Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Title: Coat of Arms of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario - Description: Coat of Arms of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

 

Assemblée législative de l'Ontario

 

STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND PRIVATE BILLS

THIRD REPORT 2016

2nd Session, 41st Parliament
65 Elizabeth II


ISSN 0835-037X (Print)
ISSN 2369-419X [English] (PDF and HTML)
ISSN 2369-4203 [French] (PDF and HTML)

ISBN 978-1-4606-8969-1 (Print)
ISBN 978-1-4606-8971-4 [English] (PDF)
ISBN 978-1-4606-8973-8 [French] (PDF)
ISBN 978-1-4606-8970-7 [English] (HTML)
ISBN 978-1-4606-8972-1 [French] (HTML)


 

Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Title: Coat of Arms of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario - Description: Coat of Arms of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

 

Assemblée législative de l'Ontario

 

The Honourable Dave Levac, MPP

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

 

 

Sir,

Your Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills has the honour to present its Report entitled “Third Report 2016” and commends it to the House.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ted McMeekin, MPP
Chair of the Committee

Queen's Park
November 2016


STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND PRIVATE BILLS

Comité permanent des RÈGLEMENTS ET DES PROJETS DE LOI D’INTéRÊT PRIVé

Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A2



 

STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND PRIVATE BILLS

MEMBERSHIP LIST

 

2nd Session, 41st Parliament

TED MCMEEKIN

Chair

 

JOE DICKSON

Vice-Chair

Lorenzo Berardinetti

GRANT CRACK

JENNIFER FRENCH

MARIO SERGIO

BILL WALKER

SOO WONG

JEFF YUREK

 

 

 

DAIENE VERNILE regularly served as a substitute member of the Committee.


 

CHRISTOPHER TYRELL

Clerk of the Committee

 

tamara hauerstock

Research Officer

 

 

 

 

 


 


 


 


 


Contents

Acknowledgements   ii

Introduction: Scope of this Report and the Committee’s Mandate   1

Statistics: 19962015  1

Number of Regulations Made  1

New, Revoking and Amending Regulations  2

Regulations Reported   5

Ministry of Transportation   5

O. Reg. 419/15 (Definitions of Commercial Motor Vehicle and Tow Truck) made under the Highway Traffic Act 5

Update on Responses to Regulations Previously Reported by the Standing Committee   7

Second Report 2016  (Regulations Filed in the First Six Months of
2015)
7

First Report 2016  (Regulations Filed in 2014) 7

First Report 2015  (Regulations Filed in 2013) 8

Appendix A   9

Section 33 of the Legislation Act, 2006  9

Appendix B   10

Standing Order 108(i) 10

Appendix C   11

Committee’s Process for the Review of Regulations  11

Appendix D   12

Acts Under Whose Authority Ten or More Regulations Were  Filed in 2015  12

Appendix E   13

Ministries and Offices and the Number of Regulations  Filed in 2015 for Which Each Was Responsible  13


Acknowledgements

The Committee wishes to express its appreciation to all of the legislative staff who assisted us in our work.  In particular, we wish to thank

·          Christopher Tyrell, the Committee’s Clerk, who performed the procedural and administrative duties necessary for the carrying out of our regulations mandate; and

·          Monica Cop, Erin Fowler, Tamara Hauerstock, Andrew McNaught and Heather Webb of the Legislative Research Service who acted as Counsel to the Committee and who performed the examination of the regulations covered in this report.  Ms. Hauerstock prepared a draft report for the Committee’s consideration; Mr. McNaught oversaw the regulations review.


Introduction: Scope of this Report and the Committee’s Mandate

The Committee presents this report on regulations filed under Ontario statutes during the period July to December 2015 (O. Regs. 187/15 – 444/15), in accordance with its terms of reference, as set out in the Legislation Act, 2006 and the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly.  In April 2016, the Committee filed its report on the regulations filed during the period January – June 2015.  Since that report was prepared in the course of 2015, it did not include two sections usually included in the Committee’s reports: statistical information on the regulations filed in 2015 and an update on responses to regulations previously reported.  The present report includes these two sections.

