Ontario’s Government for the People Cutting Red Tape

DECEMBER 7, 2018

Actions to reduce regulatory burden would make it easier for businesses to create jobs — and for people to find them

BELLEVILLE, ON – Today Todd Smith, MPP, announced that Ontario’s Government for the people is eliminating red tape and burdensome regulations so businesses can grow, create and protect good jobs in Bay of Quinte.

The Ontario government has developed a package of over 30 actions to reduce the burden on job creators. If passed, the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act will, along with regulatory changes, cut business costs, harmonize regulatory requirements with other jurisdictions, end duplication and reduce barriers to investment.

“Unnecessary red tape has driven up the cost of living and doing business in Ontario” said Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and the lead minister on reducing red tape and regulatory burden. “By lightening the regulatory burden, we’re ensuring Ontario is competitive, and that job creators are able to grow and invest in communities like Quinte. When our job creators thrive, our workers thrive.”

The Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act also includes actions to help reduce burdens on families and workers. For instance, proposed changes to give home-based child care providers more flexibility in the number and ages of children they can care for would make it easier for parents to find affordable child care so they could re-enter the job market. And if passed, the act will allow commercial truck drivers the option of an electronic cab card, making it easier to confirm driver credentials and reduce paperwork.

These proposals would build on actions taken through the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, which removed onerous burdens on employers while maintaining strong protections for workers, and made it easier for job creators to hire the skilled tradespeople they need.

This package is part of the government’s multi-year Open for Business Action Plan, which is tackling the red tape that’s driving jobs and investment out of the province. The plan includes a target to reduce regulatory red tape affecting businesses by 25%. Every ministry across the government will have targets to meet, which will cut regulatory burden in many sectors.

“The Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act is the second in a series of bills targeted at getting government out of the way of the job creators. We’re going to lower business costs to make Ontario more competitive. And we’re going to continue to work hard every day to create and keep good jobs right here in Ontario,” said Smith.

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Help is Here for Ontario’s Small Businesses

NOVEMBER 16, 2018

BELLEVILLE– Yesterday, Ontario’s Government for the People is announcing significant tax relief for small businesses across the province.

By cancelling the previous government’s proposed tax hikes in Budget 2018, the government will save small businesses $308 million. This measure will save thousands of small businesses across Ontario up to $40,000 per year. The government will continue to urge the federal government to stop its attacks on small businesses, including its damaging tax changes to passive income.

“We are leaving more money in the pockets of business owners, so they can invest in their businesses and help create jobs,” said MPP Todd Smith. “Help is here for small businesses who work hard and want to get ahead.”

In addition to maintaining small business tax rates at their current levels, the government will also provide Employer Health Tax relief through an increase in the payroll exemption from $450,000 to $490,000 in 2019. If passed, this would generate $40 million in tax relief for businesses across the province.

The government has further committed to reducing red tape by 25 per cent by 2022. These measures complement the government’s proposed legislation to repeal the job-killing red tape in Bill 148 and maintaining the $14 an hour minimum wage until 2020 to help businesses adjust, with future increases tied to inflation.

The government is further modernizing the province’s apprenticeship program and winding down the Ontario College of Trades to reduce unnecessary complexity for Ontario’s skilled tradespeople.

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Ontario’s Government for the People Helps Police Save Lives

November 13, 2018

Rossmore, ON – Today MPP Todd Smith announced that Ontario’s Government for the People is helping police officers in Bay of Quinte region and across the province to save lives by enabling them to carry and administer naloxone in response to opioid overdoses like other first responders, who do not have to worry about routinely being the subject of a criminal investigation.

“Our government is making these changes to ensure police do not face unfair repercussions when they are do their job as first responders trying to save lives,” said Smith. “This change will help save countless lives while making sure police officers can do their duty without the fear of facing a criminal investigation.”

The province has amended Ontario Regulation 267/10, a key regulation under the current Police Services Act. Previously, police have been required to report to and be investigated by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in an incident in which a civilian dies after naloxone is administered. After this change, Chiefs of Police no longer will be required to automatically notify SIU when a police officer has administered naloxone or other emergency first aid to a person who dies or suffers a serious injury, provided there was no other interaction that could have caused the death or serious injury.

