On December 9, Bill 8 passed third reading in the Ontario Legislature. OACAS presented written and oral submissions to Standing Committee focused on Schedule 9, which gives the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth (PACY) investigative powers with respect to Children’s Aid Societies and licensed residential facilities where a CAS is the placing agency.
In its submissions OACAS generally supported the bill and recommended that:
- The scope of investigative powers mirror the full scope of advocacy services provided by PACY to enable children and youth receiving other provincial services, as well as those placed in residential settings by non-CAS agencies, to equally access PACY‘s investigative functions
- Government conduct a comprehensive policy review of all existing oversight and complaints functions
- A review be conducted in the context of a robust dialogue regarding all children’s services in Ontario
The bill was reviewed at Standing Committee on November 24. All amendments that would have expanded the scope of PACY‘s investigative powers were defeated. Amendments passed related to systemic investigations, information sharing, a reference to the United Nations Rights of the Child and inclusion of a child/youth’s wishes not to have a matter investigated.
- OACAS Submission to Government – Bill 8, Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act
- Amended Bill 8, Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act –Legislative Assembly of Ontario