The Leaders of Opposition Parties
The Leader of the Official Opposition and the Leader of the Third Party have two of the most difficult jobs in the Legislative Assembly. Opposition leaders must understand and be ready to address every bill that is proposed. Working under intense pressure and on short notice, opposition leaders must always be alert and ready to respond.
The role of opposition leaders is important in a parliamentary democracy because they provide an
alternative view on how the province could be run, and in doing so, they hold the government accountable for its actions and decisions.
The Leader of the Official Opposition and the Leader of the Third Party are, by custom, accorded certain rights and privileges. These include a seat in the front row of the Chamber, extended speaking time when participating in and debating the
Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne and the
budget, as well as in responding to ministerial statements. Traditionally, the
Speaker recognizes the Leader of the Official Opposition as the first to ask a question during the daily
Question Period, should they wish to speak. It is up to the
House Leader of the Third Party to determine at which time their leader may stand to ask a question, and up to the Speaker to recognize them once they rise.