The Top Ten Legal Changes Coming Into Effect In 2020

In our December post, we provided information on laws that you may see in 2020. As we celebrate our 10th year, we’re detailing the ten laws that already have or will definitely change this year.

Federal Tax Changes

The basic amount that most Canadians can earn tax- free increased on January 1 to $13,229 from $12,298, which may result in tax savings of up to $140 in 2020.

Changes to the Divorce Act

The majority of changes will be effective July 1, 2020. The changes include updated criteria to determine a child’s best interests in custody cases and measures to address family violence when making parenting arrangements.

Amendment to the Canada Business Act to include Diversity

Public corporations incorporated under this Act are required to report diversity of directors and senior management, which includes visible minorities.

Virtual Currency Dealers Must Register with the Federal Government: By June 1, 2020, they must meet the same client identification, record keeping, and reporting requirements as banks and credit unions.

Amendments to Comparison Countries Regarding Drug Pricing

By July 1, 2020, Canada will remove countries such as the United States and Switzerland for comparing and determining drug pricing and will add countries with similar populations such as Spain and Australia.

Ontario Wide

No more out of country health insurance

Those who become ill while travelling cannot claim the $400 a day maximum covering of emergency care or the $50 a day maximum for emergency outpatient services such as an MRI.

Restrictions on vaping products

Convenience stores and gas stations are banned from promoting vaping products.

Cancel Increase in Minimum Wage

By October 1, 2020, Ontario’s $14 minimum wage will be adjusted to the rate of inflation, but will not increase to the predetermined $15.

Dogs on Restaurant Patios

Restaurants and bars are permitted to allow dogs on patios where low-risk foods such as beer are served.

Phasing out the red and white health cards

As of July 1, 2020, the red and white health cards will be phased out. When photo ID cards were announced in 1994, it was estimated that $65 million in fraudulent health claims were made each year using red and white cards. Now, it is estimated that roughly 300,000 red and white health cards remain in circulation. If you are still in possession of a red and white health card, you should take the steps below:

  1. Download, print and complete a Health Card Re-Registration Form and bring this to a ServiceOntario centre.
  2. Bring your red and white health card and three separate documents – one from each of the following categories:
    • proof of Canadian citizenship or OHIP-eligible immigration status, such as a Canadian passport, Canadian birth certificate or permanent resident document;
    • proof of residency in Ontario, such as a driver’s licence;
    • proof of identity, such as a credit card or utility bill.

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