I didn’t know that – didn’t want to know THAT. Ontario has fewer civil servants than anyone else. Fees for almost everything to go UP^



By Staff

 December 31, 2013  BURLINGTON, ON.   Ontario has the lowest number of public sector employees per capita. In 2012, Ontario had 6.5 public sector employees per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 9.7 employees per 1,000 people.

Tim Hudak, Progressive Conservative leader at Queen’s Park believes the civil service is too big – government says we have the smallest per capita in Canada.

 So much for Tim Hudak’s “bloated government” claim.  Now we know why we can never find anyone at the end of a telephone line – they aren’t there.

 At 6:00 am, on the Eve of the New Year the Office of the Premier did us all a dirty and released the following list of Regulation and Fee Changes Coming into Force Jan. 1, 2014

 Agriculture and Food: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food is amending a regulation under the Food Safety and Quality Act to clarify language in the regulation and make requirements more flexible while preserving food safety.  In addition, amendments were made to exempt the following operations from requiring a meat processing licence:

Facilities that prepare food products that are not primarily meat-based, such as a pasta business that makes sauces with meat.

Handling of food regulations are being upgraded.

Businesses that only prepare lower-risk meat products and wholesale less than 25 percent or 20,000 kilograms of meat products per year – such as grocery stores.

Businesses that are primarily geared toward food service, such as restaurants or caterers.

 The Ministry of Agriculture and Food is amending a regulation under the Food Safety and Quality Act to change the way supplementary inspection fees are set out in the regulation and making them consistent with current practice for when to begin charging for supplementary inspection.

 The Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of the Environment are amending a regulation under the Nutrient Management Act to require signage that includes contact information to be posted at all regulated, mixed anaerobic digestion facilities (farm-based facilities that break down organic material to produce biogas that can be used to generate electricity, renewable natural gas or heat).  The regulation number of the Building Code, which is referenced in the regulation, was also updated.

 Attorney General: The Ministry of the Attorney General is amending a regulation under the Liquor Licence Act that will remove Ipperwash Provincial Park from the list of Ontario parks that bans alcohol on and around the Victoria Day weekend in May as it is no longer classified as a provincial park.

Paralegals will be able to take on more of the legal work in smaller matters.

The Ministry of the Attorney General is amending regulations under the Courts of Justice Act regarding court rules for civil, small claims and family courts to allow people to hire a lawyer for only a portion of a case, to allow paralegals to officially receive court documents on behalf of their clients, and to streamline various court processes.

 Community Safety and Correctional Services: The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is amending regulations under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act that will give fire officials the power to carry out at least one annual fire safety inspection in every regulated retirement home, long-term care home or other residence caring for vulnerable Ontarians. The change will also allow fire inspectors to conduct a fire safety inspection when a complaint or request is made.

 Consumer Services:The Ministry of Consumer Services is amending a regulation under the Vintners Quality Alliance Act to allow “Moscato” and “Primitivo” to be used as synonyms for two grape varieties, bringing Ontario in line with other jurisdictions.

 Energy: The Ministry of Energy is amending a regulation under the Green Energy Act to set new or enhanced energy efficiency requirements for 25 products such as water heaters, boilers, household appliances (refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers), televisions, fluorescent lamps, and small motors.  The amendment also updates required references to test standards and allow manufacturers the option of complying with upcoming efficiency requirements prior to their effective date.

 The original regulation also sets energy efficiency requirements for certain types of windows manufactured after Jan. 1, 2014, intended for low-rise residential buildings.

Regulations related to water heaters are being beefed up.

A regulation the Ministry of Energy previously amended under the Green Energy Act prohibits 100 and 75 watt incandescent light bulbs manufactured after Jan. 1, 2014, from being sold in Ontario.

 Environment: A Ministry of the Environment provision in a regulation under the Environmental Protection Act comes into effect after Jan. 1, 2014, that will increase the number of collection locations for pharmaceuticals and sharps from 80 per cent of retail and pharmacy locations where these products are sold to 90 per cent in 2014.

 In addition, the Ministry of the Environment is amending several regulations that will:

Add a French version of the regulation

Rename the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Rename the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation to the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment

Update references to the new Building Code and remove references to outdated or repealed acts

 Finance: The Ministry of Finance is amending a regulation under the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act to update the list of dealership financing corporations that are exempt from licensing requirements. The list was out of date due to name changes, wind-ups, corporate reorganizations and entities no longer engaging in any activity that would require an exemption.

 The Ministry of Finance introduced a regulation under the Pension Benefits Act to allow public and broader public sector pension plans to enter agreements that would give eligible members and pensioners who were affected by past government divestments the opportunity to consolidate their benefits in the successor plan.  This process was previously unavailable under Ontario pension rules.

