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Most Canadian legislatures have sat longer than BC's

There were complaints from the New Democratic Party in British Columbia that the province's legislature has sat for just 24 days this year. A comparison with other assemblies across Canada shows only Prince Edward Island and Nunavut have sat fewer days.

Following are the number of sitting days in the legislatures, houses of assembly and councils of provinces and territories. They include all sittings that have already happened or are scheduled in 2011 before the end of June, according to the hansards and calendars of each body:

Ontario: 47

New Brunswick: 44

Saskatchewan: 40

Quebec: 39

Manitoba: 38

Nova Scotia: 36

Alberta: 34

Newfoundland and Labrador: 34

Northwest Territories: 32

Yukon: 30

British Columbia: 24

Prince Edward Island: 20

Nunavut: 18

The Parliament of Canada's website also keeps track of sitting days in the provinces and territories. The site is current up to the end of April, 2011.

It shows that the BC legislature sat 46 days in 2010, the third lowest in Canada, though in previous years it sat more than the average.

B.C. NDP MLAs said there wasn't enough time before the June 2, 2011 end of the legislative session to fully debate the budgets for government ministries or important legislation like the Yale First Nation's treaty. Before the spring session even started, the government said it wouldn't have time to put into law proposals to fix municipal elections.

Premier Christy Clark said during the Liberal leadership race that she would like the legislature to sit more, and Liberal House Leader Rich Coleman said last week there will be a fall sitting of the legislature.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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