Ontario’s Legislative Updates for 2024: What You Should Be Aware Of

With the arrival of the new year comes a set of fresh regulations from the provincial government, spanning various sectors and poised to reshape operational norms. These legislative changes, ranging from adjustments in agriculture to industry-specific regulations, are now officially in effect and are anticipated to bring transformative impacts to Ontario.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Under the Commodity Boards and Marketing Agencies Act, significant changes have been made to the levy on turkey producers, reducing it from 3.05 to 1.8 cents per kilogram. This adjustment aims to ease the burden on farmers while supporting the province’s food supply.

Ministry of the Attorney General

An amendment to the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 has expanded cannabis retail store authorizations from 75 to 150 per licensed retail operator, fostering a more competitive cannabis market. Simultaneously, revisions in civil proceeding rules introduce stringent measures for Court of Appeal and Divisional Court documents, emphasizing authenticity and updating references for damage awards.

Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

A renaming of the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 to the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005 prompts updates across regulations, emphasizing ‘career college’ references for alignment and consistency within the legislative framework.

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

Amendments to the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005 have been proclaimed, emphasizing reviews every five years, enhanced collection tools for fines, simplified tuition refund guidelines, extended program approval flexibility, and clarified requirements for career colleges.

Ministry of Education

Regulations from the Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, 2023 streamline school construction processes, facilitating the establishment of schools in shared-use spaces and the identification of surplus school properties, prioritizing student needs and other provincial objectives.

Ministry of Energy

Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking initiative amendments under the Electricity Act, 1998 streamline large-building owners’ exemption processes for energy consumption reporting. Modernization of energy efficiency regulations aligns provincial standards with federal criteria for various heating products and equipment.

Ministry of Finance

Alterations in fuel tax requirements under the Gasoline Tax Act extend to include alternative fuels, while amendments in the Liquor Licence and Control Act elongate the ‘sunset date’ for direct-to-consumer alcohol importation.

Ministry of Health

Enhancements in the Personal Health Information Protection Act strengthen patient privacy by allowing monetary penalties for breaches, empowering the Information and Privacy Commissioner to enforce compliance effectively.

Ministry of Infrastructure

Amendments to the Building Broadband Faster Act, 2021 ensure accountability for designated broadband projects, mandating qualified individuals and accountability measures during necessary work for broadband initiatives.

Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development

Changes in regulations under various acts align language proficiency testing requirements with federal standards, expand eligibility for international students under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, and bolster safety measures for cranes at construction sites.

Ministry of Long-Term Care

Updates to career training regulations in long-term care reflect changes in the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005, aligning terminology and references.

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Transference of tow truck and vehicle storage business licensing authority to the provincial government and freezing Building Code fees at 2023 levels align with the government’s housing development targets.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

New regulations under the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act and Invasive Species Act seek to bolster carbon storage efforts and curb the spread of invasive species, fortifying environmental protection.

Ministry of the Solicitor General

The Forensic Laboratories Act, 2018 comes into force to enhance accountability for forensic testing laboratories, while amendments to the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019 fortify animal welfare standards and processes.

Ministry of Transportation

The Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act, 2021 introduces enhanced customer protection measures in the towing and vehicle storage industry, prioritizing safety and consumer rights.

Ontario’s impending legislative changes reflect a meticulous drive towards progress, encompassing diverse sectors and promising an evolved operational landscape in 2024.

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