Legislative Update – March 2, 2020

2020 3/2 | Connects Page, Provincial Updates

A photo of Queen's Park in Toronto from the front on a sunny day.

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario resumed on February 18, 2020, and has two weeks before the constituency week that coincides with March Break.

Provincial By-elections

Two provincial by-elections were held on February 27 for the ridings of Ottawa-Vanier and Orléans due to the vacancies created by the retirement of Liberal MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers (Ottawa-Vanier) and the resignation of Liberal MPP Marie-France Lalonde (Orléans). The successful candidate in Orléans was city councillor Stephen Blais (Liberal Party) and in Ottawa—Vanier, French school trustee Lucille Collard (Liberal Party). Details regarding voting results and percentages can be found on the Elections Ontario website.

“Unofficial” Party Standings – 124 seats:​
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario – 73
New Democratic Party of Ontario – 40
Ontario Liberal Party – 8
Green Party of Ontario – 1
Independent – 2​

Bill 172, Education Statute Law Amendment Act (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), 2020

This legislation was introduced on February 18, 2020 by Liberal MPP Kathleen Wynne. If passed, it would require school boards to “develop policies and guidelines with respect to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)” and for teachers’ colleges and early childhood educator programs to provide FASD training.
Current Status: First Reading

Bullying in Schools

This week the government issued the news release Ontario Combatting Bullying in Schools through Student Survey, which provided details about an online survey for students, parents and guardians and school staff and their experiences with bullying in schools. This follows last November’s news release that announced the assignment of Christina Mitas, MPP for Scarborough Centre and former teacher, to advise the Minister on education matters with a focus on bullying prevention. The three surveys that will be discussed by OPSBA’s Policy Development and Education Program Work Team. Trustees will also be able to discuss this issue and the survey at their upcoming March 28 regional meetings. The deadline for comments is March 31, 2020.

Student Transportation

OPSBA’s President and Executive Director attended the Student Transportation Advisory Group’s second meeting on February 27, 2020. The group was originally announced in late January by Sam Oosterhoff, the parliamentary assistant to the education minister. The review is to include: funding formula for student transportation; consortia model and operations; and student transportation procurement. In addition, the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) has released a report entitled, Strengthening School Bus Safety in Canada.

Other Information:

Please note: There continue to be many statements issued by the Minister of Education regarding labour issues. These can all be found on the ministry of education website