ARA and Levy Update
April 20, 2017 at 10:33 AM
On Friday, March 17th, the government issued a proposal to amend the regulations with respect to Fees. The ministry is proposing to increase, equalize and index annual aggregate fees and royalties, by amending Regulation 244/97 under the Aggregate Resources Act. Ministry staff says that the proposal is a first step in a broader review of aggregate fees and royalties, as well as other regulations to implement the changes under the new Act.
The proposed changes would increase all portions of the annual fee to account for inflation since fees were last updated in 2007. The proposal also reflects an additional interim increase to the municipal portion of fees (on top of the inflation increase) to better address road infrastructure costs resulting from aggregate hauling operations. In addition, the province is also proposing to carry out some of the proposals outlined in the Blueprint for Change, specifically, equalization of the fee structure between Crown and private land so that operations on Crown land will pay the same as those on private land and annual indexing of fees and royalties to the Consumer Price Index.
The following summary table outlines the changes:
Changes in Levy Distribution - ¢ per tonne
Issues with the proposed changes:
- Changes have been made to charge fees on permits (crown land) – this is a positive step and one that OSSGA has endorsed.
- There is no mention of a levy on imported materials – OSSGA’s concern is that this creates an imbalance in the market.
- Contrary to OSSGA and TAPMO’s recommendations, the monies collected by the province will continue to go into general revenues – not into a Designed Administrative Authority (DAA) which would ensure that funds are directed to enforcement and infrastructure.
- The regulations include no direction towards spending on infrastructure.
- The effective date of the change is proposed to be July 1, 2017. This lack of lead time will be problematic and OSSGA will be commenting on this in due course as part of its response.
A notice regarding the proposed changes has been posted on the Regulatory Registry for consultation for a period of 45 days ending on May 1st, 2017 (visit www.ontariocanada.com/registry and look under “Current regulatory proposals”).
OSSGA will be preparing a response. However, we encourage you to respond directly, and there are several ways you can comment on this proposal, including:
1. Directly through the Regulatory Registry posting (click on the link titled “Comment on this proposal via email”);
2. By e-mail to ARAreview@ontario.ca or;
3. By mail or fax to Hal Leadlay, Resource Development Section, MNRF, 300 Water Street, 2nd Floor South, Peterborough, ON, K9J 3C7; fax 705-755-1971.