This week we debated:
The House is back for the final sitting of the 41st Parliament.
Over the Winter Adjournment, the Government House Leader has successfully negotiated an accelerated timeline for Bill 193, Rowan's Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 with the opposition parties. Under this new timeline, Bill 193 could pass third reading as early as Tuesday March 6th. Bill 193 passed Second Reading Vote on Wednesday with all party support. The Bill has been referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy.
On Tuesday the President of the Treasury Board introduced Bill 194, Fairness in Procurement Act, 2018. This Bill would, if passed respond to American jurisdictions that have implemented “Buy-American” provisions. The government is committed to standing up for Ontario’s businesses and workers. The PCs filed a procedural delay motion to prevent the government from calling the bill for 3 sessional days. Their motion has delayed debate on this Bill until next week. The Premier made a statement in the House in support of Bill 194 and urged the other parties to stop delaying this crucial piece of legislation.
Also on Tuesday, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services introduced Bill 195, Correctional Services Transformation Act, 2018. This Bill would, if passed transform the adult correctional system to improve outcomes for those in custody and those being released. The PCs again filed a procedural delay motion to delay debate on this Bill until next week.
On Wednesday, the President of the Treasury Board introduced Bill 196, Supply Act, 2018. This Bill would, if passed, it would give the Ontario government the legal spending authority to finance its programs and honour its commitments for the fiscal year that is to close at the end of March. The PCs again filed a procedural motion to delay debate on this Bill until next week.
On Wednesday, because the PCs have chosen to delay 3 government bills, the Government House Leader tabled Government motions to be debated during the time slots allocated for Bill 194, Bill 195 and Bill 196. The motions, Government motions 60 and 61 read as follows:
60. That, in the opinion of the House, we recognize that climate change is a real and present threat that is already costing Ontario families, and that Ontario should do its part in supporting national and international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution at the lowest possible cost to families and businesses by putting a price on pollution to combat climate change.
61. That the Legislative Assembly of Ontario recognize that not all Ontarians are feeling the benefits of our growing economy, and that we endorse a $15 minimum wage for workers starting in January 2019 to help create more fairness and opportunity across the province.
The Government will not allow the delay and distract tactics of the PCs stall our legislative agenda. We remain focussed on debating the issues and advancing the bills that are important to Ontarians. Both motions 60 and 61 were debated on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, the Minister of Government and Consumer Services introduced Bill 199, Access to Consumer Credit Reports and Elevator Availability Act, 2018. This Bill would, if passed give consumers easier access to credit information and improve access to elevators.
Motion #58 sponsored MPP Anderson passed in the House. The motion calls on the legislative Assembly to proclaim the third week in May as Professional Engineers Week.
Bill 197, Affordable Electricity Act, 2018 sponsored by Trillium Party MPP Jack Maclaren passed second reading in the House. The Bill sets out parameters to ensure Ontarians have access to low cost clean electricity. The government of Ontario has already built a clean system that is more than 90% free of greenhouse gas emissions. The recent Fair Hydro Act, 2017 has provided all Ontarians with a 25% reduction on their Hydro bills and 50% for those living in rural and remote areas of the province.
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