39th Parliament, 1st Session

No. 18

No 18

Votes and Proceedings


Legislative Assembly
of Ontario

Assemblée législative
de l'Ontario

March 31, 2008

Daytime Meeting - Sessional Day 18

31 mars 2008

Séance de l'après-midi - jour de session 18

39th Parliament

1re session
39e législature

1:30 P.M.

13 H 30

Reports by Committees

Rapports des Comités

Mr. Balkissoon from the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly presented the Committee's Report. Pursuant to Standing Order 109(b), the Report is deemed to be adopted by the House (Sessional Paper No. 91).


Introduction of Bills

Dépôt des Projets de Loi

The following Bill was introduced and read the first time:-

Le projet de loi suivant est présenté et lu une première fois:-

Bill 48, An Act to regulate payday loans and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.  Hon. Mr. McMeekin.

Projet de loi 48, Loi visant à réglementer les prêts sur salaire et à apporter des modifications corrélatives à d'autres lois.  L'hon. M. McMeekin.




With unanimous consent, the following motion was moved without notice:-

On motion by Mr. Caplan,

Sur la motion de M. Caplan,

Ordered, That notwithstanding Standing Order 96(d), the following changes be made to the ballot list of private members' public business:-

Mr. Bailey and Mr. Hillier exchange places in order of precedence such that Mr. Bailey assumes ballot item 63 and Mr. Hillier assumes ballot item 14.

Mr. Mauro, Mr. Zimmer, Mr. Orazietti, Mr. Moridi, Mrs. Mitchell and Ms. Aggelonitis exchange places in order of precedence such that:-

Mr. Mauro assumes ballot item 43, Mr. Zimmer assumes ballot item 36, Mr. Orazietti assumes ballot item 21, Mr. Moridi assumes ballot item 12, Mrs. Mitchell assumes ballot item 10, and Ms. Aggelonitis assumes ballot item 9,

and that, notwithstanding Standing Order 96(g), the requirement for notice be waived with respect to ballot items 9 through 14.


The Speaker delivered the following ruling:-

On Thursday, March 27, the Leader of the Official Opposition (Mr. Runciman) rose in the House with respect to announcements he said were being made by Government members in their ridings, concerning monies made available in the Budget through the municipal roads and bridges fund. The Leader of the Opposition complained that the information about this funding was being provided only to government members.

The Member acknowledged that he was not certain if this was a point of privilege, and indeed I can confirm that it is not. As I mentioned in a ruling delivered earlier last week, the privileges that members of this House enjoy are very narrow and they relate exclusively to members' parliamentary duties in this Chamber. The fact of government announcements being made, or information not being shared with opposition members, does not give rise to a question of privilege.

Numerous Speakers have addressed similar complaints on numerous occasions. In October, 1997, the Speaker ruled on a similar point of privilege in which an opposition member had not received government information at the same time that government members, certain municipal officials and even the press had received it. I will quote Speaker Stockwell from his October 9, 1997 ruling because I think it was extremely well-said at that time and applies as strongly today as it did on that occasion.

"I appreciate that the member would have preferred that all members could have received the information at the same time. However, the Speaker cannot require the government to release such information -- or to release it at a certain time. There is nothing in our rules or our practices that would permit a Speaker to control the dissemination of that kind of information. It is clear from any number of previous Speakers' rulings that these types of situations do not amount to a prima facie case of privilege.

Let me make this point, however. In a written submission to me on this matter, the Government House Leader acknowledged that a more coordinated distribution of the information in question would have been desirable. I agree, and to quote a previous Speaker, these kinds of administrative discourtesies do give rise to "a valid grievance of which the government should take serious note." I am certain that, in future, every care will be taken to prevent a recurrence of situations similar to the one on which I have just ruled."

As I said, these types of grievances have been raised on all too many occasions. While the Speaker has no direct authority to solve this matter, as the servant of all members of this House, regardless of which side they sit on, I feel an obligation, like so many of my predecessors, to express disapproval of this kind of activity. Every Member of this Assembly is elected by his or her constituents to represent their interests and each Member, it seems to me, should have access to the same governmental resources in fulfilling those duties. I echo Speaker Stockwell and many other Speakers who have expressed antipathy at the unequal treatment of Members based on partisan lines.

To finish this ruling, I would like to remind members that the Standing Orders require at least one hours' written notice to me of intention to raise a point of privilege. In raising this matter, the Leader of the Opposition expressed some uncertainty as to how his complaint should properly be raised, and so I allowed him to proceed and, furthermore, decided to take his point under advisement. However, I simply want to indicate to members that I would not expect to do so in the future.



Petition relating to safety improvements to Highway 12 through the village of Greenbank (Sessional Paper No. P-3) Mr. O'Toole.

Petition relating to construction of an Ambulatory Surgery Centre to serve the Mississauga Halton area (Sessional Paper No. P-23) Mr. Dunlop.

Petition relating to protecting the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill (Sessional Paper No. P-37) Mr. Moridi.

Petitions relating to the Lord's prayer (Sessional Paper No. P-48) Mr. Miller (Parry Sound–Muskoka) and Mrs. Munro.

Petitions relating to the practice of competitive bidding for home care services (Sessional Paper No. P-50) Mme Gélinas and Mr. Miller (Hamilton East–Stoney Creek).

Petition relating to the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre (Sessional Paper No. P-53) Mr. Delaney.

Petitions relating to approving Bill 11 and amending the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (Sessional Paper No. P-55) Mr. Leal and Mrs. Mangat.

Petition relating to investing $300 million in Toronto Community Housing (Sessional Paper No. P-56) Mr. Marchese.


Orders of the Day

Ordre du Jour

A debate arose on the motion for Second Reading of Bill 45, An Act to authorize the expenditure of certain amounts for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008.

Il s'élève un débat sur la motion portant deuxième lecture du projet de loi 45, Loi autorisant l'utilisation de certaines sommes pour l'exercice se terminant le 31 mars 2008.

After some time, the motion was declared carried and the Bill was accordingly read the second time and Ordered for Third Reading.

Après quelque temps, la motion est déclarée adoptée et en conséquence, ce projet de loi est lu une deuxième fois et ordonné pour la troisième lecture.

Bill 45, An Act to authorize the expenditure of certain amounts for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008, was then read the third time and was passed.

Projet de loi 45, Loi autorisant l'utilisation de certaines sommes pour l'exercice se terminant le 31 mars 2008, est ensuite lu une troisième fois et adopté.

Mr. Gravelle moved, That the House do now adjourn.

M. Gravelle propose que l'Assemblée ajourne les débats maintenant.

The question, having been put on the motion, was declared carried.

Cette motion, mise aux voix, est déclarée adoptée.

The House then adjourned at 5:50 p.m.

À 17 h 50, la chambre a ensuite ajourné ses travaux.


le président

Steve  Peters



PetitionS Tabled Pursuant to Standing Order 38(a)

Petition relating to the Lord's prayer (Sessional Paper No. P-48) Mrs. Van Bommel.


Sessional Papers Presented Pursuant to Standing Order 39(a)

Documents Parlementaires Déposés Conformément à l'Article 39 a) du Règlement


       Bill 48, An Act to regulate payday loans and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
(No. 92).