Ontario “Open For Business” – Ford Government Promises Red Tape Reduction

Open for Business on New Year's Day?

Reducing Regulatory Burdens to Support Economic Recovery and Growth

TORONTO — The Ontario government continues to deliver on its commitment to remove regulatory roadblocks, cut red tape and support job creation with the introduction of the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2020. The legislation is part of the province’s made-in-Ontario plan for growth, renewal and economic recovery.

The bill was introduced in the Legislature today by Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.

If passed, the act will strengthen Ontario’s economic recovery, support businesses on the ground, and help government deliver clear and effective rules that promote public health and safeguard the environment without sacrificing innovation, growth, and opportunity.

The proposed changes in the act, along with other measures, include:

  • Requiring gas and electric utilities to adopt the Green Button Connect My Data and Download My Data standard to help Ontarians understand their energy use and reduce costs;
  • Supporting renewable and alternative fuels and emissions reduction technology;
  • Allowing single traffic studies for an entire specified highway corridor or area to reduce duplication and enable developers to get shovels in the ground faster;
  • Protecting the environment and the health and safety of Ontarians by improving hazardous waste tracking;
  • Consulting on amendments to clarify when pre-start reviews are required in factories in order to make it easier for businesses to comply;
  • Making it easier for property developers to get the environmental information they need by moving from a manual paper-based process to a much faster separate alternative digital delivery platform;
  • Requiring water bottling companies to receive support from the host municipality prior t o applying for a new or increased permit to take groundwater;
  • Helping intercommunity bus carriers fill service gaps and meet local community transit needs.

“The pandemic reinforces the urgency of our work to modernize regulations, take processes online and tackle obstacles to growth and success,” said Minister Sarkaria. “Regulations that are easier to understand will allow people and businesses to spend time and resources on what really matters: regaining stability, creating good jobs, and preparing for future opportunities that will help bring us out of this crisis stronger than ever before.”

The proposed Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2020 is the latest in a series of red tape reduction and regulatory modernization efforts to make Ontario more competitive, attract investment and create jobs.

“This broad-based package will help reduce unnecessary red tape and make Ontario more competitive,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Modernizing regulations and streamlining processes will stimulate productivity and economic growth and go a long way towards improving government so that it works better for people and smarter for business.”

“Building on what we’ve learned from the pandemic, we are undertaking major efforts to streamline regulations, expand the range of programs and services available online, and simplify the government’s role in business owners and entrepreneurs’ lives,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board. “By making it easier for people and businesses to interact with government, we are delivering on our commitment of building simpler, faster, better services in Ontario, and ultimately, building a government that is working for you.”

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