Canada: Broader Public Sector Accountability Bill Re-Introduced

On March 24, 2014, we introduced readers to Bill 179, the Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014, for first reading by lawmakers. The stated goals of the legislation are to strengthen political accountability, enhance oversight, and increase transparency in the government and the broader public sector ("BPS"). Following the Ontario provincial election, the Bill was reintroduced on July 16, 2014 as Bill 8, with some important changes.

New Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Restraint Legislation

Schedule 1 of the proposed Act would create new legislation entitled the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act, 2014 ("Executive Compensation Act"). The Executive Compensation Act would govern the compensation for designated executives with designated employers in the BPS. Although the Executive Compensation Act is in many ways similar to previous BPS wage restraint legislation, a number of proposed measures warrant closer examination.

In addition to the designated employers covered by Part II.1 of the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010 ("BPSAA"), the Executive Compensation Act will also apply to community care access corporations and their respective designated executives.

Under the Executive Compensation Act, the government would be empowered to establish "compensation frameworks" governing compensation for designated executives in the BPS. As with the BPSAA, designated executives are senior executives or office holders who are entitled to or could receive compensation in excess of $100,000 in a calendar year (this is also pro-rated for part-time designated executives). Other employees could be defined by regulation as being designated employees.

The compensation frameworks may include "hard caps" on a variety of executive compensation mechanisms including, but not limited to salaries, benefits, perquisites, bonuses, and severance payments. The Executive Compensation Act provides that it will prevail over any term of an affected executive compensation plan that conflicts with its provisions. In the event of such a conflict, the terms of the compensation plan will be rendered inoperative to the extent of the conflict. Once a compensation framework is in effect for a designated employer and/or designated employees, the BPSAA will no longer apply in that regard.

If a designated executive's compensation just prior to the effective date of a compensation framework is greater than provided for in the framework, the designated executive's compensation can remain in effect. However, note that there is an anti-avoidance measure in the legislation which prohibits an employer from providing new or additional compensation to offset any freeze on compensation.

The Executive Compensation Act also contains enforcement measures to ensure that compensation limits are respected. Designated employers could be required to comply with directives to provide to the Management Board of Cabinet ("MBC") a broad range of compensation information for designated executives. Any amounts paid to an executive which exceed the limits set by a compensation framework under the Executive Compensation Act are deemed to be overpayments. If an overpayment is made, the employer is responsible for remitting an amount equal to the overpayment to the Crown. The executive who received the overpayment then becomes indebted to the employer for that amount.

Interestingly, the Executive Compensation Act states that employers must endeavour to minimize any impact that the compensation overpayment rules may have on the employer's provision of services to the public. It is yet unclear whether this provision will, in practice, allow employers to avoid their obligation to remit overpayments by citing public policy concerns.

As with prior wage restraint legislation, this legislation prevails over any compensation plan and no cause of action, including for constructive dismissal, can arise from a designated employer complying with the Executive Compensation Act.

Amendments to the Ambulance Act

Schedule 2 of the proposed Act would amend the Ambulance Act by the addition of Part IV.2 entitled "Designated Air Ambulance Service Providers." This Part permits an air ambulance service provider to be designated as a "designated air ambulance service provider."

This Part authorizes the Lieutenant Governor in Council to appoint the following positions:

  • Provincial representatives to sit on the board of directors of a designated air ambulance service provider;
  • Special investigators to investigate and report on the activities and services of a designated air ambulance service provider; and
  • An air ambulance supervisor to exercise all of the powers of the board of directors of a designated air ambulance service provider.

This Minister of Health and Long-Term Care is also authorized in this Part to issue directives to a designated air ambulance service provider when it is considered to be in the public interest. Every directive issued must be carried out.

Regulations to the Ambulance Act may deem certain provisions to be included in a performance agreement between Ontario and a designated air ambulance service provider. The provisions will be deemed to be included in any agreements entered into before the regulation was made.

The proposed Act would also amend the Ambulance Act to allow for the continuance of providers of air ambulance services that were incorporated in a jurisdiction outside of Ontario. Other amendments include protection from liability for certain parties and whistleblowers who disclose information in connection with a designated air ambulance service provider.

Amendments to the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act

Schedule 3 of the proposed Act would amend the BPSAA by the addition of Part V.1. entitled "Business Plans." This Part authorizes the MBC to issue directives requiring designated broader public sector organizations to prepare and publish business plans and any other business or financial documents specified by the directives.

Under the BPSAA, designated broader public sector organizations include: hospitals, school boards, community care access corporations and publicly funded organizations that received public funds of 10 million dollars or more from the Government of Ontario in the previous fiscal year.

This Part also authorizes the MBC to make guidelines (not to be confused with the aforementioned directives) with respect to how publicly funded organizations prepare and publish business plans and any other business or financial documents specified by the guidelines.

