Queens Park Monitor – June 2017

Summer Break 

The Ontario Legislature has adjourned until the fall session allowing MPPs to head back to their constituency offices for the summer. Premier Wynne took this opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. last week to meet with senior U.S. officials and economic leaders and participate in a joint mission with Canada’s Premiers. Wynne and her Liberal government wrapped up an eventful spring session that saw several major bills introduced into the legislature, including the labour reform bill as well as the hydro relief bill.

Below are the top 5 things that you need to know heading into the summer:

  1. Ontario raising minimum wage to $15/hour (Click here for CHG’s Note on Labour Reform Bill)
  2. Customers set to receive 25% cut on their hydro bills this summer (Fair Hydro Act)
  3. Ross Romano wins seat in Sault Ste. Marie byelection for the PCs while MPP Jack MacLaren removed from PC Caucus over another controversy (now sits as an independent in the House)
  4. Ontario NDP Deputy Leader Jagmeet Singh joins Federal NDP Leadership Race
  5. Liberals announce universal pharmacare for those under the age of 25 and more in the Ontario Budget 2017 (Click here for CHG’s full coverage)

Government Bills Recently Passed

Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act
Bill 84, Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act
Bill 87, Protecting Patients Act
Bill 89, Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act
Bill 92, School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act
Bill 95, Protecting Vulnerable Energy Consumers Act
Bill 96, Anti-Human Trafficking Act
Bill 111, Supply Act
Bill 114, Anti-Racism Act
Bill 124, Rental Fairness Act
Bill 127, Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act (Budget Measures)
Bill 132, Fair Hydro Act
Bill 134, Budget Measures Act (Housing Price Stability and Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit)

Government Bills Returning This Fall 

Bill 139, Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act
Bill 142, Construction Lien Amendment Act
Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act

Click here for full list of bills passed and introduced in the spring sitting

Ontario Investments  

  • $12 million to support new and existing programs that will improve maternal and child health in Ontario including newborn screening and midwifery care
  • $10 million to support 77 researchers through Early Researcher Awards program
  • $3 million towards Social Entrepreneurs ($2 in the Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund and $1 million in the ONE Social Enterprise Partnerships)
  • $4.5 million per year in the Starter Company Plus program
  • $50 million towards the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program (OMCC) from its carbon market earnings
  • $1 million in the Ontario Open Textbooks Initiative
  • $11 million over the next three years towards the Seniors Community Grant program
  • $56 million in Aboriginal Institutes to help them expand their capacity over the next three years
  • $500 million over five years to create new services for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder via the new Ontario Autism Program (OAP)
  • $5 million over five years in Phase IV of the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC)’s scientific program to support the faster discovery of new medicine
  • $15 million in a comprehensive environmental assessment on high speed rail along the Toronto-Windsor corridor

Other Highlights

  • Province will be implementing a new framework for defined benefit pension plans (will introduce legislation this fall)
  • Ontario released its Changing Workplaces Review final report by special advisors C. Michael Mitchell and the Honourable John C. Murray
  • Province will introduce legislation this fall that if passed, would create “safe access zones” at specified health care facilities that offer women’s reproductive services
  • Ontario launched Access Talent: Ontario’s Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities
  • Province released a one year update on implementing The Journey Together: Ontario’s Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
  • Ontario will be implementing a new medical dispatch system to help triage and prioritize 911 calls for ambulance services (expected to be in place in the first site by March 2018)
  • Province appointed the Honourable Michael Tulloch to lead an independent review of the implementation of the regulation on carding or street checks
  • Durham Region, Huntsville and Orillia will be hosting the 2019 and 2020 Ontario Games
  • Ontario reached a tentative agreement with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) to extend the current collective agreements

Upcoming Events

CHG has compiled a list of key political events that you might be interested in. To see a list of all the events, click here. If you have an event you’d like to advertise in our next issue, please contact us at Toronto@CapitalHill.ca.