Police officers will now be on par with other emergency first responders - such as paramedics or firefighters - who can carry and administer naloxone but are not subject to the same level of oversight. This is a significant change as police officers are often the first to arrive on the scene in a medical emergency and do what any first responder would do: they try to save a life.

“Today’s announcement is one of the first steps to fulfill our election commitment to support our police officers and fix Ontario’s broken policing legislation,” Said Smith. “We are continuing our work with law enforcement to keep our streets and communities safe and respect the ongoing work of frontline policing services.”

QUOTES

“On behalf of the Police Association of Ontario’s (PAO) 18,000 sworn and civilian front-line police personnel members, today’s regulation update announcement by the Ontario Government is welcome news. The PAO has long-wondered why – when all first responders (firefighters, paramedics, police officers, health care professionals) are equipped and trained to administer naloxone to a person experiencing an overdose – police officers are the only profession subjected to an investigation if the recipient of the life-saving treatment still dies from the overdose. We are pleased the provincial government recognizes how integral frontline police personnel are in the fight against this growing opioid crisis. Our members are committed to keeping Ontario’s communities safe and saving lives.”
— Bruce Chapman, President, Police Association of Ontario

“Ontario’s police leaders welcome today’s announcement, which puts saving lives first. The OACP has always maintained that our police officers deploy naloxone to save the lives of individuals who may be experiencing a drug overdose. This regulatory change will allow our frontline personnel to continue to uphold their responsibility to save lives without the concern of being subjected to an SIU investigation.”
— Chief Kimberley Greenwood, President of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police

“When this regulation was written, naloxone was rarely used as a life saving measure. We are very pleased that the government is taking a fair and common sense approach to oversight with this update to the Police Services Act.”
— Rob Jamieson, President, Ontario Provincial Police Association

“The Toronto Police Services Board welcomes this important change to the regulation as we try to deal with the unprecedented challenges associated with opioid use in our city. This exemption will benefit both members of the community who require life-saving intervention, as well as police officers who are acting to administer this critical intervention.”
— Andy Pringle, Chair, Toronto Police Services Board

“Last year, the opioid crisis claimed the lives of more than 1,250 Ontarians, and devastated countless others. Naloxone is a crucial life saving measure to help address this epidemic. We welcome this change in regulation which will enable police officers on the front lines to administer naloxone without hesitation or fear of reprisal. Bottom line is that this will help save lives.”
— Dr. Kim Corace, Director of Clinical Programming and ResearchSubstance Use and Concurrent Disorders Program and Regional Opioid Intervention Service, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

“This new regulatory exemption to the reporting of incidents of civilian death or serious injury where naloxone is administered, and when the cause of death is only due to the overdose, is long overdue. This change will benefit those whose lives are at risk during overdoses, as well as serve to promote the wellbeing of police officers.”
— Dave Gallson, National Executive Director, Mood Disorders Society of Canada

“When administering naloxone to temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, every second is important. CAMH supports this regulation and any measure that enhances the ability of police officers and emergency personnel to respond to the opioid crisis in Ontario.”
— Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

“In the midst of an opioid crisis that is killing thousands of people across Canada every year; this is positive news as the existing regulation works against both police officers trying to save lives and drug users suffering the overdose. Other first responders who administer naloxone are not subject to investigation, but police officers endure additional oversight for providing immediate life-saving medical care to a person. Police officers are committed to public safety and continuously put the interests of the public before any personal interests, and this amendment helps support their dedication to continuing to do their job effectively without fear from oversight when they are trying to save lives.”
— Ann Marie Mac Donald, Executive Director/CEO Mood Disorders Association of Ontario

QUICK FACTS

  • Naloxone is a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose (e.g., fentanyl, oxycodone, heroin) if used within a short period following an opioid overdose. It is now being carried by many police officers for use in opioid overdose or apparent opioid overdoses.
  • Naloxone does not affect non-opioids. Administering naloxone to a person who is unconscious because of a non-opioid overdose or for other reasons is unlikely to create harm.
  • The SIU is a police oversight body, independent of the police, that conducts criminal investigations into circumstances involving police and civilians that have resulted in serious injury or death.
  • The SIU will continue to investigate civilian deaths where other factors are present (e.g. if there was any use of force against the person who received the naloxone or if a person dies while in police custody/detention).

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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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