Ontario is creating a new advisory council through the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services that will make recommendations to reform business laws in order to ensure they are responsive to changing business priorities and supportive of a prosperous economy, announced David Orazietti, MPP and Minster of Government and Consumer Services.
“Our government is committed to creating an environment where businesses can prosper, and modern business laws will help ensure our communities continue to thrive,” said Orazietti. “The advisory council announced today will review Ontario’s business laws and help solidify our province as a place where businesses want to come, set up shop and stay long-term.”
The council is being created following recommendations made to the province by the Business Law Agenda Stakeholder Panel, a group comprised of experts in corporate and commercial law which submitted a report to government in June 2015. The report called for a continuous review and modernization of Ontario’s corporate and commercial laws, a task which the new advisory council will now take on.
Ontario is also making changes to the Business Corporations Act, Business Names Act and Personal Property Security Act by the end of this year. These changes will:
· Make it easier for companies to do business in Ontario (e.g., a corporation may make changes to a signed contract before it is adopted).
· Simplify processes (e.g., providing beneficial shareholders with the same rights as registered shareholders under certain circumstances).
· Provide clarity in business transactions (e.g., ensure only independent auditors can conduct business audits).
Modernizing laws is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.
· The new advisory council will be comprised of up to 12 members, including a chair and a vice-chair appointed for a maximum term of three years.
· The Business Law Agenda Stakeholder Panel, comprised of experts in corporate and commercial law, provided advice to reform 19 of the province’s business laws. It issued a consensus report in June 2015.
· Amendments to the Business Corporations Act, Business Names Act and Personal Property Security Act will reduce complexity and business costs.