The Inside Agenda Blog

Behind the Scenes at the Throne Speech

by Steve Paikin Tuesday February 19, 2013

The Speech from the Throne is a tradition, more than a century old, in many jurisdictions that have monarchies. If you watched it on television, you'd have seen plenty of pomp and circumstance, followed by the Lieutenant-Governor, David C. Onley, reading the speech. Note: the LG reads the speech, but he doesn't write it. That responsibility belongs to the government.

Here's some of what you might not have seen: behind the scenes at the Wynne Government's first throne speech.

Members of the legislature begin to gather on the house floor.

Legislative security motions at the arrival of the vice-regal party.

72-year-old Mario Sergio (York West), at the left of this shot, waited 18 years as a Liberal backbencher before finally getting into the Wynne cabinet.

Glen Murray (Toronto Centre), the new infrastructure and transportation minister, in a private moment before the reading of the throne speech.

Transition Chief Monique Smith confers with Northern Development & Mines Minister Michael Gravelle (Thunder Bay-Superior North).

The two northern Ontario ministers have a private chat about the speech: David Orazietti (Sault Ste. Marie) and Michael Gravelle.

Former Ontario Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy McMurtry (centre of shot) sits beside Marni Beal Alexander, the widow of former Lieutenant-Governor Lincoln Alexander.

The new Liberal front bench: Finance Minister Charles Sousa (Mississauga-South), Premier Kathleen Wynne (Don Valley West), and Health Minister Deb Matthews (London North Centre).

Their first throne speech as cabinet ministers: from left to right, Richmond Hill's Reza Moridi (bald with glasses, brown jacket), The Soo's David Orazietti, and Don Valley East's Michael Coteau.

A skeptical PC Leader Tim Hudak (Niagara West - Glanbrook) immediately signals his intention to vote against the throne speech.

Still looking plenty skeptical ...

The Wynne Government's future is in the hands of Andrea Horwath (Hamilton Centre) and the NDP.

A few weeks shy of his 82nd birthday, York Centre MPP Monte Kwinter is the oldest member of the Ontario Legislature ever, and counting.

The Liberal cabinet applauds the Speech from the Throne.

A full house of MPPs attended, and applauded the throne speech.

Lieutenant-Governor David Onley, with his wife, Ruth Ann, behind him. It's Onley's last throne speech.

Premier Wynne, her back to the camera, speaks with her life partner, Jane Rounthwaite.

Here's something you don't normally see: PC MPP Lisa MacLeod (Nepean-Carleton) in friendly conversation with Wynne and Rounthwaite.

A good chance to schmooze: the Ontario Trucking Association's David Bradley shake hands with Premier Wynne.

Speaker of the legislature and MPP for Brant, Dave Levac, hugs Premier Wynne.

The premier, a former aboriginal affairs minister, greets Phil Fontaine, former head of the Assembly of First Nations.

Another collegial moment: NDP MPP Rosario Marchese (Trinity-Spadina) shares a hug with Premier Wynne.

Premier Wynne shares a moment with Marni Beal Alexander, the widow of former Lieutenant-Governor Lincoln Alexander.

Dalton McGuinty's slogan was "Forward Together." Wynne has tweaked it to "The Way Forward."

For more of The Agenda's coverage of Ontario politics, visit our Ontario politics feature page.