Premier Doug Ford’s re-elected government will recall the Ontario Legislative Assembly on August 8, two senior government sources told CBC News on Wednesday.
The atypical summer session will allow Ford’s majority government to set out its program in a throne speech on August 9 and table a budget in the days to come.
One of the senior government sources said the legislature would continue to sit until the fall. The usual schedule calls for Queen’s Park to be on hiatus until mid-September.
The first order of business for legislative business on August 8, when deputies meet in the chamber for the first time since the election, will be the election of a speaker for the 43rd provincial parliament.
Ford said his new government would deliver essentially the same budget that Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy tabled in late April. This budget was not passed because the government adjourned the legislature immediately afterwards for the election campaign.
Earlier Wednesday, Ford appointed 43 of its MPs as parliamentary aides to ministers. The position comes with a $16,600 top-up to the MPP’s base salary of $116,500 per year.
Added to the 30 cabinet members sworn in last Friday, that means 73 of the 83 Progressive Conservative MPs are cabinet ministers or parliamentary aides. The chair and vice-chair will almost certainly be elected from the remaining 10 PC MPs.
The re-elected Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne in 2014 had 28 ministers and 29 parliamentary assistants.
The salaries of all Ontario MPPs, from opposition backbenchers to the premier, have been frozen since 2008.