Legislative Assembly of Ontario

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Assemblée législative de l'Ontario
40th Parliament of Ontario
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type Unicameral house of the Parliament of Ontario
History
Founded July 1, 1867 (1867-07-01)
Preceded by Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada
Leadership
Lieutenant Governor David C. Onley
Since September 5, 2007
Speaker Dave Levac, Liberal
Since November 21, 2011
Government
House Leader
John Milloy, Liberal
Since October 20, 2011
Opposition
House Leader
Jim Wilson, PC
Since October 20, 2011
Structure
Seats 107
Political groups Liberal Party
Progressive Conservative Party
New Democratic Party
Elections
Last election October 6, 2011
Meeting place
Ontario Provincial Parliament, Queens Park, Toronto -b.jpg
Ontario Legislative Building, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Website
www.ontla.on.ca
Legislative Assembly of Ontario

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario (also known as Ontario Legislative Assembly), is the legislature of the Canadian province of Ontario, and is the second largest provincial legislature of Canada. It is located in the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen's Park in Toronto.

The British North America Act section 69 stipulates "There shall be a Legislature for Ontario consisting of the Lieutenant-Governor and of One House, styled the Legislative Assembly of Ontario". The legislature is unicameral, without an upper house, with 107 seats representing ridings elected through a first-past-the-post electoral system across the province.

The Ontario Legislature is often referred to as the "Ontario Provincial Parliament", and is one of only two provincial legislatures in Canada to use the title "Parliament" (along with the Parliament of British Columbia). Members of the assembly refer to themselves as "Members of the Provincial Parliament" (MPPs) as opposed to "Members of the Legislative Assembly" (MLAs) as in many other provinces. Ontario is the only province to do so, in accordance with a resolution passed in the Assembly on April 7, 1938. However, the Legislative Assembly Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. L10 refers only to "members of the Assembly".

The current assembly was elected on October 6, 2011 as part of the 40th Parliament of Ontario. The first session of the 40th Parliament opened on November 22, 2011 and ended on October 15, 2012. The second session began on February 19, 2013.

Lawmaking[edit]

In accordance with the traditions of the Westminster System, most laws originate with the cabinet (Government bills), and are passed by the legislature after stages of debate and decision-making. Ordinary Members of the Legislature may introduce privately (Private Members' Bills), play an integral role in scrutinizing bills in debate and committee and amending bills presented to the legislature by cabinet.

Members are expected to be loyal to both their parliamentary party and to the interests of their constituents.

In the Ontario legislature this confrontation provides much of the material for Oral Questions and Members' Statements. Legislative scrutiny of the executive is also at the heart of much of the work carried out by the Legislature's Standing Committees, which are made up of ordinary backbenchers.

A Member's day will typically be divided among participating in the business of the House, attending caucus and committee meetings, speaking in various debates, or returning to his or her constituency to address the concerns, problems and grievances of constituents. Depending on personal inclination and political circumstances, some Members concentrate most of their attention on House matters while others focus on constituency problems, taking on something of an ombudsman's role in the process.

Finally, it is the task of the legislature to provide the personnel of the executive. As already noted, under responsible government, ministers of the Crown are expected to be Members of the Assembly. When a political party comes to power it will usually place its more experienced parliamentarians into the key cabinet positions, where their parliamentary experience may be the best preparation for the rough and tumble of political life in government.

Coat of arms[edit]

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is the first and the only legislature in Canada to have a Coat of Arms separate from the provincial coat of arms.

Green and gold are the principal colours in the shield of arms of the province. The Mace is the traditional symbol of the authority of the Speaker. Shown on the left is the current Mace. On the right is the original Mace from the time of the first parliament in 1792. The crossed Maces are joined by the shield of arms of Ontario.

The crown on the wreath represents national and provincial loyalties; its rim is studded with the provincial gemstone, the amethyst. The griffin, an ancient symbol of justice and equity, holds a calumet, which symbolizes the meeting of spirit and discussion that Ontario's First Nations believe accompanies the use of the pipe.

The deer represent the natural riches of the province. The Loyalist coronets at their necks honour the original British settlers in Ontario who brought with them the British parliamentary form of government. The Royal Crowns, left 1992, right 1792, recognize the parliamentary bicentennial and represent Ontario's heritage as a constitutional monarchy. They were granted as a special honour by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the recommendation of the Governor General.

