Guide to Changes to the Education Act
This summary highlights the key changes to the Education Act as proposed by Schedule 4 of Bill 108. An explicit aim as set out in the preamble of the Bill is to allow school boards and development partners to find innovative ways to finance new schools. Two new mechanisms of particular significance are introduced by the Bill and outlined below.
Selected Key Changes
- A key change proposed involves the introduction of provisions allowing a school board to request the allocation of revenue from education development charge by-laws for alternative projects. These are projects that would encourage pupil accommodation and reduce the cost of acquiring land. The Board must make this request before an education development charge by-law is passed.
- The Minister must approve of this request and a school board would be required to provide detailed plans and continual updated information surrounding the project.
- This section would come into force on the later of November 1, 2019 and the day the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 receives Royal Assent.
Localized Education Development Agreements
- Another notable introduction is that of a localized education development agreement between a school board and land owner. In exchange for providing a school board with real property, a lease, or other benefit to be used to provide pupil accommodation, a school board would agree not impose education development charges against land that would otherwise be subject to the charge. This agreement must be entered into before an education development charge by-law is passed.
- This arrangement would require the consideration and approval of the Minister and may be subject to prescribed criteria.
- These proposed changes to the Education Act are scheduled to come into force on the later of November 1, 2019 and the day the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 receives Royal Assent.
Acquisition, Leasing or expropriation of Land
- A Board’s power to acquire, lease or expropriate land has been extended from a right to purchase, lease or acquire a school site to include any other land that is within its area of jurisdiction pursuant to amendments to section 195 of the Education Act.
- The Schedule also introduces a requirement in section 195 for a school board to provide the Minister with notice of intent to acquire or expropriate land. The Minister would have the authority to reject a school board’s plans.
- These proposed changes to the Education Act are scheduled to come into force on the day the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 receives Royal Assent.
A more detailed summary of the key changes is found below:
|Dealings with Property – Board may purchase or apply to expropriate within its jurisdiction|
|195(1)||Repeals subsection 195(1) and outlines that every school board may select and may acquire, by purchase, lease or otherwise, or may expropriate, a school site or any other land that is within its area of jurisdiction.|
|195(1.1)||Introduces additional requirement for a board to provide the Minister with notice of the intent to acquire by purchase, lease or otherwise, or expropriate, a school site or any other land within its area of jurisdiction. This notice shall be given within the prescribed time period and in a specific manner and form that shall be specified by the Minister by way of a regulation.|
|195 (1.2)||The Minister has authority to reject a board’s plans and prevent the proposed acquisition or expropriation from proceeding.|
|195 (1.3)||If a board is not notified by the Minister that the proposed acquisition or expropriation shall not proceed, the board may proceed with the acquisition or the application to expropriate.|
|195 (1.4)||The Minister may make regulations prescribing the time periods referred to in subsections 195(1.1) and 195 (1.2).|
|257.53(1)||Adds definition for “alternative project” being a project, lease or other prescribed measure approved by the Minister that would address the needs of the board for pupil accommodation and would reduce the cost of acquiring land.|
|Adds definition for “localized education development agreement” being an agreement between a board and an owner further described in subsection 247.53.2(1).|
|257.53.1 (1)||Outlines process for board request, and Minister approval, that an allocation of revenue raised by charges imposed by an education development charge by-law be put towards an alternative project.|
|257.53.1(2)||The Minister must be provided with plans related to the proposed allocation of revenue and information surrounding the project to assist with the Minister’s consideration and approval process. Criteria may be prescribed governing the request.|
|257.53.1(3)||Requires a board to notify the Minister, within the prescribed time period, of any proposed changes to an alternative project or to a proposed allocation of revenue of an approved alternative project and to provide any updated plans and information.|
|Localized Education Development Agreements|
|257.53.2 (1)||Allows a board to enter into a localized education development agreement with an owner of land that provides a lease, real property or other prescribed benefit to be used by the board to provide pupil accommodation in exchange for an agreement not to impose education development charges against such land that would otherwise be subject to the charges under subsection 257.54(1). This agreement must be entered into before the passage of an Education Development Charge By-law.|
|257.53.2(2)||A board would require the Minister’s approval to enter into a localized education development agreement and the board must provide the Minister with the proposed agreement and other relevant information requested by the Minister relating to proposed agreement. The Minister would consider the proposal and must approve of the board entering into the agreement.|
|257.53.2(3)||Indicates that the land that is subject to an approved localized education development agreement that would otherwise be subject to the imposition of education development charges under a by-law would be exempt from those charges.|
|257.53.2(4)||The Board must notify the Minister if it does not enter into the approved localized education development agreement.|
|257.61(2)||Education development charge background study requirements are amended to also include a description of any alternative projects or localized education development agreements that a board intends to enter into.|
|257.61(3)||If a board receives approval from the Minister but does not proceed with an alternative project or localized education development agreement, they must update any information included in the background study accordingly.|
|257.61(4)||If a board receives approval from the Minister to enter into a localized education development agreement but doesn’t do so, the background study must be updated to reflect this.|
|257.63 (1.1)||Adds new section pertaining to requirements of notice of a public meeting before a by-law is passed in that notice must meet the requirements prescribed in the regulations. The existing notice requirement is at least 20-days notice of the meeting in accordance with the regulations.|
|257.63 (2.1)||Adds a new section stating that following the final public meetings, in determining whether to make any changes to the background study or proposed by-law, a school board shall consider any representations relating to the proposed by-law by any person who attends a meeting, as well as any alternative projects or localized education development agreements that were proposed through any representations.|
|257.70(2)||Specified amendments to an education development charge by-law (which are listed in the current section 257.70(2) of the Education Act) may only be passed once in the one-year period immediately following the coming into force of the by-law and in each subsequent one-year period.|
|257.101(1)||The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations that may have general or particular application in respect of a board relating to alternative projects, localized education development agreements, and any transitional matters considered necessary or advisable with the implementation of the subject amendments.|
|257.101(1)(e)||Regulations can be made to govern the expiry of education development charge by-laws, irrespective of whether they are passed by different boards applying to the same area.|
|257.101(3)||A transition regulation may provide that it applies despite this Act.|
Sections 195 and 257.70(2) shall come into force on the day the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 receives Royal Assent. The balance of the sections shall come into force on the later of November 1, 2019 and the day the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 receives Royal Assent.
Please check our 2019 Planning Reform page and other blog posts for more details on Bill 108.