Rick's Blog

Creating Legislation

July 27, 2012

As I work to serve the families of Chatham-Kent-Essex better each day, I’m always looking for new ways to stay accessible and accountable. With this blog, I hope to offer an occasional glimpse into the world of an MPP, and hopefully share with you a few things you didn’t know about the job!


One of my primary tasks this year is the crafting of my first piece of legislation: my Private Member’s Bill.


Each MPP gets an opportunity to debate their PMB in the Legislature each year. These pieces of legislation reflect the work each Member does for their community and for Ontario. They can be sweeping in scope – like Tim Hudak’s Bill 42, which sought to repeal certain provisions within the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program. They can be more specific – like MPP Michael Prue’s Bill 107, which seeks to prohibit employers in the service industry from garnishing their employees tips.


But in nearly every case, these are the result of weeks and months of hard work, meetings, press conferences and interviews, consultations with stakeholders as well as families on the ground. We look for support for our Private Member’s Bill both from outside organizations and from our colleagues within each of the three parties.


At First Reading, a bill is introduced to the Legislature. This is generally a short process, whereby the bill is presented and added to the list of legislation to be debated at a later date.


It’s at Second Reading where the bill truly shines. First, the creator of the bill is invited to introduce their legislation in a 20-minute speech outlining the positive effects the bill will have forOntario.


Then, each party takes turns debating the bill in a rotation. The author of the bill hopes that it will find the support of the opposing parties. Sometimes it will, and the bill will be passed to committee unchallenged. Sometimes the philosophical differences between the parties are too great, and the bill relies on a vote to either be defeated or move on.


My own PMB, Bill 62, is called the Legislative Oversight of Regulations Act 2012. It contains a number of important steps to curb the red tape burden inOntario, which chokes small businesses and takes $11 billion out of our economy each year.


I was immensely proud when the bill garnered enough support on May 17 to pass Second Reading. Since that time, I’ve been working hard to consult with local business owners and stakeholders, to tell them about this legislation will free businesses to grow, create jobs, and get our economy moving.


It has been a fascinating process, and I’ve learned a lot in a very short amount of time. I’ll be sure to keep you updated as I continue with my duties at Queen’s Park. If you have a question or want to suggest a topic for a Blog post, use the “Contact” section at the top of the page!