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College Begins Transition to New Governance Structure

February 01 2021

The Ontario College of Teachers begins a one year transition to a new governance structure today, following the government’s proclamation of key legislative amendments.

To oversee the modernization of the College’s governance, the government has appointed Paul Boniferro, Ontario’s former Deputy Attorney General to the role of Transition Supervisory Officer (TSO), effective February 1, 2021.

“We are looking forward to working with Mr. Boniferro to implement the governance enhancements,” says Dr. Derek Haime, OCT, Registrar and CEO. “Once complete, these changes should enable the College to operate more efficiently and effectively. Most importantly, it will permit an even greater level of engagement in our work by both the public and members of Ontario’s teaching profession.”

Boniferro will oversee the implementation of changes, which include dissolving the College’s current Council and putting into place, a new governance structure, which will include an equal number of professionals and members of the public on Council and our statutory committees. Future Council and committee members will be appointed based on specific competencies needed to do the job and on prescribed criteria for geographic, linguistic, Indigenous and system representation.

The legislative reforms, which follow an independent review initiated by the College, will serve as a model for regulatory governance across jurisdictions and should serve to enhance public confidence in the teaching profession.

“I look forward to assisting the College in transitioning to a new governance model that enables the organization to emerge stronger and better able to protect the public,” says Boniferro. “The changes are in line with progressive regulatory governance reforms underway across Canada and around the globe.”

A labour and employment lawyer, Boniferro is well-versed in stakeholder negotiations and management. He brings with him a deep and diverse background from different sectors, including non-government organizations, private and public.

Most recently, Boniferro was Ontario’s Deputy Attorney General, where he carefully managed the relationships with significant and complex stakeholders, developed and implemented a multi-year strategy aimed at operational efficiencies within the Ministry, and was the Senior Crown Law Advisor to Government on all matters.

Prior to this, Boniferro was the National Leader of People and Practices and served on the Board of Partners at McCarthy Tétrault, where he practiced for over 22 years. He led the firm’s Labour and Employment practice group in this area and was involved in some of the country’s highest profile collective bargaining and other negotiations both in the private and public sector including the LCBO, Hydro One, Cadillac Fairview, and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

A proud native of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Boniferro holds a Bachelor of Public Administration Policy from Western University, and a law degree from Osgoode Hall. He is called to the bar in both Ontario and Alberta. Committed to the community and giving back, he has also been on the Algoma University Board of Governors, Capital Campaign Board of Casey House, Fit Spirit Foundation Board, and the Board of Directors at Friends of Ruby (previously Egale Youth Services).

The College’s governance reforms were included in Bill 229, which was approved by the Ontario Legislature in December 2020.

The Bill also included a number of measures to protect the interests and well-being of Ontario’s students including:

  • stronger penalties and broader definitions for acts of professional misconduct related to sexual abuse and child pornography, which strengthens the College’s mandate to protect the public interest;
  • a mandatory sexual abuse prevention program that parallels the College’s focus on furthering teacher education;
  • mandatory medical assessments to ensure accuracy during our investigation and hearings process; and,
  • keeping disciplinary decisions public, which bolsters the College’s commitment to public accountability and transparency.

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