MPPs rose for summer recess after yesterday's session and return on September 24, 2018. Their return follows the 2018 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo, held this year from September 18 to 22, 2018, in Pain Court, Chatham-Kent, Ontario. This is traditionally a photo-op for party leaders and many politicians. The legislative session ended with the passage of Bill 5, Better Local Government Act, 2018. The government had introduced a time allocation motion that included the bill skipping the committee stage and receiving just one hour of debate at third reading.
Recreational Cannabis Legalization - Update
On August 13, 2018, the PC government announced that the province's recreational cannabis retail model will include a private retail system, replacing the former government's plan to operate government-run cannabis standalone stores. Beginning on the federal legalization date of October 17, 2018, recreational cannabis will exclusively be sold online via the Ontario Cannabis Store. The province will introduce legislation for a private retail model that, if passed, would be launched by April 1, 2019. A government news release stated "the private retail store model will be developed in consultation with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the City of Toronto, Indigenous communities, police, the cannabis industry association and other key stakeholders to ensure safe, responsible sales."
OPSBA will continue to monitor this issue and its implementation and request school boards be part of the retail store consultation.
Click here for the news release
Click here for the backgrounder
Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation - Update
On August 13, 2018, the Treasury Board Secretariat issued a memo and fact sheet announcing a suspension of the "current approach to broader public sector executive compensation while it completes a full regulatory review of the program." The new framework regulation, Ontario Regulation 406/18: Compensation Framework, is effective as of August 10, 2018. Click here for OPSBA President Cathy Abraham's comments.
Deputy Minister of Education Changes
On August 10, 2018, the government issued memos regarding the retirement of the current Deputy Minister of Education, Bruce Rodrigues, and the appointment of Nancy Naylor as the new Deputy Minister, effective August 30, 2018.
Ontario’s largest teachers’ union says it will defend educators who use updated sex-ed curriculumCaroline Alphonso, The Globe and Mail, Aug. 13, 2018The head of Ontario’s largest teachers’ union says it will “vigorously defend” educators who use the modernized sex-education curriculum in classrooms.
Speaking at the annual meeting for the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) on Monday, president Sam Hammond said the government’s decision to revert to a 20-year-old curriculum is “irresponsible, discriminatory and jeopardizes the safety of the students that we teach." ETFO said that if there are any complaints made by parents or disciplinary action taken by school boards against teachers who use the new curriculum, it will apply all measures to defend them.More ...
Better Local Government Act, 2018 was introduced on July 30 by Steve
Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The legislation affects
municipal and regional elections, including reducing the number of Toronto city council
wards from 47 to 25 to match existing federal and provincial
Under very short timelines, the Toronto DSB will now have to
re-determine the distribution of their 22 trustees to align with the 25 wards.
Regulation 412 has been amended to include revised timelines, which will be
revoked after the next municipal election.
Government House Leader Todd Smith confirmed that the summer
session will continue with MPPs back in the House on August
Back on Bill 5, Better Local Government Act, 2018
5, Better Local Government Act, 2018
Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
On July 26, the PC Government’s introductory legislation, Bill
2, the Urgent Priorities Act, was granted Royal Assent. The omnibus bill made
changes to Hydro One governance rules; ordered striking York University faculty
back to work; and cancelled the White Pines wind project. Premier Doug Ford
released a statement on July 25 announcing the House will continue sitting this
summer for two to three more weeks. Details surrounding the legislative calendar
are to be released in the near future. According to the current parliamentary
calendar, the House is scheduled to kick off its fall session on Monday,
September 10. There is some speculation that the House may resume after this
fall’s International Plowing Match and Rural Expo that occurs September 18-22,
On July 27, The Premier announced the intention to
introduce legislation, the Better Local Government Act, that will affect
municipal and regional elections, including the number of Toronto city council
wards down from 47 to 25. The new wards are to match existing federal and
provincial ridings. Media reports indicate that there will be no changes to the
number of school board trustees. OPSBA staff will review the legislation once it’s
Regarding the TDSB trustees, the backgrounder includes the
Question: How will the Better Local Government Act impact the races
for Toronto area School Board Trustees?
