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Regulation and Fee Changes Coming Into Force January 1, 2018

Archived Backgrounder

Regulation and Fee Changes Coming Into Force January 1, 2018

Office of the Premier

The following legislation and regulation changes will come into effect on January 1 2018, listed alphabetically by responsible ministry:

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

A regulation under the Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act is being amended to:

  • Introduce a stepped increase to the payment farm businesses are required to make to accredited farm organizations: $225 (plus HST), effective January 1, 2018 to $240 (plus HST), effective January 1, 2020 to $255 (plus HST), effective January 2022
  • Allow the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to expand how data collected under the act can be used to include the ability to share with the federal government
  • Update what information OMAFRA can collect as part of the long form farm registration.

Regulations under the Farm Products Payments Act and Livestock and Livestock Products Act are being amended to modernize the rules for feeder and breeder co-operatives to be eligible for compensation under the Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program. This change will ensure that if individual members of a beef cattle co-operative do not follow the rules of the program, they will not jeopardize the claims made to the program by other members of the same cooperative. The changes will also clarify that both feeder cattle co-operatives and breeder co-operatives enjoy the same rights to make claims for compensation under the program in the event of non-payment.

Amendments made in January 2016 under the Food Safety and Quality Act allowed a two-year transition period for maple product processors and will be effective as of January 1, 2018 including:

  • New grade and colour classifications
  • Requiring all equipment, utensils, containers or other food contact surfaces that come in contact with maple products to be made of non-toxic food grade material
  • Requiring a lot code to identify the maple syrup's production lot.

Ministry of the Attorney General

Under the Public Accounting Act, Ontario is reducing the size of the Public Accountants Council for the Province of Ontario from 17 to 11, reflecting the merger of three accounting bodies in the province into one body, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario: the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, the Certified Management Accountants of Ontario and the Certified General Accountants Association of Ontario.

To support and enhance governance of architects, updates to the Architects Act will amend elections to:

  • Add a seat for licensed technologists on the Council of the Ontario Association of Architects
  • Establish Council term limits
  • Allow for electronic ballots. 

Ministry of Children and Youth Services

As outlined in the Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, the age of protection is being raised from 16 to 18. By increasing the age of protection, 16- and 17-year-olds who are in need of protection will be eligible for the full range of child protection services, which will give them better opportunities to get the support they need, reach their full potential and have better outcomes as they transition to adulthood.

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Regulations under the Ontario Immigration Act will come into effect that will create a regulatory structure to deliver the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The act and its regulations supports the province's work with the federal government to recruit and select skilled immigrants, strengthens efforts to reduce immigration fraud and increases transparency and information-sharing with partners.

Ministry of Community and Social Services

Regulations under the Ontario Works Act are being amended to extend mandatory dental benefits for children in families who receive Ontario Works and live in First Nation communities until the implementation plan for Healthy Smiles Ontario is finalized.

Regulations under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Act will be amended to allow a tenant of a Home for Special Care (HSC) to continue to be eligible for ODSP if they move out of the home. Currently, people who live in these homes are in a prescribed class. This means that they are eligible for ODSP as a person with a disability based on living in these homes. The change allows tenants to remain in a prescribed class if they leave the home. No matter where a former resident of an HSC moves, they will be supported with a seamless transition and will not have to go through the ODSP adjudication process.

Regulations under the Regulatory Modernization Act have been amended to designate the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act (SIPDDA). This designation will give the ministry the authority to:

  • Publicly post information from compliance inspections of SIPDDA-funded transfer payment agencies within the adult developmental services sector
  • Enter into information-sharing agreements with other ministries on compliance
  • Allow inspections under other legislation that may apply to the operation of SIPDDA-funded developmental services agencies and Developmental Services Ontario offices.

Regulations under the Social Work and Social Service Work Act have been amended to:

  • Create a new Retired and Inactive registration class in the Ontario College of Social Work and Social Service Work (the College)
  • Eliminate the Provisional registration class
  • Improve the current wording that refers to applicants as being "mentally competent" to "practice social work" or "social service work"
  • Give the College the authority to request information and documents related to a member's continuing ability to practice social work under the guidelines approved by Council.

