On November 20, 2020, the Ontario government filed two regulations that allow point-of-care testing for COVID-19 to take place outside of laboratories and permit an expanded list of healthcare professionals to perform COVID-19 testing. The regulations came into effect on November 20.
On November 17, 2020, the federal government introduced Bill C-11, An Act to enact the Consumer Privacy Protection Act and the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts.
On November 20, 2020 the Ontario government announced that it will be moving certain regions of the province to new levels of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework (Framework). This included moving the City of Toronto and Peel Region to the Grey Zone – Lockdown of the Framework, effective earlier today, November 23 at 12:01 a.m. These restrictions will be in effect for at least 28 days.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) sets out the process for developing and enforcing accessibility standards in Ontario. Its purpose is to achieve accessibility standards for Ontarians with physical and mental disabilities by 2025. All levels of government, private sector organizations and non-profit organizations must comply with this legislation.
The Ontario government has enacted new regulations that amend the Rules for Areas in Stage 2 and 3. The regulations aim to implement the recently announced reopening framework. The regulations:
On November 5, 2020, the Ontario government tabled its 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover (Budget), and introduced supporting implementation legislation, Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020(Bill 229).
On November 3, 2020, the Ontario government released its COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open (Framework) which the government states “will serve as an early warning system allowing [it] to scale up and scale back public health restrictions on a regional or community basis in response to surges and waves of COVID-19.” The Framework will apply to businesses and organizations that operate within the applicable public health units, and it also contains sector-specific health and safety measures.
On October 30, 2020, Joseph co-presented “Balancing Legal Obligations While Maintaining a Safe School” at Osgoode Professional Development’s Annual Special Education Conference.
On October 20, 2020, Ontario introduced Bill 218, Supporting Ontario’s Recovery and Municipal Elections Act, 2020. If passed, it would enact The Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act, 2020 (Act) which provides protection for persons from liability for actions related to COVID-19. It would also remove the framework in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 providing for ranked ballot elections for municipal council officers. As of today’s date, the Bill is at Second Reading in the Ontario legislature.
On October 16, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General). Justice Abella, writing for the majority, held that the inability of members who participated in a job-sharing program to “buy back” pension credits under the employer’s pension plan amounted to discrimination on the basis of sex, contrary to s. 15(1) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In separate dissenting reasons, Justices Brown and Rowe on the one hand and Justice Côté on the other held that the appeal ought to have been dismissed, although for different reasons.