The BPSAA definition of a publicly funded organization includes every authority, board, commission, committee, corporation, council, foundation or organization that received public funds in the previous fiscal year from the Government of Ontario as a publicly funded organization. Public hospitals, school boards and long-term care homes are specifically excluded from the definition and accordingly are not subject to the guidelines.

In addition, amendments to sections 14 and 15 under Part VI of the BPSAA, entitled "Compliance Reports" require Local Health Integration Networks ("LHINs") and hospitals respectively to prepare attestations that confirm compliance with any directives issued by the MBC regarding the preparation and publication of business plans and other business or financial documents.

Amendments to the Excellent Care for All Act

Schedule 5 of the proposed Act would make amendments to the Excellent Care for All Act ("ECFAA") that range from housekeeping items to the creation of a patient ombudsman position. Specifically, the addition of section 13.1, entitled "Patient Ombudsman" to ECFAA creates the patient ombudsman position. The individual in this role will be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and employed by the Ontario Health Quality Council (the "Council"). The Ombudsman has authority to delegate any or all of his or her powers to one or more Council employees. A patient or former patient of a "health sector organization," and any other person prescribed in the regulations may make a written complaint to the patient ombudsman about the actions or inactions of a health sector organization that relate to his or her care and health care experience.

The proposed amendments also add a number of defined terms to ECFAA including: "Health sector organization" which means:

  • A hospital with the meaning of the Public Hospitals Act,
  • A community care access corporation within the meaning of the Community Care Access Corporations Act,
  • A licensee within the meaning of the Long-Term Care Homes Act, and
  • Any other organization that is provided for in the regulations and that receives public funding.

"Patient or former patient" includes a patient or former patient of a hospital, a resident or former resident of a long-term care home, and a client or former client of a community care access corporation, in addition to a person with the authority to consent to the treatment or the other matter on behalf of the patient or former patient where the individual is or was incapable with respect to the treatment or other matter at issue.

The functions of the patient ombudsman include:

  • Receiving and responding to complaints from patients and former patients of a health sector organization, and any other prescribed persons,
  • Facilitating the resolution of complaints,
  • Investigating complaints,
  • Investigating health sector organizations,
  • Making recommendations to health sector organizations following the conclusion of investigations, and
  • Reporting activities and recommendations to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, LHINs and the public.

The patient ombudsman is required to work with the patient or former patient, the health sector organization and where appropriate the LHIN to attempt to facilitate a resolution of a complaint. The patient ombudsman will not get involved if he or she is of the opinion that the patient or former patient has not first attempted to resolve the complaint directly with the health sector organization.

The broad authority granted to the patient ombudsman includes:

  • Investigating a complaint made by a patient or former patient,
  • Commencing an investigation on his or her own initiative (without a complaint) into the actions or inactions of a health sector organization relating to patient care or health care experience,
  • Requiring any officer, employee, director, shareholder or member of any health sector organization, or any other person who provides services through or on behalf of a health sector organization to furnish or produce documents, things, or information that in his or her opinion relate to a matter being investigated,
  • Summoning any of the individuals mentioned above and/ or any patient or former patient and examining them under oath, and
  • Entering and inspecting the premises of a health sector organization with consent and/or pursuant to a warrant.

The proposed amendments explicitly state that the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Health Information Protection Act do not preclude the provision of personal information or personal health information to the patient ombudsman when he or she requires the information for the purpose of investigating a complaint. Additional proposed amendments include guidelines regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information for purposes related to the functions of the patient ombudsman.

Corresponding proposed amendments expand the functions of the Council to support the patient ombudsmen in carrying out his or her functions. These include:

  • Monitoring and public reporting of the performance of health sector organizations with respect to patient relations, and
  • Promoting enhanced patient relations in health sector organizations through the development of performance indicators, benchmarks, quality improvement supports and resources.

Amendments to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Schedule 6 of the proposed Act would amend the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act ("FIPPA") by the addition of section 10.1. This section creates an additional duty for the head of an institution to ensure measures are in place to preserve records in the custody or under the control of the institution in accordance with applicable record keeping or retention requirements, laws, rules or policies.

The Act also proposes the following amendments to Section 61 of FIPPA regarding offences:

  • Adding a new offence for the wilful alteration, concealment or destruction of a record with the intent of denying a right of access to a record or information,
  • Providing an extended limitation period (of two years after the day evidence is discovered) for prosecuting the new offence, and
  • Giving the court authority when prosecuting offences under FIPPA to take a number of precautions (i.e. conduct hearings in private or seal court files) to avoid the disclosure of specified information.

This Bill contains many provisions that will, if passed, have significant implications on the health industry. We would be pleased to discuss the current state of Bill 179 with you as well as implications for your organization.

Miller Thomson will continue to monitor future developments of the Bill closely and will keep you apprised of new developments.


[1] Designated employers also include: public hospitals, school boards, universities and colleges, Hydro One Inc. and its subsidiaries, Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario Power Authority, Ontario Power Generation Inc. and its subsidiaries, and others that may be prescribed by regulation.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

André R. Nowakowski
Kathryn Frelick
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions