The province of Ontario has received the final report of its Changing Workplaces Review panel, which examined the province’s current employment standards laws. Following that review, a number of changes to those laws will be made.
Those changes include a two-stage increase to the provincial general minimum wage (currently $11.40 per hour), on the following schedule:
- to $14.00 per hour, effective as of January 1, 2018; and
- to $15.00 per hour, effective as of January 1, 2019.
Further increases to the minimum wage will be tied to the provincial inflation rate.
The press release announcing the minimum wage increase, which includes links to a backgrounder outlining all of the recommended changes and to the full report of the panel, can be found on the provincial government website at https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2017/05/fair-workplaces-better-jobs.html.
As announced in this year’s Budget, and effective for qualifying costs incurred for travel after July 1, 2017, the province will be providing Ontario seniors (aged 65 and older) with a refundable tax credit to help offset the cost of public transit.
The new refundable credit will be equal to 15% of a senior’s eligible public transit costs.
The press release announcing the new credit, which is available at https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2017/05/ontario-introduces-legislation-to-help-homebuyers-and-seniors.html, did not provide any details on how public transit costs eligible for the credit would be calculated. The Ontario Budget papers indicated that such details would be available prior to the implementation date of July 1.
The Ontario government provides residents of the province with a number of refundable tax credits (known collectively as the Ontario Trillium Benefit), which are delivered by means of monthly payments to eligible taxpayers.
The next benefit year for such credits runs from July 2017 to June 2018. Eligibility for, and the amount of, such benefits for the 2017-18 benefit year will be based, in part, on the taxpayer’s income for the previous (2016) taxation year.
In order to receive benefits for the 2017-18 benefit year, a taxpayer must have filed a return for 2016, so that eligibility can be determined. Taxpayers who filed by May 1 should receive benefits beginning in July. Those who have not yet filed may still receive benefits, once their return for 2016 is filed and assessed, but receipt of such benefits may be delayed.
Details of the Ontario Trillium Benefit for 2017-18 can be found on the Ontario government website at www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/otb/index.html?utm_source=finance&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=homepromo.