AuthorKobikrishna, Thushitha
PositionLegislative Reports

On February 22, 2022, Ontario's Members returned to Queen's Park for the spring sitting of the Second Session of the 42nd Parliament. This sitting saw a return to in-person committee meetings, significant changes to the Standing Orders, and a busy committee circuit.

Standing Order Amendments

On March 9, 2022, the House passed a motion making several amendments to the Standing Orders. The amendments included changes to the meeting schedule of the House, the notice requirements relating to Private Members' Public Business, and to the makeup of standing Committees...

The amendments grant the Government House Leader the ability to make a temporary change to the House schedule--the House would start at 9:00 a.m. instead of 10:15 a.m. on a sitting Monday. Notice of this change would have to be given no later than the previous sitting Thursday at 12:00 noon.

Previously, for an item of business to be debated during the time for Private Members' Public Business, it had to appear on the Orders and Notices Paper (Order Paper) two weeks in advance of the date it was to be considered. This notice requirement was changed so that the item of business not only has to appear but must be designated on the Order Paper eight sessional days in advance. There were also contingencies added for when a Member failed to designate business for consideration before the deadline. Should the Member fail to designate an item, the first eligible public bill standing in their name would be designated; if there is none, then it would be the first eligible motion in their name. If the Member has no business on the Order Paper by the deadline, the Member will lose their place in the order of precedence and the House will not conduct a Private Members' Public Business proceeding on that date.

The amendments will also change the number of standing committees, including the elimination of the Standing Committee on Estimates. The expenditure estimates will now be referred to the committees to which the respective ministries are assigned and will be considered by those individual committees as part of their expanded mandates.

The changes relating to the House schedule came into force on the next sitting day after the motion was adopted while changes relating to Private Members' Public Business came into force on the eighth sitting day. Changes that impact committees will become effective in the next Parliament.

Motion Concerning Member's Conduct

On February 22, 2022, the House...

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