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Ontario reintroduces Burden Reduction Act to cut red tape

Proposed changes would involve 50 statutes across 11 ministries.

September 29, 2016   by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO — Ontario is reintroducing proposed changes to 50 different statutes across 11 different ministries to reduce red tape for businesses.

The Liberal government reintroduced the Burden Reduction Act, 2016 on Sept. 27. If passed, the government says it will reduce the regulatory burdens and practices that cost businesses time and money.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), which ran Red Tape Awareness Week 2016 from Jan. 18-22, has long complained that small business faces too many unnecessary barriers that include “silly rules, confusing regulations, mountains of paperwork, and unhelpful government policies.”

The legislation, first introduced as part of its spring agenda, attempts to address barriers with the following:

• Allowing provincial inspectors under the Consumer Protection Act to request information through phone calls or e-mails instead of face-to-face meetings.

• Streamlining the delivery of superload (oversize/overweight) vehicle permits, making it easier and more efficient for businesses shipping heavy machinery and other goods to secure the proper certification.

• Maintaining the “industrial exception” in the Professional Engineers Act to give businesses more flexibility in hiring non-engineers to practice engineering in relation to machinery or equipment.

The bill includes a number of measures that would allow for the electronic submission of documents.

Ontario has also launched an online platform called the Red Tape Challenge https://www.ontario.ca/page/red-tape-challenge to help identify and eliminate regulatory duplication, lessen compliance burdens, shorten response times and make it easier for businesses and citizens to interact with government.

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