BlackBerry use banned from the house
After being called out in the house, some MLAs said they will no longer use their BlackBerries during question period.
On Tuesday, Alberta's speaker of the legislature Ken Kowalski disciplined six MLAs in the house for sending text messages and Twittering during question period.
"Six of you were observed to have been utilizing these devices," said Kowalski.
Thomas Lukasik admitted he was one of them.
"This actually allows us to be in two places at the same time, which is great, makes us much more efficient, but there is a rule and the rule has been broken and I will try to refrain," he said.
Calgary MLA Kyle Fawcette was also caught while posting on a social networking site.
"I won't be using my BlackBerry in the legislature, it's a rule and until it's changed I will certainly be abiding by that rule," he said.
Mayor Stephen Mandel wishes he could ban the device in council chambers as well.
"People think they are paying attention but they're not," said Mandel.
Councillor Dave Thiele was seen using his BlackBerry Wednesday in a meeting, and disagrees with Mandel, saying MLAs should be allowed to use them.
"You can do two things, there is no question you can, especially with a BlackBerry," said Thiele.
One blogger CTV spoke with sees the potential of BlackBerrys. He went as far as writing a letter to the speaker saying electronic devices connect politicians with constituents.
Its important that our politicians learn how to use these technologies, because I think there is a lot of potential in re-energizing and re-invigorating democracy in this province," said Dave Cournoyer.
If MLAs are caught using their BlackBerry during question period, the speaker could ask them to leave the house.
With files from Sonia Sunger