Answer: School Board trustees are elected under the Education
Act. There are no changes to the Education Act and the number of school board
trustees will remain unchanged. The nomination deadline would be extended to
September 14, 2018. Ontario Regulation 412/00 under the Education Act would be
amended to ensure that Toronto school board trustee seats are aligned to the
revised Toronto ward boundaries.
release and backgrounder.
On July 25, OPSBA sent a letter to the
Minister of Education regarding the Health and Physical Education curriculum. On July 24,
the Ministry issued memo B13 re: Next steps regarding the
wind-down of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funding (GGRF) program.
Please see the following updated OPSBA summaries indicated below for information regarding Ministry of Education 2018 B and SB Memoranda.
2018 B Memoranda (funding policy, financial matters)
2018 SB Memoranda (administrative information, clarification on financial matters)
2017 B Memoranda
2017 SB Memoranda
Ministry of Education Memoranda
B and SB Memoranda
Queen’s Park reconvened for a rare summer sitting on
Wednesday with a first order of business to elect a speaker. Candidates for
speaker had to be officially nominated in the House, after which MPPs from all
parties voted in secret for their preferred candidate using paper ballots.
Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott was elected Ontario’s new Speaker of the
House on the first ballot. Arnott is a former deputy speaker and has been an
MPP since 1990.
On July 11, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant
Governor of Ontario, delivered the Speech
from the Throne which opened the first Session of the 42nd Parliament of
Ontario. Next Monday will be the first official sitting day of the session. The
new chamber seating
plan includes 14 PC MPPs that have to sit on the other side of the aisle in
between the Liberal and NDP caucuses.
Most MPPs now have
their constituency and Queen’s Park offices set up but not all political staff
have been hired. All contact information is available on the legislative
website, including the list of new cabinet ministers and
their parliamentary assistants.
NDP Leader Andrea
Horwath will not be assigning new critic roles to her caucus ahead of the
summer legislative session. Horwath told reporters NDP MPPs from the previous
government will hold onto their former critic roles until fall.
Interim Liberal leader John Fraser announced the
seven-person Liberal caucus will take on the following critic portfolios:
Sault boards talk about sex-ed and common senseJeff Ougler, The Sault Star, Jul. 24, 2018Algoma District School Board is taking a “wait-and-see approach” as tension elsewhere in Ontario mounts over the provincial government’s controversial decision to scrap the sex-education curriculum.
Board chair Jennifer Sarlo said Premier Doug Ford made a campaign promise to repeal the latest curriculum, updated by the former Liberal government in 2015, and consult with stakeholders to eventually draft a new version.More ...
Scrapped sex education curriculum could lead to harm and bullying, says Peterborough advocateTaylor Klysdale, mykawartha.com, Jul. 17, 2018When Gay Bell came out in 1976 she dealt with oppressive discrimination from those around her.
“I remember what it was like as a kid, it’s a frightening and very repressive atmosphere as a lesbian child and I don’t want that for the kids now,” she says.More ...
On June 29, Doug Ford officially became Ontario's 26th Premier, as he and his 21-member cabinet were officially sworn in on the main staircase of the Legislature. This was followed by an outdoor swearing-in ceremony at noon on the Queen's Park lawn where the Premier re-affirmed his oath in front of the public.
Key minister appointments in this pared-down cabinet include:
Of note, there will not be a standalone Indigenous Relations/Affairs Minister for the first time in a decade. This file is now part of the portfolio of Greg Rickford, the new Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. Other Ministries that have been combined or folded include Women's Issues (Status of Women), Francophone Affairs, and Research, Innovation and Science, Early Years and Child Care. A full list of the cabinet is available here.
OPSBA will be reaching out to the new Minister of Education, Lisa Thompson, and her staff to establish introductory meetings. Thompson was first elected in 2011 and represents the Huron-Bruce riding. She was Caucus Chair and PC critic for International Trade and Critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation in the last legislature.
There have been reports that MPPs will return to the Legislature in July to consider back to work legislation to end the York University strike. Media have reported the Premier stated in a scrum today that it will occur around July 9. The 2018 parliamentary calendar lists September 10 as when the Legislative Assembly of Ontario will reconvene.
