The parties to this memorandum of understanding agree to the following:

1. Purpose

  1. The purpose of this memorandum of understanding (MOU) is to:
    • Establish the accountability relationships between the Solicitor General and the Fire Marshal of Ontario as the chair of the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council on behalf of the council.
    • Clarify the roles and responsibilities of the Solicitor General, the chair, the deputy solicitor general - community safety, the executive director and the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council’s board of directors.
    • Clarify the operational, administrative, financial, staffing, auditing and reporting arrangements between the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council and the Solicitor General and the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
  2. This MOU should be read together with the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997. This MOU does not affect, modify or limit the powers of the agency as set out under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, or interfere with the responsibilities of any of its parties as established by law. In case of a conflict between this MOU and any act or regulation, the act or regulation prevails.

2. Definitions

In this MOU:

  1. AAD” means the Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet Agencies and Appointments Directive
  2. “Act” means the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 that governs the agency
  3. “council” means the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council
  4. “annual business plan” means the annual business plan described under article 10.1 of this MOU
  5. “annual report” means the annual report referred to in article 10.2 of this MOU
  6. “applicable government directives” means the government directives, policies, standards and guidelines that apply to the council, as may be amended or replaced from time to time, which are listed in Appendix 1 to this MOU
  7. “appointee” means a member of the council appointed by the Fire Marshal or a director appointed to the board by the Solicitor General, but does not mean an individual employed or appointed by the council as staff
  8. “board” means the board of directors of the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council
  9. ED” (as appropriate) means the executive director of the council
  10. “chair” means the Fire Marshal of Ontario as the chair of the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council and as the chair of the board of directors of the council
  11. “constituting instrument” means the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 that established the council
  12. “deputy solicitor general - community safety” means the deputy solicitor general - community safety of the Ministry of the Solicitor General
  13. Executive Council Act” means the Executive Council Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E. 25, as amended
  14. FIPPA” means the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, as amended
  15. “fiscal year” means the period from April 1 to March 31 of the following year
  16. “government” means the government of Ontario
  17. MBC” means the Management Board of Cabinet
  18. “member” means a member of the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council or a member of the council’s board of directors
  19. “Solicitor General” means the minister of the Ministry of the Solicitor General or such other person who may be designated from time to time as the responsible minister in relation to this MOU in accordance with the Executive Council Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.25, as amended
  20. “Minister of Finance” means the Minister of Finance or such other person who may be designated from time to time under the Executive Council Act
  21. “ministry” means the Ministry of the Solicitor General or any successor to the ministry
  22. MOU” means this memorandum of understanding signed by the Solicitor General and the chair
  23. “president of the Treasury Board” means this president of the Treasury Board of such other person who may be designated from time to time under the Executive Council Act
  24. PSC” means the Public Service Commission
  25. PSOA” means the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 35, Schedule A, as amended
  26. TBS” means the Treasury Board Secretariat
  27. TB/MBC” means the Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet

3. The council’s legal authority and mandate

  1. The council is established by Part XI of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
  2. The council’s mandate is set out in section 61 of the act which states that the council’s objects are to:
    1. promote fire safety throughout the province
    2. produce and distribute materials for public education with respect to fire safety
    3. provide or endorse training, education and fire prevention activities
    4. facilitate and co-ordinate the public exchange of information and ideas on matters of fire safety
    5. solicit, receive, manage and distribute money and other property to support the objects described in clauses (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv)
    6. enter into partnerships and agreements with persons or organizations in the private sector or with public bodies or organizations to further the objects described in clauses (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v)
    7. advise the Fire Marshal on matters of fire safety. 1997, c. 4, s. 61

4. Council type and public body status

  1. The council is designated as a board governed provincial agency under the Agencies and Appointments Directive.
  2. The council is prescribed as a public body in accordance with Ontario Regulation 146/10 under the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006. It is not organizationally part of the ministry, but it is considered to be within government.

5. Corporate status

  1. The council has the capacity, rights, power and privileges of a natural person for carrying out its objects, subject to the limitations placed upon it under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act and/or limitations imposed by Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet.

6. Guiding principles

The council exercises powers and performs duties in accordance with its legal mandate under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act. The parties agree to the following principles:

  1. The Solicitor General recognizes that the council plays a meaningful role in the development of the policies and programs of the Government of Ontario, as well as in the implementation of those policies and delivery of programs.
  2. The board of directors recognise that the Solicitor General is accountable to the Legislative Assembly for the board’s actions. Accountability is a fundamental principle to be observed in the management, administration and operations of the council. The board of directors acknowledges that it is accountable to the Solicitor General, through the Fire Marshal of Ontario as the chair, for governance and oversight of the council.
  3. As an agency of the government, the council conducts itself according to the management principles of the government. These principles include ethical behaviour; prudent, effective and lawful use of public resources; fairness; high quality service to the public; and openness and transparency to the extent allowed under the law.
  4. The Solicitor General and the board of directors, through the chair, are committed to a strong agency that is empowered to fulfill its statutory mandate efficiently and effectively. They share the goal of establishing and maintaining a co-operative relationship that facilitates the efficient administration of the council and fulfillment of its statutory responsibilities.
  5. The council and the ministry agree to avoid duplication of services wherever possible.
  6. The council and the ministry will work together in a mutually respectful manner.

