Government Relations

Click on the links below to find out more information on items related to Government regulations and/or issues.

Archives

Win for Ontario Businesses: Public Holiday Pay Calculation
Bill 148 Seminar Update
Pesticide Licensing Program Moving Online
Landscape Gardner Staff Designation for Golf Courses: Official Policy Details
MoE’s NEW Online Pesticide Licensing Coming This Fall
MPAC’s RfR Deadline Fast Approaching 
Employment Standards Poster
NGCOA Canada Reacts to Bill 148 - Fair Workplace Employment - Sept. 6, 2017
Dramatic Changes to Minimum Wage in Ontario
MOL Summer Inspection Blitz
Resources to help you create workplace harassment & violence policies & programs
Does your dress code pass the Ontario Human Rights Commission Code of Conduct?
Don't get caught by government inspectors: resources on changes & new legislation
IPM Accreditation Program: updated policies & procedures
IPM Desk Reviews due January 31, 2017
Workplace Violence and Workplace Harassment Policy [Bill 132]
WHMIS Update
Key Issues Facing the Golf Industry

Win for Ontario Businesses: Public Holiday Pay Calculation

The Ontario Liberal government is reversing a contentious piece of its new employment legislation around calculating public holiday pay, which business owners argued was both costly and flawed.

The Ontario government announced a new regulation that reinstates its old public holiday pay calculation starting with the Canada Day holiday.  After the Victoria Day holiday, the old Holiday Pay calculation will again apply.  The Calculator Tool on the Ministry of Labor website will be updated just prior to the Canada Day Holiday to reflect the change.

The Ontario government’s new public holiday pay calculations increased the amount paid to some casual employees which discouraged some employers from bringing on casual or part-time employees because of the higher costs.

Under the old system a full-time person would get paid a full day for a statutory holiday and a half-time person would get a half day. Someone who only worked one eight-hour shift a week would receive 20 per cent of a day’s pay.

Under the new system, a full-time worker would still get a full day of pay for the public holiday and someone working half-time would get a half day. However, according to the government’s holiday pay calculator; if someone worked just one eight-hour day in the two weeks before the holiday, they would receive eight hours of pay – or a full day, which is the same as a full-time employee.

The government also announced a review of the public holiday rules, with a goal to have a new system ready by 2020.

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Bill 148 Seminar Update

Our follow-up information seminar on Bill 148 took place April 16th with Jason Bouchard from the Ministry of Labour once again in attendance and offering more in-depth answers to member questions. The seminar began with a presentation similar to our Spring Warm Up session with members being given time to ask specific questions related to their operation. A big thank you to Jason Bouchard for presenting and Scott Johnson & Andrew Dalzell for being gracious hosts at the Kanata Golf & Country Club. For those not in attendance, please click on the links below for helpful information on Bill 148.

PRESENTATION | MoL EMPLOYMENT STANDARD TOOLS

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MoE’s Pesticide Licensing Program Moving Online

On November 14, 2017, legislative amendments to the Pesticides Act and Environmental Protection Act to enable online service delivery of the pesticides licensing program received Royal Assent as part of the government’s Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act, 2017.

AMENDMENTS

Subsequently, regulatory amendments were made which enable licences to be applied for and issued online, if prescribed requirements are met.  These regulatory changes do not include any change in the fees associated with pesticide licence applications, and allow certain information about the licence holders to be made available to the public. This information includes copies of operator and vendor licences; as well as the names, licence numbers, licence types, and expiration dates on exterminator licences.  The amendments also do not change the requirements or the current fee structure for pesticide licence applications.

ONLINE LAUNCH & AMENDMENTS IN EFFECT

These amendments will come into force when the ministry’s online pesticide licence electronic system is launched on September 4th, 2018.

For more detail on the decision, please click here to see the Decision Notice on the Environmental Registry.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Rainer Dinkelmann at rainer.dinkelmann@ontario.ca  or 416-325-7120.

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Landscape Gardner Staff Designation for Golf Courses

The question of who qualifies as a Landscape Gardner at a golf course came up repeatedly at recent Spring Warm-up events. Since that meeting, we have conducted additional research and worked with the MoL to get the official policy for this designation. Please see below for a copy of the policy and details on exemptions that the landscape gardner designation qualifies for that are different than those for other course staff.

