Legislative Update – November 28, 2022

2022 11/28 | Connects Page, Education Finance, Education Policy, Ontario Newsroom, Provincial Updates

Members of Provincial Parliament have eight sitting days before rising for winter recess after December 8.

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!

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!

2023-24 Education Funding Consultation Guide / Grants For Student Needs

OPSBA has submitted its GSN submission to the Minister of Education and the Ministry of Education. It was also shared with the opposition critics and key stakeholders. The Association’s draft includes feedback from a survey of our Board of Directors, the Indigenous Trustees’ Council, senior business officials, and member board correspondence. It was also discussed at the last joint Education Program and Policy Development Work Groups. The submission answers the ministry’s consultation questions and focuses on key funding lines that align with our multi-year strategic priorities.

OPSBA will look for the release of any provincial pre-budget consultations in the new year. These may occur in person or be conducted virtually.

Recent Legislation

Bill 39, Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022

This legislation was introduced by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark on November 16, 2022. The bill proposes to allow 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 will be sending a letter outlining our concerns that include the speed of the housing development proposal and the impacts to school boards. Written submissions are due December 1, 2022.
Current Status: Standing Committee on Heritage, Infrastructure and Cultural Policy

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 has previously commented on 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. Further details regarding the expansion have been provided by Minister Lecce, joined by Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance, David Smith, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development and Patrice Barnes, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education. To view the news release, visit Ontario Preparing More Students for Careers in the Skilled Trades  On November 25, OPSBA sent a letter to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.
Current Status: Referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs

Ontario Regulation 463/97: Electronic Meetings And Meeting Attendance

Reminder: The requirements for in-person trustee attendance at Board meetings has returned to how it was prior to the pandemic. While all boards are to have a policy in place that allows for electronic meetings, each trustee must physically attend three regular meetings in a 12-month period beginning November 15. Electronic meetings must have the capabilities for members to hear and be heard (two-way communications.) The regulation does allow exemptions for Chairs (weather, illness, travel distance) to participate electronically for half of the year’s meetings. The Ministry of Education has indicated it will consult with boards to consider exemptions for large geographic boards. No timing for this has been confirmed.

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