A new perspective will help set the tone for a new Parliament
BURLINGTON– Newly elected MPP for Burlington Jane McKenna, announced this week her intent to run for Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
“In the months ahead, the Ontario Legislature will consider many issues that will have life-changing impacts on the people we represent,” said McKenna, “The Speaker can help set the tone for a new Parliament, one that will do things differently, one that we can all be proud of.”
The Speaker is the presiding officer of the legislature and is responsible for interpreting the rules of the House, deciding on matters of order, delivering rulings and maintaining order and decorum. The Speaker also serves a ceremonial and diplomatic capacity as the Legislature’s representative, is the head of the Office of the Legislative Assembly and chairs the Board of Internal Economy.
“This Parliament has already made history as a result of its diversity,” McKenna said. “Nearly 40 percent of MPPs are women and 63 percent are newly elected. With this large turnover and increased diversity, we have an opportunity to do things differently.”
The Speaker is selected by all 124 MPPs by secret ballot. This process allows members to set aside political differences and come together to set the tone of Parliament. The selection of Speaker is the new Parliament’s first order of business and will take place sometime after 9am next Wednesday.
The last two Speakers of the Legislative Assembly, Steve Peters (2007-2011) and Dave Levac (2011-2018) were selected by their peers despite having no previous experience in the role. Levac went on to become the longest serving Speaker in Ontario’s history.
“I’m running for Speaker to ensure we have order and decorum in the House so that we can get things done for the people of Ontario,” said McKenna. “I have always excelled at bringing people together; that’s part of the reason I’ve been encouraged by members from all sides of the House to run.”
Jane McKenna was first elected to the Ontario Legislature as the MPP for Burlington in October 2011. After a 4-year absence, she was re-elected as the representative for Burlington in June 2018.