The Red Tape Challenge is an integral part of Ontario’s Business Growth Initiative. The feedback we receive will help us modernize business regulations to be outcome-focused and evidence-based while continuing to protect the public interest. Other sectors participating in the challenge include auto parts manufacturing, financial services, mining, chemical manufacturing, forestry and tourism.

The following report is based on a review of all the comments and ideas submitted during the food processing round of the Red Tape Challenge. The government worked with technical experts to analyze the feedback, research best practices in other locations, and prioritize the changes that have the most opportunity to save businesses time and money.

During the food processing consultation, which ran from August 1 to September 30, 2016, the government received a wide range of public comments, which are available online.

Through the consultation, 64 potential opportunities were identified to improve regulations or reduce regulatory burdens for Ontario businesses and other partners involved in the food processing sector, while still protecting environmental, health and worker safety standards.

As a result of the consultation, we are:

  • creating a plan that acts on 57 opportunities to modernize regulations. 26 of these items will be addressed in the next three years.
  • continuing to monitor the remaining 31 opportunities and explore how best to take action.
  • not taking action on the remaining 7 opportunities because they could increase burdens, or do not fall under provincial authority or are not regulatory issues under the mandate of the Red Tape Challenge.

In March 2014, the government set a goal of achieving $100 million in savings for businesses by the end of 2017. To date, as reported in the 2016 Burden Reduction Report, the province’s burden reduction initiatives have saved businesses over $122 million and more than five million hours since 2011.

Regulatory modernization principles

The Ontario government reaffirmed its commitment to modernizing regulations in the 2016 Fall Economic Statement. Additionally, the province’s Regulatory Modernization Committee formulated six principles that will serve as a lens through which to view burden reduction activities:

  1. Focus on the user by writing regulations in plain language and creating a single point of contact for business to access information or government services.
  2. Use industry standards (e.g. ISO) where available/appropriate to eliminate redundant reporting requirements.
  3. Move to risk-based inspections to reduce the enforcement burden on businesses with a strong safety and compliance record, using accreditation to distinguish good actors from high-risk targets; better coordinate inspections among ministries and agencies.
  4. Create a “tell us once” culture where all ministries that interact with business use the Business Number so businesses do not provide the same information to government repeatedly.
  5. Apply a small business lens by setting different compliance paths to achieve desired outcomes, rather than using a “one size fits all” approach.
  6. Go digital and reduce paper-based transactions by delivering simple and straightforward digital services and products that will modernize public service delivery and make government work better for businesses.

Participation numbers

acts or regulations
that apply to the food processing sector were posted.
in total.
to the Red Tape Challenge website throughout the food processing sector consultation process.
are responsible for this legislation.
to modernize regulations are being acted upon by the government.
acts or regulations
were commented on.