A petition is a document that is addressed to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and signed by at least one person. It asks the Legislature to act on or change its position on an issue. A petition can be submitted by an individual or a group.
Preparing a petition
To be presented to the Legislative Assembly, a petition must meet the following rules:
- It must ask for an action that is within the jurisdiction of the Legislative Assembly.
- It must use clear and respectful language.
- The text of the petition must be at the top of every page of signatures.
- All signatures must be original. They must be written directly on the petition.
- Each petitioner must print his or her name and address and sign his or her name under the text of the petition.
- Petitioners must be residents of Ontario.
- The petition must be addressed to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
- The petition must be written, typewritten, or printed. Emailed, faxed, or photocopied petitions are not allowed.
Presenting a petition
MPPs present petitions to the Legislative Assembly. Petitioners must arrange for an MPP to present their petition.
Any MPP, except cabinet ministers and the Speaker of the House, can present a petition. The Chief Government Whip may present a petition on behalf of cabinet ministers.
Petitions can be presented to the House or tabled with the Clerk.
Presenting a petition to the House
MPPs can present a petition during regular meeting of the House. These presentations are recorded in Hansard and the official record of proceedings (Votes and Proceedings).
Tabling a petition with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly
An MPP can file a petition with the Clerk at any time during a parliamentary session. These presentations are recorded only in the Votes and Proceedings.
The government's response to a petition
The government must file a response within 24 sitting days of the presentation of the petition. They give the response to the Clerk and the MPP who presented the petition.
The Clerk keeps an index of petitions that are presented during the parliamentary session. The index includes:
- a short description of the subject of the petition
- the date the petition was presented
- the MPP who presented the petition
- the date the Clerk received a response to the petition