Members of the Legislative Assembly have three key roles and responsibilities: parliamentary, representative, and caucus. Whether in the Chamber debating proposed legislation or spending, working on parliamentary committees, or meeting with constituents, the work of a Member is far-reaching and performed in many places.
Members perform a number of parliamentary functions including:
- Considering, debating and voting on bills;
- Scrutinizing and authorizing public expenditures and taxes; and
- Exercising parliamentary oversight of government by asking questions about government plans and policy and by participating in debate.
Members may be elected or appointed to specialized roles as presiding officers (Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Assistant Deputy Speaker, Deputy Chair of the Committee of the Whole) or as committee chairs to ensure proceedings in the House and in parliamentary committees go smoothly.
They may serve on all-party parliamentary committees and perform work and undertake inquiries on behalf of the Legislative Assembly. Parliamentary committees have examined a broad range of topics in recent years, including transportation network services, local meat production, and children and youth with neuro-diverse special needs, and also contribute to the overall scrutiny of government.
There are also interparliamentary organizations that provide professional development forums for Members. Members may participate in these organizations and attend conferences and seminars relating to their role and work as Members.
Members meet regularly with constituents and attend community meetings and events. Constituency offices assist British Columbians who have questions or concerns about provincial programs, policies, and benefits. Members may also contact ministers or ministry officials about policies and programs affecting individual British Columbians.
There are also opportunities for Members to raise constituent perspectives and concerns in the Legislative Assembly during debates and by making statements or presenting petitions, and by asking government to act on issues affecting their residents of their electoral district or the province.
Members meet frequently with their colleagues from the same party caucus throughout the year. At these caucus meetings, they may discuss policy development, propose House strategy, and develop caucus positions on subjects being debated in the Legislative Assembly and on other matters of public policy. Some Members may also perform specific roles as caucus officers (House Leaders, Whips).