Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

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The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario is the presiding officer of the provincial legislature. Since 1990 the position has been elected by MPPs using a secret ballot. Previously, the Speaker had been appointed by the Premier of Ontario after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition and the leader of the third party and then ratified by the legislature. David Warner was the first Speaker to be elected by his or her peers.

The Speaker is usually a member of the governing party. The only exceptions have been Jack Stokes, Nelson Parliament and Hugh Edighoffer. Stokes was the NDP MPP for Lake Nipigon, and was named Speaker by Progressive Conservative Premier Bill Davis. Davis was elected to lead a minority government and having an opposition MPP as Speaker was a means of denying the opposition one vote (as the Speaker only votes in the occasion of a tie and then must vote by precedent). Nelson Parliament was a Liberal who became Speaker when the United Farmers of Ontario formed government as the entire UFO/Labour caucus were freshly elected with no legislative experience. As a result the Premier, E.C. Drury, looked to the opposition benches for a Speaker. Upon becoming Speaker, Parliament resigned from the Liberal caucus and sat without party affiliation. While this is the normal practice in the British House of Commons, it is the only time it has happened in Ontario.

Hugh Edighoffer was elected Speaker following the 1985 provincial election that returned a tenuous minority Progressive Conservative government under Frank Miller. However, the opposition Liberals and NDP controlled the legislature and elected Edighoffer as Speaker at the beginning of the session. Days later, the Miller government was brought down by a Motion of Non-Confidence and, as a result of an accord between the Liberals and the NDP, Liberal leader David Peterson was asked to form a government without the legislature being dissolved and a new election. Edighoffer, a Liberal MPP, remained Speaker for the duration of the Peterson government.

2011 Speaker election[edit]

There were nine candidates for the position of Speaker in the 40th Ontario legislature, held after the 2011 provincial election returned a minority Liberal government. Liberals Donna Cansfield, Kevin Flynn, Dave Levac and David Zimmer. A fifth candidate, Progressive Conservative MPP Frank Klees withdrew after his bid failed to receive sufficient support from either side of the aisle.

David Zimmer dropped off after the first ballot. On the second ballot, Dave Levac was elected Speaker. The actual vote totals were not released.[1]

2014 Speaker election[edit]

Liberal MPP Dave Levac was re-elected to a second term as Speaker at the first session of the 41st Parliament held on July 2, 2014, becoming the first Speaker since Hugh Edighoffer to serve more than one term. Levac defeated NDP MPP Paul Miller and Progressive Conservative Rick Nicholls on the third ballot. NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo was eliminated on the first ballot and Liberal MPP Shafiq Qaadri was eliminated on the second ballot. Actual vote totals were not released.[2]

Speakers of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario[edit]

