Provide feedback on proposed provincial legislation

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| Published , updated April 22, 2024

You can take part in Ontario’s provincial government decision-making process by providing comments and feedback on new and proposed changes to acts, regulations, policies and instruments (permits, approvals and orders).

Ontario’s Regulatory Registry

What gives you the right?

Ontario’s Regulatory Registry is where the Ontario government accepts feedback from the public on proposed regulations, legislation, policies, and forms that affect Ontario’s regulated entities, including for-profit business, not-for-profit organizations, broader public sector, municipalities, and long-term care homes.

  1. Ontario government posts summaries of new proposals. You can sign up for email alerts here (or RSS feeds)
  2. Stakeholders comment on the proposal
  3. Ministries consider comments received through the consultation process
  4. Provincial policy instrument is approved and its plain language summary is posted on the Registry website.

The Registry’s purpose is to:

  • Encourage more regulated entities to participate in developing better provincial policy instruments in Ontario.
  • Help regulated entities to develop a better understanding of provincial policy instruments in Ontario and how to comply with them.
  • Assist the Ontario government in understanding how new provincial policy instruments may affect the competitiveness of the business sector in this province.

Proposals that are financially sensitive or are proposed in response to an emergency affecting public health or safety are not posted.

Example

For example, in December 2022, the province posted a proposed policy Proposed Amendments to the Greenbelt Plan to remove 15 areas of land from the Greenbelt totaling approximately 7,400 acres in order to facilitate the construction of approximately 50,000 or more new homes in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

After public outcry, the province reversed its decision in Proposal to return lands to the Greenbelt – Greenbelt Statute Law Amendment Act, 2023

Environmental Registry of Ontario

The Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 gives you the right to participate in decisions that could impact Ontario’s air, water, land, and wildlife, including:

  • comment on specified environmental government proposals
  • ask ministries subject to the act for either a new policy, act, or regulation, or to review of an existing policy, act, regulation or instrument
  • ask certain ministries to investigate an alleged harm to the environment
  • seek leave (permission) to appeal ministry decisions on certain instruments, such as permits, licences, approvals or orders
  • in some cases, sue someone for causing harm to the environment
  • get whistleblower protection

Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO) is where the Ontario government provides notice and accepts feedback from the public on proposed changes or new provincial legislation including acts, regulations, policies and instruments (permits, approvals and orders) that might impact on the environment for a minimum of 30 days.

The consultation process includes:

  1. Proposal – Government posts notices on proposals that may affect the environment including what they want to do, what it will impact and links to supporting material
  2. Review – Public comments on the notices and government reviews the
  3. Decision – Government makes a decision, taking comments into account
    • how comments were taken into consideration
    • the number of comments we received
    • our decision on what we’re doing
  4. Appeal

Proposals that are proposed in response to an emergency, affecting public health or safety are not posted skip the commenting stage right to the decision stage.

Bulletins are notices that are for information only and don’t have a consultation or proposal stage.

Example

For example, ERO Notice 019-8366 was posted on April 10, 2024 and accepted comments for 30 days until May 10, 2024. It outlines the regulatory changes to the Planning Act to allow for the accelerated province-wide implementation of additional residential units (ARUs).

Thee changes allow 3 units “as-of-right” (no requirement to apply for rezoning) for up to 3 units per lot in existing residential areas (3 units in the primary building, or up to 2 units allowed in the primary building and 1 unit allowed in an ancillary building such as a garage).

The discussion questions provided were as follows:

  1. Are there specific zoning by-law barriers standards or requirements that frustrate the development of ARUs (e.g., maximum building height, minimum lot size, side and rear lot setbacks, lot coverage, maximum number of bedrooms permitted per lot, and angular plane requirements, etc.)?
  2. Are there any other changes that would help support development of ARUs?

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