4(2) Sections 17 and 19 of the Act do not apply to a person employed,

(a) as a landscape gardener;

Persons employed as landscape gardeners are exempt from the daily and weekly limits on hours of work in s. 17 of the Act. They are also exempt from the provisions in s. 19, which describe a limited set of circumstances in which an employer can require an employee to work hours in excess of those set out in s. 17. Note that employees in this category are not exempt from the application of s. 18 of the Act, but because they are exempt from the application of s. 19, an employer could not require such an employee to work during a rest period to which the employee was entitled under s. 18, despite the existence of exceptional circumstances such as those described in s. 19.

Note that these employees are also exempted from the overtime pay and public holiday provisions of the Act.

Prior to 2001, the corresponding exemption under the regulations of the former Employment Standards Act referred to "a person employed in landscape gardening".

The 2001 change in wording from "a person employed in landscape gardening" to "a person employed as a landscape gardener" was not intended to narrow the scope of the provision. The Ministry's policy regarding the application of the landscape gardening exemption has remained consistent despite the change in wording.

The Program's view is that a person employed as a landscape gardener is engaged in work that directly involves the modification or maintenance of land for a purpose that is substantially aesthetic (as contrasted with utilitarian). Generally, the exemption will apply to employees engaged in:

  • Landscape maintenance (e.g., raking, watering, weeding);
  • Planting or moving plants including hedges, trees or shrubs;
  • Preparing the ground for planting;
  • Caring for established lawns;
  • Trimming, pruning and maintaining plants including hedges, trees, and shrubs;
  • Installing rock gardens, ponds, and planters;
  • Park gardening;
  • Golf course greens-keeping; and
  • Installation and maintenance of irrigation systems (including both drip lines and sprinklers) where the irrigation system contributes to sustaining and maintaining plants (including sod, trees, shrubs and flowers). Note: Previously, the Program's position was that these activities were not subject to the exemption. However, the position changed in light of the Ontario Labour Relations Board's decision in AWS Irrigation Management Inc. v Delottinville, 2014 CanLII 75486 (ON LRB).

The Program considers employees engaged in the following activities to fall outside the definition of "a person employed as a landscape gardener":

Mixed Work

Employees in many landscaping businesses multi-task; performing a variety of duties, some of which fall within the exemption for "a person employed as a landscape gardener" and some that do not.

1. Overtime Pay

Section 22(9) of the Act provides that an employee who performs some work that is subject to the 44 hour overtime threshold, and some work that is exempt from the overtime provisions will be entitled to overtime pay after working 44 hours in a week, unless the employee spends the majority of his or her time in that week engaged in activities that are exempt from overtime. See ESA Part VIII, s. 22(9) for a more detailed discussion.

Consequently, an employee who performs work that is covered by the landscape gardener exemption will be exempt from overtime pay for a particular week only if the landscape gardening work represents more than 50% of the time the employee spent working that week.

Example:

John spent 75% of his work week caring for established lawns while the other 25% of his time was spent installing sprinkler systems. The overtime exemption would apply to John because he spent more than 50% of his time in that work week doing "landscape gardener" work. John is therefore not entitled to overtime pay in respect of that week.

2. Public Holidays

Section 25(2) of the Act provides that unless the majority of time spent in any week in which a public holiday falls is work that is exempt under the regulations, the public holiday provisions will apply with respect to that particular public holiday. See ESA Part X, s. 25(2) for a more detailed discussion.

Consequently, an employee who performs work that is covered by the landscape gardener exemption will be exempt from the public holiday provisions for a particular public holiday only if the landscape gardening work represents more than 50% of the time the employee spent working during the week with that public holiday.

Example:

During the work week in which Labour Day fell, Afet spent 75% of her time caring for established lawns while the other 25% of her time was spent installing sprinkler systems. The public holiday exemption would apply to Afet with respect to Labour Day because she spent more than 50% of her time in that work week doing "landscape gardener" work. Therefore, the public holiday entitlements with respect to Labour Day do not apply to Afet.

3. Hours of Work

The ESA 2000 does not specify the period of time to be considered when determining whether the Hours of Work provisions (daily, weekly maximums) apply to employees who do both landscape gardening work and "non" landscape gardening work. It is Program policy to consider whether the core, or essential nature of the employee's work is landscape gardening. This may involve application of the majoritarian test; however the period under consideration would generally be considered to be the full period of employment with the employer, provided there has not been a permanent change in the core or essential nature of the employee's job. For example, if an employee has been engaged in a mix of landscape gardening and "non" landscape gardening activities over the five year course of his or her employment, consideration would be given to where the employee spent the majority of his or her time over those five years.

