Meeting with The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
We were delighted to meet with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Todd Decker, during our orientation session. With over 30 years of experience at the Legislature, Mr. Decker has seen a lot at Queen’s Park and he was able to share many insights with us. He explained his role as Clerk, discussing the way that the legislature is structured in Ontario and his role in supporting the Speaker of the House in his work.
Delving into his long history at the Legislature, Mr. Decker was able to discuss some of the changes that he has seen come to Queen’s Park over the years and their impact on the proceedings of the Legislature. He explained to us the role of the Committee of the Whole House, discussed the dawn of television in the legislature, and made a convincing case for the importance of committees in a parliamentary democracy.
Through it all, Mr. Decker emphasized the resiliency of the legislature and its ability to handle all of the changes and challenges that electors have thrown at it over the years. That resiliency is, in large part, a result of great public servants like Mr. Decker and other permanent staff at the Legislature who remain constant over the years despite the ever changing political landscape who help to ensure that the Legislative Assembly endures.
A very interesting lesson from our multiple meetings these past few weeks is how the Assembly is an institution that is much larger than the individual Members; it is there to serve the people of Ontario regardless of who we elect to fill its seats. Mr. Decker’s passion for the legislature and its importance in our parliamentary democracy were inspiring and we greatly enjoyed learning from his wealth of experience at Queen’s Park!