By MPP Toby Barrett
Much of our work at Queen’s Park is designed to boost the provincial economy. For example, Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, will begin removing the onerous burdens on our job creators while preserving real benefits for Ontario workers.
The goal is to simplify, harmonize and reduce the regulatory burden for anyone willing to create jobs in Ontario. Businesses should have confidence in reasonable and predictable regulations, and everyone who works should have the confidence of a good job and a safe workplace.
As far as we’re concerned, if you are prepared to do the work, then you deserve a shot at that job. Some of the big changes in Bill 47 are necessary to respond to the needs of apprentices and employers, to address the skills gaps, and to help people reach their full potential.
In Ontario, businesses face high costs, long delays and lost business associated with rules and regulation. Ontario has thousands of rules that business tell us do not make sense.
We are listening and we will streamline, modernize and, in some cases, eliminate unnecessary, complicated, outdated or duplicative regulations. Moreover, we must keep the good rules that protect people on matters like drinking water and working conditions. People want regulations that are easier to understand, written in plain language, requiring less paperwork.
We owe it to hardworking Ontarians to create a business climate where Ontario businesses can be competitive with those across North America. This is especially important now given the challenging trade relationship with our partners south of the border.
Over the past few years, many US states have reduced the regulatory burden and achieved a rebound in manufacturing. Ontario has been missing out and we have not seen net growth in manufacturing jobs since the recession in 2009. Ontario has lost manufacturing to states with a better business environment. When businesses leave for a better deal, it hurts all Ontarians economically.
By reducing the regulatory burden on businesses, apprentices and journeypersons, by closing the skills gap and increasing access to apprenticeships, we are cutting the red tape and making Ontario open for business, creating more high-paying jobs and making it easier for people to join the workplace.
Beyond the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, in the months and years to come, our government plans to introduce a series of changes to improve Ontario’s business environment and competitiveness. We are going to reduce the costs to Ontario job creators of complying with regulations, and we are going to make it easier and faster for companies to do business with the government.
At the end of the day, overregulation gives government a bad name, but more importantly, it makes businesses think twice about investing and creating jobs in our great province.
We are sending a clear signal Ontario is open for business by establishing one of the best regulatory service standards in North America. Our goal — to make doing business cheaper and faster will create prosperity across our entire province and Ontario will return to its rightful place as the economic engine of Canada.
At the heart of our plan is the conviction Ontario can once again be a great place to invest, grow and create jobs. We are cutting red tape and telling the world Ontario is open for business.
Toby Barrett is the MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk