Editorial

Law changes in 2022 that will change the lives of Canadians

We are in the second quarter of the year already, and there are new changes to the laws and regulations of the country. Some of the changes include plastic bag bans, minimum wage hikes, soft drink taxes and more.

As you already know, there is no ignorance of the law. As good citizens, it’s ideal and required of you to know and follow these rules. More importantly, the first step to enjoying the benefits of these changes in the laws is knowing them.

Below are some of the new rules and regulations that have been put in place federally and provincially.

1. Ban on single-use plastics

In 2021, the federal government promised a ban on single-use plastics; however, the ban was delayed until 2022. Basically, the law prohibits manufacturing, importing and selling single-use plastic checkout bags, cutlery, food service ware, ring carriers, stir sticks and straws. The six products were picked after governmental analysis in 2020.

This is due to plastic pollution being a challenging issue to deal with, which can negatively impact the environment, including drinking water and food. It is a global issue as the United Nations has launched negotiations to combat plastic pollution effectively.

This law will greatly reduce plastic pollution from entering the environment over a long period, leading to Canadians living in a healthier environment.

2. Ban on conversion therapy

After two failed attempts, the federal government has successfully banned conversion therapy. The law, which was enacted in early January, prohibits any efforts to promote or advertise conversion therapy, benefit from conversion therapy or cause someone to undergo conversion therapy

According to the bill, conversion therapy is any practice, treatment or effort aimed at repressing or changing sexual orientation or gender identity, which includes behavioral and medical treatments.

Canada is not the only country that has prohibited these treatments, as major medical associations have also discredited them in many countries, including the World Health Organization, Amnesty International and the United Nations, among many others.

Critics say the practice causes harm to its victims and is based on the false premise that sexual orientation and gender identity can or should be “cured”.

3. Daycare prices to drop

The federal government, in the early days of the year, signed a bill to reduce the fees for families in some provinces of Canada. In Ontario, for instance, this agreement is worth $13.2 bn, while in Alberta, the agreement is worth $3.8bn. This agreement aims to deliver childcare for an average of $10 a day by 2025. Also, in Alberta, the agreement is expected to create approximately 40,000 new spaces for non-profit childcare in the province. In Ontario, the deal is expected to create about 86,000 new spaces for childcare.

Before this deal, childcare costs, especially in Ontario, were very high. This is true for some other provinces in the country as well. However, this deal significantly reduces the costs of childcare for working parents.

4. Ontario opens legal gambling market

For gamers in Ontario, the gambling market is now legal and official. The legalization has been in the works for about three years now. In 2020, the government of Ontario introduced legislation to allow for a licensing regime, while it wasn’t until September 2021 that Ontario published its final standards for online gaming and gambling.

All major online gaming sites have secured licenses to offer gambling in Ontario, and others are in the process of securing their licenses. The province has kept the requirements for securing the license low to allow many operators to enter the market. This way, the operators can compete with the best online game operators in the country, including the best live dealer casinos in Canada, and they will be forced to offer the best products to consumers.

5. Minimum wage increase

In a bid to assist workers with inflation and rising costs, the government of Ontario announced that it would be increasing the minimum wage by 50 cents from $15 per hour to $15.50 per hour beginning on October 1, 2022. This increase in the minimum wage applies to all employees in the province.

For federal workers in Canada, the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) also announced an increased federal minimum wage. However, this increase only applies to industries regulated by the federal government, including banks, postal services, inter-provincial transportation and federal Crown corporations.

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