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New legislation and regulation changes in Ontario

The government of Ontario announced the following legislation and regulation changes that came into effect on January 1, 2017:

Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development

As part of the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan, amendments to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act and the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 require all publicly assisted colleges and universities, and private career colleges, to have a sexual violence policy in place by January 1, 2017. These policies must have been developed with student involvement, and they must be reviewed at least every three years.

Ministry of the Attorney General

The parentage rules in the Children’s Law Reform Act are being amended to recognize the legal status of all parents, whether they are LGBTQ2+ or straight, and whether their children were conceived with or without assistance.

The Child Support Guidelines regulation under the Family Law Act is being amended to update language in the guidelines by changing a reference from “a natural parent or adoptive parent of the child” to “a parent of the child as set out in section 4 of the Children’s Law Reform Act”.

The definition of birth parent is also being changed for purposes of the Child and Family Services Act, to align with the Children’s Law Reform Act.

The Legislation Act, 2006, is being amended to ensure that gender-specific terms used in legislation refer to a person’s gender, rather than their biological sex.

The Family Law Act, the Parental Responsibility Act, 2000, and the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 are being amended to ensure that children conceived through assisted reproduction are treated the same as children who are adopted, or who were conceived through sexual intercourse.

The Succession Law Reform is being amended to allow a child who is conceived through assisted reproduction after the death of their parent to inherit and seek support from their deceased parent’s estate, if the child is born within three years of their deceased parent’s death.

Ministry of Community and Social Services

Beginning January 1, a regulatory change to the Ontario Disability Support Program Act will mean that payments for child support, the Canada Pension Plan Orphan Benefit and Quebec Pension Plan Orphan Pension will no longer be counted as income for Ontarians who are part of the Ontario Disability Support Program. The same changes for Ontario Works recipients will come into force on February 1.

Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

The arbitrary collection of identifying information by police, often referred to as carding or street checks, will be prohibited by regulation. The regulation will also:

  • Set clear and consistent rules for a range of voluntary police-public interactions where police are seeking to collect identifying information
  • Establish new training, data management, reporting and other requirements in relation to the collection of this information
  • Be mandatory for all police services.

Ministry of Education

Regulations under the Child Care and Early Years Act are being amended to:

Require before- and/or after-school programs to include at least 30 minutes of outdoor time every day.

Require child care licensees to obtain an offence declaration from each individual who provides care or services to a child at the child care centre — but who is not an employee, volunteer or student (such as special needs consultants), or an attestation from the individual’s employer, or from the person or entity who retained the individual’s services, stating that:

  • The employer has obtained a Vulnerable Sector Check
  • The check was performed in the past five year
  • The check did not list convictions for offences under the Criminal Code

Ministry of Finance

Ontario is doubling the maximum Land Transfer Tax (LTT) refund for eligible first-time homebuyers to $4,000. The increase will mean that eligible homebuyers in Ontario would pay no LTT on the first $368,000 of the cost of their first home. LTT is payable on the purchase of any land in Ontario and is generally based on the purchase price.

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores, movie theatres and other food service premises with 20 or more locations in Ontario will be required to post calories for standard food items.

A regulation under the Smoke-free Ontario Act will come into force to ban the sale of most menthol-flavoured tobacco products and clove cigarettes.

Ministry of Transportation

Amendments to two regulations under the Metrolinx Act, 2016, will allow the regions of Durham, Halton, Peel and York, and the cities of Toronto and Hamilton to continue to collect development charges to support their contributions to GO transit growth and expansion capital costs for an additional three years, until December 31, 2019. The three-year extension period will enable a broader review of the framework governing municipal contributions to GO growth and expansion capital costs that support Ontario’s regional transit priorities and objectives.

For more information and other legislation and regulation changes click HERE.

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