Bill 213: Better for People, Smarter for Business Act (2020)
Further debate. I recognize, the member from mississauga, streetsville. Thank you madam speaker and good afternoon. I'm pleased to speak to this important. Piece of legislation, today. Introduced, by my good friend the minister, of small business, and red tape reduction. This bill and its proposed, changes, is another, crucial, step. Forward in our government's plan to modernize, regulations. Reduce. Unnecessary. Burdens. And digitize. Processes. To help more people and businesses. Recover, from the economic, effects, of covet 19. And prepare, them for the opportunities. Of the. Future. If passed. The act would strengthen, economic, recovery. Help businesses, and government, adapt, and create the conditions, for investment. And prosperity. Over the long term. We will cut, costly, red tape to help businesses, and people, increase, cash flow, invest in safety measures. And rebuild. We will reduce, unnecessary. And duplicative. Requirements, for private, and public sector businesses. And organizations. To save time, and streamline. How government, works. And we will have modern regulations. That are easy to understand, and comply, with. This will allow people, and businesses, to invest, time and money, in what's important. Recovering. Rebuilding. And re-emerging. From the crisis, stronger, than before. This bill. Is the better for people, and, smarter, for business act. Like the bill of the same name introduced, last year. We are introducing. Proposals, to benefit, both people, interacting, with government as individuals. And businesses, interacting, with government, as companies. As employers. The past several months have underlined, how now more than ever, government. People, and businesses. Need to be able to modernize. And adapt. Taking advantage, of technology. And streamlining. Antiquated. Processes, and practices. This bill is a step, in that direction. This is also another piece in our overall, response. To covet, 19.. Right away, our government, took action to make 10. Billion, dollars, in financial, relief available. To people, and businesses. Speaker, 1.9. Billion, in employer, relief. By allowing, wsib. Payments. To be deferred, for up to six months. 1.8. Billion, in property, tax deferrals. For individuals. And businesses. And six billion dollars, in relief, through an interest, and penalty-free. Payment. On most, provincial, taxes. These relief measures were introduced, through ontario's. Action plan, responding, to covert 19.. This was the first, economic. And fiscal update, of any province. During the pandemic. We have taken, concrete, steps to protect the people of ontario. As well as our economy, throughout the pandemic. And while we are hearing of positive, news about the development, of vaccines. We know, that the pandemic, will still be with us for some time yet. We must continue, to support people and businesses, throughout the pandemic. While also, keeping long-term, recovery. And economic, growth in mind. It is a balancing, act. Speaker. I'm proud of the people of ontario. Especially, the people of my community, of mississauga, streetsville, in how far we've come. And i'm proud of my colleagues, in government, for the actions, we have taken. While we are working hard to reduce, red tape and regulatory. Burden. We realize, that changes must be done methodically. And, strategically. We are not against regulation. We are against. Unnecessary. Regulation. There are guiding principles, that we follow when proposing, amendments, or changes. One. We must, protect, health, safety, and the environment. Our government will only ease regulatory. Burden, in a smart. Careful, way. To ensure that health safety environmental, protections. Are maintained. We must prioritize. Issues that are most important. Even, if they are difficult. We are carefully, assessing, which regulations. Cost people. And businesses. The most time and money. While looking for innovative. Modern ways to ensure, these rules are effective. And efficient, as possible. After all, it is the 21st. Century. We must do what we can to harmonize, rules with ottawa, and other provinces. Wherever, we can.
