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LILLEY: Ford sets the agenda as MPP gathers in Queens Park for summer sitting

Legislative Assembly of Ontario at Queen's Park on a clear summer day in Toronto.
Ontario Legislature Toronto Queens Park on a sunny summer day. Photo Credit: iStock

Ontario's 43rd legislative session on Monday held a rare summer session following June's elections. will be convened at Queen's Park for

Don't expect the MPP to start deliberating or passing bills anytime soon. You have important business matters to deal with first.

Before the legislature begins — yes, the Ontario legislature is a legislature, but usually reserves its term to the federal legislature — it must elect a speaker. In a parliamentary system, the speaker is the referee who coordinates debates on the floor, calls bills for debate or vote, calls unruly members to give orders, and decides if and when the rules have been broken. .

Speakers, even if they are from the ruling party, are independent of the government and are there to serve all members, all citizens.

32} The current chairman, Ted Arnott, is a Progressive Conservative MP from the Wellington-Halton Hills equestrian. On Monday, when the MPP elects its speakers by secret ballot, Arnott will be challenged by his fellow PC MPP Nina Tangri, who will represent Mississauga-Streetsville riding.

Officially, Prime Minister Doug Ford is neutral on the matter. Unofficially, however, Ford and his entourage support Tangri. If elected, she will become the first woman in Ontario history to play the role. You can call the House of Commons.

The speech read aloud to Parliament by the Lieutenant Governor, formally the Queen's representative of Ontario, is a highly political document outlining the government's priorities. Staff at the prime minister's office have been crafting this speech over the past few weeks, and many of them will sound very similar to campaign promises.

What to expect

Transportation infrastructure: Toronto's subway, Hamilton's LRT, from highway construction. With Highway 413, the Bradford Bypass, and numerous local road projects, Prime Minister Ford worked hard to get Ontario moving again. We can expect to hear how his government "gets it done" with these projects.

Improving Healthcare: In 2018, one of Ford's big promises was to improve healthcare and end "corridor healthcare." was to let Despite early progress, much of it has been derailed by the pandemic. With ER and other closures this summer, it's creeping right now. Expect to hear not only how the government will deal with this, but how it will build new hospitals or expand existing hospitals statewide.

Achievable Housing: When most politicians talk about affordable housing, they are talking about income-matched rent or some form of public housing. Ford is determined to make homes affordable again for the average middle-class family struggling with soaring housing prices. He promised to build 1.5 million homes over 10 years. His plans haven't fully materialized yet, but given how much he discussed this on the campaign trail, it's worth mentioning in his throne speech.

Local Government Reform: He didn't talk about local government reform during the state campaign. But since then, Ford has been a powerful mayoral system in Toronto and Ottawa. Currently, the mayor has essentially the same voting rights as the local councilors, even though they are elected city-wide. See if this promise in the Speech to the King stays just in Toronto and Ottawa, or expands to other major cities in the state, including Hamilton, Windsor, London, Mississauga and Brampton.

Creating Blue Collar Jobs: Much of what governments can and will do in this area is already happening. They have contracted and expanded with every major auto operator in the state. They have made multiple announcements about the move to green steel and the decision by multiple companies to locate in Ontario as part of their chain of electric vehicle supply. Expect them to spend time bragging about taking victory laps on that front on Tuesday.

What the Opposition Wants

The NDP, Liberals and Greens each have a different vision of what the Speech to the throne should be about.

The problem for them is that voters chose not to put them in power on June 2nd, even though they had the chance.

NDP interim leader Peter Tubbs issued a news release on Friday to repeal Bill 124, which would limit wage increases for public sector workers, reduce school class sizes and provide paid sick leave. It read like every news release the NDP issued during the pandemic and like their platform during the election campaign.

It would be easy to say the NDP is out of ideas, but the Liberals and Greens are no more, and made nearly identical demands last week.

Politically, one of the best things Ford has done for him is that both the NDP and the liberals lack leaders and are unable to present a firm opposition. . This should make it easier for him to execute his agenda if he plays his cards correctly.

Congress is expected to hold until mid-September, then adjourn until after Thanksgiving.

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