Where the core, or essential nature of an employee's job changes, work performed prior to a permanent change in the nature of the employee's job will not be relevant when making a determination as to whether or not the employee is currently a person employed as a landscape gardener or not.

Example:

If an employee spent five years employed in the office of a landscaping company performing administrative duties and subsequently accepted a permanent position with that company planting trees and hedges in residential gardens, he or she would be considered to be a person employed as a landscape gardener immediately upon commencing his or her new position because there was a permanent change to the core nature of his or her job. As a result, the hours of work exemptions would apply immediately. 

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MoE’s NEW Online Pesticide Licensing Coming This Fall

On November 14, 2017, legislative amendments to the Pesticides Act and the Environmental Protection Act to enable online service delivery of the pesticides licensing program received Royal Assent as part of the government's Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act, 2017.

  • In order to bring these changes into effect, amendments are required to O. Reg. 63/09: General and O. Reg. 228/07: Service of Documents, both under Pesticides Act, R.S.O. 1990. Additionally, two new regulations are required: a Minister's Fees Regulation under Pesticides Act, R.S.O. 1990 and an Information Publishing Regulation under the Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990.
  • These proposed regulatory amendments do not include any changes to the existing fees associated with the application for pesticide licences.
  • The only changes are that the application process for pesticide licences in Ontario is moving from paper-based to electronic service delivery.
  • The MOECC will be reaching out to stakeholders again in the coming months for further information sessions.

The new online portal is scheduled to go live on Sept 4th, 2018.

For more information, please click here to view the recent MoE presentation from Feb 27, 2018. 

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MPAC’s RfR Deadline Fast Approaching

The NGCOA Canada Property Tax Committee continues to work closely with MPAC in making sure your assessments have been accurate and fair.  This is a great working relationship and in the interest of your protection and with the impact of the new Ontario minimum wage legislation “Bill 148” which came into effect on Jan 1st 2018; we suggest filing a Request for Reconsideration (RFR) so that if there is a change in the current agreement your property will qualify for an adjustment for 2018.

Below is a copy of the 2018 Request for Reconsideration (RfR) form for non-residential properties and the Golf Course Methodology Guide for property owners to review as part of the reconsideration process.

RfR Form | Methodology Guide

MPAC’s web site (www.MPAC.ca) has all of the information a property owner requires should they want to become more informed about their individual property. You will need your assessment roll number for access to their individual property information.

The Legislated deadline for filing RfR’s is March 30, 2018.

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Employment Standards Poster

To help ensure that employers understand their obligations and that employees know their rights, the Minister of Labour has prepared and published an Employment Standards Poster entitled “Employment Standards in Ontario”.

This poster describes important rights and requirements under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and must be posted in the workplace where it is likely that employees will see it. Employers are also required to give every employee a copy of the poster. For more information, please click here.

How can I get the poster?

Please note that it is the poster in PDF format that must be printed and posted in the workplace. This poster must be printed out on letter-size (8 ½" X 11") paper. It can be printed in colour or black and white.

You can download, view and print the poster:

ENGLISH | FRENCH

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Premier Wynne Responds to NGCOA Canada's
Request for changes to Bill 148

The following letter from Premier Wynne was received in response to NGCOA Canada's letter sent August 18, 2017 expressing concern and requesting changes to Bill 148. To view a copy of the response received from Premier Wynne, please click on the button below.
 

VIEW PREMIER WYNNE'S RESPONSE LETTER

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NGCOA Canada Reacts to Bill 148
Fair Workplace Employment

Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 has been a hot topic in our industry as well as with small businesses throughout Ontario. 

Some of the key points in the bill that the NGCOA Canada has focused on are:

  • The new amount and extremely quick timeline for the increase in minimum wage
  • The trickle up effect on wages for existing staff
  • The 48 hour shift cancellation’s financial impact to a weather based industry

NGCOA Canada Sends Letter to Premier Wynne
Expression of Disapproval & Request for Changes to Bill 148

Your Association is working hard on your behalf on this issue. See below for an update on what the NGCOA Canada has done in response to this critical issue.

Letter to Premier Wynne

NGCOA Canada sent a letter to Premier Wynne on August 18, 2017 expressing its concern and requesting changes to Bill 148. A copy of the Fair Workplace Employment position statement developed by the NGCOA Canada in support of our members accompanied the letter to Premier Wynne. Click on the buttons below to view the letter and the Position Statement.