7. Accountability relationships

7.1 Solicitor General

The Solicitor General is accountable:

  1. To Cabinet and the Legislative Assembly for the council’s fulfilment of its mandate and its compliance with government policies, and for reporting to the Legislative Assembly on the council’s affairs.
  2. For reporting and responding to Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet on the council’s performance and compliance with government’s applicable directives and operational policies.
  3. To the Cabinet for the performance of the council and its compliance with the government’s operational policies and broad policy directions.

7.2 Chair

The Chair, acting on behalf of the board of directors, is accountable:

  1. To the Solicitor General for the council’s performance in fulfilling its mandate, and for carrying out the roles and responsibilities assigned to the chair by the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, this MOU, and applicable TB/MBC and government directives.
  2. For reporting to the Solicitor General, as requested, on the council’s activities.
  3. For ensuring timely communications with the Solicitor General regarding any issue that affects, or can reasonably be expected to affect, the Solicitor General’s responsibilities for the council.
  4. To the Solicitor General to confirm the council’s compliance with legislation, directives, and accounting and financial policies.

7.3 Board of directors

The board of directors is accountable, through the chair, to the Solicitor General for the oversight and governance of the council; setting goals, objectives and strategic direction for the council within its mandate; and for carrying out the roles and responsibilities assigned to it by the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, this MOU, and applicable TB/MBC, PSC and other government directives.

7.4 Solicitor General - Community Safety

The deputy solicitor general - community safety is accountable to the Secretary of the Cabinet and the Solicitor General for the performance of the ministry in providing administrative and organizational support to the council and for carrying out the roles and responsibilities assigned by the Solicitor General, Fire Protection and Prevention Act, this MOU, and applicable TB/MBC, PSC and government directives.

The deputy solicitor general is also accountable for attesting to TB/MBC on the council’s compliance with applicable TB/MBC directives.

7.5 Executive director

Where the executive director (ED) is employed under the council’s authority and not under Part III of the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006, the ED is accountable to the board for the management and administration of the council, the supervision of council staff, and carrying out the roles and responsibilities assigned by the board, the council’s constituting instrument, this MOU and government directives. The ED works under the direction of the chair to implement policy and operational decisions. The ED reports the council’s performance results to the board, through the chair.

8. Roles and responsibilities

8.1 Solicitor General

The Solicitor General is responsible for:

  1. Reporting and responding to the Legislative Assembly on the affairs of the council.
  2. Reporting and responding to TB/MBC on the council’s performance and compliance with applicable TB/MBC directives, the government’s operational policies and policy directions.
  3. Recommending to TB/MBC, where required, the merger, any change to the mandate, or dissolution of the council.
  4. Recommending to TB/MBC the powers to be given to, or revoked from, the council when a change to the council’s mandate is being proposed.
  5. Meeting with the chair to discuss issues relating to the fulfilment of the council’s mandate.
  6. Working with the chair to develop appropriate measures and mechanisms related to the performance of the council.
  7. Appointing and re-appointing members of the board on the recommendation of the chair pursuant to section 62(2) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act. If a director’s position becomes vacant, the Solicitor General may appoint another person to the board for the remainder of his or her term pursuant to section 62(8) of the Act.
  8. Determining at any time the need for a review or audit of the council, directing the chair to undertake reviews of the council on a periodic basis, and recommending to TB/MBC any change(s) to the governance or administration of the council resulting from any such review or audit.
  9. When appropriate or necessary, taking action or directing that the council take corrective action with respect to the council’s administration or operations.
  10. Receiving the council’s annual report and tabling it in the legislature in accordance with the requirements set out in the council’s constituting instrument and the AAD.
  11. Informing the chair of the government’s priorities and broad policy directions for the council.
  12. Consulting, as appropriate, with the chair (and others) on significant new directions or when the government is considering regulatory or legislative changes for the council.
  13. Developing the council’s MOU with the chair, as well as any amendments to it, and signing the MOU into effect after it has been signed by the chair.
  14. Reviewing and approving the council’s annual business plan.
  15. Recommending to TB/MBC any provincial funding to be allocated to the council.
  16. Outlining the high-level expectations, key commitments and performance priorities for the council at the beginning of the annual business planning cycle through the council mandate letter.