Rules And regulations. Should not vary widely between, ontario, and other provinces. Or the federal government. We're targeting, duplicative. Red tape and aligning, where we can, to make things easier for people, and job creators. Speaker. We must listen to the people of ontario. We want to hear from people about what we can do to remove, red tape, and create the right conditions, for businesses. And communities, to prosper. Most importantly. We must take an all of government, approach, to regulations. And problem, solving. Once and for all, we need to end the silo, approach. And recognize, that regulations. Don't fall, only under one ministry. They span across many. Or even the entire, government, in some cases. This is why we're taking a highly coordinated. Approach. And making sure everyone, in government, is on the same page, when it comes to our red tape reduction, strategy. Speaker. First i'd like to talk about, people. We've taken action to support people before this piece of legislation. One of the biggest, examples, was in response, to the panic buying that occurred at the beginning, of the pandemic. We all experienced. The shortages, of, toilet paper, canned goods and even staples, like flour. Our supply and chain partners, assured, us we were not at risk, of shortages. But stock could not be replenished, quickly enough. In response. We allow trucks to start making deliveries, 24, hours a day seven days a week. We have seen the difference this has made. And people's, confidence, that they can buy the things their families, rely on, has been restored. Let's talk about this legislation. We have heard from many who were concerned, about the processes, for companies, to build new wells. Or extract, water. So immediately. We took, a review. Our review of ontario's, water taking program. Found that takings for bottled water are managed effectively. Under the current framework. But it was clear. That local communities, wanted, more say, in decisions, to allow bottling, in their area. Keeping in line with our actions throughout the pandemic. We are proposing, a change. To require that, municipality. Support, bottler's, applications. For new or increased, water takings. Before. Submitting, to the province. And here's an example, of regulatory. Practice, we propose, to update, in order to reflect, options, that didn't exist, when the regulations. Were written. This would modernize. Practices. For child, and. Spousal, support payments. By introducing. New, payment, options. Currently. Employers, are required, to deduct the amount an employee, owes, from their pay. And forward it to the family, responsibility. Office, or fro. This method, reflected, the payment, options, available, in 1996. When the family, responsibility. And support, areas, enforcement. Act came into effect. But we now have reliable. And automatic, payment options. Such as pre-authorized. Debit and online, banking. That weren't readily, available. 24, years ago. This proposal. Under schedule 4 of the bill. Would give the froze director, the discretion, to offer support, payers. New options, like this to pay what they owe. This wouldn't mean that everyone, would switch to one of the new payment options. Instead. Fro would allow support payers to use different payment methods, in appropriate. Cases. And it would monitor, these cases, closely, for compliance. And in these cases. Employers, would also be relieved of the administrative. Burden of deducting, support payments. From an employee's, pay. I'm going to talk a little about, medications. At border towns. I'd like to highlight an action that would benefit, ontarians. Who live in towns. Bordering, manitoba. And quebec. And are treated by a doctor or nurse practitioner, from one of those provinces. The proposal, would turn a successful. Pilot launched in 2015. Into a permanent, regulatory. Practice. Under this pilot. Health care professionals, in manitoba. Or quebec. With patients, across the border in ontario. Are designated. As, authorized, prescribers. Under the ontario, drug benefit, program. This allows them to submit drug approval, requests, under the program, on behalf of their patients.
Making This approach, permanent. Would expand, access, for people, in border towns to the medications. They so desperately, need. It's an example, of a common sense change. That would have a positive, impact, on ontarians. Another, action would address significant. Gaps in vital, transportation. Services. Into community, buses. Buses, are a lifeline, for people in many communities, especially, in rural, and northern ontario. Rural and northern ontarians. Rely on the bus to get to hospitals. To go to work, or access post-secondary. Education. But there are significant. Gaps in this service. And kovit, 19, has widened those gaps. As bus carriers, have responded. To decreased demand, by reducing. Or even discontinuing. Services, on many routes. We're proposing, to address these gaps. By deregulating. The inter-community. Bus sector. To allow, new entrants. Into the market. This would create, an open, and competitive, market, that would support, economic, recovery. It would permit, new carriers, to offer improved service, for residents, in rural and northern communities. For example. They would be allowed to introduce, innovations. Such as using smaller buses. On routes where that would match lower demand from passengers. Deregulating. The, community, bus sector, would also benefit, existing, carriers. By providing, them with more regulatory. Flexibility. As they continue, to restart, service. It would give them the scope to retool, their service offerings. In response, to demand. Of their own financial, capabilities. We're also proposing, changes to protect, students. Attending, private career colleges. The proposed, actions. Concern, government, oversight, of a fund, that provides, protection, for students. If a private career college, suddenly, closes. Or loses its registration. Status. The training, completion, assurance, fund, or tcaf. Ensures, that if this happens. Eligible, students can complete, their training, at another, institution. Or get a partial refund, of their fees. Currently, an advisory, board provides, recommendations. On matters related to this fund, to the superintendent. Of private, career colleges. But our agency, review task force, recommended, replacing, this board with an advisory, committee. This is a more flexible, model. And it's widely used because it simplifies, the process, for selecting committee, members. Adopting, this model, would ensure we continue, to receive advice in this important, area. But in a more nimble, and flexible. Manner. And now i'd like to talk about the other half of our bill businesses. In july. We took several, major steps to reduce, regulatory. Burdens. As part of the covet, 19, economic. Recovery, act. Through this legislation. We've combined. All burden reduction, requirements. Into a single law, the modernizing. Ontario, for people, and businesses, act. This new law includes, two key advances. In our work, in this area. The first is to enshrine, the government's, seven burn reduction, principles. Into law. These principles. Are. One. Use industry, standards, or international. Best practices. Two. Apply a small business, lens. Three, go digital. Four. Strengthen. Risk-based. Inspections. Five, created, tell us one's culture. Six. Focus on the user. And seven. Focus, regulations. On the desired. Outcomes. Provincial, ministries, are now required. To consider, these principles. As they develop proposals. For regulatory. Changes. The second key advance, is to broaden the scope of our work substantially. It now encompasses, legislation. Regulations. Policies. And forms. We all know how much we love filling, out forms. We've also extended, it to regulatory. Requirements. That affect the for-profit. Sector. Not-for-profit. Organizations. Or the broader, public sector. Speaker, as i had mentioned before. We have done lots of work to provide supports, and flexibility. During covet 19. But our work is not yet, complete. This new legislation.
