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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Rapid Policy Update: Ontario’s Burden Reduction Announcement

OCC’s Statement regarding today’s announcement on burden reduction for small business

Today the Ontario Government announced their new measures to help small businesses and cut unnecessary Red Tape. The proposed measures will be introduced this fall, they include:

  • Reducing regulatory costs: Requiring all ministries to offset every dollar of new administrative costs to business, by removing $1.25 of old and unnecessary costs.
  • Streamlining compliance for small business: Ensuring that undue burdens aren’t placed on small businesses when new or amended regulations are introduced, while maintaining robust environmental, health and safety requirements and other public interest protections.
  • International or national standards alignment: Increasing harmonization with other jurisdictions and adopting international or national standards, where appropriate, when developing or reviewing regulations.
  • Rewarding good actors: Recognizing businesses that have a good compliance record and lowering their costs by reducing the requirements, such as the number of inspections, without compromising the environment health and safety, and other protections.
  • Electronic transmission guarantee: Providing businesses the option to electronically submit any required documentation to the Government of Ontario instead of more costly paper submissions.
  • Government procurement: Introducing a preferred procurement policy for small businesses that would help provide better access to government contracts.
  • One-window service: Developing a new program that would help small businesses access support, information and resources by phone, online and in person.
  • Reducing fees and other costs: Reviewing licence and registration fees paid with a goal of providing relief to small- and medium-sized businesses.

Read Ontario’s news release from the announcement.

OCC Statement:

We are very encouraged by today’s announcement on burden reduction. Cutting red tape for business has been a key component of our advocacy work and we are pleased to see government make meaningful change to reduce the regulatory burden on small business.

The one-window service concept will help save businesses time and money. This approach is something the OCC advocated for in our report Obstacles and Opportunities, which was the culmination of our work during the Small Business Too Big to Ignore campaign. The small business procurement policy is also very encouraging, and we ask the government to consider how they can expand this opportunity for small businesses across the province.

We are pleased to see Ontario adopt the $1 in $1.25 out provision, which will apply to new administrative costs. This is a best practice internationally and will keep the regulatory burden on business in check. We would certainly encourage this government to consider how they can bring costs down for business more broadly, outside of administrative fees.

All of these changes will have meaningful and positive impacts on Ontario’s business community, and especially among small businesses. But to keep Ontario competitive, we need to ensure that any impending changes to the Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act are evidence based and fully costed.

* Please feel free to use this statement and attribute it to your own Chamber/BOT.

Read the Globe and Mail’s article on the announcement, with comment from Richard Koroscil.
For more information, please contact Karl Baldauf, Vice President, Policy & Government Relations.
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