Ministry of Economic Development and Growth

Changes under the Reducing Regulatory Costs for Business Act will help small businesses grow and cut red tape by:

  • Reducing regulatory costs: Requiring all ministries to offset every dollar of new administrative costs to business by removing $1.25 of old and unnecessary costs
  • Streamlining compliance for small business: Ensuring that undue burdens aren't placed on small businesses when new or amended regulations are introduced, while maintaining robust environmental, health and safety requirements and other public interest protections
  • International or national standards alignment: Increasing harmonization with other jurisdictions and adopting international or national standards, where appropriate, when developing or reviewing regulations
  • Rewarding good actors: Recognizing businesses that have a good compliance record and lowering their costs by reducing the requirements, such as the number of inspections, without compromising the environment, health and safety, and other protections
  • Electronic transmission guarantee: Providing businesses the option to electronically submit any required documentation to the Government of Ontario instead of more costly paper submissions.

Ministry of Energy

Under the Green Energy Act, new energy efficiency standards will apply to products if they are manufactured on or after January 1, 2018 for:

  • Single-package vertical air conditioners or heat pumps
  • Geothermal, liquid-to-air heat pumps
  • Three-phase induction motors
  • Dry-type transformers.

Water efficiency standards, in addition to existing energy efficiency standards, will begin to apply to residential and commercial washing machines and to residential dishwashers for products manufactured on or after January 1, 2018.

Additionally, updated energy efficiency standards will take effect for commercial icemakers and fluorescent general service lamps manufactured after January 1, 2018.

Changes under the Ontario Energy Board Act will enhance consumer protection by giving the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) increased regulatory authority over condo and apartment units in the province.

Changes under the Electricity Act will ensure that Class B standalone energy storage facilities will only pay Global Adjustment on the energy they consume, not the energy they return to the grid for other customers. This is part of the province's ongoing efforts to address barriers that may prevent energy storage from participating equitably in Ontario's electricity markets.

Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

Beginning January 1, 2018, Ontario will link its carbon market with Québec and California. This will make the program more cost-effective and support greater compliance with those participating in the market.

The Ontario Offset Credits Regulation under the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act will come into effect and enable the creation of offset credits for use in the province's cap and trade program. Offset credits created under this regulation can be used by participants in the linked market to meet a compliance obligation.

Through amendments to Ontario Regulation 169/03, the Drinking Water Quality Standards, Ontario will enforce a more stringent standard for arsenic. Amendments to the Drinking Water Testing Services regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act will make it mandatory for all laboratories licensed to analyze drinking water tests to submit all test results to the ministry. 

Ministry of Finance

Amendments under the Taxation Act will provide increased support for small businesses and enhance their competitiveness by cutting the small business corporate income tax (CIT) rate to 3.5 per cent, down from 4.5 per cent. This would represent a 22 per cent reduction in the CIT rate for small businesses. Correspondingly, the dividend tax credit rate for non-eligible dividends will decrease by one percentage point to 3.2863 per cent.

Amendments under the Municipal Act and the City of Toronto Act will allow municipalities to better tailor the Vacant Unit Rebate program to reflect community needs and circumstances, while considering the interests of local businesses.

Additional amendments to the City of Toronto Act and the Municipal Act will come into effect to enable Toronto to impose a vacant homes property tax and allow the Minister of Finance to extend this authority to other municipalities through regulation.

Amendments to the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act will:

  • Raise the deposit insurance limit for non-registered deposits from $100,000 to $250,000
  • Remove differentiated rules for small credit unions
  • Permit credit unions to enter into loan syndication agreements with credit unions in other provinces
  • Permit credit unions to establish or acquire a corporation that is an insurance agent or a registered insurance broker
  • Include credit unions as permissible financial institutions.

As part of Ontario's ongoing work to address the unregulated tobacco market, the province has amended the Tobacco Tax Act to restrict the importation and possession of cigarette filter components, such as acetate tow, to registered manufacturers unless otherwise specified in regulation. These changes will help Ontario manage and control access to key tobacco inputs in the supply chain. This will help reduce the supply of untaxed, unregulated tobacco products in the Ontario market, which undermine the government's health and fiscal objectives.

To support the new rules regarding oversight of cigarette filter components, a new regulation under the Tobacco Tax Act will define cigarette filter components and outline certain exemptions through which the new requirements would not apply.

