Ontario Creating and Protecting Jobs by Cutting Red Tape

November 6, 2018

Making Ontario Open for Business Act Will Get Government Out of the Way of the Job Creators.

Rossmore, ON — Today Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, Government House Leader, and Minister of Government and Consumer Services shared details on how the Ontario PC Government is acting to help create and protect jobs in Ontario by reducing the regulatory burden on Ontario businesses and workers.

The Making Ontario Open for Business Act will, if passed by Ontario’s Legislature, enable more Ontario employers to boost job creation and investment by cutting unnecessary regulations that are inefficient, inflexible and out of date, while maintaining standards to keep Ontarians safe and healthy.

“Businesses told us that the Liberals created a regulatory burden that chased businesses and jobs out of Ontario and we can’t afford to ignore the problem any longer” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, Government House Leader, and Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “This legislation is great for job creators, and great for any person looking to find work in Ontario. By reducing the red-tape burden we are once again making Ontario one of the best places in the world to invest, and create jobs. And we believe that anybody who is prepared to work hard deserves a shot at a better job.”

“Moving to a 1-to-1 ratio is a game changer for construction. The new ratio will provide more apprentice opportunities for young people across Belleville and Quinte. For too long, small and medium sized businesses were held back from hiring new apprentices because of regulations. Now our industry will finally have a system in place to close the skills gap,” said Ruth Estwick, Executive Director, Quinte Home Builders’ Association. “QHBA’s builder and renovator members are ready and excited to hire and train the next generation of skilled tradespeople.”

The Making Ontario Open for Business Act will, if passed by Ontario’s Legislature, replace the Liberals’ ideological minimum wage scheme with one that remains at $14 per hour until 2020, at which point it will rise with inflation. The Act will also replace the Liberals’ disastrous Personal Emergency Leave rules and instead ensure workers will be able to take up to three days for personal illness, two for bereavement and three for family responsibilities while maintaining leave provisions for victims of domestic or sexual violence. The Act will also open up jobs for Ontarians interested in the skilled trades by reducing journeyman-to-apprenticeship ratios at one-to-one and winding down the complex, job killing bureaucracy at the Ontario College of Trades.

“At the heart of our plan is the conviction that Ontario can once again be a great place to invest, grow and create jobs,” said Todd Smith “We’re cutting red tape, creating new jobs and telling the world, loud and clear that Ontario is open for business.”

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UPDATE

October 31, 2018

Rossmore, ON — Today, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, Government House Leader and Minister of Government and Consumer Services, provided details on how Ontario’s Government for the People delivered on their promise to make life more affordable for families through the passage of Bill 4, The Cap and Trade Cancelation Act.

“The era of cap and trade carbon tax in Ontario is finally over,” said MPP Todd Smith.  “We promised residents and businesses in Belleville and across the province to put more money back in their pockets, to make life more affordable and to protect and create jobs. Promise made, promise kept.”

The elimination of the province’s cap and trade carbon tax will save the families in Prince Edward County on average $260 per year, reduce gas prices, and remove a costly burden from local businesses allowing them to grow and create jobs.

“Despite this recent important milestone for Ontario, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to impose a punishing, job-killing new carbon tax on the people of Ontario,” said MPP Todd Smith.

Ontario is part of a growing coalition of other provinces across Canada that oppose and will ultimately repeal the federal carbon tax, which does nothing to reduce Canadian greenhouse gas emissions while raising the cost of essentials like home heating and gasoline. 

The province remains committed to using every available tool to challenge the federal government’s ability to impose an unconstitutional, punishing new carbon tax on families and businesses.

Later this fall, Ontario will release a comprehensive, made-in-Ontario environment plan to help protect and conserve our air, land and water, address urban litter and waste, increase our resilience to climate change and help all of us do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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QUOTES

 “The existing cap and trade program represented increased costs to fuel, equipment and climate controls for wash, packing and storage facilities, and heat for greenhouses to support year-round food production in this northern climate. To reiterate, we support the repeal of the cap and trade program. The costs created by it are unsustainable for Ontario’s fruit and vegetable farmers.”
— Mr. Jan VanderHout, Chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association

“Making diesel more expensive through carbon pricing does not educate a fleet on the need to conserve fuel, nor does it incentivize it to switch from a diesel engine, since there are no viable technological alternatives. Bill 4, which reduces this price escalation through the elimination of the carbon pricing tax system, is a welcome relief to the Ontario Trucking Association and its members.”
— Stephen Laskowski, President, Ontario Trucking Association