 The Ministry of Finance introduced a regulation under the Pension Benefits Act to facilitate the restructuring of pension plans affected by corporate reorganizations (e.g. sale of a business, public sector divestments).  It sets out the requirements to be met regarding funding, filings, benefit changes and disclosure to obtain approval from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) for such a transfer. It is expected that this framework will ensure more efficient and timely transfers, while protecting the benefit security of plan beneficiaries.  No similar framework existed prior to this regulation.  Previously, asset transfers were made at the discretion of the Superintendent of FSCO.  FSCO policy required exact replication of benefits.

 The Ministry of Finance also introduced housekeeping amendments to an existing regulation to reflect the pension-related regulation changes.  These amendments implement changes that give the Superintendent of FSCO discretion, if circumstances warrant, to extend deadlines for certain filing requirements, to add flexibility to the transfer process.

 Ontario amended the Employer Health Tax Act to increase the employer health tax exemption from $400,000 to $450,000 of an employer’s annual payroll for private-sector employers or groups of associated private-sector employers.  The exemption will be eliminated when their annual payroll exceeds $5 million.  Registered charities, at all payroll sizes, will be able to continue to claim the exemption.

 Health and Long-term Care: The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is amending a regulation under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to change the term “regional veterinarian” to “director”, consistent with recent changes made to the Food Safety and Quality Act.

 The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is proclaiming into force a provision in the Nursing Act to authorize registered nurses (RNs) or registered practical nurses (RPNs) to dispense drugs on the order of a physician, dentist, chiropodist, midwife or nurse practitioner. This change will recognize RN and RPN competencies regarding dispensing a drug by clearly saying that dispensing a drug is within the scope of practice of nursing.

Nurses will be permitted to dispense drugs on instructions from a doctor.

The College of Nurses of Ontario made a regulation under the Nursing Act to clarify that a RN or a RPN who is authorized to dispense a drug may not delegate that act to another person.

 The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is bringing in a regulation under the Independent Health Facilities Act and amending a regulation under the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006 to allow Independent Health Facilities to receive funding through the Local Health Integration Networks.

 The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is amending three regulations under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to refer to the current version of the Ontario Building Code.

 Labour: The Ministry of Labour is bringing in a regulation that changes the method that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is required to use to calculate its assets for the purpose of reporting its sufficiency ratio.  The ratio measures whether there are sufficient funds to meet the WSIB’s future projected claims payouts.

 Municipal Affairs and Housing: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is amending regulations under the Building Code Act to:

Building code revision come into force,

Ensure specific requirements are met for care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities and retirement homes licensed under the Retirement Homes Act. It complements amendments made to the Ontario Fire Code that require retrofits to provide sprinklers in existing care facilities and retirement homes

Correct minor technical and administrative errors in the 2012 Building Code and revise references to standards in regard to wood-burning appliances and exterior insulation and finish systems, as well as heating, cooling and ventilation systems

 Ontario is amending nine regulations under the Environmental Protection Act, Ontario Water Resources Act, Safe Drinking Water Act and Health Protection and Promotion Act to ensure references to various Building Code Regulations refer to the new 2012 Building Code.

 The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is amending regulations under the Planning Act to give more municipalities local planning approval authority.  The amendments would:

Provide 20 municipalities across northern Ontario and Pelee Island with approval authority for plans of subdivision that allow for the creation and sale of multiple lots

Provide eight municipalities across northern Ontario with consent granting authority for the creation and sale of one or two lots

Allow four municipalities in northern Ontario to exercise their authority to validate title to a property and to exercise a power of sale of land

Provide clarification of exercises of power of sale to one municipality in Ontario

 The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is amending a regulation under the Housing Services Act to require municipal service managers to provide annual progress reports on their 10-year housing and homelessness plans to the public and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

 The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is amending a regulation under the Housing Services Act to update the Household Income Limits and associated High Need Income Limits for social housing.

Natural Resources:  The Ministry of Natural Resources is amending two regulations under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act that will:

Let people follow rules outlined in regulation to hunt raccoon at night, or fox, coyote and wolf during the day, and allow the release of chukar partridge and ring-necked pheasant that were imported or bred from stock imported into Ontario

Make aquaculture-related licences valid for the length of time specified on the licence, where currently the term is only set out in regulation, and clarify that operators of aquariums open to the public and at educational facilities do not need an aquaculture licence but must follow rules outlined in regulation

 The Ministry of Natural Resources is establishing a new regulation under the Public Lands Act that will let people follow rules outlined in regulation to relocate rocks on shore lands, dredge shore lands that were previously dredged, remove limited amounts of native aquatic plants in areas other than the Canadian Shield, and remove invasive aquatic plants. People will also be able to register with the ministry and follow rules outlined in regulation to maintain, repair and replace existing erosion control structures and to construct or place and buildings on a mining claim.