Amendments under the Pension Act include:

  • Extending the exemption of certain Jointly Sponsored Pension Plans and Specified Ontario Multi-Employer Pension Plans from filing an annual actuarial valuation if the plan's solvency funded ratio falls below 85 per cent from December 31, 2017 to December 31, 2019
  • Making permanent the temporary exemption from the requirement to file a reference valuation for certain Jointly Sponsored Pension Plans
  • Providing the Superintendent of Financial Services with the authority to impose administrative penalties in the pension sector
  • Allowing those who were imposed by an administrative penalty the right to appeal before the Financial Services Tribunal
  • Prohibiting an administrator appointed by the Superintendent of Financial Services from purchasing life annuities on wind-up without the Superintendent's approval
  • Allowing the Superintendent of Financial Services to defer the approval of the purchase of some or all of the annuities for the purpose of distributing assets of the plan, in connection with a plan wind-up, if the superintendent determines that the annuity purchase would adversely affect the financial position of the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (PBGF)
  • Permitting the Superintendent to defer the approval of the purchase of some or all of the annuities for a period of up to 10 years after the approval of the wind-up report and determine the timing and manner of payment, from the PBGF, of benefits guaranteed by the PBGF
  • Requiring the administrator to purchase an annuity that has been approved by the Superintendent within 60 days or within a time period that is considered appropriate by the Superintendent
  • Adding public sector pension plans to stage 2 solvency funding relief, which allows a plan's solvency deficit to be amortized over a period of 10 years (rather than the usual five years), for University of Waterloo faculty and staff, the public service and TVO employees.

Amendments under the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO) Act will provide voting rights to IMCO members on the basis where each dollar represents one vote. This structure will enable appropriate and fair input from all IMCO members in the corporation's governance.

Ministry of Francophone Affairs

Regulations under the French Language Services Act are being amended to revoke the designations of agencies that no longer exist or no longer deliver services on behalf of the province. These include Penetanguishene General Hospital (PGH) and the Champlain and North East Community Care Access Centres (CCACs).

The services provided by PGH will continue to be provided by Georgian Bay General Hospital and, for the former CCACs, by the Champlain and North East Local Health Integration Networks.

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Changes to the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act will strengthen protection for buyers purchasing certain residential condominiums that were converted from existing buildings, such as churches or schools, by:

  • Extending mandatory warranty coverage to certain residential condominium conversion projects (RCCPs)
  • Regulating builders and vendors of RCCPs by setting out terms and conditions for registration, including reporting requirements
  • Requiring certain documents be provided to Tarion before construction, including a Property Assessment Report, a Capital Replacement Plan and a Pre-Existing Elements Fund Study
  • Specifying the time period over which expected major repairs to the pre-existing elements are expected to take place.

Changes to the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act will also strengthen protection for buyers of newly built homes by extending deposit protection to include other payments for things like upgrades and extras, as well as introducing new deposit protection measures that better reflect today's home prices and deposit requirements.

Amendments under the Condominium Act will require condo corporations to submit information to the registrar appointed by the new Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) on a periodic basis. It would include information such as the condo corporation's address for service, the names of the condo's directors, and the date of the last Annual General Meeting. The Registrar of the CAO would be required to maintain a database of this information and, on April 1, 2018, make it available to the public on its website. These changes will increase transparency about condo corporations in Ontario.

Amendments under the Payday Loans Act will help the province and municipalities better protect some of Ontario's most financially vulnerable consumers by allowing Ontario municipalities to restrict the areas in which payday loan shops open and the number that can operate in a given area. 

Amendments to the Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act will regulate debt collection by purchasers of overdue debt, improve compliance through the use of administrative penalties on persons that contravene the act, including debt collectors, collection agencies and debt settlement service providers, and reduce regulatory burden by ending individual collector registration. The end of collector registration will mean that fees are revised to eliminate the collection of registration fees from individual collectors. No new fees are created and no fees are increased.

Amendments to the Consumer Protection Act will ban the expiration of reward points based only on the amount of time passed since they were earned. The changes are also retroactive to October 1, 2016. This will help protect consumers' reward points that were being saved for larger purchases. The rules are not an all-out ban on expiring points. The changes will allow the expiry of rewards points if a member does not earn or redeem their points over a long period of time as outlined in the membership agreement presented to the consumer upon their acceptance into the rewards program. Rewards programs that offer low-value items of $50 or less, do not involve the exchange of money for a good or service and punch cards will be exempt.

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

A regulation under the Ontario Drug Benefit Act will be amended to make the changes required to develop and implement OHIP+, which will extend drug and benefits coverage for everyone under 25 years of age who is OHIP-insured.

A regulation under the Healthy Menu Choices Act will be amended to change the contextual statement accompanying calorie information that is required to be posted by regulated food-service premises.

A regulation under the Homes for Special Care Act will be amended to provide an increase of three per cent in the per diem rate licensed operators of a home for special care receive. Operators will now receive $1,602.80 per month and the per diem will increase to $52.69. This will support ongoing modernization of the program and will assist home operators with inflationary increases in home operating costs, properly maintaining buildings and services, and moving towards best practices in delivering supportive care services to tenants as part of Ontario's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy Update.

