Canadian Underwriter

Government of Manitoba announces legislation to reduce red tape imposed on businesses, industry and local governments

March 20, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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The Government of Manitoba has announced proposed legislation that would reduce outdated, contradictory, complicated or ineffective regulatory requirements imposed on businesses, industry and local governments, provincial Finance Minister Cameron Friesen said last week.

Friesen said in a statement that the Red Tape Reduction and Government Efficiency Act would amend or repeal 15 pieces of legislation to reduce the red tape that is creating burdens on business, non-profit organizations, municipalities, private citizens and government officials.

Among other changes, the proposed legislation would:

  • Remove hazardous waste facility licence requirements for used oil and oil burner collection facilities if they meet specific standards in the Dangerous Goods Handling and Transportation Act regulations;
  • Eliminate the need for ministerial approvals for municipalities to charge more than a specified amount to property owners for controlling noxious weeds under the Noxious Weeds Act;
  • Remove general prohibitions from the Environment Act for the expansion of hog barns and manure storage facilities;
  • Eliminate un-proclaimed provisions of the Groundwater and Water Well Act that require identification plates on each drilling machine and require engineers or geoscientists to submit reports;
  • Remove duplication and inconsistency of government reporting requirements in the Fisheries Act and Ecological Reserves Act; and
  • Modify the Drinking Water Safety Act to reduce the frequency of major audits on small, semi-public water systems (such as campgrounds), eliminate the need for permits for minor alterations to water systems and align laboratory reporting requirements to the risk to human health.

“Our government recognizes the status quo has created unnecessary challenges for both industry and government,” Friesen said in the statement. “The proposed changes were identified as priority actions by both industry leaders and the civil service. Once implemented, these changes would improve efficiency and effectiveness, making it easier for all Manitobans to prosper and focus on their priorities.”

In December 2016, the province of Ontario announced that it was launching consultations until the end of January 2017 asking businesses and the public to help identify and improve regulations that are “unclear, outdated, redundant or unnecessarily costly” for the financial services sector.

Ontario’s Red Tape Challenge is broken down into several “regulation categories,” including financial services, insurance, employment and labour, health and safety, corporate and commercial law, land use and planning, and taxation and financial reporting. The insurance category is further broken down into more than 50 sub-categories, including: auto insurance dispute resolution: assessing expenses and expenditures; automobile insurance – contract requirements; automobile insurance – statutory accident benefits schedule (before Jan. 1, 1994); Automobile Insurance Rate Stabilization Act; Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act; Insurance Act; Insurance brokers – licensing and general requirements; and reinsurance.