Legislative Update – November 8, 2021

2021 11/8 | Awards, Connects Page, Education Finance, Education Policy, Ontario Newsroom, Provincial Updates

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario will not be in session from November 8 to 12 as this is a constituency week that aligns with Remembrance Day. MPPs will return to Queen’s Park on November 15. MPPs will then have four sitting weeks before rising for Winter Recess on December 9.

Current Legislation

Bill 43, Build Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2021

This legislation was introduced on November 4, 2021 by Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy. It contains 21 Schedules or changes to various Acts, which will implement the details of the Fall Economic Statement and the Build Ontario plan. Schedule 6 includes changes to the Education Act that involve property taxes. OPSBA will review these proposed changes.

Current Status: First Reading

Bill 13, Supporting People and Businesses Act

The legislation was introduced on October 7, 2021, by Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. It includes 25 Schedules or proposed changes to various Acts, including Schedule 8 Education Act. “The Education Act is amended to remove references to ranked ballot elections, change when boards must elect their chairs and when the chief executive officer of a board must submit a report to the Minister, and eliminate certain requirements relating to the appointment of supervisory officers.” OPSBA staff have reviewed the draft legislation and regulatory proposal and will submit a brief response.

Current Status: Referred to the Standing Committee on General Government. Hearing dates have been announced with written submissions are due November 18, 2021.

2021 Fall Economic Statement

On November 4, Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy released the province’s 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario. The supporting news release provided details on the plan’s three pillars: Protecting Our Progress, Building Ontario and Working for Workers.  The Finance Minister then introduced Bill 43, Build Ontario Act (Budget Measures), which would implement the policies in the Fall Economic Statement. OPSBA will review the contents of this proposed legislation and a statement has been released by OPSBA President Cathy Abraham.

2022-23 Grants For Student Needs (GSN)

As previously announced, OPSBA has begun to gather feedback about next year’s GSN beginning with the regional meetings. A survey will be sent to OPSBA Board of Directors early next week asking high level education funding questions and OPSBA will work with OASBO on the more technical questions. OPSBA’s submission will include funding-related policy resolutions and support member board funding requests that were included in correspondence.  This year’s ministry’s guide focuses on the following topics: Mental Health Supports, Reducing Administrative Burden and Red Tape, the Learning Opportunities Grant (LOG), Urban and Priority High Schools, and the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP). Submissions are due November 26.

COVID-19 Update / Return to School Fall 2021

As of the morning of November 5, 913 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in publicly funded schools in the past 14 days. Of those cases, 816 are students, 92 are staff, and five are not identified. Four of the 4,844 schools in the province are currently closed.

Beginning November 6, many more high-risk Ontarians will be eligible for a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. So far, about 161,000 people have received a booster shot. This will allow approximately 2.8 million people to book a booster, including anyone aged 70 or over, those who received two doses of AstraZeneca, health-care workers and other essential caregivers, and Indigenous people along with any of their non-Indigenous household members. Other Ontarians will become eligible sometime early next year, even though the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is not yet recommending third doses for the general population.

OSTA-AECO / Student Trustees

On November 5, OPSBA President Cathy Abraham addressed OSTA-AECO’s Fall General Meeting, and highlighted the ongoing and growing partnership between OPSBA and student trustees. She announced that nominations are now open for the Ontario Public Student Trustee Leadership Scholarship. The intent of this award is to recognize outstanding achievement in a leadership role and provide financial support to a graduating public board student trustee to assist with their post-secondary education plans (University, College, or Apprenticeship).

Student trustees represent the voice of students in decisions about education and they help keep students informed about important decisions that affect them. They play an important role in the education governance process and are actively working at the local board and provincial levels on a number of initiatives.

This scholarship is based on an outstanding initiative accomplished during the student trustee’s term and how the initiative positively impacted the students in their board. Two scholarships, in the amount of $500 each, will be awarded. More information can be found on our website.

Other News Releases and Information