Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia

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Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
Darryl Plecas

since September 8, 2017
Style The Honourable
Mr/Madam/Honourable Speaker (In the House)
Appointer Elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly
Term length Elected at the start of each Parliament
Inaugural holder James Trimble
Salary $150,000 (2017)

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia is the presiding officer of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

The office of Speaker in British Columbia[edit]

The Speaker is elected by the Members of the Legislative Assembly ("MLAs") by means of a secret ballot at the commencement of a new parliament, or on the death or retirement of the previous Speaker. Cabinet Ministers are the only MLAs not entitled to stand for election as Speaker. The business of the Legislature cannot continue without a Speaker. Under British Columbia's parliamentary tradition, the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia will not open Parliament until a Speaker is elected.

Prior practice had been for the Premier to select the Speaker and have that selection ratified by a vote of the legislature. The Legislative Assembly also appoints a Deputy Speaker, who presides in the absence of the Speaker. During the 38th Parliament, which was elected in the BC general election held on May 17, 2005, the position of Assistant Deputy Speaker was created. This office is usually held by an MLA who represents the official opposition party.

Traditionally, the Speaker has been a member of the governing party, current Speaker Darryl Plecas being an exception; however, while holding the office of Speaker that MLA must act neutrally and treat all other MLAs impartially, and to preserve this impartiality the Speaker follows Speaker Denison's rule in breaking ties. The Speaker presides over the debates and procedures of the Legislative Assembly. The Speaker enforces the Rules of Procedure, commonly referred to as the Standing Orders. Any disputes or procedural rulings are made according to the Standing Orders or, in absence of a rule governing a specific situation, to parliamentary precedence and convention. The Speaker does not vote, except in the case of a tie.

Until the early 1990s, the traditional form of address and reference to the Speaker was "Mr. Speaker". Today, the office holder is now referred to as simply the "Speaker", but during debates the MLAs may continue to address the office holder as "Mr. Speaker" or "Madam Speaker". In accordance with parliamentary tradition, all speeches are addressed to the Speaker, and not the other MLAs.

The Speaker is responsible for the legislative precincts, including the Parliament Buildings. The Speaker also sponsors the British Columbia Legislative Internship Program. In addition to his or her duties as Speaker, the Speaker continues to represent the voters of his or her constituency as an MLA.

Speakers of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia[edit]

Speaker Political Affiliation Term Start Term End Notes
1 James Trimble Independent 1872 1878
2 Frederick W. Williams Independent 1878 1882
3 John Andrew Mara Independent 1883 1886
4 Charles Edward Pooley Independent 1887 1889
5 David Williams Higgins Independent 1890 1898
6 John Paton Booth Independent 1898
7 William Thomas Forster Independent 1899 1900
6 John Paton Booth Independent 1900 1902
4 Charles Edward Pooley Independent 1902 1906
Conservative (Since 1903)
8 David McEwen Eberts Conservative 1907 1916
9 John Walter Weart Liberal 1917 1918
10 John Keen Liberal 1918 1920
11 Alexander Malcolm Manson Liberal 1921 1922
12 Frederick Arthur Pauline Liberal 1922 1924
13 John Andrew Buckham Liberal 1924 1928
14 James William Jones Conservative 1929 1930
15 Cyril Francis Davie Conservative 1931 1933
16 Henry George Thomas Perry Liberal 1934 1937
17 Norman William Whittaker Liberal 1937 1947
Lib/Con Coalition (Since 1941)
18 Robert Henry Carson Lib/Con Coalition 1948 1949
19 John Hart Lib/Con Coalition 1949
20 Nancy Hodges Lib/Con Coalition 1950 1952
21 Thomas Irwin Social Credit 1953 1957
22 Lorne Shantz Social Credit 1958 1963
23 William Harvey Murray Social Credit 1964 1972
24 Gordon Dowding NDP 1972 1975
25 Dean Smith Social Credit 1976 1978
26 Harvey Schroeder Social Credit 1979 1982
27 Kenneth Walter Davidson Social Credit 1982 1986
28 John Douglas Reynolds Social Credit 1987 1989
29 Stephen Rogers Social Credit 1990 1991
30 Joan Sawicki NDP 1992 1994
31 Emery Barnes NDP 1994 1996
32 Dale Lovick NDP 1996 1998
33 Gretchen Brewin NDP 1998 2000
34 William James Hartley NDP 2000 2001
35 Claude Richmond Liberal 2001 2005
36 Bill Barisoff Liberal 2005 2013
37 Linda Reid Liberal 2013 2017
38 Steve Thomson Liberal 2017 2017 [1]
39 Darryl Plecas Liberal, then Independent 2017 Incumbent [2] [3]

See also[edit]



External links[edit]