Provincial Government Policies Affecting You

Beverly Written by Beverly Leavitt March 21, 2022 COVID-19

A man and a woman at a polling station casting their votes behind dividers.

What would it take to sway your vote? 

Over the past four years, a lot has changed, particularly the last two. As we approach the provincial election, we’ve recapped some of the most influential policies and decisions that have recently affected the equipment industry. 

Before we dive too deep, let’s set the scene. 

Ontario’s Election 

On or before June 2, 2022, citizens and residents above 18 years old can cast their ballots. Remind your staff to update their addresses and ensure they’re registered to vote, especially if they’ve recently turned 18. 

As always, you can vote in advance by mail or in person. However, you can now vote ten days in advance rather than just five.

For more information, read a recap of voting procedures

The Candidates 

What’s New in Ontario Government


The not-so-elephant in the room is COVID-19. The global pandemic has been handled differently between our own provincial and federal government, not to mention other provinces and countries across the globe. 

We’ve never had more access to information to compare and contrast the decision-making that has affected our lives for so long—and more avenues to share our opinions.

We won’t make comments one way or the other, but we will share some quick facts. 

  • State of Emergency: Premier Doug Ford announces the State of Emergency as of March 17, 2020. See the COVID-19 timeline, including business and school closures, long-term care facility impacts, and travel restrictions (imposed by the federal government)
  • Number of days locked down: it’s hard to state how many precisely because lockdowns were based on health units before including the entire province
  • Vaccinations: As of March 19, 85% of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received one dose, and 81% have received two doses 
  • Cases: Ontario has had 1.14M positive cases of COVID-19 and 12,000+ deaths related to the virus

Restrictions eased on March 1, 2022, removing capacity limits and mandatory proof of vaccination. 

As of March 21, 2022, masking will be up to individuals in most settings. Businesses can enforce masking at their discretion, and exceptions like public transit and long-term care facilities will still be mandatory. The remaining regulatory requirements for businesses have been removed, including passive screening and the need to have a COVID-19 safety plan

Working for Workers Act 

On December 2, 2021, the Ontario government passed Bill 27, the Working for Workers Act, 2021.

Specifically, the legislation will:

  • Require employers with 25 or more employees to have a written policy about employees disconnecting from their job at the end of the workday to help employees spend more time with their families
  • Ban non-compete agreements that prevent people from exploring other work opportunities (see more below)
  • Require business owners to allow delivery workers to use a company’s washroom if they are delivering or picking up items
  • Allow surpluses in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s Insurance Fund to be distributed over certain levels to businesses, helping them cope with the impacts of COVID-19 (see more below)
  • Enable the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to work with entities, like the Canada Revenue Agency, to streamline remittances for businesses, enabling an efficient one-stop-shop for submitting premiums and payroll deductions
  • Allow the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to collect information related to the agri-food workforce to ensure the government can enhance the coordination of services such as vaccination and testing and respond to issues

Have 25+ employees and need help writing an employee disconnection policy?

Contact us.

Non-Compete Clauses

On February 18, 2022, the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development updated the Employment Standards Act, 2000 Policy and Interpretation Manual to provide guidelines on the recently enacted ESA ban on non-compete clauses.

To come back to this information at any time, visit our Human Resources page. 

WSIB Refunds 

There's a WSIB surplus of $1.5B this year. 

Rebates will automatically be applied eligible to accounts in April 2022 and amount to approximately 30% of premiums paid in 2019 and 2020 (whichever is higher). 

Learn about the rebate.

*The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board WSIB is an independent trust agency operating under the Ministry of Labour. 

Naloxone Kit in High-Risk Workplaces

On February 28, 2022, the Ontario government introduced Bill 88, the Working for Workers Act, 2022. Bill 88, proposes to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act to require employers to provide and maintain a Naloxone kit in the workplace where an employer becomes aware or ought reasonably to be aware that there may be a risk of a worker having an opioid overdose at a workplace where the worker performs work for the employer—including construction sites. 

Naloxone is a drug that can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose. Training would be required for workers in charge of the kit who work in its vicinity. 

Also included in Working for Workers Two are changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act to increase the maximum fines for businesses that fail to protect their workers to the highest in the country.

Officers and directors of businesses that do not provide a safe work environment that leads to a worker being severely injured or dying on the job could face fines of up to $1.5 million under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) if convicted. Charges for other individuals are also rising to up to $500,000.

Follow along to see if the bill is passed.

Minimum Wage 

Ontario’s minimum wage increased to $15 on January 1, 2022.

More information

Red Tape Reduction Package 

On March 3, 2022, the Government of Ontario passed the Legislature the Fewer Fees, Better Services Act, 2022, also referred to by the province as Ontario’s Spring 2022 Red Tape Reduction Package

A full list of these changes can be viewed online. Members of the public can also participate by providing feedback on these proposed changes through the Ontario Regulatory Registry. Comments are due by April 8, 2022. 

Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit 

The Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit is a temporary, refundable personal income tax credit that helps workers get training that may be needed:

  • for a career shift
  • for re-training
  • to sharpen their skills

The credit provides up to $2,000 per year in relief for 50% of a person’s 2021 or 2022 eligible expenses.

Find out if you’re eligible

Licence Plate Renewal Fees 

Effective March 13, 2022, the Ontario Government eliminated licence plate renewal fees and the requirement to have a licence plate sticker for passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, motorcycles and mopeds. 

All licence plate sticker fees paid between March 1, 2020, and March 12, 2022, for vehicles owned by individuals will be refunded. 

Find more information on how to get the refund.

Electronic Logging Devices

On June 12, 2022, updates to the provincial Highway Traffic Act Regulation 555/06 (Hours of Service) will come into force. These changes will make it mandatory for commercial motor vehicle drivers who operate within Ontario to use an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) to record their service hours (HoS). Drivers of commercial motor vehicles who are currently required to maintain a daily log will be required to use a certified ELD.

Special notes: 

  • 77 (1) A motor carrier shall ensure that each commercial vehicle that it operates is equipped with an ELD that meets the requirements of the Technical Standard and shall ensure that it is mounted in a fixed position during the operation of the commercial vehicle and is visible to the driver when the driver is in the normal driving position, with the exception of commercial vehicles that are

(a) operated by a motor carrier under a permit;

(b) operated by a motor carrier to which an exemption has been issued under the Act;

(c) the subject of a rental agreement of no longer than 30 days that is not an extended or renewed rental of the same vehicle; or

(d) manufactured before model year 2000.

Requirement to Fill Out a Record of Duty Status

  • 81 (1) A motor carrier shall require every driver to fill out, and every driver shall fill out a record of duty status each day that accounts for all of the driver’s on-duty time and off-duty time for that day if

(a) the driver is driving a commercial vehicle as set out in paragraphs 77(1)(a) to (d); or

(b) the ELD is displaying a malfunction or data diagnostic code set out in Table 4 of Schedule 2 of the Technical Standard.

(2) This section does not apply if

(a) the driver drives, or is instructed by the motor carrier to drive, a commercial vehicle within a radius of 160 km of the home terminal;

Read the requirements

How can CEEDA Help?

We’re here to inform you of changes and help you implement them. If you have questions about any policies that affect your business, call us. 

Additionally, some policies require you to create plans and procedures. We’ve created templates for many of your requirements to help you meet them with ease. Otherwise, we may be able to create something custom for you. 

Get in touch.