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Creating Jobs and Reducing Regulatory Burdens in 12 Sectors Across Ontario

Backgrounder

Creating Jobs and Reducing Regulatory Burdens in 12 Sectors Across Ontario

Ontario's government is putting people first by passing the Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act (Bill 66). Along with regulatory changes, the Act will reduce specific regulatory burdens in 12 sectors, helping businesses to grow — and open Ontario for business to create and keep good jobs.

Our government is taking over 30 actions to make it easier for businesses to create jobs and for people to find them. These actions will cut business costs, harmonize regulatory requirements with other provinces and states, end duplication and reduce barriers to investment.

This package:

Helps create a job-friendly flexible labour market

Ministry of Education
Removes restrictions on home-based child care providers, including allowing additional children, to make it easier for parents to find affordable child care
Changes under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 remove some restrictions on home-based child care providers, which increases flexibility in the number and ages of children they can care for. These changes also make life easier for parents and families by making affordable child care more available. This makes it easier for parents to re-enter the job market, and for employers to find the workers they need.

Ministry of Education
Lowers 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 allows children who are four years old to take part for up to three hours in authorized recreation programs before and after school. This increases access to programming, making life easier for parents — including making it easier to re-enter the workplace. It also maintains high standards and aligns rules with camps and kindergarten.

Ministry of Finance
Ends the requirement for a new regulation whenever businesses and non-profits merge single-employer pension plans into jointly sponsored pension plans (JSPPs)
The change under the Pension Benefits Act allows private-sector employers to more easily merge their single-employer pension plans with jointly sponsored pension plans. Eliminating the requirement to get government approval makes it easier for employers to reduce pension-plan risk by pooling their plans with other employers.

Ministry of Labour
Amends the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) to reduce regulatory burden on businesses, including no longer requiring them to obtain approval from the Director of Employment Standards for excess hours of work and overtime averaging
Eliminates the requirements for workers and employers to apply to the Ministry of Labour after they have both agreed to additional weekly hours of work and overtime averaging. Retains the requirement for written agreements with employees, but applying for permission from the Ministry of Labour is no longer necessary.

Ministry of Labour
Ends the requirement for employers to post the ESA poster in the workplace, but retains the requirement that they provide the poster to employees
Removes the requirement for employers to post in the workplace the Employment Standards Act poster, which shows Ontario workers their rights under the Employment Standards Act. Previously, employers needed to give each worker a copy of the poster and also post it somewhere in the workplace. They will continue to be responsible for sending a copy of the poster directly to their workers.

Protects industrial lands

Ministry of Finance
The government has confirmed with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) that it is assessing industrial properties on current permitted uses, not speculative uses
MPAC administers the property assessment system in Ontario. This measure provides greater certainty for Ontario's business community, and confirms that the methodology MPAC uses to assess business properties is based on permitted land uses only, not on speculative uses. This protects businesses from steep property tax increases on employment lands where land values have jumped because of new residential developments nearby.

The package also reduces regulatory burdens in 12 specific sectors so businesses can expand, which will create and protect good jobs.

