Occupational Health & Safety Legislation Tracker

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Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2015 C-45 Federal
In Force
OHS Impact

The objectives of the Act are to prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements, and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework. The Act is also intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis. With regards to OHS policies, each province is mandated to introduce policies and regulations regarding cannabis and impairment in the workplace.

Changes

Section of this bill is Part 1 outlines the prohibitions, obligations and offences as it relates to possession, production and distribution of cannabis.

  • It is prohibited for an individual who is 18 years of age or older to possess, distribute or sell cannabis of one or more classes.
  • It is prohibited to obtain or offer to obtain cannabis by any method or process, including by manufacturing, by synthesis or by using any means of altering the chemical or physical properties of cannabis; or to alter or offer to alter the chemical or physical properties of cannabis.
  • It is prohibited for individuals over the age of 18 to cultivate or harvest cannabis for illicit purposes. However, individual provinces have the authority to ban or restrict the cultivations of cannabis plants in households.
  • It is prohibited to promote cannabis or a cannabis accessory or any service related to cannabis. Informational promotion is permitted under certain circumstances.
  • Facilities used for sports or cultural events will be prohibited from displaying, as part of their name or otherwise, a brand element of cannabis or the name of a person that produces, sells or distributes cannabis.
  • The Cannabis Act leaves much discretion to the provinces.
Update!
Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 C-44 Federal
In Force
OHS Impact
This omnibus legislation expands access to unpaid leaves of absence, amends the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act and the Income Tax Act.
Changes
 Division 17 of Part 4 amends the Canada Labour Code to:
  • Provide a complaint mechanism under Part III of that Act for employer reprisals
  • Permit the Minister of Labour to order an employer to determine, following an internal audit, whether it is compliance with a provision of Part III and to provide the Minister with a corresponding report
  • Establish an administrative monetary penalty scheme to supplement existing enforcement measures under Parts II and III of that Act.
On April 1st, 2019 a number of sections of this bill will come into force. These introduce compliance and enforcement tools under Part 3 of the Canada Labour Code with respect to the payment of wages.
  • Specifically; sections 357, 358, 361 and 362, subsections 363(1), (3), (4), (7), 364(1) and (4), sections 366 and 367, subsection 368(2), and sections 369, 371, 372, 374, 375, 385, 388 and 389/
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 C-46 Federal
In Force
OHS Impact

The federal Government published a proposal to establish three new criminal offences in order to strengthen the criminal law approach to drug-impaired driving in advance of the legalization of cannabis. These new offences would prohibit individuals from having certain levels of impairing drugs in their blood within two hours of driving.

Changes

These new offences would prohibit individuals from having certain levels of impairing drugs in their blood within two hours of driving. If passed, three new criminal driving offences related to being at, or over, a prescribed blood drug concentration (BDC) level within two hours of driving will be enacted as the following:

  1. a summary conviction offence for low drug levels
  2. a hybrid offence for higher/impairing drug levels
  3. a hybrid offence for a combination of low BAC and low BDC.

The penalties for the proposed hybrid offences would mirror the penalties for the current hybrid offences for alcohol-impaired driving. They would be punishable by mandatory penalties of $1,000 for a first offence with escalating penalties for repeat offenders (e.g. 30 days imprisonment on a second offence and 120 days on a third or subsequent offence). The penalty for the separate summary conviction offence for a low BDC would be punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000. The BDC levels set out in the draft regulatory text in Annex A are intended to make it easier to prosecute drug-impaired drivers and to send a clear message to the public about the dangers of using impairing drugs while driving.

If Bill C-46 receives royal assent, the Government would seek Governor-in- Council approval for regulations establishing the new legal BDC offence levels, thereby allowing the offence provisions to be effectively enforced. To further facilitate enforcement, Bill C-46 would also permit a peace officer to demand a blood sample from a driver if they had reasonable grounds to believe that a driver was committing a drug-impaired driving offence.

Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 C-63 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact

This Bill will, make a number of changes to scheduling practices and leaves of absence under the Canada Labour Code impacting all employers within the federal jurisdiction.

Changes

The amendments include the following:

  • Providing employees with a formal right to request flexible work arrangements from their employers
  • Providing employees with at least 24 hours' notice of a change in shift
  • Providing employees with a right to refuse overtime in order to fulfill a family responsibility
  • A new three-day unpaid family responsibility leave
  • A new 10-day unpaid leave for victims of family violence
  • A new three-day unpaid leave for traditional Aboriginal practices
  • Extending the current paid bereavement leave by an additional two unpaid days, and extending the time period in which bereavement leave can be taken
  • Other modifications to provisions on work schedules, overtime, annual vacation and general holidays intended to provide greater flexibility in work arrangements.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 C-65 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact

This amendment will strengthen the existing framework for the prevention of harassment and violence, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, in the workplace, and will extend the occupational health and safety provisions of the Canada Labor Code to Parliamentary employers and employees.

