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Reducing Red Tape to Build a Stronger Ontario

November 23, 2022

Red Tape Reduction

The Less Red Tape, Stronger Ontario Act builds on the government’s strong track record of reducing red tape which since 2018 has saved businesses, not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, universities and colleges, school boards and hospitals $576 million in net annual regulatory compliance costs.

The new red tape reduction package includes 28 new measures to increase Ontario’s competitiveness, support stronger supply chains, and make government easier to access and interact with.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Grow Ontario Strategy

The Grow Ontario Strategy is the province’s plan to build consumer confidence, support farmers and Ontario’s food supply, grow a strong workforce, and strengthen supply chain stability to ensure Ontario has a strong foundation to respond to future challenges. This strategy outlines actions to build consumer confidence, support farmers and processors, increase yields, promote Ontario-grown food, grow the agri-food talent pool, and strengthen the food supply chain – while increasing the commercialization and adoption of innovative new technologies and practices that enhance competitiveness, add productivity, create economic growth, and strengthen the sector.

Modernize the Veterinarians Act

The Veterinarians Act governs the practice of veterinary medicine in Ontario. It has not changed substantively in 33 years and no longer reflects the realities of modern veterinary practice. Ontario is proposing changes that would modernize several areas of the current legislative framework, including scope of practice, the complaints and resolutions process, quality assurance, and governance of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario.

Allow Custom Feeding Among Feeder Cattle Co-op Members

The government is seeking to amend the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Act (MAFRAA) to exempt feeder cattle enrolled under the Feed Cattle Loan Guarantee Program (FCLGP) from Section 3 of the Innkeepers Act. This would help members of feeder cattle co-operatives expand their businesses by creating the environment to allow for custom feeding. It would support the sector’s capacity to deliver safe, healthy food products to residents of Ontario.

Enhance Animal Health Preparedness

The government is proposing to amend the Animal Health Act to provide authority to enable by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to take temporary response action to protect the health and well-being of the public and animals, when faced with a potential animal health crisis. By doing this, Ontario intends to enhance animal disease emergency preparedness, help mitigate risks to animal health and human health, and ultimately boost the resiliency of Ontario’s livestock and poultry sector, ensuring Ontarians can rely on a safe and stable food supply in the future.

Modernize the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) Act

The government is proposing to update the current language in the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) Act1990, to ensure the mandate and operations of the ARIO maintain relevance within the agri-food research sector. Modernizing the language of the ARIO Act would broaden the scope of research beyond “agriculture, veterinary medicine and household science” to accurately reflect the innovative and evolving nature of agri-food research for today and in the future.

Ministry of the Attorney General

Amend the Provincial Offences Act (POA)

The government is proposing to allow court clerks to reopen certain convictions when satisfied that the defendant, through no fault of their own, missed a notice or was unable to attend a meeting or hearing related to the ticket. This change would help reduce the backlog at POA courts by allowing justices to focus on other serious matters.

Modernize the Juries Act

The government is proposing to make its jury questionnaire available online and test the feasibility of moving away from sending jury questionnaires through the mail, except by request. This could reduce administrative costs and make it easier for prospective jurors to participate in the court system.

Increase Criminal Court Capacity

To help ease the backlog of criminal cases in the province’s courts, the government is proposing to temporarily increase the limit on the number of days retired judges can work to improve scheduling capacity in the courts.

Ministry of Energy

Amend the Ontario Energy Board Act

The government is making it easier to build new electricity transmission projects that are fully customer-funded, expediting projects bringing jobs to the province. The government amended O. Reg. 161/99 of the Ontario Energy Board Act to exempt these projects from the leave to construct process, recognizing that there is no impact to electricity ratepayers. To ensure this exemption is effective, the government is proposing to update the Ontario Energy Board Act to include proponents of projects that are exempt from the Leave to Construct process by regulation to be among those who are eligible to apply for authority to cross highways, utility lines and ditches.

Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks

Simplify Testing/Reporting Requirements for the Petroleum Industry

The government is proposing amendments that would reduce unnecessary regulatory and administrative burden on the petroleum sector by aligning Ontario’s regulations with national standards and other Canadian jurisdictions. Key requirements to comply with, measure and report gasoline volatility limits would remain in place, streamlining the reporting process without compromising protection of human health and the environment.

