September 2019
Ontario Proposing to Amend Building Code Services

2019-09-24 3:52:23 PM


The Ontario government is proposing to create an administrative authority related to the province's Building Code, which the government says will help speed up the construction of new housing and building projects.

This will affect the Building Code Act, 1992, which governs the construction of new buildings and the renovation of existing buildings by promoting the safety of buildings. The enforcement of the Building Code is primarily the responsibility of municipalities, which issue building permits and conduct inspections throughout construction.

The proposed new administrative authority would be “financially self-sustaining and operate on a full cost-recovery basis”. The authority would charge fees for directly delivered services (e.g. registration fees) and collect a levy calculated on estimated construction value on top of municipal building permits fees.

The levy would be calculated as a small percentage of the estimated construction value, which is self-reported on building permit applications. It is anticipated the levy amount will be 0.016% of the construction cost estimate. Municipalities would collect the levy, which would then be sent to the administrative authority. 

The new body would serve a number of functions and is broken into four themes in the proposal. Below is a brief summary of proposals that may be of relevance to municipal governments:

Consultations will be open until November 25th, 2019. To participate, please click here.

Theme 1: Getting people working in the building sector:

  • Help support municipalities with recruitment and retention of experienced building officials.

    • This can occur through internship programs. One example includes MMAH entering into agreements with the Ontario Building Officials Association and the City of Ottawa to implement internship programs for building officials. Such interns may be exempt from exam requirements if they conduct the work of building inspectors in municipalities under the supervision of a qualified inspector or Chief Building Official.

  • Introduce the use of Certified Professionals to ensure Code compliance and streamline the permit approval process.


Theme 2: Promoting sustainability and transparency in the Building Code profession:

  • Require building code professionals to complete Continuing Professional Development activities.

  • Establish a comprehensive, compliance-based, enforcement framework to ensure building code professionals are meeting their qualification and registration requirements.


Theme 3: Building Code administration and enforcement

  • Enhance municipal enforcement by allowing the use of administrative penalties to help municipalities address non-compliance and contraventions of the Building Code Act, 1992 and the building code.

    • Currently, municipalities must apply to the Superior Court of Justice for a court order directing compliance to conduct a prosecution for failing to comply with the order.

  • Support local building service delivery by providing the option for smaller, rural, and/or northern municipalities to enter into an agreement with the administrative authority to deliver full or partial building services on their behalf.

    • This may be applied in cases where smaller, rural, and/or northern municipalities do not generate enough revenue to cover necessary costs, including the cost of a Chief Building Officer and any enforcement activity.

  • Provide a more active enforcement approach in unincorporated areas that is proposed to be delivered by the administrative authority.


Theme 4: Improving building sector supports:

  • Enable the use of digital tools to support municipal efforts to reduce building permit approval timelines

    • This includes compatibility with municipal electronic permitting and mobile inspection systems.


For more information, please see below:

Ontario Newsroom: Ontario Taking Further Action to Build More Housing

ERB: Transforming and modernizing the delivery of Ontario’s Building Code services

MMAH: Discussion Paper – Transforming and modernizing the delivery of Ontario’s Building Code services


 


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