In the base, the maple leaves are for Canada, the trilliums for Ontario and the roses for York (now Toronto), the provincial capital.

The motto "Audi Alteram Partem" is one of a series of Latin phrases carved in the Chamber of the Legislative Building. It challenges Members of Provincial Parliament to "Hear the Other Side".

Media[edit]

Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly are broadcast to Ontario cable television subscribers as the Ontario Parliament Network.

Timeline of the 40th Parliament of Ontario[edit]

  • November 21, 2011 – Dave Levac (Liberal, Brant) is elected Speaker on the second ballot defeating three other candidates.
  • November 22, 2011 – Speech from the Throne is delivered.
  • March 29, 2012: Finance Minister Dwight Duncan delivers the provincial budget.
  • April 23, 2012: After negotiations between the Liberals and the NDP, the minority government agrees to amend the budget by adding $242 million to child care funding, $20 million for northern and rural hospitals, increase welfare and disability benefits by 1 per cent at a cost of $55 million, and add a 2% surtax on the portion of individual income that exceeds $500,000 a year.
  • April 24, 2012: Budget approved 52-37 with NDP MPPs abstaining.
  • April 27, 2012: Progressive Conservative MPP Elizabeth Witmer (Kitchener—Waterloo) resigns her seat upon accepting a government appointment as chair of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board. The vacancy results in the government and Opposition being tied in seats, however, as Speaker David Levac is a Liberal, the Opposition continues to have a one seat advantage. A Liberal victory in this pending by-election and in the pending Vaughan by-election would give it a majority in the legislature.
  • August 1, 2012: Liberal MPP Greg Sorbara (Vaughan) resigns his seat.
  • September 6, 2012: By-elections held in the ridings of Kitchener—Waterloo and Vaughan. Catherine Fife (NDP) elected as MPP for Kitchener—Waterloo. Steven Del Duca (Liberal) elected as MPP for Vaughan. The NDP gains one seat in the Ontario Legislature while the Liberals retain their 53-seat minority.
  • October 15, 2012: Premier McGuinty prorogues the legislature and announces his resignation as Liberal Party leader pending a leadership convention.
  • February 11, 2013: Kathleen Wynne is sworn in as Premier, and a new cabinet in sworn in.
  • February 14, 2013: Chris Bentley and Dwight Duncan, Liberal MPPs for London West and Windsor—Tecumseh, resign.
  • June 11, 2013: Passage of the Wynne government's first budget, with the support of the NDP; legislature recesses for the summer.
  • June 12, 2013: Former Premier Dalton McGuinty resigns his Ottawa South seat.
  • June 27, 2013: Liberal MPP Margarett Best (Scarborough—Guildwood) resigns her seat.
  • July 2, 2013: Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Laurel Broten (Etobicoke—Lakeshore) resigns from Cabinet and her seat.
  • August 1, 2013: Five by-elections held to replace retiring Liberals. Results were two Liberals, two NDP, one Conservative.
  • September 24, 2013: Kim Craitor, Liberal MPP for Niagara Falls, resigns his seat.
  • December 31, 2013: Peter Shurman, Progressive Conservative MPP for Thornhill, resigns his seat.
  • February 13, 2014: Two by-elections held to replace vacant Niagara Falls and Thornhill seats. Result is a Progressive Conservative hold in Thornhill and an NDP gain in Niagara Falls.
  • March 25, 2014: Resignation of cabinet member Linda Jeffrey to run for mayor of Brampton causes a cabinet shuffle.

Party standings[edit]

The 39th Parliament was dissolved on September 7, 2011.

Election of the Legislative Assembly of the 40th Ontario Parliament occurred October 6, 2011, as a result of which Dalton McGuinty's Liberals form a minority government.

