20 new laws across Canada to know about this January


The changes in legislation range from the arrival of a federal carbon-tax plan to a fee for plastic bags in Prince Edward Island and more.

Here is a summarised version of the new laws that come into effect this January.

January 1, 2019

  • Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (Canada) The federal carbon pricing plan consists of two main parts: (1) a levy on fossil fuels; and (2) an output-based pricing system (OBPS).
  • Budget Implementation Act, 2018 (Canada)
    The small business tax rate has been reduced from 10 per cent to 9 per cent.
  • Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada)
    New legislation requests organizations to obtain “meaningful consent” for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.
  • Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act (Canada)
    Anyone convicted of distracted driving will automatically have their driver’s licence suspended for three or 30 days. ‘Distracted driving’ as defined in the legislation change can range from holding an electronic device in your hands to eating.
  • A Better Deal for Consumers and Businesses Act (Alberta)
    Consumer lenders providing loans at annual interest rates exceeding 32 per cent require licenses and are subject to more stringent reporting requirements.

  • Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (Alberta)
    Requires owners of contaminated land—including oil and gas sites—seeking remediation certificates to report “new information” as well as implement instructions to remediate land and prevent further adverse effects to the environment.

  • Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2018 (British Columbia)
    An Employer Health Tax has been rolled out as part of B.C.’s 2018 budget for businesses with a payroll exceeding $500,000.
  • Safe and Responsible Retailing of Cannabis Act (Manitoba)
    Licensed cannabis retailers will be charged Manitoba’s Social Responsibility Fee (a 6 per cent tax on revenues) “to ensure they share in the social responsibility costs of cannabis legalization.”
  • An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act, 2018 (Newfoundland and Labrador)
    Eligible residents can claim a $3,000 non-refundable tax credit on their provincial income tax through the government’s new Search and Rescue Volunteer Tax Credit.
  • Residential Tenancies Act (Newfoundland and Labrador)
    Landlords are able to get immediate approval to evict a tenant in extreme circumstances and for victims of domestic violence escaping an unsafe situation to terminate a lease with only 30 days’ notice without financial penalty.
  • Environment Act (Nova Scotia)
    Cap and trade pricing comes into effect in the province. This is legislation will allow producers polluting carbon above a certain threshold to buy credits from firms that burn less.
  • Corporations Registration Act and Companies Act (Nova Scotia)
    Reduces incorporation fees from $336.40 to $200—the lowest in Canada—and waives the annual registration fee for firms in the first year of incorporation.
  • Safer Ontario Act (Ontario)
    Police forces will be recognizable in Ontario First Nations’ territory as fully-fledged and guarantees support, standards and resources to undertake their work.
  • Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (Ontario)
    Requires hunters to report hunting activity and allows the online purchase for hunting dog licenses.
  • Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act (Ontario)
    Collection agencies with ten or more collectors will be required to record certain calls relating to their activities; those not in compliance will be subject to a fine.
  • Employment Standards Act (Ontario)
    Excludes those working in the film and television industry from compensation for work shifts cancelled within 48 hours and also denies those employees the right to refuse unscheduled work with less than four day’s notice.
  • Child and Family Services Act (Ontario)
    Requires new complaint and licensing procedures for child welfare residences as well as clinical oversight and approval of mechanical restraints in secure treatment programs.
  • An Act to amend the Act respecting labour standards and other legislative provisions mainly to facilitate family-work balance (Quebec)
    Requires employees to adopt a ‘psychological harassment prevention and complaint processing policy’ with a section defining sexual harassment as “behaviour that manifests itself in the form of verbal comments, actions or gestures of a sexual nature.” More generous leave entitlements also come into effect.
  • An Act to improve the performance of the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec, to better regulate the digital economy as regards e-commerce, remunerated passenger transportation and tourist accommodation and to amend various legislative provisions (Quebec)
    Among many changes to the regulation of Quebec’s insurance industry, allows life insurance policy holders to sell an existing policy to a third party for a value determined by an independent appraiser.

January 15, 2019

  • Safe Food for Canadians Act (Canada)
    Significantly expands the list of individuals and firms required to hold a Canadian Food Inspection Agency license, a ‘food safety preventive control plan’ as well as a food tracking and tracing process.

See the full MacLean’s article here for a full comprehensive list of all 49 laws rolling out in Canada.

The federal and provincial governments have announced numerous new rules for 2019. An article published by Maclean’s outlines a full comprehensive list for all 49 new laws across Canada.


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