TORONTO: The following legislation and regulation changes come into effect on January 1, 2022. .
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
The Ontario government is enhancing the province’s animal disease emergency preparedness and modernizing rules under the Animal Health Act to better manage animal health risks, enhance resilience of the livestock and poultry sectors, and support their contributions to the economy.
Ontario is removing the automatic five-year expiry of agricultural operation planning certificates, a change under the Nutrient Management Act that will maintain environmental protections while saving farmers and farm businesses both time and money.
Ontario is further improving the administration of the Farm Business Registration program and implementing reforms developed in consultation with stakeholders. The changes will reduce administrative burden for the Accredited Farm Organizations while ensuring accountability.
Changes are being made to the Weed Control Act to ensure the Ontario government continues to have tools available to remove noxious weeds close to agricultural land to make sure they do not interfere with crops or livestock.
These changes benefit the agriculture sector, particularly farmers in northern Ontario by ensuring there is a mechanism to enforce weed control in unincorporated territories.
Ministry of the Attorney General
The dissolution of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, originally announced in April 2019, will be complete on Dec. 31, 2021. Previously-awarded monthly payments and treatment invoice payments will continue to be paid seamlessly by the Ministry of the Attorney General beginning January 1, 2022. As of October 1, 2019, victims of crime can quickly and directly access supports and services by contacting the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Victim Quick Response Program+ (VQRP+) or by calling the Victim Support Line at 1-888-579-2888.
To better meet people’s expectations for how estates are managed, the Succession Law Reform Act and Family Law Act are being amended to clarify rules for wills and entitlements for spouses in certain cases.
The probate process was made more accessible by simplifying probate court forms, reducing the number of forms and providing applicants with more guidance.
The government is also amending a regulation under the Solicitors Act to accommodate different kinds of contingency fee agreements to clarify clients’ rights and responsibilities when they hire a lawyer or paralegal.
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
The Ontario government is working to make life better for Ontario’s children and families by simplifying programs and services, such as those offered by the Family Responsibility Office, streamlining processes and reducing administrative burden allowing for the delivery of legal and non-legal documents by email and removing the reference to the in-person service option for legal documents. FRO will continue to receive legal and non-legal documents in-person.
Ministry of Education
The government is requiring the Ontario College of Teachers to implement a sexual abuse prevention program to better protect our students.
The government is also allowing the Ontario College of Teachers to issue temporary teacher certificates to candidates from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022.
Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
As part of the government’s ongoing efforts to modernize services for Ontarians and increase efficiency, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks exemption from being required to allow the electronic submission of documents under the Modernizing Ontario for People and Businesses Act, 2020 has expired.
Ministry of Energy
To help improve the energy efficiency in Ontario homes, the new minimum efficiency requirements for residential windows sold in Ontario will take effect on January 1, 2022. This change is aligned with windows requirements in British Columbia and with prescriptive minimums in the Ontario Building Code.
The province is removing barriers to broadband expansion by requiring the Ontario Energy Board to reduce wireline pole attachment fees and fostering opportunities to better plan for future broadband expansion.
The province is switching from twice-annual to once-annual Regulated Price Plan (RPP) rate-setting, which are the time-of-use and tiered prices that are set by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and are paid by most residential consumers and small businesses.
The province will include the Darlington Small Modular Reactor (SMR) facility as a prescribed generation facility in order to allow Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to recover certain costs from electricity ratepayers under the oversight of the Ontario Energy Board once the project is put into service. This is consistent with how OPG recovers the costs of its existing nuclear operations.
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
To help reduce delays on critical infrastructure projects, the Ontario government is updating the Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities under the Environmental Assessment Act. The regulation implements similar thresholds for transmission line projects to those under the federal environmental assessment process for new international transmission lines.
Ontario will put into action sections of the excess soil regulation under the Environmental Protection Act, for excess soil reuse planning, such as notice, tracking and reporting requirements. This contributes to limiting the amount of soil being sent to landfill.
Ontario finalised a new regulation under the Conservation Authorities Act to ensure conservation authorities are delivering on their core mandate which improve conservation and land management efforts, ensure continued access to safe drinking water, protect the environment, strengthen Ontario’s resilience to climate change, and protect people and property from extreme weather events like flooding.
Ontario has finalized a new regulation under the Environmental Protection Act that will support nickel smelting and refining facilities in Sudbury to help reduce their sulphur dioxide emissions and improve air quality in the community.
Ontario is supporting industry’s efforts to reduce, and eventually phase-out the use of coal by amending the Environmental Protection Act to make it easier for manufactures of cement, lime, iron and steel to substitute coal and petroleum coke with alternative fuels derived from materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.
On December 31, 2021, the Ontario government repealed the Toxics Reduction Act and revoked the associated regulations to reduce duplication with federal reporting requirements.
Ministry of Finance
Through regulatory measures, the Ontario government is pursuing automobile insurance reform by enabling the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario to operate a “regulatory sandbox” for auto insurance. Through this regulatory change, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario will pilot initiatives that could bring new products and initiatives to market more quickly in response to changing consumer needs.
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Due to the dissolving the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB), the Ontario government is amending the Protecting What Matters Most Act (Budget Measures), under the Archives and Recordkeeping Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), to remove CICB references.
Under the Condominium Act, the government supports expanding the Condominium Authority Tribunal’s (CAT) jurisdiction to resolve disputes related to certain nuisances in condominiums, including an activity in a condo that would result in any unreasonable noise that is a ‘nuisance, annoyance, or disruption’ or any other prescribed nuisance (e.g. odour, smoke, vapour, light, vibration).
