Ontario will protect valuable services, improve efficiency and ensure legislation and fees remain current through changes effective Jan. 1, 2014.
Changes coming into effect on Jan. 1 would:
- Protect vulnerable people by giving 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 specified residence.
- Improve patient care by authorizing registered nurses or registered practical nurses to dispense drugs under certain conditions.
- Regulate the construction, demolition, change of use and renovations of buildings in Ontario by bringing into effect the 2012 Building Code.
- Facilitate the restructuring of pension plans affected by reorganizations while protecting benefit security for plan members and pensioners.
- Promote smarter energy use through new or enhanced energy efficiency requirements for 25 products, such as water heaters, household appliances, televisions and fluorescent lamps.
- Change rules for civil, small claims and family law cases to allow the hiring of lawyers for only portions of cases, allow paralegals to accept court documents on behalf of their clients and streamline various court processes.
Fee changes effective Jan. 1 include increases for fishing and hunting licences, registering off-road and snow vehicles, and car camping in provincial parks.
In addition, changes to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) Act mean that over 60,000 smaller employers would pay less EHT, including more than 12,000 employers that will no longer pay the tax. These changes also come into effect Jan. 1, 2014.
Updating laws and regulations is part of the Ontario government's plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.