring the length of Members’ speeches to make sure that they stay within the procedural time limits. There is also a switch to ring the division bells that are heard throughout the Parliament Buildings to call the Members into the Chamber for a vote. An ornate bell used to signal the end of
Oral Question Period also resides on the table, as do the various Assembly documents and reference texts used by the Clerk and other Table Officers.