Members of Provincial Parliament may not have been sitting at Queen’s Park this week, but that doesn’t mean there was a shortage of Ontario news.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) launched an investigation into allegations surrounding the provincial government’s decision to open up parts of the Greenbelt for development.
Little information has been released so far about the specific allegations being reviewed; however, the RCMP did say its provincial Sensitive and International Investigations Unit is the one leading the investigation.
CTV News Toronto has a breakdown of what this means.
The Premier’s Office has said it will fully cooperate with the investigation.
Greenbelt legislation coming
CTV News Toronto has confirmed the ministry of housing will go ahead with legislation that codifies the boundaries of the Greenbelt regardless of the RCMP investigation.
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The legislation is expected to be tabled on Oct. 16.
Rookie NDP MPP Sarah Jama was forced to apologize for her comments about the Israel-Gaza war that garnered condemnation from Jewish groups as well as calls for resignation from Premier Doug Ford.
“I hear them – and above all, I understand the pain that many Jewish and Israeli Canadians, including my own constituents, must be feeling. I apologize,” Jama said.
The NDP’s decision not to oust Jama from caucus for not keeping to the party line on the conflict may have consequences when MPPs return to the Legislature.
Goodbye to LIHNs
A new healthcare bill was tabled two weeks ago that would see at-home services become the responsibility of a new organization called Ontario Health atHome.
Regulations posted publicly on Friday show the legislation will consolidate Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), a process that started in 2019. Much of what the LHINs are responsible for have already been transferred to Ontario Health, a spokesperson for the ministry said at the time, but this legislation will streamline at-home health services to make it easier for patients.
More details were revealed in regulation, notably that the Convenient Care at Home Act would make it so that “LHINs would no longer exist.”
“Ontario Health atHome would assume all staff, service contracts with Service Provider Organizations, and assets, liabilities, rights, and obligations of the LHINs,” the description says.
The full regulation can be viewed on the government website.
Ontario Health would be responsible for operating the new “at home” organization.
Stakeholders and members of the public have until Nov. 11 to provide commentary on the changes.
Ontario celebrates court decision
The Progressive Conservatives are celebrating a Supreme Court decision that found federal impact assessment legislation unconstitutional.
The federal government had the capability of doing their own environmental studies of projects proposed by provincial or regional governments. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault has been mulling a study of Rouge National Urban Park since the Progressive Conservatives announced plans to develop housing nearby.
On social media Ford said he welcomes the decision, calling the federal process needless duplication.
As Canada and Ontario compete for new jobs and every dollar of investment, global companies need to have confidence in our ability to deliver major infrastructure projects. We will continue to ensure that Ontario is a place where we can build and do big things. pic.twitter.com/afIadHM1jL
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) October 13, 2023
OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REGULATIONS OF NOTE:
- The government is proposing to create a registry of occupational illnesses resulting from chemical or biological exposures in the workplace.
- The PCs are investing an additional $20.5 million in wildland fire management, including the enhancement of areal technologies
- The government has opened public consultations for two new student apprenticeship pathways. In the first, students would remain part of the school board while pursuing an apprenticeship full time and the other would see the student excused from school.
- The province is opening a Trade and Investment Office in Singapore in 2024.
- Ontario’s auditor general has confirmed it will be investigating the government’s use of Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZO) to open up development opportunities in the province while overriding local approval processes.
- Student scores are out and it’s not great news. About 59.7 per cent of Grade 3 students and 49.5 per cent of Grade 6 students met or exceeded provincial standards when it came to mathematics, the EQAO reported.A full breakdown of the results can be found here.
This piece is part of a weekly series where CTV News Toronto breaks down what happened in the Ontario Legislature.