Building Ontario Up for Everyone Act (Budget Measures), 2016
Ontario is proposing legislation that would amend 27 statutes, enact four new ones and repeal three others. These include:
Ministry of Finance
- Modernizing the Land Transfer Tax Act to double the maximum Land Transfer Tax (LTT) refund to $4,000 for eligible first-time homebuyers, as of January 1, 2017. The proposed amendments also include marginal increases to LTT rates on one or two single-family residences on the portion of the purchase price above $2 million. For all other types of property, the increased LTT rate would apply only on the portion of the purchase price above $400,000. Revenue generated from proposed increased rates would be used to fund the enhancements to the First-time Homebuyers Refund.
- Establishing the initial parameters for the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario, a new independent and flexible regulator of financial services and pensions that would be more consumer-focused and improve protections for consumers, investors and pension plan beneficiaries.
- Amending the Pension Benefits Act to clarify the entitlements to portability of pension benefits and to give the Superintendent of Financial Services the authority to impose financial penalties in the pensions sector.
- Enabling regulations that would implement the recommendations from the review of Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994, including setting the deposit insurance coverage limit for non-registered deposits at $250,000.
- Extending Ontario Securities Commission whistleblower protections to employees who provide information about possible contraventions of Ontario commodity futures law.
- Introducing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Legislation Repeal Act, 2016 to dissolve the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) Administration Corporation and repeal other acts relating to the ORPP.
- Amending the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996 to establish a tax on spirits sold at distiller's on-site stores that will replace the current LCBO mark-up and commission structure and improve margins for spirits manufacturers. An exemption for promotional distribution of a specified annual amount will also be allowed. These changes will help distillers to attract new customers and grow their businesses.
- Amending the Tobacco Tax Act, extending certain raw leaf tobacco record keeping and reporting requirements to manufacturers who hold registration certificates. It also proposes expanding ministerial regulation-making authority as well as heavier penalties, fines and prison terms depending on the type of contravention or offence.
- Amending the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and the Municipal Act, 2001 to provide municipalities with increased flexibility to manage business property taxes, including business vacancy programs, and to enhance the fairness and effectiveness of Ontario's property tax and assessment system.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs
- Proposing that the head of council of every regional municipality, except for Oxford County, be elected by voters, beginning with the 2018 municipal election, through changes to the Municipal Act, 2001. Oxford County is excluded because it would require having to create an additional position and its chair is appointed among the democratically elected members of its council.
Ministry of Labour
- Amending the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act, 1993 to reflect the outcome of recent collective bargaining with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union to establish a standalone correctional bargaining unit.
- Amending the Occupational Health and Safety Act to allow for the creation of standards for an accreditation and employer recognition program for strong health and safety programs and practices, following recommendations of the 2010 Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health and Safety.
- Amending the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 to strengthen the College of Trades, ensure its sustainability, and increase the effectiveness of its regulatory, enforcement and administrative functions, while giving the skilled trades sector a direct role in its future.
- Amending the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 to improve the interest arbitration process for firefighters.