Proposed 'red tape' reductions includes lifting home-based
day care restrictions
The provincial government unveiled today its Restoring Ontario's
Competitiveness Act, 2018 containing more than 30 proposed "actions"
across 11 Ministries.
The "package" was announced this afternoon by Todd Smith,
Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. (Mr. Smith
replaced Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson who was the Minister of this
portfolio until he was forced out of Cabinet and the PC Party caucus
"If passed, the Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act will,
along with regulatory changes, cut business costs, harmonize regulatory
requirements with other jurisdictions, end duplication and reduce
barriers to investment."
Proposed changes include:
Ministry of Education
These proposed changes under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014
would remove some restrictions on home-based child care providers,
which would increase flexibility in the number and ages of children
they can care for.
Lower the age of children that authorized recreation programs can serve
from six to four
This change under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 would allow
children who are four years old to take part for up to three hours in
authorized recreation programs before and after school.
Ministry of Finance
The proposed change under the Pension Benefits Act would allow
private-sector employers to more easily merge their single-employer
pension plans with jointly sponsored pension plans.
The government will confirm with the Municipal Property Assessment
Corporation (MPAC) that industrial properties will be assessed based on
current permitted uses, not speculative uses
MPAC administers property assessment and appeals of assessment. The
proposed measure under the Assessment Act would provide greater
certainty for Ontario's business community, and would confirm that the
methodology MPAC uses to assess business properties is based on
permitted land uses only, not on speculative uses. This would protect
businesses on employment lands where land values have jumped because of
new residential developments nearby from steep property tax increases.
Amend regulations so credit unions are no longer restricted from
participating in bank-led loan syndications. In a loan syndication,
each member of a group of lenders funds a varying portion of a loan to
a single borrower. The proposed change to regulations under the Credit
Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994 would allow credit unions in
Ontario to enter into syndicated loan agreements led by banks and
federally regulated credit unions.
Ministry of Labour Amend the Labour Relations Act, 1995 to explicitly deem
including municipalities, school boards, hospitals, colleges and
universities, as "non-construction employers." Certain broader
public-sector entities have become bound to collective
agreements for the construction industry, even though they are not
actually in the construction business. This proposal would explicitly
deem municipalities, school boards, hospitals, colleges, universities
and other public bodies to be "non-construction employers" under the
Labour Relations Act, 1995.
Amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) to no longer
requiring them to obtain approval from the Director of Employment
Standards for excess hours of work and overtime averaging. These
proposed changes would eliminate the requirement for employers to apply
for Ministry of Labour approval for excess weekly hours of work and
overtime averaging. It would retain these requirements for
employee-written agreements. These changes would set four weeks as the
maximum time that an employer could average an employee's hours of work
for the purposes of determining overtime pay.
Stop requiring employers to post the ESA poster in the workplace, but
retain the requirement that they provide the poster to employees.
For regulations affecting assembly lines, add a new, targeted exemption
from guardrail requirements for a conveyor and raised platform or a
The Industrial Establishments regulation under the Occupational Health
and Safety Act has recently been amended to add a new, targeted
exemption from guardrail requirements for vehicle conveyors and similar
systems, and associated raised platforms used with vehicle conveyors or
similar systems. The amendment also specifies that other measures and
procedures must be developed and implemented to protect workers from
the hazard of falling where this new or other existing guardrail
exemptions apply. This change reduces regulatory burden for vehicle and
vehicle part manufacturers by more closely aligning with regulations in
Amend Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to allow
updated labels to be placed on existing chemical containers. Without
this change, existing chemicals would need to be disposed of, and new
chemicals would need to be purchased.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Introduce a new economic development tool and remove planning barriers
to expedite major business investments and speed up approvals so they
would be completed within one year. Municipalities would have the
option to use the streamlined process so they could act quickly to
attract major employers. The aim is to have all provincial approvals in
place within one year so qualifying businesses can begin construction.
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Currently, the Cabinet and Lieutenant Governor must approve any changes
to loan guarantee programs. The proposed changes would provide the
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs with the authority to
establish or make changes to loan guarantee programs not affecting the
amount or form of the guarantee through a Minister's Order. The
Lieutenant Governor would retain the authority over the amount and form
of the guarantee.
Eliminate prescriptive standards under the Milk Act.
Proposed changes under the Food Safety and Quality Act will reduce
paperwork and fees for provincially licensed meat processors.
