Regulation - Minister

The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, 2023 - Regulation Amendment: Disposition of Surplus Property

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Education Act
Summary of Proposal:
The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, 2023 (the Act) made changes to the Education Act that will help boards maximize their capital assets to build modern schools faster and better utilize school capacity.

The current surplus property disposal process for school boards is unable to meet the changing needs of the province in a timely manner.

The changes to Ontario Regulation 444/98 would streamline and standardize the process for boards to dispose of property not required by school boards to meet current pupil accommodation needs or the board's pupil accommodation needs of the next 10 years.

Pursuant to section 193 of the Education Act, regulation 444/98 amendments would:
- Prescribe the circumstances in which a board may make or shall make a sale, lease or disposition
- Detail the conduct of a sale, lease or disposition
- Prescribe the circumstances in which a board shall give notice to the Minister of a sale, lease or disposition or obtain the approval of the Minister for the sale, lease or disposition
- Identify to whom school sites or parts of school sites or property may or must be offered

All disposition of property by school boards would continue to be at fair market value. School boards would continue to use the proceeds of disposition of surplus property to reinvest in their school facilities as per Ontario Regulation 193/10.

The first priority for surplus school board property would continue to be public education. A surplus property would first be assessed by the government as to whether it is needed by another school board for pupil accommodation.

If the surplus property is not needed by another school board, it would be assessed by the government as to whether it is needed to address critical provincial priorities, such as long-term care and affordable housing.

If the surplus property is not needed for public education or other provincial priorities, school boards would then dispose of the property on the open market.

This framework would come into effect on the date the regulation is filed, unless otherwise stated. The Ministry will work with stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition from the old surplus process to the new.

Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The proposed regulatory amendments would create a more efficient process to dispose of surplus property and continue to allow for re-investment of proceeds of disposition by school boards in their schools. It would also better leverage property surplus to a school board's requirements for the identified needs of other school boards and other provincial priorities such as building affordable housing and long-term care facilities.

The proposed regulatory amendments are not expected to create significant, additional administrative requirements for school boards and are supported by funding already provided by the Ministry of Education for capital planning capacity purposes.

Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
September 19, 2023
Comments Due Date:
October 19, 2023
Contact Address:
315 Front St. W. 15th Floor, Toronto, ON M5V 2A4