Conservative Premier Doug Ford and House Leader Paul Calandra have followed through on threats Calandra made. PC MPP Nina Tangri (Mississauga—Streetsville) lost the speaker’s election, therefore Calandra has stripped NDP MPPs Jill Andrew (Toronto—St. Paul’s) and Jennifer French (Oshawa) of deputy speaker roles for which they had been selected by the Opposition to be appointed, in addition to stripping a number of NDP MPPs from committee chair and vice-chair roles.
“It’s extremely disappointing that the government has completely disregarded parliamentary tradition to pass over the exceptional MPPs the Official Opposition NDP was so proud to put forward for deputy speaker appointments,” said NDP Chief Opposition Whip John Vanthof. “Jennifer French was an exemplary deputy speaker — fair, non-partisan and diligent. And Jill Andrew would have been an incredibly just and talented speaker, and also would have inspired hearts and minds as Ontario’s first Queer Black woman to ascend to the speaker’s chair.”
Added Jill Andrew, NDP MPP for Toronto-St. Paul’s and Official Opposition critic for Culture, Heritage, Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity: “The Ford government has chosen to ignore decades of tradition in order to make this change, which conveniently removes me — one of the most outspoken members of the House — from this opportunity. We are happy to see a Black woman make history from any party, but we are not happy about it when MPPs — especially those from historically marginalized communities — are used as pawns. To pit one Black woman against the other in order to satisfy their political hunger for control is a shameful power play that further demonstrates their limited understanding of how systemic racism operates. Ontarians deserved better than this.”