Role of an MLA

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Whether debating proposed legislation or spending in the Chamber, working on committees, or meeting with constituents, the work of a Member is far-reaching and performed in many places. This section provides an overview of some of the important responsibilities of a Member.

In the Chamber

Representing constituents: a Member raises constituents' perspectives and concerns during debates, presents petitions, and asks government to take action on particular issues affecting their riding or the province.

Reviewing proposed laws: when the House is sitting, a key role of a Member includes considering, debating, and voting on bills. Bills may be introduced either by a cabinet minister or a Private Member (a Member who is not in cabinet).

Scrutinizing government spending: another major role of a Member is to scrutinize and approve proposed government spending and tax changes. Debate and voting on spending estimates follows the presentation of the provincial budget.

Exercising oversight: a Member has several opportunities to exercise oversight by asking questions about government plans and policy, and by participating in debates.

Additional parliamentary roles: to ensure proceedings in the Chamber go smoothly, some Members perform specialized roles as presiding officers (Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Assistant Deputy Speaker, Deputy Chair of the Committee of the Whole), or as caucus officers (House Leaders, Whips).

In committee

All-party parliamentary committees undertake inquiries on behalf of the House. In recent years, Members serving on parliamentary committees have investigated a wide variety of topics, including local elections expense limits and BC’s health care system. Committees often consult with the public, and sometimes travel to different parts of the province to hear from British Columbians.

In caucus

Members meet frequently with their colleagues from the same party throughout the year. At these caucus meetings, Members may discuss policy development, propose House strategy, and develop caucus positions on subjects being debated in the House.

In the constituency

Members regularly meet with constituents and attend community meetings and events. Constituency offices provide assistance to people who have questions or concerns about provincial government programs, policies, and benefits.

A Typical Working Day

A typical working day

Last Updated: May 11, 2017