Workers Health & Safety Centre

Bill 154 will weaken Ontario’s environmental, OHS regulations labour warns

Bill 154 will weaken Ontario’s environmental, OHS regulations labour warns
Labour and environmental groups are joining forces to stop a government bill which would establish a dangerous trade-off system for setting regulations in the province.  

Bill 154 is at the Standing Committee on Justice Policy and scheduled for clause by clause debate today—Thursday, October 26. The Bill could be back in the Legislature for final reading as early as next week.

Labour leaders are calling on workers and their representatives to take action to stop the bill’s passage. In a letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne, the Ontario Federation of Labour, Canadian Union of Public Employees (Ontario), the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario and thirteen leading environmental group express their “profound concerns” about Bill 154.

Introduced in September and quickly passed to the Committee stage, Bill 154, Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act, 2017, is another government omnibus bill that would, among other things, create the Reducing Regulatory Cost for Business Act, 2017. This would:
  • impose a “one-for-one” rule when enacting regulations. Any “administrative burden” to businesses as result of new regulatory measures must be offset by a comparable reduction in the “administrative burden” associated with existing regulatory measures.
  • Ensure less onerous requirements are placed on small businesses when new or amended regulations are introduced.
  • Increasing harmonization with other jurisdictions and adopting international or national standards, where appropriate, when developing or reviewing regulations.
  • Recognize businesses who demonstrate excellent regulatory compliance record. This could include reducing the number of OHS inspections.
  • Provide businesses the option to electronically submit any required documentation to the Government of Ontario instead of costlier paper submissions.

Take action now!

Concerned about Bill 154? Send your comments and concerns to the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth through the province’s Regulatory RegistryDeadline October 30, 2017

Contact your Member of Provincial Parliament with your concerns.

If Bill 154 is passed, tougher air pollution requirements could come at the cost of safe drinking water or workplace health and safety protections. Similar changes introduced via Executive Order by U.S. President, Donald Trump, have adopted a ‘two-for-one’ rule when introducing new regulations—two regulations must be repealed for every new one. 

In addition to omnibus bills which reduce or weaken the regulatory framework in Ontario, the government’s Red Tape Challenge is an online consultation to review regulatory burden reduction in seven sectors (auto parts manufacturing, food processing, financial services, mining, chemical manufacturing, forestry and tourism) over a two- year period. To date, consultations and reports have been completed for several sectors some of which may impact workplace OHS. 

WHSC offers a range of training programs and information resources including many intended to help workers and their representatives fully understand and exercise their legal OHS rights and responsibilities.
To learn more:
Call:   1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak with a training services representative