From the Provincial Office of OSSTF
This past week’s Legislative agenda saw the Liberals pass their School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act while questions regarding Premier Kathleen Wynne’s continued poor public polling results ignited furious media speculation. Former Liberal MPP Greg Sorbara caused a stir by suggesting that Wynne would be hard-pressed to win the next election. His comments elicited the usual media fury and consternation of many Liberals.
NEW BILLS INTRODUCED
BILL 106, RENT PROTECTION FOR ALL TENANTS ACT
NDP MPP Peter Tabuns (Toronto—Danforth) introduced his bill seeking to broaden the number of rental units that are subject to rent increase laws.
BILL 107, ONTARIO CRAFT BEER WEEK ACT
Liberal MPP Lou Rinaldi’s (Northumberland—Quinte West) bill would proclaim the second Sunday in June in each year as the beginning of Ontario Craft Beer Week.
BILL 108, NO FLAK FOR CARRYING RACKS ACT
PC MPP Norm Miller’s (Parry Sound—Muskoka) bill would amend the Highway Traffic Act regarding the use of car racks. Specifically, If a carrying rack, such as a bicycle rack, is mounted on the rear of a motor vehicle in accordance with the regulations made under the Highway Act, a person may drive the vehicle on a highway even if the rack obscures the number plate for the vehicle that is required to be attached to the rear of the vehicle. Miller’s bill addresses the concerns of many of vacationers in his cottage country riding.
BILL 109, RELIABLE ELEVATORS ACT
Liberal MPP Han Dong’s (Trinity—Spadina) bill would amend the law regarding building elevators. His bill proposes, first, that a builder of a seven or more stories complex must show that the building will have enough elevator capacity. Second, elevator maintenance contracts would be subject to the protections under the Consumer Protection Act, 2002. Third, an elevator that breaks down must be repaired within 14 days for most buildings, seven days for long-term care homes and retirement homes, unless the regulations provide otherwise. Dong’s downtown Toronto constituency has a large number of high-rise buildings.
BILL 110, LONG-TERM CARE HOMES AMENDMENT ACT
PC MPP Bill Walker’s (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound) bill seeks to ensure that government funding for long-term care homes stays above the rate of inflation.
BILL 111, THE SUPPLY ACT
Treasury Board Minister, Liz Sandals (Guelph), introduced this procedural bill to ensure that the government’s annual expenditures, as of April 1, 2017, are authorized by the Legislature.
BILLS REFERRED TO COMMITTEE
BILL 68, MODERNIZING ONTARIO’S MUNICIPAL LEGISLATION ACT
Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Mauro’s (Thunder Bay—Atikokan) bill passed second reading by a vote of 67-24 with NDP support. The bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy. According to Mauro, the bill would make local governments more open, flexible and accountable to the people they serve. In a nod to caucus colleague Daiene Vernile’s (Kitchener Centre) Bill 46, Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act (Councillor Pregnancy and Parental Leave), Mauro’s legislation includes allowing women and parents elected to municipal governments time off for pregnancy or parental leave. As well, Mauro proposes improving access to allow integrity commissioners to investigate complaints against municipal councillors. Mauro also wants to require municipalities to have a code of conduct for members of municipal councils and local boards. Finally, Mauro proposes that heads of most regional councils be elected to help ensure they are accountable to the voters they represent.
BILL 104, TAX FAIRNESS FOR REALTORS ACT
Co-sponsored by Liberal MPP Mike Colle (Eglinton—Lawrence), NDP MPP Catherine Fife (Kitchener-Waterloo) and PC MPP Todd Smith (Prince Edward—Hastings) Bill 104 passed 2nd Reading and was referred to the Standing Committee on General Government. Their bill would amend the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 to permit a personal real estate corporation to be registered as a broker or salesperson. In addition, the Bill amends the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 to permit a brokerage to pay commission or other remuneration to a personal real estate corporation of an individual broker or salesperson that it employs
BILL 107, ONTARIO CRAFT BEER WEEK ACT
Liberal MPP Lou Rinaldi’s (Northumberland—Quinte West) bill moved quickly through the Legislature passing 2nd Reading and was referred to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills. Rinaldi’s bill would proclaim the second Sunday in June in each year as the beginning of Ontario Craft Beer Week.
BILL 92, SCHOOL BOARDS COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AMENDMENT ACT, 2017
Education Minister Mitzie Hunter’s (Scarborough—Guildwood) bill passed 3rd Reading by a vote of 75−14 with the NDP casting the dissenting votes. Among the bill’s amendments is a provision to allow current collective agreements to be extended beyond their current expiry date. The previous legislation did not allow for collective agreements to be extended. During committee hearings preceding the final vote, OSSTF/FEESO President Paul Elliott outlined the Federation’s objections to the legislation. As well, following the bill’s passage, Elliott forwarded a letter to Hunter outlining his disappointment at the bill’s passing.
BILL 93, GASOLINE TAX FAIRNESS FOR ALL ACT, 2017
PC MPP John Yakabuski’s (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke) bill was defeated by the Liberals and the NDP by a vote of 41–18. Yakabuski said his bill would have helped municipalities recover a portion of the provincial gas tax for local use.
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION ANNOUNCES CURRICULUM PILOT PROJECT
Sensitive to criticism that students are completing high school without becoming financially literate, Education Minister Mitzie Hunter announced a pilot project to revise the current Grade 10 career studies curriculum. The pilot will take place in 29 classrooms across the province and will introduce students to financial literacy, entrepreneurism, digital literacy and career/life planning. The ministry said the teachers selected to conduct the pilots will examine ways to “equip students with the skills and knowledge they will need in the new global economy.”