Legislative Update – March 26, 2018

2018 3/26 | Connects Page, Education Finance, Education Policy, Elections, Provincial Updates

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario resumed on March 19, 2018. Acting on behalf of Premier Kathleen Wynne, Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell delivered the Speech from the Throne to open the Third Session of the 41st Parliament of Ontario. The 20-minute speech outlined the Liberal government’s plan to increase spending on health, seniors’ and child care. Included in the campaign blueprint are promises to expand home care and hospital budgets alongside measures to increase funding for mental health and addiction issues.  This of course, followed the news that the Premier prorogued the Ontario legislature.

Prorogation is the act of completely ending a session of Parliament, and has the effect of terminating all outstanding business before the House. The immediate effect of this Proclamation is that the House will not meet again until summoned to do so by the Lieutenant Governor. All business on the Order Paper has lapsed and no committees may meet until the next Session of Parliament is commenced. With regards to education-related legislation, both Bill 191, Education Amendment Act (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), 2017 and Bill 198, Student Absenteeism and Protection Act  “died” on the order papers and would have to be re-introduced. Bill 193, Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 received Royal Assent on March 7, 2018.

2018-19 Grants for Student Needs (GSN)

The Ministry of Education has announced that the GSNs were released on March 26, 2018. OPSBA joined other education stakeholders on a teleconference and will provide members with an overview once the GSN memos are released and analyzed.

2018 Ontario Budget

Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, has announced that he will deliver the 2018 Ontario Budget on March 28, 2018. Similar to the GSN, OPSBA will review the details for education-related impacts and share highlights will members. Following the budget will be the introduction of supporting legislation, typically an omnibus bill.

Draft Revised Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline (PARG) and Community Planning and Partnerships Guideline (CPPG)

OPSBA has sent a submission to the Ministry of Education for this consultation based on commentary from previous submissions, participation in their reference group, and the feedback received from trustees.

Provincial Election – June 7, 2018

OPSBA is developing resources to support our advocacy initiative, OPSBA Education Day. OPSBA has tentatively set the date for Education Day as May 23, 2018. Please note that this date was chosen to allow sufficient time after the writ is issued to distribute final resources and time before the OPSBA AGM and Voting Day. Also note that trustees and boards can choose to participate in Education Day activities anytime during the week of May 22 to 25, 2018. We are asking trustees to begin thinking about possible locations for their all candidates meetings.

We will also be reaching out to newly elected PC Leader Doug Ford with an introduction of OPSBA and our priorities.

Municipal and School Board Elections – October 22, 2018

Work is progressing on the first two OESC resources (Making a Difference for Kids: Running for Election as a School Board Trustee and Your Guide to Hosting a School Board Trustee All Candidates Meeting). Delivery of the first resource is to be in time for the first day of nominations, May 1, 2018. Other support materials have been shared with member boards, including a draft template regarding the Use of School Board Resources during the Municipal and School Board Election Campaign. This and other resources can be found on our Municipal Elections web page.

Other information

March 21, 2018: Ontario Making Historic Investment in Mental Health Care and Ministry letter

March 9, 2018: Ontario Making Schools Safer For Students and Staff

March 9, 2018: Ontario Marking Ten Years of Collaboration on Indigenous Education

March 9, 2018: Ontario Supporting Municipalities to Ensure Safe Transition to Federal Cannabis Legalization