Ontario budget misses dealer registration issue


While opinion was mixed on the Ontario Liberals’ Budget 2018, revealed earlier this week at Queen’s Park, the Trillium Automobile Dealers’ Association was quick to note its disappointment with one particular omission.

The provincial budget did not include the Cutting Red Tape for Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, 2018.

The bill would allow dealers to electronically register and licence the vehicles they sell or lease. This would eliminate the requirement to physically transport paper work back and forth to a licensing office upon completion of a sale or lease.

When the Bill was before MPPs in 2016 (then known as Bill 152), it passed second reading debate with all-party support.

“Allowing Ontario new car dealers to provide electronic vehicle registration and licensing is a no-brainer,” said Frank Notte, director of government relations
for the TADA.

“Bill 2 would cut red tape for auto dealers and help them save time and money while freeing up Service Ontario staff for the general public. While not contained in the Budget, we urge the government to pass Bill 2 immediately to support Ontario’s auto retail sector.”

Quebec has allowed dealers to register vehicles since 2002. New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland, New York State, Michigan and other U.S. states have similar programs.

Despite the omission of anything related to Bill 2, the budget didn’t completely ignore the auto industry. The government said it would introduce amendments to the Insurance Act that if passed, would provide the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) with the authority to make rules requiring insurers to provide claims and repair history information to motor vehicle dealers for disclosure to prospective used vehicle purchasers.

FSRA is to be operational by April 2019.

Budget 2018 also highlighted a dealership that helped a high school student learn real world skills and decide if the student was on the right career path. The province is working to close the career‐readiness gap by continuing to invest in the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program.

The Liberals said it would invest $170 million over three years in the new Ontario Apprenticeship Strategy to expand the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, provide more high school students with trades-related hands-on learning opportunities and improve guidance counselling resources and local labour market information for students, parents and educators.