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The Legislative Assembly of Ontario (also known as Ontario Legislative Assembly or Ontario Legislature), is the legislature of the Canadianmarker province of Ontariomarker. It is located in the Ontario Legislative Buildingmarker at Queen's Parkmarker in Torontomarker, Ontariomarker.

The British North America Act section 69 stipulates "There shall be a Legislature for Ontario consisting of the Lieutenant-Governor and of One House, styled the Legislative Assembly of Ontario". The Legislative Assembly is unicameral, without an upper house (amalgamating the bicameral lower house of the Legislative Assembly of Canada (lower house) and the upper house of the Legislative Council of Canada), with 107 seats representing ridings elected in a first-past-the-post system across the province.

The Legislative Assembly is informally known as the "Ontario Provincial Parliament". This is because unlike the other Canadian provinces, members of this assembly refer to themselves as "Members of the Provincial Parliament" ("MPPs") as opposed to "Members of the Legislative Assembly" ("MLAs"). 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, R.S.O. 1990, c. L10 refers only to "members of the Assembly".

The 39th Legislative Assembly of Ontario was elected on October 10, 2007.

Lawmaking

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. Although ordinary Members of the Legislature pass few laws they have introduced privately (Private Members' Bills) they nonetheless play an integral role in scrutinizing, debating 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 ridings.

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 invariably 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

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 Peoples 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

Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly are broadcast to Ontario cable television subscribers as the Ontario Parliament Network.

Party standings

Affiliation
Leader of the Party
Leader in the Legislature
OntLA Status
valign="top" > Members

