ON: CPA addresses minister and TSSA on propane industry regulatory burdens
On July 10, the CPA participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by recently-appointed Minister of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) Lisa Thompson in Toronto.
Minister Thompson, Associate Minister Sarkar, Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) Board Chair Robert J. Falconi, Vice-Chair Brian Chu and President and CEO Bonnie Rose along with ministry staff provided an update on TSSA modernization and listened to key stakeholder concerns regarding the current state of regulatory burden and enforcement facing Ontario businesses.
Other groups present included the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Enbridge Gas, boiler installers and repairs, elevator engineers and an indoor playground small business owner.
Minister Thompson explained the importance of modernizing the TSSA to get “government out of your way” and create more jobs in the province. After hearing from her constituents on how TSSA inspections are "inconsistent, irregular and revenue generation focused", she asked for ways to improve Ontario’s economic situation while also focusing on risk-based safety regulation.
Both newly appointed Board members commented that they want to see the TSSA become more collaborative and ensure services are genuine in their protection of public safety.
Rose said that her work over the past year demonstrates that new ideas and changes are needed. For the next year, her tasks will focus on:
- Modifying the fee for service model
- Addressing TSSA culture to create a more progressive, responsive and collaborative environment
- Becoming a data-driven organization via collecting and using evidence-based analytics
Participants shared their experiences with TSSA along with insights into how things could be improved. Many offered examples such as being charged emergency rates for inspections that took place well after incidents occurred, irregular and inconsistent inspections and poor customer service by TSSA staff.
CPA Advisor George Olah and Ontario Government Relations Director Marcelline Riddell provided the Minister with the current state of industry regulation and oversight in Ontario. They cited the multiple organizations, levels of government, Risk and Safety Management Plans (RSMP) requirements since the 2008 Sunrise incident and asked the Minister to consider the following:
- Launching a Task Force for propane to assess and address all of the current red tape industry is subjected to in Ontario.
- The need for, and cost of, propane trainer recertification every three years, stressing that “only in Ontario” does this requirement exist.
- RSMP costs and requirements.
The CPA will follow up with Minister's staff on their response to the recommendations presented. The Association also expects at least one industry item to be included in the upcoming fall red tape reduction legislation.