Change is inevitable, and this year will be no different. Read some of the moving and shaking below.
- Canadian small businesses will welcome a drop in their tax rate to 10 per cent from 10.5.
- There will be a slight increase in EI premiums at the Federal Level.
However, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation estimates it will add only about $6 in new costs for the average worker and $13 per employee for the average employer.
- The government’s new inflation-adjusted escalator to the excise tax on liquor also comes into effect, and prices will rise come April this year.
- 2018 brings the return of the sponsorship program that had been closed down to deal with backlogs for those who want to bring elderly parents and grandparents to Canada. In an attempt to be fair those who have files an interest to sponsor will be entered into a random draw for a chance to apply.
- Microbeads are tiny plastic balls that have long been used in hygiene and beauty products. Plastic microbeads, which have been found to sink to the bottom of lakes and rivers and even be consumed by creatures there, will be banned nationwide this year. (CBC)
- The federal government has pledged to legalize marijuana and has set a deadline of this summer. It has also informed the provinces and territories that they must impose a price on carbon or Ottawa will impose one for them.
Some of the more significant changes this year take place at the provincial level.
- As of Jan. 1, the province of Ontario’s minimum hourly wage increased from $11.60 to $14, higher than the current highest in Canada, $13.60 in Alberta. Also in Ontario, those 25 and younger will no longer have to pay for medical prescriptions, and no worker will be required to present a doctor’s note to qualify for a sick day.
- In Alberta, the carbon tax will rise to $30 a tonne from $20. At the pumps, gas will rise by only about two cents a litre, and a system of rebates have been implemented for families making less than $95,000.
- New Brunswickers will enjoy the third Monday every February as a statutory Family Day.
- Quebec has dropped its lowest income tax bracket from a 16 per cent rate to 15 per cent, and the province will give back $100 this year to families for each child aged between six and 17 for back-to-school expenses, but it is still the highest taxed province in the country.
- High-income earners in B.C. will see an increase in their income taxes, as the province seeks to cover the cost of a 50 per cent cut to its medical services premium.
- They’re invisible and harmful, and both are banned as of Jan. 1 — in Ontario, at least.
“Scalper-bots” have become illegal in Ontario to protect concert goers from absorbent ticket prices.. It will also be illegal to resell any ticket at a markup of more than 50 per cent.