Bill 95, Improving Mental Health and Addictions Services in Ontario Act, 2015

Armstrong, Teresa J.

Current Status: Ordered referred to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy

Viewing: Original (current version) pdf

Bill 95                                                          2015

An Act to continue the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council and to amend the Ombudsman Act in respect of providers of mental health and addictions services

Preamble

For too long, mental health services in Ontario have not met the needs of all individuals, families, and communities. The absence of a coherent mental health system has left too many people to suffer, falling through the cracks and unable to access the appropriate care and services they need.

To address this mental health crisis and the toll it takes on our communities, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario gave unanimous consent on February 24, 2009 to a motion to appoint an all-party Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions that would consider and report its observations and recommendations to improve access to mental health services in Ontario. The Select Committee's final report was completed in August 2010.

The Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions heard many stories of distress and agreed, unanimously, that more must be done. Specifically, the Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions recommended that a new umbrella organization should be created to design, manage, and coordinate the mental health and addictions system and ensure that programs and services are delivered consistently and comprehensively across Ontario. The umbrella organization would be known as Mental Health and Addictions Ontario in English and Santé mentale et dépendances Ontario in French and would be responsible to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

To date, the first recommendation of the Select Committee has not been implemented.

In communities across Ontario, mental health and addictions services remain inadequate, underfunded, and under immense pressure to meet the needs of individuals and families. Five years after the Select Committee delivered its recommendations for change, Ontario must take steps to act upon these recommendations so as to better coordinate and deliver mental health and addictions services in our province.

Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Definitions

   1.  In this Act,

“Council” means the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council continued under section 2; (“Conseil”)

“geographic area” means the geographic area of a local health integration network within the meaning of the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006; (“zone géographique”)

“Minister” means the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care or such other member of the Executive Council as may be assigned the administration of this Act under the Executive Council Act. (“ministre”)

Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council continued

   2.  (1)  The Council known as the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council in English and the Conseil consultatif pour le leadership en santé mentale et en lutte contre les dépendances in French established by the Minister is continued.

Membership

   (2)  The Council shall be composed of no more than 19 persons who shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on the Minister’s recommendation.

Chair

   (3)  The Minister shall designate one member of the Council to be the Chair.

Term

   (4)  Members of the Council shall be appointed for terms of two years and are eligible for reappointment.

Remuneration and expenses

   (5)  The members of the Council may be paid the remuneration and expenses the Lieutenant Governor in Council determines.

Transition

   (6)  For the purposes of subsections (2) and (3), the Council’s members and the Chair as of the day this Act comes into force shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council within 14 days after this Act comes into force and their term shall be counted beginning on the day of their appointment.

Council’s mandate

   3.  (1)  The Council’s mandate is to advise on and monitor the expeditious implementation of the recommendations made by the Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly on Mental Health and Addictions in its report released in August 2010.

Plan for implementing first recommendation of Select Committee

   (2)  Within one year after this Act comes into force, the Council shall submit a plan to the Minister with respect to,

  (a)  the expeditious establishment of a single body to be responsible for designing, managing and coordinating the mental health and addictions system and for ensuring that programs and services are delivered consistently and comprehensively across Ontario; and

  (b)  the consolidation in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care of mental health and addictions programs and services for all geographic areas and for all ages.

Same

   (3)  The plan shall include,

  (a)  a timeline for establishing a new umbrella organization that shall be known as Mental Health and Addictions Ontario in English and Santé mentale et dépendances Ontario in French and that shall be responsible for designing, managing and coordinating the mental health and addictions system and for ensuring that programs and services are delivered consistently and comprehensively across Ontario;

  (b)  a strategic plan respecting transitional matters in connection with establishing Mental Health and Addictions Ontario;

   (c)  a recommended governance structure and accountability framework for Mental Health and Addictions Ontario;

  (d)  the development of a framework for the improved delivery of mental health and addictions services;

  (e)  a plan for improving centralized collection and provision of information regarding the availability of mental health and addictions services;

   (f)  a complete inventory of mental health and addictions services and providers in Ontario;

  (g)  a complete analysis of gaps, duplications and inequities in existing services in each geographic area and as between geographic areas and a plan to remedy them;

  (h)  an assessment of existing provincial standards for mental health and addictions service delivery; and

    (i)  a proposed budget for Mental Health and Addictions Ontario that would be sufficient to remedy existing service gaps.

Recommendations

   4.  The Council may make recommendations to the government with respect to improving mental health and addictions services in Ontario, including recommendations,

  (a)  to reduce the incidence, severity and mortality of mental illness and addictions; and

  (b)  to reduce stigma associated with mental health and addictions.

Annual report

   5.  (1)  The Council shall prepare an annual report with respect to,

  (a)  the Council’s progress on its mandate; and

  (b)  the government’s progress on implementing the recommendations the Council may make under section 4.

Publication

   (2)  The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care shall table the Council’s report in the Assembly and shall publish it on a Government of Ontario website.

Complementary Amendment

   6.  The Ombudsman Act is amended by adding the following section:

Ombudsman may investigate mental health and addictions services

   14.0.1  (1)  Anything that the Ombudsman may do under this Act in respect of a governmental organization, the Ombudsman may do in respect of a provider of mental health and addictions services in Ontario.

Reference to a governmental organization

   (2)  If the Ombudsman does or proposes to do anything in respect of a provider mentioned in subsection (1), any reference in this Act to a governmental organization shall be read as a reference to the provider.

Commencement and Short Title

Commencement

   7.  This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Short title

   8.  The short title of this Act is the Improving Mental Health and Addictions Services in Ontario Act, 2015.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill continues the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council. The Council’s mandate, set out in section 3 of the Bill, is to advise on and monitor the expeditious implementation of the recommendations made by the Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly on Mental Health and Addictions in its report released in August 2010. The Council is required to submit a plan to the Minister within one year with respect to matters related to mental health and addictions set out in subsections 3 (2) and (3) of the Bill. The Council is also empowered to make recommendations to the government with respect to improving mental health and addictions services in Ontario.

The Ombudsman Act is amended to permit the Ombudsman to conduct investigations in respect of providers of mental health and addictions services in Ontario.

Current Parliament
Past & Present
Contact an MPP
Participation in Committees
Watch the Legislature in Action
Use of Assembly Grounds
Petitions