Speaker Ted Arnott wants to improve decorum in the legislature

MOUNT FOREST – Speaker Ted Arnott would like to improve decorum in the Ontario legislature as politicians return from an extended summer break.

In a recent talk with the Advertiser, Arnott said “my hope would be to start the next sitting of the legislature seeking a higher standard of decorum generally.”

In July he sent an eight-page memo to fellow MPPs asking them to tone down confrontational behaviour.

“I believe all of us as members would expect and hope that to be respected by the communities and general public we need to behave in such a way,” said Arnott.

He said the memo was intended “to encourage that respect and … get members to think in those terms.”

“We’ve worked with a large number of people to develop the report called A Courtesies Paper reminding members of the traditions and courtesies that are normally the way members of the legislature have behaved over the years.”

Arnott stressed the report was not just from him, but all presiding officers and the table staff.

Some of those working on the paper included the three deputy speakers: fellow Progressive Conservative MPP Rick Nicholls and New Democrats Jennifer French and Percy Hatfield.