Focus On

Ontario launches website for businesses submitting changes to rules, regulations during COVID-19

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 @ 2:40 PM | By Amanda Jerome

On April 28, the Ontario government launched a website to “help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the global pandemic” by encouraging them to submit “potential roadblocks” while they retool their operations.

According to the government release, the province is “prepared to allow temporary changes to provincial rules and regulations in order to remove any barriers that are hindering business and negatively impacting Ontario's supply chain.”

According to the COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website, businesses can request a temporary regulation or policy change to help: the health-care system meet the needs of the emergency; assist businesses in retooling or producing essential or health-related products and supplies; or “make it easier for businesses trying to operate remotely or in a non-traditional fashion and are facing unexpected challenges.”

“With COVID-19, we are facing uncharted territory. As government, we must be prepared to work with businesses and show some flexibility in helping them to overcome challenges they may have never faced before,” said Premier Doug Ford, in a statement.

“This website will allow us to listen to and support businesses as they adapt to this new environment. At the same time, it should also make it easier for businesses to retool to produce the health-related supplies and equipment that our front-line workers need,” he added.

The Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, Prabmeet Sarkaria, said that “during this extraordinary period, we need to do everything we can to support businesses as they struggle to operate as an essential business, or wait for the outbreak to subside.”

“Clearly, it is not business as usual for anyone, and that's why our government is prepared to temporarily adjust our processes, rules, and regulations to accommodate unforeseen circumstances,” he added in a statement.

According to a government release, the province is also “pausing or extending any existing public consultations, delaying non-urgent related consultations while the emergency situation remains in place, and considering extending deadlines for reports and audits” in order to help Ontario businesses “focus on overcoming today’s challenges.”