Legislative Update – September 17, 2018

2018 9/17 | Connects Page, Elections, Provincial Updates

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario returned on September 12, earlier than expected, to allow Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark to table the revamped Bill 5, now known as Bill 31, Efficient Local Government Act. All of the Tory MPPs present in the chamber voted in favour of the motion for first reading and it passed, 63-17. Bill 31 invokes Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the notwithstanding clause, to reduce the number of City of Toronto wards, councillors and Toronto trustees to 25, from a planned 47, before the October 22 election. The nomination period will run until two days after Bill 31 receives Royal Assent, meaning the new bill does not leave any incumbents or prospective councillors out of the race.

As per tradition, Ontario MPPs moved to adjourn the legislature on September 17 and 18 to participate in the annual plowing event in Chatham-Kent. However, MPPs were told to return to the legislature for rare Saturday morning and Monday midnight sittings so the government could move towards passing Bill 31. The House will then resume Wednesday, September 19, 2018. The government will sit for 3.5 weeks before a scheduled Thanksgiving constituency week.

Trustee Honorarium – Tax Exemption for Non-accountable Expense Allowances

On September 12, OPSBA sent a memo to member boards to remind trustees of a change in the Income Tax Act (Canada) (“ITA”) which impacts the tax treatment of trustee honoraria, effective January 1, 2019.

REMINDER: Municipal and School Board Elections

On behalf of Ontario’s four school board/trustee associations, OESC has developed a series of resources to support school board trustee candidates and communities in the upcoing Municipal and School Board Elections, which occur on October 22, 2018. This initiative is being undertaken with support from the Ministry of Education. Available resources include:

School Board Elections Website

The hub for school board election information and trustee candidate information – elections.ontarioschooltrustees.org – has been revitalized for 2018. The site features profiles of trustee candidates running in all four school systems across the province and will showcase results after the election.

Your Guide to Hosting a School Board Trustee All Candidates Meeting
This resource is a guide for trustees, school boards and communities to encourage the organization of All Candidates Meetings in advance of the October 2018 Municipal & School Board Elections. The guide provides readers with a clear framework for organizing a successful event.

Public Education Resources
OESC has also created a series of posters and newspaper ads to encourage greater interest in the upcoming elections and promote the role of trustee. The resources have three themes: 1) to encourage individuals to run for trustee office; 2) to promote All Candidates Meetings and 3) to promote the importance of voting in Municipal and School Board Elections.

Making a Difference for Kids: Running for Election as a School Board Trustee
This guidebook provides a user-friendly overview of Ontario’s education system, school boards and the role of trustees. Its purpose is to provide the public with information relevant to the October 2018 Municipal & School Board Elections and to encourage candidates to run for trustee.

REMINDER: Planning for Prosperity: A Consultation for the People

The provincial government’s three-week online public consultation, which focuses on all programs and services, closes on September 21, 2018. The consultation provides an opportunity for members of the public to rank the importance and effectiveness of eight categories of government services and programs, including education. Participation in this consultation provides a good opportunity to support public education and re-state OPSBA’s key priorities, which are non-partisan. OPSBA encourages all trustees to participate in the consultation and to highlight the importance of and frequent use/need of these programs and services particularly those that speak directly in some manner to OPSBA’s key priorities.

NOTE:  This consultation is not the upcoming Education Reform public consultation that will include Health and Physical Education curriculum later this fall.  We are awaiting details from the government on this consultation.

Resource Links: OPSBA Key Priorities