A regulation under the Ontario Drug Benefit Act will be amended to ensure that residents of homes in the Homes for Special Care Program continue to receive public drug benefits without disruption as this program undergoes modernization.

As part of the Ontario Immigration Act, 2015, amendments to the Regulated Health Professions Act will be brought into force that will authorize the making of regulations requiring that decisions, notices and written reasons relating to registration matters be provided within a reasonable time. In addition, the amendments would require health regulatory colleges to establish a process to deal with requests from registration applicants for access to information and documents relating to their files, and authorize the health regulatory colleges to charge fees relating to responding to such requests.

A regulation under the Electronic Cigarettes Act will come into effect that will revoke regulatory provisions that never came into force related to designated vaping areas on outdoor grounds of specified public buildings.

A regulation under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act will come into effect that will revoke regulatory provisions related to designated smoking areas on outdoor grounds of public hospitals, private hospitals, psychiatric facilities and certain Ontario government properties. These grounds will now become completely smoke-free.

Regulations under the Medical Radiation Technology Act will be amended to make "soundwaves for diagnostic ultrasound" a form of energy that falls within the scope of practice for the profession of medical radiation technology. The existing reference to "electromagnetism" will be removed. The amendments will also create a specialty class certificate for diagnostic medical sonography and set the requirements to practice it. There will be a one-year grandparenting period to permit people working in diagnostic medical sonography to apply to register for the new class without having to meet all of the new registration requirements.

A regulation under the Regulated Health Professions Act is being amended to limit who can apply soundwaves for diagnostic ultrasound to members of the College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario and certain other regulated health professions. A number of other housekeeping amendments are also being made. One of the amendments to the regulation will not come into force until January 1, 2019 in order to allow for the grandparenting period referenced above.

A number of regulations under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) are being amended:

  • A regulation under the HPPA (Control of West Nile Virus) will be amended to give more flexibility to medical health officers in instructing municipalities on adulticiding/larviciding for West Nile Virus
  • A regulation under the HPPA dealing with Transitional Small Drinking Water Systems will be repealed. Small drinking water systems are already subject to Regulation 319/08 under the HPPA
  • A regulation under the HPPA (Communicable Diseases -- General) is being updated to change terminology to reflect current public health practice. It will also update requirements to handle corpses infected with a communicable disease such as Ebola, and will allow public health inspectors, as well as medical officers of health, to confine a dog, cat or ferret in the case that it is suspected that these animals have rabies
  • A regulation under the HPPA (Qualifications of Boards of Health Staff) will be amended to remove all qualifications except for medical officers of health and public health nurses. The qualifications will be outlined in the Ontario Public Health Standards
  • A regulation under the HPPA (Reports) will be amended to update the kinds of disease reports that need to be provided by health care providers and laboratories. Seasonal influenza will not need to be reported. The regulation will also include new reporting requirements for Hepatitis C for laboratories.

The regulation under the Long-Term Care Homes Act will be amended to:

  • Permit the director under the act (a ministry official) to designate specialized units on his or her own initiative
  • Permit the director under the act to designate reunification priority access beds to reunite spouses/partners
  • Permit the ministry to serve documents by commercial courier and provide that service is deemed to be effective on the second business day after the courier received the documents
  • Permit the director under the act or the minister to disclose personal information to a regulated health profession college and the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers to administer or enforce the legislation that governs the professions regulated by these colleges.

Ministry of Housing

While a few sections of the Rental Fairness Act came into effect upon Royal Assent, including the expansion of rent control, the majority of the sections come into force effective January 1, 2018, including amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) that will:

  • Strengthen protections for tenants by:
    • Clarifying that landlords are prohibited from collecting additional fees and penalties from former tenants
    • Requiring the Landlord and Tenant Board to delay or deny an above-guideline rent increase (AGI) if any elevator-related work orders are outstanding
    • Providing regulation-making authority to tighten capital expenditure eligibility provisions for AGIs
  • Mitigate the impact of carbon costs on tenants by removing AGIs for extraordinary utility charge increases
  • Provide a new exemption from the RTA for transitional housing programs for up to four years, as long as certain criteria are met
  • Improve processes at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) by:
    • Simplifying eviction applications based on a tenant's second breach of their obligations
    • Simplifying enforcement by enabling the LTB to combine orders and mediated agreements
    • Allowing the LTB to order remedies to tenants if a landlord does not give them the right of first refusal after evicting them to repair or renovate the unit.

