The Legislative Assembly of Ontario remains on summer recess and resumes on October 28, 2019.
Treasury Board staff are continuing to work toward a broader public sector executive compensation policy that is expected to be implemented this fall. The four school board associations have been asked to attend a meeting on August 9, as part of the broader public sector consultations. OPSBA’s Executive Director is attending the meeting, along with representatives from the other school board/trustee associations and CODE. Discussions are expected to focus on parameters for performance-based compensation. The Association will continue to provide information in future updates.
2019-2020 Capital Priorities Program (CPP)
On July 22, the Ministry of Education announced the launch of this year’s CPP, as well as the review of its School Construction Standards. Each board is to submit their top 10 requests for consideration with of a deadline of September 30, 2019. All projects are to be completed by 2023-24. The announcement includes mention of a pilot for “modular construction.” OPSBA is seeking additional details on this initiative and continues to follow up with the ministry about funding details for the Priorities and Partnership Fund (PPF) and the moratorium on school closures. There is also the expectation of a revised regulation regarding Education Development Charges (EDC) and information will be shared when it becomes available.
Reciprocal Education Approach (REA)
On July 26, Deputy Minister Nancy Naylor sent a memo to all boards regarding this new approach which becomes effective September 1, 2019. The memo was sent by email and it includes an Appendix that outlines REA eligibility. OPSBA commented on our support for this approach and the choice for Indigenous families in our submission to the government as it was part of their omnibus budget bill.
Ontario Autism Program (OAP)
On July 29, the government announced the expansion of their Autism Advisory Panel to include recommendations for a “new needs-based and sustainable autism program.” Last May the government conducted public consultations regarding the OAP and OPSBA sent in a response with feedback from member board superintendents responsible for special education and the Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams. Our final submission was shared with the Ministry and OPSBA’s Board of Directors.
Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC)
Late in July, education ministers from across the country met in Victoria, British Columbia for their annual meeting. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. The MOU is for both provinces to “support and enhance opportunities for elementary and secondary students in STEM fields.”
Office of the Ontario Ombudsman
On May 1, the Ombudsman’s Office was given the power to investigate complaints and address concerns from and about children and youth in care (including about Children’s Aid Societies, foster and group homes, secure treatment facilities, and residential licensees across Ontario). The Ombudsman has established a dedicated children and youth unit for this work and in their July newsletter released tools (FAQs, info sheets etc.) to be shared with stakeholders.
- On July 31, 2019, Liberal MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers resigned from the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. There is now a 6 month window for a by-election for the riding of Ottawa-Vanier.
- August 6, 2019 News Release: Ontario Adding More Mental Health and Addictions Services for Indigenous Communities
Current Party Standings – 124 seats:
- Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario – 73
- New Democratic Party of Ontario – 40
- Ontario Liberal Party – 6
- Green Party of Ontario – 1
- Independent – 3
- Vacancies – 1