Affiliation Party
Leader
Legislative
Leader
Status Seats
2011 Election Current
Liberal Kathleen Wynne Government 53 48
Progressive Conservative Tim Hudak Official Opposition 37 37
New Democratic Andrea Horwath Third Party 17 21
Total 107 107
Government Majority -1 -10

Seating plan[edit]

(vde)

Martow MacLaren Milligan Pettapiece Hillier Hatfield Sattler Gates
Nicholls Jackson Smith Harris Thompson Yurek Scott McKenna Walker Leone McDonell Campbell Vanthof Schein Armstrong Mantha P. Miller
Bailey Ouellette O'Toole Clark Chudleigh Munro Jones Holyday Dunlop McNaughton Barrett Forster Fife Singh Tabuns Natyshak Taylor
Wilson Arnott Hardeman Fedeli Elliott Hudak Yakabuski MacLeod N. Miller Klees Bisson Horwath DiNovo Marchese Gélinas Prue
Levac
Milloy Bradley Chiarelli Meilleur Sousa Wynne Matthews Naqvi Sandals Hoskins MacCharles Kwinter Bartolucci Takhar
Delaney Gerretsen Leal Mauro Murray Piruzza Chan McMeekin Gravelle Duguid Dhillon Cansfield Colle Berardinetti
McNeely Qaadri Albanese Moridi Orazietti Coteau Sergio Flynn Zimmer Balkissoon Dickson Jaczek Mangat
Crack Damerla Wong Del Duca Fraser Hunter Levac

The seating chamber was influenced by the British House of Commons layout and that of the original St. Stephen's Chapel in the Palace of Westminster.[1] The difference with the British layout is with the use of individual chairs and tables for members, absent in the British Commons' design.

view of the layout of the original Parliament of Ontario and that of the Upper Canada and the Province of Canada

Previous location of the legislature, once home the legislature of Upper Canada and the United Provinces of Canada had similar layout.

List of members[edit]

Name Party Riding Notes
     Joe Dickson Liberal Ajax—Pickering
     Michael Mantha New Democrat Algoma—Manitoulin
     Ted McMeekin Liberal Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale
     Rod Jackson Progressive Conservative Barrie
     Michael Prue New Democrat Beaches—East York
     Jagmeet Singh New Democrat Bramalea—Gore—Malton
     Linda Jeffrey Liberal Brampton—Springdale Resigned on March 25, 2014
Vacant
     Vic Dhillon Liberal Brampton West
     Dave Levac Liberal Brant
     Bill Walker Progressive Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound
     Jane McKenna Progressive Conservative Burlington
     Rob Leone Progressive Conservative Cambridge
     Jack MacLaren Progressive Conservative Carleton—Mississippi Mills
     Rick Nicholls Progressive Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex
     Jonah Schein New Democrat Davenport
     Michael Coteau Liberal Don Valley East
     Kathleen Wynne Liberal Don Valley West
     Sylvia Jones Progressive Conservative Dufferin—Caledon
     John O'Toole Progressive Conservative Durham
     Mike Colle Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence
     Jeff Yurek Progressive Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London
     Taras Natyshak New Democrat Essex
     Donna Cansfield Liberal Etobicoke Centre
     Doug Holyday Progressive Conservative Etobicoke—Lakeshore By-election, August 1, 2013
     Shafiq Qaadri Liberal Etobicoke North
     Grant Crack Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
     Liz Sandals Liberal Guelph
     Toby Barrett Progressive Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk
     Laurie Scott Progressive Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock
     Ted Chudleigh Progressive Conservative Halton
     Andrea Horwath New Democrat Hamilton Centre
     Paul Miller New Democrat Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
     Monique Taylor New Democrat Hamilton Mountain
     Lisa Thompson Progressive Conservative Huron—Bruce
     Sarah Campbell New Democrat Kenora—Rainy River
     John Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands
     John Milloy Liberal Kitchener Centre
     Michael Harris Progressive Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga
     Catherine Fife New Democrat Kitchener—Waterloo By-election, September 6, 2012
     Monte McNaughton Progressive Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex
     Randy Hillier Progressive Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington
     Steve Clark Progressive Conservative Leeds—Grenville
     Teresa Armstrong New Democrat London—Fanshawe
     Deb Matthews Liberal London North Centre
     Peggy Sattler New Democrat London West By-election, August 1, 2013
     Michael Chan Liberal Markham—Unionville
     Amrit Mangat Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South
     Dipika Damerla Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville
     Harinder Takhar Liberal Mississauga—Erindale
     Charles Sousa Liberal Mississauga South
     Bob Delaney Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville
     Lisa MacLeod Progressive Conservative Nepean—Carleton
     Frank Klees Progressive Conservative Newmarket—Aurora
     Wayne Gates New Democrat Niagara Falls By-election, February 13, 2014
     Tim Hudak Progressive Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook
     France Gélinas New Democrat Nickel Belt
     Victor Fedeli Progressive Conservative Nipissing
     Rob Milligan Progressive Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West
     Helena Jaczek Liberal Oak Ridges—Markham
     Kevin Flynn Liberal Oakville
     Jerry Ouellette Progressive Conservative Oshawa
     Yasir Naqvi Liberal Ottawa Centre
     Phil McNeely Liberal Ottawa—Orléans
     John Fraser Liberal Ottawa South By-election, August 1, 2013
     Madeleine Meilleur Liberal Ottawa—Vanier
     Bob Chiarelli Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean
     Ernie Hardeman Progressive Conservative Oxford
     Cheri DiNovo New Democrat Parkdale—High Park
     Norm Miller Progressive Conservative Parry Sound—Muskoka
     Randy Pettapiece Progressive Conservative Perth—Wellington
     Jeff Leal Liberal Peterborough
     Tracy MacCharles Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East
     Todd Smith Progressive Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings
     John Yakabuski Progressive Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
     Reza Moridi Liberal Richmond Hill
     Jim Bradley Liberal St. Catharines
     Eric Hoskins Liberal St. Paul's
     Bob Bailey Progressive Conservative Sarnia—Lambton
     David Orazietti Liberal Sault Ste. Marie
     Soo Wong Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt
     Brad Duguid Liberal Scarborough Centre
     Mitzie Hunter Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood By-election, August 1, 2013
     Bas Balkissoon Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River
     Lorenzo Berardinetti Liberal Scarborough Southwest
     Jim Wilson Progressive Conservative Simcoe—Grey
     Garfield Dunlop Progressive Conservative Simcoe North
     Jim McDonell Progressive Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry
     Rick Bartolucci Liberal Sudbury
     Gila Martow Progressive Conservative Thornhill By-election, February 13, 2014
     Bill Mauro Liberal Thunder Bay—Atikokan
     Michael Gravelle Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North
     John Vanthof New Democrat Timiskaming—Cochrane
     Gilles Bisson New Democrat Timmins—James Bay
     Glen Murray Liberal Toronto Centre
     Peter Tabuns New Democrat Toronto—Danforth
     Rosario Marchese New Democrat Trinity—Spadina
     Steven Del Duca Liberal Vaughan By-election, September 6, 2012
     Cindy Forster New Democrat Welland
     Ted Arnott Progressive Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills
     Christine Elliott Progressive Conservative Whitby—Oshawa
     David Zimmer Liberal Willowdale
     Percy Hatfield New Democrat Windsor—Tecumseh By-election, August 1, 2013
     Teresa Piruzza Liberal Windsor West
     Monte Kwinter Liberal York Centre
     Julia Munro Progressive Conservative York—Simcoe
     Laura Albanese Liberal York South—Weston
     Mario Sergio Liberal York West
  • Party leaders' names are in italics, with the Premier's in bold-italics.

