From the Provincial Office of OSSTF
NEW BILLS INTRODUCED
BILL 223, HIGHWAY TRAFFIC AMENDMENT ACT (ELECTRONIC LOGGING DEVICES)
PC MPP Vijay Thanigasalam (Scarborough—Rouge Park) introduced his private member’s bill that amends the Highway Traffic Act to require that operators ensure that each commercial motor vehicle that is under their control is equipped with an electronic logging device. The Bill also requires that the information recorded by the device is in accordance with the “Technical Standard for Electronic Logging Devices,” which is published by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators. Thanigasalam’s bill passed both 1st and 2nd Reading and was referred to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly.
BILL 224, NO TIME TO WASTE ACT (PLAN FOR CLIMATE ACTION AND JOBS)
NDP MPPs Bhutila Karpoche (Parkdale—High Park) and Peter Tabuns (Toronto—Danforth) have co-sponsored this private member’s bill that would require the Minister of Health to prepare Ontario’s health system for health risks caused by climate change. The bill would also establish a strategic action plan, a Climate Crisis and Health Secretariat, and a Science Advisory Board.
BILLS REFERRED TO COMMITTEE
BILL 13, TIME TO CARE ACT (LONG-TERM CARE HOMES AMENDMENT, MINIMUM STANDARD OF DAILY CARE)
NDP MPP Teresa Armstrong’s (London—Fanshawe) private member’s bill, first introduced on July 31, 2018, was finally debated at 2nd Reading and passed with all-party support. The bill is now referred to the Social Policy Committee. Armstrong’s bill would mandate four hours of care per day for long-term care residents. The NDP forced a vote on the bill to expose the PC government’s unwillingness to provide more care for residents. It will interesting to see if, and when, the bill returns to the legislature for final reading as the NDP has promised to keep the pressure on the government.
BILL 215, MAIN STREET RECOVERY ACT
Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction Prabmeet Sarkaria’s (Brampton South) government bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Sarkaria’s bill seeks to slash red tape for businesses. One of the proposed changes would remove a municipalities’ power to make noise-related bylaws. This would permanently allow round-the-clock deliveries.
BILL 218, SUPPORTING ONTARIO’S RECOVERY AND MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS ACT
Attorney-General Doug Downey’s (Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte) government bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy. Downey’s bill would protect certain organizations from getting sued for spreading COVID-19 if they had acted in good faith. Downey’s bill would give liability protection to certain health-care workers and institutions; long-term care homes; businesses; non-profits; and front-line workers including grocery store clerks and restaurant servers. Downey’s bill would also eliminate the power of municipalities to use ranked-ballots in local elections.
BILL 219, LIFE SETTLEMENTS AND LOANS ACT
PC MPP Rudy Cuzzetto’s (Mississauga—Lakeshore) private member’s bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Cuzzetto’s bill seeks to make changes in the current provision in section 115 of the Insurance Act that prohibits any person, other than an insurer or its duly authorized agent, from trafficking or trading in life insurance policies. The bill amends the prohibition so that it does not apply if the life insurance policy is sold or assigned by the original policyholder or a transferee, used as collateral security or donated to a charity.
The bill provides for a 10-day cooling-off period, during which time an agreement to sell, assign, use as collateral security or donate a life insurance policy may be cancelled. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario is required to provide oversight in respect of the transactions.
BILL 220, MURRAY WHETUNG COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD ACT
PC MPP Dave Smith’s (Peterborough—Kawartha) private member’s bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills. Smith’s bill would direct the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries to provide for an award to be given each year to a cadet in each local Royal Canadian Air Cadet corps, Royal Canadian Army Cadet corps and Royal Canadian Sea Cadet corps who is selected by their corps for demonstrating exceptional citizenship and volunteerism within their community and their corps.
BILL 222, ONTARIO REBUILDING AND RECOVERY ACT
The Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney’s (York—Simcoe) government bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy. Mulroney’s bill would expand earlier measures to speed up the government’s transit projects and spur highway and infrastructure construction.
BILL 223, HIGHWAY TRAFFIC AMENDMENT ACT (ELECTRONIC LOGGING DEVICES)
Please see above in “New Bills Introduced.”
No bills passed this week.
IN OTHER NEWS
PROVINCIAL BUDGET SET FOR NOVEMBER 5
The Ford government announced that Finance Minister Rod Phillips (Ajax) will deliver the provincial budget on Thursday, November 5. The budget was original scheduled to be delivered in the spring but was delayed because of COVID-19.
THE FORD GOVERNMENT’S INCLUSION OF UNIVERSITY DEGREE-GRANTING POWERS TO CANADA CHRISTIAN COLLEGE
Bill 213, better for people, Smarter for Business Act continued to stoke acrimony in the Legislature. Canada Christian College’s President, Charles McVety, has been long been accused of being a homophobe, Islamophobe and a racist. Many opposition MPPs, including former Premier and Liberal MPP Kathleen Wynne (Don Valley West) and NDP MPP Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre) have led the questioning of Ford’s motives for granting such powers to McVety’s college. In addition, this week the NDP revealed that McVety and his family have received loans from the college for more than $800,000. As well, questions surround how McVety was able to get such legislation proposed without any record of his college lobbying the government for such action. Lindo has asked the integrity commissioner to investigate the matter. Many unions and associations representing post-secondary workers, including OSSTF/FEESO, have spoken out against the move to incorporate the college as a university degree-granting institution.
PC MPP SAM OOSTERHOFF UNMASKED
PC MPP Sam Oosterhoff (Niagara West) posted a family photograph on social media showing a maskless gathering of about 40 people at a restaurant in his community. Despite Premier Doug Ford (Etobicoke North) calling individuals that disregard COVID-19 “yahoos” at many of his daily briefings, Ford said that Oosterhoff had made a mistake and had apologized. Ford’s stance on his own caucus mate is in sharp contrast to many other Ontarians who have been fined for not following COVID-19 protocols.
IHRA WORKING DEFINITION OF ANTISEMITISM ADOPTED BY ORDER-IN-COUNCIL
Despite currently considering Bill 168, Combating Antisemitism Act at the Standing Committee on Justice Policy, the Ford government passed a Cabinet Order-in-Council adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism. Critics argue that the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism conflates anti-Semitism and criticism of the Jewish state of Israel.