Should you require a fillable accessible PDF of this survey, please visithttp://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/showAttachment.do?postingId=27186&attachmentId=37739.

This consultation paper is for discussion purposes. The regulatory proposals described relate to Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018, and to policies and guidelines under the Education Act. We welcome feedback and request comments by May 7, 2018.

Background: Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018

On March 7, 2018, Ontario enacted new legislation, Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018, as well as amendments to the Education Act. This new legislation and concussion policies and guidelines under the Education Act will protect amateur athletes by improving concussion safety on the field and at school and will make Ontario a national leader in concussion prevention, detection and management.

The purpose of this consultation paper is to seek input from individuals and organizations in the Ontario sport, education, health and municipal sectors (as well as any other interested stakeholders) about the proposed regulations to support the new legislation and concussion policies and guidelines under the Education Act. This feedback will be used to inform the development of regulations, policies and guidelines that will determine specific aspects of implementation and the responsibilities of amateur competitive sport organizations and school boards.

Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 proclaims an annual concussion awareness day (Rowan’s Law Day), and will establish mandatory requirements for amateur competitive sport organizations to ensure:

  • Annual review of concussion awareness resources by athletes, coaches, and parents/guardians of athletes;
  • Establishment of removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols, so that athletes are immediately removed from sport if they are suspected of having sustained a concussion; and
  • Establishment of concussion codes of conduct that will set out rules of behavior to minimize concussions while playing sport.

Amendments to the Education Act give the Minister of Education authority to require school boards to comply with policies and guidelines about concussions involving students. The Ministry of Education already has a policy that expects all school boards to have concussion policies in place: Policy and Program Memorandum (PPM 158). The passage of amendments to the Education Act means that PPM 158 will be updated to ensure consistency with the requirements in Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 and relevant regulations. The revised PPM 158 will then be re-issued by the Minister of Education as a mandatory requirement for school boards.

The requirements set out in Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 were developed based on a report of an expert Committee that was asked to provide its recommendations to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport about measures to increase awareness and improve prevention, detection and management of concussions in amateur sport. The Rowan’s Law Advisory Committee was created in the name of Rowan Stringer, a 17-year-old high school student who died as a result of concussions she suffered playing rugby. The Committee report Creating Rowan’s Law: Report of the Rowan’s Law Advisory Committee was tabled in the Legislature in September, 2017. The report is referenced throughout this paper and continues to provide guidance to the government as it moves forward with measures intended to enhance concussion prevention, detection and management in Ontario.

Introduction

The government is confident that having concussion legislation in place will make a significant difference in the lives of Ontario athletes by improving awareness and harmonizing and enhancing the prevention, detection and management of concussions in competitive organized amateur sport and school boards. The new legislation and concussion policies and guidelines under the Education Act will have the potential to influence a broader transformational culture change across the province. It is not intended to create barriers to sport participation, nor to discourage organizations from delivering sport activities. While concussion safety is encouraged for all athletes, the new legislation is focussed on reducing the frequency and severity of concussions for our competitive amateur athletes.

The goal of Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 and concussion policies and guidelines under the Education Act is to increase awareness and minimize the risk of concussions, and to change conversations on the field, at school, in communities and in our homes so that we can create a world class amateur sport system in which athletes and Ontarians can participate safely.

Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 is broad framework legislation. Regulations under Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 and concussion policies and guidelines under the Education Act will have to be in place before mandatory requirements set out in the legislation could take effect. The regulations, policies and guidelines will provide specific details and add clarity about the range of the requirements set out in the legislation. This consultation paper is intended to seek feedback to inform the development of these regulations, policies and guidelines.

Privacy and Personal Information

Your privacy is important to us.

If you submit feedback as an individual, unless you expressly state otherwise, your feedback will not be considered public information. However, it may be used and disclosed by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport to assist in the development of regulations under Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 and concussion policies and guidelines established by the Minister of Education. Your personal details such as name and contact information will not be disclosed by the ministry without your consent, unless required by law. 

If you submit feedback on behalf of an organization, unless agreed to by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, your feedback will be considered public information and may be:

  • Used to assist the government in the development of regulations under Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018, and concussion policies and guidelines established by the Minister of Education; and/or
  • Shared with other interested parties during and after the public consultations.

Thank you for taking the time to provide your input. If you have any questions about this consultation, please send us an email at sport@ontario.ca.