The House reconvened this week and begins a three-week legislative run. MPPs will have another constituency week break the week before Remembrance Day, then will sit for five consecutive weeks before adjourning for the winter holidays. Please see below for an update on recent items…

LAST CALL – Governance-related issues – Sector Engagement Discussion Guide

On September 19, 2017, a Discussion Guide was shared with all trustees. OPSBA will be connecting with both CODE, OSTA-AECO, as well as other school board/trustee associations to seek their key feedback points under relevant sections.  OPSBA’s Policy Development Work Team is taking the lead on the OPSBA submission and will receive all comments anonymously. Please send your comments directly to OPSBA’s Director of Policy, Jennifer McIntyre, (jmcintyre@opsba.org) by October 24, 2017.

The areas of discussion include:

  • Integrity Commissioner and Code of Conduct
  • Trustee Honoraria
  • Electronic Participation in Board and Committee meetings
  • Student Trustee terms of office and election process
  • Broadening the Director of Education qualification

OPSBA will be sharing an overview of our submission at upcoming regional meetings and send a final document to meet the ministry deadline of November 13, 2017.

Revisions to the Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline (PARG) / Community Planning and Partnerships Guideline (CPPG)

The Ministry of Education committed to revising the PARG and CPPG with the stated goal of creating a stronger, more collaborative process that better promotes student achievement and well-being and better recognizes the impact of school closures on rural communities. The ministry proposes to achieve this by considering changes in a number of areas. The first phase of the consultation will last from October 12 to December 6, 2017.

The first phase will be a high-level engagement related to the PARG/CPPG consultation components of the GSN Discussion guide that was circulated. OPSBA, along with the other three trustee associations and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), will be participating in a reference group, which will be engaged to provide advice on these matters.

However, engagement with the reference group and with school boards will carry through the intervening time between November and January, when Phase 2 will begin.  The consultation for these guidelines is tied in with this year’s consultation for the 2018-19 Grants for Student Needs. OPSBA is preparing a submission for this as well.

One Year Away – 2018 Municipal and School Board Elections

Next year’s Municipal and School Board Elections will be held on Monday, October 22, 2018. Recent legislative amendments (Bill 181, Municipal Elections Modernization Act and Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act) have resulted in changes to the election calendar. These include:

  • Start of Nominations/Campaign Beginning is May 1, 2018 (moved from January 1)
  • Nomination Day/Close of Nominations is July 27, 2018 (moved from end of September)
  • Election Day is October 22, 2018.
  • Term Start Date remains December 1, 2018.

OPSBA will be coordinating a series of resources to support all candidates in the upcoming election.

Bill 148 – Fair Work Places, Better Jobs Act

On Wednesday, Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, passed second reading after debate. This labour legislation mandates an increase in the minimum wage, wage fairness between contract workers and full-time employees and rules on when employers can change employees’ shift schedules.

Bill 152, Representation Statute Law Amendment Act

This Bill was reported back from committee on Tuesday. A time allocation motion requires the bill, which creates two new northern ridings, to pass third reading by the end of this week.