Several laws and regulations are set to change in 2024 that will affect Toronto residents as well as the broader province and country.
A new year means resolutions and change — and I’m not just talking about restarting your lapsed gym membership.
The City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario, and Canada’s federal government will all be introducing new laws and tweaks to existing ones in January, and here are some of the ones that could impact your day-to-day.
Land Transfer Tax
City Council approved a new graduated Municipal Land Transfer Tax in 2023 that includes additional thresholds for high-value residential properties containing at least one, and not more than two, single-family residences. These updated rules take effect January 1, 2024.
Increased fees for water and garbage collection
The City announced the rollout of “moderate” interim rate hikes for water services and solid waste collection, taking effect on January 1.
As of January 1, 2024, temporary work agencies will require a license to operate under an amended Employment Standards Act. The changes also prohibit clients from using these services if not licensed.
Drivers in the province will be able to cut costs on auto insurance payments by opting not to buy into direct compensation property damage coverage as of January 2024. However, these savings come with a major caveat, in that drivers who opt-out will not be reimbursed for damages such as repair or replacement of a vehicle.
Tow truck industry
The province’s Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act and Regulation creates a framework to replace several municipal-level regulations for a single Ontario-wide regime governing the towing industry. It also proposed amendments to the Municipal Act and City of Toronto Act to remove municipal authority to govern towing.
Under the province’s new act, operators will have to pay certificate fees of $575 per year for a tow operator certificate, $575 per year for a vehicle storage operator certificate, and $195 for three years for a tow truck driver certificate
The first phase of the act takes effect January 1, and new fee structures will be introduced during a second phase effective July 1.
The hundreds of cranes towering over Toronto will be subject to significant changes in provincial inspection policy starting on January 1.
Updated standards will require crane owners to implement more rigorous testing and logbooks, structural inspection, as well as operational and mechanical inspections performed under the supervision of a professional engineer.
The changes come after multiple high-profile crane accidents and incidents in Toronto over the past few years, most notably a series of crane collapses that occurred in 2020.
The Canada Revenue Agency will roll out a new administrative policy for determining a remote employee’s province of employment for payroll purposes on January 1, 2024. The introduction of new primary and secondary indicators will help the CRA determine the proper province to file an employee’s income taxes, pension, and employment insurance.
Work hour exemptions
Canada passed an amending regulation to the country’s Labour Code, expecting classes of employees in the banking, telecommunications, broadcasting, rail and airline sectors from specified hours of work requirements.
The amendments pertaining to the banking, telecommunications, broadcasting, and rail sectors take effect on January 4, 2024, while the amendments pertaining to the airline industry come into force on June 4, 2024.
Notice of termination
Another amendment to the Canada Labour Code implements a graduated notice of individual termination of employment for federally-regulated employees as of February 1, 2024. Termination notice will range between two and eight weeks, with the period of notice determined based on the period of continuous employment.
Gig economy regulation
Federal rules will take effect on January 1, requiring digital platform operators to collect information on revenue earned from sellers offering transport, accommodation, and personal services and report the information to tax authorities.
Anti-forced labour legislation
The new Forced and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act will take effect in the new year, requiring covered companies to release board-approved reports that detail efforts to prevent child labour in their supply chains, and adding penalties for those who fail to make reports or share misleading statements.