VIEW LETTER TO PREMIER WYNNE   |   VIEW POSITION STATEMENT

Open Hearings

Members of NGCOA Canada and our Ontario Chapter Advisory Boards presented at 3 of the 10 hearings: July 12 in Ottawa, July 18 in Kitchener-Waterloo, and July 19 in Niagara. Click on the button below to view a transcript of the Ottawa presentation.

VIEW OTTAWA TRANSCRIPT  |  VIEW VIDEO

Letter Submission to Standing Committee of Finance & Economic Affairs

In addition to open hearings, the Ontario government requested organizations to submit a written letter outlining their concerns. Please click on the button below to view the NGCOA Canada submission.

VIEW SUBMISSION

Meeting with MPP Ted Arnott

Your Association continues to work on your behalf in response to Bill 148: Fair Workplace Employment. On August 30th, Shawn Hunter, Regional Director of NGCOA Canada - Southwestern Ontario joined Cory Janzen, Superintendent Westmount G & CC and Sally Ross, Manager OGSA in meeting with MPP Ted Arnott (Critic, Environment and Climate Change and Critic,Labour)  to discuss potential changes in pesticide usage reporting and the minimum wage increase and how changes to legislation on these issues impact the golf industry.    

    

Additional Resource on Minimum Wage Issue

The feature article in the fall issue of Golf Business Canada magazine provides an overview on the impact of the minimum wage increase to the golf industry. Click on the button below to read the article.

READ ARTICLE

 

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Dramatic Changes to Minimum Wage in Ontario

Under the banner “Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs”, Premier Kathleen Wynne has announced the Ontario government is taking historic action to create more opportunity and security for workers. This includes hiking the minimum wage to $15/hr, ensuring part-time workers are paid the same hourly wage as full-time workers, introducing paid sick days for every worker and stepping up enforcement of employment laws.

Minimum Wage Categories Current to Sept. 30, 2017 Oct. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017 Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018 Jan 1 2019 to Sept. 30, 2019
General Minimum Wage $11.40 / hour $11.60 / hr $14.00 / hr $15.00 / hr
Students under 18 who work not more than 28
hours per week when school is in session; or
work during a school break or summer holidays
$10.70 / hour $10.90 / hr $13.15 / hr $14.10 / hr
Liquor Servers $9.90 / hour $10.10 / hr $12.20 / hr $13.05 / hr

The Ontario government is also moving forward with a landmark package of measures, including:

  • mandating equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal employees doing the same job as full-time employees; and equal pay for temporary help agency employees doing the same job as permanent employees at the agencies' client companies;
  • expanding personal emergency leave to include an across-the-board minimum of at least two paid days per year for all workers;
  • bringing Ontario's vacation time into line with the national average by ensuring at least three weeks' vacation after five years with a company; and
  • making employee scheduling fairer, including requiring employees to be paid for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled within 48 hours of its scheduled start time

The government will also propose measures to expand family leaves and make certain that employees are not misclassified as independent contractors, ensuring they get the benefits they deserve. To enforce these changes, the province will hire up to 175 more employment standards officers and launch a program to educate both employees and small and medium-sized businesses about their rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act.

For the official announcement from Ontario government, please click here.

For detailed background information, click here.

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MOL Summer Inspection Blitz

The Ministry of Labour will once again be visiting many golf courses in the Eastern Ontario region over the next couple months. In addition to the expected interest for these inspections of general compliance with Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (2000) , with a major focus on Young and Temporary Foreign Worker Safety at your facility; inspectors will focus on employment standards such as:

  • record-keeping
  • hours of work
  • overtime pay
  • vacation with pay
  • minimum wage
  • public holidays.

MORE INFORMATION

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Resources to help you create workplace harassment & violence policies & programs

Everyone should be able to work in a safe and healthy workplace. The Occupational Health and Safety Act sets out roles and responsibilities of workplace parties with respect to workplace violence and workplace harassment including developing and implementing policies and programs and providing information and instruction on these. 

