Mandate letter progress: Government and Consumer Services
The Minister’s response letter to Premier Wynne, outlining the results achieved on key mandate priorities in 2014-15.
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January 11, 2016
The Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Legislative Building
The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services is continuing to make great progress on its commitments to help the Ontario public and its public service partners. I am pleased to update you on some of the key commitments outlined in my mandate letter.
Supporting Ministries and Government Services
- Initiated the rollout of an online bidding system to make it easier and faster for vendors to apply for government work.
- Reached out to vendor communities to foster awareness of opportunities to do business with the province — including our showcase reverse tradeshow — and to get their feedback on the issues important to them.
- Funded projects through the Innovation Procurement Initiative to support more Ontario-made health technologies and improve patient care — consistent with the Ontario Health Innovation Council’s recommendation to accelerate the shift to strategic, value-based procurement.
- Recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the eighth year in a row, rewarding the public service’s efforts to be an inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible organization.
- In collaboration with the Ministry of the Attorney General, as well as other ministries, completed a coordinated review of 51 laws that affect persons with disabilities.
Improving ServiceOntario’s Delivery and Partnerships
- Achieved an all-time high in customer satisfaction, with 85 per cent of people reporting that they were very satisfied with their service.
- Began implementing a two-year plan to remove red and white health cards from circulation and replace them with the more-secure photo health card. In 2015, more than 556,000 red and white health cards were removed from circulation.
- Launched a new online option with the Ministry of the Attorney General to file small claims court papers online.
Strengthening Consumer Services
- Introduced Bill 106, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, following 18 months of collaborative consultations with stakeholders and the public. It passed Third Reading on December 2, 2015, and received Royal Assent on December 3, 2015. When proclaimed, it will better protect consumers when they buy a condominium, and owners living on condominium properties.
- Developed a four-year Consumer Protection Ontario awareness plan that builds on successful past television ad campaigns designed to inform consumers of their rights in the marketplace, strengthening fairness and transparency, including in the area of home renovations.
- Undertook public consultations about ways to protect consumers who use alternative financial services such as payday loans, cheque cashing, money transfer services, remittances and debt collectors. A bill was introduced in the legislature on December 9, 2015, which, if passed, will increase protection and information requirements for consumers.
- Focused inspections on roofing and auto body repairs to help tackle the underground economy.
- In collaboration with the Ministry of Transportation, crafted and filed new regulations to strengthen consumer protection within the towing and storage sector.
- Officially delegated a new administrative authority, the Ontario Film Authority, to ensure greater responsiveness and collaboration with industry.
Building a Dynamic Business Climate
- Received an expert panel report with recommendations to modernize corporate and commercial law. The report recommends forming a council to suggest reforms annually. Work is underway to establish this council.
- Moving forward to proclaim amendments previously passed under the Business Names Act, Business Corporations Act and Personal Property Security Act.
- Engaged provincial and territorial counterparts to reduce the burden on businesses by harmonizing areas of the corporate registration process.
In addition to the progress noted above, my ministry is making plans to support the province’s action plan to end sexual violence and harassment. Similar planning focused on anti-racism, accessibility, mental health and inclusion in the public service is also underway.
I would like to acknowledge the hard work of my ministry’s staff for their effort in achieving the progress outlined above, and for their enthusiasm in integrating a newly merged ministry.
I look forward to continuing this journey and the role that my ministry can play in building a better province.
|Mandate Letter Commitment||Progress to Date|
|Continuing to provide internal shared services support to help ministries deliver on their business goals. This includes offering a variety of cost-effective business services, including human resources recruitment and advice, procurement, financial management and support — and employee pay and benefits services.||
|Upholding professional and ethical standards and maintaining public confidence in the responsible delivery of services offered by the Ontario Public Service (OPS). I ask that you collaborate with ministers to ensure that the OPS is working to become more inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible at all levels.||
|Exploring opportunities to expand or promote shared services — first to agencies and then to the broader public sector — where an enabling business case exists and where partnership opportunities are available.||
|Ensuring, through enhanced outreach and communications, that businesses are aware of the government’s procurement opportunities and understand how to do business with the government.||
|Making it easier for vendors to do business with the government by improving procurement processes, tools and technology.||
|Continuing to focus on integrating and transforming government services and strive to increase the organization’s ability to promote efficiency. I ask that you continue to support enterprise service transformation and integration, in collaboration with other ministers. Your goal is to improve customer service for citizens and businesses in Ontario, including the promotion of online service delivery.||
|Ensuring that ServiceOntario leads efforts to explore ways to transform how citizens and businesses interact with government. I ask that you work with key partners, including the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Minister of Transportation, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and other ministers, to achieve this goal.||
|Ensuring that ServiceOntario continues to promote a sustainable, convenient and cost-effective retail office network. I ask that you recognize the necessity of such a network, given that some services may be too complex for online or telephone channels.||
|Ensuring that ServiceOntario prioritizes supporting the government’s commitment to better serve Ontario businesses. ServiceOntario will work with the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure and other key ministries to support the government’s Open for Business strategy. Together, they will explore how to expand the suite of online services and single-window capabilities through the use of modern infrastructure and applications.||
|Ensuring that ServiceOntario continues to work with the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to eliminate the red-and-white health cards currently in circulation and convert them to the more secure photo card version over the next five years.||
|Undertaking consultations and bringing forward a Consumer Bill of Rights that clarifies and sets out the fundamental rights of all consumers.||
|Strengthening consumer marketplace fairness and transparency, including in the areas of home renovation, moving companies and home inspector qualifications. I also ask that you explore other areas, including e-consumer protection — which includes e-commerce, privacy and identity theft.||
|Exploring opportunities to increase protection for vulnerable indebted consumers, such as modernizing payday loan legislation.||
|Expanding protection for condominium buyers and owners. You will introduce legislation to modernize the Condominium Act, 1998, and create mandatory qualifications for condominium managers. Your goal is to address the needs of the fast-growing condominium community and support the long-term sustainability of condominium living.||
|Continuing to develop Consumer Protection Ontario as a trusted source of information, advice and awareness for consumers and businesses.||
|Pursuing measures to strengthen consumer protection in partnership with other ministers and partners.||
|Continuing to review the province’s corporate and commercial statutes. Your goal is to ensure Ontario has modern laws that facilitate an efficient market and prosperous business climate.||
|Bringing forward legislation to enable the implementation of the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010. I ask that you actively support the non-profit sector through the transition.||