Would Strengthen, economic, recovery. Help businesses. And government, better, adapt. And create the conditions, for investment. And prosperity. Over the long term. The act would do this, in three ways. It would cut costly, red tape to boost, our recovery. By helping businesses, increase, cash flow. Invest in safety measures. And rebuild. It would reduce, unnecessary. And duplicative. Requirements. For businesses, to save time. And streamline. How government, works. Supporting, businesses. And government, transformation. It would modernize. Regulations. And digitize. To increase, innovation. And prepare, people and businesses. For the opportunities. Of the future. Promoting. Investment. And growth. The proposals. In our legislation. Would make a tangible, difference, for businesses, in many spheres. Of our. Communities. Including, changes to regulations. That affect the aquaculture. And mining, exploration. Sectors. Real estate transactions. Redevelopment. Of brownfield. Sites. And decision, making, at business, corporations. Let's start off with corporate decision making. One of our proposals, would allow privately held business corporations. To make decisions. Requiring, shareholder, approval, through an ordinary, resolution, faster. And more cost effectively. This amendment would apply to written shareholder, resolutions. To approve, certain types of corporate, actions. Such as adopting, new bylaws. Appointing, an auditor, or electing, directors. Currently. Companies, must spend time and money obtaining, signatures, from, every, voting, shareholder. And some of these resolutions. Fail because companies, can't collect, the signatures, within the timeline, required. Under the business corporations. Act. Not because shareholders, are opposed. We're proposing, to align with the practice in bc. Uconn, and delaware, by lowering the approval, threshold, from unanimous. To a majority. Of shareholders. This wouldn't apply to special resolutions, which are typical. For significant, corporate decisions. Such as amalgamations. We're proposing, to align our practice with jurisdictions. That are often cited as being attractive, places, for corporations. This would allow these businesses, to make certain types of decisions, more quickly. So they could capitalize, on the opportunities. And avoid missing out on opportunities. Due to burdensome. Approval, processes. Overall. This would help strengthen, a pro-investment. Business environment, in ontario. That would help create, good. Jobs. One of the things i strongly, believe. Is that learning from experience. And that's why i'm particularly, pleased about this next action. We will be applying, what our public servants have learned from administering. Legislation. On forfeited, corporate, properties. To improve, the system, overall. When the forfeited, corporate property, act came into effect in 2016. It consolidated. The management, of these properties, with the ministry of government, and consumer, services. This year, the ministry, completed, a review of 332. Files on forfeited, properties, over the first three years. Under this act, and identified, ways to improve the regulatory. Process. Our proposed, amendments, to the act would reduce burdens on people, businesses. And government. They would remove duplication. And clarify, requirements, to make it easier for consumers, and businesses. To secretly, from fortune forfeiture. Or to buy a forfeited, property. Similarly. We are making housekeeping. Amendments, to provisions, in the planning act about what's known, as subdivision. Control. These provisions, ensure, proper government oversight, when land, is divided. Into, subdivisions. The government, evaluates. A proposal, to create a possible, land, to ensure it adheres. To land use, planning, principles. And addresses. Any long-term, impacts from creating the parcel. These highly, technical, amendments. Would help make the subdivision, control provisions, in the planning act clearer. And reduce, unnecessary. Administrative. Burdens. Unfortunately. I don't have enough time to outline, all of our proposals, and amendments, within the bill, but they are all, common, sense, changes. To enhance, our province's, regulatory, effectiveness. And efficiency. And approve the environment, for people, and businesses. I look forward to supporting, this bill. I ask all, people in the chamber to support this bill and i thank the minister, for bringing this forward thank you. Speaker. I recognize, the government house leader on a point of order. Uh thank you madam speaker. Madam speaker if you seek it i'm sure you will find unanimous, consent to move a motion without notice respect in bill 61 an act to proclaim, eating disorders. Awareness, week. Mr calandra. Is seeking unanimous, consent to move a motion. Without notice respecting, bill 61, an act to proclaim eating disorders awareness, week agreed.
