Bill 8, the Public Sector Accountability and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014 passed third reading on December 9, 2014 and received Royal Assent on December 11, 2014.

As reported in our previous Health Communiqués, Public Consultation Scheduled for Broader Public Sector Accountability Bill and Bill 8 Proposes to Limit Executive Compensation for Certain Broader Public Sector Organizations, Bill 8 was referred to the Standing Committee on General Government (the “Committee”) where a public consultation was held prior to third reading.

The purpose of this Communiqué is to highlight a few of the amendments made by the Committee and which now form part of the final legislation. We set out a full review of Bill 8 as it existed after its reintroduction in July 2014 in our Health Communiqué, Broader Public Sector Accountability Bill Re-Introduced.

Following the consultation process, the Committee made a number of changes to the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act, 2014 (“Executive Compensation Act”), most of which were minor. The most significant change to the Executive Compensation Act relates to the compensation plan of a designated executive that exists when the Government introduces a compensation framework that would cover that executive. In the original legislation, the compensation plan that was already in effect would continue to apply even if it exceeded the compensation framework imposed by the Government - the designated executive's compensation plan would be "grandfathered" in that case. Now, with the passage of Bill 8, the length of this “grandfathering” a compensation plan will be three years on any existing compensation plan from the time a compensation framework is regulated. As such, three years after a compensation framework is imposed, it will prevail over any existing compensation plan of a designated executive.

Amendments were also made to the functions of the patient ombudsman under the Excellent Care for All Act, 2010. In the original Bill, the ombudsman’s functions were only with respect to complaints made by a patient of a health sector organization and other prescribed persons. In recognition of the major role and support caregivers provide to individuals who are patients of a health sector organization, amendments to the final version of the Bill resulted in expanded functions of the patient ombudsman to also now include a complaint made by a patient’s caregiver in relation to the patient’s care and their health care experience at a health sector organization. The meaning of “caregiver” is a defined term that will be provided in regulations. Additional amendments limit the term of the patient ombudsman to five years, subject to reappointment for one additional five-year term.

A complete listing of the Committee’s amendments including those made to the Lobbyists Registration Act and the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Act and the final version of Bill 8 that received Royal Assent can be found on the Legislative Assembly Website. With the exception of one amendment to the Legislative Assembly Statute Law Amendment Act that came into force when Bill 8 received Royal Assent, the rest of the provisions will come into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.