Photo of Ontario's Legislative Building at Queen's ParkThe Legislative Assembly of Ontario adjourned for Winter Recess in December and will resume on Feb. 20, 2018. The next provincial election is to be on or before June 7, 2018.

Bill 174, Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017

This bill passed Third Reading and received Royal Assent on Dec. 12, 2017. OPSBA presented to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy on Nov. 30, 2017. The focus of our remarks were to highlight the importance of education throughout the implementation of the legalization of recreational cannabis. Also, an additional 15 municipalities have beenselected to host cannabis retail stores in July. All updates and potential store locations can be found at: https://lcbocannabisupdates.com/

Click here for the media release from the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Bill 193, Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety)

This bill was introduced on Dec. 14, 2017, by Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Eleanor McMahon. If passed, Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2017, and amendments to the Education Act would provide the framework to govern concussion prevention, detection, management and awareness in amateur competitive sport and schools. If passed, this would require sport organizations and school boards to implement the following:

  • an annual review of concussion awareness resources by athletes, parents/guardians of athletes under 18 years of age, coaches, and any other positions, such as officials, as prescribed by regulation;
  • establish a removal-from-sport protocol for athletes suspected of having sustained a concussion;
  • establish a return-to-sport protocol for athletes who have sustained a concussion or who are suspected of having sustained a concussion; and
  • establish a concussion code of conduct.

The proposed legislation would also proclaim a Rowan’s Law Day, to be held every year on the last Wednesday of September, and require the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport to prepare and publish reports on the progress made in implementing recommendations set out in the report of the Rowan’s Law Advisory Committee. OPSBA will review the proposed legislation and monitor its developments when the House returns. 

Anti-Black Racism Strategy

On December 14, the province’s Anti-Racism Directorate released the Anti-Black Racism Strategy, which creates a road-map for how government and its institutions will work to eliminate disparities for Black Ontarians in the child welfare, education and justice sectors. Click here for the media release.

Child Care Spaces in Schools

On December 11, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care, announced information about new child care spaces in schools next year. Click here for the media release.

Ontario Autism Program (OAP)

On December 7, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services announced funding options for families with children in the Ontario Autism Program (OAP). Click here for the media release.

Reminder: Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs had held public hearings in Toronto on Dec. 14, 2017, and will be meeting in Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo and Windsor during the week of January 15, 2018. Written submissions must be sent to the clerk by 5 p.m. on Friday, January 19, 2018. OPSBA will be revising its Grants for Student Needs submission and sending it to the Committee. The clerk, Eric Rennie, may be reached at: comm-financeaffairs@ola.org