Amendments are being made under the Housing Services Act to:

  • Update household income and high-need household income limit information to reflect updated data provided by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, as required under the Social Housing Agreement
  • Expand the Special Priority Policy to include survivors of human trafficking, make the policy more culturally inclusive, and reflect the pattern of abuse experienced by some survivors
  • Exempt the transfer of the Sunshine Homes social housing property in Kingston from the land transfer tax
  • Exempt the transfer of the two social housing properties owned by Union Housing Opportunities in Peel and Halton Regions from the land transfer tax.

Ministry of Infrastructure

A regulation setting out requirements for municipal asset management planning will come into effect to help municipalities better understand their infrastructure needs and inform infrastructure planning and investment decisions. It will also promote standardization and consistency in municipal asset management planning throughout Ontario. The regulation will be phased in over six years, starting July 1, 2019, and compliance with the final set of requirements will be due by July 1, 2024.

A regulation under the Development Charges Act is being amended to align with the Ministry of Infrastructure's asset management planning requirements.

Ministry of Labour

As part of Ontario's plan for fair workplaces and better jobs, the following changes to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) will come into force on January 1, 2018, including:

  • Raising Ontario's general minimum wage to $14 per hour
  • Expanding personal emergency leave so that it also applies to employees in workplaces with fewer than 50 employees, and providing that two days are paid for employees who have been employed for at least one week
  • Banning employers from requiring a doctor's sick note from an employee taking personal emergency leave
  • Providing up to 17 weeks off when a worker or their child has experienced or is threatened with domestic or sexual violence, including paid leave for the first five days
  • Increasing paid vacation to three weeks after five years of service with the same employer
  • Removing the provision that requires proof of intent or effect when determining whether businesses carrying on associated or related activities can be treated as one employer and held jointly and severally liable for monies owing under the act
  • Increasing the length of the potential extension to the 17-week leave from up to six weeks to up to 12 weeks for an employee who suffers a pregnancy loss
  • Increasing Family Medical Leave from up to eight weeks in a 26-week period to up to 28 weeks in a 52-week period
  • Creating a separate leave for child death from any cause for a period of up to 104 weeks
  • Establishing a separate leave for crime-related child disappearance for a period of up to 104 weeks
  • Increasing flexibility around the administrative monetary penalties that can be established by regulations for employers that do not comply with the ESA
  • Enabling Employment Standards Officers to award interest on employees' unpaid wages and on fees that were unlawfully charged to employees
  • Allowing a collector authorized by the Director of Employment Standards to issue warrants, place liens on real and personal property and to hold a security while a payment plan is underway
  • Enabling government and the authorized collector to disclose information to each other for the purpose of collecting an amount payable under the ESA
  • Making it clear that electronic agreements between employers and employees, such as an agreement to work excess hours, can serve as an agreement in writing.

Amendments to regulations under the ESA will support the implementation of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, including:

  • A special rule for construction employees regarding the new entitlement to Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) pay in certain circumstances, as well as an increase to the percentage of the hourly rate or wages that must be paid to construction employees who have at least five years' employment in order for an existing exemption from public holidays to apply to such employees
  • A special rule for automotive sector employees regarding the new entitlement to PEL pay in certain circumstances
  • Increase notice of contravention penalties from $250, $500, and $1,000 to $350, $700, and $1,500, respectively.

Amendments to a regulation under the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act will also increase the value of notice of contravention penalties from $250, $500, and $1,000 to $350, $700, and $1,500, respectively.

As part of Ontario's plan for fair workplaces and better jobs, the following changes to the Labour Relations Act will come into force January 1, 2018 that will:

