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On July 15, the provincial legislature approved Bill 159: Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act, 2020.

While this bill has now passed into law, HRAI and other organizations have until August 4 to provide submissions and input regarding one particular proposal of concern affecting the way contractors so business -- Schedule 3 regarding the addition the Administrative Penalties related to compliance with direct contract rules.

As reported previously, on June 23, HRAI appeared before the Standing Committee on General Government to provide input regarding the proposed amendments.  This input was informed by comments from a group of HRAI’s Ontario member contractors.  In sum, members are generally pleased with the idea of administrative penalties as they introduce some ‘teeth’ to make the regulations previously worked out with industry work more effectively. But with the addition of these penalties, the specifics around how direct contracts are framed becomes critically important, and members want to see some changes that will make the regulations more consistent with best industry practice.  Also, members have concerns that the introduction of administrative penalties should be accompanied by provisions for due process and appeals, to protect contractors in cases where penalties may be imposed unfairly.

Since the committee appearance in June, HRAI staff have met with Ministry staff and the Minister’s office to express these concerns in more detail and to work out some alternative language.

For more information, contact Dorothy McCabe, Government Relations Specialist -- Ontario, at dmccabe@hrai.ca, or call 905-602-4700 ext. 274.