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Ontario government: Backgrounder – New Regulations and Statutes

Press Release

Office of the Premier

Table of Contents

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The following legislation and regulation changes come into effect on July 1, 2022. They are listed by responsible ministry.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

The Ontario government is amending a regulation under the Veterinarians Act to make it easier for new veterinarian facilities in the province, as well as existing facilities seeking to expand their services, to become accredited. The amendment will also provide more flexibility around the advertising rules set out for veterinary practices.

Ministry of the Attorney General

A regulation under the Professional Engineers Act is being amended to clarify the use of “seal” requirements for professional engineers; the “seal” is an indicator of which engineer is taking professional responsibility for specific work. This amendment addresses potential risks of public harm and lack of compliance around use of seals.

The Rules of Civil Procedure, a regulation under the Courts of Justice Act, is being amended to simplify the probate process by providing more direction on filing documents, bonds, and estate administration tax processes.

Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

The Ontario government is amending the Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities Regulation to increase the financial assistance provided to families with children who have severe disabilities; the rate will be raised from the current maximum of $500-per-month to $550-per-month. The added funds are intended to support eligible families in paying for increased wages for personal and direct support workers.

Ministry of Energy

The Ontario government is continuing to provide electricity rate relief through the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) program. OER eligibility will be extended to the common elements of multi-unit complexes that are at least 50 percent residential.

The Ontario government is making it easier for homeowners, farms, and businesses to use renewable generation systems, like rooftop solar, to help lower the cost of their electricity bills. Electricity customers will be able to enter into Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with third-party service providers. These regulatory amendments provide increased customer choice and additional options for customers to leverage Ontario’s net metering framework to manage their electricity costs without having to finance the full upfront capital investment in the generation equipment themselves.

As a COVID-19 relief measure, the government deferred a portion of the Global Adjustment (GA) costs for commercial and industrial customers from April 2020 to June 2020. Ontario estimates that more than 50,000 industrial and commercial electricity consumers benefitted from this temporary relief. Now that the GA deferral repayment period is over, industrial and non-RPP commercial customers will benefit from the full cost reductions provided by the Comprehensive Electricity Plan (CEP).

A temporary suspension of certain efficiency requirements for gas fireplaces, which allowed manufacturers of gas fireplaces to continue production during the semiconductor chip shortage last summer, is scheduled to end.

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

The Ontario government is making a regulatory amendment to the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act to adjust the boundaries at select provincial parks to protect natural areas and support conservation efforts, as well as correct mapping errors.

In 2020, the Ontario government made changes to the Crown Forest Sustainability Act to provide select exemptions for forestry activities while conducting forest operations in accordance with an approved forest management plan. As a result of this change, the conditional exemption for forestry operations in Crown forests under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 is considered redundant and will be revoked.

The Ontario government has finalized a new regulation to the Conservation Authorities Act requiring Conservation Authorities to post budget-related information and other details of their administration on their websites by January 1, 2023, as well as changing an existing regulation around posting cost apportioning agreements that is now redundant due to the new regulation.

The Ontario government is implementing a new regulation regarding the Ontario Water Resources Act to better streamline the issuance of environmental permissions for projects and activities where environmental risks are low; the new regulation removes the need for housing developers and other businesses to obtain an Environmental Compliance Approval for certain low risk sewage works, such as foundation drainage from buildings and construction site dewatering, which would help get projects underway faster.

The Ontario government is adding a regulation to the Environmental Assessment Act that will change environmental assessment requirements for thermal treatment-based advanced recycling facilities; as the province moves to recognize the primary function of advanced recycling facilities to be resource extraction through recycling (as opposed to waste disposal), the new regulation sets out which advanced recycling sites are subject to an environmental assessment approval, which have to undertake a streamlined environmental assessment process and which do not have any environmental assessment requirements.

The Ontario government will introduce amendments to a regulation under the Environmental Protection Act to provide more clarity to the regulated community on certain waste-related provisions and definitions. This includes a clarification as to when fees can be charged once for hazardous waste, and updates to existing definitions. These amendments are associated with a broader initiative to streamline the process to report hazardous waste management activities by moving to a fully digital reporting registry that would come into force January 1, 2023.

The Ontario government will change the portion of the Environmental Protection Act covering vehicles so that those matters now fall under the Highway Traffic Act with MTO assuming responsibility going forward. The change supports the integration of safety and emissions tests for heavy diesel vehicles as part of MTO’s DriveON program.

