Ted Arnott has been elected as speaker of the provincial legislature for a second term despite not being his own party's choice.
In a secret ballot, Arnott defeated the other lone candidate, Nina Tangri, who was the favoured choice of Premier Doug Ford and was favoured to win. She was nominated by Conservative MPPs. Arnott was nominated by an NDP MPP.
Arnott was easily elected to a ninth term as MPP in the recent provincial election.
When reached by phone at his Queen’s Park office, Arnott said he was honoured and privileged to serve the house as speaker for another four years as he had found the last term as speaker to be a beneficial experience.
“It was a very interesting exercise to talk to so many people on both sides of the house and hear their perspective and we’re back to work here. Glad to have the chance,” Arnott said.
Arnott said cross-party nominations for speaker candidates aren’t unusual but it hasn’t happened since 2011.
He didn’t want to speculate on why he was chosen over the premier-backed Tangri, who Arnott said he thinks very highly of, but simply said each member would have their own reasons for how they voted in the secret ballot.
“I was speaker, having served for four years, so people would have some sense of how I might do the job but that can cut both ways,” Arnott said.
Arnott said he’s pleased to continue to serve the house and constituents as legislature resumes with the lieutenant governor speech from the throne on Tuesday.
“Then the budget will be presented according to what the government is saying and then we carry on,” Arnott said. “We debate the bills and motions that come before the house, vote upon them and ultimately provide the leadership that the province needs.”
Ontario Speaker Ted Arnott has been re-elected in a fascinating contest. The GHL came out publicly for the other candidate and Arnott was nominated by two opposition MPPs. pic.twitter.com/MtWk9dmjuM— Jessica Smith Cross (@jessiecatherine) August 8, 2022