We're only a few days into 2020 and we've already seen tons of changes from the new laws and regulations in Montreal. The city is poised to take steps toward improving its economy, infrastructure, and environment throughout the year. With Mayor Valérie Plante's ambitious goals and confident attitude, our city is well on its way to becoming a better place to live now and for the foreseeable future. 

But what are the new laws and regulations that you need to be aware of as a Montrealers? Some of these new laws and regulations will put a smile on your face - others, not so much.

For one, Montreal residents will be safer on the streets and will save money on essential services in 2020 despite seeing an overall increase in taxes. New laws implemented by the Quebec government will obviously affect us here in Montreal and there are a few that will have a direct impact on your life. 

Our city will also see a gradually changing image as centuries-old practices are being phased out and new measures to improve infrastructures, such as the REM and Blue Line extension, will be coming together over the year. 

Here are all the new laws and regulations that Montrealers need to be aware of in 2020!

Property Taxes Are Going Up

Announced in the city's 2020 operating budget was a slight increase in residential property taxes. The exact increases vary from borough to borough, but on average, residential property taxes for single-family homes and apartment buildings will go up 2.1%. Verdun will see the largest increase - at 3.2%.

If you live in a large apartment building, this means that your rent is likely going up this spring. Apartment building owners will see a 4.5% increase in property taxes.


READ ALSO: Montreal Is Making Huge Investments In Housing & Green Space, Here's What To Expect

Hospital Parking Fees Will Be Capped

You'll no longer need to pay exorbitant parking fees at the hospital anymore as the Quebec government is capping parking fees at $7 to $10. Montrealers have arguably paid the highest hospital parking fees in the past. 

For instance, the average cost of hospital parking at the MUHC was $24 for the day. Now, the first two hours will be free and won't go above $10 for the day. 

Public Transit Fares Set To Increase

Though we haven't seen a fare increase since summer 2019, expect there to be another sometime in June. According to the Montreal Gazette, commuters should expect a 2% transit fare increase sometime in 2020. 

The ARMT will announce the increase at least 60 days before it comes into effect, so you'll have plenty of warning. 

Residential Parking Passes More Expensive In The Plateau

If you own a car and live in the Plateau, you'll be paying more for your residential parking vignette in 2020. How much more will depend on how gas-guzzling your car is. 

Owners of small vehicles less than 1.6-litres, electric cars, and those below the poverty line will still pay only $140 per year for their parking permit. Owning a 1.7- to a 2.4-litre engine car, you'll pay $175 per year. A 2.5- to a 3.4-litre engine - $200 per year. Vehicles 3.5-litres and up will cost $225 per year. 

If you have two cars, getting a parking permit for that second vehicle will cost you $365 per year. 

Mandatory Pet Microchipping Comes Into Effect

If your pet wasn't microchipped by January 1, schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible or face a $400 fine from the city of Montreal. If your fur baby isn't sterilized, the city will slap you with a $300 fine. 

Microchipping is now mandatory for cats and dogs over six months old, as is sterilization of cats, dogs, and rabbits over six months old. The SPCA offers a microchipping service for only $45. Sterilization is more expensive and could run you up to $367. 


READ ALSO: Montrealers Face Fine Up To $400 If Pet Cats & Dogs Aren't Microchipped By January 1, 2020

Vision Zero Implemented Throughout The City

As per the city's Vision Zero goals, the City of Montreal will aim to make pedestrian crossings safer for everyone. Vision Zero was rolled out last year but we will see the full effects over the course of 2020. 

The plan aims to completely eliminate pedestrian/cyclist vehicle collisions by 2021. More than twenty actions will be implemented to ensure the safety of everyone using Montreal's roads. 


READ ALSO: Montreal Just Got Lower Speed Limits And Longer Pedestrian Lights

Minimum Wage Goes Up

The CAQ announced that it will increase Quebec's minimum wage by 60 cents this year. This means that Quebec's new minimum wage will now be $13.10 and $10.45 for workers who make tips. 

For those working in minimum wage jobs across Montreal, this is amazing news. The new minimum wage comes into effect on May 1, 2020. 

 

No More Caléches in the Old Port

After a long court battle with Old Port horse carriage drivers, the city courts finally decided to ban the centuries-old practice on Montreal's streets. This summer, you'll no longer hear the clip-clop of caléches in the Old Port. 

Mayor Plante says that the decision to ban caléches in Montreal was for the "well-being of the animals." 

Family Allowances Going Up, Daycare Rates Going Down

As per a budgetary surplus on the provincial level, family allowance subsidies will be increasing exponentially in 2020. Each child will count for a maximum allowance of over $2,500 per year.

Experts say that some 679,000 families will receive, on average, $779 more per year. 

Daycare rates are also being capped at a flat rate of $8.25 per day, per child. 

No More Weed If You're Under 21

As you're likely to be aware of, the CAQ government announced that no one under 21 can buy or consume cannabis in Quebec. There are prohibitions against smoking outdoors in public spaces such as parks and playgrounds. 

The fine for possession of cannabis under 21 is set at $100. Experts have criticized this new law as potentially opening up and expanding the already dangerous black market. 

Please be aware of these laws as most of them already came into effect on January 1. 

As always, MTL Blog will be here to keep you updated on the progress of these laws and will report on new ones that are announced throughout the year! 

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