The Peace Tower is seen on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Nov. 5, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

New year, new rules: Some of the new laws in Canada beginning Jan. 1, 2023

2023 is shaping up to include a number of sweeping changes – federally and provincially.

Here are some of the changes coming into effect in B.C. beginning Sunday, Jan. 1:

Two-year federal ban on non-Canadians buying property here

Passed on June 23, 2022, the Prohibition on the purchase of residential property by non-Canadians Act comes into effect across Canada on Jan. 1. Intended to help address both the shortage and cost of homes, the act bans non-Canadian people and businesses from directly or indirectly purchasing homes in Canada for two years.

The prohibition includes any kind of residential property, as well as vacant land zoned for residential or mixed use. It also includes an exemption for international students and work permit holders, so long as they meet a number of standards, including properly filing income tax forms and not buying more than one property.

New age restrictions aim to protect B.C. youth from most dangerous jobs

B.C. youth will no longer be allowed to be employed in certain professions beginning Jan. 1. The new rules require anyone working as a logger or in smelters, oil drilling and anywhere with exposure to harmful materials to be at least 18 years old. Those working in construction, fish processing and some animal processing work must be at least 16.

The changes don’t apply to youth taking part in industry training programs overseen by SkilledTradesBC. They also won’t impact workers who reach the minimum age by April 1, 2023.

The B.C. government says the restrictions reflect the higher rates of workplace injury and death seen in certain professions. READ MORE

Temporary cap on food-delivery fees becomes permanent

A first in Canada, B.C. is setting a permanent cap on how much food-delivery companies can charge restaurants beginning Jan. 1. The province first introduced temporary measures in December 2020, as companies took advantage of the surge in pandemic-induced take-away food and started charging restaurants as much as 30 per cent of the food order to use their delivery services.

The new cap will limit delivery companies to charging restaurants up to 20 per cent of the dollar value of food orders. It also prohibits companies from downloading costs onto their drivers. READ MORE

Minimum wage hike for farm workers who hand-harvest crops

B.C. is bumping the minimum wage for workers who hand-harvest food up by 2.8 per cent beginning Jan. 1. The hike applies to 15 agricultural crops, each with their own piece rate, including: peaches, apricots, brussels sprouts, daffodils, mushrooms, apples, beans, blueberries, cherries, grapes, pears, peas, prune plums, raspberries and strawberries.

B.C. says the increase is based off the province’s average inflation rate in 2021. The last increase was in 2019, and bumped rates up 11.5 per cent. READ MORE

TFSA limit increases – the first since 2019

The annual contribution limit to Tax-Free Savings Accounts is being increased to $6,500 – up $500 from previous years.

This marks the first increase since 2019.

Electonic mileage logging for trucks, buses

Effective Jan. 1, any trucks and buses travelling interprovincially will be required to have electronic devices that log hours drived, replacing paper log books.

-With files from The Canadian Press

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