8.2 Chair

The Chair is responsible to support the board of directors for:

  1. Appointing members to the council.
  2. Providing leadership to the council by working with the board of directors to set the goals, objectives and strategic directions within its mandate.
  3. Providing leadership to the council’s board of directors and ensuring that the board carries out its responsibilities for decisions regarding the council.
  4. Chairing board meetings, including the management of the board’s agenda.
  5. Making recommendations to the Solicitor General for appointments to the board of directors as per section 62(2) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
  6. Reviewing and approving travel expense claims and any remuneration for per diems for appointees to the board.
  7. Seeking strategic policy direction for the council from the Solicitor General.
  8. Ensuring timely communications with the Solicitor General regarding any issues or events that may concern or can reasonably be expected to concern the Solicitor General in the exercise of their responsibilities relating to the council.
  9. Consulting with the Solicitor General in advance regarding any activity which may have an impact on the government and ministry’s policies, directives or procedures, or on the council’s mandate, powers or responsibilities as set out in the council’s constituting instrument.
  10. Reporting to the Solicitor General as requested on the council’s activities within agreed upon timelines, including an annual letter confirming the council’s compliance with all applicable legislation, directives, and accounting and financial policies.
  11. Ensuring that the council operates within its approved budget allocation in fulfilling its mandate, and that public funds are used for the purpose intended with integrity and honesty.
  12. Developing the council’s MOU with the Solicitor General, as authorized by the board, and signing it on behalf of the board.
  13. Submitting the council’s business plan, budget, annual report and financial reports, on behalf of the board, to the Solicitor General in accordance with the requirements set out in the council’s constituting instrument and the applicable TB/MBC and government directives such as the AAD.
  14. Providing both the Solicitor General and the Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board with a copy of every audit report, a copy of the council’s response to each report, and any recommendation in the report.
  15. Advising the Solicitor General annually on any outstanding audit recommendations per direction of the board of directors.
  16. Ensuring that board members are informed of their responsibilities under the PSOA with regard to the rules of ethical conduct, including the political activity rules.
  17. Ensuring appropriate management systems are in place (financial, information technology, human resources) for the effective administration of the council.
  18. Carrying out effective public communications and relations for the council as its chief spokesperson.
  19. Cooperating with any review or audit of the council directed by the Solicitor General or TB/MBC.
  20. Keeping the Solicitor General informed of upcoming appointment vacancies and providing recommendations for appointments or re-appointments.
  21. Ensuring compliance with legislative and TB/MBC policy obligations.

8.3 Board of directors

The board of directors is responsible for:

  1. Establishing the goals, objectives, and strategic directions for the council within its mandate as set out in the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, government policies as appropriate and this MOU.
  2. Governing the affairs of the council within its mandate as set out in the act, its approved business plan as described in section 10.1 of this MOU, and the policy parameters established and communicated in writing by the Solicitor General.
  3. Directing the development of, and approving the council’s business plans for submission to the Solicitor General within the timelines agreed upon with the ministry or this MOU.
  4. Directing the preparation of, and approving the council’s annual reports for submission to the Solicitor General within the timelines established by the council’s constituting instrument or the AAD as applicable.
  5. Making decisions consistent with the business plan approved for the council and ensuring that the council operates within its budget allocation.
  6. Ensuring that the council uses public funds with integrity and honesty, and only for the business of the council based on the principle of value for money, and in compliance with applicable legislation and TB/MBC directives.
  7. Ensuring that the council is governed in an effective and efficient manner according to accepted business and financial practices, and in accordance with applicable TB/MBC directives.
  8. Establishing such board committees or oversight mechanisms as may be required to advise the board on effective management, governance or accountability procedures for the council.
  9. Approving the council’s MOU, and any amendments to the MOU, in a timely manner and authorizing the chair to sign the MOU, or any amendments to the MOU, on behalf of the council.
  10. Approving the council’s reports and reviews that may be requested by the Solicitor General from time to time for submissions to the Solicitor General within agreed upon timelines.
  11. Directing the development of an appropriate risk management framework and a risk management plan and arranging for risk-based reviews and audits of the council as needed.
  12. Where applicable, ensuring that conflict of interest rules that the council is required to follow, as set out in Ontario Regulation 381/07 (or as have been approved and published by the Conflict of Interest Commissioner on the commissioner’s website), are in place for the members of the board and employees of the council.
  13. Establishing performance measures, targets and management systems for monitoring and assessing the council’s performance.
  14. Appointing an executive director and setting performance objectives and remuneration terms linked to these objectives for the executive director which give due weight to the proper management and use of public resources.
  15. Evaluating the performance of the executive director in consultation with the board and pursuant to performance criteria established by the board and the chair.
  16. Directing corrective action on the functioning or operations of the council, if needed.
  17. Cooperating with and sharing any relevant information on any risk-based or periodic review directed by the Solicitor General or TB/MBC.
  18. Consulting, as appropriate, with stakeholders on the council’s goals, objectives and strategic directions.
  19. Providing advice to the government, through the Solicitor General, on issues within or affecting the council’s mandate and operations.
  20. Setting and reporting on the strategic direction for the council according to the Solicitor General’s agency mandate letter, the council’s proposed business plan, and the council’s annual report.

