"Everyone – students, parents, teachers,
coaches and volunteers – has a role to play to help
prevent and manage concussions. To ensure our students succeed, we
all need to be aware of how to prevent and identify a possible
Laurel Broton, Minister of Education
In response to increasing incidents of concussions and other
head injuries in its schools, on March 6, 2012, the McGuinty
government introduced amendments to Ontario's Education
Act. The aim of these amendments is to protect students
participating in school sports and physical education classes from
the effects of concussion.
Similar "anti-concussion" legislation has already been
passed in many U.S. states to reduce the incidents of head injuries
amongst high school athletes. Ontario's amendments represent
the first such provincial legislation in Canada.
The Education Amendment Act (Concussions), 2012,
renames Part XIII.1 of the Education Act to "Pupil
Health" and adds a new section. This new section authorizes
the Minister to make policies and guidelines respecting head
injuries and concussions , and then lists matters included in the
Minister's power. School boards are required to establish
policies and guidelines respecting head injuries, addressing the
specified matters. The Minister is also given authority to make
regulations about the same matters. The section also provides board
employees or volunteers will not be liable in a civil proceeding
for their acts or omissions if they have acted reasonably and in
The list of matters includes:
a. Providing resources to parents, teachers and board employees
and volunteers regarding concussions and head injuries;
b. Increasing awareness beyond schools about the dangers of
concussions and how they should be managed;
c. Requiring teachers, coaches, and other board employees and
volunteers, to immediately remove any pupil from an extracurricular
activity if that pupil exhibits signs of a concussion or other head
d. Requiring clearance from a licenced healthcare professional
before that pupil can return to their activity.
The Ontario Physical and Health Education Association
("OPHEA"), a non-profit organization working with the
provincial government to support a holistic approach to safety and
injury prevention, has developed the Concussion Protocols for
Teachers and Coaches to recognize concussions and other head
injuries. OPHEA's Ontario Safety Guidelines, already used
widely by Ontario's school boards, have been updated to take
into account concussion and brain injury prevention.
Although these amendments have not yet been passed and
proclaimed, school boards, and any other organization with youth
participation in physical activities (such as a sports
organization), are well-advised to prepare for compliance.
The foregoing provides only an overview. Readers are
cautioned against making any decisions based on this material
alone. Rather, a qualified lawyer should be consulted.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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