Occupational Health & Safety Legislation Tracker

Search this section

Search results:    All (no filter)

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.


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.
Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 Bill 168 Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact

This Bill is now incorporated into Bill 148 which is now in force.


A new section (25) is added to the Occupational Health and Safety Act that provides that an employer shall not require a worker to wear footwear with an elevated heel unless it is required for the worker to perform his or her work safely. Excemption: this prohibition is made for employers of performers in the entertainment and advertising industry.

Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2017 Bill 177​ Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact

Schedule 30 of this Bill amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act.


Require an employer to notify a Director under the Act if a committee or a health and safety representative has identified potential structural inadequacies of a workplace as a source of danger or hazard to workers.

  • Allow for regulations to expand the circumstances in which persons are required to report an accident or other incident under section 53 of the Act and to require additional notices to be provided in the circumstances described in sections 51, 52 and 53 of the Act.
  • Increase the maximum fine under section 66 of the Act payable by a person upon conviction of an offence under the Act.
  • Amend the limitation period for bringing a prosecution under the Act or the regulations.
  • Bill 177 includes amendments to the WSIA that will provide transitional rules for determining entitlement to benefits for mental stress claims that arose prior to January 1, 2018.
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.
 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.


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.


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.


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

Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Bill 203 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact

The Act establishes requirements relating to the disclosure of information about the compensation of employees and prospective employees. The legislature was prorogued on March 19, meaning that all outstanding Bills including Bill 203 Pay Transparency Act, 2018 died on the order paper and have to be reintroduced by the government. This bill was reintroduced as Bill 3, the Act establishes requirements relating to the disclosure of information about the compensation of employees and prospective employees.

  • Sections 4-7 of this bill would require all publicly advertised job postings to include a salary rate or range, bar employers from asking about past compensation and prohibit reprisal against employees who do discuss or disclose compensation.
  • Sections 8 to 11 address the powers and duties of compliance officers who may be appointed to enforce the Act.
  • Compliance officers may conduct compliance audits, and if an officer believes that a person has contravened a provision of this Act or the regulations, the officer may issue a notice of contravention to the person under section 12.
  • Sections 13 to 15 specify the procedures that apply for disputing a notice of contravention before the Ontario Labour Relations Board and enforcing the notice in a court.
On November 15, 2018, the Ontario government introduced Bill 57, Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018  in the Ontario legislature. Bill 57 proposes to amend Pay Transparency Act, 2018, which was scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2019.
If passed, Bill 57 would change the commencement date of Ontario’s Pay Transparency Act, 2018 to a date to be determined by the cabinet

Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Bill 36 Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact
Bill 36 will enact the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 and will make amendments to the Cannabis Act, 2017, the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017 and the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, as well as consequential amendments.
  • Would permit smoking cannabis in places where smoking tobacco and using e-cigarettes is permitted, including in certain controlled areas of long-term care homes, hospices and designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns and private residence.
  • Establish the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) as the provincial regulator authorized to grant store licences within a new private retail store model.
  • Proposes to establish a regulatory framework for a private cannabis market and makes several amendments to existing law with consequences to Ontario workplaces.
  • The Bill incorporates the prohibitions articulated in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017.
  • Consuming cannabis in enclosed workplaces would remain prohibited.
  • Introduces the establishment of various retail and personal licences and authorizations for the proposed private retail store model by April 1st, 2019.
  • Municipalities retain the ability to pass a resolution by January 22, 2019 prohibiting cannabis retail stores from being located within their boundaries
Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Bill 47 Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact
Bill 47 makes many proposed changes to various pieces of legislation governing employment and labour relations in Ontario, principally the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995. Employment Standards Act, 2000 Changes under Bill 47 come into force on January 1, 2019.
Labour Relations Act  Changes under Bill 47 are in force as of November 21, 2018.
Bill 47 makes the following changes to the Employment Standards Act (ESA):
  • Minimum Wage: Minimum wage to remain at $14.00/hour, at least until October 2020. Further increases in minimum wage to start October 2020, and will be tied to inflation.
  • Scheduling: the new scheduling provision in Bill 148 will be repealed.
  • Personal Emergency Leave: The current right to receive 10 PEL days will be reduced to 8 unpaid annual leave days, 3 unpaid days for personal illness, 2 unpaid bereavement leave days, and 3 unpaid days for family responsibilities.
  • Medical Notes: Employers will be allowed to request a medical note from a qualified health practitioner to support an employee’s absence.
  • Vacation: The current vacation entitlement provisions will remain.
  • Domestic and Sexual Violence Leave: The current paid leave provisions dealing with domestic and sexual violence will be retained.
  • Public Holiday Pay: The averaging public holiday pay formula prescribed by Bill 148 will be repealed.
  • Misclassification: If there is a dispute over whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor, the bill eliminates the reverse onus on the employer to prove that an individual is not an employee.
  • Equal Pay for Equal Work: Certain aspects of the Equal Pay for Equal Work provision imposed by Bill 148 will be repealed, thereby permitting employers to differentiate pay on the basis of employment status  (part-time, casual, and temporary) and assignment employee status (temporary help agency status). The requirement for equal pay on the basis of sex will remain.
  • Penalties for Contravention: The government will be returning to the previous administrative penalties for violations of the Employment Standards Act (ESA). This means that the maximum penalties will decrease from $350/$700/$1500 to $250/$500/$1000, respectively
Bill 47 makes the following changes to the Labour Relations Act:
  • Card-based Certification:  Card-based certification on workers in home care, building services, and temporary help agencies will be repealed, giving workers the right to vote through a secret ballot.
  • Employee Lists:  Rules requiring an employer to hand over their employees’ personal information to a union will be repealed.
  • Remedial Certification: The proposed Act will reinstate the pre-Bill 148 test and preconditions for the OLRB to certify a union as remedy for employer misconduct.
  • Successor Rights:  The regulation-making authority granted by Bill 148 to expand successor rights to contract tendering for publicly-funded services (such as homecare) will be repealed.
  • Structure of Bargaining Units: It will repeal the power of the OLRB to review and consolidate newly certified bargaining units with existing bargaining units. Instead, the OLRB will be empowered to review the structure of bargaining units where the existing bargaining units are no longer appropriate for collective bargaining.
  • Return-to-work Rights: The changes will effect a return to the six month limitation on an employee’s right to reinstatement following the start of a strike or lock-out.
  • First Collective Agreement Mediation and Mediation-Arbitration: The Bill 148 first collective agreement mediation and mediation-arbitration provisions and provisions for educational support will be repealed and replaced with the pre-Bill 148 conditions for access to first agreement arbitration, where it appears to the OLRB that collective bargaining has been unsuccessful for specified reasons.
  • Fines: Previous maximum fines for offences under the LRA will be reinstated, resulting in a decrease in fines from $5,000 to $2,000 for individuals and from $100,000 to $25,000 for organizations.
  • Streamlining and Improving Processes: The proposed changes will expand and recognize alternative means of communications under the Act (e.g e-mail) for various types of documents and will allow the OLRB to make rules to expedite certain proceedings without the requirement of an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Bill 57 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
Bill 57 proposes to amend a significant number of Ontario’s statutes, including the Pay Transparency Act, 2018, which was scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2019. If passed, Bill 57 would change the commencement date of Ontario’s Pay Transparency Act, 2018 to a date to be determined by the cabinet.

