Legislative and Policy Update - November 26 - 30

  • December 05, 2018

Last Week at Queen’s Park

The week at Queen’s Park started with the bombshell news released on Sunday evening that a major car manufacturing plant would be closed. General Motors’ operations in Oshawa currently employ about 2,800 people, and will be closed as part of a ‘global restructuring’ that included several plant closings elsewhere, including the United States. 

The week was also dominated with news regarding Francophone affairs in Ontario.  PC MPP Amanda Simard made the news by breaking ranks with her party on its controversial proposals to eliminate the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner, and cancel plans for a French-language university in Toronto.  On Monday, Carline Mulroney was sworn-in as Minister of Francophone Affairs.  An NDP motion to reinstate the commissioner and revive plans for the University was defeated in the legislature on Wednesday.  And on Thursday, Simard made news by leaving the PC party, choosing instead to sit as an independent in the Legislature.  Over the weekend, Franco-Ontarians protested across the province in opposition to the changes.

On Thursday, the government released its environment plan.  It reportedly includes measures to allow Ontario to meet Canada’s Paris Agreement targets, and a ‘pay to pollute’ scheme.  Critics responded that the measures do not go far enough.

Law Society of Ontario

Convocation met on Friday, November 30.  The Main point of discussion related to the report of the Governance Task Force, which provided a report for decision, and six recommendations.

Convocation approved changes to the rights and privileges for ex officio and emeritus Benchers, effective for the next Bencher term.  Convocation did not approve changes to end the office of emeritus Treasurer, or to reduce the term limit for elected benchers from 12 to 8 years.

The next meeting of Convocation is December 10th, at which time it will address some business deferred from November 30, and address the future of the lawyer licensing process in Ontario.

A reminder that 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.

Finally, 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 December 3rd:

  • the Select Committee on Financial Transparency will meet on Monday, December 3rd at 1 pm and Tuesday, December 4th , at 3pm, pursuant to the Order of the House.
  • the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs will meet to consider Bill 57 on Monday, December 3rd at 9am and 2 pm, and for clause-by-clause consideration on Tuesday December 4th at 2pm, and Wednesday December 5th at 9am and 2 pm.

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 27, 28, and 29, 2018 – Third Reading Debate

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

Fedeli, Hon. Victor

Minister of Finance

November 26, 2018 – Second Reading Debate

November 28, 2018 – Time Allocated.  Question Put, carried on division.  Ordered referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.

NOTABLE PRIVATE MEMBERS BILLS (UPDATES FOR THIS WEEK)

Bill Number & Name

Status

Bill 54, Organic Products Act, 2018

McDonell, Jim

November 29, 2018 – Second Reading Debate, Carried.  Ordered referred to Committee of the Whole House

Bill 55, Safeguarding our Information Act, 2018

Crawford, Stephen

November 29, 2018 – Second Reading Debate, Carried.  Ordered referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs

Bill 56, Keeping Students Safe on School Buses Act (Highway Traffic Amendment), 2018

Wynne, Kathleen O.

November 29, 2018 – Second Reading Debate, Carried.  Ordered referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy

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

Proposed amendments to certain regulations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000

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

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;

Labour-Management Advisory Committee;

Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario;

Condominium Authority of Ontario; and

Office of the Worker Advisor.