On June 1, 2017, the Ontario Legislature rose.  It is scheduled to resume on September 11.  A number of bills of interest to municipal governments were debated in this session, and are outlined below.

Bill Name

Municipal Impact

Royal Assent – is now law

Bill 39, Aggregate Resources and Mining Modernization Act, 2017
 
May 10 Royal Assent received

  • Updates processes for fee and royalty increases on aggregates and expands public participation in the application process.

  • Clarifies and enhances environmental protections and provides better oversight for aggregate companies.

  • Establishes an online claims registration and an electronic mining lands administration system.

  • Attempts to minimize prospecting and mining activities on land and nearby communities.

Bill 59, Putting Consumers First Act (Consumer Protection Statute Law Amendment), 2017

 
April 13 Royal Assent

Allows municipal governments to limit the number and location of payday loan establishments.

Bill 65, Safer School Zones Act, 2017

 

May 30 Royal Assent

Gives municipal governments more tools to enforce speeding and dangerous driving in their communities, including:

  • introducing the ability to create community safety zones with reduced speed limits

  • providing the option to implement automated speed enforcement in school zones and community safety zones, and

  • streamlining municipal government participation in Ontario's Red Light Camera program without the need for lengthy regulatory approval.

Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario's Municipal Legislation Act, 2017
 
May 30 Royal Assent received
 
Note:  not all parts of Bill are in effect yet.

Amends the Municipal Act, City of Toronto Act, and Municipal Conflict of Interest Act to:

  • provide broader municipal investment powers to eligible municipalities,

  • require municipal governments to have a code of conduct for members of municipal councils and local boards, and

  • require a municipal integrity commissioner with a broadened role related to conflicts of interest and municipal codes of conduct.

Bill 114, Anti-Racism Act, 2017
 
June 1 Royal Assent received

Requires municipal governments, among other public sector organizations such as Police Services Boards, to:

  • collect race-based data, and

  • implement an anti-racism impact assessment framework for certain municipal activities.

Bill 124, Rental Fairness Act, 2017
 
May 30 Royal Assent received

  • Expands rent control to all private rental units, including those occupied on or after November 1, 1991.

  • Amends the Residential Tenancies Act to introduce protections for tenants, including establishing a standard lease.

Bill 127, Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017
 
May 17 Royal Assent received

Amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 to allow workers to claim entitlement to chronic mental stress injuries in the workplace that occur on or after January 1, 2018.

  • Previously, entitlement to benefits for mental stress was limited to acute reactions to a sudden and unexpected event.

  • AMO will be responding to the draft WSIB policy on chronic mental stress being consulted on by July 7, 2017.

Bill 132, Fair Hydro Act, 2017

June 1 Royal Assent received

Lowers electricity bills by 25 per cent on average for all residential consumers and as many as half a million small businesses and farms.


 

At Committee – received Second Reading and referred to Committee

Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017
 
June 1 assigned to Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs

Bill 148 establishes new requirements for employers in Ontario such as municipal governments. It proposes to:

  • raise the minimum wage to $14 in 2018 and $15 in 2019,

  • mandate equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual, and seasonal employees doing the same job as full-time employees,

  • require equal pay for temporary help agency employees doing the same job as permanent employees at the agencies' client companies,

  • expand personal emergency leave to include an across-the-board minimum of at least two paid days per year for all workers,

  • require at least three weeks' vacation after five years with the same employer, and

  • require employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its scheduled start time.

First Reading – introduced to the Legislature

Bill 139, Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act
 
May 31 carried First Reading

Bill 139 proposes to:

  • amend the Planning Act to create the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal to replace the Ontario Municipal Board,

  • scope the role of the tribunal to ensure consistency with provincial and local plans,

  • create the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre, funded by the Province, to provide information and support for citizens on the land use planning appeal process, and

  • provide clarity for conservation authority roles and responsibilities, and modernize funding mechanisms.


 

Bill 142, Construction Lien Amendment Act update
 
May 31 carried First Reading

Bill 142 proposes to:

  • create new prompt payment rules to give contractors and subcontractors certainty about when to expect payment,

  • extend the timelines to file liens and start court actions from 90 days to 150 days, giving contractors and subcontractors time to resolve their disputes outside of court and avoid additional legal fees,

  • require holdback funds to be paid as soon as the deadline to file liens has passed, and

  • create an adjudication process to speed up dispute resolution and prevent disputes from delaying work on construction projects.


AMO will be reviewing these items at Committee and those that have had First Reading in preparation for future committee submissions and possible proposed amendments in the interests of municipal government.