2020 was one of the most radically different and weird years in human history, but 2021 has even more changes in store for Ontarians.
From moose hunting and hydro rates to child care payments and vaping regulations, your life might look a little different next year because of these new rules.
But now that you've got a head start on what's ahead, you can go into the new year feeling as prepared as possible.
Rent freeze in Ontario
The Ontario government has made a few changes to how renting worked during the pandemic, including a ban on rent evictions from March to August 2020.
But in October 2020, the province passed legislation that meant landlords couldn't increase the price of rent for most tenants in the province.
The rent freeze expires on December 31, 2021.
No more single-use plastics
Plastic pollution is a problem we can’t afford to ignore. Today our government announced we'll: ✅Ban harmful single… https://t.co/tiYqQfsIcV— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau)1560205463.0
The ban could apply to plastic grocery bags, straws, takeout containers, and six-pack rings, but it won't apply to PPE.
An extra $1,200 for parents
Today, I’m presenting the Fall Economic Statement: our plan to continue to support Canadians through the pandemic a… https://t.co/utya0rFxwX— Chrystia Freeland (@Chrystia Freeland)1606745026.0
When Canada revealed a new federal economic package in November, they announced a change to the Canada Child Benefit coming in 2021 that means eligible parents can get $1,200 for each child under the age of six they have.
There are four payments spread out throughout the year, and they're automatic, too — so if you're eligible and signed up for the CCB, all you need to do is check your bank account.
Money back for remote workers
If you’re an employee working from home due to #COVID19, there are 2 methods to claim the home office expenses dedu… https://t.co/QjkozuuzlN— Canada Revenue Agency (@Canada Revenue Agency)1608566495.0
Also in the package was a $400 tax rebate for people who have been working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CRA did have a tax break for people working from home before 2020, but in 2021 they say they're going to be a lot more lenient about who applies for the $400.
Even more money for Ontario parents
We are providing new financial support for families during #COVID19 by expanding #SupportForLearners to include sec… https://t.co/cE46tvy5U8— Stephen Lecce (@Stephen Lecce)1608661169.0
Just yesterday, the province announced they were expanding the Ontario Support for Learners Benefit in 2021 to include high school students, too.
That means that way more families are eligible for the $200, which people can apply for starting on January 11.
Cheaper hydro for all Ontario
#NEW fixed price of 8.5¢/kWh for customers on the Time-of-Use price plan. Starts Jan/1/21, applies 24/7 for 28 days… https://t.co/ijoXoR5h3M— Ontario Energy Board (@Ontario Energy Board)1608678001.0
Unfortunately, this new regulation isn't in effect for all of 2021 — just the first month of the new year.
Good news for the households with multiple phones, computers, and chargers.
Reduced hours on the TTC
Far fewer people rode the TTC this year than in pre-pandemic times, and the transit company said they expect the same thing to happen in 2021.
That's why in their 2021 service plan, the service said they would have 303,000 fewer service hours next year, saving them $20.5 million.
But they said they'd still be increasing capacity on high-demand routes to help people stay socially distanced and prevent overcrowding.
Changes to vape packages
After consulting with Canadians, the federal government now requires re-fillable vaping devices to list their ingredients and have a toxicity warning on the box.
And as of January 1, 2021, re-fillable vapes and their parts must be packaged in child-resistant containers.
This is the second change in two years for Ontario's vapers, after the province passed strict advertising rules last year.
Huge changes to moose hunting
Starting in 2021 moose tags will be awarded using a points-based allocation process. Learn more about how moose t… https://t.co/CLepvITyww— Ontario Fish and Wildlife (@Ontario Fish and Wildlife)1604275209.0
This one maybe doesn't affect every Ontarian, but we're sure it's a big deal to the province's hunters.
Starting on January 1, hunters will apply to get tags using a points-based allocation process, rather than the draw system that was used in the past.
Hunters get points based on how unsuccessful they've been in previous years, so this will hopefully make it a little fairer for everyone.