Bill 152 2011
An Act to enact a Bill of Rights for small business
The people of Ontario recognize that business and, in particular small business, is the foundation of our prosperity and the creation of jobs and wealth in our province.
The people of Ontario expect that the Ontario government should regulate business only to the extent necessary to protect human life, human health, the natural environment and the fair treatment of employees.
While it is necessary for the government to make regulations dealing with business, too often governments pass regulations that harm businesses and damage Ontario's prosperity and economic competitiveness.
To ensure that the government is held accountable for its actions in regulating business, the government should follow basic principles that limit the regulation of small businesses and promote a change in attitude towards business and business leaders. It must establish an institutional framework within government to ensure that regulation reduction and reform actually happens.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
Rights of Small Businesses in Ontario
1. Small businesses in Ontario have the following rights:
1. The right to operate in a free market system with as little regulation as is possible and necessary. Only businesses can create jobs and prosperity, and government must stay out of the way as much as possible.
2. The right to be served promptly and treated with courtesy and respect by all government officials and inspectors.
3. The right to expect the Ontario government and all of its regulatory bodies, inspectors and officials to make the needs of small business a factor in all decisions.
4. The right to expect that all government inspectors will be competent to properly and fairly enforce rules, and that any fees charged will reflect only the cost of the inspection.
5. The right to be consulted by ministries, municipalities and all other bodies empowered by the Ontario government to create rules or regulations before any rules or regulations that could affect small businesses are made or amended.
6. The right to operate on a level playing field with larger businesses in seeking government contracts or participating in government boards, consultations or advisory agencies.
7. The right to a simple, fair and predictable tax system that keeps both tax levels and the cost of preparing and filing tax returns and other required forms to a minimum.
8. The right to a well-maintained system of education and infrastructure that meets the needs of small businesses.
9. The right to a secure and affordable supply of energy.
10. The right to equal treatment by government regardless of where in Ontario the business is located.
Requirement for plan to reduce burden on small businesses
2. Within six months after the day this section comes into force, each minister of the Crown shall publish a plan to implement the rights of business as set out in section 1, and each such plan must specifically outline proposals to reduce the burden on small businesses, in terms of both time and cost, of complying with government regulation.
3. (1) Each minister of the Crown shall, commencing at the end of the year in which this section comes into force, prepare an annual report setting out,
(a) the number of regulations made, amended or revoked;
(b) details of any additional burden imposed by the new or amended regulations on small businesses, in terms of both time and cost;
(c) details of any reduction in burden resulting from the revocation, amendment or replacement of any regulations; and
(d) the plans to reduce the burden on small businesses in the following year.
Report to be tabled
(2) Each Minister shall, not later than March 31 of the following year,
(a) lay the annual report before the Assembly, if the Assembly is in session; or
(b) deposit the annual report with the Clerk of the Assembly, if the Assembly is not then in session.
4. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
5. The short title of this Act is the Small Business Bill of Rights, 2011.
The Bill creates a Bill of Rights for small businesses in Ontario.