December 2019
Government Passes Bill 132, Better for People, Smarter for Business Act

2019-12-12 1:40:06 PM

The Ontario government has passed Bill 132, Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, which the government says will make it easier to interact with the government, eliminate red tape, and modernize regulations. The changes will affects Acts from 14 different Ministries.

The Bill was introduced on October 28th and received Royal Assent on December 10th.

Below is a brief summary of the legislation that may have implications on Ontario’s municipalities:

Note: the proposed repeal of the Line Fences Act (Schedule 2) was withdrawn during the Standing Committee on General Government’s review.

Schedule 2: Local Planning Appeal Support Centre Repeal Act

  • As the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre closed on June 30th, 2019, the Schedule repeals the corresponding Act.

Schedule 7: Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

  • Part II of the Northern Services Boards Act, which currently provides for the establishment of area services boards, is repealed. Regulation 331/99 under the Act relating to area services boards is revoked as well.

  • Consequential amendments are made to the City of Toronto Act, the Municipal Act, and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Act.

Schedule 8: Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

  • Administrative penalties will be added for environmental violations under key environmental statues against polluters. The amount will be determined in regulations for the following statues (consultations for the proposed regulations closed on November 27th):

    • Environmental Protection Act: $200,000 per contravention

    • Ontario Water Resources Act - $200,000 per contravention

    • Pesticides Act - $100,000 per contravention

    • Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002 - $100,000 per contravention

    • Nutrient Management Act, 2002 - $10,000 per contravention

  • The Board of Negotiation under the Environmental Protection Act is eliminated.

  • Waterpower facilities will no longer be required to obtain a permit to take water under the Ontario Water Resources Act. All existing permits for waterpower facilities will remain in force until they are revoked by the Ministry of Conservation, Conservation and Parks or when they expire.

Schedule 12: Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries

  • A permanent resident of Canada is now allowed to become a member of a public library board under the Public Libraries Act. Prior to this, only Canadian citizens qualified.

  • Libraries boards will be required to hold at least seven meeting in a year. This amends the prior requirement of meetings once a month for at least ten months per year.

Schedule 14: Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

  • Amendments to the Building Code Act include dissolving the Building Code Conservation Advisory Council, allow the use of email to service notice or order, and remove a requirement for the Minister to initiate a review of the energy and water conservation provisions of the building code every four years.

  • The Statute of Labour Act is repealed. The Schedule also amends the Act to add new sections that came into force before the Act was repealed:

    • Schedule 38 states that a road commissioner will provide the Minister with required information in a  area of the commissioner's jurisdiction and provide for the disposition of the assets and liabilities of the office of road commissioner as the Minister considers appropriate.

Schedule 15: Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

  • The Aggregate Resources Act has been amended to include the following:

    • ​When considering whether a license for a pit or quarry under the Act should be issued or refused, the Minister or LPAT cannot have regard to ongoing maintenance and repairs to address road degradation that may result from proposed truck traffic to and from the site.

    • New provisions provide for the following zoning by-laws to be inoperative

      • Restrictions on the depth of extraction in specified circumstances

      • Prohibitions against a site being used for the making, establishment or operation of pits and quarries where the surface rights are the property of the Crown. 

    • New provisions are included to address the specified circumstances (as mentioned above) where changes to a license or permit are desired:

      • Where a licensee wishes to lower the depth of extraction from above the water table to below the water table

      • Where a licensee or permitee wishes to expand the boundaries of the area subject to a license of permit into an adjacent road allowance. 

    • Section 13 under the Schedule will now allow applications, and any objections that arose during the notification or consultation process, that involve going from above water extraction to below water extraction to be referred from the Ministry to LPAT for a hearing.

  • The Crown Forest Sustainability Act will now allow the Minister to issue permits for the removal of forest resources in cases where an activity requires the forest resources to be removed and not renewed for the duration of the activity.

Schedule 16: Ministry of Transportation

  • The Schedule amends the Highway Traffic Act to allow off-road vehicles to cross, ride on or along municipal roads. Municipal governments will thereby have to pass by-laws restricting the use of off-road vehicles on municipal roads.   

For more information, please see below:

Bill 132, Better for People, Smarter for Business Act

Ontario Newsroom: Ontario Legislature passes the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act 

AMCTO: Government Introduces Bill 132


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