Several new laws,  policies, and changes to existing laws come into effect on Jan. 1, 2016, so here’s a rundown of some of the provincial and federal changes – in the new year to be aware of…

Ontario: Tax Breaks for Winter Tires

Insurance companies will be required to offer some form of discount to Ontario drivers who install winter tires on their cars, in accordance with new legislation from the province’s Liberal government.


Income tax cuts for the middle class

Jan. 1, Prime Minister Trudeau’s promised federal tax cut for the middle class (and tax hike for top earners) comes into effect. The income tax rate will drop to 20.5 per cent, down from 22 per cent, for taxable earnings between $45,282 and $90,563. The rate on all income earned beyond $200,000 will rise from 29 per cent to 33 per cent. About 319,000 Canadians will fall into this upper tax bracket.

Student Debt 

The Canada Student Loan Program will no longer cut support to working students for every dollar they earn over $100 a week.


Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA)

The federal limit for tax-free savings accounts will drop to $5,500 from $10,000, and will be indexed to inflation, as part of the Liberals’ new budget.

Ontario: Driver fines at crossovers


Beginning Jan. 1, drivers in Ontario will have to wait until a pedestrian has reached the other side of a designated school crossing or pedestrian crossover, or face a fine between $150 and $500. The new law that is coming into effect will essentially require drivers to yield the entire width of the road to the pedestrian, instead of half the road, as was previously the case.” Clear as mud?

Ontario: Nuclear plant charge comes off hydro bills

Residential hydro customers will see a fee of about $5.60 a month removed from their bills beginning Jan. 1, as the Ontario government scraps a tax it was using to defray the cost of old nuclear plants. However, businesses will still be required to pay the fee.

B.C.: Health-care premiums going up

Health-care premiums in B.C. will rise by four per cent on Jan. 1, as part of the province’s latest budget.

New Brunswick: No more flavoured tobacco sales and E-Cigarette Sale Changes


The government of New Brunswick’s ban on the sale of flavoured tobacco products, including menthol, comes into effect Jan. 1. The province has also prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes and e-juices to people under the age of 19.

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