THIS WEEK AT QUEEN’S PARK (and elsewhere)
🎉Congratulations🎉 to Canada’s New AG: Last week, Prime Minister Trudeau announced a major cabinet shuffle which included the elevation of lawyer, Arif Virani, MP for Parkdale-High Park, to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. You can learn more about the new Attorney General here.
Sussex Separation: Prime Minister Trudeau and wife Sophie Gregoire announced that they will be separating after an 18-year marriage. Trudeau is the second PM to separate while in office. The first was... his father. Family Law lawyers will be happy to know that the two signed a legal separation agreement and Alberta, Saskatchewan, and B.C. are not being divided among the spouses.
Ontario’s New LG: Edith Dumont becomes Ontario's new Lieutenant Governor. She is the first Franco-Ontarian LG in the province's history.
Ontario Cabinet Shuffle Imminent? Observers are split on whether Premier Doug Ford will shuffle his cabinet before the Legislature returns in the Fall. Historically, Ontario Premiers tend to favour the summer for cabinet shuffles. Read more here.
Ontario Liberals Win By-elections: The Ontario Liberals flipped the Kanata-Carleton riding, previously held by former Minister Merrilee Fullerton, and held onto the Scarborough-Guildwood riding previously held by former Liberal MPP Mitzie Hunter, who had resigned to run for Mayor of Toronto. Another by-election will be held in the near future for the Kitchener Centre riding, previously held by the Ontario NDP. Read more here.
Ford Nation Frustration: According to sources, Premier Doug Ford is upset that the Tories did not heed his advice to focus on radio-ads highlighting hundreds-of-millions of dollars in new healthcare funding in the Ottawa-area by-election.
Missing the Queen? You will soon be able to visit her likeness at Queen’s Park. The Ontario government has allocated $1.5M to erect a statue of her.
AI in the Top Court: The Supreme Court of Canada is considering introducing a practice direction on the use of AI in the nation’s top court. This comes after two superior court trials required the disclosure of the use of AI in court submissions. Read more here.
OBA ADVOCACY THIS WEEK
Making a Difference: In case you missed it, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice is implementing several of the ideas provided by you, our members, during the Bail the Boat sessions. In a memorandum, Toronto Regional Senior Justice Firestone announced backlog reducing initiatives (effective September 4, 2023), including elimination of placeholder motions, express court for short motions, attendance requirements for some case conferences, and a pilot of Calendly. The OBA continues to advocate for the implementation of more Bail the Boat recommendations. This is just the beginning.
OBR Partner Portal: OBA members and their staff are invited to register for the beta release of the Ontario Business Registry Partner Portal, which is a newly designed channel specifically for intermediaries (lawyers and clerks) to interact with the OBR system. The OBA continues to work with the Ministry to bring forward and resolve issues raised by our members. Learn more here. Apply for Partner Portal access today.
Check out new OBA submissions here, including these two new additions:
Public-Sector Procurement: The OBA provides guidance to the Government of Ontario on how to approach regulations requiring public-sector entities to give preference to Ontario businesses in the procurement of goods and services under the Building Ontario Businesses Initiative Act, 2022. We anticipate that BOBIA will come into force this fall, when the regulations are finalized.
PHIPA Penalties: The OBA supports the government’s objective of enhancing and encouraging compliance with PHIPA; however, the OBA advises the government that the proposed penalties are excessive to the point of being punitive.
Legal Aid Tariffs: The OBA provides feedback on the need to modernize tariffs in certain criminal, family, and refugee law matters.
CURRENT AND UPCOMING CONSULTATIONS
If you are interested in participating in any of these consultations, please let your section executive know.
- LSO Continuation of the Certified Specialist Program
- Auto Insurance Reform – Civil Jury Trials
- Ontario Land Tribunals – Expropriation Proceedings
- Virtual Access to Court Proceedings
- LCO: Protection Orders Project
- Modes of Appearance in Family Court
- Making Ontario Target Benefit Plan Permanent
- Five Year Review of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act
- Heat Stress and Poor Air Quality Regulations – OHSA
- Response to Active Attacker Incidents – multi-jurisdictional
- Major Incident Response Plan – Expansion beyond acts of terrorism
- Effective Policing in Communities
- Police Record Checks – 5-year review
BILLS SINCE LAST UPDATE
The House sits again on September 25, 2023, but Committees continue to meet during the summer. There are no scheduled committee meetings for the month of August.
NEW GOVERNMENT REGULATORY CONSULTATIONS
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is proposing amendments to regulations made under the Medicine Act, 1991, to regulate Physician Assistants Deadline for Comments: August 11, 2023
Proposal to amend O. Reg. 509 / 18 under the Electricity Act, 1998 (“Efficiency Regulation”) Deadline for Comments: August 24, 2023
Poor Outdoor Air Quality and Workplace Health and Safety Consultation Deadline for Comments: August 24, 2023
Response to Active Attacker Incidents (Adequacy Standard) under the Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019 Deadline for Comments: August 24, 2023
Major Incident Response Plan Deadline for Comments: August 24, 2023
Adequate and Effective Policing (General) Regulation under the Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019 Deadline for Comments: August 24, 2023
New Heat Stress Regulation Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act Deadline for Comments: August 24, 2023
Summary of Proposed Regulatory Changes to Strengthen Oversight of Children's Licensed Out of Home Care - Amendments to Ontario Regulation 155/18 - General Matters Under the Authority of the Lieutenant Governor in Council and Ontario Regulation 156/18 - General Matters Under the Authority of the Minister Deadline for Comments: August 24, 2023
Summary of Proposed Legislative Changes to Strengthen Oversight of Children's Licensed Out of Home Care - Amendments to the CYFSA Deadline for Comments: August 24, 2023
Proposed Amendment to Ontario Regulation 909 under the Pension Benefits Act - Extend for One Year the Temporary Exemption from the Solvency Concerns Test for Certain Jointly Sponsored Pension Plans for Filing Annual Valuation Reports Deadline for Comments: September 4, 2023
Proposed Amendment to Ontario Regulation 909 under the Pension Benefits Act - Extend for One Year the Temporary Rules for Specified Ontario Multi-Employer Pension Plans Deadline for Comments: September 4, 2023
Legislative review of the Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015 (PRCRA) Deadline for Comments: September 5, 2023
LAW SOCIETY OF ONTARIO NEWS
LSO Virtual Verification: The LSO announced it will allow virtual verification of clients where the licensee determines that the client’s government-issued photo ID is authentic. This change is effective on January 1, 2024. Read more here.
The next Convocation meeting is September 28, 2023.
There are 4 appointment opportunities currently advertised on the Public Appointments Secretariat website. The appointments are for: The Planning Board (Cochrane and Suburban), the Species at Risk Program Advisory Committee, the Social Benefits Tribunal (Vice-Chair & Member), and the Child and Family Services Review Board (Vice Chair & Member).
Have a great long weekend!