From the Provincial Office of OSSTF
NEW BILLS INTRODUCED
BILL 206, REPRESENTATION AMENDMENT ACT (WAHNAPITAE FIRST NATION)
NDP MPP France Gelinas (Nickel Belt) introduced Bill 206, Representation Amendment Act (Wahnapitae First Nation). Gelinas’ bill would shift the electoral boundaries so the Wahnapitae First Nation would move to her riding of Nickel Belt from the riding of Timiskaming—Cochrane.
BILL 207, TREATIES RECOGNITION WEEK ACT
Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer (Willowdale) introduced Bill 207, Treaties Recognition Week Act. The bill received all-party support to allow it to pass all three readings within a day. Bill 207 proclaims the first week in November as treaty recognition week.
BILL 208, FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICER AMENDMENT ACT
In response to comments by the Legislature’s Financial Accountability Officer that the Liberals are not providing the full information that he has requested, NDP MPP Catherine Fife (Kitchener—Waterloo) introduced Bill 208, Financial Accountability Officer Amendment Act. Fife’s bill would mandate government ministries to provide requested information to the Financial Accountability Officer.
BILL 209, SENIORS ACTIVE LIVING CENTRES
Minister Responsible for Seniors Mario Sergio (York West) introduced a bill entitled Bill 209, Seniors Active Living Centres Act. The bill allows for the funding and promotion of programs for Seniors.
BILL 210, PATIENTS FIRST ACT
Health and Long-Term Care Minister Eric Hoskins (St. Paul’s) introduced the government’s health care reform legislation. Bill 210, the Patients First Act. Hoskins’ bill would eliminate the province’s Community Care Access Corporations and transfer their responsibility to the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN). Hoskins believes the bill will better integrate the system for patient care. The bill would also mandate that the bill be reviewed in three years for its effectiveness.
BILL 211, BRAIN TUMOUR AWARENESS MONTH ACT
Liberal MPP Chris Ballard (Newmarket—Aurora) introduced Brain Tumour Awareness Month Act. Ballard’s bill would change Brain Tumour Awareness Month to May from October.
BILL 100, ONTARIO TRAILS ACT
The Liberals’ Bill 100, Ontario Trails Act passed 3rd Reading by a vote of 92–3. The bill would set-up a trails network for snowmobilers, hikers and other recreational users. Most MPPs supported the bill except for PC MPPs Jack MacLaren (Carleton—Mississippi Mills), Rick Nicholls (Chatham—Kent—Essex) and Jim McDonnell (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry) saying that the bill violated landowners’ rights.
BILL 135, ENERGY STATUTE LAW AMENDMENT ACT
The Liberals’ Bill 135, Energy Statute Law Amendment Act passed 3rd Reading by a vote of 54-42 despite the opposition of the PCs and NDP. The bill involves long-term energy planning and energy conservation plans.
BILL 151, WASTE-FREE ONTARIO ACT
The governing Liberals’ Bill 151, Waste-Free Ontario Act passed 3rd Reading. The bill aims to make producers fully responsible for resource recovery and the reduction of waste associated with their product.
BILL 186, ONTARIO RETIREMENT PENSION PLAN ACT (STRENGTHENING RETIREMENT SECURITY FOR ONTARIANS)
The Liberals’ Bill 186, Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians) passed 3rd Reading with the support of the NDP by a vote of 70–25. The bill would require that Ontario Retirement Registered Plan (ORPP) enrolment begin on January 1, 2017 and that mandatory contributions be phased in for most workers/employers on January 1, 2018.
NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh (Bramalea—Gore—Malton) brought forth a motion to have the government recognize the violence against Sikhs in India in November 1984 as genocide. The violence flared after the assassination of India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. The bodyguards were motivated by the Indian government’s storming of the Sikh faith’s Golden Temple in Amristrar. Singh’s motion was defeated by a vote of 40–22 with Liberal MPPs of the Sikh faith complaining that Singh should have consulted them before bringing forth the motion.
AROUND THE LEGISLATURE
In an historic session, Premier Kathleen Wynne, on behalf of the Ontario Government issued a formal apology, on the floor of the Ontario Legislature, to the victims of residential schools as a result of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown (Simcoe North) and New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath (Hamilton Centre) added their apologies in the presence of six indigenous leaders, who also made comments.
IN OTHER NEWS
MPPS DUGUID AND MACLAREN RETURN TO LEGISLATURE
Liberal Cabinet Minister Brad Duguid (Scarborough Centre) returned to the Legislature after a month-long absence because of heart-related health complications.
As well, PC MPP Jack MacLaren (Carleton-Mississippi-Mills) also returned after he was ordered to seek “sensitivity training” by his Party’s Leader, Patrick Brown. MacLaren declared that he has learned his lesson but not everyone accepts MacLaren’s declaration. A local constituent has indicated that he will challenge MacLaren for the PC nomination for the 2018 election.
FRENCH LANGUAGE COMMISSIONER ANNUAL REPORT
French Language Services Commissioner François Boileau released his annual report by calling for a complete overhaul of the French Language Services Act. Boileau said the 30-year old legislation must incorporate the new reality of technology and social media to properly serve Francophone clients. He is concerned that Francophones are not being fully served by the government’s online services. Boileau also wants the act revised to adjust the roles of the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs and of other French-language service bodies. As well, he recommends the revision of the current act begin this fall 2016.