The Conservative Government of Ontario has prorogued the legislature until after the federal election is decided.
Members of Provincial Parliament for Ontario will pause their legislative activities until October 4. House Leader Paul Calandra confirmed the move in a statement Friday afternoon.
“With a federal election underway, during which each party has put forward dramatically different policies and funding commitments that will have a direct impact on our government’s legislative agenda, we have made the decision to prorogue the legislature until we have more certainty,” he said.
He added the pause on governing will not affect work on COVID-19.
Ontario’s MPs are currently on summer break and were supposed to sit again on September 13.
Opposition and NDP leader Andrea Horwath criticized Conservative Premier Doug Ford for proroguing the legislature, saying he’s effectively leaving Ontarians on their own during the pandemic.
“In the face of alarming Science Table data that shows the fourth wave of COVID-19 rising, Doug Ford’s decision to prorogue the legislature for three weeks is an unprecedented abdication of responsibility during a crisis,” Horwath said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Ford blames Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for instigating an early election.
During Ford’s Wednesday announcement about a provincial vaccine passport, the premier criticized the federal government for focusing on the election instead of a promised federal COVID-19 vaccine passport — forcing Ford to bring in a provincial one in the interim.
“National system is far better than a patchwork of certificates across every single province and territory,” he said. “But they will not be rolling out a vaccine passport while election is ongoing.”
The federal election takes place on September 20.