Support for The Protecting Students Act
October 17 2013
Building support for Bill 103, The Protecting Students Act
Update: October 11, 2013
On September 18, 2013, Minister of Education Liz Sandals introduced Bill 103, The Protecting Students Act, to the Ontario legislature.
The proposed legislation is consistent with advice provided to the government by the Ontario College of Teachers in response to an independent review by former Ontario Chief Justice Patrick LeSage. Since the report’s release in June 2012, the College Council has moved forward to implement LeSage’s recommendations.
“I am encouraged by the growing momentum in support of Bill 103,” said College CEO and Registrar Michael Salvatori, OCT. “The College has made great strides to improve transparency and efficiency, and the proposed legislation will expand our authority to move these reforms forward.”
If passed, Bill 103 will reinforce the College’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its investigation, disciplinary and reporting processes.
A second reading of the bill was introduced for debate on October 1, 2013, and will go to committee for review.
Since its introduction, the Protecting Students Act has been widely received by government officials and educational leaders. The College applauds their support and encourages all parties of the Ontario legislature to pass Bill 103.
What people are saying in support of Bill 103:
“I look forward to working with the Minister of Education in granting the OCT [the College] all the tools it needs to promote safety in Ontario schools. As a member of OCT myself, I and my esteemed colleagues from my past career obviously do have the safety of students foremost in our thoughts and minds, moving forward.” – Rob E. Milligan, PC MPP for Northumberland-Quinte West
“The legislation will ensure that students, parents, educators and the public can be confident that student safety will be paramount.” – Bob Pratt, president of the Ontario Principals' Council
“Every parent expects that their child will be safe in their school. The bill introduced today should be a step forward to ensure that those expectations are met.” – Mr. Peter Tabuns, NDP MPP for Toronto Danforth
“We are pleased that the minister acted quickly on the recommendations. We hope the bill moves forward in the legislature as quickly as possible.” – Michael Barrett, president of the Ontario Public School Board’s Association
“Our schools must support safe and healthy learning environments where students can succeed and reach their full potential. I encourage all members of this House to support this very important bill.” – Bas Balkissoon, Liberal MPP for Scarborough-Rouge River
“We want to ensure that we have the best teachers in our classrooms. We want to make sure that teacher is qualified, which is why we have the Ontario College of Teachers and [an act] that was established to promote that idea. [Bill 103] obviously strengthens the components of that piece of legislation.” – Rob Leone, PC MPP Cambridge-North Dumfries and education critic
- In August 2011, the Ontario College of Teachers appoints former Chief Justice Patrick LeSage to conduct an independent review of its investigations and disciplinary processes.
- In January 2012, the College posts more than 600 decisions of disciplinary proceedings on its website.
- In June 2012, Justice LeSage releases a report that contains 49 recommendations to improve transparency and efficiency. More than half the recommendations require amendments to provincial legislation.
- In June 2012, the College Council approves the LeSage report and begins to implement recommendations that do not require legislative change.
- On September 18, 2013, the Protecting Students Act is introduced by Minister of Education Liz Sandals.
- On October 1, 2013, the Protecting Students Act is introduced for a second reading.
News release: Ontario College of Teachers welcomes legislative amendments
News release: Ontario Ministry of Education
Bill 103, The Protecting Students Act, 2013
The LeSage Report (PDF)