Wednesday
Dec232015

OCC: Regulatory Update December 2015

Easing the regulatory burden for Ontario businesses is one of the Chamber Network's top priorities. 

We are committed to continuing to advocate for a business climate that fosters investment and growth. 

The Regulatory Update December 2015 features five legislative updates on the following issues:  

  • Ministry of Energy launches energy-savings program for small business
  • Ministry of Transportation increases driver and vehicle license fees
  • Ontario Ministry of Labour expands the Employment Standards Act, 2000
  • Ministry of Labour announces employer blitz results
  • Open Data Directive to take effect on April 1, 2016

Ministry of Energy launches energy-savings program for small business

This initiative is intended to support energy-saving practices among small businesses and to help them save money. It includes:
  • The promotion of local energy managers, who help small business owners reduce the burden of paperwork and find savings in their energy use;
  • Improved business conservation programs, including ensuring small business owners are aware of the government programs available to help them save;
  • The enhancement of these conservation programs to simplify applications, grow engagement and training, and increase rebates and other benefits;
  • Working to help small business owners finance energy conservation projects, through making on-bill financing widely available; and
  • Providing six more years of funding for conservation programs.
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Ministry of Transportation increases driver and vehicle license fees

Fees for driver’s licences, renewals, replacements and commercial permits were increased as of September 1, 2015. These changes stem from recommendations of the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services, and are designed to help cover the costs of maintaining roads, bridges, and highways across the province. For a schedule of fee increases through 2018 click here.
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Ontario Ministry of Labour expands the Employment Standards Act, 2000

The Employment Standards Act has been amended to allow workers hired through a temporary agency to recover unpaid wages from both the agency and the client business, if the agency has not paid the worker’s wages. This amendment has also been extended to foreign workers who are immigrants or who are in Ontario on a foreign temporary employee program.
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Ministry of Labour announces employer blitz results

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Labour conducted blitzes of businesses that employ precarious employees and temporary foreign workers. The purpose of these blitzes was to enforce compliance with the Employment Standards Act and to educate employers on current employment regulations.

Over 75 percent of the workplaces inspected during the precarious employment blitzes were found to be non-compliant with the Employment Standards Act.
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Open Data Directive to take effect on April 1, 2016

The Open Data Directive will apply to all Ontario ministries and provincial agencies starting April 1, 2016. It requires these bodies to make data public, so that information can be used by Ontarians for research, application development, and other forms of innovation. The directive will ensure that the data does not contain confidential or personal information, data will also be made exempt for legal, confidentiality, security, privacy, or commercially sensitive reasons.
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* Please note that this email includes hyperlinks to third party websites. Although the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and its member Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade make reasonable efforts to obtain reliable content from third parties, the OCC and its member Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade do not guarantee the accuracy of any third party content. The OCC and its member Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade do not necessarily endorse the legislative or regulatory changes listed in this email.

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