Sweeping Changes in Ontario Regulations Come into Effect
THUNDER BAY – NEWS – As of Saturday, July 1, 2023, Ontarians saw a host of new provincial rules and regulations ranging from self-serve lottery terminals to new protocols for pharmacists. These changes span numerous sectors, including healthcare, labour, environment, and gaming.
Changes Impact Multiple Sectors
Among the most visible changes will be the introduction of self-serve lottery ticket terminals. These machines will be equipped to verify that customers are at least 18 years old, eliminating the need for staff to check IDs manually.
Also in the spotlight is a new law banning overnight stay on floating accommodations, such as rafts and barges with structures, on provincial waterways. This step targets the booming cottage industry.
Noteworthy Healthcare Changes
In healthcare, several notable regulations are being introduced. Registered practical nurses are now allowed to perform more procedures, particularly those related to wound care. In a similar vein, pharmacists can now administer certain medications and substances via injection or inhalation.
Regulations have also changed around specimen collection and blood testing to accelerate the process of determining whether victims of crime, first responders, and emergency personnel have been exposed to communicable diseases.
Further, a cost-saving measure will end the mandatory lab analyses of tissues removed during reconstructive joint operations, citing these practices as “outdated and costly.”
Labour and Safety Amendments
Labour laws now require the provision of separate washrooms for women on larger construction sites. These changes also bolster hygiene requirements on job sites and enhance safety measures for miners under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Additionally, a new program intended to enhance the safety of the towing industry launches on Tuesday. Tow operators, drivers, and vehicle storage operators under the provincial towing regime can apply for certification, which involves meeting training, insurance, vehicle safety, and criminal record check requirements.
Consumer and Environmental Adjustments
For new homebuyers, warranty coverage will increase from $300,000 to $400,000 for freehold home purchase agreements or construction contracts. Regulations are also being strengthened for operators of licensed foster care and group homes.
Small-scale beer breweries can celebrate the exemption from having to obtain environmental permission for air emissions.
However, certain planned changes, like increases for driver and vehicle fees, set to be implemented on July 1st, will not come into effect as initially scheduled.