The Legislative Assembly of Ontario returns February 19, 2019. Following is an update on legislation that OPSBA is monitoring and other recent items.
On December 6, Economic Development Minister Todd Smith
introduced Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act. The omnibus bill
includes changes to 12 different ministries and proposes to change business
regulations relating to toxic chemicals, employment standards, child care caps,
safety in assembly plants, pawnbrokers, food safety testing, wireless cellphone
contracts, agriculture, water extraction permits, wastewater treatment, private
career colleges and more. OPSBA is reviewing the proposed changes to the Education
Act and the Child Care and Early Years Act.Current Status: First
This bill was introduced on November 14 by Liberal education
critic Kathleen Wynne. If passed, the legislation would make seat belts
mandatory on forward-facing school bus seats by 2020.Current Status: Referred
to the Standing Committee on Social Policy
On October 25, Minister of Education Lisa Thompson
introduced Bill 48, Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act. The legislation, if
passed, would require teachers to pass a math test before getting licensed and
would revoke teaching certificates from teachers disciplined by the
profession’s regulatory body for committing sexual abuse against a student or
child. The bill also proposes an amendment regarding the use of service
animals in schools and classrooms. OPSBA will continue to review the proposed
changes with the Policy Development and Education Program work teams.Current
Status: Second Reading
Earlier this week, OPSBA provided the Ministry of Education
with a submission for regulation consultation on Hiring Practices (Ontario
Regulation 274/12) and Class Size (Ontario
Regulation 132/12). Our submission was
based on feedback after consulting with member boards via their trustees (at
the Public Education Symposium session), HR leads (senior negotiators), the Association’s Labour
Relations Steering Committee, senior staff input and past commentary. The
consultation deadline is February 22, 2019.
Ontario's New Autism Policy Will Overwhelm Schools, Advocate SaysAllison Jones, Canadian Press, Feb. 11, 2019TORONTO — Changes to Ontario's autism program are raising concerns that thousands of autistic children who will receive fewer hours of therapy will be pushed into schools unable to properly accommodate them.More ...
Know an amazing trustee,
teacher, education worker, student or community member who deserves to be
recognized for making a difference in their local school or community?
Nominations for our 2019
Awards are open! The nomination form can be accessed on SurveyMonkey now.
Awards strive to recognize the outstanding contributions to the public
education system made by individuals across Ontario.
The nomination deadline
for all awards, except for the Bernardine Yackman Memorial
Award, is April 4, 2019 at 5 p.m.
The nomination deadline
for the Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award is:
June 13, 2019 at 5 p.m.
For complete information
about the Awards Program, click here.
completing the nomination form, please take a few moments to review the
criteria for each of the Awards. The following is a brief summary:
Award recognizes 25 years of service as a trustee in public
A. MacDonald Award of Merit honours an elementary or
secondary school student attending an Ontario public school who has earned a
sound academic record and has shown outstanding service and leadership in his
or her community.
L. Bartlett Memorial Award is presented annually to
an active or retired member of the teaching profession. The successful
candidate is selected on the basis of outstanding contribution to education
throughout Ontario, such as constructive participation in education affairs
over a number of years or for dedication to some recent and specific project
that has had provincial impact.
Harry Paikin Award of Merit is awarded to an active
or retired public school trustee for outstanding service.
Award/Award of Excellence recognizes the
outstanding contributions of non-teaching staff, parents, volunteers and
community partners involved in education in Member Boards. This award provides
an opportunity to raise awareness and promote the importance of celebrating
excellence and the necessity of recognizing the work of all members of the
Yackman Memorial Award honours dedication, commitment and an
outstanding contribution to education with special recognition for Northern
the nomination process now
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario remains adjourned for
winter recess and returns on February 19, 2019. The following is an update on recent items.
The fully updated
OPSBA's Guide to Good Governance is now available in print and electronic
versions and will be distributed directly to school boards as a resource for
trustees and boards for the 2018-2022 term of office. The revised guide
contains legislative, policy and funding changes that have occurred over the
past four years, with specific relevance for Ontario's English public education
OPSBA’s Policy Development Work Team has been developing
resources for school boards in order to comply with upcoming requirements based
on past legislation and regulation changes. The resources and information are
for member boards to use in conjunction with materials that may have been developed
locally or to use in the development of their own material. They have received
input from the work team, senior OPSBA staff, senior member board staff and
Code of Conduct Template
Recent changes to Ontario Regulation 246/18:
Member of School Boards – Code of Conduct were filed to require all school
boards to adopt a code of conduct for Trustees by no later than May 15, 2019.
