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Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What does losing official party status mean in Ontario?

By Michelle McQuiggeThe Canadian Press

Sun., June 10, 2018

The resounding defeat of Ontario’s Liberals in this week’s provincial election saw the party that previously held a majority slip below the number of seats required for official party status in the legislature. Here’s a look at what that means.

What happened?

The Ontario Liberal Party lost official party status when it won just seven seats in the legislature in the June 7 provincial election. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The broad collapse of Liberal support throughout the province meant the party claimed just seven seats. Current rules dictate that a party needs to have a minimum of eight elected members in order to qualify as an officially recognized party in the legislature.

Is the eight-seat threshold a hard rule?

No. The threshold for official party status has changed several times in the past and can do so again at the discretion of the government of the day. Premier-designate Doug Ford and his majority Progressive Conservative government could theoretically adjust the cutoff point and allow the Liberals to enjoy the numerous benefits of official party status.

What are the benefits of official party status?

Money, for a start. The legislative assembly’s internal economy board sets aside funds each year to be distributed among official parties. The Legislative Assembly Act states that official parties can use those funds for research, staff salaries and other purposes the party caucus determines. As things stand now, the Liberals will not have access to any such funds.

No. Without official status, the Liberal Members of Provincial Parliament must operate as independents, which means they lose many privileges they were accustomed to in the past. The assembly’s standing orders state independent MPPs will be excluded from debates where time is supposed to be divided evenly between recognized parties.

In debates without such conditions, independents may contribute if the house speaker calls on them. Participation in question period is also heavily contingent on the speaker. Independent legislators can submit requests to ask a question, and the speaker will decide whether or not to recognize that member. The standing order specifies that the speaker must make sure independent members have the same level of opportunity to participate as members of official party caucuses other than party leaders. Independents are also not entitled to reply to ministerial statements, receive copies of government notices of motion or amendments to bills and other such documents.

So what can independent members still do?

Standing orders state that they can be appointed to standing committees, introduce private members’ bills, make comments or ask questions on other members’ speeches, put written questions on the order paper and raise points of order.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They shouldn't be a party, by the rules. Why should the rules be changed to accommodate the party that has damaged Ontario so deeply that it has rejected them? They lost about 80%+ of their seats! What do you call a rejection?

It's a long road back. This is how institutions learn. There will be some practical political wisdom build up within the party if it survives -- and it almost certainly will. It might even have a few lessons for the NDP, but they won't be long-lasting.

What this province needs to restore its prosperity is a long-term plan. Whatever it is, it should be (to some degree) bi-partisan. Failing that -- the more likely alternative -- we have to think it terms of building a political dynasty which will restore the province's credit, and encourage economic growth.

That's my view. I am sick of profligate waste at the hands of the parties of the Left, followed by a clean-up period, where the Conservatives come in and clean up the mess, only to turn over power to even more reckless spenders. It seems to be a cycle that would be good to break.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCO wrote:

I am sure this opinion will be wildly unpopular here;
However I am think the PCs should extend party status not only to the Liberals but to the Greens as well.

I like the sentiment, and yes, it would not harm the sitting govt of Ford and the PC's . However , the rules are rules and there is no real reason to play nice . The Liberals have earned this ignominy of defeat .

The Liberals are going to have to earn everything they lost.

And congrats to the PC party. I hope they can do what they said they will do , but it wont be easy once they see the books I suspect.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ex-Harper MPs and staffers win big in Ontario election

By Marieke Walsh. Published on Jun 11, 2018 4:36pm

Stephen Lecce (left), a former staffer in Stephen Harper's government, was on hand for an announcement with Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford in Toronto on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin.

TORONTO— Conservatives from former prime minister Stephen Harper’s government cleaned up in last week’s Ontario election.

Of the five former MPs and six former staffers only one didn’t win the seat they were going for when voters cast their ballots last Thursday.

The winners include well-known names like Paul Calandra. The former MP for Oak Ridges—Markham was swept out of office in the 2015 Liberal wave, only to sweep back in on the 2018 Tory tide. He infamously made a name for himself when he was tagged by Harper to be his point person in the House of Commons during the Senate expense scandal.

Former federal cabinet minister Greg Rickford is also among the winners. Rickford was both the minister for natural resources and FedNor when his party lost government in 2015. He was among the candidates flown in during the campaign to take party in a roundtable designed to show-off the party’s cabinet prospects.

Here’s a look at what happened to the five former MPs:
•Paul Calandra won in Markham—Stouffville
•Daryl Kramp won in Hastings—Lennox and Addington
•Parm Gill won in Milton
•Greg Rickford won in Kenora—Rainy River
•Susan Truppe lost in London North Centre

Conservatives moving from the back offices to the caucus benches were even more successful with all of the former staffers pointed out by another former staffer Alykhan Velshi winning their seats.

Likely the most prominent name of the group is Stephen Lecce who worked his way up through the ranks in the prime minister’s office to become director of media relations.

Here’s a look at where the Harper government’s former staffers won.
•Stephen Lecce won in King—Vaughan
•David Piccini won in Northumberland—Peterborough South
•Amanda Simard won in Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
•Jeremy Roberts won in Ottawa West—Nepean
•Lindsey Park won in Durham
•Andrea Khanjin won in Barrie—Innisfil

The revolving door of people moving between federal and provincial parties is also playing out on Ford’s own team of staff. His transition team includes former Harper government staffer Chris Froggatt and former foreign affairs minister John Baird.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My general sentiment: RE: Party Status.

For starters, its sort of nice to see Bugs and TC on the same page on an issue;
So cheers to that!

My thought process is simple;

I am for accountability and transparency in government.
Not just when Liberals parties are in power but all the time regardless of who is on the government side of the aisle.

When the Liberals blocked the NDP from having party status in 2003 my biggest beef with that was you had a "headless" PC party across the aisle from a massive majority government who was the only "official" opposition keeping them truly accountable in the legislature.

The OLP reduced their oversight and accountability by limited a party that 15% of the population voted for and I voiced my displeasure with that.

I would be a hypocrite if I didn't take issue with it now, especially when a quarter of the voting population voted Liberal and Green.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCO wrote:
( the green leader is now denying reports of a coalition with the liberals to get official party status )

Lorrie Goldstein‏Verified account @sunlorrie · 10h10 hours ago

Green party leader Mark Schreiner denies report of forming coalition with Liberals http://torontosun.com/opinion/.....-coalition … #onpoli

You would think it would be the other way around?

If Schreiner wants to grow the party he needs to be heard in the legislature;

If his plan is to turn the Ontario Party into the sample single source ego stroking exercise that the Federal Party has become then by all means distance yourself from the only means of securing the ability to better represent your cause and your constituents.

The Liberal brand while toxic today is his only ticket to the dance unless the Government grants it to him.
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Ontario provincial election on June 7th

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