Officeholders[edit]

Speaker[edit]

Other Chair occupants[edit]

  • Deputy Speaker and Chair of the Committee of the Whole: Bas Balkissoon (Liberal)

Leaders[edit]

Floor leaders[edit]

Whips[edit]

Front benches[edit]

Committees[edit]

There are two forms which Committees can take. The first, standing committees, are struck for the duration of the Parliament pursuant to Standing Orders. The second, select committees, are struck usually by a Motion or an Order of the House to consider a specific bill or issue which would otherwise monopolize the time of the standing committees.

Standing committees[edit]

A committee which exists for the duration of a parliamentary session. This committee examines and reports on the general conduct of activities by government departments and agencies and reports on matters referred to it by the house, including proposed legislation.[2]

Standing Committees in the current Parliament:

Select committees[edit]

Select committees are set up specifically to study certain bills or issues and according to the Standing Orders, consists of not more than 11 members from all parties with representation reflecting the current standing in the house. In some cases, the committee must examine material by a specific date and then report its conclusion to the legislature. After its final report, the committee is dissolved.[2]

Select Committees in the 39th Parliament:

  • The Select Committee on Elections completed its work on June 30, 2009.
  • The Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions completed its work on August 26, 2010.
  • The Select Committee on the proposed transaction of the TMX Group and the London Stock Exchange Group completed its work on April 19, 2011.

Mace[edit]

The ceremonial mace of the Legislature is the third mace to be used in Ontario.