Section 33 of the Act (see Appendix A) requires the Committee to examine the regulations made under Ontario statutes, and provides that all regulations stand permanently referred to the Committee.  In conducting its examination, the Committee is directed to consider “the scope and method of the exercise of delegated legislative power,” but not “the merits of the policy or objectives to be effected by the regulations or enabling Acts.”  The Committee is required, from time to time, to report its observations, opinions and recommendations to the Assembly.

Standing Order 108(i) (see Appendix B) sets out nine guidelines the Committee is to apply when conducting its review.  Guideline 2, for example, provides that there should be statutory authority to make a regulation.  The Standing Order also stipulates that the Committee may not report a regulation to the Assembly without first affording the ministry or agency concerned “an opportunity to furnish orally or in writing to the Committee such explanation as the ministry or agency sees fit.”

The Committee’s process for reviewing regulations and preparing its Report is set out in Appendix C.

Statistics: 1996 2015

Number of Regulations Made

The graph on the following page indicates the number of regulations filed with the Registrar of Regulations from 1996 to 2015.[1]  Over this 20-year period, the average number filed each year was 522.[2]

Total Regulations Filed: 19962015

Bar graph showing the number of regulations filed each year.  The largest number on the graph is for 1998 and the smallest number is for 2014.  The number of regulations filed in each year noted on this bar graph is set out in footnote 1 on page 1.

The 444 regulations filed in 2015 were made under the authority of 126 Acts under the administration of 20 ministries and offices.[3]  Nine Acts generated at least 10 regulations each; these represented 43% of all regulations filed in 2015.

Appendix D lists the Acts under which at least 10 regulations were made in 2015.  Appendix E sets out the ministries and offices responsible for regulations made in 2015 and the number falling under each ministry or office.

New, Revoking and Amending Regulations

Generally speaking, a regulation falls into one of the following three categories:

·          New

·          Amending adds, removes or substitutes text in a pre-existing or “parent” regulation.

·          Revoking revokes an existing regulation.[4]

The tables below show the number of new, revoking and amending regulations made in the years 2006 to 2015, and the proportion they represent of all regulations made in a particular year.[5]

New Regulations: 2006 – 2015

 

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

New Regulations Filed

134

135

60

72

66

91

57

38

37

52

Total Regulations Filed

614

593

456

513

531

468

448

368

312

444

% of Total

22%

23%

13%

14%

12%

19%

13%

10%

12%

12%

 

Revoking Regulations: 2006 2015

 

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Revoking Regulations Filed

21

26

17

54

64

36

29

15

13

10

Total Regulations Filed

614

593

456

513

531

468

448

368

312

444

% of Total

3%

4%

4%

10%

12%

8%

6%

4%

4%

2%

 

Amending Regulations: 2006 2015

 

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Amending Regulations Filed

459

432

380

390

401

345

376

322

268

386

Total Regulations Filed

614

593

456

513

531

468

448

368

312

444

% of Total

75%

73%

83%

76%

76%

74%

84%

88%

86%

87%

 


Of the 52 new regulations made in 2015, eleven were made under a statute with no previous regulations.[6] 

New Regulations Made in 2015

Under Statutes with No Previous Regulations

Statute

O. Reg. No.

Title of Regulation

Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014

137/15

General

Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014

138/15

Funding, Cost Sharing and Financial Assistance

Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2015

337/15

General

Highway 407 East Act, 2012

175/15

Tolls

Highway 407 East Act, 2012

176/15

Disclosure of Personal Information

Highway 407 East Act, 2012

246/15

General

Ontario Mortgage and Housing Corporation Act

10/15

Prescribed Housing Programs – Subsection 6.2(2) of the Act

Security for Electricity Generating Facilities and Nuclear Facilities Act, 2014

112/15

General

Ticket Speculation Act

151/15

Exemptions

Trillium Trust Act, 2014

53/15

General

Voluntary Blood Donations Act, 2014

27/15

Exemptions

 


Regulations Reported

Following our initial review of the 258 regulations filed in the last six months of 2015, we wrote to three ministries to inquire about six regulations.  After considering the responses to our inquiries, we have decided to report one regulation under one Committee guideline:

·          Guideline 3: Regulations should be expressed in precise and unambiguous language.