In addition, all Trustee codes of conduct must now be made available to the
public. If a school board already has a Trustee code of conduct, it must be
reviewed by May 15, 2019, and every school board must review its Trustee code
of conduct by May 15 every fourth year thereafter. According to the regulation,
the Board review shall determine if changes to the code are required and make
those changes or, if no changes are required, confirm the existing code of
conduct. In order to comply with the Regulation, a board should pass a motion
indicating that the code has been reviewed and no changes are required, if that
is the case.
OPSBA developed two documents: a “marked-up/highlighted”
PDF that indicates the changes made by the work team and a “clean” word
version to allow local modification more easily. If your board already has a
Code of Conduct policy in place and has also already reviewed it before the May
15 deadline, no further action is required.
Reminder: OPSBA first created this template in 2012 for its
member boards. The following was shared in the original cover memo and the
contents remain true for this revised version.
The template is intended as a guide for school boards. A
school board may decide to add or amend provisions of the template to address
their local concerns and reflect the mandate and vision of their board. In so
doing, it will be necessary to ensure that the minimum provisional provisions
are included in the code of conduct and the enforcement provisions include the
steps in s.218.3(1) of the Education Act. An example of an amendment a board
might make is to identify who would be involved in investigating breaches
(chair, vice-chair, or outside consultant).
It is our recommendation that the template’s code and
enforcement section be kept together for consistency and completeness. We also
recommend that boards consider using an informal procedure first and foremost
when investigating a breach of the Code of Conduct and discuss remedial
measures to positively correct inappropriate behaviour. We have suggested
the option of participating in professional development
training such as that offered by the Ontario Education Services Corporation
We believe code of conduct policies contribute to
confidence in public education and respect within the community for the
integrity trustees bring to their role. Given this, we envision using the
formal complaint procedure only for those egregious and repetitive behaviours
that disrupt the ability of a board to conduct its business.
of Interest – Updated Requirements
New requirements concerning Conflict of Interest become
effective March 1, 2019. OPSBA has summarized the trustee and board requirements and provided recommendations for consideration. The
Additional information about Conflict of Interest can be
found in OPSBA’s Guide to Good Governance – Chapter
4: Legal Responsibilities and Liabilities.
Pregnancy/Prenatal Leave Template
The Education Act was amended in May 2017, to require
“every school board to adopt and maintain policies with respect to pregnancy
leaves and parental leaves of members of the board. Section 228 of the Act
currently sets out circumstances where a member of the board’s seat becomes
vacant. A new subsection 228 (2.1) is added to provide that s.228(1)(b) does
not apply to vacate the office of a member of a board who is absent for 20
consecutive weeks or less if the absence is the result of the member’s
pregnancy, the birth of the member’s child or the adoption of a child by the
Original legislation (Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario’s
Municipal Legislation Act) only contemplated allowing this for office
holders in the municipal sector and OPSBA successfully advocated for this to be
extended to include school board trustees. OPSBA's template was based on
member board material and best practices concerning other leaves. The work team
wanted to ensure the template included a list of considerations for trustees to
decide and discuss locally.
Last week, the Ministry of Education announced consultations
regarding Hiring Practices (Ontario Regulation 274/12)
and Class Size (Ontario
Regulation 132/12). OPSBA hosted a session at the recent Public Education
Symposium at which the topics were preliminarily discussed. OPSBA’s
Labour Relations Team will be taking the lead on our response and consulting
with member boards via their HR leads (senior negotiators), the Association’s
Labour Relations Steering Committee, senior staff input and past commentary.
Feedback from trustees attending the PES session will also be included. The
consultation deadline is February 22, 2019.
Hiring Practices Consultation Paper
Class Size Consultation Paper
22, OPSBA sent a submission
to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Our document
was based on our recent Education Funding/GSN document.