The first mace was first used by the Chamber of Upper Canada's first Parliament in 1792 at Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) and then to York (now Toronto). The primitive wooden mace, painted red and gilt and surmounted by a crown of thin brass strips. It was stolen by American troops during the War of 1812 in 1813. It remained in the United States until 1934 and returned to Ontario. Stored at the Royal Ontario Museum and now located in the Speaker's office.

A second mace was introduced in 1813 and used until 1841. A replacement mace was not purchased until 1845 and then transferred to the Union Parliament and finally to the Canadian Parliament in 1867. This mace was lost in the fire at the Centre Block in 1916. The current mace used in Legislature was purchased in 1867.

Officers[edit]

Like the Parliament of Canada, the Legislature has procedural officers:

The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario is the chief permanent officer of the Legislative Assembly, with the rank and status of a Deputy Minister. He or she is the principal procedural adviser and senior officer of the House. The Clerk's responsibilities include advising the Speaker and Members of the Legislature on questions of procedure and interpretation of the rules and practices of the House. The Clerk is also responsible for the overall direction and administration of the Legislative Assembly and is Secretary of the Board of Internal Economy. As Chief Executive Officer, the Clerk is accountable to the Speaker for the administrative and operational functions of the Office of the Assembly.

The other key officer is the Sergeant-at-Arms, whose role is to keep order during meetings in the Legislature. The Sergeant-at-Arms is also charged with control of the Ceremonial mace in the Legislature in session.

Other officers of the legislature include the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, the Ontario Ombudsman, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario, the Auditor General of Ontario and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

Membership changes[edit]


Number of members
per party by date
2011 2012 2013 2014
Oct 6 Apr 27 Aug 1 Sep 6 Feb 14 Jun 12 Jun 28 Jul 2 Aug 1 Sep 24 Dec 31 Feb 13 Mar 25
Liberal 53 52 53 51 50 49 48 50 49 48
Progressive Conservative 37 36 37 36 37
New Democratic 17 18 20 21
     Total members 107 106 105 107 105 104 103 102 107 106 105 107 106
Vacant 0 1 2 0 2 3 4 5 0 1 2 0 1
     Government majority −1 0 −1 −3 −4 −5 −6 −7 −8 −7 −9 −10
Membership changes in the 40th Assembly
Date Name District Party Reason
     April 27, 2012 Elizabeth Witmer Kitchener—Waterloo Progressive Conservative Resigned to accept a government appointment as chair of the WSIB.
     August 1, 2012 Greg Sorbara Vaughan Liberal Resigned
     September 6, 2012 Steven Del Duca Vaughan Liberal Elected in by-election
     September 6, 2012 Catherine Fife Kitchener—Waterloo New Democrat Elected in by-election
     February 14, 2013 Chris Bentley London West Liberal Resigned
     February 14, 2013 Dwight Duncan Windsor—Tecumseh Liberal Resigned
     June 12, 2013 Dalton McGuinty Ottawa South Liberal Resigned
     June 28, 2013 Margarett Best Scarborough—Guildwood Liberal Resigned
     July 2, 2013 Laurel Broten Etobicoke—Lakeshore Liberal Resigned
     August 1, 2013 John Fraser Ottawa South Liberal Elected in by-election
     August 1, 2013 Percy Hatfield Windsor—Tecumseh New Democrat Elected in by-election
     August 1, 2013 Doug Holyday Etobicoke—Lakeshore Progressive Conservative Elected in by-election
     August 1, 2013 Mitzie Hunter Scarborough—Guildwood Liberal Elected in by-election
     August 1, 2013 Peggy Sattler London West New Democrat Elected in by-election
     September 24, 2013 Kim Craitor Niagara Falls Liberal Resigned
     December 31, 2013 Peter Shurman Thornhill Progressive Conservative Resigned
     February 13, 2014 Wayne Gates Niagara Falls New Democrat Elected in by-election
     February 13, 2014 Gila Martow Thornhill Progressive Conservative Elected in by-election
     March 25, 2014 Linda Jeffrey Brampton—Springdale Liberal Resigned to run for mayor office in Brampton

Sessions[edit]

There have been two sessions of the 40th Legislature.

Session Start End
1st November 22, 2011 October 15, 2012
2nd February 19, 2013

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]