  • Establish card-based union certification for the temporary help agency industry, the building services sector and the home care and community services industry
  • Eliminate certain conditions for remedial union certification, more easily allowing certification when an employer engages in misconduct contravening the Labour Relations Act
  • Allow unions to access employee lists in the context of certification campaigns, provided the union can demonstrate that it has already achieved the support of 20 per cent of the estimated number of employees involved
  • Extend successor rights to the retendering of building services contracts and authorize the further extension of successor rights to other publicly funded contracted services by regulation
  • Allow the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) to:
    • Review the structure of bargaining units subject to certain conditions, and to consolidate newly certified bargaining units with other existing bargaining units under a single employer where those units are represented by the same bargaining agent, and to make related orders
    • Provide parties with the authority to jointly agree to review the structure of bargaining units at any time and to make a joint application for the consent of the OLRB to consolidate bargaining units and make related changes
  • Provide for first collective agreement mediation, which means either party will be able to apply to the Minister of Labour for the appointment of a First Collective Agreement Mediator, who will facilitate and encourage the process of collective bargaining. If the first collective agreement mediation does not result in the parties entering into a collective agreement, the LRA would provide for first collective agreement mediation-arbitration in certain circumstances.
  • Require an employer to reinstate an employee at the conclusion of a legal strike or lock-out (subject to certain conditions), and to provide access to grievance arbitration as a method for the enforcement of that obligation
  • Prohibit employers from disciplining or discharging any employee in a bargaining unit without just cause during the period between the date of certification and the date a first contract is entered into (or the date on which the union no longer represents the employees in the bargaining unit, if earlier) and during the period between the date a legal strike/lockout could occur and the date a new collective agreement is entered into (or the date on which the union no longer represents the employees in the bargaining unit, if earlier)
  • Provide the OLRB with the power to make procedural and substantive interim orders in any proceeding
  • Increase maximum fines for offences to $5,000 for individuals (from $2,000) and $100,000 for organizations including corporations, trade unions, councils of trade unions and employers' organizations (from $25,000)
  • Expressly empower the OLRB to conduct votes outside the workplace, including electronically and by telephone, and to give directions in connection with such votes.

Ontario's new regulation under the LRA also establishes transitional rules in relation to certain amendments made through the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act.

Ontario is also amending a regulation under the ESA to clarify that Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) are "pension plans" under the act and to ensure that age-based differentiations in PRPPs that are permitted under the Pooled Retirement Pension Plan Act are not in contravention of the ESA.

Ontario is amending the definition of "worker" in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, effective January 1, 2018, to include persons performing work or supplying services for no monetary compensation under a program approved by a private career college.

Amendments to regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act will:

  • Adopt new or revised occupational exposure limits (OELs) for 21 chemical substances based on recommendations by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
  • Adopt a more protective OEL for the substance beryllium
  • Adopt the ACGIH method for addressing exposures to the aliphatic hydrocarbon gases
  • Change the minimum oxygen content in industrial establishments from 18 per cent to 19.5 per cent
  • Adopt new fees for testing shaft ropes or hoisting appliances used in mining.

Amendments under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act will clarify transitional rules that apply for the purpose of determining entitlement to benefits related to chronic and traumatic mental stress.

Amendments to a regulation under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act will reclassify certain employers under the current rate framework to reflect the rate group to which they will belong under the new rate framework.

Amendments under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act will adjust benefit indexation for all injured workers on disability benefits. All injured workers (and their survivors) will receive full Consumer Price Index indexation on the benefit amount, with a floor of zero per cent indexation and no upper limit.

Amendments under the Regulatory Modernization Act will allow ministers responsible for designated statutes to collect, use and disclose (including publish) compliance-related information and to authorize persons to exercise powers under designated statutes.

Ministry of Municipal Affairs

Amendments are being made under the Building Code Act to:

  • Amend the definition of "applicable law" to include a reference to the new requirement for residential condominium conversion projects in the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act
  • Clarify the length of leaching chambers in shallow buried trenches, replacing "50" with "30"
  • Update the definition of "builder" and "vendor" to reflect amendments in the Ontario New Home Warranty Plan Act.

To support the implementation of Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan, amendments are being made under the Building Code Act to:

  • Facilitate the installation of electrical vehicle charging equipment in houses and townhouses with driveways or garages
  • Require electrical vehicle charging infrastructure in all new commercial office buildings or workplaces with inside parking
  • Add a transitional period for the requirement to include electrical vehicle charging equipment for houses and workplaces in development projects that have planning approvals, or that have installed electrical infrastructure prior to January 1, 2018, and apply for a building permit before January 1, 2020
  • Clarify the requirements for water pipe size
  • Incorporate standardized requirements for effluent distribution technology that use leaching chambers.

With the passage of the Putting Consumers First Act, consumer financial protections were strengthened through new rules for alternative financial services, such as payday loans. Statutory amendments have been made to the City of Toronto Act and the Municipal Act to allow municipalities to regulate the number and location of payday loan establishments.

