Residents of Ontario will soon be subject to a range of new rules.
The Government of Ontario will begin enforcing new regulations on everything from the rights of tow truck customers to restrictions on new invasive species.
From the Government of Ontario:
The following legislation and regulation changes will be in effect January 1, 2024. They are listed by responsible ministry.
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
A regulation under the Commodity Boards and Marketing Agencies Act is being amended to ease burdens on turkey farmers while ensuring a stronger food supply for the province by reducing the prescribed maximum levy on producers to 1.8 cents per kilogram from 3.05 cents per kilogram.
Ministry of the Attorney General
The Ontario government is amending a regulation under the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 to increase the limit of cannabis retail store authorizations from 75 to 150 per licensed retail operator and their affiliates. This increase is intended to help further support a healthy and competitive legal cannabis market throughout the province.
A regulation under the Courts of Justice Act will amend certain procedural rules for civil proceedings. This regulation, O. 383/23, introduces word and page limits for certain Court of Appeal and Divisional Court documents, requires lawyers or self-represented individuals to confirm that they are satisfied that authorities cited in certain Court of Appeal and Divisional Court documents are authentic and updates references to the Bank of Canada’s bond series used to calculate certain damage awards.
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
As a result of changes made to the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005, which has been renamed the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005, Ontario is updating all references to the term “private career college” to “career college” in its regulations, including the reference in O. Reg. 156/18 under the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017.
Please see the entry under Ministry of Colleges and Universities for more information.
Ministry of Colleges and Universities
Ontario is proclaiming into force amendments to the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005, that will change the name of the Act to the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005 and change the term “private career college” to “career college” within the language of the Act. Other amendments being proclaimed will require the Superintendent of Career Colleges to review the Act every five years and enable the Ministry of Finance to leverage enhanced collection tools on outstanding administrative fines imposed under the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005.
Additional regulatory changes under the Act coming into force on January 1, 2024, will simplify tuition refund requirements, extend the Superintendent’s discretion to approve programs for periods other than five years, and clarify key requirements for career colleges such as renewing registration, evaluating students, and keeping records. Amendments will be made to revoke outdated requirements for career colleges, such as retaining physical copies of the Act.
Ministry of Education
Ontario is enacting a regulation from the recently proclaimed Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, 2023, designed to build schools faster and help students attend school close to home. These changes will streamline the processes for building schools on shared-use sites such as condominium buildings, and for identifying and disposing of surplus school board property at fair market value, with priority for student accommodation needs and other provincial priorities such as creating more affordable housing and long-term care spaces.
The Ontario government is amending a regulation under the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996, that requires the Ontario College of Teachers to decide within 60 business days of the application request on the certification of internationally trained teachers. This change is intended to help get more qualified teachers into Ontario classrooms faster.
Ontario is further protecting the safety of children by amending a regulation under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, requiring all licensed child care operators to implement a Safe Arrival and Dismissal Policy by January 1, 2024 to carefully monitor when a child does not arrive at the licensed child care program or is not picked up as expected.
The Ontario government is amending a regulation under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, to clarify that child care staff who are employed and complete their educational placement in their current place of work may continue to be counted as a staff member, allowing educational programs where staff are enrolled to determine the experiential learning requirements for students. This regulatory clarification will reduce barriers to obtaining an Early Childhood Educator placement and support Ontario’s Child Care Workforce Strategy.
Ministry of Energy
As part of Ontario’s Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking initiative, Ontario is amending a regulation under the Electricity Act, 1998, to streamline the exemption process around reporting energy consumption and water use. Eligible large-building owners will no longer be required to provide supporting documentation on either an annual or ongoing basis.
The Ontario government is making additional amendments to the Electricity Act, 1998, to modernize Ontario’s energy efficiency regulations. The changes will align provincial and federal standards that apply to 24 space and water heating products and equipment.
Ontario is amending a regulation under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, to support the implementation of the West 5 community net metering demonstration project now under development in London. The changes will enable credit sharing across all participating accounts involved with the project and inform future enhancements to Ontario’s net metering framework.
Ontario is amending a regulation under the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010, to remove unintended financial risks faced by third-party electricity generators wanting to participate in third-party ownership net metering arrangements. The changes clarify that certain contract cancellation provisions do not apply to retail contracts between third-party generators and low-volume buyers such as residential consumers.
The Ontario government is making several amendments under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, the Electricity Act, 1998, and the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010, to support innovation in the province’s energy sector by removing certain legislative requirements around projects granted a licence exemption order by the Ontario Energy Board.
Ministry of Finance
Effective January 1, 2024, alternative fuels, including electricity, will become subject to the International Fuel Tax Agreement requirements. By amending the Gasoline Tax Act, carriers would be able to register and file returns in Ontario, potentially removing the requirement to purchase a permit and report on each interjurisdictional trip.
The Ontario government is amending the Liquor Licence and Control Act to extend the “sunset date” that permits the direct-to-consumer importation of alcohol from other provinces under the authority of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. The date will change from January 1, 2024, to January 1, 2026.
To help credit unions attract investments, Ontario is amending an Act under the Less Red Tape, More Common Sense Act, 2023 to remove restrictions on the types of shares that can be issued for mergers and acquisitions between two credit unions.
The Ontario government is amending regulations under the Pension Benefit Act to facilitate asset transfers when a single-employer pension plan converts to a jointly sponsored pension plan. Amendments will reduce the paperwork that pension plan administrators have to provide to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario.