8.4 Deputy solicitor general

The deputy solicitor general - community safety is responsible for:

  1. Advising and assisting the Solicitor General regarding the Solicitor General’s responsibilities for the Council, including informing the Solicitor General of policy direction, policies and priorities of relevance to the council’s mandate.
  2. Advising the Solicitor General on the requirements of the AAD, and other directives that apply to the council.
  3. Recommending to the Solicitor General, as may be necessary, the evaluation or review, including a risk-based review, of the council or any of its programs, or changes to the management framework or operations of the council.
  4. Facilitating regular briefings and consultations between the chair and the Solicitor General, and between the ministry staff and the council staff as needed.
  5. Attesting to TB/MBC on the provincial agency’s compliance with the mandatory accountability requirements set out in the AAD and other applicable TB/MBC directives, the government’s operational policies and policy directions based on the annual letter of compliance from the council’s chair to the Solicitor General.
  6. Ensuring that the ministry and the council have the capacity and systems in place for on-going risk-based management, including appropriate oversight of the council.
  7. Ensuring that the council has an appropriate risk management framework and a risk management plan in place for managing risks that the council may encounter in meeting its program or service delivery objectives.
  8. Undertaking timely risk-based reviews of the council, its management or operations, as may be directed by the Solicitor General or TB/MBC.
  9. Establishing a framework for reviewing and assessing the council’s business plans and other reports.
  10. Supporting the Solicitor General in reviewing the performance targets, measures and results of the council.
  11. Advising the Solicitor General on documents submitted by the council to the Solicitor General for review or approval, or both.
  12. Submitting to the Solicitor General, as part of the annual planning process, a risk assessment and management plan for each risk category.
  13. Undertaking reviews of the council as may be directed by the Solicitor General.
  14. Cooperating with any review of the council as directed by the Solicitor General or TB/MBC.
  15. Monitoring the council on behalf of the Solicitor General while respecting the council’s authority, identifying needs for corrective action where warranted, and recommending to the Solicitor General ways of resolving any issues that might arise from time to time.
  16. Negotiating a draft MOU with the chair of the council, as well as any amendments to the MOU, as directed by the Solicitor General.
  17. Consulting with the council’s executive director or chair, as needed, on matters of mutual importance including services provided by the ministry and compliance with TB/MBC directives and ministry policies.
  18. Meeting with the chair or executive director as needed or as directed by the Solicitor General, or on the request of the chair or executive director.
  19. Arranging for administrative, financial and other support to the council, as specified in this MOU.
  20. Reporting to TBS on the council and ministry’s compliance with the AAD, as required.
  21. Informing the chair or executive director, in writing, of new government directives and any exceptions to, or exemptions in whole or in part from TB/MBC directives, government policies, or ministry administrative policies.
  22. When required, submitting a report to the Secretary of TB/MBC on the wind-up of the agency, following the disposition of any assets, completion of any outstanding responsibilities by the agency, and the termination of any appointments.

8.5 Executive director

The executive director is responsible for:

  1. Managing the day-to-day operational, financial, analytical, and administrative affairs of the council in accordance with the mandate of the council, TB/MBC and government directives, accepted business and financial practices, and this MOU.
  2. Advising the chair on the requirements of and the council’s compliance with the AAD, as well as other TB/MBC and government directives and policies, and council by-laws and policies, including annually attesting to the chair on the council’s compliance with mandatory requirements.
  3. Applying policies and procedures so that council funds are used with integrity and honesty.
  4. Providing leadership and management to the council staff, including human and financial resources management, in accordance with the approved business plan, accepted business and financial practices and standards, the council’s constituting instrument, and government directives.
  5. Establishing and applying a financial management framework for the council in accordance with applicable Minister of Finance/Treasury Board controllership directives, policies and guidelines.
  6. Translating the goals, objectives and strategic directions of the board into operational plans and activities in accordance with the council’s approved business plan.
  7. Ensuring that the council has the oversight capacity and an effective oversight framework in place for monitoring its management and operations.
  8. Keeping the board, through the chair, informed with respect to implementation of policy and the operations of the council.
  9. Establishing and applying systems to ensure that the council operates within its approved business plan.
  10. Establishing and applying the council’s risk management framework and risk management plan in place, as directed by the chair/board.
  11. Supporting the chair and board in meeting their responsibilities, including compliance with all applicable legislation, directives, policies, procedures and guidelines.
  12. Carrying out in-year monitoring of the council’s performance and reporting on results to the chair [board through the chair].
  13. Keeping the ministry and the chair advised on issues or events that may concern the Solicitor General, the deputy solicitor general and the chair in the exercise of their responsibilities.
  14. Seeking support and advice from the ministry, as appropriate, on the council’s management issues.
  15. Establishing and applying a system for the retention of the council’s documents and for making such documents publicly available when appropriate, for complying with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Archives and Recordkeeping Act where applicable.
  16. Undertaking timely risk-based reviews of the council’s management and operations.
  17. Consulting with the deputy solicitor genera as needed, on matters of mutual importance, including services provided by the ministry, and on TB/MBC and government directives and ministry policies.
  18. Cooperating with a periodic review directed by the Solicitor General or TB/MBC.
  19. Promoting ethical conduct and ensuring that all members of the council are familiar with the ethical requirements of the PSOA and the regulations and directives made under that act, including in respect of conflict of interest, political activity, and the protected disclosure of wrongdoing.
  20. Keeping the board, through the chair, informed about operational matters.
  21. Preparing the council’s annual reports and business plans as directed by the board.
  22. Preparing financial reports for approval by the board.
  23. Preparing, for approval by the board, a performance review system for staff and implementing the system.
  24. Attesting to the compliance of the council to applicable directives and policies and support the board of directors to provide the statement of compliance of the council.

