NDP’s use of Parliamentary Procedure Paves the Way for Extended HST Hearings

The Ontario Legislature was marked by high drama this week as some Conservative MPPs halted the proceedings of the legislative assembly in their bid to extend public consultation hearings on Bill218, the HST enabling legislation. Originally, a time allocation motion was passed that stipulated that the legislative committee reviewing bill 218 would only hold public consultations on Thursday December 3rd.

In a clever bid to extend these consultations, the NDP declared that they would convene the committee meeting at 12:01 am rather than at the conventional time of 9:00am. Since such a move has never been attempted at the Ontario Legislature, the Speaker of the Assembly was forced to make a ruling on whether committee hearings could be convened immediately after midnight. To read the Speaker’s ruling click here. Shortly after the speaker made his ruling that convening the committee before dawn was within the rules, the government issued a motion that enabled the committee to extend its review of bill 218. Click here to read the government motion.

Keywords: HST