Agriculture and food processing

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Removes outdated and time-consuming reporting requirements under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act, including ones required for loan guarantee programs
Previously, the Cabinet and Lieutenant Governor had to approve any changes to loan guarantee programs. This delayed changes needed to meet industry needs. The changes have given the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs 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 retains the authority over the amount and form of the guarantee.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Eliminates costly and prescriptive standards under the Milk Act, and adopts an outcomes-based approach in the regulations
Previous standards were outdated and costly. These amendments have adopted a more outcomes-based approach. This helps to reduce regulatory burden for existing, new and expanding dairy processors, small foodservice and retail operations — while continuing to protect food safety.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Changes under the Food Safety and Quality Act reduce paperwork and fees, and encourage additional business opportunities for provincially licensed meat processors
Previous standards were outdated and costly. These amendments have adopted a more outcomes-based approach while protecting Ontario's high food-safety standards and maintaining a rigorous inspection system. This helps to reduce regulatory burden for existing, new and expanding provincially licensed meat plants, such as small abattoirs, allowing them to focus on food safety and economic growth.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Amends the Agricultural Employees Protection Act (AEPA) to cover ornamental horticultural workers
These changes establish more equity, consistency and clarity among agricultural workers. They bring some ornamental horticultural farmers and their employees under the AEPA, ensuring the same protection as agricultural workers in other sectors. Previously, most of this small subset of workers was part of an exemption clause under the Labour Relations Act, 1995 — leaving them without legal protection. The amendment has clarified which workers the AEPA covers.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Streamlines the regulation under the Nutrient Management Act to remove the requirement to update the strategy every five years, if nothing has changed; increases flexibility to deal with nutrients from farm-like animals that are kept on facilities other than farms, such as game farms
These changes reduce the cost to Ontario farmers and allow for nutrients from farm-like animals to be treated in a similar fashion.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Proclaims into force the repeal of the Livestock Medicines Act and substitutes minimalist regulations under the Animal Health Act
The Livestock Medicines Act contained outdated and duplicative requirements, and legislation was passed to repeal it in 2009. The government has now brought this repeal into force, while maintaining key provisions around animal health in a new regulation under the Animal Health Act.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Enables amendments under the 
Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act to simplify delivery of programs and enhance responsiveness
Previous processes required a regulation to amend payment amounts. This created delays and prohibited accredited farm organizations from responding to funding needs.

Auto sector

Ministry of Labour
For regulations affecting assembly lines, added a new, targeted exemption from guardrail requirements for a conveyor and raised platform or a similar system
The Industrial Establishments regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act has 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 U.S. jurisdictions. 

Ministry of Transportation
Expands testing of connected and autonomous vehicles in Ontario
Expanding the autonomous vehicle (AV) pilot through changes to the Highway Traffic Act opens 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. This helps the CV/AV sector reduce barriers to immediate and long-term economic gains in and for Ontario.

Ministry of Transportation
Allows electric motorcycles on controlled highways
Changes to the Highway Traffic Act allow electric motorcycles on major highways, because of advancements in technology and in response to requests from the motorcycle industry. This expands options for customers and provides an economic boost to the industry.

Ministry of Transportation
Makes requirements more flexible about when motors on e-bicycles must disengage
This change under the Highway Traffic Act reduces the regulatory burden and responds to requests from industry stakeholders.

Construction

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Expands new Environmental Activity and Sector Registries (EASRs) for permits to take water
Ontario will expand the Environmental Activity and Sector 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 allows businesses to begin operations faster. At the same time, it continues to ensure that water takings in Ontario are managed in accordance with the province's strict environmental standards, and in keeping with the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement.

Ministry of Labour
Amends the Labour Relations Act, 1995 to explicitly deem public bodies, including municipalities, school boards, hospitals, colleges and universities, as "non-construction employers"
Certain broader public-sector entities had become subject to the specialized construction labour relations model in the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and bound to collective agreements for the construction industry, even though they are not actually in the construction business. This change explicitly deems municipalities, school boards, hospitals, colleges, universities and other public bodies to be "non-construction employers" under the Labour Relations Act, 1995. It also removes them from the construction labour relations model, which is an inappropriate model for broader public-sector entities. Affected employees can still organize and collectively bargain under the general provisions of the Labour Relations Act, 1995. Among other things, this change is expected to increase competitiveness for broader public-sector construction projects.

Electricity services

Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Repeals 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 sub-meter, and pay a USMP based on their individual electricity usage. The OEB had been given the authority in April 2018 under the Ontario Energy Board Act to regulate the rates that USMPs charged their customers. Repealing this authority before it came into effect avoids a regulatory burden on USMPs. This will save them an estimated $1.3 million per year, which would have been passed on to their customers. The market for USMPs remains competitive and incentivizes low rates. The repeal also reduces a barrier to investment by giving investors greater confidence in the competitiveness of this market.

Financial services

Ministry of Finance
Amends 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. Changes to regulations under the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994 allow credit unions in Ontario to enter into syndicated loan agreements led by banks and federally regulated credit unions. This helps them to better manage risk and compete, while expanding access to financing for their small-business customers.

