Legislative and Policy Update - November 5 - 16

  • November 19, 2018

Last Week at Queen’s Park

On Monday, the Legislative Assembly returned to regular business following a constituency week, which included a mini-cabinet shuffle.  Key changes saw Sylvia Jones appointed to the community safety and corrections file; Minister Michael Tibollo replaces Jones in the tourism role; Minister Todd Smith is now permanent Minister of Economic Development, replacing Jim Wilson, who resigned as Minister and from the PC caucus; Smith keeps his Government House Leader role.  Ministers John Yakabuski and Jeff Yurek also traded roles – Yurek takes over as transportation minister and Yakabuski gets shuffled into the Natural Resources and Forestry portfolio.  Bill Walker was promoted to cabinet and takes over for Smith as Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

Back in the Legislature this week, the government moved ahead with several legislative initiatives, including its energy, education and economic policies.  Most notably, Thursday marked the introduction of the government’s Fall Economic Statement (FES), a document that outlines the government’s near-term policy intentions, and sets out a fiscal statement relating to government finances.  Notable proposals in the document include:

  • a tax-cut for some low-income earners;
  • eliminating some rent controls;
  • eliminating three Officers of the Legislative assembly – the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, the Ontario Environmental Commissioner and the Office of the French Language Service Commissioner; and
  • changes to election finance rules.

The OBA’s Policy and Public Affairs department will continue to work with affected Sections as necessary to identify key policy issues outlined in the FES.

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 19:

  • the Select Committee on Financial Transparency will meet pursuant to the Order of the House dated October 2, 2018, on Monday, November 19, 1 pm and Tuesday, November 20, 3 pm;
  • the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs will meet for clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 47, An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 and make complementary amendments to other Acts, on Monday, November 19, at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m; and,
  • the Standing Committee on General Government will meet for clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 32, An Act to amend the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, on Monday, November 19, 2 p.m.

Legislation

NOTABLE GOVERNMENT BILLS (UPDATES FOR THIS WEEK)

Bill Number & Name

Status

Bill 34, Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018

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

November 12, 2018 – Considered by the Standing Committee on Social Policy.  Reported without amendment.  Ordered for Third Reading pursuant to the Order of the House.

November 13 – 15, 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 12, 2018 - Time allocated.  Question put.  Second Reading Carried on Division.  Ordered referred to Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.

November 15, 2018 – Considered by the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs

Bill 48, Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act, 2018

Thompson, Hon. Lisa M.

Minister of Education

November 12 – 14, 2018 – Second Reading Debate

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

Fedeli, Hon. Victor

Minister of Finance

November 15, 2018    First Reading  Carried on division

NOTABLE PRIVATE MEMBERS BILLS (UPDATES FOR THIS WEEK)

Bill Number & Name

Status

Bill 55, Safeguarding our Information Act, 2018

Crawford, Stephen

November 14, 2018 - First Reading Carried

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

Wynne, Kathleen O.

November 14, 2018 - First Reading Carried

REGULATIONS

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

The government has introduced Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018. If passed, Bill 47 would amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), among other statutes. The government is proposing to make consequential and related amendments to certain ESA regulations if Bill 47 passes.

Comments Due Date:  December 16, 2018

PUBLIC APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE:

Toronto Licensing Tribunal - The deadline has not been announced yet however applications are always being accepted.