Bill 163, Supporting Ontario's First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016

Flynn, Hon Kevin Daniel Minister of Labour

Current Status: Royal Assent received Chapter Number: S.O. 2016 C.4

Viewing: Royal Assent (current version) pdf

Bill 163                                                       2016

An Act to amend the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 and the Ministry of Labour Act with respect to posttraumatic stress disorder

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

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

   1.  Subsection 13 (4) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 is amended by striking out “subsection (5)” and substituting “subsections (5) and 14 (3)”.

   2.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Posttraumatic stress disorder, first responders and other workers

Definitions

   14.  (1)  In this section,

“ambulance service” has the same meaning as in subsection 1 (1) of the Ambulance Act; (“service d’ambulance”)

“ambulance service manager” means a worker employed in an ambulance service who manages or supervises one or more paramedics and whose duties include providing direct support to paramedics dispatched by a communications officer on a request for ambulance services; (“chef de service d’ambulance”)

“band council” means a council of the band as defined in subsection 2 (1) of the Indian Act (Canada); (“conseil de bande”)

“communications officer” means a communications officer for the purposes of the Ambulance Act; (“agent de répartition”)

“correctional institution” means a correctional institution as defined in section 1 of the Ministry of Correctional Services Act or a similar institution operated for the custody of inmates; (“établissement correctionnel”)

“correctional services officer” means a worker who is directly involved in the care, health, discipline, safety and custody of an inmate confined to a correctional institution, but does not include a bailiff, probation officer or parole officer; (“agent des services correctionnels”)

“emergency medical attendant” has the same meaning as in subsection 1 (1) of the Ambulance Act; (“ambulancier”)

“firefighter” means,

  (a)  a firefighter as defined in subsection 1 (1) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, or

  (b)  a worker who,

           (i)  is employed by a band council and assigned to undertake fire protection services on a reserve, or

          (ii)  provides fire protection services on a reserve, either as a volunteer or for a nominal consideration, honorarium, training or activity allowance; (“pompier”)

fire investigator” means,

  (a)  a worker to whom the Fire Marshal appointed under subsection 8 (1) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 has delegated the duty to investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of a fire,

  (b)  a worker who was an inspector appointed under subsection 2 (4) of the Fire Marshals Act before that Act was repealed by the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, or

   (c)  a worker who is employed by a band council and assigned to investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of a fire on a reserve; (“enquêteur sur les incendies”)

“full-time firefighter” means a worker who is a firefighter, is regularly employed on a salaried basis and is scheduled to work an average of 35 hours or more per week; (“pompier à temps plein”)

“member of an emergency response team” means a person who provides first aid or medical assistance in an emergency, either as a volunteer or for a nominal consideration, honorarium or training or activity allowance, and who is dispatched by a communications officer to provide the assistance, but does not include an emergency medical attendant, a firefighter, a paramedic or a police officer; (“membre d’une équipe d’intervention d’urgence”)

“operational manager” means a worker who directly supervises one or more correctional services officers; (“chef des opérations”)

“paramedic” has the same meaning as in subsection 1 (1) of the Ambulance Act; (“auxiliaire médical”)

“part-time firefighter” means a worker who is a firefighter and is not a volunteer firefighter or full-time firefighter; (“pompier à temps partiel”)

“place of secure custody” has the same meaning as in subsection 3 (1) of the Child and Family Services Act; (“lieu de garde en milieu fermé”)

“place of secure temporary detention” has the same meaning as in subsection 3 (1) of the Child and Family Services Act; (“lieu de détention provisoire en milieu fermé”)

“police officer” means a chief of police, any other police officer or a First Nations Constable, but does not include a person who is appointed as a police officer under the Interprovincial Policing Act, 2009, a special constable, a municipal law enforcement officer or an auxiliary member of a police force; (“agent de police”)

“posttraumatic stress disorder” means, subject to subsection (15), posttraumatic stress disorder, as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association; (“état de stress post-traumatique”)

