Ontario Legislature passes the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act

Government of Ontario press release – On Tuesday, Dec. 10/2019, the Ontario Legislature officially passed the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019. The Act is part of the government’s signature package to address red tape and modernize regulations to make life easier for people and business. The legislation will lower the cost of doing business by making it simpler and more cost-effective to comply with regulations — leading to more jobs, higher wages and more opportunities for hard-working families.

“Many regulations are in place for good reasons, like those that protect health, safety and the environment,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “But at the same time, decades of government regulation have resulted in rules that are duplicative, outdated or unclear, causing businesses to spend time and money complying with rules that simply could be better. We’re ensuring that Ontario’s regulations are effective, targeted, clear and focused — while maintaining Ontario’s high standards.”

The broader package includes consultations on how to help food banks and community organizations with new, clarified regulations. This would allow them to focus on serving the most vulnerable among us. Other proposals would allow restaurants to decide whether or not to permit dogs on their patios, significantly increase the number of penalties for environmental violations and ensure that Ontarians are protected from drug shortages.

The Better for People, Smarter for Business Act supports various business sectors including agriculture, trucking, construction, forestry and mining. It streamlines and consolidates rules and requirements for quarries, farming and waste management. It also creates a one-stop-shop for trucking safety and emissions inspections and hydroelectric dam approvals.

“We heard from families and businesses that Ontario’s regulatory burden is weighing them down,” said Minister Sarkaria. “This legislation will provide direct benefits to people in their everyday lives, while also improving Ontario’s investment climate, restoring our competitive advantage, and helping reignite the economic growth that made Ontario the economic engine of Canada.”

Quick Facts

  • The government has announced over 200 actions to address regulatory burdens in Ontario.
  • The government has committed to saving businesses $400 million in the cost of complying with regulations by 2020.
  • The Act, along with other changes announced previously, are projected to save Ontario businesses over $338 million per year in costs when fully implemented.
  • In January 2019, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business gave Ontario an A- in its 2019 Red Tape Report Card. That was Ontario’s highest grade ever, and a big jump from the C+ received in 2018.

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