Legislative and Policy Update - November 19 - 23

  • November 27, 2018

Last Week at Queen’s Park

On Monday, Premier Ford met with the Premier of Québec, François Legault, at Queen’s Park.  The two met to discuss interprovincial trade, energy and immigration issues.  According to a number of news outlets, including Global News, Premier Legault also used the meeting to request that Premier Ford reconsider his controversial changes to French languages policies in Ontario, including the cancellation of a planned French language university and the closing of the French Language Services’ Commissioner’s independent office.

Premier Ford also spent the day downplaying a controversial policy resolution at the Progressive Conservative Party (“PC Party”) convention on the weekend.  The resolution noted that gender identity theory is a liberal ideology and as such moved that the PC Party government remove the teaching and promotion of gender identity theory from Ontario schools and its curriculum. Premier Ford has stated that he will not be moving forward with the non-binding resolution from his party.

On Tuesday, the Premier’s Chief of Staff, Dean French, came under fire following a Toronto Star article in which Conservative party political aides leaked to media concerns regarding French allegedly ordering police raids on illegal cannabis stores the day marijuana was legalized.  The political aides relayed to media that they were uncomfortable with the direction, noting that Ontario “is not a police state and we do not have the right or ability to direct the police to do anything.”  The Premier’s office released a statement on the issue noting that the government’s priority has been protecting communities, children and combating the illegal market. 

On Wednesday, the Globe and Mail reported that Ryerson University’s request for a proposed law school will not proceed.  Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Merrilee Fullerton, noted that the decision took into account, among other things, “the surplus of students for articling positions, modest wage growth and projected job openings”.

On Thursday, the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, Lisa MacLeod, announced a new plan for social assistance in the province.  Among the proposals, one is to align the provincial definition of disability to a more narrow federal definition of same.  CBC has noted it will likely make it more difficult for people suffering from episodic illnesses and mental health issues to qualify.  According to a Toronto Sun article, the number of people receiving ODSP is growing at 3.5% annually.

On Friday, the Toronto Star reported that the Premier, in response to ongoing criticism of his recent cuts to Francophone services in the province, would create a French Language Services Commissioner position within the Ombudsman’s office and that he would create a Ministry of Francophone Affairs.

Law Society of Ontario

The next meeting of Convocation will be on Friday, November 30.

The nomination period for the 2019 Law Society of Ontario Bencher Election is now open. Further information on the elections can be found on the LSO web page.

The LSO is inviting input from the legal community and the public on a draft regulatory framework permitting lawyers and paralegals to provide services through charities and not-for-profit corporations, as a means to facilitate access to justice.  The comment period is open until January 18, 2019. Please see the Alternative Business Structures Working Group’s October Report for more information, and contact advocacy@oba.org to express your views.

The Upcoming Week in Legislative Committees

Committees are scheduled as follows for the week of November 26:

  • the Select Committee on Financial Transparency will meet to consider and report to the House its observations and recommendations with respect to the report submitted by the Independent Financial Commission of Inquiry, on Monday, November 26, at 3pm.;
  • the Standing Committee on Public Accounts will meet to consider the Ministry of Infrastructure’s Real Estate Services under the Auditor General’s 2017 Annual Report, s.3.11;

Legislation

NOTABLE GOVERNMENT BILLS (UPDATES FOR THIS WEEK)

Bill Number & Name

Status

Bill 32, Access to Natural Gas Act, 2018

McNaughton, Hon. Monte, Minister of Infrastructure

November 19, 2018 – Considered by the Standing Committee on General Government

November 20, 2018 – Ordered for Third Reading pursuant to the Order of the House

November 22, 2018 – Third Reading Debate

Bill 34, Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018

Rickford, Hon. Greg
Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines

November 20, 2018 – Third Reading Debate

Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018

Smith, Hon. Todd

Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

November 19, 2018 – Considered by the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs

November 20, 2018 – Ordered for Third Reading

November 20, 21 2018 – Third Reading – Debate

November 21, 2018 – Carried on division – Royal Assent received

Bill 48, Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act, 2018

Thompson, Hon. Lisa M.

Minister of Education

November 19, 2018 – Second Reading - Debate

Bill 57, Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018

Fedeli, Hon. Victor

Minister of Finance

November 22, 2018 – Second Reading Debate

NOTABLE PRIVATE MEMBERS BILLS (UPDATES FOR THIS WEEK)

Bill Number & Name

Status

Bill 60, Ministry of Community and Social Services Amendment Act (Social Assistance Research Commission), 2018

Bailey, Robert and Paul Miller

November 21, 2018 – First Reading Carried

Bill 62, Protecting Vulnerable Road Users Act, 2018

Bell, Jessica

November 21, 2018 – First Reading Carried

REGULATIONS

Consultation on the 2018 Legislative Review of the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006

Mr. Doug Downey, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance, was appointed to conduct a legislative review of the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006, to find efficiencies and reduce unnecessary regulatory burden.

Comments Due Date:  January 11, 2019

Intent to Remove 24 Trades that are Prescribed for the Purposes of the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities if proposed to remove 24 trades under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009, with little or no activity (for example, those with little to no apprenticeship registrations, completions and industry demand)

Comments Due Date:  January 10, 2019

Proposed amendments to certain regulations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 if Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, passes

The government is proposing to make consequential and related amendments to certain ESA regulations as a result of Bill 47 recently passing.

Comments Due Date:  December 16, 2018

New Regulation to Help Reduce Sulphur Dioxide Emissions from Ontario Petroleum Facilities

The government is proposing a new regulation to ensure technological changes to reduce Sulphur dioxide emissions from Ontario petroleum facilities are made in a timely manner.  They will improve how flaring events are managed and strengthen accountability through reporting, monitoring and environmental penalties.

Comments Due Date:  December 15, 2018

PUBLIC APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE

There are over 300 government appointments available through the Public Appointments Secretariat run by the Provincial Government.  Appointments that may be of particular interest to OBA members include, but are not limited to;

Legal Aid Ontario is looking for members of its Board of Directors;

Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation is looking for three part time members;

Numerous Police Services Boards, including but not limited to; Brockton, Durham, Lakehead, and Stirling-Rawdon;

Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union Pension Plan Board of Trustees;

Ontario French-Language Educational Communications Authority; and

Labour-Management Advisory Committee.