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Changing Regulations in Ontario

In keeping with their campaign pledge to reduce the province’s regulatory burden, the Government of Ontario has introduced the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019; the latest in a series of red tape reduction measures.

Some of these changes are bound to have an impact on the automotive aftermarket.

Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks

  • Vehicle safety and emissions inspection programs for transport trucks will be integrated into a single inspection. The revised approach will include a new and enhanced program for heavy-duty vehicle emissions tests combined with Ontario’s existing commercial motor vehicle safety inspection program in 2021.
  • The government worked with GM to develop a single, flexible, multi-media environmental approval for GM’s CAMI automotive facility in Ingersoll. The approval consolidates multiple environmental compliance approvals for the facility into a single outcomes-based approval. The government encourages other manufacturers to explore the option of a single, flexible multi-media environmental compliance approval.

Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development

  • To make it easier for employers to understand their rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act, the Employment Standards Policy and Interpretation Manual will be accessible online. 
  • The duplicative federal and provincial notification requirement for introducing new chemicals will be eliminated by removing the requirement to notify the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

  • The degree consent process for colleges, private, and out-of-province institutions is being updated and the program funding eligibility approval processes for Ontario’s publicly assisted postsecondary institutions are being streamlined.

Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

  • The government is repealing legislation introduced in 2014 that was ineffective in promoting industry clusters. The government is not putting new legislation in place, rather they have committed to getting out of the way of organisations to create their own growth strategies.

Ministry of Transportation

  • As part of Ontario’s Digital First Strategy, the International Registration Plan (IRP) program in Ontario will stop mailing renewal packages to registered fleets prior to expiry. The IRP is a U.S.-based registration reciprocity agreement among U.S. states and Canadian provinces, including Ontario. The plan distributes commercial vehicle registration fees based on the total distance travelled in each jurisdiction.  As of January 1, 2020, all carriers must obtain their renewals online through the Permitting and Registration for International Registration Plan and Oversize/Overweight System.

Bits and Pieces

  • For all you dog owners wanting to bring your pal(s) along when patio season hits – you just might be in luck. Proposed are changes to ease the restrictions on having dogs in outdoor eating areas.
  • For those of you who spend many a days in airports, alcohol service hours at Ontario’s international airports are set for expansion, with alcohol service becoming a 24-hour affair.
  • And, finally, if you find yourself in a fence dispute with your neighbour, moving forward, the Government of Ontario would rather you take it to your municipality.