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Passage of Bill 31 strengthens our role of protecting students

May 09 2018

Passage of Bill 31 strengthens our role of protecting students

Bill 31, which included amendments to the Ontario College of Teachers Act, received third reading and Royal Assent on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

We welcome these legislative changes, which incorporate a series of amendments to better protect Ontario students from sexual abuse by teachers. The bill strengthens and expands the definition of sexual abuse in the Ontario College of Teachers Act that would result in mandatory revocation or suspension.

New amendments:

  • expand the list of acts that would result in mandatory revocation, including touching of a sexual nature by teachers of a student’s genitals, anus, breasts or buttocks;
  • require that any other findings of sexual abuse by the College’s Discipline Committee that do not result in mandatory revocation result in a mandatory suspension of the member’s certificate;
  • enable the College’s Discipline Committee to immediately suspend a member pending an order of mandatory revocation;
  • apply retroactively to any historical matters that may have occurred prior to, or during, the College’s existence.

All of these amendments went into effect on May 8, 2018.

Two additional amendments will go into effect upon the proclamation of those specific sections of the bill at a later date. One amendment will give the authority to the Investigation Committee to order medical assessments. The second amendment is related to the funding of therapy and counselling for students abused by teachers.

The new definition enhances the Protecting Students Act and aligns with recent changes to the Regulated Health Professions Act.

The College provided advice to the province to enhance our ability to govern our profession in the public interest.

101 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON, M5S 0A1, P: 416.961.8800 / Toll Free (Ontario Only): 1.888.534.2222 / F: 416.961.8822 / info@oct.ca

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