- It can be difficult to say up to date with everything happening in the news, so MTL Blog decided to make a list of new Quebec laws and regulations that are coming into effect in 2020, to make sure you're all up to date.
- From hospital parking fees being capped to an increase in minimum wage, Quebec will be seeing some serious changes in this new year!
- Take a look at the new laws and regulations that are coming into effect in our province in 2020 below.
With a new year come new Quebec laws and regulations that citizens will need to follow. The province has a number of laws that will come into effect this year, some that will benefit people and others that are sure to lead to some frustration. In many cases, these laws were announced in the waning parts of last year, in anticipation of 2020.
François Legault and the CAQ are not shy about making changes, as highly publicized moves to install a values test for new immigrants and to raise the legal age for cannabis made headlines across the country.
Controversies that we all remember from 2019 are certain to carry over into 2020. Expect the CAQ's treatment of Bill 21 and their positions on immigration and language to continue to make headlines this year.
There's one major change to Quebec's tax regulations, courtesy of the Federal government. The basic amount that all Canadians can earn tax-free is going up to $13,229. The increase will be rolled out over the next four years until the tax-free amount reached $15,000. For the lowest-income individuals, this could mean an annual tax savings of up to $140 in 2020.
Here are the laws and regulations in Quebec that will be coming into effect this year.
No One Under 21 Can Buy Cannabis
The CAQ government announced in late December that Quebecers under the age of 21 will no longer be able to buy cannabis at the SQDC or online.
Bill 2, titled "An Act to tighten the regulation of cannabis," stipulates that possession of cannabis, if you're under 21, will incur a $100 fine. Other amendments include "prohibitions against smoking cannabis on public roads, on the ground of enclosed spaces where smoking is currently prohibited [...] as well as in all other outdoor places that are open to the public such as parks, playgrounds, sports grounds and the ground of day camps."
The law went into effect on January 1.
Condo Co-Ownership Fees Increase
Quebec's Bill 16, "An Act mainly to regulate building inspections and divided co-ownership, to replace the name and improve the rules of operation of the Régie du logement and to amend the Act respecting the Société d’habitation du Québec and various legislative provisions concerning municipal affairs," will require co-ownerships, such as condo buildings, to create a fund and conduct a study detailing the amounts necessary for this fund to pay for major repairs.
The study will need to be conducted once every five years. For condo owners, this means that co-ownership fees will rise from $145 to $300.
The law will come into effect on January 10.
Values Test For Immigrants
The much-criticized Values Test, officially called Bill 9, "An Act to increase Québec’s socio-economic prosperity and adequately meet labour market needs through successful immigrant integration," was passed in June 2019 and "affirms the importance of learning democratic values and the Quebec values expressed in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms."
All new immigrants from 2019 onward will be required to take the test, consisting of 20 questions. 15 of the questions will need to be answered correctly to pass, according to CIC News.
The law came into effect on January 1.
Hydro-Québec Rebate & Rate Freeze
Hydro-Québec will freeze its rates and refund customers up to $60 after the adoption of Bill 34, "An Act to simplify the process for establishing electricity distribution rates." The law was passed on December 9, 2019.
The amount of your refund will depend upon how much electricity you consumed between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019.
The refund will come into effect as of April 1.
A New Dangerous Dog Law
Quebec made amendments to its Animal Welfare and Safety Act in early December, clarifying the criteria of what the government considers a "dangerous dog." Under the new law, doctors will need to report all dog bites and veterinarians must report all dogs they consider public safety risks.
Municipalities will be responsible for upholding the law as they see fit and may impose further measures.
The amendments go into effect on March 3.
Hospital Parking Fees Will Be Capped
In October 2019, the CAQ announced that it would follow through on a campaign promise and cap hospital parking fees at $7 to $10. The first two hours will be free.
Before the announcement, hospital parking prices varied depending on which hospital you visited. At the highest end, a hospital visit could cost you close to $30 in parking fees.
The law will go into effect sometime this spring.
Minimum Wage Increase
In mid-December 2019, the CAQ announced that it will be increasing Quebec's minimum wage by 60 cents in 2020. Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment, and Social Solidarity said that the "increase in the minimum wage [he is] proposing today will allow workers and businesses to benefit from the current economic momentum."
Quebec's new minimum wage will now be $13.10 and $10.45 for employees who make tips.
The law will come into effect on May 1.
Quebec residents will need to be aware of these changes starting today and in the coming months.
Keep in mind that there are also plenty of laws and amendments that are still under consideration in the National Assembly, so expect plenty more to come.
Here's to a great 2020 in Quebec.