Edmonton

Wildrose to introduce MLA recall bill

A new private members’ bill allowing constituents to recall their MLAs will be introduced by Wildrose MLA Leela Aheer in the Alberta legislature this afternoon.

Wildrose MLA Leela Aheer will introduce the private members' bill in the Alberta legislature this afternoon

Wildrose MLAs Leela Aheer and Jason Nixon discussed Bill 206 at a news conference in Edmonton Monday. (CBC)

A new private members' bill that would allow constituents to recall their MLAs will be introduced by Wildrose MLA Leela Aheer in the Alberta legislature this afternoon.

Under Bill 206, voters unhappy with their elected representatives could have them recalled if 20 per cent of constituents sign a petition within 60 days.

To avoid frivolous campaigns, the application would be accompanied by a $5,000 fee, which would go to Elections Alberta.

The average Alberta constituency has 32,000 voters, so a successful petition would require 6,000 signatures.

Aheer said constituents could launch a recall petition if their representative switched to another party, as 11 of her party's members did last year. 

Jason Nixon, Wildrose MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, said the anger over Bill 6, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, was another factor behind the bill. 

"With Bill 6, there are a lot of rural ridings that don't feel like they're being represented right by their MLAs," Nixon said. "This legislation would put pressure on those MLAs to represent their constituents. 

B.C. is the only other Canadian jurisdiction with recall legislation. The B.C. legislation requires signatures from 40 per cent of constituents over 60 days. However, a campaign can't be launched until 18 months after an election.

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