Regulation - LGIC

Protecting Seniors in Retirement Homes: Proposed Regulatory Amendments to O. Reg. 166/11 (General) under the Retirement Homes Act, 2010

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Retirement Homes Act, 2010
Summary of Proposal:
A summary of these changes was previously posted for comment (see link to posting 21-MSAA002). At this time, we are posting the draft proposed regulations (full text) for comment.

The RHA sets out the standards and requirements for licensed retirement homes. The RHA contains a fundamental principle that states, "a retirement home is to be operated so that it is a place where residents live with dignity, respect, privacy and autonomy, in security, safety and comfort and can make informed choices about their care options."

MSAA is proposing amendments to Ontario Regulation 166/11 (General) under the RHA. Many of these proposed regulatory amendments complement and support amendments to the RHA, which were recently passed as part of Bill 37, Providing More Care, Protecting Seniors, and Building More Beds Act, 2021, which received Royal Assent on December 9, 2021.

The Ministry conducted reviews of the RHA and its regulation to identify opportunities to modernize the legislative and regulatory framework governing the retirement home sector and to reduce unnecessary requirements.

The proposed amendments are responsive to the issues identified in the reviews, as well as the challenges and gaps underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic, stakeholder consultations and other external reports including the Auditor General's 2020 Value for Money Audit of the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA). They respond to issues pertaining to oversight of the retirement homes sector and resident care and safety.

If approved, the proposed regulatory amendments would:

(1) Prescribe a list of extraordinary circumstances relating to two new orders the Registrar of the RHRA may issue that have been passed in Bill 37. For the Registrar to issue either order, there must be an extraordinary circumstance necessitating immediate action that poses harm or a risk of harm to a resident of a retirement home;
(2) Require a licensee to notify the RHRA in the event of a temporary relocation or closure of the home or part of the home or unplanned evacuations of residents exceeding six hours;
(3) Permit the RHRA to share certain information with other organizations;
(4) Prescribe additional information the RHRA could collect from licensees;
(5) Prohibit licensees, staff, volunteers and external care providers from borrowing, holding or receiving, a resident's money or property. A related proposed regulatory amendment would require an explanation of these prohibitions to be included in the home's policy to promote zero tolerance of abuse and neglect of resident to inform those individuals of the prohibition;
(6) Require licensees to provide external care providers with information about the home's policy to promote zero tolerance for abuse and neglect of residents, emergency plan and infection prevention and control program;
(7) Exempt licensees from notifying substitute decision-makers of abuse if they are suspected to be the alleged abuser;
(8) Include epidemics and pandemics as part of emergency plan requirements; and
(9) Clarify language and practices, reduce duplication, eliminate unnecessary processes, and reduce non-core reporting requirements.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The Ministry completed an analysis on the regulatory impact of the proposed amendments and, if they are approved and filed, identified various benefits such as:
• improved protection of resident and staff safety in licensed retirement homes;
• more effective supports to help timely and data-driven decision-making;
• strengthening the RHRA as a modern regulator; and
• clarified practices for licensees and the RHRA by reducing unnecessary requirements without impacting resident protections.

The proposed amendments are anticipated to have a net average cost savings of approximately $168,000 annually for the retirement home sector. This reflects annual direct compliance costs and savings of approximately:
• $74,000 operating costs related to hiring a manager if a management order in extraordinary circumstances is served,
• $119,000 administrative costs related to updating emergency plans and data collection, and
• $361,000 operating savings related to elimination of training for occasional staff.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
February 2, 2022
Comments Due Date:
March 4, 2022
Contact Address:
Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility
6th Floor, Suite 600
College Park
777 Bay Street
Toronto ON M7A 2J4