New 2017 Regulations to Lower Household Costs and Increase Consumer Protection

Source: 
Ontario Office of the Premier

Starting January 1, legislation and regulation changes come into effect that aim to help lower the cost of living, strengthen protections for consumers, and make Ontario a more inclusive place to live, work and raise a family.

More Information: 

To aim to help address rising costs, Ontario is:

  • Doubling the maximum refund of the Land Transfer Tax for eligible first-time homebuyers to $4,000, meaning that qualifying purchasers will pay no Land Transfer Tax on the first $368,000 of the cost of their first home
  • Reducing electricity bills by an amount equal to the eight per cent portion of the HST for five million families, farms and small businesses and providing additional relief to reduce eligible rural electricity ratepayers' bills by about 20 per cent
  • No longer treating child support payments as income for those receiving social assistance, leaving families with more income

To aim to better protect consumers, Ontario is:

  • Requiring restaurant chains and other food services providers with 20 or more locations in Ontario to include caloric content on menus, giving people the ability to make informed and healthier food choices
  • Increasing protections for consumers who use towing and vehicle storage services by requiring towing and storage providers to disclose rates, notify drivers of where their vehicle is stored, and provide an itemized invoice
  • Requiring travel agents and wholesalers to display the total price for travel services in all advertising, increasing transparency for consumers
  • Lowering the maximum total cost of borrowing for a payday loan from $21 to $18 per $100 borrowed

To aim to help build a fairer society that benefits all, Ontario is:

  • Recognizing more clearly the legal status of all parents, regardless of how their child was conceived, helping ensure all families are treated equally
  • Prohibiting the arbitrary collection of identifying information by police, also referred to as carding or street checks
  • Allowing people to register a birth with, or change a name to, a single name if it is in accordance with their traditional culture
  • Requiring all publicly assisted colleges and universities and private career colleges to have a sexual violence policy, helping ensure postsecondary institutions are responsive to incidents of sexual violence