Oral Question Period
Every Monday and Wednesday, beginning just after 1:30 pm and every Tuesday and Thursday, beginning just after 10:00 am, MLAs participate in Oral Question Period, commonly known as Question Period, an intense 30 minute period of rapid fire questions and answers.
The purpose of Question Period - which is open to both
the media and the public - is to give MLAs the opportunity to ask questions about what the government is doing and why it is doing it.
All MLAs have the right to ask for information from the
Cabinet and to hold Cabinet ministers
responsible for their actions and decisions. Any MLA may rise to ask a Cabinet minister a question about their portfolio, meaning the different areas of public policy that a minister is responsible for. To prepare for such questions, Cabinet ministers are usually briefed by senior public servants with the most up to date information. This allows Cabinet ministers to become more aware of the different issues that the public might expect them to address. Likewise, the opportunity to rise and respond to a question gives Cabinet ministers the chance to clarify or explain their actions or decisions to the public.
While Question Period can be loud and sometimes chaotic, with MLAs and ministers alike often becoming passionate and heated about particular issues, there are
certain rules and procedures that must be followed.
If an MLA has a question that is too lengthy or complicated to ask in Question Period, the Member can submit it as a
Written Question on Notice, which allows the minister to whom it is directed to respond at a later date.