Changes

Part 1 of the Act amends the Canada Labor Code to strengthen the current framework for the prevention of workplace harassment and violence, including sexual harassment and violence, by requiring employers to:

  • Investigate, record and report all accidents, occurrences of harassment or violence, occupational illnesses and other hazardous occurrences known to the employer
  • Take prescribed measures to prevent and protect against harassment and violence and to offer support to employees affected
  • Prescribe appropriate procedures to handle investigations of complaints
Update!
Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Bill 66 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
The proposed legislation includes amendments to several of Ontario’s workplace laws, including both the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA). The bill proposes changes to regulations relating to toxic chemicals, employment standards, child care caps, safety in assembly plants, pawnbrokers, food safety testing, wireless cellphone contracts, agriculture, water extraction permits, wastewater treatment, private career colleges and more.
Changes
Employment Standards Act, 2000
  • Posting ESA Posters: proposes that employers no longer be required to post in the workplace a poster providing information about the ESA and its associated regulations. Instead, employers would only be required to give each employee a copy of the most recent version of the poster.
  • Eliminating Requirement to Obtain Approval: Employers would no longer be required to seek the approval of the Director approval to make agreements that allow their employees to exceed 48 hours of work in a work week (entering overtime).
  • Duration of Overtime Averaging Agreements: Under the current terms of the ESA, averaging agreements applicable to unionized employees cannot be valid for more than one year after they take effect.  Under Bill 66, these agreements will continue to be effective until a subsequent collective agreement applicable to the employees comes into operation.
  • Existing Averaging Agreements: Existing averaging agreements would be deemed to have met the requirements set out in the ESA, and would continue to be valid until the employer and employee agree to revoke it, the Director revokes it, or the Director’s approval expires.
Labour Relations Act, 1995
  • Deeming Non-Construction Employers: proposes to amend the LRA to deem municipalities and certain local boards, school boards, hospitals, colleges, universities, and public bodies to be non-construction employers.  Hence, these entities would not be bound to the construction industry collective agreements, and all existing agreements would be terminated.
  • Amending the Bargaining Unit: Trade unions that represent employees of these employers who are employed, or who may be employed, in the construction industry no longer represent those employees. These entities would be able to apply to the Ontario Labour Relations Board to have the composition of such bargaining units redefined.
The new legislation also impacts other areas of workplace law, including:
  • Pension Benefits Act: Remove restrictions on the ability of private-sector employers to merge their single-employer pension plans with jointly sponsored pension plans.
  • Agriculture: The proposed amendments would apply the Agriculture Employees Protection Act (AEPA) to ornamental horticultural workers. Employees covered by AEPA are not permitted to unionize, but they have the right to form associations for the purposes of making representations to their employer regarding working terms and conditions.
Update!
Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Bill C-86 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
This Bill makes substantial changes to the Canada Labour Code and enact a federal Pay Equity Act, among other things.
 
Changes
​On October 29, 2018, the Federal Government introduced Bill C-86, the Budget Implementation Act, 2018.  In addition to introducing long-anticipated pay equity legislation, the proposed legislation would make significant changes to the labour standards in Part III of the Canada Labour Code.

The highlights of the proposed legislation are:
Proposed new Pay Equity Legislation:
  • Bill C-86 will enact a new Pay Equity Act that establishes a "proactive" pay equity framework under which employers will need to take up-front steps to eliminate pay differences between men and women.
  • The pay equity framework will apply to public and private sector employers that have 10 or more employees.
  • Employers will be required to establish and maintain a pay equity plan that identifies and corrects differences in compensation between jobs of equal value.
  • A Pay Equity Commissioner will facilitate the resolution of disputes, conduct compliance audits, investigate disputes, objections, and complaints, and have the power to make orders and impose administrative monetary penalties for violations of the legislation.   
Changes to the Canada Labour Code 
  • Sections 303-307 (Parental Benefits and related leave) and 310-311 (CLC)-which extend leave, are In Force March 17, 2019.
  • Break In Force: September 1st, 2019: Employees are entitled to 30 minutes during every period of five consecutive hours of work. If an employee is required to be available or to be “at the employers disposal’ during that period, they must be paid for the duration of the break.
    • Exceptions to this entitlement are based on unforeseen emergencies that could result in imminent or serious threats to persons, property or the employer’s industrial establishment.
  • Rest Period: In Force on September 1st, 2019: Employees are entitled to a rest period of at least eight consecutive hours between work periods or shifts. The above exceptions apply.

