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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