In our reports, regulations are reported under the Ministry responsible for the regulation being reported.  It should be noted that our comments and recommendations relate to specific provisions of a regulation, rather than to the regulation as a whole.

Ministry of Transportation

O. Reg. 419/15 (Definitions of Commercial Motor Vehicle and Tow Truck) made under the Highway Traffic Act

Issue

The regulation defines “commercial motor vehicle” and “tow truck” for the purposes of prescribed sections of the Highway Traffic Act.  Does the complex structure of the definitions obscure the meaning of the terms they are defining?

 

In defining the terms “commercial motor vehicle” and “tow truck,” O. Reg. 419/15 uses multiple exclusions and references to definitions in other provisions of the regulation and the Highway Traffic Act

For example, s. 2(1) of the regulation provides that, for the purposes of listed sections of the Act, the definition of “commercial motor vehicle” is the definition set out in s. 3 of the regulation.  This provision is immediately modified by
s. 2(2), which states that despite s. 2(1) and s. 3(1)(b) of the regulation, the definition of “commercial motor vehicle” in s. 190 of the Act (one of the listed sections) is not the s. 3 definition; rather, it is the s. 3 definition, but excluding a tow truck as defined in s. 4 of the regulation (which itself is subject to exclusions).

Section 3 then sets out a multi-part definition of “commercial motor vehicle” for the purposes of the 20 sections of the Act listed in s. 2(1).  Under s. 3(1), “commercial motor vehicle” means the vehicles described in paragraphs (a) to (c) of the subsection; however, the vehicles described in these paragraphs are then made subject to exceptions; that is, they do not include a vehicle “excluded” by one or more of subsections 3(2), (3) or (4).

Similarly, s. 4(1) prescribes a multi-part definition of “tow truck” for the purpose of the definition of “commercial motor vehicle” in s. 3(1)(b) of the regulation (and for the purpose of s. 171 of the Act).  This definition includes references to other terms defined in the Act and in the Off-Road Vehicles Act, and is subject to four exclusions listed in s. 4(2) of the regulation.

In response to our letter, the Ministry explained that

the structure of this regulation is designed to replace provisions previously found in section 16 of the Highway Traffic Act that were repealed in Bill 15, the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, 2014.  The extensive definition of commercial motor vehicle in the regulation is intended to describe all of the classes of commercial motor vehicles, formerly identified in section 16 of the Act, that are required to participate in the Ministry of Transportation’s Commercial Vehicle Operator’s registration (CVOR) Certificate program.  The structure of the regulation is partially due to the sequence and design of those provisions of the Act that were repealed, and which the regulation seeks to replace.

The Ministry also noted that the regulation establishes tow trucks as a new class of CVOR vehicle, and that each requirement of the CVOR program has “its own scope of application and its own series of exceptions and exemptions specific to tow trucks.”

The Ministry further explained that the regulation is a technical one specific to a particular industry:

This industry has been governed by the same CVOR provisions in the Act that have now been moved into this regulation so the persons affected by the regulation are already familiar with its requirements.  The tow truck industry has been consulted on these new requirements and the ministry continues to meet with them to clarify the new requirements applicable to their vehicles.  As a result, it is our view that this is one of those technical regulations that may seem complex but is understood by the persons affected by it given that they have been governed by the same requirements under section 16 of the Act.

Though the Ministry has indicated that the requirements embodied by the regulation are understood by the persons affected by it, the regulation is complex and difficult for a reader to decipher. 

The Committee recognizes that O. Reg. 419/15 reflects language and requirements carried over from the Act and that, in the Ministry’s view, it is understood by the persons affected by it.  Accordingly, the Committee has decided not to make any recommendations with respect to this regulation.


Update on Responses to Regulations Previously Reported by the Standing Committee

Second Report 2016
(Regulations Filed in the First Six Months of 2015)

O. Reg. 136/15 (Designated Air Ambulance Service Providers) made under the Ambulance Act

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Standing Order Considered:

(ii) Regulations should be in strict accord with the statute conferring of power, particularly concerning personal liberties.

