September 8, 2020 – Ontario Superior Court of Justice: The Ontario Government is in a Better Position than the Courts to Assess and Address School Attendance Risks

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Ontario Superior Court of Justice: The Ontario Government is in a Better Position than the Courts to Assess and Address School Attendance Risks

Chase v Chase2020 ONSC 5083

The Applicant mother brought an urgent motion to obtain sole decision-making ability for educational decisions respecting her child. The mother requested that her child be registered and attend school in-person in September 2020. The Respondent father requested that their child remain at home until such time that the School Board’s safety protocols are proven successful and that leading health experts are able to offer more certainty relating to the safety of students at school.

The Superior Court granted the mother’s motion, holding that the Ontario government is in a better position than the courts to assess and address school attendance risks. The decision to re-open the schools was made in consultation with experts and school boards. The Court held that the decision to reopen schools and the steps being taken to protect children and staff fall within the purview of the Ontario government.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS

DeMare v Toronto District School Board2020 HRTO 584

The Application concerned discipline the Applicant, a teacher, received approximately four (4) years before he filed the Application. The Applicant’s explanation for the delay was that he expected his concerns would be addressed through the grievance filed by his union. He explained that he had filed the Application when he learned that the grievance may not proceed. The Tribunal dismissed the Application for delay holding that pursuing other avenues of redress before turning to the Tribunal will not normally be accepted as a good faith explanation for delay.

AW v Ottawa Catholic School Board2020 HRTO 741

The Applicant alleged that her disabilities (social anxiety and autism) were so debilitating that she was unable to file her Application during the one-year limitation period.
In dismissing the Application for delay, the Tribunal held that the Applicant failed to establish a link between her disabilities and her failure to file the Application in the required period.

 

LABOUR RELATIONS

Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Nouvel-Ontario v Fédération des enseignantes-enseignants des écoles secondaires de l’Ontario2020 CanLII 45589

The School Board filed a motion requesting that the Grievance be dismissed due to the Grievor’s non-cooperation, including her failure to comply with the arbitrator’s disclosure order. The arbitrator dismissed the motion on the basis that there wasn’t a sufficient foundation at this stage of the proceeding to conclude that the Grievor’s actions were willful and that her breach of the disclosure order was unrelated to the state of her health.

 

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION INITIATIVES

Operational Guidance: COVID-19 Management in Schools 

This guide was developed in consultation with public health experts, including Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and aims to help schools identify and isolate COVID-19 cases, reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools, and prevent and minimize outbreaks.

Policy/Program Memorandum No. 164, Requirements for Remote Learning

The memorandum provides direction to School Boards on remote learning requirements, including implementation and reporting. The memorandum also identifies effective practices that School Boards should develop to support students during remote learning.