Ontario Is Open For Business
McGuinty Government's Proposed Act Will Deliver Results For Business
As part of Open Ontario, the province is taking steps to support economic growth and foster simpler, better and faster interaction between government and business.
Today the province introduced the Open for Business Act that would, if passed, create a more competitive business climate, while protecting the environment and public interest. Among the over 100 proposed amendments, the Act would:
- Establish a modern, risk-based approach to environmental approvals, which could save businesses as much as 25 per cent of their project application costs.
- Enable faster and more efficient resolution of Employment Standards claims by addressing the current backlog, providing more powers to Employment Standards Officers and encouraging early resolution of disputes between employees and employers.
- Make it easier for professionals, such as internationally trained engineers, to work in Ontario by removing the citizenship requirements for a Professional Engineer Licence
The proposed changes would also harmonize Ontario's business practices with other North American jurisdictions, and were developed in consultation with stakeholders, including businesses as well as environmental and agriculture groups, labour organizations, engineers and architects.
The proposed Open for Business Act supports the Open Ontario Plan to create new opportunities for jobs and growth.
- The proposed risk-based approach for environmental approvals is consistent with practices in other jurisdictions, including British Columbia, California and New York.
- As a result of business tax cuts and the move to a harmonized sales tax, the tax on business investment in Ontario is being cut in half, making Ontario businesses even more competitive.
“Our government is committed to helping businesses focus on what they do best - creating jobs for Ontario families. We can protect the public interest without creating unnecessary barriers to business. The Open for Business Act will save businesses both time and money.”
“We are proposing a 21st century approval system that would enhance public transparency and environmental protection. This risk-based approach would focus resources on activities that pose the greatest risk to the environment and improve service to business.”
“Concrete measures to reduce red tape in Ontario are long overdue, particularly in the areas of labour and environment. Improvements will allow our members to spend more of their money advancing productivity and creating jobs, both of which are vitally important for Ontario's prosperity, rather than dealing with onerous and sometimes contradictory regulations.”