“We would like to thank the current government for recognizing the impacts of Ontario’s cap and trade program on businesses and consumers across the province. While we all strive to protect the environment for generations to come, the tools to achieve this must be equitable and transparent, and must not sacrifice economic growth with unintended consequences. Nor should they sacrifice our ability as a province to provide safe, healthy food at a cost that is accessible to all our citizens.
— George Gilvesy, Chair, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

“(We) support the Ontario government’s decision to end the ineffective and job-killing tax called cap and trade through Bill 4. This was just one of the previous government initiatives that did absolutely nothing to impact the environment but only served to stifle growth in Ontario and send jobs south of the border.”
— Jocelyn Bamford, Founder, Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada

"We are thrilled that the government is ending cap and trade, a decision that is going to save taxpayers $7.2 billion over four years. Cap and trade was a tax on the necessities of life – a tax on driving to work, picking your kids up from school and heating your home in winter. It was a tax that was doing nothing for the environment, but was funneling billions of dollars to politicians and out of Ontario to Quebec and California. We are ecstatic not just that the government did the right thing by ending cap and trade, but that they did it right away. It was what they were elected to do."
—Christine Van Geyn, Ontario Director, Canadian Taxpayer Federation

“The measures taken by the Government of Ontario, including the repeal of Bill 148 and the end of the cap and trade program help reduce the regulatory burden on manufacturers and enhance the competitiveness of Ontario’s manufacturing sector. We must continue to work towards creating a regulatory environment that encourages growth, creates opportunities for workers, increases investment and makes it easier to do business in Ontario.” 
— Dennis A. Darby, President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

“Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketers Association supports the Ontario Government’s decision to cancel the cap and trade program. Our members are independent business owners and found the program extremely expensive and burdensome to operate and report on. We look forward to working with the government to develop a climate change strategy that is more than just another tax on businesses.

“Cap and trade was yet another tax on gasoline, driving up prices at the pumps for Ontarians and making it harder to make ends meet. Our members – independent business owners that operate retail gasoline sites - are pleased to see the program cancelled, and costs reduced for Ontarians.”
  — Jennifer Stewart, President and CEO, Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketers Association

“Ontario’s waste sector is, and has long been, strongly committed to environmental sustainability and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Based on its requirements to establish a climate change plan that fosters positive economic outcomes and to wind down the cap and trade program in a fair and orderly manner, OWMA supports the provisions in Bill 4, the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act.”
 — Mike Chopowick, Director of Policy and Communications, Ontario Waste Management Association

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Ontario's Government for the People Taking Immediate Action to Replace the Province’s Crumbling Public Safety Radio Network

Massive province-wide modernization project will build new state-of-the-art infrastructure

Rossmore, ON – Ontario’s Government for the People is taking immediate action to keep Ontarians safe and protect communities by replacing the province’s crumbling Public Safety Radio Network, which front-line and emergency responders rely on during emergencies.

“Modernizing this network is long overdue,” said Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith. “We need to ensure that our front-line and emergency responders deserve to have reliable, modern tools and resources in place to do their jobs and have our system in line with the North American Standard.”

This multi-faceted project will ensure Ontario’s more than 38,000 front-line and emergency responders ¾ including OPP police officers, paramedics and hospital staff, fire services, provincial highway maintenance staff, as well as enforcement and correctional officers ¾ can count on the communications infrastructure, network and equipment they need when responding to emergencies.

“Paramedics use this radio network every day to relay vital lifesaving information to receiving hospitals. Improving this network is essential to ensure time critical decisions are made in support of patient care,” said Doug Socha, Chief, Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services.

“Ontario’s Public Safety Radio Network is one of the largest in North America and yet one of the last not to comply with the North American standard,” said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. “The daily service outages experienced with the network compromise our front-line and emergency responders’ ability to react to emergencies and put the safety of the public at risk.”

The modernization project will:

  • Rebuild the network’s aging infrastructure (telecommunications towers, antennae, shelters and technology) that provides essential public safety radio coverage across the province
  • Provide front-line and emergency responders as well as their dispatchers with the state-of-the-art radio equipment and consoles they need to manage calls and ensure the right responders get to the right place with the right information at the right time
  • Provide maintenance services to restore network connection and repair equipment for a duration of 15 years

The new network is expected to be fully operational by 2023, with new service phased in by 2021. Infrastructure, equipment and services required to set up and maintain the new network will be acquired through a multi-vendor procurement process. The new network will also present potential opportunities for generating revenue, which will benefit taxpayers. In the meantime, a risk mitigation strategy has been developed to ensure that public safety is not compromised and the current network is maintained until the new network is fully operational.

