MLA Ron Orr - Lacombe-Ponoka

MLA Ron Orr - Lacombe-Ponoka

Your voice in the legislature

COLUMN: Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr's column speaks to his job and what it entails.

Many people wonder, what does a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) do? That’s a fair question, considering our salaries are paid for by you, the taxpayer.

I am elected to serve as “Your Voice” in the Legislature.

This week began with a program called Mr. Speaker’s MLA for a Day where 1 student from every constituency across the province, is chosen to represent their area for a day. These students develop a greater understanding and awareness of the role of an MLA both as legislator and constituency representative.

The primary role of an MLA involves understanding existing laws, planning new legislation, discussing and then supporting or opposing new laws. As the Official Opposition, I participate with my party to debate and scrutinize government spending, tax increases and the use of public funds.

MLAs are not investigators or enforcers of the law. We are not allowed to interfere in, or overrule the work of the courts. The primary role of the MLA is the work of writing legislation.

Members of the Legislative Assembly hear requests, examine issues, research what legislation may be needed. They then work with legal counsel to draft the law, and then present it in the House for debate. Debate consists of 1st and 2nd reading, committee of the whole, 3rd reading then Royal Assent where the Lt. Governor proclaims it law of the land. According to the rules of the House, the vast majority of legislation is presented by “the government” to the assembly body for debate and vote.

As an MLA I must divide my time between the constituency and my work in the Assembly. I have been appointed as the Deputy Chair of the Wildrose Caucus. I also serve as the Chair for the Caucus committee for Families and Communities as well as the shadow Minister for Culture and Tourism.

While the House is sitting, I am in Edmonton Monday to Thursday and in the constituency office on Fridays where I meet with constituents and stakeholders for a variety of concerns and discussions. During which I also attend a number of events, ribbon cuttings, award ceremonies, trade shows and graduations throughout the entire constituency.

The communities within my riding include Blackfalds, Lacombe, Ponoka, Clive, Alix, Mirror, Lacombe and Ponoka Counties.

It is an honour and privilege to represent this constituency and I enjoy working hard on behalf of you all. I look forward to hearing from you and bringing your concerns forward to the Legislature.

Feel free to contact me at my office at 403-782-7725 or by e-mail at Lacombe.ponoka@assembly.ab.ca.