Update!
Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 C-81 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
Bill C-81 enacts the Accessible Canada Act in order to enhance the full and equal participation of all persons, especially persons with disabilities, in society. This is to be achieved through the progressive realization, within the purview of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, of a Canada without barriers, particularly by the identification, removal and prevention of barriers.
Changes
  • Part 1 of the Act establishes the Minister’s mandate, powers, duties and functions.
  • Part 2 of the Act establishes the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization and provides for its mandate and structure and its powers, duties and functions.
  • Part 3 of the Act authorizes the Accessibility Commissioner to provide the Minister with information, advice and written reports in respect of the administration and enforcement of the Act. It also requires annual report submissions.
  • Part 4 of the Act imposes duties on regulated entities that include the duty to prepare accessibility plans and progress reports in consultation with persons with disabilities. These plans must also be published.
  • Part 5 of the Act provides for the Accessibility Commissioner’s inspection, including production orders and compliance orders and administrative monetary penalties.
  • Part 6 of the Act provides for a complaints process for, and the awarding of compensation to, individuals that have suffered physical or psychological harm, property damage or economic loss as the result of the contravention of provisions of these regulations.
  • Part 7 of the Act provides for the appointment of the Chief Accessibility Officer and sets out that officer’s duties and functions, including the duty to advise the Minister in respect of systemic or emerging accessibility issues.
  • Part 8 of the Act authorizes the Governor in Council to make regulations, including regulations to establish accessibility standards and to specify the form of accessibility plans and progress reports. It also provides, among other things, for the designation of the week starting on the last Sunday in May as National AccessAbility Week.
  • Part 9 of the Act provides for the application of certain provisions of the Act to parliamentary entities, without limiting the powers, privileges and immunities of the Senate and the House of Commons.
  • Parts 10 and 11 of the Act make related and consequential amendments to certain Acts.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2019 Bill 100 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
OHS impact: Bill 100 includes a number of measures aimed at modernizing and streamlining the Ministry of Labour enforcement efforts by helping employers to “educate themselves” on their workplace obligations
Changes
Bill 100 includes a number of measures aimed at modernizing and streamlining the Ministry of Labour enforcement efforts by helping employers to educate themselves on their workplace obligations. According to the budget, the ministry will develop “automated digital tools” to help employers educate themselves about employment standards so the ministry can focus on high-risk, high-impact investigations.
The Schedule enacts the PTSD Awareness Day Act, 2019, which proclaims June 27 in each year as PTSD Awareness Day.
 
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2019 Bill 108 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
This omnibus legislation provides a basket of diverse measures which include proposed amendments to the OHSA and WSIA.
Changes
  • Schedule 10 amendments relate to proposed changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act that address the Chief Prevention Officer’s power to, among other things, revoke or amend an occupational health and safety committee member’s certification or amend the requirements for obtaining a certification
  • Schedule 13 proposes changes to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 to stipulate that the WSIB may establish premium rates ‘for partners and executive officers who perform no construction work that are different from premium rates established for the employers of the partners and executive officers and may adjust those rates’.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2019 Bill 119 Provincial
1st Reading
OHS Impact
In calculating the amount of payments to an injured worker, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 considers the earnings that a worker is able to earn in suitable and available work. Currently, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board may decide that a worker is able to earn amounts that they are not actually earning, on the basis of suitable and available work they do not actually have. The amendments would prevent that from happening unless the worker refused employment in bad faith.
Changes
The Board shall not determine the following to be earnings that the worker is able to earn in suitable and available employment or business:
   1.  Earnings from an employment that the worker is not employed in, unless the worker, without good cause, failed to accept the employment after it was offered to the worker.
   2.  Earnings from a business that the worker does not carry on.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2019 Bill 143 Provincial
1st Reading
OHS Impact
The Bill proclaims April 28 in each year as Health and Safety at Work Day
 
Changes
By proclaiming April 28 of each year as Health and Safety at Work Day, the Province of Ontario recognizes the importance of supporting and nurturing a health and safety culture in every workplace. Health and Safety at Work Day is an opportunity to promote workplace health and safety through education of health and safety rights, responsibilities and prevention measures.
 
