Why Doug Ford's Ontario PC government should grant the Liberals party status - 2018-06-18
As the dust settled from the chaotic Ontario election campaign, it became clear that the worst-case scenario had happened for the Liberals. Not only did the party come in third place, but it had won only seven seats—one short of official party status. The Liberals have since begun a campaign for an exception to be made; they want official party status. While the NDP aren't keen on the idea, the PCs have yet to make up their mind.
But while it would be tempting for the governing party to deny this request—especially given the harsh words during the campaign reserved by premier-designate Doug Ford for the Ontario Liberals' now former leader, Kathleen Wynne—they should do it.
Losing official party status is about more than not having a dedicated leader's office and research staff: it's a fundamentally different position within the legislature, which impacts the type of work an MPP is able to do. MPPs not part of a recognized party are deemed "independent" by the legislature. This means they're not privy to important meetings that oversee the way the legislature is governed and the schedule is set (e.g. the Board of Internal Economy and House Leaders' meetings). Consequently, their offices are often operating in the dark and are beholden to whatever information the other parties are willing to share.