In December, Attorney General Caroline Mulroney and Minister
of Finance Vic Fedeli announced changes to the licensing process for
recreational retail cannabis stores in Ontario. The province’s cannabis regulator,
the Alcohol and Gaming Corporation (AGCO) recently conducted a lottery to select 25 entities
interested in applying for a retail licence to open cannabis stores by April 1.
The 25 licences were divided regionally across the province and must now submit
requests to the AGCO for authorization to open retail stores at various
proposed locations. The authorizations are subject to a 15-calendar day public
notice period which includes opportunities to send written submissions to the
AGCO about the proposed location of a store. The written submissions will be
considered by the Registrar in its decision to issue or refuse authorization to
open a store at the proposed location. The government has said there must be a
minimum distance of 150 metres between a school and a retail cannabis
Information about the AGCO's public notice process
Municipalities had until January 22, 2019, to opt out of
having stores in their communities.
Full list of municipalities
January 29, 2019: Ontario
Making Life Easier for Parents and Families
January 29, 2019: Ontario
Investing in Indigenous Economic Development
January 23, 2019: Statement
by Education Minister on Consultations with Education Labour Partners
January 21, 2019: Ontario's
Government for the People Delivering on Promise to Restore Trust and
Accountability (Premier Ford’s address to the Economic Club)
January 17, 2019: Government
for the People to Lower Student Tuition Burden by 10 percent
January 15, 2019: Special
Advisors Appointed to Begin Governmental Review
Registration for OPSBA's premier labour relations and human resources professional learning opportunity is open!
The 2019 Education Labour Relations and Human Resources Symposium takes place April 4 and 5 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.
The Symposium is designed to provide professional development in the areas of labour relations and human resources to trustees, directors of education, senior human resources officials and labour relations staff. Additionally, senior school board decision makers are provided with opportunities to share ideas and strategies, learn about next and best practices, and explore practical solutions to the challenges faced by Ontario school boards.
Presentations will cover a wide range of relevant topics, including:
For more information, including a program outline and hotel information, visit the Symposium webpage.
OPSBA's 2019 Public Education Symposium was held from January 24 to 26 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto, in partnership with the Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l'Ontario (ACÉPO).
Featuring outstanding speakers, including Don Drummond of Queen's University, Canadian Football League legend Michael "Pinball" Clemons, Minister of Education Lisa Thompson, and media training consultant Eric Bergman, the conference provided an engaging and informative professional development opportunity for more than 300 public school trustees and senior school board staff.
Outstanding student entertainment was provided
by the TDSB’s Runnymede CI Steel Pan Band and the CS Viamonde Jazz Band Le
Caron of l’École secondaire Le Caron in Penetanguishene.
In addition, former Algoma DSB Trustee Graham Lidstone and former Waterloo Region DSB trustee John Hendry were the recipients of OPSBA President's Award, which recognizes trustees with 25 years of service to public education in Ontario.
View photos on Instagram: #PESym19 and @OPSBA_OfficialView the full programFeedback received from attendees included:I just want to give everyone at OPSBA a huge thank you for a great opportunity for trustees across the province to get some PD and networking opportunities. This was one of the best I have ever attended. George Saarinen, Lakehead DSB Trustee You are all doing a fantastic job! This is an amazing symposium. Kate Baggott, DSB Niagara Trustee Sessions were relevant, and engagement from everyone in attendance made for the best PES I've attended. Alana Murray, Director of Education, Bluewater DSB I am better informed, met Trustees from across Ontario and feel inspired to tackle our biggest challenges in education. Harpreet Gill, Toronto DSB Trustee Thanks to the @OPSBA team for a great #PESym19 conference! As one of many first-time trustees (40% of us!) the sessions gave some great insight into our new roles and helped build a foundation for the type of support network we have. Lots to think about, and still lots to learn!Garrett Elliott, Limestone DSB Trustee This was my 5th #PESym19 and it was outstanding as usual. Thank you @OPSBA for always providing enriching PD for Trustees across Ontario. Parthi Kandavel, Toronto DSB Trustee
We look forward to seeing you at future OPSBA events. Save these dates today!Education Labour Relations and Human Resources Symposium 2019 (Registration now open) April 4 and 5, 2019, Toronto
2019 Canadian School Boards Association Congress, National Trustees Gathering on Indigenous Education and OPSBA Annual General Meeting (Registration open soon) July 3 to 7, 2019, Toronto
The fully updated OPSBA's Guide to Good Governance is now available in print and electronic versions and will be distributed directly to school boards as a resource for trustees and boards as the 2018-2022 term of office gets underway. It will also be available in print at the 2019 Public Education Symposium.
