Back to work

The Ontario Legislature began a (sometimes sweltering) summer sitting on July 2, with the election of a Speaker for the 41st Provincial Parliament.

After the third ballot, we learned that Brant MPP Dave Levac would again take the Chair as Speaker. The next day’s agenda included the “swearing in” of Members of Provincial Parliament and the Speech from the Throne.

On that morning of July 3, for the first time ever, MPPs pledged allegiance to the Queen en masse in the Legislative Chamber. Lieutenant-Governor David Onley presided.

While the ceremony was over quickly, I again reflected upon the amazing privilege I have been granted by the people of Wellington-Halton Hills, and my gratitude to my campaign team and supporters across our riding.

In the afternoon, the House was called back into session for the first Throne Speech of the re-elected Liberal government led by Premier Kathleen Wynne. It is often said that Throne Speeches are vague and vacuous, but this one left no doubt as to the direction the government intends to take.

They intend to “lead from the activist centre,” the speech indicated. They “will put evidence before ideology and choose partnership over partisanship.”

They acknowledged “that trust is hard-earned, but easily lost.” Only time will tell …

* * *

As the Official Opposition, it is our role to hold the Liberal government accountable in the legislature, pointing out the flaws and drawbacks of their agenda and their policies. I also believe we have an obligation to offer positive alternatives.

But first and foremost, we must speak on behalf of the people in our ridings.

As the Liberals had promised, on July 14 the government tabled the same budget as the one that triggered the election this past spring.

I remain very concerned about the key numbers in the budget, as I said many times during the election campaign.

* * *

On July 4, I was honoured to be named our party’s critic to the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure by PC Leader Jim Wilson.

A few days later, I was appointed by a motion of the House to be the First Deputy Chair of the Committee of the Whole House (an assistant speaker position).

While these roles will be demanding, as always, my commitment to the people of Wellington-Halton Hills comes first.



Ted Arnott, Wellington-Halton Hills MPP