Recommendation made by Committee:

The Committee recommended that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care remake the regulation in the manner required by the Ambulance Act.

Current status:

As of September 22, 2016, no amendment had been made to
O. Reg. 136/15.

 

First Report 2016
(Regulations Filed in 2014)

O. Reg. 309/14 amending Regulation 74 (General) of R.R.O. 1990 made under the Collection Agencies Act (now the Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act)

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Standing Orders Considered:

(ii) Regulations should be in strict accord with the statute conferring of power, particularly concerning personal liberties.

(iii) Regulations should be expressed in precise and unambiguous language.

Recommendations made by Committee:

The Committee recommended that the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services take steps to amend the Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act to authorize regulations requiring collectors to keep records and provide them to the Registrar upon request.  The Committee also recommended that the Ministry amend s. 30(2) of the Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act or s. 17(2) of Regulation 74, or both, to establish one set of requirements with regard to trust accounts.

Current status:

As of September 22, 2016, no relevant amendments had been made to Regulation 74 or to the Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act.

First Report 2015
(Regulations Filed in 2013)

O. Reg. 288/13 amending O. Reg. 221/11 (Extended Day and Third Party Programs) made under the Education Act

Ministry of Education

Standing Order Considered:

(ii) Regulations should be in strict accord with the statute conferring of power, particularly concerning personal liberties.

Recommendation made by Committee:

The Committee recommended that the Ministry of Education make every effort going forward to adhere to the procedural requirements when establishing regulations.  The Committee also recommended that the Ministry remake s. 1 of O. Reg. 288/13, which, by oversight, was made by the Minister instead of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Current status:

The recommendation was adopted.  (See s. 1 of O. Reg. 363/15, revoking and substituting s. 1(2.1) of O. Reg. 221/11, in force November 30, 2015. Subsequently, s. 1(2.1) was revoked and substituted by s. 1 of O. Reg. 129/16.)


 Appendix A

Section 33 of the Legislation Act, 2006

33(1) At the commencement of each session of the Legislature, a standing committee of the Assembly shall be appointed under this section with authority to sit during the session.

(2) Every regulation stands permanently referred to the standing committee for the purposes of subsection (3).

(3) The standing committee shall examine the regulations with particular reference to the scope and method of the exercise of delegated legislative power but without reference to the merits of the policy or objectives to be effected by the regulations or enabling Acts, and shall deal with such other matters as are referred to it by the Assembly.

(4) The standing committee may examine any member of the Executive Council or any public servant designated by the member respecting any regulation made under an Act that is under his or her administration.

(5) The standing committee shall, from time to time, report to the Assembly its observations, opinions and recommendations.


Appendix B

Standing Order 108(i)

108      Within the first 10 Sessional days following the commencement of a Parliament, the membership of the following Standing Committees shall be appointed, on motion with notice, for the duration of the Parliament:

i.      Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills . . . to be the Committee provided for by section 33 of Part III (Regulations) of the Legislation Act, 2006, and having the terms of reference as set out in that section, namely: to be the Committee to which all regulations stand permanently referred; and to examine the regulations with particular reference to the scope and method of the exercise of delegated legislative power without reference to the merits of the policy or objectives to be effected by the regulations or enabling statutes, but in so doing regard shall be had to the following guidelines:

(i)        Regulations should not contain provisions initiating new policy, but should be confined to details to give effect to the policy established by the statute;

(ii)       Regulations should be in strict accord with the statute conferring of power, particularly concerning personal liberties;

(iii)      Regulations should be expressed in precise and unambiguous language;

(iv)     Regulations should not have retrospective effect unless clearly authorized by statute;

(v)      Regulations should not exclude the jurisdiction of the courts;

(vi)     Regulations should not impose a fine, imprisonment or other penalty;

(vii)    Regulations should not shift the onus of proof of innocence to a person accused of an offence;

(viii)   Regulations should not impose anything in the way of a tax (as distinct from fixing the amount of a licence fee, or the like); and

(ix)     General powers should not be used to establish a judicial tribunal or an administrative tribunal,

and, the Committee shall from time to time report to the House its observations, opinions and recommendations as required by section 33 of Part III (Regulations) of the Legislation Act, 2006, but before drawing the attention of the House to a regulation or other statutory instrument the Committee shall afford the ministry or agency concerned an opportunity to furnish orally or in writing to the Committee such explanation as the ministry or agency thinks fit.


