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
In Force
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 191 Provincial
1st Reading
OHS Impact
If the Bill is passed, it will amend the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 to add a presumption that COVID-19 is an occupational disease for workers working for essential businesses as deemed by an Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
Changes
  • If the Bill is passed, the new presumption would mean that COVID-19 cases would more easily be deemed to have arisen from the infected person’s work, therefore, entitling them to WSIB coverage.
  • It would also vacate COVID-19 claims from essential workers that had been denied prior to the Bill coming into force. Vacating a denied claim would mean that the worker could refile their claim and have it determined taking advantage of the new presumption.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2020 Bill 141 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
lntroduces mandatory accessibility inspection and maintenance requirements for the owners of automated external defibrillators located in public places. This legislation also gives the Minister of Health authority to designate types of public premises where the owner of the facility would be required to install an automated external defibrillator
Changes
If passed will create a registry of publicly accessible defibrillators and establish requirements relating to the installation, maintenance, testing and availability of defibrillators in designated locations
Will ensure that the locations of publicly accessible defibrillators are made available to 911 dispatchers, allowing them to direct callers to a nearby AED. The legislation also requires that they have appropriate signage, be accessible for easy identification, and be properly maintained by the owner of the defibrillator.
 
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
Eenacted a new regulatory amendment O. Reg. 228/20, that will put non-unionized employees on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave during the COVID-19 outbreak any time their hours of work are temporarily reduced by their employer due to COVID-19. This will ensure businesses aren't forced to terminate employees after their ESA temporary layoff periods have expired. 

Terminations triggered when temporary layoffs exceed the permitted length under the Employment Standards Act can result in costly payouts which, for many businesses, could be the difference between survival and closure. Under the new regulatory change to the Employment Standards Act, non-unionized employees who have had their hours reduced or eliminated because of the pandemic will be deemed to be on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave. Workers will remain employed with legal protections and be eligible for federal emergency income support programs.

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 190 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
The Declaration of Emergency has been extended until June 2. The declaration will allow Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as restricting retirement and long-term care home employees from working in more than one facility and prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people.
Changes
The House passed the COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020, which will help people conduct business while practicing physical distancing by:
  • Providing authority to address in-person attendance rules for school board trustees' meetings in regulation. This would provide the flexibility in certain emergency situations to allow trustees to meet virtually during school closures;
  • Enabling corporations to call and hold meetings virtually, as applicable, and extending the time period in which annual meetings must be held in specific circumstances;
  • Allowing designations of a beneficiary to be provided electronically for Retirement Savings Plans, Retirement Income Funds, Locked-in Retirement Accounts, Life Income Funds and Tax-Free Savings Accounts;
  • Allowing electronic filing of business registration documents, and the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of business registration documents and e-signatures;
  • Allowing for regulations to set out the parameters for remotely commissioning or notarizing a document;
  • Extending, on a one-time basis for 2020, the legislated four-year period during which a Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) election is mandated to be held to give more time to support remote voting.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2020 Bill 195 Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact

This bill will  ensure important measures remain in place to address the threat of COVID-19 once the provincial declaration of emergency has ended. Specifically, the legislation would:
•    Continue emergency orders in effect under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) under the new legislation for an initial 30 days.
•    Allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to further extend these orders for up to 30 days at a time, as required to keep Ontarians safe.
•    Allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to amend certain emergency orders continued under the EMCPA if the amendment relates to:
  • Labour redeployment or workplace and management rules;
  • Closure of places and spaces or regulation of how businesses and establishments can be open to provide goods or services in a safe manner;
  • Compliance with public health advice; or
  • Rules related to gatherings and organized public events.
  • Not allow new emergency orders to be created.
  • Allow emergency orders to be rescinded when it is safe to do so.
Changes
These measures will provide the province with the necessary flexibility to address the ongoing risks and effects of the COVID-19 outbreak as Ontario moves towards recovery. The Act will come into force on July 24, 2020 to coincide with the termination of the declared provincial emergency.

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is extending orders currently in force under this Act. The extensions provide the government with the necessary flexibility to address the ongoing risks and effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and ensure important measures remain in place to protect vulnerable populations, such as seniors, people with developmental disabilities and those with mental health and addiction issues.

All orders under the ROA have been extended to November 21, 2020. The extension will apply to all orders under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) except those that deal with hydro prices and access to electronic personal health information.

Orders under the ROA include the province's ability to implement rules on public gatherings, business closures and managing outbreaks in hospitals or long-term care homes. 

The government also said that regulations have been amended for both Stage 2 and Stage 3 regions to allow in-person teaching and instruction for fire departments, which are “critical for public safety.”

An order for regions under the modified Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan was also amended to allow dance classes to operate, permitting they follow specified criteria.

Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2020 Bill 197 Provincial
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
Schedule 13: Occupational Health and Safety Act
Currently, subsection 70 (2) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act includes the authority to make regulations that adopt by reference certain codes, standards, criteria and guides. An amendment is made to provide that the power to adopt codes, standards, criteria and guides includes the power to adopt them as they may be amended from time to time.
Changes
 This Schedule comes into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2020 Bill 200 Provincial
1st Reading
OHS Impact
Aimed at permanently scrapping employers' ability to require doctors' notes from an employee who calls in sick.
Changes
The Bill amends the Employment Standards Act, 2000. It is about what evidence an employer can make an employee provide to show that they are entitled to sick leave. Employers retain the right to make an employee show evidence that they are entitled to sick leave, but are not permitted to require a certificate from a qualified health practitioner.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2020 Bill 218 Provincial
3rd Reading
OHS Impact
This Private Members Bill,  Health-care workers, businesses and non-profits could receive liability protection against COVID-19-related lawsuits under legislation proposed by the Ontario government. The proposed changes will also ensure court resources are used where they are needed most: to hold accountable bad actors who ignore public health guidance and laws or act with gross negligence.
Changes
If passed, the bill will provide targeted protection for those who are making an honest effort to follow public health guidelines and laws, including:
•    Healthcare workers and institutions;
•    Frontline workers who serve the public everywhere from grocery stores to restaurants and retail stores;
•    Businesses and their employees;
•    Charities, non-profit organizations; and
•    Coaches, volunteers and minor sports associations.
 
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2020 Bill C-12 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
This enactment repeals and replaces the existing Quarantine Act. Its purpose is to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases in Canada.
Changes
  • It provides measures for the screening, health assessment and medical examination of travellers to determine if they have a communicable disease and measures for preventing the spread of communicable diseases, including referral to public health authorities, detention, treatment and disinfestation. Provisions for the administrative oversight of the detention of travellers are also included.
  • It provides for additional measures such as the inspection and cleansing of conveyances and cargo to ensure that they are not the source of communicable diseases.
  • It imposes controls on the import and export of cadavers, body parts and other human remains.
  • It contains provisions for the collection and disclosure of personal information if it is necessary to prevent the spread of a communicable disease or, under certain circumstances, for law enforcement purposes.
  • It also provides the Minister of Health with interim order powers in the case of public health emergencies and enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance with the Act.
  •  
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.

On June 16, 2020, the Government of Canada announced an extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) by an additional 8 weeks for eligible workers. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) also provided further details on eligibility for the fourth period (from June 7, 2020 to July 4, 2020) of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
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 Bill C-14 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
Bill C-14 implements the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) by amending the Income Tax Act (Canada) to deliver the CEWS as a refund from the Canada Revenue Agency.
Changes
The CEWS was approved by the Canadian Parliament and Senate, making a 75% wage subsidy available for eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020
Employers may qualify for a base refund of up to 75% of pre-crisis salaries and wages for existing employees or 75% of salaries and wages for new employees (in both cases up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week), plus certain employer-paid payroll contributions, during the program.

To qualify for the CEWS, an employer must:
• Be an eligible entity such as:
  • a corporation (other than a tax-exempt entity or “public institution”, such as a school or hospital) (note that this includes domestic as well as foreign (and foreign-controlled) corporations);
  • an individual (note that this includes trusts);
  • a registered charity (other than a public institution);
  • a non-profit organization or other specified tax-exempt entity (other than a public institution); or
  • a partnership each of whose members is an eligible entity as described above
• Have a revenue reduction of at least 15% in March 2020 and 30% in April and May 2020,
• Have had a CRA payroll program account on March 15, 2020, and
• Apply for the CEWS before October 1, 2020.

An eligible employee is any individual employed in Canada during a qualifying period, unless the employee was without pay for 14 or more consecutive days. Employees who do not deal at arm’s length with their employers can be consider “eligible employees”, but are subject to special rules.

 
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2020 Bill C-20 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
Bill C-20 has received royal assent, allowing the extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program until December 19, 2020, including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020.
This bill provides eligible employers a gradually decreasing base subsidy.  This will help many struggling employers with less than a 30-per-cent revenue loss get support to keep and bring back workers, while also ensuring those who have previously benefited could still qualify, even if their revenues recover and no longer meet the 30 per cent revenue decline threshold, according to the government.
 
Changes
  • Introduces a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 per cent for employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis; 
  • Ensures employers that have already made business decisions for July and Aug. that they will not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules;
  • Provide continuity rules to address circumstances where an employer purchased all or substantially all of another entity’s business assets;
  • Make the proposed amendments to the CEWS previously introduced in Bill C-17, An Act respecting additional COVID-19 measures.
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2020 C-4 Federal
Royal Assent
OHS Impact
The Bill introduces new recovery benefits for Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, and replaces the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which came to an end on September 26, 2020.

