35e législature, 1re session

The First Session of the 35th Parliament of the province of Ontario opened at 2 p.m. for the dispatch of business pursuant to a proclamation of His Honour, L. M. Alexander, Lieutenant Governor of the province.

His Honour the Lieutenant Governor, having entered the chamber, took his seat upon the throne.

Hon Mr Alexander: Pray be seated.

Hon Miss Martel: I am commanded by His Honour the Lieutenant Governor to state that he does not see fit to declare the causes of the summoning of the present Legislature of this province until a Speaker of this House shall have been chosen according to law; but tomorrow, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, His Honour will declare the causes of the calling of this Legislature.

His Honour the Lieutenant Governor was pleased to retire from the chamber.


Clerk of the House: Members of the Legislative Assembly, it is my duty to call upon you to elect one of your number to preside over your deliberations as Speaker. Therefore, I ask for nominations for the office of Speaker.

Mr Henderson moved, seconded by Mr Callahan, that the member for the electoral district of Prescott and Russell (Mr Poirier) do take the chair of the House as Speaker.

Clerk of the House: The honourable member for Prescott and Russell?

M. Poirier : Oui, Monsieur le greffier, j'accepte.

Le greffier de la Chambre : L'honorable député de Prescott et Russell accepte la mise en nomination.

Are there any further nominations?

Ms Haslam moved, seconded by Mr Curling, that the member for the electoral district of Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr Warner) do take the chair of the House as Speaker.

Clerk of the House: Does the honourable member for Scarborough-Ellesmere accept the nomination?

Mr Warner: I accept.

Clerk of the House: Are there any further nominations?

Mrs McLeod moved, seconded by Mr McGuinty, that the member for the electoral district of Carleton East (Mr Morin) do take the chair of the House as Speaker.

Mme McLeod propose, appuyée par M. McGuinty, que le député de la circonscription de Carleton-Est (M. Morin) prenne le fauteuil en tant que président de l'Assemblée legislative.

Le greffier de la Chambre : Le député de Carleton-Est accepte-t-il cette mise en nomination ?

M. Morin : J'accepte.

Yes, I accept.

Clerk of the House: Are there any further nominations?

Mrs Cunningham moved, seconded by Mr Ferguson, that the member for the electoral district of Carleton (Mr Sterling) do take the chair of the House as Speaker.

Clerk of the House: Does the honourable member for Carleton accept the nomination?

Mr Sterling: I accept the nomination.

Clerk of the House: Are there any further nominations?

There being no further nominations, I declare the nominations closed.

I now call for the voting booths and the ballot box to be put on the table.

If I could have your attention for a moment, please, we are now ready to move on to the actual voting procedure. A list of the candidates is now being posted in the voting booths and I am preparing the ballots here. I would ask you to mark the name in print, please, as legibly as you can make it, of your candidate so that the scrutineers will be able to identify for whom you are voting.

I would now ask the members to please come down to the middle aisle here and go behind your respective benches to the tables on either side, where members of the Clerk's staff will give you a ballot. Then I would ask you to come and mark it. Then the procedure is that after most of you have voted, I will give a final notice for people to come and vote. Once everyone has voted, the ballot box will be taken into a separate room with the two scrutineers from the Clerk's office -- the two clerk assistants -- and a representative from each party. After the count has been done, then a message will come back to me and I will be pleased to either announce that a Speaker has been elected or that there is a need for a second ballot.

I thank you very much for your co-operation. Let the voting begin.


Clerk of the House: Are there any more members who have not voted and who would wish to vote? There being no more members who would wish to vote, I will therefore declare the voting over with.

The two clerk assistants, accompanied by the three whips, I take it, will proceed to the room behind the opposition lobby where they will proceed with the count. No numerical results will be given out. That is according to the standing orders. As soon as a result is ready to be announced, we will ring the bells for five minutes for you to assemble and hear that one of the candidates has been elected as your Speaker or that there is need for a second ballot. Therefore, until the bells, this House stands recessed.

The House recessed at 1425.


Clerk of the House: Order. It is my duty to announce that there is need for a second ballot.

The candidates for this second ballot are the member for Carleton East, the member for Carleton and the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.

It is now my duty to ask that the voting booth be put back on the table.

Before we proceed to the vote, is there any candidate who wishes to withdraw at this time? There being no such withdrawal, I will now hand the ballots to the two tables and I would ask the members to proceed as in the first ballot: to proceed to the tables, gather up a ballot and proceed to the vote.


Clerk of the House: I would like to ask if there are any other members who have not yet voted. Seeing none, I will therefore ask the Sergeant at Arms to remove the ballot box and the scrutineers to proceed to the count once again. I would like to remind honourable members that the bells will be rung five minutes before the next announcement.

The House recessed at 1511.


Clerk of the House: Order please. I declare that you have elected David Warner, the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere, to be your Speaker. I would ask the member for Perth and the member for Scarborough North to escort the Speaker to the chair.

The Speaker: As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted some three years ago, political life is quite predictable.

The process that has unfolded this afternoon has indeed been most gratifying. The greatest honour a parliamentarian can receive is the support and the vote and the confidence of her or his peers. It is a humbling experience. It is one which causes you to stop and think about the responsibilities that you inherit. They are responsibilities which I take very seriously, but with a sense of privilege, the privilege of serving you as your servant in the House, the privilege of trying to help with the interpretation of the rules and the procedures and trying to establish the kind of atmosphere which will be conducive for all of us to conduct the business of the province.

I am certainly mindful of the history of the position of Speaker, dating back to the time when Charles I marched into the House of Commons and demanded from the Speaker the names of the people he thought were traitors. The Speaker chose to be silent, knowing full well that his silence could cost him his life, but it was in order to protect the very cherished freedom that we have, our democratic system, our opportunity to speak freely and without fear of reprisal. I am certainly mindful of that and although I do not expect to lose my head at any point, I certainly am more than willing to serve the members in the most honourable way that I can. I hope that over the time of this Parliament I will serve you with distinction and make you proud.

This is a unique opportunity for us and I think all of us are mindful that the mood of the public is such that they demand from their elected representatives the most thoughtful of discussions, the calmest of approaches, the most reasoned and reasonable of approaches to all the issues which we face. I know that all of us -- because I know many of you personally -- are quite capable of that.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome back those who are returning, many of whom are not just colleagues of mine but friends, friends I have not seen for a little while but friends just the same, and also to welcome the new members. This is, as you will find, a remarkable chamber in which there will be a free exchange of ideas and, hopefully, a very co-operative spirit that has developed on all sides. It is my intention as Speaker over the time of this Parliament to do everything I can to make sure that we do in fact have a very good working atmosphere, an atmosphere of mutual respect, because all of the members are equal in the eyes of the Speaker. The Speaker hears no favourites, the Speaker sees no favourites and the Speaker will do his best to make you proud.

I would like to also take this opportunity to welcome among us two former Speakers seated in the gallery, Speaker Edighoffer and Speaker Turner.

Lastly, as I said at the outset, I really, truly believe that during this Parliament we have a unique opportunity to construct an atmosphere which will not only make all of us proud, but in terms of our country, make this Legislature a model where calm and reason can be the order of the day and personal invective has no place in here. I pledge to you that I will do everything I can to make that a reality and I thank each of you for the support you have given. I hope to earn it every day with you. Thank you.

The House adjourned at 1540.