Legislative Update, Nov. 27, 2017

2017 11/27 | Connects Page, Education Policy, Provincial Updates

Bill 174, Cannabis Act

On November 1, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi introduced the government’s official cannabis legislation. The omnibus legislation enacts two new bills, the Cannabis Act and the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act. It also repeals the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act, replacing them with a new Smoke-Free Ontario Act, and amends the Highway Traffic Act regarding driving under the influence of drugs.

OPSBA has reviewed the proposed legislation and its education implications, such as changes to board policies, procedures, updating curriculum (age/grade information), suspensions and expulsions, input on public awareness and youth/young adult prevention etc. – some of which were outlined in a letter sent to the Ministry of Education on September 19, 2017. Much of the actions/changes concerning the legalization of cannabis will follow education and school board practices for tobacco and alcohol that are applicable to students and employees.

Bill 174 was time allocated and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy. The Committee intends to hold public hearings in Toronto on November 29, 2017 and November 30, 2017. Those interested in making an oral presentation on Bill 174 need to contact the clerk by 10 a.m. on November 27, 2017. Those who do not wish to make an oral presentation but wish to comment on the Bill may send a written submission to the clerk of the Committee by 6:00 p.m. on November 30, 2017. OPSBA has requested to make an oral presentation. The Committee clerk can be reached at comm-justicepolicy@ola.org

Governance-related issues – Sector Engagement Discussion Guide

OPSBA sent our submission to the Ministry of Education’s consultation regarding Governance-Related Issues. Feedback was received from individual trustees, as well as entire boards. Additionally, OPSBA connected with OSTA-AECO, CODE and the other school board/trustee associations to align key messages and areas of advocacy. The Policy Development Work Team took the lead on this submission and a summary was shared with all trustees prior to their November regional meetings. It was also shared with the Northern Trustees who had their meeting in October. The deadline for comments has been extended to November 30, 2017.

All OPSBA submissions and letters are available on our web site under the Advocacy and Action page.​