Legislative Assembly of Ontario

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Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Assemblée législative de l'Ontario
41st Parliament of Ontario
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
History
Founded July 1, 1867 (1867-07-01)
Preceded by Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada
Leadership
Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell
Since September 23, 2014
Hon. Dave Levac, Liberal
Since November 21, 2011
Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Liberal
Since February 11, 2013
Patrick Brown, PC
Since September 14, 2015
Hon. Yasir Naqvi, Liberal
Since June 24, 2014
Jim Wilson, PC
Since September 11, 2015
Structure
Seats 107
Legislative Assembly of Ontario -Party Layout Chart Nov. 2016.svg
Political groups

Government (56)

Opposition (29)

  •   PC (29)

Other parties (20)

Elections
Last election
June 12, 2014
Next election
June 7, 2018 (scheduled)
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 is one of two components of the Legislature of Ontario (also known as the Parliament of Ontario[1]), the other being the Queen in Right of Ontario, represented by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.[2] The Legislative Assembly is the second largest Canadian provincial deliberative assembly by number of members after the National Assembly of Quebec. The Assembly meets at the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen's Park in the provincial capital of Toronto.

The Legislative Assembly was established by the British North America Act, 1867 (later re-titled Constitution Act, 1867), which dissolved the Province of Canada into two new provinces, with the portion then called Canada West becoming Ontario. The Legislature has been unicameral since its inception, with the Assembly currently having 107 seats (increased to 122 as of the 42nd Ontario general election) representing electoral districts ("ridings") elected through a first-past-the-post electoral system across the province.

Like at the federal level in Canada, Ontario uses a Westminster-style parliamentary government, in which members are elected to the Legislative Assembly through general elections, from which the Premier of Ontario and Executive Council of Ontario are appointed based on majority support. The premier is Ontario's head of government, while the Lieutenant Governor, as representative of the Queen, acts as head of state. The largest party not forming the government is known as the Official Opposition, its leader being recognized as Leader of the Opposition by the Speaker.

The Ontario Legislature is sometimes referred to as the "Ontario Provincial Parliament". 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 refers only to "members of the Assembly".

The current assembly was elected on June 12, 2014 as part of the 41st Parliament of Ontario. The first session of the 41st Parliament opened on July 2, 2014. On Friday May 2, 2014, the 40th Parliament of Ontario was dissolved by Lieutenant Governor David C. Onley on the advice of Premier Kathleen Wynne after the NDP and Progressive Conservative leaders said they would not support the Liberal minority government's budget.[3] The election was held on June 12, 2014, as a result of which Kathleen Wynne's Liberal Party formed a majority government.[4]

Queen's Park is a metonym for the Legislative Assembly.

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 41st Parliament of Ontario[edit]

Party standings[edit]

Election of the Legislative Assembly of the 41st Ontario Parliament occurred June 12, 2014, as a result of which Kathleen Wynne's Liberals formed a majority government.

Affiliation Party
Leader
Status Seats
2014 election Current
Liberal Kathleen Wynne Government 58 56
Progressive Conservative Patrick Brown Official Opposition 28 29
New Democratic Andrea Horwath Third Party 21 19
Trillium Party of Ontario Bob Yaciuk Third Party (unofficial) 0 1
Vacant 2
Total 107
Government Majority 9 7

Seating plan[edit]

(vde)

******** MacLaren * Oosterhoff Walker * Harris Nicholls * Martow McDonell * Pettapiece Coe * Cho * Campbell Mantha * Hatfield Gretzky * Gates French *
Bailey * Smith Yurek Munro Barrett Thompson Scott McNaughton Miller Hillier Forster Fife Armstrong Natyshak Taylor Sattler Vacant
* Arnott Hardeman MacLeod Wilson Jones BROWN Clark Fedeli Yakabuski Bisson HORWATH Vanthof Gélinas DiNovo Tabuns Miller
Levac
* * Bradley Naqvi * Del Duca Sandals * Sousa WYNNE * Matthews Hoskins * Chiarelli Duguid * MacCharles McMeekin * Takhar Kwinter *
Qaadri Sergio Lalonde Thibeault Flynn Leal Hunter Coteau Moridi Chan Murray Gravelle Dhillon Delaney Berardinetti Colle
Dickson Mangat Crack Damerla McGarry Mauro Jaczek Zimmer Albanese McMahon Ballard Naidoo-Harris Wong Fraser Anderson Baker
Vacant Des Rosiers Vernile Rinaldi Potts Milczyn Martins Malhi Kiwala Hoggarth Dong


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.[12] 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 of the legislature of Upper Canada and the United Provinces of Canada, had similar layout.

