October 2018

Date: October 17, 2018

Memorandum to: Directors of Education
Supervisory Officers / Secretary-Treasurers of School Authorities
Executive Director, Provincial and Demonstration Schools

From: Nancy Naylor
Deputy Minister

Subject: Updating and Supporting Schools – Recreational Cannabis Legalization

I am writing to provide an update related to the legalization of recreational cannabis.

Legalization of Recreational Cannabis

Amendments to the Education Act and Policy/Program Memoranda:

Ontario’s Cannabis Act, 2017 came into force today and sets a minimum age of 19 to use, buy, possess, cultivate, and distribute recreational cannabis in Ontario. The Cannabis Act, 2017 amends the Education Act to reflect suspension, expulsion, and code of conduct changes so that cannabis remains prohibited at school, on school property and at school-related activities.

The following Ministry of Education Policy and Program Memoranda (PPMs) that reference these provisions have also been updated:

  • PPM 128 - Provincial Code of Conduct and School Board Codes of Conduct
  • PPM 144 - Bullying Prevention and Intervention
  • PPM 145 - Progressive Discipline and Promoting Positive Student Behaviour

The updated PPMs can be accessed at: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/eng/ppm/ppm.html. School boards must make the necessary revisions to their school board policies to align with the updated PPMs. The amendments to the Education Act can be found on e-laws.

Fact sheets containing information about the provincial Code of Conduct, suspensions, and expulsions in Ontario’s schools have also been updated to reflect the amendments to the Education Act and related PPMs.

Cannabis-Related Resources

The ministry has developed resources for the education sector to increase awareness about cannabis, prevent and/or delay cannabis use among youth, and promote healthy decision-making and student safety.

These resources include:

  • A fact sheet for schools and school boards that focuses on the implications for your work, including changes to the Education Act and PPMs 128, 144, and 145.
  • A resource for youth that provides factual information and highlights the risks of use/misuse, developed in collaboration with Kids Help Phone.

The Ministry of Education will continue to provide resources based on the needs of the school community, which will be available on the ministry’s legalization of recreational cannabis web pages for educators and parents.

For general information and other resources about legalization of recreational cannabis in Ontario, please visit www.ontario.ca/cannabis. This website will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.

Ontario School Information System (OnSIS)

The Ministry of Education is also updating the suspension/expulsion data collection tool found in the Ontario School Information System (OnSIS) to align with the amendments to the Education Act.

There are three new categories for suspension/expulsion:

  • possession of cannabis;
  • being under the influence of cannabis;
  • giving cannabis to a minor.

Effective today, these will be collected through OnSIS for the 2018-2019 school year. Specific OnSIS requirements related to these changes were communicated to your Student Management System (SMS) vendors in August 2018.

Local Police/School Board Protocols

School boards are encouraged to discuss the implications of the legalization of recreational cannabis with their local police services and make revisions to their local police/school board protocols to ensure alignment with requirements, where necessary (e.g., update references to illegal drugs).


The Ministry of Education will be providing school boards with a total of $1.88 million in one-time funding to support local training needs related to the legalization of recreational cannabis. For a detailed list of board allocations, please refer to Appendix A.

School boards will be expected to report to the ministry on how the funding was used to support local training needs. Transfer payment agreements will follow shortly.

Safe and Healthy Schools Webinars

The ministry will be hosting three Safe and Healthy Schools Webinars on Thursday, November 8, 2018:

  • 10:00am to 11:00am – English
  • 1:00pm to 2:00pm – French
  • 3:30pm to 4:30pm – English

During these webinars, ministry staff will provide information related to the legalization of recreational cannabis, including an overview of the policy revisions referenced above.

We encourage you to share this invitation with school board staff.

Please register for the webinar by Tuesday, November 6, 2018, by completing the online registration form. Log-in instructions will be sent to the contact(s) identified in the registration form by November 7, 2018. If you have any questions about the webinars, please contact Steve Soroko, Healthy Schools Unit at 416-325-2728 or Steve.Soroko@ontario.ca.