9. Ethical framework

  1. The members of the board who are appointed by the Solicitor General are subject to the conflict of interest provisions of the AAD.
  2. Members of the board shall not use any information gained as a result of their appointment to or membership on the board for personal gain or benefit. A member of the board who has reasonable grounds to believe that he or she has a conflict of interest in a matter before the board, or a committee of the board, shall disclose the nature of the conflict to the chair at the first opportunity and shall refrain from further participation in the consideration of the matter. The chair shall cause to be recorded in the minutes of the meeting of the board any declared conflicts of interest.
  3. The chair is responsible for ensuring that appointees and staff of the council are informed of the ethical rules to which they are subject, including the rules on conflict of interest, political activity and protected disclosure of wrongdoing that apply to the council.

10. Reporting requirements

10.1 Business plan

  1. The chair will ensure that the Solicitor General is provided annually with the council’s business plan covering a minimum of three (3) years from the upcoming fiscal year, which includes a financial budget and a risk assessment and management plan, for approval by the Solicitor General. The annual business plan shall be in accordance with the requirements set out in the AAD.
  2. The annual business plan is to be submitted to the ministry’s chief administrative officer or designated equivalent within three months prior to the council’s fiscal year start.
  3. The chair is responsible for ensuring that the council’s business plan includes a system of performance measures and reporting on the achievement of the objectives set out in the business plan. The system must include performance goals, how they will be achieved, and targeted results and timeframes.
  4. The chair will ensure that the business plan includes a risk assessment and risk management plan to assist the ministry in developing its risk assessment and risk management plan information in accordance with the requirements of the AAD to assess risks, develop and maintain necessary records, and report to TB/MBC.
  5. The chair will ensure that publicly posted business plans do not disclose: personal information, sensitive employment and labour relations information, solicitor-client privileged information, cabinet confidential information, trade secrets, information that would prejudice the financial or commercial interests of the council in the marketplace, and information that would otherwise pose a risk to the security of the facilities and/or operations of the council.
  6. The Solicitor General will review the council’s annual business plan and will promptly advise the chair whether or not they concur with the directions proposed by the council. The Solicitor General may advise the chair where and in what manner the council’s plan varies from government or ministry policy or priorities as may be required, and the chair, on behalf of the board of directors, will revise the council’s plan accordingly. Business plans are only to be considered valid once the responsible minister has approved the plan and the approval has been expressed in writing.
  7. TB/MBC may require the Solicitor General to submit the council’s business plan to TB/MBC for review at any time.
  8. The chair, through the executive director, will ensure that the Solicitor General approved business plan is made available to the public in an accessible format, in both official languages, on the council or ministry website in accordance with the requirements set out in the council’s constituting instrument and AAD.

10.2 Annual reports

  1. The chair is responsible for ensuring that the council’s annual report is prepared and submitted to the Solicitor General in accordance with the requirements set out in the council’s constituting instrument and AAD. The chair will ensure that the annual report is prepared in the format specified in the AAD.
  2. The chair will ensure that publicly posted annual reports do not disclose: personal information, sensitive employment and labour relations information, solicitor-client privileged information, cabinet confidential information, trade secrets, information that would prejudice the financial or commercial interests of the council in the marketplace, and information that would otherwise pose a risk to the security of the facilities and/or operations of the council.
  3. The Solicitor General will receive the council’s annual report and table it in the legislature in accordance with the requirements set out in the council’s constituting instrument and AAD.
  4. The chair, through the executive director, will ensure that its annual report is publicly posted in an accessible format, in both official languages, on the council or ministry website in accordance with the requirements set out in the council’s constituting instrument and AAD.
  5. When distributing annual reports, digital formats and channels for distribution must be used unless otherwise required (e.g., by directive, legislation).