Ministry of Finance

The Ontario government will address affordability through amendments to the Gasoline Tax Act and Fuel Tax Act that reduce the province’s gasoline tax rate by 5.7 cents per litre and the fuel tax rate, which applies to diesel, by 5.3 cents per litre; the tax reductions will last until December 31, 2022.

To support the government’s burden reduction efforts for businesses in the automobile insurance sector, the Ontario government will amend the Insurance Act, and a regulation under the Act in order to repeal outdated references.

Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery

The Ontario government is changing regulations under the Technical Standards and Safety Act that will require owners of elevators in residential buildings and long-term care homes to report elevator outage data to the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) and for the TSSA to then publish this data on their website.

In another adjustment to provincial rules around elevators, the Ontario government is making a second change to the Technical Standards and Safety Act that will enable the TSSA to impose administrative penalties in cases of non-compliance with specific legal requirements and will help ensure that elevators are well-maintained and meet safety requirements.

The Ontario government is making several changes to the New Home Construction Licensing Act (Licensing Act); those changes include revoking the current Addenda to Agreements Between Vendors and Purchasers regulation under the Licensing Act and replacing it with a new Minister’s regulation. This new Minister’s regulation establishes in law a requirement for vendors of new or pre-construction condominiums to ensure that the vendor and purchaser complete the Condominium Information Sheet and ensure that it forms part of the purchase agreement they enter with the purchaser.

Another change will be to the Application for Licences regulation under the Licensing Act to add tax compliance provisions and to enable the Home Construction Regulatory Authority’s registrar to deny an applicant a licence or to suspend/revoke a licence as a result of their activities under the Condominium Act and the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. The new changes strengthen protection for purchasers of new or pre-construction condo units without removing the ability for a project or purchase agreement to be terminated by either the developer or the purchaser.

Ministry of Health

The Ontario government is amending the Laboratory and Specimen Collection Centre Licensing Act and its regulations, and regulations under the Regulatory Modernization Act, and the Pharmacy Act. These amendments will modernize regulation of the laboratory sector, update licensing fee structures, introduce an advertising framework, and enable nurses, pharmacists, and aboriginal midwives to perform certain point of care tests and specimen collections.

The Ontario government is amending regulations under the Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act and Regulated Health Professions Act to permit Nurse Practitioners to order computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, permit Oral Maxillo-Facial Surgeons to order MRI scans, and update x-ray shielding requirements for x-ray facilities.

The Ontario government is amending regulations under the Health Insurance Act to permit certain diagnostic imaging and laboratory tests requisitioned by aboriginal midwives to be funded as insured physician services under OHIP, enabling the requisitioning of the same diagnostic imaging and laboratory services as midwives registered with the College of Midwives of Ontario (CMO). The regulations would enable physicians to be paid for certain insured diagnostic procedures and assessments when referred by an aboriginal midwife and add aboriginal midwives to the list of providers who are prescribed persons for activities to reduce health fraud.

The Ontario government is amending regulations under the Personal Health Information Protection Act to provide for an individual’s right of access to a record of personal health information in an electronic format (i.e. PDF file or online portal). Amendments will also require public hospitals to provide certain personal health information to Ontario Health to leverage data sharing and to ensure completeness in provincial records.

Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development

The Ontario government is amending the Occupational Health and Safety Act so that limited license holders, in addition to professional engineers, will have the ability to provide advice and certification as currently required under the Act. This change will make it easier for employers to meet requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, while continuing to protect worker health and safety by ensuring that engineering advice and certification are provided by qualified engineers.

The Ontario government is also amending the Occupational Health and Safety Act by increasing the maximum fines permitted to be levied against officers and directors of businesses that do not provide a safe work environment that leads to a worker being severely injured or dying on the job. The new maximum fine will stand at $1.5 million if convicted, while fines for other individuals involved in such a case will rise to a maximum of $500,000.

The Ontario government is building on changes made to the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act last year in order to remove barriers for internationally-trained individuals to get licensed in non-health regulated professions and trades, including eliminating Canadian work experience requirements for registration and licensing. The new regulation will streamline the registration process for internationally-trained individuals by reducing duplication in official language proficiency testing, setting time limits for regulated professions to make and communicate registration decisions and supporting continuity of registration processes during emergencies.

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

As part of efforts to create a greater housing supply across the province, the Ontario government is amending Ontario’s Building Code to allow the following: encapsulated mass timber construction for buildings up to 12 storeys in height; large buildings — such as multi-unit residential buildings — to be constructed with factory built modules that can be assembled on the building site, and for municipalities to design and administer their own building inspector internship programs at a time when the profession is facing labour supply shortages.

