Ontario Supporting Business Investment and Prosperity during COVID-19

Published on April 15, 2021

Ontario Supporting Business Investment and Prosperity during COVID-19

The Ontario government is proposing new red tape and burden reduction measures intended to minimize existing barriers on businesses and support a long-term recovery plan. Today, Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, announced Ontario's Spring Red Tape Reduction Package and introduced the Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act.

"Our government is committed to keeping Ontario workers and families safe and healthy, while protecting the environment while laying the foundation for a strong recovery and an even stronger future in the years ahead," said Minister Sarkaria. "That's why we've been focused on ending complex and duplicative rules that stifle the entrepreneurial spirit and make it harder for our businesses to compete, grow and prosper - our proposed legislation would help businesses rebound from this very difficult period."

The proposed legislation is the latest in a series of actions that will help businesses and government deliver clear, modern and effective rules that promote public health, safeguard the environment and create jobs. If passed, the act will help more individuals, families and small businesses recover from the economic effects of COVID-19 and prepare them for future opportunities.

The proposed legislative changes in the act, along with other measures in the package, include:

  • Helping consumers save money on electricity by making it easier for them to track their energy usage
  • Helping to ensure Ontario remains a global leader in the connected and automated vehicle industry by supporting innovative pilot programs - like consulting on adding new vehicle types such as automated farm vehicles, and removing certain restrictions around modified automated vehicles
  • Modernizing Ontario by bringing more processes and services online, including developing new applications that will allow online sticker renewal for heavy commercial vehicle licence plates in mid-2022
  • Enhancing protections for workers by strengthening policies that keep them safe - like reviewing the working at heights training program to improve standards for training content and delivery
  • Supporting the not-for-profit sector and other corporations by allowing them to continue to hold virtual meetings during the pandemic.

"The pandemic has reinforced the need for government to modernize regulations and reduce regulatory roadblocks," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "This package will benefit individuals, families and businesses by introducing measures that will create the conditions for investment and prosperity over the long term."

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario took immediate action to help people and businesses by passing three high-impact burden reduction bills in the past year: the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, Main Street Recovery Act, 2020 and Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2020.