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Ontario’s Government for the People Taking Immediate Action to End Hallway Health Care

Province securing more than 1,100 hospital beds and creating 6,000 new long-term care beds to ease hospital gridlock in communities that need it most.

[Prince Edward County] – Ontario’s Government for the People is delivering on its promise to end hallway health care by taking urgent action to expand access to long-term care, reduce the strain on the health care system in advance of the upcoming flu season and work with front line health care professionals and other experts to transform the province’s health care system.

Quinte Health Care has been approved for one-time funding for 2018/19 of 2.8 million – which supports approximately 23 beds.  QHC continues to remain at or above capacity at all four hospitals on a regular basis – and are planning for the flu season ahead which generally means an increase of approximately 30%.  

“One patient treated in a hallway is one patient too many,” said Todd Smith, MPP Bay of Quinte. “This move will reduce the strain on the health care system in advance of the upcoming flu season and work with front line health care professionals and other experts to transform the province’s health care system.”

On October 3rd, Premier Ford and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott announced as an immediate measure, Ontario is moving forward with a new investment of 90 million to support 1,100 beds and spaces across the province that will help alleviate the strain on the health care system during the flu season.

“We are extremely grateful for this gesture of support.  It sends a clear message to our care providers, to our patients, and to our communities that this government recognizes the significant pressures facing hospitals across Ontario, including the four QHC hospitals.  This funding investment will allow us the financial resources needed to care for a higher number of patients as we face the pending flu season.”  - Mary Clare Egberts, President and CEO, Quinte Health Care.     

Premier Doug Ford and Minister Elliott also announced that Ontario is moving forward with building 6,000 new long-term care beds across Ontario, 128 of which have been approved for the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte in Deseronto. This represents the first wave of more than 15,000 new long-term care beds that the government has committed to build over the next 5 years.

“We have taken early action on our Long-Term Care commitment – an exciting announcement less than 100 days into our mandate,” said Ford. “We told the people of Ontario we’d make our hospitals run better and more efficiently, and we’d get them the care they deserve. Today, we’re keeping that promise.”

Taken together, these actions will ease pressure on hospitals, help doctors and nurses work more efficiently, and provide better, faster health care for patients and their families.

“Hallway health care is a multi-faceted problem that will require real and innovative solutions,” said Minister Elliott. “Our government will continue to listen to the people who work on the front lines of our health care system as we develop a long-term, transformational strategy to address hallway health care.”


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Ontario Government Connecting People with Addictions to Treatment and Rehabilitation

Rossmore, ON – Ontario’s Government for the People is planning to provide those who are struggling with opioid and other drug addictions the first steps towards treatment through new wraparound health and social services beginning in January 2019.

“Ontario’s Government for the People is moving forward with a new, enhanced pragmatic approach to overdose prevention and treatment services,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, Government House Leader and Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “Services provided under the new Consumption and Treatment Services model would be focused uncompromisingly on connecting people to treatment, and providing more and better support to those struggling with addiction.”

Organizations would need to apply to provide treatment and rehabilitation services, and would also need to offer connections to health and social services, including primary care, mental health supports, housing, and employment. Before and after each site is selected, consultations would be held to ensure the voices of communities are heard. Sites would also need to have a plan in place to ensure community concerns are addressed on an ongoing basis.

Quick Facts

 Consumption and Treatment Services would replace the former Supervised Consumption Services and Overdose Prevention Site models. Existing sites could apply to continue operating under the planned new model.

 Under the new model, each site would implement an ongoing monitoring and reporting plan, as well as adhere to a comprehensive enforcement and audit protocol. This would help review performance, provide measurable outcomes and ensure compliance.

 The new model would continue to feature life-saving overdose prevention and harm reduction services, as well as a new focus on connecting people with treatment and rehabilitation services.

 It is anticipated that approved sites could begin to transition to the new model beginning in January 2019, with all approved sites expected to be in place by April 2019.

 Ontario is planning to expand access to addiction treatment by creating more detox beds in high need communities.


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Ontario Ministers Meet Face to Face with Bay of Quinte Residents

Rossmore, ON - Member of Provincial Parliament for Bay of Quinte, Todd Smith, rolled out the welcome mat for cabinet colleague, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues.

The Government House Leader and Minister of Government and Consumer Services hosted Minister MacLeod in the riding to discuss poverty, women's issues, challenges for military families, labour shortages and more during a whirlwind visit that wrapped up with a quick flight with a Hercules C130J crew at CFB Trenton.