If you have any other questions or require additional information, please contact Debbie Thompson, Director, Safe and Healthy Schools Branch at 416-325-7645 or Debbie.Thompson@ontario.ca.

Thank you for supporting the health and safety of Ontario’s students.


Original signed by

Nancy Naylor

Deputy Minister

c: School Board Trustee Associations

Attachment: Appendix A – Board Funding Allocations

Appendix A - Board Funding Allocations

DSB Name Total
Algoma DSB  $15,200.00
Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic DSB  $13,600.00
Avon Maitland DSB  $16,300.00
Bluewater DSB  $17,200.00
Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic DSB  $11,900.00
Bruce-Grey Catholic DSB  $5,800.00
Catholic DSB of Eastern Ontario  $15,700.00
Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir  $21,000.00
Conseil scolaire catholique Providence  $12,400.00
CS Viamonde  $18,700.00
CSD catholique de l'Est ontarien  $13,400.00
CSD catholique des Aurores boréales  $3,900.00
CSD catholique des Grandes Rivières  $10,700.00
CSD catholique du Centre-Est de l'Ontario  $22,900.00
CSD catholique du Nouvel-Ontario  $12,200.00
CSD catholique Franco-Nord  $5,700.00
CSD des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario  $19,000.00
CSD du Grand Nord de l'Ontario  $6,600.00
CSD du Nord-Est de l'Ontario  $5,800.00
DSB of Niagara  $33,600.00
DSB Ontario North East  $11,200.00
Dufferin-Peel Catholic DSB  $63,500.00
Durham Catholic DSB  $19,600.00
Durham DSB  $57,600.00
Grand Erie DSB  $26,600.00
Greater Essex County DSB  $28,400.00
Halton Catholic DSB  $25,900.00
Halton DSB  $50,400.00
Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic DSB  $22,700.00
Hamilton-Wentworth DSB  $40,900.00
Hastings and Prince Edward DSB  $16,300.00
Huron Perth Catholic DSB  $6,800.00
Huron-Superior Catholic DSB  $7,600.00
Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB  $31,000.00
Keewatin-Patricia DSB  $8,500.00
Kenora Catholic DSB  $3,300.00
Lakehead DSB  $10,700.00
Lambton Kent DSB  $22,800.00
Limestone DSB  $21,400.00
London District Catholic School Board  $19,600.00
Near North DSB  $12,800.00
Niagara Catholic DSB  $20,000.00
Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic DSB  $5,400.00
Northeastern Catholic DSB  $5,500.00
Northwest Catholic DSB  $3,300.00
Ottawa Catholic DSB  $37,800.00
Ottawa-Carleton DSB  $58,600.00
Peel DSB  $118,200.00
Peterborough V N C Catholic DSB  $14,700.00
Rainbow DSB  $15,900.00
Rainy River DSB  $5,800.00
Renfrew County Catholic DSB  $7,900.00
Renfrew County DSB  $10,900.00
Simcoe County DSB  $43,000.00
Simcoe Muskoka Catholic DSB  $19,100.00
St. Clair Catholic DSB  $10,600.00
Sudbury Catholic DSB  $8,300.00
Superior North Catholic DSB  $4,000.00
Superior-Greenstone DSB  $5,300.00
Thames Valley DSB  $59,400.00
Thunder Bay Catholic DSB  $8,700.00
Toronto Catholic DSB  $74,800.00
Toronto DSB  $229,300.00
Trillium Lakelands DSB  $17,900.00
Upper Canada DSB  $33,200.00
Upper Grand DSB  $30,100.00
Waterloo Catholic DSB  $19,300.00
Waterloo Region DSB  $50,000.00
Wellington Catholic DSB  $8,800.00
Windsor-Essex Catholic DSB  $18,100.00
York Catholic DSB  $41,300.00
York Region DSB  $91,700.00
Total for 72 District School Boards $1,866,100.00
Total for School Authorities $7,700.00
Total with School Authorities $1,873,800.00
Total for Provincial and Demonstration Schools  $6,930.00
Total with Provincial and Demonstration Schools  $1,880,730.00