Ted Arnott, MPP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2013
MPP Arnott challenges Premier over non-confidence motion
(Queen’s Park) – It’s an Opposition Day motion to force the Government to initiate a debate on an
Opposition non-confidence motion.
If that seems confusing, it’s because parliamentary procedure is not always easy to understand.
Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott was on his feet during Question Period on May 15,
explaining why an Ontario PC Opposition Day motion is necessary.
“This afternoon, the House will debate and vote upon our opposition day motion which, if passed,
and if the Government respects the will of the House, would require the Government House Leader
to call our non-confidence motion for debate and a vote on May 28,” Mr. Arnott said.
He went on to explain his points.
“An affirmative vote by the House today should compel the Government to abide by hundreds of
years of Parliamentary tradition and explicitly and directly test the confidence that this House has in
the Government,” said Mr. Arnott. “If our motion passes this afternoon, can the Premier commit to
respecting the will of this House?”
The Premier sidestepped the question, referring it to Government House Leader John Milloy.
Mr. Arnott was not satisfied with the Government’s excuses.
“If our motion today passes, the Government cannot ignore the will of the House and still claim the
legitimacy to govern, if the confidence question is still outstanding,” he added in his follow up
Mr. Arnott explained the Opposition Day motion is necessary, because even though a non-
confidence motion has been tabled, the Government has not indicated a willingness to bring it
forward for debate.
“We’re taking this one step at a time,” Mr. Arnott said afterwards. “But if they’re unwilling to debate
our confidence motion, it demonstrates they’ve lost the legitimacy to govern.”
(Attached: Text of Mr. Arnott’s Questions to the Premier, May 15, 2013 and the text of the two
Ontario PC Motions)
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Ted Arnott, MPP
Text of Mr. Arnott’s questions to the Premier, May 15, 2013
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier:
This afternoon, the House will debate and vote upon our opposition day motion which, if passed,
and if the Government respects the will of the House, would require the Government House
Leader to call our non-confidence motion for debate and a vote on May 28.
An affirmative vote by the House today should compel the Government to abide by hundreds of
years of Parliamentary tradition and explicitly and directly test the confidence that this House
has in the Government.
If our motion passes this afternoon, can the Premier commit to respecting the will of this House?
Mr. Speaker, back to the Premier. The Government cannot evade responsibility on this. Either
they respect the will of the House or they don’t. There can be no weasel words; there is no
middle ground. This is the Parliament of Ontario.
13 days have passed since the budget speech and we’re still waiting for the NDP to make up
their minds. They may very well sit on their hands again and allow the budget to pass, as they
did last year.
But a budget motion is a confidence motion only as it pertains to the budgetary policy of the
government, not confidence in an overall, comprehensive sense.
And if our motion passes today, the Government cannot ignore the will of the House and still
claim the legitimacy to govern, if the confidence question is still outstanding.
Will the Premier do the right thing if our motion passes this afternoon and call our non-
confidence motion for debate and a vote on May 28?
Ted Arnott, MPP
Text of Ontario PC Opposition Day Motion, to
be debated May 15, 2013
Mr. Clark – Whereas, a Motion of Want of Confidence is one of the most serious parliamentary
tools available to any opposition party throughout the Commonwealth that uses the Westminster
system of Parliament;
Whereas, motions of non-confidence are generally moved against governments when
governments conduct their affairs that breach the trust of the people;
Whereas, it is not only parliamentary tradition but convention that when a motion of Want of
Confidence is called against a government, that the government in question will want to
dispense with such a motion so as to prove to Her Majesty and the people that they still retain
the confidence of the House and moral authority to govern;
Whereas, the failure on the part of any party to agree to call any such motion for a timely debate
and vote is not only an affront to democracy but shows disrespect and disregard toward the will
of the people who elected members of an assembly;
Therefore, it is the opinion of this House, that the House Leaders of all the three recognized
parties shall schedule for Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 a debate and a vote on the Motion of Want
of Confidence standing in the name of Jim Wilson, MPP (Simcoe–Grey).
Ted Arnott, MPP
Text of Ontario PC Want of Confidence
Mr. Wilson – Whereas, the McGuinty-Wynne Governments have repeatedly put the
political fortunes of the Liberal Party ahead of both the people and the Province of
Ontario, abused their power and wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to
cancel gas plants in both Oakville and Mississauga so as to retain Liberal seats and save
their own political skins in a desperate attempt to cling to power;
Whereas, the Speaker of the Legislature made a finding of prima facie breach of privilege
for nonproduction of documents requested by the Standing Committee on Estimates,
which when finally provided, revealed that the Liberal Government had failed to report the
true costs of the cancelled gas plants and also exposed inappropriate political
interference at the highest levels of the Liberal Government;
Whereas, the Auditor General, in the wake of the growing scandal, sought to expose the
true costs of the cancelled gas plants after numerous Liberal Ministers, including then
Premier McGuinty and Premier Wynne in her previous Ministerial role, made public
pronouncements, both in the House and to the media that were suspiciously low. The
Auditor General confirmed on April 15th, 2013 that the true cost of cancelling the
Mississauga Gas Plant was $275 million dollars, or 45% higher than what the Liberal
Government had repeatedly told the people of Ontario;
Whereas, Premier Wynne, in her former Ministerial role personally Chaired the meeting
and signed off on the process that cancelled the Oakville Gas Plant, yet never disclosed
her role in this decision until evidence surfaced that showed Premier Wynne, in fact had
known intimate details about the true costs associated with the Liberal Government’s
decision to cancel the Oakville gas plant;
Whereas, conflicting testimony before the Standing Committee on Justice has hindered
the Committee’s ability to get to the bottom of the gas plant scandal;
Whereas, the gas plant scandals, combined with those at eHealth and ORNGE amount
to literally billions of taxpayer dollars being wasted on scandals and expose the
McGuinty-Wynne Liberal Government’s utter lack of competence and its failure to get the
basics right so as to get results for Ontarians; and, these scandals prove that the Liberals
will put selfish interests of their Party ahead of the people and Province of Ontario;
Therefore, the Government has lost the confidence of this House. Filed April 29, 2013.