» Important Legislation Update – WHMIS with GHS, Retraining Required
In 2015, Ontario amended the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the WHMIS Regulation to adopt new, international standards that are part of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The changes reflect amendments to the federal Hazardous Products Act and new Hazardous Products Regulations. The new requirements came into effect July 1, 2016. There is a transition period – until December 1, 2018 – to phase out the old requirements. During the transition, both the old and the new requirements are in effect.
Please click here to download a free copy of ORHMA’s Understanding WHMIS. For more information on the requirements and changes from the Ministry of Labour, please click here.
» Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015 (HMCA) - Menu Labelling Requirements in Ontario
Enforcement Protocol and Supporting Materials Enforcement of the HMCA is now a requirement under the Chronic Disease Prevention standard of the Ontario Public Health Standards, 2008 (OPHS). Enforcement materials to support this new requirement include a Menu Labelling Compliance Protocol, a Menu Labelling Enforcement Directive, and an Inspection Form. Please note these last two documents are meant to guide inspectors through the process and promote consistency in enforcement efforts, and are not mandated tools or procedures. Public health units may adapt these documents as needed. Attached are copies of the finalized documents to support enforcement of the HMCA that were distributed to Public Health Units.
The Who must comply on the government website is also helpful to determine if you are required to comply: https://www.ontario.ca/document/guide-menu-labelling-requirements-regulated-food-service-premises-ontario/overview-requirements-legislation#section-3
List of Premises
It has been brought to the Ministry of Health's attention that some premises that would fit under the definition of chains of food service premises under the Act were not included in the last iteration of the Ministry’s list. Please find attached the latest version of the List of Chains of Food Service Premises for your reference.
In response to some concerns raised by industry stakeholders regarding front-line staff having to address questions from the public, the provincial government have developed a one-pager with language about the legislation that premises owners or operators can use to address questions. We invite owners and operators to print and distribute these materials as needed. Please find attached.
Thank you very much for your ongoing collaboration to ensure Ontarians have access to calorie information to make healthier choices.
Please do not hesitate to email the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care directly for questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
» Households and Small Businesses Across Ontario to Benefit from Lower Hydro Bills
Office of the Premier
Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Barrie today to discuss how Ontario's Fair Hydro Plan will lower electricity rates for households and small businesses by an average of 25 per cent. The plan is part of a significant system restructuring that will address long-standing policy challenges and ensure greater fairness.
Starting this summer, small businesses that are on the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) will also be eligible for the 25 per cent cut. Up to half a million small businesses and farms are expected to benefit.
People with low incomes and those living in eligible rural communities will receive even greater reductions to their electricity bills. As part of this plan, rate increases over the next four years would be held to the rate of inflation for everyone.
These measures include the eight per cent rebate introduced in January and build on previously announced initiatives to deliver broad-based rate relief on all electricity bills.
Taken together, these changes will deliver the single-largest reduction to electricity rates In Ontario's history.
Reducing electricity costs for households and small businesses is part of Ontario's plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
» The High Cost of Electricity
The Provincial government has been under tremendous pressure over the past year to rein in the high cost of electricity in Ontario. The Province has announced a number of changes to the electricity market. These changes would be in addition to the previously announced 8% rebate for residential and small business consumers. Specifically:
- Starting this summer, Ontario’s “Fair Hydro Plan” would provide residential consumers, small businesses and farms with an estimated 25% reduction in their electricity bill. This would equate to an incremental 17% reduction as it includes the 8% rebate which took effect Jan. 1, 2017.
- The 17% reduction would be achieved by refinancing existing capital investments over a longer time period to ensure that the system costs are more equitably distributed over expected asset lives. These costs are incorporated in the Global Adjustment (GA) portion of your electricity bill
- The majority of the province’s electricity generators have 20 year contracts. Many of these generators will be able to operate past their contract term, which means that these assets will have ongoing useful life and will benefit future ratepayers. Refinancing the GA would provide “significant and immediate rate relief” by spreading the cost of investments over the expected life of the infrastructure rather than a set 20 year term.
