Upping our game by modernizing our regulatory system

our regulatory systems

By MPP Toby Barrett

In 2018, one of the most important promises our government made to the people of Ontario was to work hard every day to cut red tape, and that’s what we have been doing. When we took office, it cost Ontario companies an average of $33,000 a year to comply with regulations. That was the highest of any province or territory in the country. Since then, we’ve been working hard to bring that cost down.

Ontario is the manufacturing engine of Canada, and the pandemic has made it clear we are a supply chain economy. Ontario supplies components to businesses across Canada and right across North America. It’s for that reason we must keep operating costs for Ontario businesses as low as possible, while at the same time strengthening regulatory standards, which are essential in keeping people healthy and protecting the environment.

We know you can’t have a strong economy without strong people. Through sensible red tape reduction, we can lighten the load for people and businesses weighed down by the pandemic’s demands. That’s why we are working to make Ontario’s programs and front-line services more convenient, reliable and accessible.

We are a people who want to get going, get moving and not waste our time and energy with unnecessary, outdated and repetitive compliance measures. It’s hard to manage a business, advance your work or simply get through the day when you are spending countless hours filling out forms and repeating the same requirements over and over again.

Since 2020, we’ve passed five high-impact regulatory modernization bills and corresponding packages of regulatory changes and policy announcements.

Through the following five acts, we’ve intensified our work to modernize regulations.

·         The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act

·         The Main Street Recovery Act

·         The Better for People, Smarter for Business Act

·         The Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act

·         The Supporting People and Businesses Act.

The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act focused on speeding up the ability to fund critical infrastructure. It was designed to get infrastructure projects built faster while positioning Ontario as a modern regulator in response to an evolving pandemic.

We followed up this bill with the Main Street Recovery Act  a year ago November. The purpose of this legislation was to support the small and main street businesses that have dealt with urgent and unexpected pressures related to cash flow problems, customer limits and physical distancing since the onset of the pandemic.

The Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, passed in December 2020, included measures to facilitate more efficient energy use and to facilitate home building among other measures.

The focal point of the Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act laid the foundation for a strong recovery and an even stronger future. This comprehensive package of 90 legislative and regulatory actions and announcements is helping to position businesses for new opportunities as vaccinations rise and the competition ramps back up.

More recently we introduced the Supporting People and Businesses Act to modernize everything from electrical safety to municipal planning to keeping public land public. 

By modernizing and streamlining rules and moving more processes and services online, we can help people and business while they manage this next phase of the pandemic. 

Toby Barrett is MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk.