Arnott re-elected Speaker of Ontario Legislature

TORONTO – Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott has been re-elected speaker of the Ontario Legislature.

“I’m enormously honoured and privileged to continue to serve as a member of the legislature, representing the people of Wellington-Halton Hills,” Arnott told the Advertiser on Aug. 9, one day after being reinstated.

“Yesterday I was elected to serve as speaker in the 43rd Provincial Parliament and I look forward to it very much.”

Members of Provincial Parliament returned to Queen’s Park on Monday and one of the first orders of business was to select a new speaker for the next four years.

Arnott, who was first chosen as speaker in 2018, was nominated on Monday by an NDP MPP.

He was up for the role against fellow PC MPP Nina Tangri, of Mississauga–Streetsville, who was nominated by Conservative MPPs.

By many accounts, Tangri, a former PC minister who would have been the first female Speaker, was preferred by Premier Doug Ford.

However, in a secret-ballot vote, some Conservative MPPs voted with the opposition to elect Arnott, who has served in the Legislature for over three decades.

Asked if he was surprised by the outcome, Arnott said in speaking with other members, many offered encouraging words.

“I just spoke to members and listened to their views on how the legislature needs to adapt to the current circumstances and to do a better job and it’s been a wonderful privilege to work with members on both sides of the house,” he explained.

Arnott thanked members for electing him and he also thanked the staff at the legislature, noting the assembly couldn’t function without them.

As for what he hopes to accomplish over the next four years, Arnott said he will continue to encourage members to “debate in a manner which will make people proud of their legislature.

“I believe that we need to always strive for a high level of decorum and civil debate in the legislature to have the discussion in a meaningful way,” he said.

“And then in turn, make the decisions that are required to address the problem.”

As many activities begin to resume, Arnott said he hopes the House will continue to allow the general public to come into the legislature and to be part of the process.

“I’ve also placed a high priority on member engagement, members of the legislature getting together and getting to know each other as colleagues, as opposed to adversaries across party lines,” he explained.

With more than 30 new MPPs, Arnott said he’s looking forward to helping and supporting them any way he can as they represent their constituents – a task he will be focusing on locally.

“I continue to make the concerns of our constituents in Wellington-Halton Hills my priority and continue to advocate for our needs and issues every way I can,” he said.