In February of 2015, NDP MPP Peggy Sattler introduced a private member’s bill that would increase student access to work-integrated learning opportunities – particularly paid opportunities – and would provide for increased regulation and oversight of unpaid internships. This past October, the bill accomplished a rare feat for private members’ legislation – it made it to the next phase of the legislative process and was considered by the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly.
At hearings throughout October, the committee heard from higher education stakeholders, including university and college students, labour organizations, and organizations focused on internships and cooperative education. OCUFA made a written submission to the committee, in which we articulated support for provisions in the bill that would ensure that students have equitable access to a wide range of learning opportunities and that would ensure that the expansion of work-integrated learning opportunities occurs in a measured way.
By calling for the creation of an advisory council with representation from key higher education stakeholders to advise the Minister on the expansion of work-integrated learning opportunities, Bill 64 would help to ensure that decisions about the expansion of work-integrated learning opportunities are made with the meaningful input and advice of the sector. This model of broad consultation with higher education stakeholders in policy decision making is one that OCUFA supports more broadly. You can read OCUFA’s letter of support here.
For Bill 64 to become law, it will next need to be reviewed clause by clause by the committee and then referred back to the House for third reading. For more information on the committee process and the status of Bill 64, you can contact the Clerk of the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly, Trevor Day.