The Ministry of Natural Resources is amending a regulation under the Endangered Species Act to identify protected habitat for the bogbean buckmoth, four-leaved milkweed, Fowler’s toad, Laura’s clubtail, queensnake, and rusty-patched bumble bee, update the description of protected habitat for the pale-bellied frost lichen, and make administrative changes to the existing regulatory provisions for the American ginseng, redside dace, barn swallow, wind facilities, and butternut. The changes will also update language by replacing multiple definitions of the term “land classification for southern Ontario” with one definition.

Office of Francophone Affairs: The Office of Francophone Affairs is amending a regulation under the French Language Services Act that will designate Collège d’arts appliqués et de technologie La Cité collégiale, Sudbury East Community Health Centre and St. Gabriel’s Villa of Sudbury as agencies that provide services in French. These organizations asked to be designated as agencies that provide services in French.

 Seniors Secretariat: The Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat is bringing into force sections of the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 and its regulation to further safeguard seniors living in retirement homes.  These provisions include:

Making police background checks mandatory for staff and volunteers before they work in the home

Putting a formal complaints process in place within the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) including a new independent Complaints Review Officer

Making additional expense insurance mandatory to ensure retirement homes can cover the costs of residents’ accommodation and care during most emergencies

Making Emergency Fund payments available to current and former retirement home residents for eligible costs in the event of an emergency that disrupts services and/or their accommodation at the home

Appointing an independent Risk Officer to review and assess how effectively the RHRA is administering the Retirement Homes Act

Allowing the RHRA to conduct inspections in response to retaliation of threats against whistleblowers

 Transportation: The Ministry of Transportation is amending two regulations under the Metrolinx Act to allow municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to continue sharing the costs of GO Transit’s growth and expansion and collect development charges to offset them until Dec. 21, 2016.

 The following fees come into effect on Jan. 1, 2014:

 The Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Ministry of Labour, will introduce a new fee to charge 20 per cent to an employer  to recover wages owed to an employee under the Employment Standards Act. This provision already existed, but was not enforced until now.

 The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is amending a regulation under the Line Fences Act that provides a process for neighbouring landowners to resolve disputes about fences on property lines.  The amendment will increase the fee to file an appeal from $50 to $300.  The fee will be indexed to inflation and adjusted every year.

 The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is amending the Building Code to:

Increase the application fee for Building Code qualification examinations from $80 ($70 online) to $150.New fees will also be established for Building Code Commission applications ($170) and requests for Minister’s ruling authorizing the use of innovative products, systems and building designs ($560). The Consumer Price Index (CPI) will be applied on the Building Code Commission application and Minister’s ruling fees going forward.

 The Ministry of Natural Resources is increasing fees for the hunter education exam from $5.71 to $10 and the hunter education manual from $18 to $20 to support delivery of the Hunter Education Program.

 The Ministry of Natural Resources is increasing fishing licence fees and hunting fees for Ontario residents and non-residents. The amount of the increase depends on the type of licence purchased. The increases range from 25 cents for a Resident One Day Sport Fishing License to $10 for a Non-Resident Moose Licence. Fees charged for hunting and fishing licences are used for fish and wildlife management purposes only.

 The Ministry of Natural Resources is increasing fees for car camping in provincial parks by $1 to cover increased costs for utilities such as electricity, fuel, sanitation, maintenance, waste management, enforcement and wages. Fees for off-season rental of some provincial park lodges and staff houses will also increase depending on the location and range from 75 cents to $2.75 per person, per night.

Tour bus fees in Niagara Parks to be raised. 

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport is amending the Niagara Parks Act to update annual fees that have not changed since 2006. These include fees for sight-seeing vehicles, such as motor coaches that regularly make two or more trips a week and whose itinerary has been approved by the Niagara Parks Commission.  The changes are as follows:  Class 1 from $100 to $250, Class 2 from $150 to $375 and Class 3 from $45 to $50.  Guide licences will increase from $50 to $65.

 The Ministry of Transportation is increasing permit, registration, validation and plate fees as follows:

Registering an off-road vehicle (for example, an all-terrain vehicle) will increase from $36 to $37

Registering a trailer (which includes the permit, plate and one-time validation) will increase from $40-$46

A replacement permit and number plate for a trailer (in the case of loss or destruction) will increase from $23 to $26

Registration of Off the road vehicles fee to be raised by $1.  That’s it?  Why bother?

Range for a 10 day special permit, which allows vehicles to be temporarily exempt from Ontario registration when travelling in Ontario, will now be $20 to $175. The previous range was $17 to $152.  Vehicles requiring special permits could include commercial vehicles and trailers and vehicles purchased at authorized auto auctions

Range for validation for farm vehicles will now be $107 to $848. The previous range was $93 to $737

Registering a motorized snow vehicle will increase from $31 to $32.


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