Industrial and commercial facilities

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Simplifies and updates rules for operating engineers
Amendments to the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000 have given the government the authority to approve updated and more efficient rules for businesses. This reduces regulatory burden without compromising public safety. Simplified and updated rules for operating engineers who operate boiler and pressure vessel plants will cut business costs by up to $5 million annually and allow companies to adopt newer technologies.

Long-term care homes

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Modernizes and streamlines administrative requirements for the operators of long-term care (LTC) homes
Amendments to the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 make it easier for businesses in the LTC sector to operate by reducing red tape and administrative burdens. These changes affect the persons to whom LTC licensees are required to give notice when they withhold approval of admission, as well as public consultations on licensing transactions, temporary emergency licences and short-term authorizations. The amendments related to public consultations will help facilitate the commitment of adding 15,000 LTC beds in five years, and will reduce administrative burden for the government. They will also address business concerns of LTC licensees that are looking forward to the development of new LTC beds.

Manufacturing

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Eliminates regulatory and licensing requirements for upholstered and stuffed articles
Removing all Ontario-specific licensing and regulatory requirements for upholstered and stuffed articles reduces a long-standing burden on business and eliminates trade barriers. Industry sources have estimated that this change could save businesses an estimated $20 million annually. These items continue to be subject to the federal government's health and safety, and labelling requirements — as is the case in other provinces.

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Repeals the Toxics Reduction Act by 2021, to rely on the robust and science-based federal Chemicals Management Plan under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 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 substance reduction plans. The federal government's Chemicals Management Plan under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act also requires facilities to take action on shared toxic substances, which can include identifying options to reduce their use and release. By 2021, all substances regulated by Ontario will be assessed by the federal program.

To avoid unnecessary duplication, Ontario is repealing the Toxics Reduction Act in 2021, and relying on the federal government's rigorous and science-based approach to managing toxic substances.

In addition, for the 2018 calendar year and beyond, Ontario is providing immediate burden-reduction relief for industry by amending Ontario Regulation 455/09 to end all toxic substance reduction planning, as well as reporting on new toxic substances.

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Will 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. To reduce regulatory burden for facilities while maintaining oversight over release of industrial wastewater, the government is transferring applicable requirements from the nine regulations into the ECAs for these facilities, and then will revoke the nine regulations. These changes will allow businesses to have greater operational flexibility, such as the ability to implement changes to their production processes, so they can focus on being more innovative and competitive.

Ministry of Labour
Amends the 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
This change has amended the WHMIS regulation to allow updated labels to be placed on existing chemical containers. Without this change, existing chemicals would have needed to be disposed of, and new chemicals would have needed to be purchased. This change will save Ontario universities an estimated $60.2 million to $107.9 million.

Private career colleges

Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
Amends the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 to reduce administrative burdens
The changes create registration requirements that make sense, align tuition fee collection with the federal government and reduce unnecessary regulatory notices. They also maintain important information for students, and introduce modern and easy-to-use online services. The private career colleges sector will see annual savings of $460,000 in their business costs, including less paperwork. This will permit them to invest in quality programs, instructors and infrastructure to support a vocational training sector that provides the skilled workforce that employers need.

Second-hand market

Ministry of the Attorney General
Repeals the Pawnbrokers Act
Repeals an Act that is over 100 years old, outdated and that duplicates municipalities' existing bylaw-making and licensing authority. This change removes a layer of red tape and makes pawnbroker businesses subject to local bylaws, just like any other business.

Telecommunications

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Repeals the Wireless Services Agreements Act, 2013 and harmonizes with the federal government's national wireless code
Repealing this Act eliminates unnecessary duplication with federal law, making it easier and faster for consumers and businesses to understand their rights and obligations.

Trucking

Ministry of Transportation
Allows electronic documentation for International Registration Plans (IRPs)
These changes to the Highway Traffic Act 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 allows truck drivers and IRP jurisdictions increased flexibility in issuing and presenting a cab card.

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