“psychiatrist” has the same meaning as in subsection 1 (1) of the Mental Health Act; (“psychiatre”)

“psychologist” means a member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario who holds a certificate of registration for a psychologist authorizing autonomous practice, or an individual who has a similar status in another province or territory of Canada; (“psychologue”)

“reserve” means a reserve as defined in subsection 2 (1) of the Indian Act (Canada); (“réserve”)

“worker in a correctional institution” means a correctional services officer, an operational manager, or a worker who is employed at a correctional institution to provide direct health care services by assessing, treating, monitoring, evaluating and administering medication to an inmate confined to a correctional institution; (“travailleur d’un établissement correctionnel”)

“worker in a place of secure custody or place of secure temporary detention” means a youth services worker, a youth services manager, or a worker who is employed at a place of secure custody or place of secure temporary detention to provide direct health care services by assessing, treating, monitoring, evaluating and administering medication to a young person in custody or detention at the place of secure custody or secure temporary detention; (“travailleur d’un lieu de garde en milieu fermé ou d’un lieu de détention provisoire en milieu fermé”)

“worker involved in dispatch” means a communications officer, a worker whose duties include the dispatch of firefighters and police officers, or a worker who receives emergency calls that initiate the dispatch of ambulance services, firefighters and police officers; (“travailleur s’occupant de répartition”)

“young person” has the same meaning as in subsection 3 (1) of the Child and Family Services Act; (“adolescent”)

“youth services manager” means a worker who is employed in a management position at a place of secure custody or secure temporary detention, and who directly supervises youth services workers, but does not include an administrator of a place of secure custody or secure temporary detention or a manager who only supervises educational, health-related or counselling services to young persons at the facility; (“chef des services aux jeunes”)

“youth services worker” means a worker who is employed at a place of secure custody or secure temporary detention, and who directly supervises young persons who are in custody or detention at the place of secure custody or secure temporary detention, including supervising daily routines and programs, but does not include a worker who provides only educational, health-related or counselling services to young persons at the facility. (“travailleur des services aux jeunes”)

Application

   (2)  This section applies with respect to the following workers:

    1.  Full-time firefighters.

    2.  Part-time firefighters.

    3.  Volunteer firefighters.

    4.  Fire investigators.

    5.  Police officers.

    6.  Members of an emergency response team.

    7.  Paramedics.

    8.  Emergency medical attendants.

    9.  Ambulance service managers.

  10.  Workers in a correctional institution.

  11.  Workers in a place of secure custody or place of secure temporary detention.

  12.  Workers involved in dispatch.

Entitlement to benefits

   (3)  Subject to subsection (7), a worker is entitled to benefits under the insurance plan for posttraumatic stress disorder arising out of and in the course of the worker’s employment if,

  (a)  the worker is a worker listed in subsection (2) or was a listed worker for at least one day on or after transition day;

  (b)  the worker is or was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder by a psychiatrist or psychologist; and

   (c)  for a worker who,

           (i)  is a listed worker at the time of filing a claim, the diagnosis is made on or after transition day,

          (ii)  ceases to be a listed worker on or after the day on which section 2 of the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 comes into force, the diagnosis is made on or after transition day but no later than 24 months after the day on which the worker ceases to be a listed worker, or

         (iii)  ceased to be a listed worker after transition day but before the day on which section 2 of the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 comes into force, the diagnosis is made on or after transition day but no later than 24 months after the day on which section 2 of the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 comes into force.

Interpretation

   (4)  In subsection (3),

“transition day” means the day that is 24 months before the day on which section 2 of the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 comes into force.

Same

   (5)  The worker is entitled to benefits under the insurance plan as if the posttraumatic stress disorder were a personal injury.

Presumption re: course of employment

   (6)  For the purposes of subsection (3), the posttraumatic stress disorder is presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of the worker’s employment, unless the contrary is shown.