The table below provides some key links to online resources to help you create policies and programs that need to be in place at your facility:

Understanding the Law - Workplace Harassment & Violence  INFO
   
Preventing Workplace Violence & Harassment INFO
   
Workplace Harassment: Investigation by the Employer INFO
   
Investigation Template for Incidents or Complaints INFO
   
Sample Workplace Harassment Policy (simply copy and insert your club name) DOWNLOAD
   
Sample Workplace Harassment Program (simply copy and insert your club name) DOWNLOAD
   
Sample Workplace Violence Policy (simply copy and insert your club name) DOWNLOAD
   
Sample Workplace Violence Program (simply copy and insert your club name) DOWNLOAD
   
Toolbox and Electronic Assessment Tool for Workplace Violence Assessment DOWNLOAD

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Does your dress code pass the Ontario Human Rights Commission Code of Conduct?

Recently, some Ontario restaurants have come under fire for their sexist and discriminating dress code requirements specifically for female servers. As you know, employers can have dress codes but only if they do not violate the Ontario Human Rights Code. Employers need to review their dress codes and remove discriminatory requirements otherwise they make themselves vulnerable to human rights complaints. Click on the button below for more information taken directly from the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

MORE INFORMATION

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Don't get caught by government inspectors
Resources on changes & new legislation for 2017 

With the start of a new golf season in the province comes the possibility of surprise inspections from various government agencies. Ensure a well-prepared staff by reviewing the resources below on changes to Accessible Customer Service Standard, key information from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, tools to prepare for Ministry of Labour site inspections and occupational health & safety training.

AODA
Accessible Customer Service Standard changes now in effect.
INFO
   
AGCO
Key information (and printable Tip Sheets) for liquor licensees and their staff from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
INFO
   
AGCO
Guide for Liquor Sales Licensed Establishment from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
INFO
   
MOL
Ministry of Labour Occupational Health & Safety Training and Awareness.
INFO
   
MOL 
Tools to help you prepare for Ministry of Labour site inspections.
INFO
 

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IPM Accreditation Program
Updated Policies & Procedures 

An updated policies & procedures document for the IPM Golf Accreditation Program has now been posted on the IPM Council of Canada’s home page.

DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT

This updated document contains the following changes:

  • clarification of the golf facility owner's and the IPM Certified Agent's respective responsibilities;
  • detailed requirements for IPM Certified Agents wishing to act as an agent for more than one golf facility;
  • rescheduling fee for on-site audits cancelled by golf facility within 48 hrs of scheduled appointment;
  • loss of golf facility's accreditation status for failure to comply with on-site audit requirement;
  • potential loss of certification status for IPM Certified Agents failing to complete annual desk review forms or failing to be present for scheduled on-site audits.

You can also visit www.ontarioipm.com for more information on the Integrated Pest Management Accreditation Program.

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IPM desk reviews due January 31, 2017

IPM Desk Reviews from the 2016 season are due January 31 2017.  Any Desk Reviews submitted after that time is subject to a late fee, and no desk reviews will be accepted after May 31st 2017.

What happens if I do not submit?

Not submitting a desk review will result in a golf course being demoted from level 2 accreditation to level 1 accreditation or from level 1 accreditation to registered level. Please note that Level 2 Accreditation is what is required by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to legally use Class 9 pesticides.

Please be aware the submission of desk reviews is the responsibility of the registered golf course; and although most courses leave the reporting to their IPM Certified Agent, it is the course owner’s responsibility to make sure the desk review is submitted. More information is available here.

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Workplace Violence and Workplace Harassment Policy [Bill 132]

On September 8, 2016, additional duties for employers were added to the Workplace Violence and Workplace Harassment Policy [Bill 132].  Click here for more information to help you understand the law and the changes, the Code of Practice to help comply with OHSA’s provisions, and also many templates and samples to help you with your policies and program implementation or update.

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WHMIS

As of July 1, 2016, new Safety Data Sheets (SDS) have replaced the current MSDS sheets required to be posted where chemicals are located in your facilities. Facilities must be in full compliance with this change by December 1, 2018. This change is a result of amendments implemented by the federal government to align with the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling (GHS). The GHS is being adopted by countries around the world and provides a consistent international system for chemical classification and labelling. Click here for information on the new regulations as well as FAQ’s and additional links to proper implementation. Please note: the new SDS sheets can be obtained through your supplier.

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Key Issues Facing the Golf Industry

National / Ontario

Advocacy is an integral part of your Association’s dedication to provide our members with the business support necessary to develop initiatives and programs within an effective networking environment to enable you to operate more efficient and profitable golf facilities.

Renewing your NGCOA Canada membership is the single most cost efficient and effective way to ensure a healthy, viable golf industry.

Click here to view the current list of National Advocacy Issues.

Click here to view Ontario's Advocacy Issues.

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