Membership changes[edit]

Number of members
per party by date
2014 2015 2016 2017
Jun 12 Nov 20 Feb 5 Aug 1 Aug 28 Sep 3 Feb 11 Mar 22 Jun 30 Sep 1 Sep 16 Nov 17 Jan 1 May 28 Jun 1 Sep 1 Oct 20
Liberal 58 59 58 57 58 57 56
Progressive Conservative 28 27 26 27 28 29 28 29 28 29
New Democratic 21 20 19
Trillium Party of Ontario 0 1
Total members 107 106 107 106 105 106 107 106 105 106 105 107 106 107 106 105
Vacant 0 1 0 1 2 1 0 1 2 1 2 0 1 0 1 2
Government majority 9 10 11 12 13 12 11 10 9 8 9 8 7 6 7

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
     Ann Hoggarth Liberal Barrie
     Arthur Potts Liberal Beaches—East York
Vacant Bramalea—Gore—Malton Jagmeet Singh (NDP) resigned on October 20, 2017, after being elected leader of the federal party.[13]
     Harinder Malhi Liberal Brampton—Springdale
     Vic Dhillon Liberal Brampton West
     Dave Levac Liberal Brant
     Bill Walker Progressive Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound
     Eleanor McMahon Liberal Burlington
     Kathryn McGarry Liberal Cambridge
  Jack MacLaren Trillium Party Carleton—Mississippi Mills
     Rick Nicholls Progressive Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex
     Cristina Martins Liberal Davenport
     Michael Coteau Liberal Don Valley East
     Kathleen Wynne Liberal Don Valley West
     Sylvia Jones Progressive Conservative Dufferin—Caledon
     Granville Anderson Liberal Durham
     Mike Colle Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence
     Jeff Yurek Progressive Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London
     Taras Natyshak New Democrat Essex
     Yvan Baker Liberal Etobicoke Centre
     Peter Milczyn Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore
     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
     Indira Naidoo-Harris Liberal 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
     Sophie Kiwala Liberal Kingston and the Islands
     Daiene Vernile Liberal Kitchener Centre
     Michael Harris Progressive Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga
     Catherine Fife New Democrat Kitchener—Waterloo
     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
     Deborah Matthews Liberal London North Centre
     Peggy Sattler New Democrat London West
     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
     Chris Ballard Liberal Newmarket—Aurora
     Wayne Gates New Democrat Niagara Falls
     Sam Oosterhoff Progressive Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook Resignation of Tim Hudak (Progressive Conservative) on September 16, 2016, by-election November 17, 2016.
     France Gélinas New Democrat Nickel Belt
     Victor Fedeli Progressive Conservative Nipissing
     Lou Rinaldi Liberal Northumberland—Quinte West
     Dr. Helena Jaczek Liberal Oak Ridges—Markham
     Kevin Flynn Liberal Oakville
     Jennifer French New Democrat Oshawa
     Yasir Naqvi Liberal Ottawa Centre
     Marie-France Lalonde Liberal Ottawa—Orléans
     John Fraser Liberal Ottawa South
     Nathalie Des Rosiers Liberal Ottawa—Vanier Resignation of Madeleine Meilleur (Liberal) on June 30, 2016, by-election November 17, 2016.
     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
     Dr. Eric Hoskins Liberal St. Paul's
     Bob Bailey Progressive Conservative Sarnia—Lambton
     Ross Romano Progressive Conservative Sault Ste. Marie Resignation of David Orazietti (Liberal) on January 1, 2017, by-election June 1, 2017
     Soo Wong Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt
     Brad Duguid Liberal Scarborough Centre
     Mitzie Hunter Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood
     Raymond Cho Progressive Conservative Scarborough—Rouge River Resignation of Bas Balkissoon (Liberal) on March 22, 2016, by-election Sept 1, 2016.
     Lorenzo Berardinetti Liberal Scarborough Southwest
     Jim Wilson Progressive Conservative Simcoe—Grey Chosen interim leader by the Progressive Conservative caucus on July 2, 2014.
     Patrick Brown Progressive Conservative Simcoe North Byelection on September 3, 2015 after resignation of Garfield Dunlop (PC)
     Jim McDonell Progressive Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry
     Glenn Thibeault Liberal Sudbury Elected MPP Joe Cimino resigned effective November 21, 2014 [14]
Thibeault elected in byelection February 5, 2015.[15]
     Gila Martow Progressive Conservative Thornhill
     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
Vacant Toronto Centre Glen Murray resigned effective September 1, 2017. There will be no by-election to fill the seat prior to the general election.[16]
     Peter Tabuns New Democrat Toronto—Danforth
     Han Dong Liberal Trinity—Spadina
     Steven Del Duca Liberal Vaughan
     Cindy Forster New Democrat Welland
     Ted Arnott Progressive Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills
     Lorne Coe Progressive Conservative Whitby—Oshawa By-election held February 11, 2016 to replace former PC MPP Christine Elliott
     David Zimmer Liberal Willowdale
     Percy Hatfield New Democrat Windsor—Tecumseh
     Lisa Gretzky New Democrat 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]

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.[17]

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.[17]

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 fourth mace to be used in Upper Canada or Ontario.

