On September 9, 2013, the House resumed sitting after the summer adjournment and the five new MPPs, elected in the August I by-elections, took their seats in the Chamber for the first time. The House made changes to the memberships on Committees, to include all of the new members. However, a new vacancy in the membership of the House was created when Kim Craitor, MPP for Niagara Falls, resigned his seat on September 24.
Financial Accountability Office
On the first day of the fall sitting, the government introduced legislation to create a Financial Accountability Office (FAO), as ordered by the House in May, through the passage of a motion to apply a timeline to the consideration of the Budget bill. The bill respecting the FAO was amended by the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly which, in its deliberations, had called Kevin Page as a witness, the first federal Parliamentary Budget Officer. The bill was passed by the House on September 25 and received Royal Assent on September 26.
New Auditor General and her Special Report
On September 13, 2013, Bonnie Lysyk became the 13th Auditor General of Ontario, succeeding Jim McCarter, who'd held the post for the nine previous years. Ms. Lysyk is the former Auditor General of Saskatchewan and previously the Deputy Auditor General and Chief Operating Officer for the Office of the Auditor General of Manitoba.
In October, Auditor General Lysyk presented her first report to the Legislature, a Special Report on the Oakville Power Plant Cancellation Costs, which her predecessor had commenced at the request of the Premier. The report concerned a contract to build a gas-generation facility in Oakville that had been awarded by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to TransCanada Energy Ltd. (TCE) and executed in October 2009. An April 2013 report by the former auditor general addressed the cancellation and relocation of a gas plant in Mississauga. The Standing Committee on Justice Policy is continuing its examination into matters relating to both gas plant projects.
On October 3 the House passed a motion that a timetable be applied to the consideration of certain business of the House. The motion determined the progress of eight bills through the House, and called for the establishment of a Select Committee on Developmental Services.
The motion affected both government bills (five) and private member's public bills (three) whose proposed measures include: a ban on the sale of tanning...