The new benefits will apply retroactively to September 27, 2020 to ensure there is no gap in coverage following the end of CERB payments. 
 
Changes
The Bill introduces three new benefits: the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB).

An individual will only be eligible to receive one benefit in any given period. Each of the benefits established by Bill C-4 will be in effect for a period of one year, ending on September 25, 2021, and can be accessed through Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Year Bill/Reg./Act Jurisdiction Status
2020 R.S.O. 1990 Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact

Considerable powers are given to the Premier and the Lieutenant Governor in Council during a declared emergency to issue orders which are "necessary and essential in the circumstances to prevent, reduce or mitigate serious harm to persons". These orders will alleviate the risk or is a reasonable alternative to other actions.

Failure to comply with orders enacted under the EMCPA result in substantial penalties for both individuals and corporations. "Emergency" is defined in the EMCPA and includes "a disease or other health risk," which would include COVID-19.

Changes

Ontario government, in consultation with Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force that were made under s.7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 22, 2020. The extension was made to ensure the province maintains the necessary flexibility to protect public health and safety as more businesses reopen and people go back to work.

Stage 3 of reopening will come into effect on July 17th for the following regions: 

  • Algoma Public Health
  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
  • Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Southwestern Public Health
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health​
​The following public health units will be allowed to move into Stage 3 on Friday, July 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.:
  • Durham Region Health Department;
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
  • Halton Region Health Department;
  • Hamilton Public Health Services;
  • Lambton Health Unit;
  • Niagara Region Public Health Department; and
  • York Region Public Health Services.

Toronto, Peel Region and Windsor-Essex Region will, however, remain in Stage 2

Emergency orders in force
O. Reg. Order Description
50/20 Declaration of Emergency
106/20 Extensions and renewals of orders
114/20 Enforcement of orders
51/20 Closure of establishments
263/20 Stage 2 closures
82/20 Closure of places of non-essential businesses
104/20 Closure of outdoor recreational amenities
52/20 Organized public events, certain gatherings
98/20 Prohibiting unfair pricing on necessary goods
139/20 Child care fees
80/20 Electricity price for RPP consumers
195/20 Treatment of temporary COVID-19 related payments to employees
241/20 Special rules regarding temporary pandemic pay
120/20 Access to COVID-19 status information by specified persons
190/20 Access to personal health information by means of the electronic health record
192/20 Certain persons enabled to issue medical certificates of death
193/20 Hospital credentialing processes
116/20 Work deployment for boards of health
74/20 Work deployment for health service providers
77/20 Work deployment for long-term care homes
118/20 Work deployment measures in retirement homes
146/20 Limiting work to a single long-term care home
158/20 Limiting work to a single retirement home
163/20 Work deployment measures for mental health and addictions agencies
156/20 Deployment of employees of service provider organizations
95/20 Streamlining requirements for long-term care homes
210/20 Management of long-term care homes in outbreak
240/20 Management of retirement homes in outbreak
140/20 Agreements between health service providers and retirement homes
141/20 Temporary health or residential facilities
121/20 Service agencies providing services and supports to adults with developmental disabilities
145/20 Work deployment measures for service agencies providing violence against women residential services and crisis line services
154/20 Work deployment measures for district social services administration boards
157/20 Work deployment measures for municipalities
177/20 Congregate care settings
205/20 Education sector
129/20 Signatures in wills and powers of attorney
128/20 Pick up and delivery of cannabis
75/20 Drinking water and sewage
73/20 Limitation periods
89/20 Traffic management
132/20 Use of force and firearms in policing services
76/20 Electronic service of documents

Revoked emergency orders
   
191/20 Global adjustment for market participants and consumers
142/20 Closure of public lands for recreational camping
107/20 Corporations, co-operative corporations and condominium corporations
 

On April 27th, 2020 the Provincial Government of Ontario introduced A Framework for Reopening the Province (Framework) following the measures taken to control and prevent the spread of Covid-19. The three stage Framework is a document setting out the public health principles behind its decision-making.

The Ontario government is helping restaurant and bar owners reopen and safely serve more customers by issuing a new emergency order and amending another under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which will allow municipalities to quickly pass temporary bylaws for the creation and extension of patios and allow covered outdoor dining areas to serve customers.

Update!
Legislation Briefing 
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.
  • Employers in the food production and processing industry will be given $1,500 for each of their temporary foreign workers so they have transportation and accommodations, as well as access to food and basic supplies needed to meet all of the conditions imposed by public health authorities for the two weeks. 
    • This program will be available as long as the Quarantine Act is in force, and is conditional on employers not being found in violation of the mandatory 14-day isolation protocols or any other public health order.
    • The government warned that those who do not comply will face severe fines, sanctions, penalties or even a possible ban from the program.

       

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