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Lieutenant-Governor defends delay in signing TTC bill

Posted: April 29, 2008, 9:29 AM by Rob Roberts TTC

By Natalie Alcoba, National Post

The office of the Lieutenant-Governor defended a decision to stick to his weekend itinerary, which included dropping the ball at a Toronto Rock lacrosse match, as the clerk of the legislature rushed a bill ending the TTC strike to the game for his signature.

MPPs had gathered at Queen’s Park in a rare Sunday session to order nearly 9,000 TTC employees back to work.

The eight-page legislation then had to be delivered to David Onley, who was at the Air Canada Centre, for his signature and Royal Assent.

“It didn’t result in any delay given that the Air Canada Centre is less than five minutes away from the legislative assembly, and we had a car ready and took the clerk and her party to the ACC and directly to the room where his honour was, and it was signed immediately,” said Nanda Casucci-Byrne, chief of staff in the office of the Lieutenant-Governor.

“They did not request that his honour go into the legislative assembly. They asked that he be available to sign.” She said Royal Assent often does not occur in the legislature.

But gridlock had already reportedly delayed the reconvening of the legislature; an official had to battle Saturday afternoon traffic to get the or-der-in-council to Mr. Onley’s Scarborough home, where he could sign it. By law, there must be 24 hours’ notice to recall the House.

Ms. Casucci-Byrne said that was “pro forma” too. “If the documents are not ready during business hours, or if he doesn’t have a meeting or an event here… then they will travel to his house just before he goes to the event.”

A spokeswoman for Dalton McGuinty said the Premier was grateful to all MPPs for “coming together” to pass the legislation — and thanked Mr. Onley’s office for facilitating the process. “Everything was done as quickly as possible,” said Jane Almeida.