9 Bills Passed During the Spring 2018 Sittings of the 41st Parliament of Ontario
The nine bills passed during the spring sittings of the Ontario legislature support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The government made major new investments in health care, child care, home care and mental health, and took action to advance women's economic empowerment and ensure workers are paid fairly.
The following list includes bills passed when the legislature sat from February 20 to March 8, as well as when it sat from the Speech from the Throne on March 19 until the House rose on May 8.
Government Bills That Passed During the February 20 to March 8 Sitting:
[Introduced November 2, 2017]
This Act transforms Ontario's policing framework and modernizes the province's approach to community safety through comprehensive measures to make it more proactive, collaborative, community-focused, accountable and sustainable. The Act:
- Creates a new Missing Persons Act, to allow police to respond more quickly and effectively to missing person investigations
- Expands the role of municipalities by establishing a collaborative relationship between police services and local service providers in health care, social services and education
- Enhances police oversight and accountability to the public, including the creation of a new Inspector General of Policing role to oversee and monitor police services and police service boards to ensure compliance with the new Police Services Act, 2018
- Supports the sustainability of First Nations policing by enabling First Nations to choose the model of policing delivery that best meets their local needs, including the opportunity to come under the same legislative framework for policing as the rest of Ontario
- Enhances and strengthens Ontario's three provincial oversight bodies; expands oversight to cover officials other than police officers (i.e., special constables, auxiliary police); and provides tougher penalties for policing officials who do not comply with investigations
- Clearly outlines core police responsibilities and community safety service delivery, including defining in regulation the duties that can only be performed by a sworn police officer
- Creates a new Forensic Laboratories Act, which establishes forensic laboratory oversight in Ontario to improve accountability and transparency of forensic testing through a multi-faceted oversight framework
- Amends the Coroners Act to improve Ontario's inquest system to make inquests more meaningful and accessible
- Enhances education and training for police officers and oversight personnel, including mandatory cultural training that reflect the multiracial and multicultural character of Ontario society and the rights and cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
[Introduced December 14, 2017]
Builds a foundation for world-class concussion prevention and management to make sport safer for students and athletes in Ontario. The Act implements recommendations made by an advisory committee established after the tragic death of Rowan Stringer, a 17-year-old rugby player. It increases awareness and enhances management of concussions in schools and communities through a comprehensive plan that includes enhancing prevention, detection, management and awareness.
[Introduced February 20, 2018]
Takes responsive action to stand up for Ontario workers and businesses and create a level playing field by addressing unfair and discriminatory government procurement policies and practices of American subnational jurisdictions. These policies and practices could prevent Ontario businesses from accessing cross-border procurement opportunities. The Act gives Ontario the flexibility to choose whether and how to respond to discriminatory actions of U.S. states by providing Ontario with the authority to create responsive regulations to respond proportionately to the restrictions set out by U.S. states, including those identified in New York State's "Buy American" legislation.
Bill 196, Supply Act, 2018
[Introduced February 21, 2018]
Based on estimates that were presented to and approved by the Legislative Assembly, this act provides statutory authority for the spending by government ministries and legislative offices during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018.
Government Bills That Passed During the March 19 to May 8 Sitting:
[Introduced March 20, 2018]
The first pay transparency act passed by any province helps advance women's economic empowerment by making hiring processes more transparent and giving women more information to use when negotiating compensation that is equal to their male peers. The act requires all publicly advertised job postings to include a salary rate or range; bars employers from asking job candidates about their past compensation; prohibits reprisals against employees who discuss or disclose compensation; and, once fully implemented, will require larger and medium-sized employers to publicly post data on compensation gaps based on gender and other diversity characteristics.
[Introduced March 20, 2018]
Makes sweeping changes to Ontario's corrections system and applies a consistent and evidence-based approach to rehabilitation and reintegration to better prepare persons in custody for a successful and well-supported return to their communities. The Act creates new rules and defines segregation by aligning with international standards and phasing in time limits and prohibitions on segregation for vulnerable inmates who are pregnant or have a mental illness. It also defines minimum standards for living conditions for all adults in custody; establishes an Inspector General to enforce compliance with the new Act; ensures incarcerated individuals have access to appropriate health care services; and better supports rehabilitation and reintegration through tailored case management plans for each inmate, as well as through enhanced culturally responsive programming to meet the unique needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis inmates and other overrepresented groups.
[Introduced March 20, 2018]
Gives Ontario consumers the strongest rights in Canada over information held by consumer reporting agencies. The Act requires certain credit reporting agencies to give consumers free online access at least twice a year to their current consumer score; provide any consumer scores given to third parties over the past 12 months; and implement a security freeze at the consumer's request to help reduce identity theft. The Act also sets the foundation to make Ontario the first jurisdiction in the world to establish standards for elevator repair times. This will help people make better decisions before they rent or buy by requiring multi-storey residential buildings to publish information about elevator performance, and will set standards to ensure that new multi-storey residential buildings have enough elevators to adequately serve residents.
[Introduced March 28, 2018]
The budget bill includes 37 schedules that amend various acts, including the Education Act, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, and the Pensions Benefit Act. The government is also making major new investments in health care, child care, home care and mental health services, and introducing initiatives to create more job opportunities, make life more affordable and provide more financial security. Budget 2018 includes:
- A new Seniors' Healthy Home Program providing up to $750 per year for eligible households led by seniors 75 and over to offset the costs of maintaining their homes
- A new Ontario Drug and Dental Program providing reimbursements towards the cost of eligible prescription drug and dental expenses for people without extended benefits or people not covered by OHIP+
- Free licensed preschool child care from the age of two-and-a-half until they are eligible to start to kindergarten, beginning in 2020
- A historic investment in mental health and addictions services to reduce wait times, add up to 400 new mental health workers to support high school students and increase access to publicly funded psychotherapy
- More support for home care and community care to increase personal support services, nursing and therapy visits, and caregiver respite hours
- Increased funding for hospitals to provide better access to care, reduce wait times, address capacity issues and better meet the needs of a growing and aging population
- $1.8 billion more over three years to expand services for people living with developmental disabilities
- Free prescription drugs for everyone 65 and over
- A new investment of $132 million over three years to support innovative programming that responds to the needs of students and employers in a changing economy and labour market
- A renewed and extended Jobs and Prosperity Fund with $900 million more in funding over 10 years to help create and retain over 70,000 jobs
- A new investment of $935 million over three years through a Good Jobs and Growth Plan to support Ontario businesses, students and graduates, and to help attract good, well-paying jobs.
[Introduced April 17, 2018]
Ensures that people working in construction, building cleaning or security jobs under contracts with the government will be paid the fair, prevailing wage in those sectors. Updates Ontario's Fair Wage Policy to require that contractors and subcontractors pay according to minimum rates that the government will establish.