New bill aims to reduce red tape for business, says Ford government

New bill aims to reduce red tape for business, says Ford government
It won’t be business as usual for Ontario companies as the province plans to cut the number of regulations they face — while also cutting their costs.

A key focus of Premier Doug Ford — who has said companies face some 380,000 regulations in this province — legislation introduced Thursday afternoon targets a number of areas from farms to daycares to private career colleges.

The changes, which impact 12 ministries over 32 areas, are expected to save businesses $5 million annually and spur job creation.

“A lot of people think red tape is just about business, but it isn’t,” Todd Smith, minister of economic development, job creation and trade, said Thursday in the legislature.

“It’s about services as well. That’s why the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act is going to cut red tape that’s standing in the way of opening more child-care spaces in Ontario, and it’s going to create good jobs for the people of Ontario.

“Red tape is hurting customer service for businesses, but it’s also hurting customer services, and that’s why we’re going to make sure that Ontario is competitive again with this bill.”

The government’s target is to cut regulations by 25 per cent over four years.

Smith said there’s a “high cost of doing business here. It’s more urgent than ever to lighten the regulatory burden so our job creators can grow and invest in Ontario. When our job creators thrive, our workers thrive.”

Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner said he’s “all for reducing the regulatory compliance costs for busineeses, but we just have to make sure it’s done in a way that does not compromise public health.”

“A lot of the regulations have come into place … to protect the public, to protect our environment, to protect health and safety ... so if the review is about how do we make our regulations smarter, how do we lower compliance costs while at the same time ensuring public safety and protect of the environment, then that’s fine.

“My fear with this government is they want to dismantle those protections.”

Among the changes:

The Ontario Real Estate Association said it welcomed the moves on planning approvals, getting homes built and on the market faster.

The government has also recently introduced legislation — Making Ontario Open for Business Act — and Smith said the latest “is going to play a major, major role in making businesses more competitive in Ontario.”
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