Human Resources Legislative Update
Ontario Introduces Omnibus Legislation (Bill 151, Strengthening and Improving Government Act)
Date: December 13, 2013
On December 11, 2013, the Ontario government introduced Bill 151, the Strengthening and Improving Government Act, 2013, omnibus legislation that would, if passed, amend a number of Acts and affect a range of sectors.
Highlights of the Bill include:
- amendments to the Pension Benefits Act that would clarify spousal entitlements to pre- and post-retirement death benefits, and clarify eligibility for certain individuals who were previously affected by a public sector divestment or transaction to consolidate their pension benefits;
- amendments to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act (and consequential amendments to the Education Act) would permit the government to collect and use information about student enrolment and transfer activities, and link elementary, secondary and post-secondary student data through the use of Ontario Education Numbers;
- Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act, 2004 amendments would provide immunity for representatives of the Ontario Medical Association, including directors and staff, to “prevent legal action against representatives for acts done in good faith during negotiations with the government related to physician agreements or payments, such as agreements that contain fee cuts for certain physician groups”; and
- Highway Traffic Act amendments would regulate the non-emergency transport services industry by improving the safety and reliability for passengers who require a stretcher but do not require medical care during their trip through the implementation of new standards in respect of vehicle inspection and maintenance, equipment, staff and recordkeeping.