The new year may be more or less prosperous for you, depending on where you live and what you do. Various municipal and provincial fee and regulatory changes take effect on January 1, 2018.
In Peterborough, you’ll pay more for parking and for landfill fees. In Lindsay, you’ll pay more for transit (unless you purchase a monthly pass, in which case you’ll pay less).
If you’re a camper, angler, or hunter, you’ll pay a bit more in the new year. If you earn enough, you will pay slightly more for the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance. If you’re a smoker and you smoke on a hospital’s property, you will now be fined for doing so. If you drive a commercial, farm, or bus vehicle, you’ll pay more in 2018 for licence plate sticker and plate fees.
On the other hand, minimum wage workers will earn more in 2018 (and get some additional benefits). Young people will have access to more government-funded services, including child protection and free prescription drugs. Small businesses will pay less corporate income tax.
Here are highlights of changes coming in 2018.
Parking fees and tickets in Peterborough
As of January 1st, the cost for one hour of on-street parking will increase from $1.00 to $1.25, and the cost for parking in municipal lots and garages will increase from $1.25 to $1.50.
And, if you get a parking ticket for exceeding paid parking time, it will cost you $25 instead of $15.
Tipping fees at the Peterborough landfill
As of January 1st, tipping fees will increase at the Peterborough City/County Landfill Site on Bensfort Road.
The minimum flat fee for a load of 100 kilograms or less increases from $7.00 to $10.00.
The fee for freon-containing items (refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, water coolers, dehumidifiers) increases from $15.00 to $20.00 for each item.
The fee for mattresses or box springs increases from $11.00 to $20.00 per item.
There will be no increase to tipping fees for recyclables (the fee remains at $45 per ton) or for large loads of waste (the fee remains at $95 per ton).
Lindsay Transit fares
As of January 1st, single fares for Lindsay Transit increase from $2.10 to $2.25 for adults, from $1.60 to $1.75 for seniors and students, and from $1.05 to $1.25 for children between eight and 14 years of age. Children under eight years old continue to ride for free.
There is no increase in the fee for six tokens ($10) and, beginning January 1st, 12 tokens can be purchased for $20.
The cost for monthly passes will decrease from $63 to $60 for adults and from $52.50 to $50 for seniors and students.
Ontario Parks camping fees
As of January 1st, existing fees for camping at Ontario provincial parks will increase by $0.25 for the 2018-19 operating season.
Fishing and hunting licence fees
As of January 1st, fishing and hunting license fees will increase from a range of $5.54 to $427.86 to a range of $5.79 to $437.86.
Fines for smoking anywhere on hospital property
As of January 1st, a regulation under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking anywhere on outdoor grounds of public hospitals, private hospitals, and psychiatric facilities.
This applies to any buildings, exterior areas, parking lots, and vehicles located on hospital property.
This won’t affect your wallet in 2018 unless you’re a smoker and you don’t follow the new law. Fines under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act range from $300 to $300,000.
Increase to minimum wage, increased paid vacation, and new personal emergency days
As of January 1st, Ontario’s general minimum wage increases from $11.60 to $14.00 per hour.
The minimum wage for students under 18 year of age who work part-time will increase to $13.15 per hour and the minimum wage for liquor servers will increase to $12.20 per hour.
Other changes taking effect include at least three weeks’ vacation after five years with the same employer, 10 days per calendar year for personal emergency leave (with at least two paid days per year for employees who have been employed for at least a week), banning employers from requiring a doctor’s sick note from an employee taking personal emergency leave, increased family medical leave from eight to 28 weeks per year, a new leave of up to 104 weeks for the death of a child from any cause, and an increase to the leave for a crime-related disappearance of a child leave from 52 to 104 weeks.
Free prescription drugs for people under 25
As of January 1st, the Government of Ontario will introduce OHIP+ – Children and Youth Pharmacare, which provides free access to more than 4,400 medications for anyone 24 years or younger.
Some of the medications covered under OHIP+ include antibiotics, asthma inhalers, diabetes medication including insulin, epinephrine auto-injectors, antidepressants, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs, and drugs to treat arthritis, epilepsy and other chronic conditions.
All babies, children, and youth aged 24 years and under who have OHIP coverage will be automatically covered by the new program. You don’t need to enroll — all you need is a health card number and an eligible prescription to present at any pharmacy.
Age of protection increases from 16 to 18 years
As of January 1st, the age of protection in Ontario increases from 16 to 18 years.
The increase means that 16- and 17-year-olds will be eligible for the full range of child protection services from Ontario’s 48 children’s aid societies.
It is estimated that an additional 1,600 youth will have access to protection services with this change.
Provincial small business corporate income tax rate
As of January 1st, the Ontario small business corporate income tax rate will decrease from 4.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent.
The decrease is obtained by claiming the Ontario small business deduction, which reduces the corporate income tax rate on the first $500,000 of active business income of Canadian-controlled private corporations.
Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance contributions
If you regularly exceed the maximum contributions for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI), you’ll see increased deductions from your pay cheque.
The CPP maximum pensionable earnings is increasing from $55,300 to $55,900, resulting in an increase of $30 in 2018 if you exceed the maximum for CPP contributions. As the EI rate is increasing from 1.63 per cent to 1.66 per cent, you’ll pay an extra $22 in 2018 if you exceed the maximum for EI contributions.
Driver and vehicle fees
While there are no increases in driver’s licence fees in 2018, it will cost you $4 more to replace a driver’s license, an enhanced driver’s license, or a driving instructor’s licence ($35 instead of $31).
For regular drivers, licence plate sticker and plate fees also remain the same, although it will cost you $2 more to replace a lost, stolen or damaged plate ($59 instead of $57).
However, most commercial, farm, and bus operators will be paying more in 2018. If you drive a small heavy commercial vehicle (3,001 to 3,500 kg), the sticker and plate fee increases to $265.25 from $188.75. Farm vehicles up to 3,500 kg will pay $157.00, up from $142.75, and farm vehicles over 63,000 kg will pay $1,245.50 instead of $1,132.25. Buses up to 2,500 kg will pay $134.75 instead of $122.50, and large buses over 39,000 kg will pay $2,260.75, up from $2,055.25.
Replacements for oversize/overweight (O/O) permits and commercial vehicle operator’s registration will each increase by $4, from $31 to $35.
Service, dealer, and manufacturer plates for motor vehicles will increase by $3, from $172 to $175, and by $2, from $96 to $98, for motorcycles.
Visit ontario.ca for a complete list of all regulation and fee changes coming into force on January 1, 2018.