Thank You madam speaker. I move. That the order of the house dated december 6 2018. Referring bill 61, an act to proclaim eating disorder. Eating disorders, awareness, week to the standing committee on general government be discharged. And the bill be instead referred to the standing committee on the legislative, assembly. Mr kalander, has moved that the. Order of the house dated december, 6 2018. Referring, bill 61, an act to proclaim eating disorders, awareness week to the standing committee on general government. Be discharged. And the bill be instead, referred to the standing committee. On the legislative, assembly. Is it the pleasure of the house of motion, carry. Carrie. Questions, and comments. I recognize, the member for bg's easter, thank you speaker and i have a question for the. Member. For. Mississauga, streetsville. I know a little bit about mississauga, because i used to teach at utm, and a quick glance at her writing tells me there are a fair number of mosques in the writing which tells me, a fair number of her constituents, are muslim and i would like to know as we're talking about this bill, how those constituents. Feel. About this bill. Containing. A schedule. That legislates. More islamophobia. Into ontario. With the granting, of charles mcveighty. The ability, to grant degrees, and islamophobic. Curriculum. Thank you. Response. Member from mississauga, streetsville. Thank you speaker and thank you to the member opposite for her question. Speaker. This bill, the better for people smarter for business act. It relates to many areas, of our. How we can get our province moving again. The the, item that the member opposite is talking about we want to make sure that everybody, is equal under the law no one is above the law no one is beneath the law and no one is beyond the law, and therefore, we must make sure that everybody. Has an equal opportunity. To apply. Through the government, to anything that's available, to them and that's what we have done in this legislation. Thank you. Question, i recognize. A, whole bunch of you, um i recognize the member for scarborough, center, thank you madam speaker. And thank you to the member from mississauga, streetsville, for speaking on this bill some of the people that i have spoken to in my community, of scarborough, center don't have a clear understanding, of what red tape is, or why we need to address ontario's, over-regulation. In order to help our small businesses, who are clearly struggling, right now, can you tell me why addressing, red tape and regulatory, burdens, is so important to the people of ontario. Response, member from mississauga streetsville. Well thank you and thank you to the member. I'm. Speaker, these are very, unprecedented. Times and businesses. Really need help to recover, from the economic, effects of covert 19. Whilst also preparing for the future. Red tape, hurts job creators, ability, to do what they do best. Create jobs. We need to help them create jobs as we continue, the path down recovery. The better for people smarter for business act 2020. If passed. Will strengthen, ontario's. Economic recovery. Support businesses, on the ground, and will help government, deliver, clear, and effective, rules that promote public health, and safeguard, the environment, without sacrificing. Innovation. Growth. And opportunity. Modern regulations, that are easy to understand, and comply, with, would allow people and businesses. To invest time and money, in what's important, right now. Recovering. Rebuilding. And re-emerging, from this crisis, stronger, than before. Thank. You. Further question i recognize a member from brampton, center. Thank you speaker, and, i'd like to. Thank the member from mississauga, streetsville. For her. Perspective, on the bill, i understand that you feel that this is going to help small businesses, in your community. But when i speak to those small businesses, across the peel region as we're both members, in peel. One of the biggest burdens that they're facing, is the increasing, cost of insurance. And your government has the power to regulate, those rates, can you help us understand why those, types of measures are not included in this bill or any other bill that your government has brought forward thank you. Response. Member for mississauga, streetsville. Well thank you speaker and thank you to the member opposite for that question. In fact this is an industry, i take i have a lot of knowledge about. And. Unfortunately. The member opposite is incorrect. Although we're not talking about it in this bill the budget bill, does, recognize. Areas of insurance. By making it easier for more competitors. In insurance, industries. And about talking about, many areas, where people can choose, coverages, that they want, that bill is still to come to the floor and to be finalized, and we will talk about it more in that bill, but insurance, is a very complicated.
