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Backgrounder: Strengthening Public Safety In Ontario

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Backgrounder: Strengthening Public Safety In Ontario

The Technical Standards and Safety Authority

The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) is a not-for-profit corporation incorporated under the Corporations Act and a designated administrative authority under the Safety and Consumer Statutes Administration Act, 1996. It is responsible for the day-to-day delivery of regulatory services and ensuring technical safety in five key areas in Ontario:

  1. Upholstered and stuffed articles
  2. Boilers and pressure vessels
  3. Amusement and elevating devices
  4. Fuels safety
  5. Operating engineers.

Ontario's technical safety standards are among the best in the world. The proposed amendments to the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000, would further improve accountability and transparency of the Technical Standards and Safety Authority and strengthen the province's technical safety system.

Increasing public safety

  • Establish legislative authority for the Minister of Small Business and Consumer Services to guide the strategic focus of the TSSA by issuing policy directives.
  • Require the TSSA to appoint an independent Chief Risk and Safety Officer to provide independent review of the TSSA and to report annually and publicly on how the TSSA is meeting its public safety mandate.

Increasing accountability

  • Provide the Auditor General access to the TSSA's records should the auditor choose to conduct an audit
  • Provide the Minister of Small Business and Consumer Services with the power to appoint the Chair and Vice Chair from the members of the TSSA's Board of Directors.

Increasing transparency

  • Set out roles and responsibilities for the TSSA and the Minister of Small Business and Consumer Services and require a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services and the TSSA
  • Allow the TSSA to continue to operate as a self-financing organization.

In November 2008, Ontario's Propane Safety Review Panel delivered 40 recommendations designed to reinforce public safety in this province.

In making their recommendations, the panel stated that the building blocks for propane safety in Ontario were in place and had served the people of this province well over the years.

The government is committed to acting upon the panel's 40 recommendations. 

Two of the proposed legislative amendments to the Technical Standards and Safety Act address the panel recommendations. The remainder of the proposed amendments are in addition to the 40 recommendations made by the panel.

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