10.3 Other reports

The chair is responsible on behalf of the board of directors for:

  1. Ensuring that reports and documents set out in the council’s constituting instrument and AAD are submitted for review and approval by the Solicitor General in accordance with the prescribed timelines.
  2. Supplying specific data and other information, at the request of the Solicitor General or the deputy solicitor general, that may be required from time-to-time for the purpose of the ministry’s administration.

11. Public posting requirements

  1. The council, through the chair on behalf of the board of directors, will ensure that the following approved governance documents are posted in an accessible format, in both official languages, on the council or ministry website within the timelines in accordance with  the council’s constituting instrument and AAD:
    • memorandum of understanding and any letter of affirmation
    • council’s mandate letter
    • annual business plan
    • annual report
  2. Posted governance documents should not disclose: personal information, sensitive employment and labour relations information, solicitor-client privileged information, cabinet confidential information, trade secrets or scientific information, information that would prejudice the financial or commercial interests of the council in the marketplace, and information that would otherwise pose a risk to the security of the facilities and/or operations of the council.
  3. The council, through the chair on behalf of the board of directors, will ensure that the expense information for appointees to the board and senior management staff are posted on the council or ministry website, in accordance with the requirements of the MBC Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive.
  4. The council, through the chair on behalf of the board of directors, will ensure that any other applicable public posting requirements are met.

12. Communications and issues management

The parties to this MOU recognize that the timely exchange of information on the operations and administration of the council is essential for the Solicitor General to meet their responsibilities for reporting and responding to the Legislative Assembly on the affairs of the council. The parties also recognize that it is essential for the chair on behalf of the board of directors to be kept informed of the government initiatives and broad policy directions that may affect the council’s mandate and functions.

The Solicitor General and the chair on behalf of the board of directors, therefore, agree that:

  1. The chair will keep the Solicitor General advised, in a timely manner, of all planned events or issues, including contentious matters, that concern or can be reasonably expected to concern the Solicitor General in the exercise of their responsibilities.
  2. The Solicitor General will consult with the chair in a timely manner, as appropriate, on broad government policy initiatives or legislation being considered by the government that may impact on the council’s mandate or functions, or which otherwise will have a significant impact on the council.
  3. The Solicitor General and the chair will consult with each other on public communication strategies and publications. They will keep each other informed of the results of stakeholder and other public consultations and discussions.
  4. The Solicitor General and the chair will meet at least annually, or as requested by either party, to discuss issues relating to the fulfillment of the council’s mandate, management and operations.
  5. The deputy solicitor general and the executive director or the chair will meet at least annually or as requested by either party, to discuss issues relating to the delivery of the board’s mandate and the efficient operation of the council [and the provision of services by the ministry to the council]. The deputy solicitor general and the chair shall provide timely information and advice to each other concerning significant matters affecting the council’s management or operations.
  6. The council and ministry will adhere to the Public Communications Protocol set out and updated by the ministry from time to time for ongoing issues management.

13. Administrative arrangements

13.1 Applicable government directives

  1. The chair, on behalf of the board of directors, is responsible for ensuring that the council operates in accordance with all applicable TB/MBC, PSC and government directives, as well as applicable ministry financial and administrative policies and procedures. Appendix 1 to this MOU provides a list of applicable directives and policies.
  2. The ministry will inform the council of amendments or additions to directives, policies and guidelines that apply to the council; however, the council is responsible for complying with all directives, policies and guidelines to which it is subject.
  3. In addition to complying with the MBC Realty Directive, the council shall comply with the Ministry of Government Services’ realty policy including any appendices to this policy when acquiring space for accommodation and program purposes. The ministry will ensure that the council is provided with any updates to this policy.

13.2 Administrative and organizational support services

  1. The Office of the Fire Marshal, may, on request, provide administrative, technical or expert advice or assistance to the council.

13.3 Legal services

  1. Legal services to the council will be provided by the Ministry of the Attorney General, in accordance with an MOU established between the council and the Ministry of the Attorney General.
  2. The council may request outside legal services when it requires expertise which is unavailable within the Ministry of the Attorney General or when the use of a law office of the Crown would result in any conflict of interest.
  3. Outside legal services will be acquired in accordance with the Ministry of the Attorney General’s operating policy on Acquiring and Using Legal Services.

13.4 Creation, collection, maintenance and disposition of records

  1. The chair, on behalf of the board of directors, is responsible for ensuring that a system is in place for the creation, collection, maintenance and disposal of records.
  2. The board, through the chair, is responsible for ensuring that the council complies with all government legislation, directives and policies related to information and records management.
  3. The executive director, the chair and the board shall protect the legal, fiscal and other interests of the council by implementing reasonable measures to ensure the ongoing viability, integrity, preservation and security of all official records created, commissioned or acquired by the council. This includes, but is not limited to, all electronic records, such as emails, information posted on the council’s website(s), database data sets, and all records stored on personal computers and shared drives.
  4. The chair, on behalf of the board of directors, is responsible for ensuring measures are implemented requiring the council’s employees to create full, accurate and reliable records that document and support significant business transactions, decisions, events, policies and programs.
  5. The board of directors, through the chair, is responsible for ensuring that the commission complies with the Archives and Recordkeeping Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, Chapter 34, Schedule A.

