Premier Doug Ford’s re-elected government will call the Ontario Legislature back in session on Aug. 8, two senior government sources told CBC News on Wednesday.
The atypical summertime sitting will give Ford’s majority government the chance to lay out its agenda in a speech from the throne on Aug. 9 and table a budget in the days to follow.
One of the senior government sources says the legislature will continue to sit into the fall. The usual schedule calls for Queen’s Park to be on a break until mid-September.
The first order of legislative business on Aug. 8 when MPPs gather in the chamber for the first time since the election will be the election of a Speaker for the 43rd provincial parliament.
Ford has said his new government will bring in essentially the same budget that Finance Minster Peter Bethlenfalvy tabled in late April. That budget was not passed because the government adjourned the legislature immediately afterward for the election campaign.
Earlier on Wednesday, Ford appointed 43 of his MPPs to be parliamentary assistants to cabinet ministers. The job comes with a $16,600 top up over the base MPP salary of $116,500 a year.
Added to the 30-member cabinet sworn in last Fridaythis means 73 of the 83 Progressive Conservative MPPs are ministers or parliamentary assistants. The Speaker and deputy speaker are almost certainly to be elected from the remaining 10 PC MPPs.
Kathleen Wynne’s re-elected Liberal government in 2014 had 28 cabinet ministers and 29 parliamentary assistants.
Salaries for all Ontario MPPs, from opposition backbenchers all the way to the premier, have been frozen since 2008.