The Ministers met with frontline staff at Three Oaks Women's Shelter in Belleville's west end to hear firsthand how the current funding model is creating challenges for women experiencing violence in the community and how an increase in human trafficking victims has added strain on services.

This meeting was followed by a poverty roundtable, which was attending by various community groups, which including Three Oaks, Canadian Mental Health Association, Voices of Hope, Hastings County Social Services, Community Living PEC, North Hastings Community Trust, and many others who were able to speak directly with Minister MacLeod

"I am extremely pleased that Minister MacLeod was able to meet with the Poverty Roundtable," said Smith. "These are the people that understand exactly where the current system is failing those most vulnerable in our community."

Minister MacLeod has promised to introduce a new delivery model for social services in Ontario by or before November 8th.

The two Ministers also met with Caroline Granger from The Grange of Prince Edward Winery in Prince Edward County to discuss barriers faced in hiring staff through the Temporary Foreign Workers Program.

The Bay of Quinte tour concluded with a stop at 8 Wing CFB Trenton and a meeting with staff at the Military Family Resource Centre where Minister MacLeod committed to forming a Military Caucus at Queen's Park to find a solution for those military family members being left behind.

"Too many family members are falling through the cracks and waiting too long to receive services after being transferred from outside Ontario," said Smith. "I'm looking forward to ensuring that children who need mental health counselling and other medical specialists appointments aren't falling to the bottom of the waiting list because their Mom or Dad gets transferred to CFB Trenton, Borden, Petawawa and other locations in Ontario."

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Ontario Cancelling Outdated, Ineffective Drive Clean Program

BELLEVILLE, ON — Ontario’s Government for the People announced last week the cancellation of the outdated Drive Clean program, saving money and reducing the regulatory burden on Ontarians while enhancing regulations for the biggest polluters on our roads. Effective April 1, 2019, drivers will no longer be required to get Drive Clean emissions tests and repairs for their passenger vehicles.

“By ending Drive Clean tests and repairs for passenger vehicles, this government is reducing the burden on residents and families who own a car, so they no longer need to take time out of their days to take their vehicles in for unnecessary tests,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We’re saving taxpayers over $40 million every year, while better targeting the biggest polluters to protect Ontario’s air.”

“Industry standards have significantly improved since the Drive Clean program was established in 1999,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “This has resulted in a steady decrease in the number of cars that fail the emissions test. The Drive Clean program has outlasted its effectiveness and no longer provides value for taxpayer’s money.”

“This is yet another great example of how this government is putting the people of Ontario first,” said Todd Smith, MPP, Bay of Quinte. “By eliminating unnecessary regulations and costs we are keeping more money in people’s pockets.”

A new, enhanced program will focus on heavy duty vehicles like commercial transport trucks and will ensure that Ontario is leading Canada in reducing harmful smog-causing pollutants.

Proposed enhancements to the heavy-duty program will result in additional vehicles tested and almost double the number of polluting vehicles identified for repairs, resulting in higher reductions of harmful pollutants. It will also bring tougher on-road inspections to ensure owners are properly maintaining their vehicle emissions.

More details about the new program for heavy duty vehicles will be available in the coming months.

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For more information, contact:
Lacy Shunock
Constituency Assistant
(613) 962-1144
Lacy.shunock@pc.ola.org

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Independent Financial Commission Report finds previous government left $15 billion deficit

BELLEVILLE, ON - Ontario’s Government for the People will continue working to restore trust and accountability in the province’s finances following the release of the Independent Commission of Financial Inquiry’s report into the previous government’s accounting practices.

The report states that the previous government left Ontario with a $15 billion deficit.

“The Commission report reveals a culture of waste embedded at the highest levels of the previous government,” said Finance Minister Vic Fedeli. “In an election year, they pursued a reckless spree of deficit-financed spending.”

As well, the government released Public Accounts of Ontario for 2017-18 today, which show that contrary to claims of a balanced budget, Ontario actually ran a $3.7 billion deficit in 2017-18.

With the release of the Commission report, Ontario’s Government for the People takes the first step of many on the path to restore accountability and trust in government, respect taxpayers, and put Ontario’s fiscal house in order.

“The people of Ontario can count on their government to protect our province’s public finances and deliver on our promise to restore accountability and trust in government,” said Todd Smith, MPP, Bay of Quinte.

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For more information, contact:
Lacy Shunock
Constituency Assistant
(613) 962-1144
Lacy.shunock@pc.ola.org

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