Human Resources Legislative Update
Protecting Students Act Passes Third Reading
Date: November 24, 2016
Editor’s Note: Bill 37 received Royal Assent on December 5, 2016.
On November 15, 2016, Bill 37, Protecting Students Act, 2016, passed Third Reading.
Bill 37 amends two statutes. Among other things, amendments to the first statute, Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996 (Act):
- add definitions of “professional misconduct”, “prohibited act involving child pornography” and “sexual misconduct”
- add a definition of “student” for the purposes of the definitions of “sexual abuse” and “sexual misconduct”
- make certain changes to Part IV of the Act (Investigation Committee) relating to the complaint process, including:
- the establishment of an investigation stage complaint resolution process
- the circumstances when the Investigation Committee can refuse to consider and investigate a complaint
- make certain changes to Part V of the Act (Discipline and Fitness to Practise) including:
- the establishment of a disciplinary stage complaint resolution process
- where a member is found guilty by the Discipline Committee of professional misconduct involving specified acts of sexual abuse or a prohibited act involving child pornography, the authority to revoke that member’s certificate and to reprimand the member
- in certain circumstances, the authority for the Discipline Committee to exclude members of the public (including College members) from all or part of a hearing and to ban the publication of matters disclosed at the hearing
- prohibit a member from applying for a new certificate for at least five years after revocation of a certificate based on a finding of professional misconduct involving sexual abuse of a student, sexual misconduct or a prohibited act involving child pornography
- require the College to publish, among other things, every decision of the Discipline Committee, including reasons, on its website and in its official publication
- require a person or prescribed body, who suspects on reasonable grounds that a person is likely to suffer physical or emotional harm by a member and who believes urgent disclosure is necessary, to immediately report that suspicion to the College.
Among other things, amendments to the second statute, the Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007 (ECE Act):
- provide that a member may apply to the Registration Appeals Committee for an order to remove or modify any term, condition or limitation placed on the member’s certificate; unless otherwise specified, the Registration Appeals Committee does not need to hold a hearing prior to rendering a decision on the application
- provide for the appointment of panels to exercise the powers and duties of a committee as specified in section 19 of the ECE Act, and regulation-making authority to establish a roster of eligible panelists.
Bill 37 should be consulted for coming into force information.