Legislative Update – October 1, 2018

2018 10/1 | Connects Page, Provincial Updates

Provincial Education Reform Consultation

On September 28, the Ministry of Education released their Consultation: Education in Ontario. The release was the first piece of this consultation and includes an online submission form. Information regarding a separate online survey for more feedback and telephone town halls will be announced in the coming weeks. The first consultation asks for feedback and comments on the following areas:

  1. Improving student performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM
  2. Preparing students with needed job skills, such as skilled trades and coding
  3. Improving provincial standardized testing
  4. Ensuring students graduate with important life skills, including financial literacy
  5. Managing the use of technology in classrooms, such as cell phones
  6. Building a new age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes subjects like mental health, sexual health education and the legalization of cannabis
  7. Developing the first-ever Parents’ Bill of Rights

OPSBA will be reviewing the consultation document and questions, and sharing information with our members. OPSBA’s Policy Development and Education Program Work Teams will take the lead on the Association’s response. The deadline is December 15, 2018.

Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018

This bill was introduced by Attorney General Caroline Mulroney on September 27, 2018. Bill 36 would allow private retail stores to be open for business by April 1, 2019. Municipalities will have until January 22, 2019, to opt out of having stores in their communities. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will be the registrar for licences. There will also be a 15-day public consultation period for communities to weigh in on the location of stores, but the final decision will rest with the AGCO. The province will also create “distance buffers” between stores and schools – this is to be determined by regulation. The federal legalization date is October 17, 2018, and this bill is expected to move fairly quickly through the legislative process. OPSBA will review the bill’s contents for educational impacts, including the location of retail stores near schools and where cannabis can be consumed.​