Under the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, the government is increasing minimum contribution amounts to cemetery operators’ care and maintenance funds or accounts, allowing non-commercial cemetery operators (that meet certain criteria) to draw from these funds or accounts, and requiring the minister to review the contribution amounts once every five years.
Under the Electricity Act and the Technical Standards and Safety Act, the Ontario government is amending to replace references to the OCTAA with BOSTA and to recognise the new definition in BOSTA for “provisional certificate of qualification.”
For FIPPA purposes, the proposed amendments replace references to the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act (OCTAA) and the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act with Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act (BOSTA) and identify the head of Skilled Trades Ontario.
Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
Under Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), the Ontario government is putting in place mandatory requirements for sport organizations to establish a removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocol to support implementation of the Law.
Ministry of Health
On January 1, 2022, a regulation comes into force that permits a nurse practitioner or other authorized person to administer the relevant vaccine to a paramedic and can sign a valid certificate that states a paramedic is immunized against diseases.
On January 1, 2022, a statute comes into force that impacts the Ontario Drug Benefit Act as the Pharmacy Council and Citizens’ Council are no longer required and will be dissolved as recommended by the Agencies Review Task Force.
Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
Relevant sections of the Build Ontario Act (Budget Measures) will come into force and raise the general minimum wage to $15.00 per hour, including restaurant servers, to help offset the cost of living increases.
The government is modernizing the skilled trades system by amending the definition of “journeyperson” under the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, while also creating the compliance and enforcement framework.
The Ontario government is proclaiming the Working for Workers Act, while also amending the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, which allows the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to responsibly return surpluses to employers who pay premiums, By returning WSIB surpluses to businesses, employers will be able to reinvest in new jobs, technology, and health and safety protections.
The Working for Workers Act will also allow WSIB to enter into contracts or agreements with organizations such as the Canada Revenue Agency, to accept employer premium payments on the WSIB’s behalf.
The Ontario government is making regulatory changes under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, that will make it easier for businesses to conduct safety reviews while maintaining worker health and safety protections.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
The Ontario government is continuing to cut red tape to make it easier to build new housing and modernize how municipalities work. Legislative and regulatory changes include:
• Changes to the subdivision control provisions of the Planning Act (and associated regulations), which govern things like dividing a piece of land into two or more parcels. The changes will continue to protect Ontarians when they buy and sell property, while making the rules about subdivision control clearer and simpler.
• Amendments to the Building Code that further align with the 2015 National Construction Codes for stairs, guards and handrails.
• Amending the Building Code to facilitate the construction of tiny homes and clarify that remote inspections may be used, to increase flexibility and help increase Ontario’s housing supply.
• Empowering the Town of Parry Sound to have its own land-use planning authority, separate from the Parry Sound Area Planning Board, will help streamline local development approvals.
• Repealing the Statute Labour Act as it is an outdated law to maintain roads.
• Amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act Production Orders for Rental Housing Offences would allow a judge or justice of the peace to compel an individual to produce evidence. It would facilitate quicker and more efficient investigations into rental housing offences.
• Updating the household income limits (as determined by CMHC) to reflect current market conditions will ensure people who need housing support are eligible for assistance. Household income limits are used by service managers to determine eligibility for various programs and forms of housing assistance.
• An amendment to a Development Charges Act regulation and proclaiming part of the Supporting People and Businesses Act will enable York Region to recover more of the eligible growth-related costs of its portion of the Yonge North Subway Extension through development charges, which will help fund the subway extension while protecting taxpayers’ best interests.
Ministry of Northern Devp.Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
The Ontario government is making changes to the Aggregate Resources Act to ensure environmental and community impacts are appropriately managed.
The Ontario government is protecting waterways from invasive species and disease by amending the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act that will create four distinct zones in Ontario and change the way bait is used and transported in the province.
To reduce harm to the natural environment, the Ontario government will amend regulations under the Invasive Species Act, to regulate 13 invasive species including wild pigs and regulate watercraft as carriers of invasive species.
The Ontario government will update short form wordings under the Provincial Offences Act to enable conservation officers the ability to issue tickets instead of a summons to court for minor offences.
Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility
The Ontario government continues to take action to improve the quality of life for the province’s seniors. The Providing More Care, Protecting Seniors and Building More Beds Act, 2021 will make a number of amendments to the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 including:
• Permitting the Registrar of the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority to impose requirements in an order revoking the licence.
• Improved information sharing with law enforcement.
• Allowing regulations to be made including to add other categories of data the RHRA may collect; governing or prohibiting borrowing, receiving or holding retirement home residents’ funds or property, and specifying extraordinary circumstances for the purposes of two new orders proposed in Bill 37.
Ministry of the Solicitor General
The Ontario government is supporting effective and efficient regulatory compliance activities using the Regulatory Modernization Act (RMA). Designating the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act under the RMA and designating the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act as a repealed Act under the RMA will improve how enforcement and compliance information is shared to lessen duplication and streamline enforcement and compliances.
Due to the repeal of the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act passed in the 2019 budget, the government will dissolve the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board to better deliver victims’ services directly. Changes are being made to the Exemptions Regulation under the Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015 to remove reference to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
Ministry of Transportation
The government continues to take action to keep Ontario’s roads safe. Starting January 1, 2022, drivers who receive a licence suspension for certain high-risk driving behaviours, including careless driving and stunt driving, must pay escalating administrative monetary penalties of $250, $350, and $450 for first, second, and third or subsequent suspensions within a five-year period. These penalties are another tool to demonstrate to drivers that speeding, aggressive driving and street racing have no place on Ontario’s roads.