Amend the Agricultural Employees Protection Act (AEPA) to cover
ornamental horticultural workers. They would bring ornamental
horticultural farmers and their employees under the AEPA, ensuring the
same protection as agricultural workers in other sectors. Currently,
most of this small subset of workers is part of an exemption clause
under the Labour Relations Act, 1995 — leaving them without legal
protection. The proposed amendment would clarify which workers the AEPA
Streamline the regulation under the Nutrient Management Act to remove
the requirement to update the strategy every five years, if nothing has
changed; increase flexibility to deal with nutrients from farm-like
animals that are kept on facilities other than farms, such as game farms
Proclaim into force the repeal of the Livestock Medicines Act and
substitute minimalist regulations under the Animal Health Act. The
Livestock Medicines Act was passed to repeal it in 2009. The government
now proposes to bring the repeal into force, while maintaining key
provisions around animal health in a new regulation under the Animal
Enable amendments under the Farm Registration and Farm Organizations
Existing processes require a regulation to amend payment amounts. This
creates delays and prohibits accredited farm organizations from
responding to funding needs.
Ministry of Transportation
Expand the autonomous vehicle (AV) pilot through changes to the Highway
Traffic Act would open the door to new CV/AV testing (connected
vehicles/autonomous vehicles) and R&D opportunities in Ontario for
local business interests and international sector investments.
Through changes to the Highway Traffic Act, electric motorcycles would
be allowed on major highways, because of advancements in technology and
in response to requests from the motorcycle industry.
Make requirements more flexible about when motors on e-bicycles must
Allow electronic documentation for International Registration Plans
These proposed changes to the Highway Traffic Act would allow
commercial truck drivers the option of an electronic cab card, making
it easier to confirm driver credentials and reduce paperwork. As well
as reducing red tape, this change would allow truck drivers and IRP
jurisdictions increased flexibility in issuing and presenting a cab
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Ontario proposes to expand the Environmental Activity and System
Registry regulation for low-risk water takings - such as ones in which
water is removed for a short time only and then returned to a nearby
point, with no significant change to water quantity or quality. Moving
these activities to a permit-by-rule system would allow businesses to
begin operations faster.
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Repeal the authority of the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to set rates for
Unit Sub Metering Providers (USMPs). Some people live in an apartment
or condo unit that has its own electricity meter, and pay a USMP based
on their individual hydro usage. The OEB currently has the authority
under the Ontario Energy Board Act to regulate the energy rates these
USMPs charge their customers.
Repeal the Toxics Reduction Act by 2021, remove the toxics reduction
plan in 2019 and rely on Federal Chemicals Management Plan, as other
provinces do. Under Ontario's Toxics Reduction Act, 2009, regulated
facilities need to report publicly on their use of certain toxic
substances, and are required to identify options to reduce them through
toxic reduction plans every five years. The federal government's
Chemicals Management Plan also requires facilities to take action on
toxic substances, which can include identifying options to reduce their
use. By 2021, all substances regulated by Ontario will be covered by
the federal program.
Ontario proposes to no longer require facilities to create or review
their toxics reduction plans as the federal government finalizes its
approach to these substances. The Ontario government also proposes to
repeal the Toxics Reduction Act in 2021 and defer to the federal
government's Chemicals Management Plan for action on toxic substances.
Revoke nine regulations related to the Municipal Industrial Strategy
for Abatement (MISA) and insert these requirements into Environmental
Compliance Approvals (ECAs)
In Ontario, 113 facilities are currently subject to nine
sector-specific industrial wastewater regulations, as well as
site-specific ECAs. The government would transfer applicable
requirements from the nine regulations into the ECAs for these
facilities, and then revoke the nine regulations.
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Amendments to the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000. Simplified
and updated rules for operating engineers who operate boiler and
pressure vessel plants would become effective after further
consultation with stakeholders.
Removing all Ontario-specific licensing and regulatory requirements for
upholstered and stuffed articles. These items will continue to be
subject to the federal government's health and safety, and labelling
requirements - as is the case in other provinces.
Repeal the Wireless Services Agreements Act, 2013 and harmonize with
the federal government's national wireless code.
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Modernize and streamline administrative requirements for the operators
of long-term care (LTC) homes. These changes would affect the persons
to whom LTC licensees would be required to give notice when they
withhold approval of admission, as well as public consultations on
licensing transactions, temporary emergency licences and short-term
Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
Amend the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005. These proposed changes
would create registration requirements that align tuition fee
collection with the federal government. They would also maintain
important information for students, and introduce modern and
easy-to-use online services.
Ministry of the Attorney General
Repeal the Pawnbrokers Act to make pawnbroker businesses subject to
local bylaws, just like any other business.