Legislature Speaker by Order of Election Speaker Party[note 1] Term Began Term Ended Term Length
1 1 Stevenson, John Conservative 27 December 1867 7 December 1871 3 years, 345 days
2 2 Scott, Richard William Liberal 7 December 1871 21 December 1871 0 years, 14 days
2 3 Currie, James George Liberal 21 December 1871 29 March 1873 1 year, 98 days
2, 3 4 Wells, Rupert Mearse Liberal 7 January 1874 7 January 1880 6 years, 0 days
4, 5 5 Clarke, Charles J. P.[note 2] Liberal 7 January 1880 10 February 1887 7 years, 34 days
6 6 Baxter, Jacob Liberal 10 February 1887 11 February 1891 4 years, 1 day
7 7 Ballantyne, Thomas Liberal 11 February 1891 21 February 1895 4 years, 10 days
8 8 Balfour, William Douglas Liberal 21 February 1895 14 July 1896 1 year, 144 days
8, 9 9 Evanturel, Francis Eugene Alfred Liberal 10 February 1897 10 March 1903 6 years, 239 days
10 10 Charlton, William Andrew Liberal 10 March 1903 22 March 1905 2 years, 12 days
11 11 St. John, Joseph Wesley Conservative 22 March 1905 7 April 1907 2 years, 16 days
11, 12 12 Crawford, Thomas Conservative 8 April 1907 7 February 1912 4 years, 306 days
13 13 Hoyle, William Henry Conservative 7 February 1912 16 February 1915 3 years, 9 days
14 14 Jamieson, David Conservative 16 February 1915 9 March 1920 5 years, 22 days
15 15 Parliament, Nelson Liberal[note 3] 9 March 1920 6 February 1924 3 years, 334 days
16 16 Thompson, Joseph Elijah Conservative 6 February 1924 2 February 1927 2 years, 361 days
17 17 Black, William David Conservative 2 February 1927 5 February 1930 3 years, 3 days
18 18 Kidd, Thomas Ashmore Conservative 5 February 1930 20 February 1935 5 years, 15 days
19, 20 19 Hipel, Norman Otto Liberal 20 February 1935 2 September 1938 3 years, 194 days
20 20 Clark, James Howard Liberal 8 March 1939 22 February 1944 4 years, 351 days
21, 22 21 Stewart, William James Conservative 22 February 1944 21 March 1947 3 years, 27 days
22 22 Hepburn, James de Congalton Conservative 24 March 1947 10 February 1949 1 year, 323 days
23, 24 23 Davies, Myrddyn Cooke Conservative 10 February 1949 8 September 1955 6 years, 210 days
25 24 Downer, Alfred Progressive Conservative (PC) 8 September 1955 26 January 1960 4 years, 140 days
26 25 Murdoch, William Progressive Conservative (PC) 26 January 1960 29 October 1963 3 years, 276 days
27 26 Morrow, Donald Hugo Progressive Conservative (PC) 29 October 1963 14 February 1968 4 years, 108 days
28 27 Cass, Frederick McIntosh Progressive Conservative (PC) 14 February 1968 13 December 1971 3 years, 302 days
29 28 Reuter, Allan Edward Progressive Conservative (PC) 13 December 1971 22 October 1974 2 years, 313 days
29, 30, 31 29 Rowe, Russell Daniel Progressive Conservative (PC) 22 October 1974 17 October 1977 2 years, 360 days
31 30 Stokes, John Edward "Jack" New Democratic Party (NDP) 17 October 1977 21 April 1981 3 years, 186 days
32 31 Turner, John M. Progressive Conservative (PC) 21 April 1981 4 June 1985 4 years, 44 days
33, 34 32 Edighoffer, Hugh Alden Liberal 4 June 1985 19 November 1990 5 years, 168 days
35 33 Warner, David William New Democratic Party (NDP) 19 November 1990 26 September 1995 4 years, 311 days
36 34 McLean, Al Progressive Conservative (PC) 26 September 1995 26 September 1996 1 year, 0 days
36 35 Doyle, Edward Progressive Conservative (PC) 26 September 1996 3 October 1996 0 years, 7 days
36 36 Stockwell, Chris Progressive Conservative (PC) 3 October 1996 20 October 1999 3 years, 17 days
37 37 Carr, Gary Progressive Conservative (PC) 20 October 1999 19 November 2003 4 years, 30 days
38 38 Curling, Alvin Liberal 19 November 2003 19 August 2005 1 year, 326 days
38 39 Brown, Michael A. Liberal 11 October 2005 28 November 2007 2 years, 48 days
39 40 Peters, Stephen Liberal 28 November 2007 21 November 2011 3 years, 358 days
40, 41 41 Levac, Dave Liberal 21 November 2011 3 years, 30 days

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Progressive Conservative (PC); Conservative; Liberal; New Democratic Party (NDP)
  2. ^ Charles Clarke was also Clerk of the Assembly from 1892-1907, being the only Member to serve as both Speaker and Clerk.
  3. ^ Nelson Parliament was elected to the Liberal Party, however as the United Farmers won a Majority Government, and none had experience in the Legislature, Parliament was selected from the Opposition to become Speaker; he subsequently resigned his party membership and sat as an independent. To date, he is the only Ontario Speaker who has done so, while it is common practice in the United Kingdom.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Howlett, Karen (November 21, 2011). "Dave Levac elected Ontario Speaker". Globe and Mail. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Levac re-elected Speaker". Belleville Expositor. July 2, 2014. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 

External links[edit]