December 2nd, 2019

NDP pushes back against Ford’s attempt to ram bills through faster

Official Opposition amendments Nov. 29, Dec. 2 aim to replace Ford’s changes

QUEEN’S PARK — The NDP is pushing back against a package of Doug Ford’s changes to the legislature’s rules by proposing an all-party committee, instead of Ford’s devastating, unilateral attack on public input.

The Official Opposition New Democrats moved an amendment Thursday afternoon to wipe out Ford’s proposed changes. The NDP proposed, instead, to form an all-party committee to address the legislature’s rules; and to give the Liberal, Green, and independent MPPs two questions during question period, daily, until that committee does its work.

“Doug Ford is already notorious for shutting down debate and shutting out input on things that will seriously impact their families,” said NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson. “His changes to the legislature’s rules are an obvious attempt to ram bills through even faster, and give the public even less opportunity to weigh in when he’s making changes that will hurt their families.”

The Liberal and Green MPPs have signaled their support for Ford’s changes after having negotiated in a clause that says one more of the existing questions during question period will be asked by one of them.

“Horse-trading away people’s rights in exchange for a little more time to talk in the legislature is shameful,” said Bisson. “We’ve put that into our amendment so they can stop worrying about themselves and get on board with this process.

The NDP will move a further amendment Monday, which will provide more opportunity to debate the Standing Order changes. That amendment will give the legislature’s speaker the ability to recognize the needs of members with disabilities — which is done now with the unanimous consent of the legislature.