The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly
After 37 years of public service, outgoing Clerk of the Legislative Assembly Deb Deller announced her retirement effective October 31, 2016. The event was recognized in the Chamber on October 27, with the Speaker and representatives from all three political parties paying tribute to her years of service to the Ontario Legislature and her serving, since 2007, as the Assembly's first female Clerk. A congratulatory petition was then presented to her as a gift, having been signed by every Member of the Legislature.
Todd Decker, the successful candidate to become the new Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, began his tenure on November 1, 2016. He brings 32 years of experience at the Assembly to the role, most recently having served as Deputy Clerk since 2007.
Standing Order 43 designates five afternoons in each legislative sitting as Opposition Days. These afternoons are reserved for the debate of motions put forward by opposition parties, subject to certain criteria.
On November 3, the Government House Leader rose on a point of order regarding a proposed Opposition Day motion submitted by the Official Opposition. The Government House Leader claimed that the motion should be ruled out of order on the grounds that it specifically cited, by name and job description, several individuals involved in an ongoing court proceeding. Following comments made to the point of order by the Official Opposition House Leader and the Third Party Whip, the Speaker chose to reserve his ruling until a later date.
On November 14, the Speaker delivered his ruling, stating that the Opposition Day motion did indeed contravene the rules and conventions surrounding sub judice. As part of his ruling the Speaker cited that: "...there is no getting around the procedural reality that Standing Order 43(d) requires a decision on an opposition day motion on the same day that the motion is moved. Whether the motion is carried or lost, a decision will have been made. The House will have taken a position--pronounced its opinion--on elements of a specific proceeding that is before the courts." The motion was ruled out of order and not allowed to be called for debate.
Following two by-elections held on November 17, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario welcomed two new MPPs to its ranks. Nathalie Des Rosiers, the successful Liberal candidate for the riding of Ottawa-Vanier, and Sam Oosterhoff, the successful PC...