ON: CPA meets with Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to discuss regulatory burdens facing industry
On October 26, 2019, CPA members and staff met with Ministry of Government and Consumer Services staff to present information on propane’s role in the provincial economy, communities and outline regulatory burdens facing propane businesses. An overview was also provided on the CPA’s safety and training activities.
In attendance from the CPA were Daryl Patjas, Ontario Committee vice-chair and ON regional manager with Maxquip; Floyd Running, VP sales at Diversco Supply; and Marcelline Riddell, CPA’s Ontario government relations director. From the minister’s office were Mathew Varsava, Minister Thompson’s policy director, and Thomas Staples, her executive assistant.
The minister’s staff solicited opinions from Patjas and Running on what were the most significant business impediments to the sector and which jurisdictions were best practice models for propane regulation in the country.
As per the ministry’s staff request, the CPA has since followed up the meeting with their request for a list of priority regulatory issues for the propane sector, model regulatory jurisdiction(s), and public relations/education activities.
In the CPA’s November 5 response, the Association highlighted:
- Inconsistent inspections across Ontario
- Burdensome training and trainer exam schedules and fees
- Excessive and costly elements of the Risk and Safety Management Plan (e.g., a change in ownership triggers the need for new engineering documents, despite no change in the amount of propane on a site)
- Redundancy of auto propane, overseen by both the Technical Safety and Standards Authority (TSSA) and the Ministry of Transportation, which is unique among any other auto fuel in Ontario.
The CPA also indicated the steps that have been taken to educate and inform the public and policy makers on the benefits of propane for the economy and environment. For example, the CPA recently developed and distributed The Propane Advantage for legislators and advisors.
The CPA noted that work continues with the TSSA on modernizing propane regulation in the province, although challenges remain. For example, despite making in-roads recently on refuelling propane at fleet facilities when the ministry revised the regulation (o.Reg.215/01) to allow facility owners/operators to have responsibility for user training, the TSSA recently developed and circulated a Draft Advisory for this regulation that is overly prescriptive and negates the burden reduction intentions of the regulatory change.
The CPA continues to engage with the ministry and is scheduling a meeting to further discuss the issues identified above and suggested remedies.