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2019 BILL C-465 Federal
1st Reading
OHS Impact
Private members bill to ensure that accessible automated external defibrillators are kept in the work place
Changes
Based on the number of employees and persons that are granted access to the work place by the employer and the size of the work place, the number of automated external defibrillators that must be kept in the work place
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2019 C-97 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
  • Canada Training Benefit is introduced to help cover the cost of training fees
  • Hazardous Information Review Act amended to review claims for exemptions for both suppliers and businesses.
Changes
  • Part 4 amends the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act to streamline the process for reviewing claims for exemption, to allow for the suspension and cancellation of exemptions and to harmonize the provisions of the Act that allow for the disclosure of confidential business information with similar provisions in other Department of Health Acts
Introducing the Canada Training Credit
  • New, non-taxable Canada Training Credit to help Canadians with the cost of training fees. Eligible workers between the ages of 25 and 64 would accumulate a credit balance at a rate of $250 per year, up to a lifetime limit of $5,000. The credit could be used to refund up to half the costs of taking a course or enrolling in a training program. An individual’s credit balance would be included in the information the Canada Revenue Agency sends them each year.
  • A new Employment Insurance Training Support Benefit to provide workers with up to four weeks of income support through the Employment Insurance (EI) system. This benefit, expected to launch in late 2020, would help workers on training leave and not receiving their regular paycheque cover their living expenses, such as rent, utilities and groceries. To ensure that the Training Support Benefit workers for employers as well as workers, Budget 2019 also proposes to introduce an EI Small Business Premium Rebate to offset the upward pressure on the employer premium rate for small businesses resulting from the introduction of the new EI Training Support Benefit.
  • New leave provisions to protect workers’ ability to take time away from work to pursue training. The Government intends to consult with provinces and territories on the design of the new Canada Training Benefit, to ensure that workers can take the time they need for training, knowing that they’ll have a job to come back to when their training is done.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2020 Bill 186 Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact
To provide job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or day care closures or to care for other relatives.

Most employees and employers in Ontario are covered by the provisions in this legislation, whether they work full-time, part-time, are students, temporary help agency assignment employees, or casual workers. It does not apply to people in sectors that fall under federal jurisdiction, including employees working for banks, airports, inter-provincial and international rail, and federal crown corporation
 
Changes
An employee will be able to take infectious disease emergency leave to care for family members (listed in the legislation), along with Job-protected leave.
The act provides job protection for employees unable to work for the following reasons:
• The employee is under medical investigation, supervision or treatment for COVID-19.
• The employee is acting in accordance with an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
• The employee is in isolation or quarantine in accordance with public health information or direction.
• The employer directs the employee not to work due to a concern that COVID-19 could be spread in the workplace.
• The employee needs to provide care to a person for a reason related to COVID-19 such as a school or day-care closure.
• The employee is prevented from returning to Ontario because of travel restrictions.

The act also makes it clear that an employee will not be required to provide a medical note if they need to take the leave. However, the employer may require the employee to provide other evidence that is reasonable in the circumstances, at a time that is reasonable in the circumstances. This could include such requests as a note from the daycare or for evidence that the airline cancelled a flight, but not a medical note.

Employers are required to report all occupational illnesses, including COVID-19, to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development in writing within four days. Employers are also required to notify their joint health and safety committee or a health and safety representative and a trade union, if they exist.

These measures are retroactive to January 25, 2020, the date that the first presumptive COVID-19 case was confirmed in Ontario. They will remain in place until COVID-19 is defeated.
 
Additional Resources
Employers and workers in the health sector should be following the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance for the Health Sector.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2020 Bill C-13 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
Guaranteeing the rapid implementation and administration of measures to protect Canadians’ health and safety and stabilize the Canadian economy. The authorities in this legislation makes sure that the government can do what it takes to support Canadians and Canadian businesses, and the economy as whole, in a timely way, today and in the future, as the situation continues to evolve. Part 10 amends the Canada Labour Code to, among other things, create a regime which provides for a leave related to COVID-19 of up to 16 weeks. It also amends that Act to provide for the repeal of that regime and to provide for a quarantine leave under the medical leave regime.

 
Changes
•    Provides additional assistance to families with children 
•    Provides additional assistance to individuals and families with low and modest incomes 
•    Introduces a Canada Emergency Response Benefit 
•    Introduces a pause on the repayments of Canada Student Loans 
•    Helps businesses keep their workers 
•    Helps protect seniors’ retirement savings from the impact of volatile market conditions 
•    Supports provinces and territories with a COVID-19 Response Fund  
•    Ensures the availability of drugs and medical devices 
•    Supports Canadian businesses through the Business Development Bank of Canada 
•    Supports Canadian businesses through Export Development Canada (EDC) 
•    Supports the agriculture and agri-food sector 
•    Supports the mortgage financing market in Canada
•    Protects Canadians from the Spread of COVID-19 
•    Provides the Minister of Finance with flexibility 
•    Supports the protection of Canadians’ savings by providing 

The Government will continue to carefully monitor all developments relating to the COVID-19 outbreak and is prepared to take further action as required.
 
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2020 The Quarantine Act Federal
In Force
OHS Impact
The Act will be invoked to impose mandatory self-isolation for international travelers entering the country. Essential workers such as truck drivers and health care workers moving between the U.S. and Canadian border will be excluded to ensure the flow of supplies and medical care is not impeded
 
Changes
  • Canada Border Services Agency officers will inform arriving passengers of the new regulations and the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days and to not take public transit to not make stops along the way to their final destination. 
  • The government will initiate random screenings and that there will be penalties for those who do not obey the law.

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