The first female Legislative Pages are welcomed into the Legislative Page Program in 1971. The program is open to Ontario students in Grades 7 & 8, allowing them to work at and learn about the Legislature during a brief work term at the Legislative Building.
Bill Davis succeeds John Robarts as Ontario Premier on March 1, 1971. During his terms in office, his administration increased health care and education systems in addition to expanding bilingual services. He would continue in power until his retirement in 1985.
The Office of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario was created in 1974 as a result of a study by a government commission. This office administers the running of the province’s Legislature on a neutral and non-partisan basis, and ensuring services are equal to all elected MPPs regardless of their political party. Pictured here is a meeting of a Legislative Committee in the late 1970s.
With the passage of the Ontario Arboreal Emblem Act in 1984, the Eastern White Pine became the official tree of the province. To mark the passage of the legislation, several white pine trees were planted on the Legislative Building grounds during a visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II that year.
Following the 1985 general election that resulted in a minority Conservative government for Premier Frank Miller, Ontario’s Liberals - led by David Peterson - and the New Democratic Party – led by Bob Rae – agreed to form an accord in order to force the Conservatives from power. The move ends four decades of consecutive Conservative governments in the province. Peterson becomes Premier, leading the province until 1990.
Televised broadcasts of Ontario’s Legislature begin during the fall of 1986 on the ONPARL television channel. Broadcasts are available in English and French thanks to simultaneous translation taking place on the floor of the Legislative Chamber.
Bob Rae was elected Ontario Premier at the September, 1990, election. He led the province’s first New Democratic government, in power until 1995.
The Speaker is elected from among the MPPs shortly after a general election - a practice that began at Ontario's Legislature in 1990. David Warner, MPP for the riding of Scarborough-Ellesmere, was the province's first elected Speaker, serving from 1990 to 1995.
As part of the 200th anniversary commemoration of Ontario’s Legislative Assembly, the Legislature adopted its own unique Coat of Arms – the first provincial Legislature in Canada to do so.
Ontario’s Legislative Building marked its first century on April 4th, 1993. One of the activities for the centennial year included the placement of a time capsule in one of the decorative copper finials on the roof of the building, to be opened in 2093.
Running on a platform to reduce provincial expenses – known as the “Common Sense Revolution” - Mike Harris was elected Ontario’s 22nd Premier in June, 1995. He remained in office until 2002 when he resigned his position to be replaced by his Minister of Finance Ernie Eves.
Interior renovations in the Legislative Building include the removal of carpeting throughout the main hallways to reveal the original oak floors, and a complete remodeling of the Chamber, turning the colour scheme there to green – the typical colour of a lower House in a Westminster-style parliament.