Appendix C

Committee’s Process for the Review of Regulations

Title: Committee's Process for the Review of Regulations - Description: Regulations are made
Step 1 – Regulations are reviewed
Did the review find possible violations of the Committee guidelines?
If No – Stop
If Yes – Step 2 – Letter sent to Ministry or Agency
Step 3 – Ministry or Agency’s response
If Agrees – Put in Draft Report
If Disagrees – Does the response show compliance? 
If Yes - Stop
If No – Put in Draft Report
Step 4 – Committee reviews Draft Report
Step 5 - Committee finalizes Draft Report
Step 6 - Committee tables Report
Step 7 - Committee sends Report to Ministry or Agency


Appendix D

Acts Under Whose Authority Ten or More Regulations Were
Filed
in 2015

Act

No. of Regulations

Highway Traffic Act

83

Education Act

20

Pension Benefits Act

15

Farm Products Marketing Act

13

Municipal Act, 2001

13

Planning Act

13

Environmental Protection Act

11

Local Roads Boards Act

11

Health Insurance Act

10

 


Appendix E

Ministries and Offices and the Number of Regulations
Filed in 2015 for Which Each Was Responsible

Ministry/Office

No. of Regulations

Transportation

100

Municipal Affairs

42

Health and Long-Term Care

45

Finance

43

Attorney General

35

Government and Consumer Services

29

Education

27

Environment and Climate Change

23

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

19

Labour

15

Energy

14

Community and Social Services

13

Natural Resources and Forestry

10

Treasury Board Secretariat

8

Advanced Education and Skills Development

5

Community Safety and Correctional Services

4

Housing

4

Office of Francophone Affairs

3

Northern Development and Mines

3

Economic Development and Growth

2

 



[1] The actual number of regulations filed in each year was as follows: 1996 (564); 1997 (540); 1998 (722); 1999 (637); 2000 (695); 2001 (521); 2002 (441); 2003 (459); 2004 (446); 2005 (673); 2006 (614); 2007 (593); 2008 (456); 2009 (513); 2010 (531); 2011 (468); 2012 (448); 2013 (368); 2014 (312); 2015 (444).

[2] The Office of Legislative Counsel has observed that “the ‘number’ of regulations applying to a given business sector (sector X) may not be indicative of how regulated the sector is. One could argue that a single 100-page regulation governing ‘sector X’ regulates sector X much more than 20 two-page regulations relating to sector X in which each of the 20 regulations regulates a separate topic. . . . The decision as to whether to draft one long regulation or several shorter ones is made by legislative counsel working together with the relevant ministry, taking into account various factors including the best way to give the public easy access to the laws of Ontario. Consequently, if you are attempting to determine how regulated sector X is, you must analyze the substance of the regulations that apply to sector X rather than counting the numbers of regulations that apply to sector X.”  (Source: Email communication from Office of Legislative Counsel to Committee counsel, March 6, 2008.)

[3] The list of Ministries used for this calculation is found on the webpage entitled Ministries, on the Ontario.ca website, at https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministries, accessed August 4, 2016.

[4] These descriptions are based on information found on the webpage entitled e-Laws definitions: A collection of terms used on e-Laws and their definitions, on the Ontario.ca website, at http://www.ontario.ca/laws/e-laws-definitions, accessed August 9, 2016.

[5] In 2015, four regulations were identified as both New and Revoking regulations by the Registrar of Regulations; accordingly, these regulations are identified as both “New” and “Revoking” in the tables.  As a result, when the numbers noted in the tables above are combined, there are a total of 448 regulations, representing 101% of the actual number of regulations filed in 2015.

[6] This number includes the four regulations identified as both New and Revoking regulations by the Registrar of Regulations.