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New laws and rules coming into effect in Canada in 2023

From minimum wage increases in some provinces, to Canada’s ban on foreign property buyers, the new year will usher in a number of new regulations and laws.

Changes coming into effect in 2023 also include higher payroll deductions for Canadian workers, the introduction of federal carbon pricing in three Atlantic provinces, and new medication-prescribing powers for Ontario pharmacists.

Here are some of the new laws and rules you need to know about:


Higher payroll deductions

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions and employment insurance (EI) premiums are increasing in 2023, meaning less take-home pay for Canadian workers.

The employee and employer CPP contribution rates will increase to 5.95 per cent in 2023 from 5.70 per cent in 2022, the Canada Revenue Agency announced in November.

That means the maximum employee contribution to the CPP plan for 2023 will be $3,754.45, up from $3,499.80 in 2022.

In a separate notice, the federal government said that changes to employment insurance rates will result in workers paying a maximum annual EI premium of $1,002.45 in 2023, compared to $952.74 in 2022.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses says the CPP and EI contribution increases mean that every Canadian worker will see up to $305 less in annual take-home income next year.

Two-year ban on foreign homebuyers

As of Jan. 1, 2023, foreign commercial enterprises and people will be prohibited from buying residential properties in Canada for two years. Parliament approved the ban last summer in an effort to address housing shortages and affordability issues, but many people will be exempt from the new rule, including those with temporary work permits, refugee claimants and international students who meet certain criteria.

Federal carbon price increase

The federal government’s carbon pricing is set to increase from $50 per tonne to $65 per tonne on April 1, 2023. The Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation says that will increase the current 11.05 cents per litre carbon price to 14.31 cents per litre of gas.

At that higher rate, the federation says the carbon price will "cost a family about $10.88 every time they fuel up their minivan" -- about $2.48 more than at the current rate -- based on a 76-litre fuel capacity.

The taxpayers’ federation also says clean fuel regulations set to take effect on July 1, 2023 are expected to increase the price of gas. Those regulations will require gasoline and diesel producers and importers to reduce the carbon intensity of their fuel.

First annual TFSA limit increase since 2019

If you plan on making a contribution to your Tax-Free Savings Account – or opening a TFSA for the first time -- the annual limit for 2023 will be $6,500 – a $500 increase from the previous year and the first limit increase since 2019.

New laws affecting jury duty

As of mid-January 2023, Canadians who face mental health challenges as a result of fulfilling their jury duties – such as seeing disturbing evidence during trials, for example – will be allowed to discuss their jury work with a mental health professional. Discussing trial information is normally forbidden, but the passing of Bill S-206 makes the exemption for jurors who need to seek professional support.

A separate piece of federal legislation will allow jury selection to be done via videoconferencing as of Jan. 14, among other changes to the criminal justice system meant to streamline the process.

New rules for operating trucks, buses

As of Jan. 1, 2023, trucks and buses travelling between provinces and territories must have electronic devices that log the number of hours drivers spend on the road, instead of relying on paper log books.


Easier access to certain medications

As of Jan. 1, pharmacists in Ontario will have the power to prescribe medications for 13 types of “common ailments,” without the need for the patient to see a doctor.

Those 13 ailments include hay fever, oral thrush, dermatitis, pink eye, menstrual cramps, acid reflux, cold sores, and urinary tract infections.

Ontario drug plan changes

Starting March 31, 2023, the province will begin transitioning seniors and those on social assistance to cheaper, generic prescription medications covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) plan.

The provincial government said certain drugs covered by the ODB will be switched to Health Canada-approved “biosimilar” versions of the medications. There will be a transition period to allow ODB recipients to discuss the changes with their health-care providers.

Naloxone required in some workplaces

Starting on June 1, 2023, Ontario workplaces deemed at risk of staff witnessing or experiencing an opioid overdose will be required to have Naloxone kits on site. Naloxone is a type of medication widely used to reverse opioid overdoses.

Source: CTV News

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