Liberals Threaten With Midnight Sittings to Pass Ontario Budget

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Liberal Government house leader, Yasir Naqvi, has warned members of the Progressive Conservatives and NDP that the legislature will not hesitate to convene daily until midnight in order to pass the budget. In his remarks on Tuesday, Naqvi said that Liberals expect and will get a “simple majority” on legislative committees despite Conservative objections.

The Liberals have used the threat of July night sittings to fast track the budget tabled by Finance Minister Charles Sousa on Monday, while making the opposition parties realize that the governing party dominates all committees. Naqvi stated that “we have received a very clear mandate from the people of Ontario. They want this budget to be passed.” Naqvi reiterated that “what we’re asking for is what’s based on precedent.” The Grits have planned to make a committee, chaired by a Grit, with six Liberal MPPs to two Tory MPPs and one NDP MPP. Although the NDP agrees with the Liberal stance on committee composition, PC house leader Steve Clark has called it unfair. Clark have proposed a committee constituting of five Liberals, including the chair, and two Tories and two NDP MPPs. Although, he also highlighted that the Conservatives have no plans to filibuster, suggesting a resolution is looming. “It’s not our members’ intention to unduly hold up the budget.”

In her remarks, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath stressed that it is “quite astonishing” that Naqvi has used the hammer of night sittings to expedite proceedings. She allege that the “Liberals used to talk about a family-friendly workplace and all of a sudden I guess (Premier) Kathleen Wynne thinks it’s OK to keep parents here till midnight to ram through a budget in the dark of night.”

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