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Tories rush to raise official party status bar amid fears of Simard defecting to Liberals

December 3, 2018 3:26 PM
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The jittery Progressive Conservative government is rushing a change to official party status in the legislature amid fears former Tory MPP Amanda Simard will join the Liberals.

Even though legislation is expected to pass later this week increasing the threshold to 12 MPPs from eight, the Conservatives have added a motion to the order paper so the change could come before midnight Monday.

Government house leader Todd Smith has proposed the “recognized party means a party that has a recognized membership of at least 10 per cent of the total number of seats in the assembly.”

Smith’s unusual move, which includes a night sitting of the house, speaks to the urgency of the issue for the government.

Legislation that should pass as early as Thursday would have implemented the same change as his motion.

With 124 members of the legislature that raises the bar for additional funding and status during the daily question period to 12.

The Liberals have seven MPPs and have been courting Simard, who quit the Tories last week to protest Premier Doug Ford’s elimination of an independent French-language watchdog and the cancellation of a proposed francophone university.

Source: thestar.com

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