14 Bills Passed and 7 Additional Bills Introduced During Spring Sitting
The 14 bills passed during the spring sitting of the Ontario legislature deliver major progress on key initiatives. Actions include investing in green projects and reducing carbon emissions, helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement, allowing municipalities to introduce ranked ballots and ban corporate and union donations for local elections, and strengthening laws to stop sexual violence and harassment.
Bills That Passed:
Bill 100 -- Supporting Ontario's Trails Act, 2016
Strengthens Ontario's trail system, protecting and enhancing thousands of kilometres of the province's urban, suburban, rural and remote land and water trails, while encouraging their expansion. It also helps promote Ontario's trails by establishing the first week of June as Ontario Trails Week.
Bill 119 -- Health Information Protection Act, 2016
Amends the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), 2004 and other acts to establish the framework of the Electronic Health Record, increase accountability, transparency and privacy protection for personal health information and strengthen Ontario's ability to prosecute PHIPA offences. It also replaces the Quality of Care Information Protection Act, 2004 to support quality improvement in health care delivery and transparency to patients regarding their own health care.
Bill 132 -- Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016
Strengthens laws to stop sexual violence and harassment in the workplace, on campuses, in housing and through the civil claims process.
Bill 135 -- Energy Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016
Amends several acts and revokes several regulations in relation to energy conservation and establishes a long-term energy planning framework that is efficient, supported by robust community engagement and responsive to emerging technologies in the energy sector.
Bill 151 -- Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016
Encourages producers to turn more of their waste into new products by requiring them to take full responsibility for recovering resources and reducing waste associated with their products and packaging. The new legislation will also fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas pollution that results from landfilling products that could otherwise be recycled or composted.
Bill 159 -- Black History Month Act, 2016
Formally recognizes February as Black History Month on an annual basis, giving official status to a celebration that Ontario first proclaimed in 1993.
Bill 163 -- Supporting Ontario's First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016
Amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 to create a presumption that PTSD diagnosed in first responders is work-related, leading to faster access to WSIB benefits and proper treatment.
Bill 166 -- Supply Act, 2016
Provides statutory authority for the spending by government ministries and legislative offices during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016 authorized in the main and supplementary expenditures estimates for that fiscal year that were approved by the Legislative Assembly.
Bill 172 -- Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016
Lays a foundation for the province to join the biggest carbon market in North America. Ensures that money raised from Ontario's cap and trade program will be deposited into a new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account, with every dollar invested in green projects and initiatives that reduce emissions. Requires enhanced accountability and public reporting on the province's Climate Change Action Plan and investment of cap and trade proceeds.
Bill 173 -- Jobs for Today and Tomorrow Act (Budget Measures), 2016
Implements measures detailed in the 2016 Ontario Budget, including enacting two new statutes and amending 32 other statutes.
Bill 178 -- Smoke-Free Ontario Amendment Act, 2016
Amends the Smoke-Free Ontario Act to add prohibitions on locations where prescribed products and substances can be smoked or vaped, including enclosed workplaces and enclosed public spaces.
Bill 181 -- Municipal Elections Modernization Act, 2016
Amends the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and other legislation. Changes include allowing municipalities to introduce ranked ballots for council elections, prohibiting corporate and union contributions to municipal election candidates, and regulating third party advertising.
Bill 186 -- Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016
Ensures that every eligible employee is part of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan or a comparable workplace pension plan by 2020; intends to provide a predictable stream of income in retirement, for life. Requires that contributions for large and medium employers begin before January 1, 2018 and for small employers before January 1, 2019; enshrines design details previously announced by the government; and requires the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Administration Corporation to hold contributions and any accruals from the investment of those contributions in trust for plan beneficiaries.
Bill 207 -- Treaties Recognition Week Act, 2016
Declares the first full week of November each year as Treaties Recognition Week. Will provide recurring opportunities for teachers to plan learning activities about treaties and promote constructive engagement and revitalization of treaty relationships between the province and Indigenous communities.
Bills Introduced But Not Passed:
Bill 198 -- Immunization of School Pupils Amendment Act, 2016
Would require parents and guardians who are considering not immunizing their children for non-medical reasons to participate in an education session delivered by their local public health unit before they can obtain a vaccine exemption. Would require health care providers to report any vaccines they administer to children and youth, and that are needed to attend school in Ontario, directly to their local public health unit.
Bill 200 -- Protecting Students Act, 2016
Would protect children and students by making the investigation and disciplinary process for the province's educators clearer and more transparent.
Bill 201 -- Election Finances Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016
Would make sweeping changes to the way political parties raise and spend money. Would ban donations and loan guarantees by corporations and unions; cap the amount of money that third parties can spend on political advertising and introduce strict anti-collusion measures; place new limits on the amount of money that individuals can donate to a political party, candidate, constituency association, nomination contestant or leadership contestant; and create a per-vote allowance for political parties based on the number of votes received in the previous general election.
Bill 204 -- Promoting Affordable Housing Act, 2016
Would help increase the supply of affordable housing and modernize existing social housing. Would allow municipalities to mandate that affordable units are included in new residential projects; make secondary suites in new homes less costly to build by exempting them from development charges; give local service managers more flexibility to administer and deliver social housing in their communities; prevent unnecessary evictions from social housing; modernize how rental property standards are enforced; and require that homeless people be included in local enumerations.
Bill 209 -- Seniors Active Living Centres Act, 2016
Would replace the Elderly Persons Centres Act. Would affirm the mandate of the Elderly Persons Centre (EPC) program to keep seniors healthy and engaged, give the program more flexibility to respond to the local needs of seniors, foster EPC locations as community hubs, encourage innovation in the sector and enable centres to develop future partnerships.
Bill 210 -- Patients First Act, 2016
Would amend the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006 and make related amendments to several other Acts.Would expand the role of the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) to improve planning and delivery of services and increase efficiency to direct more funding to patient care within the existing system. Would improve patients' access to care, provide for better coordination and continuity of care, and help improve access to primary care providers.
Bill 218 -- Burden Reduction Act, 2016
Would amend 50 statutes, supported by 11 ministries, to reduce regulatory burdens and practices that cost businesses and governments time and money, while protecting environmental and health standards and enhancing worker safety. Would help Ontario continue to build a smarter, more modern regulatory environment by rooting out existing burdens and streamlining regulations.