A new year is on the horizon and so are new laws governing tobacco sales, e-cigarettes, hookah pipes, and rules of the road in Ontario.
As of Jan. 3, cash fares are going up 25 cents to $3.25, while the cost of tokens and Presto cards are rising by 10 cents to $2.90. There is some good news though: subway service on Sundays begins an hour earlier at 8 a.m.
Effective New Year’s Day, water rates will increase by eight per cent, which means the average homeowner will be paying an extra $72.
Garbage rates are rising by three per cent in the new year. The increase would jump $7 to $14 depending on the size of the bin. Small garbage bins will go up $7.13 to $244. A medium bin will go up to $297, $403 for a large bin, and $468 for an extra-large bin.
Below is a list of bans and new regulations in Ontario that go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016. Click here for a full list.
Smoking and tobacco sales
Under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, Ontario businesses won’t be allowed to sell flavoured tobacco products, many of which are designed and packaged to appeal to teens.
The Ontario government says the ban will “help protect youth from the harmful effects of smoking because flavoured tobacco is more appealing to youth.”
Tobacco smoking will be prohibited on the outdoor grounds of hospitals and psychiatric facilities. Smoking and tobacco sales will also be banned on certain Government of Ontario properties.
Under the Electronic Cigarettes Act, businesses will not be able to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under 19 years of age. Retailers will also be required to post signs indicating the new rules.
Even though e-cigarettes do not produce second-hand smoke, they still send the wrong message to teens, the Ontario government says.
Earlier this year, city council voted in favour of banning the use of hookah pipes inside licensed establishments in Toronto. It goes into effect in April of 2016.
Hookahs, often referred to as waterpipes, are used to smoke moist tobacco or non-tobacco herbal products (shisha), using charcoal to heat the substance.
Driving and road rules
Insurance companies will have to provide a discount for drivers who buy and install winter tires, in an effort to help lower auto insurance rates.
Rules of the road
The Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act stipulates drivers will be required to remain stopped at a pedestrian crossover or school crossing until everyone is off the roadway. Also, pedestrians will be prohibited from entering a crosswalk if the vehicle is so close that the driver cannot stop.
Ontario will become the first province in Canada to test self-driving cars on provincial roads using automated vehicle (AV) technology.
The self-driving vehicles are capable of detecting the surrounding environment using artificial intelligence, sensors and global positioning systems.
Public sector organizations with one or more employees will need to make new and redeveloped public spaces accessible.
Six publicly-funded dental programs will be combined into the new Healthy Smiles Ontario program, in an effort to make dental care for children 17 and under more accessible for low-income families.
Monthly savings/costs for average Toronto Home in 2016