Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott has been named the Speaker of the 42nd provincial parliament in Ontario.
The role of Speaker was decided by secret ballots cast Wednesday by elected MPPs in the Ontario Legislative Assembly. Arnott was selected on the first ballot and received a standing ovation as was ceremonially wrestled to the front of the House..
"That is the first and last standing ovation this speaker will receive," quipped Arnott when addressing the legislature.
Arnott was first elected to Queen's Park in 1990 at the age of 27. He is one of the longest serving MPPs at Queen's Park. He first served as MPP for the riding of Wellington from 1990 to 1999, then as MPP for Waterloo—Wellington from 1999 to 2007. Since 2007, Arnott has represented the riding of Wellington-Halton Hills.
Arnott thanked the constituents of all three ridings he has represented in his remarks after being named Speaker.
"I am well aware of the challenges and responsibilities" of the role, said Arnott, who promised to be "fair and impartial."
With the added responsibilities comes a 30 per cent increase in the base MPP salary, for a total of $152,913 a year.
During the last session of the Legislative Assembly, Arnott served as one of the assistant Speakers and was the Ontario PC Critic to the Minister of Research and Innovation, as well as to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.
Also running for speaker were fellow Tory MPPs Randy Hillier, Jane McKenna and Rick Nicholls.
The Speaker is the presiding officer of the provincial legislature and sometimes described as "the arbiter of the House", enforcing and interpreting the rules of the House, deciding matters of order, delivering rulings, and maintaining order and decorum.