An Act To End Abuse of Prorogation
If elected I will submit the following as a private members bill. Standing Order 7 of the Ontario Legislature already governs prorogation but clearly it is not enough. The following Act explicitly restrains the Crown's powers over prorogation. Two months is long enough to reset a legislative agenda. The updated section also provides certainty to Ontarians on when their legislature will return.
Sadly PC leader Tim Hudak is on the record as saying he's not interested in changing the rules around prorogation (perhaps because he'd like a parachute too someday). NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has said she's willing to make changes. Well, that's good, I hope the following act would have the support of the NDP caucus. From the Ottawa Citizen:
Hudak said governments of all stripes at both provincial and federal levels have prorogued at one time or another, and he sees no need to tighten the rules.
Horwath vowed ... to introduce a motion at the earliest opportunity to curtail the ability of governments to prorogue the legislature, saying the power is being abused.
I hope the following act would have the support of all MPPs. It seems simple and uncontroversial to me.
It does not prevent every type of abuse of prorogation, but it would prevent prorogations like the current one that will last for months (and maybe longer). No Premier, from any party, should have the power to suspend the legislature without a known date for coming back.
What do you think? Should I change this to 30-calendar days?