13.5 Intellectual property

  1. The chair, on behalf of the board of directors, is responsible for ensuring that the legal, financial and other interests of the government related to intellectual property are protected in any contract that the council may enter with a third party that involves the creation of intellectual property.

13.6 Freedom of information and protection of privacy

  1. The chair and the Solicitor General acknowledge that the council is bound to follow the requirements set out in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) in relation to the collection, retention, security, use, distribution and disposal of records.
  2. The Solicitor General  is the institution head for the purposes of the FIPPA.

13.7 Service standards

  1. The provincial council shall establish customer service and quality standards that are consistent with the appropriate standards of the government, the ministry and the Ontario Public Service (OPS).
  2. The chair will ensure that the council delivers its services at a quality standard that reflects the principles and requirements of the OPS Service Directive.
  3. The council will develop a formal process for responding to complaints about the quality of services received by clients, customers or stakeholders of the council consistent with the government’s service quality standards.
  4. The council’s annual business plan will include performance measures and targets for client/customer service and the council’s response to complaints.
  5. The provincial council shall comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

14. Financial arrangements

14.1 General

  1. All financial procedures for the council shall be in accordance with applicable TB/MBC and Ministry of Finance directives and guidelines, ministry corporate financial and administrative policies and procedures, and other government guidelines, directives and policies, as set out in Appendix 1 of this MOU.

14.2 Funding

  1. The council shall maintain a bank account in its own name and manage its financial activities, including leasing, investment and management of cash in accordance with applicable Ontario Financing Authority’s policy directions.
  2. The council has the power under section 63(2) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act to solicit, receive, manage, invest, transfer, use and distribute money and other property to support the objects of the council from fire departments, fire safety associations, private corporations and other partners.
  3. Under section 66(1) of the act, all the property of the council and all its income, revenue and profits shall be devoted and applied solely to carrying out the objects of the council.
  4. As outlined in section 66(2) of the act, any funds of the council that are not immediately required for promoting and carrying out its objects, and the proceeds of any property of the council, subject to any trust affecting them, not immediately required for such purpose, may be invested and reinvested as the board of directors considers proper.
  5. The council shall ensure compliance with the Financial Administration Act, as applicable.

14.3 Financial reports

  1. The chair, on behalf of the board of directors, will provide to the Solicitor General audited annual financial statements, and will include them as part of the council’s annual report. The statements will be provided in a format that is in accordance with the province’s stated accounting policies issued by the Office of the Provincial Controller Division.
  2. The council will submit its salary information to the Minister of Finance and/or the President of the Treasury Board, through the ministry, in accordance with the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, 1996.

14.4 Taxation status: harmonized sales tax (HST)

  1. collection/remittance of HST
    1. The council is responsible for complying with its obligations as a supplier under the federal Excise Tax Act to collect and remit HST in respect of any taxable supplies made by it.
  2. payment/recovery of HST
    1. The council is responsible for paying HST where applicable, in accordance with the Excise Tax Act (Canada).
    2. The council is not entitled to claim HST government rebates.
    3. The council would be expected to claim any refunds, input tax credits or other rebates under the Excise Tax Act (Canada) for which it is eligible.

15. Audit and review arrangements

15.1 Audits

  1. The council is subject to periodic review and value-for-money audit by the Auditor General of Ontario under the Auditor General Act or by the Ontario Internal Audit Division of Treasury Board Secretariat.
  2. The Ontario Internal Audit Division may also carry out an internal audit, if approved to do so by the ministry’s Audit Committee or by the Corporate Audit Committee.
  3. Regardless of any previous or annual external audit, the Solicitor General may direct that the council be audited at any time.
  4. The council will promptly provide a copy of every report from an audit to the Solicitor General and the Minister of Finance/President of Treasury Board. The council will also provide a copy of its response to the audit report and any recommendations therein. The council will advise the Solicitor General annually on any outstanding audit recommendations.
  5. The chair, on behalf of the board of directors, may request an external audit of the financial transactions or management controls of the council, at the council’s expense.

15.2 Other reviews

  1. The council is subject to periodic review initiated at the discretion and direction of TB/MBC or the Solicitor General. The review may cover such matters relating to the council that are determined by TB/MBC or the Solicitor General, and may include the mandate, powers, governance structure and/or operations of the council.
  2. In requiring a periodic review, the Solicitor General or TB/MBC shall determine the timing and responsibility for conducting the review, the roles of the chair, the board of directors, and the Solicitor General, and how any other parties are involved.
  3. A mandate review of the provincial council will be conducted at least once every seven years. The date of the next review will be 2026-27, or such other date to be determined by TBS.
  4. The Solicitor General will consult the chair, on behalf of the board of directors, as appropriate during any such review.
  5. The executive director, chair and board will cooperate in any review.
  6. In the event of a review initiated at the direction of the Solicitor General, the Solicitor General shall submit any recommendations for change that are developed from the results of the review regarding the council to TB/MBC for consideration.