Product, Product. It's very difficult, i encourage, everyone. Out there when your policy comes up with renewal or even before that to shop around. Check with your brokers, check with other companies. Look at the options that are available, to you there are many companies, here but we do want to make sure that we encourage. Much more competition. So that we can help the people of ontario, have more affordable, insurance, premiums, thank. You. Question i recognize, the member from niagara west. Thank you very much uh speaker, and, i want to thank the member for mississauga, streetsville for speaking to the legislation. Today i'm wondering if the member can speak a little bit about schedule. 12 of the bill and that of course, is the changes to the niagara parks commission which, allow the parks to. Ensure that an auditor is appointed who does not have to go through the lieutenant governor, in council, process, and i know that this is because, they've had times in the past or just due to the schedules, of everything moving through. Cabinet it's been difficult for them to ensure that they actually have in place someone to do the auditing, and we obviously want to make sure that the agencies, that are. Governmental. Are of course being audited and that their finances. Are in order so could you talk to a little bit about, this process, as well as, uh some of the changes that have been made, to ensure that. There can be direct delivery, for many small businesses of alcohol sales i know it's benefited, wineries in niagara west as well as other. Questions. Response, member from niagara, no, sorry mississauga, streetsville. Thank you speaker and thank you to the member from niagara, west with a question. I think it's extremely, crucial, and very very important, that when we're modified, modernizing, our regulations. Uh that once we did it with the input, of the local, authorities, and to make sure especially in areas of niagara parks where we really wanted to make sure we had their input. In what was best for their communities. And, when we talk about, the red tape and regulatory. Burden, um. Ontario. Has to work better for people. And it has to work better for all of our businesses. Businesses, today they need urgent, and meaningful, help, and as we look for those opportunities, to modernize, these regulations. And also, reduce red tape, our government's, committed to those five guiding principles, that i talked about earlier. And. That of course is the health and safety, and environmental, protections. Must be maintained, and they must be enhanced and when i said before. All of our common sense approach, to these regulations.
Is Critical, to make sure that we can get things moving, faster. And in the right way. Further questions, a member from windsor tecumseh. Thank you speaker, did you know there's a law in ontario. That says your kids, on a street corner can't sell lemonade. Unless they have a five acre lemon tree orchard. I'm just pulling your leg there is no such law but in ontario. You can't sell. Craft. Cider. Unless. You own a five acre orchard. Complete. Red tape. I applaud the government for lifting that restriction. During these coveted years or months or days. But i say speaker the member from, mississauga-streetsville. Who started off by saying this is the 21st century after all. Do you agree. That it is time to lift the. Restriction. The five, acre orchard, restriction. On craft brewers, who want to sell, craft, cider. In cans, out. Out the door, question, because it just makes no more sense in the 21st, century, to have a five acre orchard. When you're using ontario, apples, to sell your cider. Response, member from mississauga, streets. Thank you speaker and thank you to the member opposite for the question, i think it's very critical, that we listen to the people, who are providing, and manufacturing. The side is that we all love i know we all do on this side of the house. And it's critical that we can get it to market. And and if we and if we as a government, are in their way, of being able to. To get that product to market. Then we're not acting as a good government, so we have been listening, to them, wholeheartedly. We are listening to how find ways that we can do things better. And that is something i know, that our government has been listening to and we will be hopefully further acting on that in the future, thank you. Further question, the member for whitby. Thank you speaker, i. Recently hosted, a virtual roundtable. With. Members, of the whitby chamber of commerce, and the, recovery, committee from the region of durham. And there was a cross-section, of businesses. And we spoke about. Ways in which to create jobs. Ways, to lead the recovery. So what i'd like to the member of mississauga. Member from mississauga, and streetsville. To speak about. Is those features of this legislation. That are helping small businesses. Not only in the town of whitby, across the region of durham. Create those good jobs. And lead the way to recovery. Thank you speaker. Response. Member for mississauga, streetsville. Thank you speaker and thank you for the member for the question. This, pandemic, has really, really. Shown us how government. Needs to take the lead, and be stronger. And take action to modernize, and digitize. How we've done things, technology. Has come to the forefront. During this pandemic, as we've all seen. Most of us doing many of our meetings via zoom or teams or other ways. But business today, they need, help, now they need it urgently, so we through this legislation. Want to help deliver the clear, current and effective, rules that maintain. And enhance, our public health our safety, our environment. And we have to modernize, those regulations, and reduce, red tape, so, that's why our government, is committed. To getting this done. The better for people smart for business act 2020, will strengthen. And if it's passed it will strengthen, our ontario's. Economic, recovery. Support, these businesses, on the ground, and help government deliver, clear. And effective, rules, that promote public health and safeguard, our environment. Without. Sacrificing. Innovation, thank you an opportunity. Thank you. Further debate. I recognize, a member for london north centre.