With the passage of the Modernizing Ontario's Municipal Legislation Act, municipalities have been empowered to be more open, accountable and flexible in responding to the needs of residents. Statutory amendments have been made to the City of Toronto Act and the Municipal Act related to municipal meeting rules and small business programs, including:

  • A revised definition of "meeting"
  • Providing authority for members to participate electronically in certain council, local board and committee meetings
  • Four additional discretionary exceptions to open meeting requirements that could be used to enter a closed session
  • Changes under the Municipal Act that allow for a member of a lower-tier council to be appointed as an alternate member of the upper-tier council in certain circumstances
  • Changes under the Municipal Act so that municipalities may establish small business programs and provide financial incentives through those programs, if they meet conditions prescribed in a regulation by the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

To help ensure local representation keeps up with Ontario's changing demographics, as part of the Modernizing Ontario's Municipal Legislation Act, amendments have been made to the Municipal Act related to the regional council composition rules, including:

  • Changes concerning how regional municipalities are able to change the composition of their councils
  • Requiring regional municipalities to regularly review the number of members that represent each lower-tier municipality with certain exceptions, beginning after the 2018 municipal election
  • Provisions to permit the Minister of Municipal Affairs to alter the composition of regional councils in certain circumstances.

To provide municipalities with more flexibility regarding tax sales, as part of the Modernizing Ontario's Municipal Legislation Act, legislative amendments have been made to the City of Toronto Act and the Municipal Act, and related amendments to minister's regulations, including:

  • Providing increased flexibility and cost-saving options for municipalities when advertising property for tax sale
  • Allowing municipalities to accept certified cheques from credit unions as deposits for a tender in a tax sale
  • Modernizing the forms used in the tax sale process to make them compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
  • Improving the treatment of excess proceeds of tax sales
  • Providing an option for expedited tax sales of forfeited corporate property
  • Providing increased flexibility regarding extension agreements.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Ontario will increase the land base of five provincial parks by 396 hectares under amendments to the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act. These amendments are a result of the acquisition of lands, disposition of lands and boundary modifications resulting from mapping improvements.

Through a regulation amendment under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act, the ministry will streamline the approvals process for certain types of alterations, improvements and repairs to existing dams where an agreement is in place between a qualified dam owner and the ministry.

Regulation amendments under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act will improve the Independent Forest Audit (IFA) process by extending the review period from five to 10 years. This will allow for:

  • Alignment with other ministry review timelines, including provincial land use plans
  • Sufficient time for the ministry to make any changes to the IFA process
  • More efficient and effective staffing resources.

The amendment will also change the outcome of audits from recommendations to findings. This will allow for the auditees to determine the best course of action and solutions to address the audit.

The Scaling Manual contains instructions and standards for the measurement, grading and transportation of wood from Crown forests under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act. The manual has been updated and now includes a French version.

Ministry of Northern Development and Mines

The reference to municipalities in the Northern Services Boards Act has been updated to reflect the revised definition of municipalities under the Municipal Act to clarify that Local Services Boards are not intended to have investor status.

Ministry of Transportation

Beginning on January 1, 2018, a number of changes to regulations under the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) will come into force.

For the future Highway 418, these include:

  • Off-road vehicles (ORVs) will be prohibited
  • Vehicles over five tonnes must have a valid transponder
  • Over-dimensional farm vehicles (ODFVs) will be prohibited
  • Drivers with a G1 licence will be restricted from driving on the new highway 
  • Pedestrian use will be prohibited
  • Slow-moving vehicles, horse-drawn vehicles, horses and implements of husbandry will be prohibited
  • Motorized snow vehicles will be prohibited
  • Bicycles, wheelchairs, and limited speed motorcycles will be restricted
  • Parking will be restricted to emergency use only.

Additional regulation changes under the HTA include:

  • Adjusted speed limits on the extended Highway 407 when it opens in early January and the future Highway 418
  • Extending the hand-held two-way radio exemption to Ontario's distracted driving laws for an additional three-year period, ending on January 1, 2021
  • Removing reference to the outdated Canadian Standards Association (Standard CAN/CSA-D603-88, Daytime Running Light Systems) for daytime running lights.

Under the Off-Road Vehicles Act, a regulation change will prohibit off-road vehicles from crossing the future Highway 418. Off-road vehicles are any type of vehicle capable of driving on and off paved or gravel surfaces, such as dune buggies, side-by-sides, all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles designed for use off-road.

Treasury Board Secretariat

The 2015 Auditor General Report recommended that the province streamline and establish a consistent approach to table and communicate the release of provincial agency reports. To address this recommendation and to strengthen the accountability and transparency of provincial agencies, effective January 1, 2018, the tabling and publishing of reports will align with other requirements and timelines under the Agencies and Appointments Directive, and provincial agencies will no longer be required to submit their annual reports to the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

NEW FEES AND FEE INCREASES

Ministry of Infrastructure

When a corporation -- incorporated in Ontario -- is dissolved, all property it owns (e.g. warehouses, homes, factories, land, etc.) becomes the property of Ontario. These properties are called forfeited corporate properties. As of January 1, 2018, the current fees are scheduled to increase by the Consumer Price Index and based on government fee guidelines, so that the fee for applications for relief from forfeiture will increase to $1,218 plus HST from $1,200 plus HST, and the fee for forfeited co-ownership interest in property will increase to $812 plus HST from $800 plus HST.