- The immediate reduction in the GA would be about $2.5 Billion per year with annual interest costs not exceeding $1.4 Billion
- The Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) will now be funded by provincial tax revenues instead of by electricity ratepayers.
- Ontario is also expanding the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) program by reducing the Class A threshold from 1 MW of monthly average billed demand to 500 kW for manufacturers.
What does this mean?
- For residential and small business consumers this is good news as the further 17% reduction will lower your hydro bill when the change is implemented – likely this summer.
- For manufacturers with average monthly demand greater than 500 kW, you will now be eligible to choose Class A or Class B GA status depending on which choice best fits your demand / consumption pattern. Analysis will be required to determine that choice.
- For other Class B customers, those not eligible for RPP rates (demand >50 kW) – there is no change to the status quo in the announcement by the Province.
The government intends to introduce legislation that would, if passed, enable the initiatives announced. As this legislation has not yet been made available to the market, some of the details in the proposed changes are not yet known. Our interpretation of the impact on end users is based on information available at the time of writing and in discussions with government officials.
» Ontario Unemployment Rate @ 6.2%
The province gained an impressive 53,200 full-time jobs in February, while losing 48,600 part-time jobs. The overall employment increase of 4,600 is minor but bucks against the trend of part-time job gains and full-time employment stagnation. The unemployment rate is 6.2 per cent.
For the first time since 2000, it looks like Ontario will lead the provinces in economic growth. RBC’s Quarterly Economic Outlook projects 2.5 per cent growth in Ontario in 2017, higher than its nationwide 2.0 per cent growth projection.
Click here for more details.
» Ontario Manufacturers Eye Greener Pastures Stateside As Hydro Rates Go Through The Roof
Jocelyn Bamford, a white hard hat perched over red hair that curls down around her shoulders, has her hands on her hips. Behind safety glasses, her eyes flash. On the shop floor in the bustling Automatic Coating Inc. plant owned by her family, she has to shout to be heard above the squirt of compressed air nozzles, honks from forklifts, the clang of steel as it’s dipped in baths, and the hum of exhaust fans.
Bamford might be shouting regardless of the noise since the hydro bill for her Toronto-based company has her mad as hell. Once boasting one of the continent’s lowest electricity rates, Ontario today has some of the highest and that has many industrial companies planning to move at least some operations to the United States.
To read the full article click here.
» What to Expect in the Upcoming Changing Workplaces Review
Recently the Minister of Labour , Minister Kevin Flynn provided a one-on-one interview with TVO.org on what to expect from the upcoming Changing Workplaces Review. The Changing Workplaces Review Report was commissioned by the Ministry of Labour to investigate the increase in precarious, vulnerable and temporary work so the province can modernize its labour and employment laws.
It notes a need for better enforcement of labour laws, starting with a culture where “compliance with minimum terms and conditions of employment” is widespread. The report notes problems with non-compliance and barriers that stop employees from making claims. It also notes problems the Ministry of Labour has had with collecting unpaid wages and other fines under the Employment Standards Act.
ORHMA remains engaged and participating in advocacy on this matter. We are preparing for the release of this report this spring. We will be seeking your participation in our advocacy as the Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act will be amended by the Minisry of Labour and we anticipate costly revisions to these laws.
» On Line Survey From the AGCO
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is currently working towards modernizing its regulatory operations in order to help reduce the administrative burden on businesses.
Starting in late fall 2017, applicants will be able to apply for a Liquor Sales Licence, Ferment on Premise Licence, Liquor Delivery Service Licence, Licence to Represent a Manufacturer, Authorization to Sell Beer and Wine in a Grocery Store, and an Authorization to Sell Beer and Cider in a Grocery Store online, through the iAGCO portal that will be available on the AGCO’s Web site www.agco.on.ca.
On behalf of the AGCO, I’m pleased to invite you to participate in a short online survey regarding this exciting new initiative. The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete. Our goal is to provide you with an opportunity to offer feedback on your willingness to use the online system as well as on licencing renewal periods.
If you are interested in participating, please click here.
This survey will be open until Friday March 24, 2017.
Thank you for your participation in this survey.