MPPs sat on Sunday, June 2, from 6 p.m. to midnight, and there is also the possibility of evening sittings this week. It’s not unusual for governments to extend sittings to pass legislation before rising for the summer break, as they are scheduled to do after June 6, 2019.
This legislation was introduced on May 2 by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark. The bill was time allocated and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy with written submissions due May 31, 2019. This legislation contains proposed amendments to 13 different schedules, including Schedule 4, Education Act. The proposed Education Act amendments concentrate on two financial matters – land expropriation and Education Development Charges (EDCs). On May 31, OPSBA sent a submission based on feedback from member board business officials and the Policy Development Work Team.
This legislation was introduced by Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Christine Elliott on May 27. The bill would enact two Schedules, the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence Act, 2019 and the Opioid Damages and Health Costs Recovery Act, 2019. The legislation was accompanied by a government news release, Improving Quality Mental Health and Addictions Services Across Ontario.
Hiring Practices and Class Size Consultations
On May 31, OPSBA provided the Ministry of Education with a submission for their Next Phase of Consultations on Hiring Practices and Class Sizes. This was announced in March as part of the Government’s New Vision for Education, “Education that Works for You”, with details included in Ministry Memo B9. Our response builds on and supports our February submission to the government on the same issues. Our Labour Relations team worked with member boards via HR leads (senior negotiators) and the Association’s Labour Relations Steering Committee. Additional feedback was obtained by OPSBA’s Executive Council, Board of Directors, both the Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams, as well as input from trustees at April regional meetings.
OPSBA has previously commented on these topics in both a news release, OPSBA welcomes continued engagement but has class size concerns and a separate statement.
Ontario Autism Program (OAP) Public Consultations
In early May, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod, announced details for the government’s plans for their public consultations regarding the Ontario Autism Program (OAP). The consultations included telephone town halls, an online survey and an opportunity for individuals to email their additional information or comments. To prepare our response, OPSBA coordinated two teleconferences with member board superintendents responsible for special education. With this feedback, a draft submission was then shared with the Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams. Our final submission was shared with the Ministry on May 30 and OPSBA’s Board of Directors.
On May 30, Minister MacLeod announced the creation of an Autism Advisory Panel. The 20-member panel will provide recommendations to the Minister by September based on the feedback from the public consultations.
Audit and Accountability Fund
In late May, the Premier announced the creation of an Audit and Accountability Fund. School boards have many checks and balances throughout the year including quarterly reporting, provision of estimates, revised estimates, and March and year-end financial statement reports. These last two reports have external auditor oversight, with the year-end report containing an audit opinion. In addition, the Ministry of Education’s finance staff review all submissions for compliance and boards have internal audit departments.
Call for Nominations for OPSBA Elected Positions 2019
The OPSBA 2019 elections will be held as part of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which takes place from July 4 to 6, 2019, at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. Click here for the chart with the nominations received to date. All nominations received by the nomination deadline of 4:30 p.m. on June 4, 2019, will be published in the OPSBA Election Guide.
In collaboration with Elections Canada, CIVIX is preparing to deliver its sixth federal Student Vote program, with the goal of reaching more than 1 million students throughout the country. Registration is now open and click here for more information.
The student trustee association recently held their Annual General Meeting and elected new student trustees to their senior positions. These include: Public Board Council President-elect Sarah Chun (Thames Valley DSB); Public Board Council Vice-president-elect Sam Abbott (Renfrew County DSB); and President-elect Sally Meseret from the Durham DSB.