Ontario Bringing Industry To The Table
McGuinty Government Saving Businesses Time And Money
Ontario is making it easier for businesses to focus on what they do best - create jobs - by cutting red tape and unnecessary regulations.
The Open for Business Act (2010), which delivered more than 100 changes, along with the Good Government Act (2009), the 2009 Ontario Budget and other measures are helping to save businesses time and money in many ways. Some of the benefits resulting from these initiatives include:
- A new toll-free number to provide businesses with a single contact for government programs and services, instead of 160 different numbers.
- Regulations now come into effect twice a year on two routine dates - January 1st and July 1st - giving businesses greater predictability and helping them plan ahead.
- Making it easier for professionals, such as internationally trained engineers, to work in Ontario by removing the citizenship and permanent residency requirements for a Professional Engineer Licence.
- The new harmonized tax system provides businesses with one set of forms, one point of contact and savings of more than $500 million annually in compliance costs.
- Establishing a modern approach to environmental approvals consistent with other jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, California and New York.
- Complete overhaul of Ontario Business Program Guide, a resource for Ontario government programs and services for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The province is reducing barriers for business through the Open for Business initiative, which is achieving real results, including a 15 per cent reduction in regulatory burden across government.
The Business Sector Strategy is also delivering results. Through direct consultations, key industry sectors identify their top five concerns and the province then provides solutions within 60 days. Sectors already completed or underway include: information and communications technology, building and land development, medical technology, agriculture and agrifood, and manufacturing. Consultations with the hospitality industry begin next week.
The province is also improving the consistency, quality and accessibility of over 500 business service standards. Businesses now have regular communication with the government throughout the decision-making process. This has already made services faster, smarter and easier for businesses. In April 2011, service standards will also become interactive and easy to use online.
Making things easier for business is part of the Open Ontario plan, which is focused on creating jobs and strengthening the economy to enhance programs and services in the education and health care systems Ontario families rely on.
- Ontario eliminated a backlog of approximately 1,700 applications for environmental Certificates of Approval.
- Ontario has also cut the time business spends filing taxes. Under the Harmonized Sales Tax, businesses only need to file one tax return, instead of two.
- Businesses can call 1-888-745-8888 to connect with federal, provincial and municipal government programs and services.
“Supporting business in their efforts to save time and money has been a key priority for this government. We went directly to each sector to find out how we could make their businesses more efficient. Our emphasis in this exercise was to respond to what the business community really needs to see changed in order to increase the success of Ontario businesses.”
“It's not about the number of regulations being reduced, it's about the kind of regulations that are being eliminated. This collaborative process is breaking new ground. We now know that when we bring our issues to the table, Ontario is open and eager to listen and work with us. We're asking other provinces to follow Ontario's lead and help create more jobs.”