Legislative Update – December 12, 2022

2022 12/12 | Connects Page, Education Finance, Ontario Newsroom, OPSBA Events, OPSBA News, Provincial Updates, Trustee PD

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario has now risen for Winter Recess with Members of Provincial Parliaments returning on February 21, 2023.

OPSBA Welcomes New Executive Director – Stephanie Donaldson

The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephanie Donaldson as the Association’s new Executive Director. She will succeed W.R. (Rusty) Hick, who is retiring from the role after a rewarding career in public education. Stephanie joins OPSBA December 12, 2022. Announcement details can be found here: OPSBA appoints new Executive Director.

Recent Legislation

Bill 39, Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022

This legislation was introduced by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark on November 16, 2022. The bill allows the province to appoint the chairs of the regional municipal councils of Niagara, Peel and York, while giving more new powers to the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa. OPSBA sent a letter outlining our concerns that include the speed of the housing development proposal and the impacts to school boards.
Current Status: Royal Assent (December 8, 2022)

Bill 36, Progress on the Plan to Build Act (Budget Measures), 2022

This legislation was introduced by Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy on November 14, 2022. The legislation implements measures contained in the Fall Economic Statement. OPSBA sent a letter supporting the education-related components, including the expansion of the Dual Credit Program for more opportunities for students to enter a career in the skilled trades or early childhood education.
Current Status: Royal Assent (December 8, 2022)

Of note: MPP Marit Stiles remained the only candidate for the leadership of Ontario New Democratic Party. The party has indicated she will be confirmed next year, possibly before the scheduled party conference in March 2023.

2023 Provincial Budget Consultations

When the government announced the final passage of Bill 36, Progress on the Plan to Build Act (Budget Measures), 2022, they also shared preliminary information about their plans to consult with Ontarians regarding the 2023 budget. An online survey will be launched in January 2023 and recommendations can also be submitted by mail. In addition, the Minister of Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy, the President of the Treasury Board Prabmeet Sarkaria, and Parliamentary Assistants Stephen Crawford and Rick Byers will hold in-person consultations across the province from January 11 to February 10, 2023.

The Committee intends to hold public hearings in:

  • Kenora on January 9, 2023;
  • Red Lake or Sioux Lookout on January 10, 2023;
  • Windsor on January 23, 2023;
  • Sudbury on January 30, 2023;
  • Sault Ste. Marie on January 31, 2023;
  • Timmins on February 2, 2023;
  • Ottawa on February 6, 2023;
  • Kingston on February 7, 2023;
  • Barrie on February 13, 2023; and
  • Toronto on February 14, 2023.

OPSBA will be adapting its 2023-24 Education Funding and the Grants for Student Needs submission and sending it to the Ministry of Finance. The Association will also be consulting regional chairs to consider participating and speaking at the in-person meetings with support from OPSBA.

To see the news release, visit Ontario Moving Forward on Plan to Build with Bill 36 Passage.

REMINDER – OPSBA’s PES Registration is open!

OPSBA’s 2023 Public Education Symposium (PES) will be held from January 26 to 28 at the Sheraton Centre, Toronto. We look forward to welcoming new and returning trustees in person! Register before December 12 to take advantage of Early Bird pricing! Also note that the hotel room deadline is January 6, 2023.

PES is OPSBA’s premier professional development experience, where public school board trustees from across the province learn, collaborate and connect. This year’s symposium theme is Optimism and Opportunity. We have a number of exciting speakers scheduled, including Chief Cadmus Delorme (Cowessess First Nation), Roda Muse (Secretary General, The Canadian Commission for UNESCO) and Dr. Nicholas Christakis (Professor of Social & Natural Science, Yale University). We’ve developed workshops for new and returning trustees with topics such as Governance, Indigenous Learning, Equity Diversity & Inclusion, Communications and more!

Also note: Regional Meetings will be held on the morning of Saturday, January 28, 2023.

OPSBA Advocacy Day –  Future MPP Visits

Following the success of OPSBA’s recent Advocacy Day, senior staff will determine those Members of Provincial Parliament who were unable to meet that day. Board of Directors members will be provided with information to create packages that will assist in setting up virtual or in-person meetings with their local MPPs while they are in their home ridings during the Winter Recess. It will include the recent survey data from Nanos Research.

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