Ministry of Municipal Affairs

A number of fees will change under the Building Code Act:

  • The Building Code Commission application fee is indexed to inflation, as defined by the Consumers Price Index for Ontario, and will increase to $184 from $181
  • The Building Materials Evaluation Commission application fee will increase to $11,000 from $9,000
  • The Minister's Ruling application fee is indexed to inflation, as defined by the Consumers Price Index for Ontario, and will increase to $605 from $595
  • The Building Code registration application fees are indexed to inflation, as defined by the Consumers Price Index for Ontario, and will increase as follows:
    • Building official, independent designer and sewage system installer registration or renewal will increase to $111 from $109
    • Design firm registration will increase to $176 from $173
    • Design firm renewal will increase to $133 from $131
    • Design firm update class of registration will increase to $38 from $37
    • Registered Code Agency registration will increase to $419 from $412
    • Registered Code Agency renewal will increase to $309 from $304
    • Registered Code Agency update class of registration will increase to $71 from $70.

The Line Fences Act appeal fee is indexed to inflation, as defined by the Consumers Price Index for Ontario, and will increase to $322 from $317.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Under the Provincial Parks and Conservations Reserves Act, there will be an increase of $0.25 to all existing fees for camping for the 2018-19 operating season.

Under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act there will be an increase to all existing fishing and hunting license fees from a range of $5.54 - $427.86 to a range of $5.79 - $437.86. There will also be a one per cent increase to the commercial fish royalties from four to five per cent.

The regulation under the Aggregate Resources Act has been amended to increase, equalize and index annual aggregate fees and royalties. This is the first step in a broader review of aggregate fees and royalties.

  • Aggregate fees will be adjusted to inflation, increasing from $0.115 to $0.198 per tonne.
  • Municipalities will get an increased portion of the license fees to help address impacts from aggregate hauling on municipal roads.
  • The annual fees on Crown land have been adjusted to be the same as private land. Some of the fees collected from Crown land will be disbursed to other parties, such as municipalities.
  • Fees and royalties will be indexed and rates will automatically increase with inflation in the future.

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Under the Niagara Parks Act, the fee for a Class 3 sight-seeing vehicle licence at the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) will increase from $65 to $70 per day. A Class 3 sight-seeing vehicle is a charter bus or similar vehicle that gives tours no more than one day a week on NPC property. It does not include tour vehicles carrying passengers on a school trip.

Ministry of Transportation

Under the Highway Traffic Act, a number of fees will change effective January 1, 2018:

  • Update Oversize/Overweight Permit replacement fees from $31 to $35
  • Introduce a new permitting structure that will reduce administrative burden on businesses, improve customer service and support business growth
  • Increase permit and licence plate fees:
    • Licence plate validation fees increasing for:
      • Commercial Vehicle Operators Registration (CVOR) certificate replacement fee -- from $31 to $35
      • Dealer -- from $172 to $175
      • Service -- from $172 to $175
      • Manufacturer motor vehicle -- from $172 to $175
      • Manufacturer motorcycle -- from $96 to $98
      • Motorcycle & Motor-Assisted Bicycle Dealer/Service -- from $96 to $98
      • Heavy Commercial Vehicles (Schedule 1) -- increase weight increments for the ranges between 3,001 and 15,000 kg to increments of 2,000 kg, fee range increased from $188.75 to $4,693.00 to $265.25 to $4,693.00
      • Farm Vehicle Licence 3,000 kg plates (Schedule 2) -- fee range increased from $142.75 to $1,132.25 to $157 to $1,245.50
      • Bus/School Bus plates (Schedule 3) -- fee range increased from $122.50 to $2,055.25 to $134.75 to $2,260.75
    • Licence plate fees increasing for:
      • Manufacturer motor vehicle and motorcycle and dealer plates -- from $25 to $27
      • Vehicle licence plate -- from $25 to $27.

    Fees are also increasing for replacing lost/destroyed licences:

    • Driving Instructors Licence -- from $31 to $35
    • Driver's Licence and Enhanced Driver's Licence -- from $31 to $35.

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