Ontario

By Koch, Katch | Canadian Parliamentary Review, Summer 2010 | Go to article overview

Ontario


Koch, Katch, Canadian Parliamentary Review


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The First Session of the 39th Parliament resumed on February 16, 2010 and was prorogued on March 4, 2010. The session was the longest in Ontario's history and lasted a total of 828 days with its beginning dating back to November 28, 2007. To open the Second Session of Parliament, Lieutenant Governor David C. Onley delivered the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Assembly on March 8, 2010.

Prior to prorogation, the Legislature bade farewell to some familiar faces and welcomed new ones in a number of byelections. Robert Runciman was appointed to the Canadian Senate by the Prime Minister after representing the people of LeedsGrenville for nearly 30 years and Jim Watson, the Member for Ottawa West-Nepean, resigned his seat to run for mayor in the City of Ottawa. The residents of these two constituencies were called to the polls on March 4, 2010. Glen Murray, a former mayor for the City of Winnipeg between 1998 and 2004, was elected in a by-election held on February 4, 2010. He now represents the riding of Toronto Centre, a" seat vacated by George Smitherman in November 2009. In the March 4th by-elections, Steve Clark was victorious in Leeds-Grenville and Bob Chiarelli in Ottawa WestNepean. Mr. Chiarelli is returning to the Ontario Legislature after once representing the people of Ottawa West between 1987 and 1997.

Also before prorogation, certain business remaining on the Orders and Notices Paper was carried over from the First to the Second Session at the same stages for the House and its committees.

On April 19, 2010, the Speaker delivered a ruling in the House concerning the statutory requirement in the Local Health System Integration AcL 2006 that a legislative committee undertake a review of that Act within a stated period of time. The Act called for the commencement of the legislative review four years to the day after the Act received Royal Assent, which would have been March 28, 2010. The Opposition parties argued that the Government was in contempt of the Legislature for not complying with the provision in the statute since the deadline to take the necessary steps to enable a legislative committee to carry out the review had passed. The Government responded that the section of the Act requiring such a review would have been repealed should an existing bill (Bill 16) pass that was introduced before the March 28th deadline and was then being debated in the House. The Speaker did not find that a primafacie case of contempt existed, but referred the matter to the Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly because of his concerns with provisions that are sometimes embedded in legislation which mandate a future review by a legislative committee. …

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