Ontario’s Newest Red Tape Reduction Act Features Fewer Fees, Better Services
Package increases affordability and simplicity for people and businesses
February 22, 2022
|TORONTO — The Ontario government continues its work to make Ontario the first choice for families and businesses ready to invest with the introduction of this year’s red tape reduction package, the Fewer Fees, Better Services Act, 2022.
Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, introduced the latest Act in the Legislature today.
“Since day one, we’ve been relentless in finding ways to make it easier for people and businesses to interact with the government,” said Minister Tangri. “With this legislation, we want to create a business-ready environment for investment, put money back in people’s pockets, and make Ontario the number one choice in North America to raise a family and operate a business.”
The transformative actions taken by this government to-date, have resulted in almost $400 million in net annual savings to businesses. If passed, this act will further support businesses and entrepreneurs, ease financial burdens on people and remove overly complex processes that only serve to frustrate and thwart investment.
Some of the proposed changes in the Act include:
“Cutting red tape and modernizing our regulatory system remains a top priority for this government,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Making it easier to follow rules and holding government to clear service standards encourages our incredible entrepreneurs to invest in Ontario and create good jobs.”
Ontarians expect clean air, clean water, safe products, and safe working conditions. Good rules and regulations are necessary to maintain these high standards. The changes Ontario has made to date are helping the government deliver clear and effective rules that promote public health and safeguard the environment without sacrificing innovation, growth and opportunity.
Ontario’s Spring 2022 Red Tape Reduction Package builds on successive semi-annual packages aimed at eliminating unnecessary burdens and opening doors to economic activity. These initiatives further demonstrate to Ontarians that the province is one of the best places in North America to raise a family, work and operate a business. With the introduction of the proposed Fewer Fees, Better Services Act, the government continues its promise to make life easier by reducing red tape for all Ontarians.
Ministry of the Attorney General
Police Inspection Powers
The Ontario government is proposing amendments to police inspection powers in the Liquor Licence and Control Act to keep communities safe. If passed, the changes would ensure police would continue to monitor the sale, service and consumption of alcohol in licensed businesses.
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
Child and Family Services for Indigenous Children and Youth
Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017
Our government is transforming the child and family services sector. Our goal is to provide children, youth and families with services that are community-based, high-quality, culturally appropriate and responsive. The proposed changes are designed to address issues relating to the systemic disparities experienced by First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and youth. Supporting access to supports and services that integrate Indigenous cultures, heritage and traditions is a key part of our work to achieve better opportunities and outcomes for First Nations, Inuit and Métis families.
Ministry of Colleges and Universities
Laurentian University Governance
The proposed amendments to The Laurentian University of Sudbury Act, 1960 would reduce the size of Laurentian University’s board of governors from 25 to 16 members; clarify that the Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGIC) can fill mid-term vacancies of LGIC-appointed members on the board; and address other consequential and transitional amendments needed to implement these changes.
Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
Customer Service Standards
If passed, the At Your Service Act, 2022 would make Ontario a leader in North America for how easily and quickly a new business can be started. It would provide a single website to access authoritative information and services they need to get up and running, create jobs, and grow their business; and provide businesses with realistic public-facing service standards on some approvals, permits and licences, with more services added on a regular basis.
Ministry of Energy
Third-Party Ownership of Roof-Top Solar
The regulatory amendments would, if approved, cut red tape and enable more homeowners, farms and businesses to participate in net metering, including roof-top solar systems, to help lower their electricity bills. Clarifying the eligibility of third-party ownership arrangements such as leasing, financing, and power purchase agreements, the amendments would broaden access to net metering for Ontario families, farmers and businesses.
Ministry of Finance
Ensuring the 2022 Budget is Informed by the Best Available Information
How quickly businesses recover after the lifting of public health restrictions, ongoing geopolitical tensions, supply chain challenges, inflation and the possibility of rising interest rates continue to create uncertainty in the provincial and national economy.
After two difficult years, the people of Ontario deserve a credible plan for recovery that is based on sound planning and considers the most recent available information.
The government is proposing to amend the Fiscal Sustainability, Transparency and Accountability Act (FSTAA) to extend the deadline to release the 2022 Budget from March 31, 2022 to April 30, 2022.
This would allow the government to introduce the Budget at a time when we can assess the effects of the reopening of the economy and ensure our 2022 Budget best reflects the priorities of the people of Ontario.