No entitlement, employer’s decisions or actions

   (7)  A worker is not entitled to benefits under the insurance plan for posttraumatic stress disorder if it is shown that the worker’s posttraumatic stress disorder was caused by his or her employer’s decisions or actions relating to the worker’s employment, including a decision to change the work to be performed or the working conditions, to discipline the worker or to terminate the worker’s employment.

s. 13 entitlement

   (8)  Nothing in this section affects entitlement to benefits under section 13 for posttraumatic stress disorder that meets the requirements of that section.

No refiling of claims

   (9)  If a worker filed a claim in respect of posttraumatic stress disorder and the claim was denied by the Board or by the Appeals Tribunal, the worker may not refile the claim under this section.

Time limits

   (10)  The time limits in subsections 22 (1) and (2) do not apply in respect of a claim made under this section that is made with respect to posttraumatic stress disorder that was diagnosed before section 2 of the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 comes into force. 

Same

   (11)  A claim made under this section that is made with respect to posttraumatic stress disorder that was diagnosed before section 2 of the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 comes into force must be filed within six months after the day on which section 2 of the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 comes into force.

Pending claim

   (12)  If a worker listed in subsection (2) has filed a claim for entitlement for posttraumatic stress disorder and the claim is pending before the Board on the day section 2 of the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 comes into force, the Board shall decide the claim in accordance with this section as though the requirement in clauses (3) (a) and (c) were satisfied. 

Same

   (13)  For the purposes of subsection (12), a claim is pending on the day section 2 of the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 comes into force if any of the following conditions are met:

    1.  The Board had not yet made a decision by that day.

    2.  There was, on that day, a right to file a notice of objection in respect of the claim under section 120 and a notice of objection is filed, on or after that day, in accordance with that section.

    3.  There was, on that day, a right of appeal in respect of the claim under section 125 and a notice of appeal is filed, on or after that day, in accordance with that section.

Pending appeal

   (14)  If a worker listed in subsection (2) has filed a claim for entitlement for posttraumatic stress disorder and the claim is pending before the Appeals Tribunal on the day section 2 of the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 comes into force, the Appeals Tribunal shall refer the claim back to the Board and the Board shall decide the claim in accordance with this section as though the requirement in clauses (3) (a) and (c) were satisfied.

Transition, prior diagnosis

   (15)  For the purposes of pending claims and appeals, and of new claims made under this section within six months after the day section 2 of the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 comes into force, posttraumatic stress disorder includes posttraumatic stress disorder, as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Ministry of Labour Act

   3.  The Ministry of Labour Act is amended by adding the following section:

Powers of Minister as to obtaining information, posttraumatic stress disorder

   9.1  (1)  The Minister may direct employers who employ workers to whom section 14 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 applies, to provide information to the Minister relating to the employer’s plans to prevent posttraumatic stress disorder arising out of and in the course of employment at the employer’s workplace.

Same, employer to provide information

   (2)  If the Minister directs an employer to provide information under subsection (1), the employer shall provide the information on or before the date specified by the Minister and in the form specified by the Minister. 

Same, use of information collected

   (3)  The Minister may use information collected under subsection (1) for the following purposes:

    1.  To assess progress in the prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder in the relevant workplaces.

    2.  To prepare a report on posttraumatic stress disorder prevention plans in the relevant workplaces.

    3.  Such other purposes as the Minister considers appropriate. 

Same, publication of information

   (4)  The Minister may publish information collected under subsection (1) and any report the Minister prepares using that information.

Commencement and Short Title

Commencement

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

Short title

   5.  The short title of this Act is the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 163 and does not form part of the law.  Bill 163 has been enacted as Chapter 4 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2016.

 

The Bill amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 and the Ministry of Labour Act with respect to posttraumatic stress disorder.

The new section 14 in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 provides that certain workers who are diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder are entitled to benefits under the Act for that disorder if certain conditions are met. The section creates a presumption that posttraumatic stress disorder in those workers arises out of and in the course of the workers’ employment, unless the contrary is shown. The Bill sets out procedural and transitional rules governing claims made under the new section.

The Bill amends the Ministry of Labour Act to allow the Minister to collect information relating to the prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder in certain workplaces.

 

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