Big Ontario plan to cut red tape for businesses; 50 laws targeted

businessesOntario is proposing changes to 50 different statutes to reduce regulatory burdens and practices that cost businesses time and money, while protecting environmental and health standards and enhancing worker safety.

Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure  on Wednesday introduced the Burden Reduction Act, 2016. If passed, the proposed Act would help the province continue to build a smarter, more modern regulatory environment by rooting out existing burdens and streamlining regulations.

The proposed changes support Ontario’s five-year, $400-million Business Growth Initiative to promote innovation-based economy, help small companies scale-up and modernize regulations for businesses.


Brad Duguid

Highlights include:

  • Allowing provincial inspectors under the Consumer Protection Act to request information through phone calls or emails instead of face-to-face meetings leading to fewer interruptions to businesses
  • Streamlining the delivery of superload (oversize/overweight) vehicle permits, making it easier and more efficient for businesses shipping heavy machinery and other goods to secure the proper certification
  • Maintaining the “industrial exception” in the Professional Engineers Act to give businesses more flexibility in hiring non-engineers to practice engineering in relation to machinery or equipment

The wide-ranging bill also includes a number of measures that would modernize government communication with businesses by allowing for the electronic submission of documents. This, and other crucial updates, would help to foster an innovative and supportive business environment.

Reducing regulatory burden is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

  • The proposed legislation amends more than 50 statutes across 11 different ministries.
  • Ontario’s 2015 Burden Reduction Report features a total of $44 million in savings, building on $6 million identified in the 2014 report. This puts the province on track to reach its target of reducing business burden by $100 million by the end of 2017.
  • Ontario recently launched the Red Tape Challenge, an innovative online platform to help identify and eliminate regulatory duplication, lessen compliance burdens, shorten response times and make it easier for businesses and citizens to interact with government.
  • In recognition of the province’s efforts to reduce red tape, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) awarded the province a B+ grade — the second highest grade in Canada — as part of its annual Red Tape Awareness Week. – CINEWS

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