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 Bill 168 Provincial
In Force
OHS Impact

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

Changes

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.

Changes

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.
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
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.
Changes
  • 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.
 
Changes
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.
Update!
Legislation Briefing
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.

Changes

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)

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