Ontario is making several amendments to regulations under the Insurance Act, to reform auto insurance in the province. The amendments will allow an insured person to have more choice in how to recover damages and receive compensation.
Ministry of Francophone Affairs
The list of designated public agencies covered under the French Language Services Act has been amended to update the names of existing agencies or their sponsoring ministries.
Ministry of Health
Ontario is strengthening privacy protection under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) by adding a new section that will allow the Information and Privacy Commissioner to impose monetary penalties on individuals and organizations that contravene Ontario’s health privacy law, such as inappropriately accessing or sharing a patient’s personal health information. These monetary penalties are another tool available to enforce compliance without time-consuming court proceedings.
Ministry of Infrastructure
The Ontario government is amending a regulation under the Building Broadband Faster Act, 2021 to support our plan to bring reliable high-speed internet access to every community across the province by the end of 2025. The regulation is designed to ensure that when the minister authorizes internet service providers to conduct work necessary for a designated broadband project, they must use qualified individuals to carry out the work and that they be held accountable for any potential damage their work may cause.
Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development
The Ontario government is amending a regulation under the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006, to ensure language proficiency testing requirements described in the regulation will match federal requirements for language proficiency tests used for immigration selection purposes.
Ontario is amending a regulation under the Ontario Immigration Act, 2015 to expand eligibility for international students applying for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.
The Ontario government is amending two regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. These amendments are intended to improve regulatory requirements for cranes used at construction sites to ensure the equipment is installed, used, inspected and maintained in a way that better protects site workers and the public.
Ministry of Long-Term Care
Ontario is updating the regulations relevant to career training for people working in long-term care. As part of a larger set of changes to the regulation of colleges in the newly named Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005, “private career colleges” was updated to “career colleges”. Any necessary updates to how this Act is referenced will be made, in accordance with the name change.
Please see the entry under Ministry of Colleges and Universities for more information.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Regulations under the Municipal Act and City of Toronto Act will transfer the authority to license tow truck and vehicle storage businesses to the provincial government, and exempt towing services and vehicle storage businesses from municipal business licensing by-laws.
To support Ontario’s goal of building 1.5 million new homes by 2031, an amendment to the Building Code regulation will freeze Building Code fees at 2023 levels, reducing the direct and indirect costs experienced by the building sector.
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Ontario is supporting efforts to reduce emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy through carbon storage. New regulations under the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act and amendments made to that legislation through the Less Red Tape, Stronger Economy Act, 2023 provide the ministry with the authority to designate and authorize special projects that seek to test or demonstrate carbon storage technologies.
The Ontario government is regulating 10 species and four genera (groups of species) under the Invasive Species Act to help prevent and reduce their spread to protect Ontario’s economy and biodiversity.
Prohibited species or groups being added to the Invasive Species Act for January 2024 include:
- Ide, also known as orfe (Fish – Leuciscus idus)
- Eastern Mosquitofish, also known as gambezi (Fish – Gambusia affinis)
- Western Mosquitofish (Fish – Gambusia holbrooki)
- Red shiner, or red-horse minnow (Fish – Cyprinella lutrensis)
- Oxygen weed (Aquatic plant – Lagarosiphon major)
- Nutria, or coypu (Mammal – Myocastor coypus)
- Genus Salvinia, or watermoss (Aquatic plants)
- Genus Procambarus and Genus Pacifastacus (Crayfish)
Restricted species being added to the act include:
- Eurasian or Spiked Water-milfoil (Aquatic plant – Myriophyllum spicatum)
- Floating Primrose-willow, or creeping water primrose (Aquatic plant – Ludwigia peploides)
- Flowering rush (Aquatic plant – Butomus umbellatus)
- Tree-of-heaven, also known as copal tree, varnish tree, stinking sumac, Chinese sumac or paradise tree (Terrestrial plant – Ailanthus altissima)
- Genus Azolla, also known as mosquito fern, duckweed fern, fair moss or water fern (Aquatic plant)
Through changes to the Fish Licensing under Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, the government is enabling the transport of preserved bait into and out of Bait Management Zones.
Ministry of the Solicitor General
Ontario is bringing the Forensic Laboratories Act, 2018 into force to improve accountability for laboratories that perform certain categories of forensic tests for legal purposes. These laboratories will need certain accreditation to ensure international standards are met.
Ontario is bringing into force amendments to the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019 as part of the Strengthening Safety and Modernizing Justice Act, 2023. Amendments will clarify specific costs that can be recovered by Animal Welfare Services, strengthen the authority of animal welfare inspectors, update Animal Care Review Board hearings and proceedings timelines and create new regulation-making authority in relation to certain Animal Care Review Board processes.
Ministry of Transportation
Ontario is taking action to increase safety, protect customers, and improve standards for the towing and vehicle storage industry. The Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act, 2021 will require tow operators, vehicle storage operators and tow truck drivers to comply with customer protection requirements and industry standards. Effective January 1, 2024, new customer rights will be introduced, including rights related to providing consent to tow, choosing where your vehicle is towed, accessing your vehicle, invoices and payments.
Ontario is keeping costs down for commercial vehicle operators by ensuring those who purchased equipment between 2020 and 2023 will not have to undergo a retrofit for a piece of equipment called a lift axle control. This change will meet the needs of truck companies and save them time and money without compromising safety.
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