Legislative Update – December 13, 2019

2020 1/22 | Connects Page, Provincial Updates

A photo of Queen's Park in Toronto from the front on a sunny day.

MPPs rose December 12, marking the end of the fall session. The government issued a news release outlining their accomplishments. The House is recessed for the winter break and is scheduled to return February 18, 2020, after Family Day. 

Education Development Charges (EDC)

The Ministry of Education issued memo B20 on November 8 outlining amendments to the EDC regulation to now allow boards to use EDC revenues for lower cost alternative projects to site acquisition and to allow boards to enter into local agreements with developers. These are applicable to those boards that are already eligible to collect EDCs. However, several issues remain that OPSBA will continue to advocate for in terms of regulation changes. A letter was sent to the Minister of Education outlining again these concerns. 

Bill 138, Plan to Build Ontario Together Act, 2019

This legislation was introduced on November 6 by Minister of Finance Rod Phillips and was the legislation to support the Fall Economic Statement, which included amendments to 40 different Acts. The legislation received Royal Assent on December 10.

Government news release 

Bill 116, Foundations for Promoting and Protecting Mental Health and Addictions Services Act, 2019

This legislation was introduced on May 27 by Minister of Health Christine Elliott. It enacts two Schedules, the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence Act, 2019, and the Opioid Damages and Health Costs Recovery Act, 2019. The legislation received Royal Assent on December 12. The Ontario Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health sent a letter to the Standing Committee on Social Policy. 

Bill 124, Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019

Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy introduced this legislation on June 5 which caps public sector wage increases to an average of 1% per year for the next three years. It received Royal Assent on November 7.  On December 12, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens launched a court challenge arguing the legislation violates collective bargaining rights.

Education Union news release
Mr. Bethlenfalvy’s response statement 

When the House resumes in the new year, OPSBA will continue to monitor these other bills that have recently been introduced:

Current Party Standings – 124 seats

  • Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario – 73
  • New Democratic Party of Ontario – 40
  • Ontario Liberal Party – 5
  • Green Party of Ontario – 1
  • Independent – 3
  • Vacant – 2

The two vacancies are due to the retirement of Nathalie Des Rosiers (Ottawa—Vanier) and the resignation of Liberal MPP Marie-France Lalonde (Orléans). By-elections are expected to be held on the same day in early February 2020.

2019-2020 Education Funding Engagement Guide and Pre-Budget Consultations

There have been no updates from the Ministry of Education about the timing for release of the 2020-21 Education Funding Guide or dates for the Standing Committee to tour the province for pre-budget consultations. If something is announced this month, we will in turn, share information with our members. We have begun crafting our funding submission to include OPSBA/Nanos funding specific data, information gathered from our earlier PDWT meeting, and the various regional meetings held in early November.

Other Information