The Ontario government is making further adjustments to the Ontario Building Code in order to establish a truss and lightweight construction identification program in which local fire departments are to be notified when such a system is used in a building; the new measure will enhance firefighter safety.

The Ontario government is changing the Planning Act and the City of Toronto Act so that decisions around site plan control—a tool used by municipalities to manage development on a particular parcel of land—on new applications be made by staff, instead of by municipal councils or committees of council; this measure is being undertaken to help expedite development approvals and get more new homes built faster.

The Ontario government is implementing a new regulatory framework around community housing; measures included in the framework will encourage housing providers at the end of their mortgages and operating agreements to stay in the system by setting out principles for operational rules including rental subsidies and minimum requirements for Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) assistance, as well as funding for repair; Broaden the types of deep housing assistance that can count towards service manager service levels, giving service managers greater flexibility to provide a wider range of assistance to better address local needs; Ensure community housing is there for people who most need it by requiring all service managers to set local income and asset limit rules for determining RGI assistance eligibility.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

The Ontario government has made changes to the Public Lands Act to allow the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry the authority to set, charge, waive, change, or refund fees related to the management, use or disposition of public lands; proclaiming this last change to remove regulation making powers will provide certainty to clients and tenants of public lands and to ensure fair monetary return for the use of Crown assets.

A change in regulation will be made to the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act regarding the storage of compressed air in porous rock reservoirs as a form of energy for future use. Currently, said storage has no government oversight, and the changes will establish application, financial and operating requirements for these projects to reassure potential business investors, preserve public safety, and to safeguard the environment.

A change in regulation will also be made to the Aggregate Resources Act to strengthen consistency regarding rules around how excess soil is managed at pits and quarries under the Environmental Protection Act; the changes also streamline the filing process for quarries to remove certain site-plan conditions that no longer apply.

Ministry of the Solicitor General

The Ontario government is updating standards of care under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act that will add protections for dogs that are kept outdoors. These standards set out more comprehensive care requirements related to access to shelter and shade, food and water, grooming and nail care, health and welfare maintenance, use of tethering and housing pens and a dog’s tethering and housing pen area.

The Ontario government is introducing a firefighter certification regulation under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act that establishes mandatory minimum certification standards for firefighters according to the fire protection service they perform. This will help ensure that firefighters across the province have a more consistent level of training.

Treasury Board Secretariat

The Ontario government is making a regulatory amendment to a regulation under the Supply Chain Management Act (Government, Broader Public Sector and Health Sector Entities) 2019 intended to clarify Supply Ontario’s authority to request data directly from vendors and to enable more streamlined access to procurement data from vendors for the purpose of providing or supporting supply chain management on behalf of government entities, broader public sector entities and health sector entities and more effectively access data to pursue value creation initiatives.

Ministry of Transportation

The Ontario government is proclaiming sections of the Moving Ontarians More Safety Act, 2021 related to the Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act, 2021 (TSSEA) in order to develop a new office dedicated to Towing and Vehicle Storage Oversight. Further regulations regarding the creation of a certification system for the vehicle towing and storage sector will come into force on later dates.

The Ontario government is also making an amendment to the Highway Traffic Act that will require school buses manufactured on or after January 1, 2005 to be equipped with an Eight Lamp Amber-Red Warning System; this system better communicates the slowing or stopping of school buses to other road users than prior warning systems.

The Ontario government is making another amendment to the Highway Traffic Act to allow municipalities to use cameras on streetcars to enforce laws in place to restrict motor vehicles from passing open streetcar doors.

Further to the above matter, Ontario is establishing a regulatory framework to allow municipalities to implement administrative penalties (APs), as an alternative to provincial offences courts, for camera-based traffic enforcement, such as red light cameras and automatic speed enforcement; this change is expected to lower the cost of adjudicating camera- based offences, free up court resources and encourage more camera adoption across the province.

The Ontario government is amending Minister’s regulation 277/99 so that the City of Brantford will now be designated as a municipality authorized to establish a Red Light Camera Enforcement program meant to improve road safety.

The Ontario government is amending the Highway Traffic Act to impose a condition on a Class A driver’s licence that limits a commercial driver to operate trucks with an automatic transmission, if the driver passed their class A road test using a vehicle with an automatic transmission. As manual transmission vehicles are more difficult and complex to operate, individuals must demonstrate their competency by passing the class A road test using a manual transmission vehicle.

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