House of Bills: Dissolution of Parliament

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario building in Toronto, Ontario, front-facing

By proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, the Legislative Assembly was dissolved on May 3. With the dissolution of the 42nd Parliament comes the termination of all parliamentary business. Those bills tabled during the last session which did not receive royal assent have “died”, meaning they did not become law and will need to be reintroduced if so desired next session. For more on the Legislature and dissolution, read on:

The power to dissolve the Legislature does not lie with the Premier, but rather with the crown, and more specifically, the Lieutenant Governor. While the Premier can make a recommendation to the Lieutenant Governor to dissolve the present Legislative Assembly, the crown needs to accept this recommendation. The Premier will issue an Order in Council making their request. If the Lieutenant Governor so accepts, they will make their proclamation.

Ultimately, dissolution enables the calling of a general election, so the Lieutenant Governor’s proclamation not only dissolves the current parliament but also:

  1. Orders that writs for a general election be issued
  2. Sets the dates for the close of candidate nominations
  3. Sets the date of the general election

This proclamation is made available on the Lieutenant Governor’s Twitter (@LGLizDowdeswell), or you can also view it below:

With dissolution, members of the Legislative Assembly cease to hold office and all parliamentary business is terminated (including those bills that have not received royal assent). No parliamentary business can take place until:

  • The general election is held
  • The new Legislature and its new speaker are summoned and selected
  • The Lieutenant Governor reads the Speech from the Throne

For more information on dissolution and the Lieutenant Governor more generally, visit this webpage.