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2018 New Laws and Regulations

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Dec 29, 2017

A number of laws and regulations come into effect on January 1, 2018 or later in the New Year – here is what you need to know:

1. Legalization of Marijuana

The date is set for July 2018. The age minimum is set for 18 years or older (varies between provinces). Selling regulations will vary between provinces and have not been officially set. After legalization, those of legal age can possess up to 30 grams, or equivalent in other forms.

2. Parental Leave

The extension of parental leave will be put into motion December 3, 2018 with new parents being able to spread 12 months worth of employment insurance over 18 months. Additionally, family caregivers will be given new benefits that include a 15-week leave to care for an injured or ill adult and a 35-week leave for an injured or ill child.

3. Carbon Tax

All provinces and territories are to impose a $10 per tonne carbon tax by 2018, and if a province or territory doesn’t do so, the federal government will implement a price. Likely this tax will result in higher gasoline prices and heating costs. Grocery prices may also rise, as many goods are transported via diesel trucks.

4. Small-Business Tax

As of January 1, 2018, the rules regarding ‘income sprinkling’ are tightening. This allows small-business owners to lower their taxes by sharing some profit with family members, but starting in 2018 the Department of Finance will be requiring profiting family members to have made meaningful contributions to the business, which could include making a capital investment into the business, or being of age and working for the business.

5. Ban on Microbeads

As of January 1, 2018, the manufacturing and importing of toiletries that contain plastic microbeads will be banned. In years past, these microbeads were used in toothpaste, facial scrubs, body lotions, shower gels and many other health and beauty products. A small exception in this ban is for natural health products and non-prescription drugs, which have only a few more months before their own ban that is set for July 1. These beads are being banned because of their new listing as a toxic substance, as they are too small to be caught by filters in water treatment facilities, so they end up in lakes, rivers, and oceans, often being consumed by animals.

For more information on new laws and regulations relating to provinces and territories other than British Columbia, click here.

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