TORONTO, Nov. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the Government of Ontario announced the 2015 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, which outlined the status of the province's finances. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is encouraged to see its powerful advocacy work directly reflected in the government's economic plans for 2016, including detailed steps to address the cumulative burden facing Ontario businesses. Some of these priorities include:
- The "Red Tape Challenge", a strategy that encourages Ontarians to submit comments and changes on those regulations that impact them. This will be overseen by a Regulatory Modernization Committee;
- A Regulatory Centre of Excellence, which identifies and champions best practices from around the world; and
- A Government Modernization Fund to address the cost of modernizing outmoded regulatory processes.
In direct response to an OCC call to remove the Debt Retirement Charge from businesses, the government has announced that they are doing so for commercial, industrial and other non-residential electricity users on April 1, 2018, nine months earlier than expected.
"The chamber network has made burden reduction a priority, and the government has listened to our concerns on this issue," said Allan O'Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. "There is more that can be done, but this is an encouraging step towards alleviating the pressure on businesses, which will help drive Ontario's economy forward."
The Province also responded to concerns surrounding environmental compliance approvals, pledging to reduce the time taken to review air and noise approvals by at least 50 percent within the next two years. After 2017, the government intends to implement a one-year service standard for higher-risk approval requests. This will be coupled with a more transparent process for both applicants and the public to track applications and performance.
The OCC emphasized the economic importance of maintaining the industrial exception in the Professional Engineers Act, and the government has announced that it will permanently maintain this exception.
Over the past year, the OCC has developed a number of detailed reports on issues that matter most to Ontario business. From energy to taxation to the environment. The OCC is committed to being the voice of Ontario business.
SOURCE Ontario Chamber of Commerce
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