Legislative and Policy Update-March 10 -March 16

  • March 20, 2018

This Week at Queen’s Park

The Legislative Assembly was on a planned break this week, so there was no business in the house or committee rooms.  But that didn’t mean it was quiet.

On Saturday night, after a contentious vote, Doug Ford was announced as the new leader of Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.  Ford will now lead the PCs into the next election. Shortly following Ford’s election, the PC party announced that former leader, and recent leadership contestant, Patrick Brown would not be allowed to run as a candidate in the next election. 

In the hours following his victory, Ford has been asked to describe his party’s platform for the upcoming election.  So far, a formal written platform has not been released.  However, Ford has spoken about his intentions relating to issues like fiscal management, ending the current cap-and-trade program, reducing hydro rates, changes to Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum, and the potential to privatize cannabis sales in the province.  Platforms from all parties are expected to be released in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the province and the Federal Government announced an infrastructure funding deal that would see about $22 billion on “new transit and environmentally friendly” projects in Ontario over the next decade.  Of the total, it is estimated that the provincial portion is valued at about $10 billion, with close to $4 billion going to Toronto transit projects.

Also on Wednesday the Financial Accountability Officer, an independent Officer of the Legislative Assembly, reported that without finding “significant efficiencies” in the health sector, additional spending would be required to maintain health-care access and quality in Ontario.  The FAO cited Ontario’s aging population as a major driving factor for its findings.

On Thursday, Premier Wynne announced that the Ontario legislature would prorogue, with a Throne Speech planned for Monday, March 19th.  According to reports, all government bills will be re-introduced in the legislature, which includes:

The Throne Speech is expected to set out the government’s priorities for the coming election, ahead of the next provincial budget, which will be released on March 28th.

Law Society of Upper Canada

Convocation meets next on April 26, 2018.

The Law Society’s Advertising and Fee Arrangements Issues Working Group is accepting comments with respect to reforms to the regulation of contingency fees – including the mandatory standard form CFA, the client “Know Your Rights” document, and accompanying Rules amendments – until March 20, 2018.

Legislation

No changes this week, and the legislature was prorogued until April 19th.

Public Appointments Available

  • None at this time.