   
Liberal
Dalton McGuinty
Government
72
   
PC
Tim Hudak
Official Opposition
25
   
NDP
Andrea Horwath
Third Party
10
Independent
-
Vacant
-
 Total

107
 Government Majority

37


Seating plan

List of members























































































































































































































Name Party Riding
Joe Dickson Liberal Ajax—Pickering
Mike Brown Liberal Algoma—Manitoulin
Ted McMeekin Liberal Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale
Aileen Carroll Liberal Barrie
Michael Prue New Democrat Beaches—East York
Kuldip Kular Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton
Linda Jeffrey Liberal Brampton—Springdale
Vic Dhillon Liberal Brampton West
Dave Levac Liberal Brant
Bill Murdoch Progressive Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound
Joyce Savoline Progressive Conservative Burlington
Gerry Martiniuk Progressive Conservative Cambridge
Norm Sterling Progressive Conservative Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Pat Hoy Liberal Chatham-Kent—Essex
Tony Ruprecht Liberal Davenport
David Caplan Liberal Don Valley East
Kathleen Wynne Liberal Don Valley West
Sylvia Jones Progressive Conservative Dufferin—Caledon
John O'Toole Progressive Conservative Durham
Mike Colle Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence
Steve Peters Liberal Elgin—Middlesex—London
Bruce Crozier Liberal Essex
Donna Cansfield Liberal Etobicoke Centre
Laurel Broten Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Shafiq Qaadri Liberal Etobicoke North
Jean-Marc Lalonde Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Liz Sandals Liberal Guelph
Toby Barrett Progressive Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk
Rick Johnson Liberal Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock
Ted Chudleigh Progressive Conservative Halton
Andrea Horwath New Democrat Hamilton Centre
Paul Miller New Democrat Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Sophia Aggelonitis Liberal Hamilton Mountain
Carol Mitchell Liberal Huron—Bruce
Howard Hampton New Democrat Kenora—Rainy River
John Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands
John Milloy Liberal Kitchener Centre
Leeanna Pendergast Liberal Kitchener—Conestoga
Elizabeth Witmer Progressive Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo
Maria Van Bommel Liberal Lambton—Kent—Middlesex
Randy Hillier Progressive Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington
Bob Runciman Progressive Conservative Leeds—Grenville
Khalil Ramal Liberal London—Fanshawe
Deb Matthews Liberal London North Centre
Chris Bentley Liberal London West
Michael Chan Liberal Markham—Unionville
Amrit Mangat Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South
Peter Fonseca 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
Frank Klees Progressive Conservative Newmarket—Aurora
Kim Craitor Liberal Niagara Falls
Tim Hudak Progressive Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook
France Gélinas New Democrat Nickel Belt
Monique Smith Liberal Nipissing
Lou Rinaldi Liberal Northumberland—Quinte West
Helena Jaczek Liberal Oak Ridges—Markham
Kevin Flynn Liberal Oakville
Jerry Ouellette Progressive Conservative Oshawa
Yasir Naqvi Liberal Ottawa Centre
Phil McNeely Liberal Ottawa—Orléans
Dalton McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South
Madeleine Meilleur Liberal Ottawa—Vanier
Jim Watson Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean
Ernie Hardeman Progressive Conservative Oxford
Cheri DiNovo New Democrat Parkdale—High Park
Norm Miller Progressive Conservative Parry Sound—Muskoka
John Wilkinson Liberal Perth—Wellington
Jeff Leal Liberal Peterborough
Wayne Arthurs Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East
Leona Dombrowsky Liberal Prince Edward—Hastings
John Yakabuski Progressive Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
Reza Moridi Liberal Richmond Hill
Jim Bradley Liberal St. Catharines
Eric Hoskins Liberal St. Paul's
Bob Bailey Progressive Conservative Sarnia—Lambton
David Orazietti Liberal Sault Ste. Marie
Gerry Phillips Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt
Brad Duguid Liberal Scarborough Centre
Margarett Best Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood
Bas Balkissoon Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River
Lorenzo Berardinetti Liberal Scarborough Southwest
Jim Wilson Progressive Conservative Simcoe—Grey
Garfield Dunlop Progressive Conservative Simcoe North
Jim Brownell Liberal Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry
Rick Bartolucci Liberal Sudbury
Peter Shurman Progressive Conservative Thornhill
Bill Mauro Liberal Thunder Bay—Atikokan
Michael Gravelle Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North
David Ramsay Liberal Timiskaming—Cochrane
Gilles Bisson New Democrat Timmins—James Bay
George Smitherman Liberal Toronto Centre
Peter Tabuns New Democrat Toronto—Danforth
Rosario Marchese New Democrat Trinity—Spadina
Greg Sorbara Liberal Vaughan
Peter Kormos New Democrat Welland
Ted Arnott Progressive Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills
Christine Elliott Progressive Conservative Whitby—Oshawa
David Zimmer Liberal Willowdale
Dwight Duncan Liberal Windsor—Tecumseh
Sandra Pupatello Liberal Windsor West
Monte Kwinter Liberal York Centre
Julia Munro Progressive Conservative York—Simcoe
Laura Albanese Liberal York South—Weston
Mario Sergio Liberal York West


  • Cabinet ministers are in bold, leaders are in italics and the Speaker of the Legislature has a dagger next to his name.


Select committees

Current select committees through the current Legislative Assembly of Ontario

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.

(quoted from the Ontario Legislative Assembly's Glossary on their web site)


  • Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions


The Select Committee on Elections completed its work on June 30, 2009.

Standing committees

Current standing committees through the current Legislative Assembly of Ontario

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. (As quoted from the Glossary of the Ontario Legislative Assembly's Web Site)

  • Standing Committee on Estimates
  • Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs
  • Standing Committee on General Government
  • Standing Committee on Government Agencies
  • Standing Committee on Social Policy


  • Standing Committee on Justice Policy
  • Standing Committee on Public Accounts
  • Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills
  • Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly


Mace

The ceremonial mace of the Legislature is the third mace to be used in Ontario.

The first mace was first used by the Chamber of Upper Canada's first Parliament in 1792 at Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) and then to York (now Toronto). The primitive wooden mace, painted red and gilt and surmounted by a crown of thin brass strips. It was stolen by American troops during the War of 1812 in 1813. It remained in the United States until 1934 and returned to Ontario. Stored at the Royal Ontario Museum and now located in the Speaker's office.

A second mace was introduced in 1813 and used until 1841. A replacement mace was not purchased until 1845 and then transferred to the Union Parliament and finally to the Canadian Parliament in 1867. This mace was lost in the fire at the Centre Block in 1916. The current mace used in Legislature was purchased in 1867.

Officers of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Like the Parliament of Canada, the Legislature has procedural officers:

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 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 Ombudsman of Ontario, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario, the Auditor General of Ontario and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

See also



References

  1. CBC.ca OntarioVotes2007


External links






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