by Hilary Clark Tuesday October 16, 2012

Premier Dalton McGuinty's resignation shocked Ontario's political landscape. His prorogation of the legislative assembly wiped the slate clean, and has opposition leaders demanding he recall the House. As Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath point out, work at Queen’s Park grinds to a halt: all committees are dissolved and all legislation that was in process evaporates. While much will rightly be made of what that means for the investigation and censure motion over the gas plant cancellation that was in committee, a lot of other work just flew out the window, too. Prorogation is of course a legitimate parliamentary tool, but as Mark Jarvis writing in Maclean's argues, ending the committees' investigations in and of itself "renders this prorogation an abuse."

Queen’s University professor emeritus Ned Franks has about as much depth on what happens to bills when the House is prorogued as anyone in Canada. In an email, Franks told me that although some governments in Canada reintroduce bills at the stage at which they were when the House prorogued – it’s almost automatic in Alberta – that’s not been common practice in Ontario. It can also be done with committees and their investigations, Franks writes, so at least in theory the next premier could reconstitute the committees that have just been dissolved. I doubt many would take a bet on that happening, but it is possible.

Some of the highest-profile bills that die on the order paper include Ontario's Anti-Bullying bill, the Home Heating HST rebate bill, and a bill limiting performance pay and bonuses for management working in the public sector.

Here’s a list (with links) of all the bills that had made it to second reading or later but that won’t get the chance for royal assent:

For the list that includes bills just in first reading, as well as all the bills that have already received royal assent, visit the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.