The revised guide contains legislative, policy and funding changes that have occurred over the past four years, with specific relevance for Ontario's English public education system.
Ontario's education minister won't commit to keeping class sizes cappedCBC News , Jan. 24, 2019Ontario's education minister says she's committed to making sure students and teachers get the best learning environments possible but isn't promising class sizes won't grow.
Lisa Thompson announced a government review on Wednesday. Consultations would look at whether caps on the number of students in kindergarten and in Grades 1 to 3 should remain in place, as well as teacher hiring processes.More ...
and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) has produced A
Guide to Privacy and Access to Information in Ontario Schools. This guide describes the obligations and rights that school boards,
principals, teachers and administrators have under the Municipal Freedom of
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).
IPC has also
developed a series of fact sheets, including:
For a hard copy of the guide, email your request
with quantities to email@example.com.
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario remains adjourned for
winter recess and returns on February 19, 2019.
On January 7, the Premier sent a letter to all Ontario Public Service staff with a message focusing on
jobs, health care and fiscal balance. The Premier outlined his administration’s
top three “emerging priorities” in a letter to more than 60,000 bureaucrats. He thanked the civil service for “providing consistent, high-quality,
non-partisan professional advice as we implemented our ambitious plan.”
On January 8, ADM Denise Dwyer
sent a memo regarding updates made to PPM 9 that reflect changes stemming from The
Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 which came into force on April
30, 2018. The updated PPM “summarizes the responsibilities of school boards
with respect to the duty to report suspected abuses or neglect of children
under the CYFSA.”
Policy/Program Memorandum No. 9
On December 31, Education Minister Lisa Thompson issued the
media release, “Ontario
Government Concludes Largest Consultation on Education in Province's History.”
The government has said they have received 72,000 submissions and details about next
steps would be announced in the coming months.
On December 28, Minister of Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford
issued the media release, “Ontario
Names Clifford Bull Special Advisor on Indigenous Affairs.” Mr. Bull is to
advise the Minister “on economic and social and jurisdictional issues affecting
Indigenous communities. He will also serve as a liaison on behalf of Premier
Doug Ford and Minister Rickford with Indigenous communities.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
announced by-elections in Burnaby-South in B.C., Outremont in Quebec, and
York-Simcoe in Ontario will occur on February 25. Queen’s Park alumnus and
federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is bidding for a seat in the House of Commons
via Burnaby. Electors in Outremont will pick a replacement for Singh’s
predecessor, ex-NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.
In its December
newsletter, the Ombudsman’s office listed their “TOP 10 HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR
WORK IN 2018.” Included at number 6 was the following:
MOMENTS: Our office
reviewed nearly 900 complaints about school boards in fiscal 2017-2018, and
helped several improve their practices, for example, how they communicate about
student transportation or school closings. One formal investigation is pending,
involving a school closure decision by the Near North District School Board.
Complaints about universities and colleges are also on the rise. Read more in
our Annual Report about early years to Grade 12
and about post-secondary education."
Annual Report being referred to was originally released last June. At this year’s PES, there will be a session
(Friday, January 25) conducted by the Ombudsman’s Office entitled, “The Ontario
Ombudsman and School Boards - Learn how the Ontario Ombudsman resolves
thousands of school board complaints through early resolution and referral,
almost always without a formal investigation. Find out what to expect if the
Ombudsman contacts your board, and how we work directly with boards to solve
problems and improve school board practices and procedures.”
The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs
continues to hold Pre-budget Consultations and public hearings allowing people
and organizations a chance to tell the government what matters to them ahead of
the government’s first spring budget. The list of dates are:
The deadline for written submissions is Tuesday,
January 29, 2019. OPSBA will be sending in a submission based on our recent
Education Funding/GSN document.