Ontario: Bill 124, for a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations, Enacted

New Legislation Enacted

On November 7, 2019, the Ontario government passed Bill 124, the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019. The Act applies to employers in the public sector such as public school boards, post-secondary institutions, and hospitals, their employees, and unions representing their employees. The purpose of the legislation, which requires a three-year “moderation” period, is to “ensure that increases in public sector compensation reflect the fiscal situation in the Province, are consistent with the principles of responsible fiscal management and protect the sustainability of public services.”

Minimum Wage Increases in Manitoba and Prince Edward Island

New Order or Decree

As of October 1, 2019, Manitoba’s minimum wage increased from $11.35 per hour to $11.65 per hour. In addition, pursuant to a Regulation EC2019-764 dated November 16, 2019, Prince Edward Island increased its minimum wage from $12.25 per hour to $12.85 per hour effective April 1, 2020.

Ontario: Enforceability of Without-Cause Termination Provisions

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

On October 3, 2019, the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario sent the message that if an employee is fired without cause and the without-cause termination provision is a clear, separate and stand-alone clause that does not violate the Employment Standards Act, it will likely be enforced. However, if an unenforceable just-cause termination provision and an otherwise enforceable without-cause termination provision are within a single clause, the whole clause may be unenforceable.

Cannabis Regulations: Legal Production of Cannabis-infused Products

New Regulation or Official Guidance

When Canada’s Cannabis Act and supporting regulations came into force on October 17, 2018, the adult recreational use of dried and fresh cannabis was made legal at the federal level. However, the consumption of edible cannabis, or the use of cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals (cannabis-infused products), was not made legal at the same time. On October 17, 2019, amendments to the Cannabis Regulations that govern the legal production of cannabis-infused products came into force. As federal license holders are required to provide 60 days’ notice to Health Canada of their intent to sell new products, cannabis-infused products will not appear in physical or online cannabis stores until mid-December 2019.

Ontario: Compliance Report Deadline

Upcoming Deadline for Legal Compliance

In Ontario, under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), compliance reports must be completed by December 31, 2019, by designated public sector organizations, and private sector organizations and not-for-profit organizations with 20+ employees. The AODA requires “employers to make their workplace practices accessible to potential or current employees with disabilities.”