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Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Ontario-Québec Chapter 3 Regulatory Cooperation Enhancements Working Group of September 2015

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Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Ontario-Québec Chapter 3 Regulatory Cooperation Enhancements Working Group of September 2015

Between the Government of Ontario and the Gouvernement du Québec

Office of the Premier

THE GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO

Represented by The Honourable Brad Duguid, in his capacity as Minister of Economic Development and Growth.

AND

THE GOUVERNEMENT DU QUÉBEC

Represented by Mrs. Lise Thériault, in her capacity as Vice-première ministre et Ministre responsable des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises, de l'Allègement réglementaire et du Développement économique régional and by Mr. Jean-Marc Fournier, in his capacity as Ministre responsable des Relations canadiennes et de la Francophonie canadienne.

PREAMBLE

WHEREAS, on September 11, 2009, the Government of Ontario and le gouvernement du Québec concluded the Ontario-Québec Trade and Cooperation Agreement (hereafter the "OQTCA");

WHEREAS the Parties concluded, on November 21, 2014, the Memorandum of Understanding between le gouvernement du Québec and the Government of Ontario regarding the revitalization of the Ontario-Québec Trade and Cooperation Agreement (hereafter the "MOU");

WHEREAS under the MOU, the Ontario-Québec Chapter 3 Regulatory Cooperation Enhancements Working Group (hereafter the "Working Group") was created to further enhance the commitment to share information on proposed regulations and on regulatory best practices, and to identify opportunities to harmonize regulatory requirements and remove unnecessary barriers to trade, investment and labour mobility with a view to having a tangible impact on business;

WHEREAS the Working Group has identified the following challenges regarding sharing of information and regulatory practices:

  •  lack of frequent contact does not facilitate the exchange of information;
  •  differences in the principles of good regulation can make regulatory cooperation more difficult;
  •  differences between regulations and standards of the two provinces may constitute obstacles to trade and result in unnecessary costs for companies;and
  •  lack of awareness by companies on how proposed regulations are made available for comment via the Gazette officielle du Québec and the Ontario Regulatory Registry combined with the time it takes to navigate between the two systems;

WHEREAS coordination by the Joint Committee on Regulatory Cooperation is the most effective way to implement the commitments of the Parties;

WHEREAS the Working Group made eight recommendations to improve information sharing on proposed regulations and regulatory best practices, and identify opportunities to harmonize regulatory requirements and remove unnecessary barriers to trade, investment and labour mobility;

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, THE PARTIES AGREE AS FOLLOWS:


  1.  OBJECTIVE OF THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

The Parties will work together to implement the following eight recommendations:

Recommendation 1: The Joint Committee on Regulatory Cooperation should implement the recommendations subject to Ontario and Québec Cabinets' approval and its work plans should be guided by these recommendations.

Recommendation 2: The Ontario-Québec Joint Committee on Regulatory Cooperation (JCRC) should meet more regularly by committing to quarterly conference calls and one face-to-face meeting each year to strengthen information sharing between Ontario and Québec. 

Recommendation 3: Ontario and Québec to harmonize their regulatory policy principles.

Recommendation 4: Each party to adopt an Ontario-Québec clause as part of its respective regulatory policies to encourage the harmonization of new or amended legislation and regulations between the two provinces. 

Recommendation 5: To help the business community learn about Ontario and Québec regulatory proposals, Ontario will add a link to the Québec Gazette's website and Québec will add a link to Ontario's Regulatory Registry.

Recommendation 6:  The Joint Committee on Regulatory Cooperation should work with the Private Sector Advisory Committee to identify regulatory barriers to trade.

Recommendation 7:  A Québec-Ontario working group should be established to consider opportunities to align their Oversize/Overweight Permit programs for commercial vehicles.

Recommendation 8:  When updating standards in regulations, Ontario and Québec should look for harmonization opportunities. 

 

  1. IMPLEMENTATION

The Joint Committee on Regulatory Cooperation, as defined by Article 3.6 of the OQTCA, will ensure the implementation of this Memorandum of Understanding.

It will also provide, on a regular basis, progress reports and their updates to the Ministers responsible for economic development in Québec and Ontario.

 

  1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Nothing in this Memorandum of Understanding derogates from the powers, rights or privileges of legislatures or governments of Ontario and Québec, including any powers, rights or privileges relating to language, nor can it affect the interpretation of any legislation, regulation, by-law or order made under an Act, or the validity of the measures undertaken by the Ontario or Québec, or by one of their public bodies.

Either Party may terminate this agreement by providing at least three (3) months written notice to the other party.

The Parties may amend any provision of this agreement by a written agreement signed by each party.

Signed, on this 21 day of October 2016, in French and English, both versions being equally authentic.

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