Role of the Speaker
The Speaker is a Member of the Legislative Assembly chosen by his or her peers to preside over legislative proceedings. He or she is the presiding officer of the House of Assembly.
In the chamber, it is the Speaker’s job to maintain order and decorum, regulate debate, decide on questions of order, and rule on questions of privilege in accordance with the rules and practices of the House of Assembly. The Speaker ensures that all viewpoints are heard.
The Speaker does not take part in the debates of the House of Assembly. If a vote in the House of Assembly results in a tie, the Speaker casts the deciding vote. The Speaker may take part in proceedings of the Committee of the Whole House.
The Speaker is the guardian of the privileges of the House of Assembly and protects the rights of its members. Privilege is essential to the functioning of the Assembly, as it protects the Assembly and its members from interference by the executive and judicial branches of government. To fulfill their legislative functions, the Assembly and its members must remain independent.
The Speaker represents the House of Assembly and has jurisdiction over all matters concerning Province House. He is the chair of the House of Assembly Management Commission, the body responsible for regulating services to members.
The deputy Speaker is appointed from among the Members of the Legislative Assembly. When the Speaker is absent, the deputy Speaker takes the chair and performs all the duties of the Speaker.
The Deputy Speaker chairs the proceedings of the Committee of the Whole House. The deputy Speaker maintains order in the committee and rules on all questions of order. These rulings may be appealed to the Speaker.
Office of the Speaker
1st Floor, Province House
P.O. Box 1617
Halifax, Nova Scotia