As stated under the Pay Transparency Act, 2018, Certain employers would have increased reporting requirements relating to compensation.
  • Every employer with 100 or more employees (and every prescribed employer) would be required to prepare pay transparency reports.
  • Reports would include information relating to the employer, its workforce composition, and differences in compensation in the workforce with respect to gender and other prescribed characteristics.
  • Post these reports online or in a conspicuous place in every workplace of the employer, pay transparency reports would also have to be submitted to the Ministry, which would then publish these reports or otherwise make them available to the public.
The 2018 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review (Review), provides that “the government is proposing to delay the implementation date for the Pay Transparency Act, 2018 to allow for consultation.”
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Bill 62 Provincial
1st Reading
OHS Impact
The Bill amends the Highway Traffic Act. It is about the legal consequences of a collision that seriously injures or kills a pedestrian, a cyclist, a mobility device user, a roadway worker, an emergency responder outside their motor vehicle or another individual listed in the Bill.
A driver convicted of the offence is subject to the consequences for breaking the rule, and to a mandatory probation order. The order will require the driver to take a driving instruction course and perform community service. The community service must include activity related to improving driving safety and public education on driving safety. Their driver’s licence will be suspended during the probation. The driver must also attend the sentencing hearing. Victim impact statements may be presented during the sentencing hearing
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.
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.
Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Bill C-86 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
If passed, the Bill will make substantial changes to the Canada Labour Code and enact a federal Pay Equity Act, among other things.
​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:
  • If passed, 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:
  • Pay Equity between Employment Statuses  - Employers will be prohibited from paying employees different rates of pay because of their "employment status" (i.e. full-time vs. part-time, casual, temporary, etc.) subject to narrow exceptions.
New Leaves - Employees will be entitled to new leaves, including:    
  • Five days of personal leave, including three paid days;
  • Five days of paid leave for victims of family violence; and,
  • The current minimum length of service requirements for leaves and holiday pay will be eliminated.
Notice of Termination - Employees will be entitled to significantly greater notice of termination or pay in lieu.  Specifically:    
  • Individual employees will be entitled to two weeks' notice if the employee has completed at least three months and less than three years of continuous employment.  After at least three years of continuous employment, the entitlement is one week's notice or pay in lieu for each year of continuous employment up to a maximum of eight (8) weeks' notice.
  • Employees who are terminated in a "group termination" would be entitled to a minimum of eight (8) weeks' notice of termination or pay in lieu thereof.
  • Vacation - Employees will be entitled to paid vacation as follows:    
  • Two weeks' vacation after one year of employment;    
  • Three weeks' vacation after five years of employment;    
  • Four weeks' vacation after 10 years of employment
Enforcement - The legislation would establish a Head of Compliance and Enforcement who will exercise most of the powers and perform most of the functions and duties that are related to Part II (Occupation Health and Safety), Part III (Labour Standards), and the still not-in-force Part IV, which relates to compliance with the Code.

Update: Sections 303-307 (Parental Benefits and related leave) and 310-311 (CLC)-which extend leave, are In Force March 17, 2019.

Legislation Briefing
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 C-81 Federal
3rd Reading
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.
  • 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
2018 Provincial Offences Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact

Recent changes to Ontario health and safety law raise maximum fines against convicted individuals and corporations. On April 1st, 2018 the Ministry of Labour introduced over 280 Set Fines, which can be issued on the spot for non-compliance of the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) by employers & supervisors. These fines can be issued by MOL inspectors during their inspection blitzes that are currently ongoing.


The new Set Fines for these offences range from:

  • Lesser penalties scheduled for workers of either $250 or $350.
  • More significant penalties for supervisors of either $450 or $550.
  • The highest penalties for owners, constructors and employers of either $550 or $650.
Legislation Briefing (PDF)
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2018 Schedule 5 Bill 18 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact

On April 6th, 2018 the Ontario government proclaimed Schedule 5 of Bill 18, Stronger Workplaces for Stronger Economy Act (passed November 6th, 2014), which enables the Lieutenant Governor in Council to table new regulations to protect temporary help agency workers. (Reasons for Schedule 5 not coming into force at the time Bill 18 received Royal Assent are not disclosed).


As a result of Schedule 5 being proclaimed, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act can be amended by adding a definition for 'temporary help agency'. The Lieutenant Governor in Council may now table regulations that amend the WSIA and require the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to:

  • Deem all wages paid by the agency employer for work at the specific client employer to have been paid by the client employer
  • Attribute the injury and accident costs to the client employer
  • Increase or decrease the client employer's premiums.

If such regulations were to proceed, client employers (organizations contracting temporary help agency) would be required to:

  • Send notice of workplace injury requiring health care or an injury preventing a worker from earning full wages to the WSIB
  • To provide additional information as necessary.
  • Failure to meet notice requirements would result in set fines
Legislation Briefing

Stay up to date

Subscribe to receive Legislation Reference and/or Consultation updates.

Please Sign in or Register to subscribe for content updates.