Ministry of Health

Amend the Mandatory Blood Testing Act

The government is proposing changes to the Mandatory Blood Testing Act, which would allow victims of crime, first responders and emergency personnel, who are sometimes exposed to the bodily substance of others, to receive faster processing of their applications.

Update the Public Hospitals Act (PHA)

Evidence demonstrates that examining tissue collected during hip and knee surgeries does not improve patient outcomes and is considered unnecessary, costly and resource intensive. The government is proposing a change to the Public Hospitals Act (PHA) to remove the universal requirement to send this tissue for pathology testing.

Rabies Testing and Vaccination

The government is providing authority to local Medical Officers of Health to order rabies testing of deceased animals that were under observation after biting a person. This means bite victims may not have to undergo unnecessary post-exposure vaccination since a deceased animal’s rabies status would be known. The government is also proposing to recognize rabies vaccinations administered in other provinces or territories of Canada or in the United States, eliminating the need for the unnecessary revaccination of certain animals.

Update Spa and Hot Tub Regulation

The government has reduced regulatory burden by updating the public pools regulation to provide an exemption for spas or hot tubs located in individual suites or units of hotels for the exclusive use of that unit’s occupants and guests. Hotel operators are required to post caution signage indicating that the spa is not subject to the regulation and that individuals should use at their own risk.

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

Working with Indigenous Partners

The government will work with Indigenous businesses and communities to better understand and address barriers to accessing government business support programs and procurement opportunities.

Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development

Supporting Ontario’s Workplace Insurance & Compensation System

The government is proposing a number of legislative amendments to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA) that would improve the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)’s operational efficiency and reduce undue administrative burden, including:

  • requiring the WSIB to determine the average earnings of an apprentice to be equal to those of a journeyperson employed by the employer in the same trade;
  • exempting WSIB lease transactions from Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGIC) approval;
  • requiring that the WSIB Board of Directors meet at least four times per year, instead of every two months;
  • eliminating the requirement for the WSIB to submit a five-year strategic plan
  • repealing the requirement for the WSIB and the Minister to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) every five years and set out rules regarding the maintenance and review of an MOU; and
  • removing a reference to the Drugless Practitioners Act, which was repealed in 2015.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Enable Carbon Storage in Ontario

The government is addressing barriers to the underground geological storage of carbon by proposing to amend the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act as a first step in creating a framework to regulate and enable permanent storage of carbon as a new tool to help reduce Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions. As future phases are advanced, innovation of carbon capture, use and storage technologies would be encouraged, playing an important role in managing emissions and producing low-carbon hydrogen. The province would ensure that any carbon storage activity is done responsibly with measures in place to safeguard people and the environment.

Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery

Extended Corporate Virtual Processes

The government extended provisions to allow virtual corporate meetings to the end of September 2023, allowing for broader participation in corporate governance. During this time, the government continues to analyze consultation results and explore potential permanent changes.

Transfer Payment Ontario system Ontario is establishing an efficient, transparent, and coordinated approach to administering government transfer payments to service providers such as municipalities and non-profit organizations through a standard online digital platform, reducing paperwork and administrative burdens for government-funded organizations.

Ministry of Transportation

Highway Corridor Management SystemThe government is making improvements to Ontario’s highway corridor management system that will provide a seamless and integrated online platform for approvals and permits along provincial highways. Work is ongoing to allow applicants, including home builders and municipalities, to submit, track and receive all their Ministry of Transportation approvals online, saving time and money.

Review the use of Corporate Performance Rating (CPR) for Engineering Services procurement The government is reviewing the use of the Corporate Performance Rating system in the evaluation of bids for engineering services to improve the fairness and efficiency of the procurement process. Focusing more on the price and technical proposal when evaluating bids for engineering services would make the procurement process simpler to administer and fairer for all participants.

Optimize Reduced Load Periods Each spring, roads become weaker and susceptible to permanent damage caused by heavy loads. To help protect road infrastructure during this time of year, the Highway Traffic Act provides local authorities the ability to reduce vehicle axle weight limits for a period of time, known as the Reduced Load Period (or “spring thaw” period). The Ministry of Transportation, in partnership with the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) is creating frost depth prediction models that would provide municipalities with the option to optimize the timing of Reduced Load Periods, including shortening the period when conditions permit.

Ministry of the Solicitor General

Clarify the Corporate Status of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA)The government proposes to introduce a new Act and associated regulation-making authorities to confirm the continuation of the corporate status of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA), retroactive to January 1, 2020.