By MPP Toby Barrett

Bill 132, Better for People, Smarter for Business Act provides an opportunity to address some of the plethora of rules and regulations and red tape in Ontario.

Our government has a plan to attract investment, encourage innovation, grow small business and create quality jobs. To achieve this, our government will support business and entrepreneurs without the red tape and duplicative regulations.

Red tape is not conducive for business. It hinders and inhibits efficiency and deters those who want to start and grow a business. Bill 132 provides the power to liberate us from the burdens of red tape.

In case you were wondering where the term ‘red tape’ originated, one popular belief dates back to the 16th century. Charles V, King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, used the term red tape to represent the modernization of his administration. 

The ‘red tape’ files were his most important. Following the King of Spain, other European monarchs copied his red tape method as a means to speed up administrative procedures, surprisingly. Over time however, the term has come to represent the exact opposite of efficient administration.

By continuing to remove red tape in Ontario, we are becoming an increasingly attractive place in a highly competitive world. We are up against some big shooters, and we are taking a proactive approach, prioritizing the province’s role in trade and ensuring strong markets. We are letting the world know we are open for investment.

For example, imagine how frustrated the owner of a small beach town restaurant with a patio is when people walk by everyday with their beloved dog. As a hungry patron, you cannot stop and grab a bite on the patio with your dog – unless it’s a service animal – due to current restrictive legislation. 

Not only do these animal lovers miss out, but also the business owner misses serving potential customers. For customers and business owners this is frustrating. In other parts of Canada, like British Columbia and New Brunswick, and now Ontario, dining rules can be more relaxed.

Ontario is growing and there is a demand for aggregate. Without aggregate, we cannot have development. Bill 132 looked at the Aggregate Resources Act and the interaction between the province and municipalities. 

Moving forward there will be flexibility for accessing aggregate, a better process to protect groundwater, and a streamlined approval process delineating the roles of the province, the municipalities and the operators.

In Haldimand-Norfolk, the natural gas industry has drilled numerous holes into the ground for increased energy access. Previously, there was confusion and duplication amongst businesses and government jurisdictions, but Bill 132 addressed the lack of clarity in the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act. Businesses in the oil, gas and salt sectors will now have the clarity they need and the efficiency they deserve.

As many know, Haldimand–Norfolk is a popular destination for people with off-road vehicles. From dirt bikes to ATVs, we provide an array of trails for those who want to ride, while supporting tourism and our local economy. With Bill 132, municipalities now have the authority to create by-laws and allow off-road vehicles to ride on municipal roads.

Our journey to cut red tape has just begun. Bill 132 opens the door to enjoy a beverage on the patio with your dog, or cross a municipal road on your dirt bike.

Toby Barrett is MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk