Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford, the frontrunner to become the province’s next premier according to the latest Ipsos poll, failed to answer a question from a reporter about how a bill becomes law.
“Well, you know something my friend, we can run through that and I know that this is a gotcha question and everything because that’s your game, big smile on your face,” Ford said when asked by reporter Chris Reynolds during a campaign stop in Toronto on Wednesday.
“But don’t worry. I’m going to show you how many bills we’re going to pass. We’re going to pass endless bills down there and I hope you’re down there to watch the bills get passed.”
The businessman and former Toronto city councillor defeated PC party hopefuls such as Ontario MPP Christine Elliot and Caroline Mulroney, the daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, for the PC leadership.
Since being declared leader, he has promised to weed out government waste, repeal the province’s new sex education curriculum and reject a carbon tax – a key pillar in the party’s platform introduced last November under former leader Patrick Brown, which was forecast to bring in an estimated $4 billion and fund an income tax cut, as well as mental health spending among other measures.
WATCH: Does Doug Ford know how a bill becomes law and does it matter? Alan Carter has more.
How a bill becomes law
Firstly, a bill is proposed legislation that is presented to the legislative assembly by a member of provincial parliament (MPP). It can be a proposal to make a new law or change an existing one.
There are three kinds of bills:
- Government bills – introduced by cabinet ministers
- Private member’s bills – introduced by backbench or opposition MPPs
- Committee bills – introduced by chairs of certain standing committees
When a bill is passed and becomes law, several steps must be followed. When a bill is introduced, it is called first reading. This takes place when the legislature is in session from Monday to Thursday. The bill is then printed and made available to the public.
The next step is called second reading, which gives MPPs a chance to debate and vote on the principle of the bill while the legislature is in session.
The committee stage is the third phase and allows for witnesses to be called. Public hearings may be held and amendments to the bill will be considered.
Once fully examined, the bill is voted on and if approved, is reported to the legislature for third reading. If the bill is amended, it is reprinted.
The third reading is the final stage when MPPs debate and decide if the bill will pass. If it does, it is then presented to the lieutenant governor for royal assent, which officially makes the bill a law.