The first mace was used by the Chamber of Upper Canada's first Parliament in 1792 at Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) and then moved to York (now Toronto). [18] The primitive wooden mace, painted red and gilt and surmounted by a crown of thin brass strips. It was stolen by American troops as a Prize of War during the Battle of York of the War of 1812 in 1813. The mace was stored at United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland and remained in the United States until 1934 when it was returned to Ontario when President Franklin Roosevelt sent an order to Congress to return the mace.[19] It was stored at the Royal Ontario Museum for a time, and is now located in the Main Lobby of the Ontario Legislative Building. [18]

A second mace was introduced in 1813 and used until 1841.

The third mace was not purchased until 1845. In 1849, it was stolen by a riotous mob in Montreal, apparently intent upon destroying it in a public demonstration. Fortunately it was rescued and returned to the Speaker, Sir Allan Macnab, the next day. Later, in 1854, the Mace was twice rescued when the Parliament Buildings in Quebec were ravaged by fire. The Mace continued to be used by the Union Parliament in Toronto and Quebec until Confederation in 1867, when it was taken to the Parliament of Canada in Ottawa, where it remained in the House of Commons until 1916. When the Parliament Buildings were gutted by fire during that year, the Mace could not be saved from Centre Block. All that remained was a tiny ball of silver and gold conglomerate. [18]

After Confederation, where the third mace moved with the new Parliament of the Dominion of Canada to Ottawa. The current mace used in Legislative Assembly of Ontario was acquired in 1867. It was provided by Charles E. Zollikofer of Ottawa for $200. The Four-foot mace is made of copper and richly gilded, a flattened ball at the butt end. Initially the head of the mace bore the crown of Queen Victoria and in a cup with her monogram, V.R.. When she was succeeded by Edward VII in 1901, her crown and cup were removed and a new one bearing Edward's initials on the cup was installed. Eventually it was replaced with the current cup which is adorned in gleaming brass leaves. [18]

Through some careful detective work on the part of Legislative Assembly staff, the original cup with Queen Victoria's monogram was recently found in the Royal Ontario Museum’s collection and returned to the Legislature. It is now on display in the Ontario Legislative Building. [18]

In 2009, two diamonds were installed in the Mace. The diamonds were a gift to the people of Ontario from De Beers Canada to mark the opening of the Victor Mine near Attawapiskat in northern Ontario. Three diamonds were selected from the first run of the mine. Two stones, one rough and one polished, were set in platinum in the crown of the Mace while the third stone, also polished, was put on exhibit in the lobby of the Legislative Building as part of a display about the history of the Mace. [18]

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, the Integrity Commissioner, the Auditor General, the Chief Electoral Officer, and the Information and Privacy Commissioner.


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Origins of "MPP"". The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  2. ^ Constitution Act, 1867, 30 & 31 Victoria 1867, c. 3 (U.K.), s. 69 (Constitution Act, 1867 at Department of Justice Canada) .
  3. ^ "Ontario Election On June 12, 2014". Retrieved 2016-09-28. 
  4. ^ "Kathleen Wynne's Liberals win majority government | Toronto Star". thestar.com. Retrieved 2016-09-28. 
  5. ^ Brown, Patrick (2015-05-10). "Patrick Brown wins Ontario PC leadership race". CBC News. Retrieved 2016-03-28. 
  6. ^ "Tory Lorne Coe wins Whitby-Oshawa byelection". Toronto Star. 11 February 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016. 
  7. ^ The Canadian Press (March 22, 2016). "Liberal Bas Balkissoon resigns his Scarborough-Rouge River seat in legislature". CBC News. Retrieved 27 March 2016. 
  8. ^ The Canadian Press (November 17, 2016). "Youngest ever MPP elected in Niagara byelection on Thursday". Citynews.ca. Rogers Digital Media. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  9. ^ "MPP Jack MacLaren booted from PC caucus over 'unacceptable' comments". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-06-14. 
  10. ^ MacLaren, Jack (2017-05-28). "pic.twitter.com/SiYiTHdhiy". @jackmaclaren1. Retrieved 2017-06-14. 
  11. ^ McCarthy, Shawn (July 31, 2017). "Environment Minister Glen Murray resigns from Kathleen Wynne's cabinet". The Globe and Mail. 
  12. ^ "The Commons Chamber in the 16th Century". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2016-09-28. 
  13. ^ "Jagmeet Singh quits as MPP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton". thestar.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  14. ^ "NDP MPP Joe Cimino resigns seat: cites family, health issues". CBC.ca. Retrieved November 21, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Liberals win Sudbury byelection". The Toronto Star. February 5, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Andrea Horwath slams Kathleen Wynne for not calling a Toronto Centre byelection". thestar.com. Retrieved October 18, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b Legislative Assembly of Ontario: Glossary retrieved 10 February 2010
  18. ^ a b c d e f "The Mace". speaker.ontla.on.ca. Retrieved 2017-05-16. 
  19. ^ "Franklin D. Roosevelt: Message to Congress Requesting Authority to Return a Mace to Canada". www.presidency.ucsb.edu. Retrieved 2016-09-28. 

External links[edit]