General

  • Dear Industry Stakeholders, The Ministry of Health (‘ministry’) has recently been made aware of communications circulating among retailers from industry representatives about the implementation and enforcement of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA, 2017) regulatory amendments that came into effect on July 1, 2020. The ministry takes this opportunity to provide clarity to ensure that the industry representatives and retailers are aware of the expectations for compliance with the regulatory amendments. As previously communicated, the ministry is aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on the normal operation of businesses. However, despite these circumstances, the Ontario government is not delaying the implementation of the regulatory amendments to the SFOA, 2017 that came into force on July 1, 2020. This means that, as of July 1, 2020, businesses are expected to comply with the regulatory amendments and Public Health Unit SFOA inspectors will be responsible for assessing compliance. As with any requirement under the SFOA, 2017, SFOA inspectors will employ a progressive enforcement approach to achieve compliance with the new regulatory amendments through a balance of education, inspection and the use of warnings and graduated charging options to reflect the frequency and severity of non-compliance. The ministry acknowledges that the timeline for achieving compliance may be impacted by the reduced or limited operational capacity of retailers during this time. Therefore, the ministry has asked SFOA inspectors to first prioritize education and awareness of the new requirements to support compliance among businesses. The ministry is encouraging SFOA inspectors to work collaboratively with non-specialty retailers to ensure prohibited vapour products are removed from stores, which may include returning flavoured vapour products and high nicotine-containing vapour products to suppliers (e.g., manufacturers and wholesalers) in order to comply with the new SFOA, 2017 regulatory requirements. SFOA inspectors are provincial offences officers under the Provincial Offences Act and exercise independence in their approach to enforcing the SFOA, 2017. This means that SFOA inspectors maintain their discretion to lay charges for non-compliance with the new regulatory requirements where circumstances warrant. The ministry hopes this information has been helpful and provides clarity with respect to enforcement of the new regulatory amendments. The ministry requests that you clarify the expectations around compliance with your respective retail partners as soon as possible. Dianne Dianne Alexander Director, Health Promotion and Prevention Policy and Programs Branch Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Public Health Ministry of Health
    New Vape Regulations – Effective July 1, 2020
    July 8, 2020

    All convenience stores are expected to comply with the new vape regulations effective July 1, 2020. There is much confusion around these changes with various correspondences coming from other associations and manufacturers that the deadline has been extended to December 31, 2020.  It has not. The risk selling product in violation of the Smoke Free […]

  • OCSA Coke Convenience Stores
    OCSA, Coca-Cola & Sheridan College team up with Safety Shields for Convenience Stores
    June 25, 2020

    The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) and family run convenience stores in Ontario are proud to partner with Coca Cola Canada and  Sheridan College on protective shields for our industry. The safety of our employees and customers is our #1 priority and we appreciate the support of everyone from Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited. In conjunction […]

  • Covid 19 OCSA checklist
    Covid-19 Safety Checklist
    June 3, 2020

    Daily reminders to keep your customers, your staff and yourself safe.   ✔️  Ask Customers to be respectful of Space and social distancing ✔️  Install and maintain a sneeze/employee safety shield ✔️  Encourage debit or credit card transactions (minimize cash handling) ✔️  Sanitize counters, Cooler doors, entrances, debit machines and lottery ticket holders and selling […]

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