PC Party of Ontario - 76
Ontario NDP - 40
Ontario Liberal Party - 7
Green Party of Ontario - 1
OPSBA will continue to monitor NDP announcements regarding a shadow cabinet and list of opposition critics.
Bill C-45, Cannabis Act
Last week, the Senate approved this legislation and have announced that recreational cannabis will be legal in Canada beginning on October 17, 2018. The former Liberal government set up the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation and was on track to have an online store open by the federal government's legalization date. In late May, OPSBA met with representatives from then Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) to discuss next steps, including consultation about locations near schools. Ontario's legislation, Bill 174, Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017, received Royal Assent on December 12, 2017.
Ontario Ombudsman's Annual Report
Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé released his third annual report on June 27, 2018. In his 2017-2018 annual report, Dubé cited improvements in accountability and bureaucratic leadership in several public sector bodies as a measure of how independent offices like the Ombudsman's can make public services better. The report provides highlights of the 21,154 complaints his office received from the public in 2017-2018, and the "positive change" sparked by its investigations, including statistics from the Education (Early Years through Grade 12) sector.
Complaints about school boards for children through Grade 12 declined overall in 2017-18, dropping to 871 from 945 in 2016-2017. All complaints were resolved informally, and the report notes that the Ombudsman's Office has launched only one formal investigation related to school boards - the investigation regarding the Toronto school bus driver shortage – since gaining this jurisdiction in 2015.
Office of the Integrity Commissioner's Annual Report
The Office of the Integrity Commissioner has filed its 2017-2018 annual report, which can be found here: http://www.oico.on.ca/ar/2017-2018/.
Lieutenant Governor of
Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, has invited Doug Ford to assume the position of
Premier of Ontario and form a new government. Premier-designate Ford indicated
that he and his cabinet will be sworn in on June 29, 2018. There are many
predictions that he will have a much smaller cabinet of 18 to 20 people, down
from the 30-member Liberal cabinet. There is also speculation that some
portfolios could be eliminated or combined.
At his first press conference as premier-designate, Ford
said his top concern is protecting Ontario jobs and said, “My job is to protect
every single job in Ontario, which is affected more than any other province. I
have to protect the autoworkers, which is a massive industry, and my priority
is to protect the steel and aluminum workers.” On June 14, Ford met with
Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Canada's Ambassador to the
United States David MacNaughton.
The 40 NDP MPPs is the party’s largest since the 1990s and
includes new representatives from Toronto, Brampton, Ottawa, Kingston,
Kitchener, St. Catharines, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and the north. It also includes North America’s first Tibetan elected official,
Parkdale-High Park’s Bhutila Karpoche; Kingfisher First Nation MPP Sol Mamakwa,
who will represent Kiiwetinoong; and Métis MPP Guy Bourgouin who will represent
Ontario Liberal Party president Brian Johns announced the
Liberal caucus has unanimously endorsed Liberal MPP John Fraser as the
recommended candidate for the position of interim leader. Fraser represents the
riding of Ottawa South, which he first won in a 2013 by-election to replace
Dalton McGuinty. Kathleen Wynne will stay on as a third-party MPP. She and the
other six Liberal MPPs will be serving as independents after the party’s
failure to achieve official party status, unless the PCs choose to pass
legislation lowering the threshold. Ontario's first Green MPP, Mike Schreiner,
will also sit as an independent.
The 73 new MPPs — representing
59 per cent of the legislature — will take part in orientation sessions. Much
of the current activity at Queen’s Park is focused on the logistics of moving
Minsters and their staff and preparing new offices. Of note, there are now more
female MPPs than there were before the election. Ontario now has 49 female
MPPs, comprising 39.5 per cent of the House.
Trustee Gathering on Aboriginal Education
July 4 – 5, 2018
CSBA Congress 2018
July 5 – 7
1181 Hollis StreetHalifax, Nova Scotia
NOW. Early Bird registration ends this
week - at midnight on Friday, June 15.
We have been able to secure a few rooms for July
5, 6 and 7 at the conference rate at The Westin Nova Scotian
Hotel. If anyone needs rooms on those nights,
please contact us before Wednesday, June 13. The rooms must be
booked or released by then. The hotel
cut-off date for CSBA Congress 2018 was Monday, June 4.