Taking Steps to Strengthen Government
Ontario Improving the Way Government Works for Families and Businesses
Ontario is making things easier for families and businesses by re-introducing the Strengthening and Improving Government Act, which would make amendments to existing legislation.
While this act re-introduces some elements from the 2013 bill, the efficiency and responsiveness of government would be improved by making other common-sense amendments to a total of 15 laws.
- The Highway Traffic Act would be amended to regulate non-emergency stretcher transportation vehicles and their drivers. This would allow passengers travelling on stretchers to be moved safely, such as when they are transported from one facility or location to another.
- The Courts of Justice Act would be amended to reflect new federal family laws that allow same-sex and other spouses who were married in Ontario but reside outside Canada to get a divorce if their union isn't recognized by the jurisdiction they live in now.
- The Family Law Act would now clarify that parents who use Ontario's proposed online Administrative Child Support Calculation Service have the same ongoing financial disclosure obligations as parents who obtain a child support order from a family court.
- The Provincial Offences Act would be amended to allow the Provincial Offences Courts to maintain an end-to-end electronic court record, from the filing of the charge to disposition of the case.
- The Occupational Health and Safety Act amendments are part of a broader initiative to implement the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. Canada has committed to implement this new system of standards for hazardous workplace chemicals.
- The City of Toronto Act would be amended to adjust provisions regarding the Toronto Transit Commission's (TTC) operation in nearby municipalities, which will help make it easier to operate the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension. The amendment was requested by the City of Toronto and York Region.
- The Municipal Act and the City of Toronto Act would be amended to have notices regarding education property taxes on municipal facilities directed to the Minister of Finance, instead of the Minister of Education.
- The Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Act would be amended to provide certainty with respect to the ownership of assets and obligations, allowing colleges to respond easily to questions about the continuity of ownership given prior changes in legislation relating to college boards.
- The Employment Standards Act (ESA) would be amended to make it clear that demands for money made to third parties, like banks, are valid for 365 days from the day they are served. This applies to situations where a third party owes money to or is holding money for a person who is liable to make a payment under the ESA (such as an employer).
- This proposed amendment to the Registered Human Resources Professionals Act would enable the government to add and amend designations for registered human resources professionals through regulation, rather than legislation.
- The Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act would be amended to provide immunity from lawsuits for Ontario Medical Association (OMA) representatives for negotiated agreements or when making recommendations to government. This amendment implements an already-approved provision of the 2012 Physician Services Agreement between the government and the OMA.
- This amendment to the Vital Statistics Act would allow the stock that is used for certificates and certified copies of registrations, such as long-form birth certificates, on which the signature of the Registrar General and/or Deputy Registrar General is reproduced, to continue to be used even if those individuals leave office.
- These amendments would repeal the City of Brantford Act and the City of Hamilton Act as broad licensing authority is provided by the Municipal Act, making the city-specific acts redundant. Both municipalities requested this change.
- The Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act would be amended to replace the reference to the Public Inquiries Act with a reference to the Public Inquiries Act, 2009.
This bill also re-introduces two minor items from Bill 31, the Making Ontario Roads Safer Act, which would allow for short-term suspensions for drug-impaired driving to be calculated in the same way as those for drinking and driving. It would also remove the requirement that a municipal bylaw needs to be in place to facilitate installation of pedestrian crossovers on provincial highways, where appropriate.
Strengthening and modernizing Ontario's laws and regulations is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
- Highway Traffic Act amendments would impact between 200,000 to 500,000 estimated trips for Ontarians requiring non-emergency stretcher transportation services each year.
- In 2013, there was an increase of more than 164.6 million trips on municipal transit systems in the GTHA, compared to 2003.
- The international standards being incorporated into the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System have been endorsed by the United Nations and are currently being implemented in other countries including the United States, Australia, China, members of the European Union, Japan, and New Zealand.
“We are committed to making Ontarians’ lives easier and we believe this legislation builds on that goal. We aim to improve the effectiveness of government so residents can access the services they need.”