16. Staffing and appointments

16.1 Delegation of human resources management authority

  1. Where the PSC has delegated its powers, duties and functions in relation to human resources management to the deputy solicitor general, chair or prescribed individual under Ontario Regulation 148/10, that person is accountable for exercising that authority in compliance with any relevant legislation, directives or policies in accordance with the mandate of the council, and within the parameters of the delegated authority.

16.2 Staffing requirements

  1. As the council employs staff under the authority of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, it is not subject to the human resources management directives within the PSOA.
  2. The Office of the Fire Marshal may, on request by the council, provide administrative, technical or expert advice or assistance to the council.

16.3 Appointments

  1. Pursuant to section 60(2) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, the council consists of its board of directors and such other persons who are appointed as members of the council by the Ontario Fire Marshal.
  2. Pursuant to section 62 of the act:
    1. The board is composed of the Fire Marshal, or if he or she is absent or unable to act, the deputy fire marshal, and at least six directors appointed from among the members by the minister on the recommendation of the Fire Marshal.
    2. A director is appointed for a term not exceeding three years, and may be reappointed for successive terms not exceeding three years each.
    3. If a director’s position becomes vacant, the Solicitor General may appoint another person to the board for the remainder of his or her term.
    4. The Fire Marshal, or if he or she is absent or unable to act, the deputy fire marshal, is chair of the board.
    5. The Fire Marshal shall designate one or more other directors to be vice-chairs.

16.4 Remuneration

  1. Remuneration and reimbursement for reasonable expenses for board members may be as determined by the council pursuant to subsection 62(9) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
  2. Travel expenses of board members must comply with the MBC Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directives. Reasonable expenses shall be reimbursed.

17. Risk management, liability protection and insurance

17.1 Risk management

  1. The chair, on behalf of the board of directors, is responsible for ensuring that a risk management strategy is developed for the council, in accordance with the OPS Risk Management process.
  2. The council shall ensure that the risks it faces are addressed in an appropriate manner.

17.2 Liability protection

  1. Pursuant to subsection 69(1) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, no action or other proceeding for damages may be instituted against a director or a member of the council or any employee of the council for any act done in good faith in the execution or intended execution of the person’s power or duty or for any alleged neglect or default in the execution in good faith of the person’s power or duty.

18. Effective date, duration and periodic review of the MOU

  1. This MOU becomes effective on the date it is signed by the Solicitor General as the last party to execute it (“original effective date”) and continues in effect until it is revoked or replaced by a subsequent MOU signed by the parties.
  2. A copy of the signed MOU and any successor MOU must be provided to the Secretary, Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet.
  3. Upon a change in the Solicitor General or chair, both parties must affirm by letter that this MOU will continue in force without a review (and attach the signed letter to the MOU); or alternatively, they may agree to revise it and sign a new MOU within six (6) months of the change.
  4. A copy of the letter of affirmation, or a new MOU between the Solicitor General and chair must be provided to the Secretary, Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet within six months of the new party or parties’ commencement.
  5. Either the Solicitor General or the chair, on behalf of the board of directors, may initiate a review of this MOU by written request to the other.
  6. If either of the parties deems it expedient to amend this MOU, they may do so only in writing. Any amendment shall only be effective after approval by the parties.
  7. A full review and replacement of this MOU will be conducted immediately in the event of a significant change to the council’s mandate, powers or governance structure as a result of an amendment to the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
  8. At a minimum, this MOU will be reviewed at least once every 5 years, or upon change in chair or Solicitor General, to ensure it is current and consistent with government expectations.

Signatures

Tim Beckett, Ontario Fire Marshal
Chair, Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council

Honourable Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General
Ministry of the Solicitor General

Date: 04/22/2022

Appendix 1: Applicable Government of Ontario directives

  1. The following TB/MBC and government directives, guidelines and policies apply to the agency:
    • Agencies & Appointments Directive
    • Accountability Directive
    • Advertising Content Directive
    • Open Data Directive
    • Perquisites Directive
    • Procurement Directive, as it applies in whole or in part
    • Procurement Directive on Advertising, Public and Media Relations and Creative Communications Services
    • Realty Directive as it applies in whole or in part
    • Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive
    • Management and Use of Information & Information Technology (I&IT) Directive in conjunction with the corporate policy on Recordkeeping; Managing, Distributing and Pricing Government Information (Intellectual Property) etc.
  2. The council is responsible for complying with all directives, policies and guidelines to which it is subject, irrespective of whether it is included on the list above.
  3. The ministry will inform the council of amendments or additions to directives, policies and guidelines that apply to the council.