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Building Ontario Businesses Initiative
If passed, the Building Ontario Businesses Initiative Act would provide companies in Ontario and Canada with greater business opportunities through public procurements, helping them to sell more goods and services and create jobs in their local communities. Ontario businesses are critical in ensuring the future health of our provincial supply chain. In the COVID-19 recovery phase, we are focused on protecting the progress that has been made and building up Ontario businesses to get our economy back on track.
Centre of Realty Excellence
While real estate is one of the government’s greatest resources, we don’t always get the greatest possible value from our properties. Taking a government-wide approach would help drive leaner processes and greater efficiencies and would allow the government to realize greater value nimbly and efficiently from government real estate, maximizing the value for Ontario taxpayers. This is why the government proposes to establish a Centre of Realty Excellence (CORE). It would create one holistic sightline across the public sector for prudent management of government property and would determine priority surplus properties aligned with key programs, including affordable housing and long-term care.
In addition, whereas today real estate data is dispersed and not readily available to the public, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services proposes to create an online realty portal that would be a central repository for Ontario Public Service and Broader Public Service real estate data. The portal could be used by both the public and government to identify potential synergies and strategic projects, and to provide more comprehensive options for government realty decisions. Although the portal is not included as part of the proposed legislative amendments to the Ministry of Infrastructure Act, its implementation would help support the objectives of CORE.
Ontario is delivering on its plan to make government services easier to use, more convenient, and accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond by piloting a program that allows eligible car dealerships to register new vehicles online, and issue permits and plates.
This would reduce burden by removing layers of the registration process. And it would allow digital communication between ServiceOntario and dealers, saving them time and money.
Ontarians would now be able to take advantage of near-instantaneous registration of their new vehicle purchases, eliminating the hassle of delays and additional paperwork.
Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
Amendments to the Mining Act
Ontario is working to create business certainty for the mining industry and improve timelines related to approvals and authorizations to undertake mining activities. We have committed to finding efficiencies for the mining sector to attract global investment, expand the industry and create jobs. As part of this commitment, the ministry is proposing to make administrative amendments to fix incorrect or outdated provisions in the Mining Act.
Inclusion of Aboriginal Consultation Costs
We are proposing to allow lessees and owners of mining lands to include Aboriginal consultation-related costs in the list of eligible expenses when reporting on the retention of proceeds from the sale of minerals extracted for testing. Additional proceeds from the sale of these materials could generate revenue that could be used to offset other costs. This is part of our Critical Minerals Strategy, which aims to attract investment, increase Ontario’s competitiveness in the global market, and make Ontario an important global supplier of critical minerals.
Ministry of Transportation
Eliminating Licence Plate Renewal Fees and Stickers
Highway Traffic Act
The Ontario government is making life more affordable and convenient for nearly eight million vehicle owners by eliminating licence plate renewal fees and the requirement to have a licence plate sticker for passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, motorcycles and mopeds, effective March 13, 2022.
The government has introduced red tape legislation that would enable the province to refund eligible individual owners of vehicles for any licence plate renewal fees paid since March 2020. Upon passage, vehicle owners will receive a cheque in the mail starting at the end of March and throughout the month of April.
To receive a refund cheque, vehicle owners who have moved recently will need to confirm that their address information on their vehicle permit or driver’s licence is up-to-date at Ontario.ca/AddressChange by March 7, 2022, and pay any outstanding fees, fines or tolls. For more information and/or assistance with changing an address, vehicles owners can call ServiceOntario’s dedicated line at 1-888-333-0049.
Removing Tolls from Highways 412 and 418
Highway 407 East Act, 2012
Since day one, our government has made affordability a priority for the people of Ontario. Effective April 5, 2022, people and businesses would no longer need to pay to use Highways 412 and 418.
After careful consideration, the ministry is removing tolls on these highways to bring fairness and financial relief for Durham Region residents and provide drivers with travel savings and more predictable travel times. This is also part of the province’s plan to help alleviate gridlock across Durham Region and beyond by offering more transportation options for drivers.
Preparing for the Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act
If the proposed Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act is proclaimed into force, it would require tow truck operators, tow truck drivers, and vehicle storage operators to have a certificate to operate. An amendment to the Licence Appeal Tribunal Act would allow them to appeal decisions about certification through the existing Licence Appeal Tribunal. It would also provide for the ability to further appeal Licence Appeal Tribunal decisions to the Divisional Court.
Treasury Board Secretariat
The Made-in-Ontario Fleet Strategy is part of the government’s work to protect the environment and invest in the economy of tomorrow. It will take steps to convert vehicles used by the public sector — both the government and the Broader Public Sector — to made-in-Ontario vehicles, electric and/or low emission whenever prudent and possible.