9 New Laws Coming Into Effect In Canada In 2023 That All Canadians Should Know About

Expect changes to your paycheque, minimum wage and more.

A residential suburb in Canada. Right: Canadian dollars.
Senior Editor

A residential suburb in Canada. Right: Canadian dollars.

Get ready, Canada! With the new year comes a bunch of new laws and regulations coming into effect – and some might impact your life in more ways than one.

From possible changes to your take-home income and minimum wage increases in several provinces, plus new inflation relief efforts, these new Canadian laws could make a big difference to what's in your wallet in 2023.

What's more, new province-specific regulations could mean new carbon pricing rebates or changes to the way you get your medication.

Here's a look at just a few of the biggest changes coming our way that all Canadians should keep on their radar this year.

Property ban for non-Canadians

In June 2021, the federal government passed a new act that will prevent non-Canadians from purchasing property in Canada for two years.

Effective as of January 1, 2023, the purpose of the ban is to help address the shortage of homes in Canada, as well as regulate the cost of properties.

While there are some exceptions to the rule, most non-Canadians could face fines of up to $10,000 for buying a residential property when they are not eligible. Those who knowingly help a non-Canadian to purchase a home can also face hefty penalties.

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Increases to payroll taxes

Some Canadian workers can expect to find a little less money in their paycheques on January 1, thanks to higher payroll deductions in Canada.

Towards the end of 2022, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) warned in a press release that "every Canadian worker" can expect to lose over $300 of their take-home income as of January – unless their employer takes direct action.

According to the CFIB, employers will struggle to meet their existing payroll budgets in 2023 thanks to hikes to both the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI), which means many workers will ultimately pay out more and take home less.

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TFSA contribution limit increase

There's some good news for those hoping to stash away some money in 2023, as the annual limit for contributions to Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) is increasing for the first time since 2019.

In 2023, those who want to make a contribution to their TFSA– or open an account for the first time – will be able to put in a maximum of $6,500, up from $6,000 in 2022.

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Carbon price increase

This year, the federal government's carbon pricing will increase to $65 per tonne, up from $50 per tonne previously.

Set to come into effect on April 1, the increase is expected to bump up the current carbon price (11.05 cents per litre of gas) to 14.31 cents per litre, according to the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation.

It also says the price of gasoline will likely be impacted by further clean fuel regulations set to come into effect in July.

In a statement about the increase, the feds explained, "Putting a price on carbon pollution reduces emissions and encourages innovation."

What's more, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador will face federal carbon pricing for the first time as of July 1, 2023.

While households in all three provinces will receive carbon pricing rebates every three months, the amount will vary from $328 in Newfoundland and Labrador to $240 in P.E.I.

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Changes to post-jury duty care

Jury duty can be tough, and the government is putting new rules into place to support those who face mental health challenges as a result of their involvement in a trial.

From mid-January 2023, jurors who need to access mental health services following their jury duties will be permitted to discuss the trial with a professional – something that was previously forbidden.

Although it will remain against the law for jurors to discuss the details of a case with anybody else, the passing of Bill S-206 means exceptions will be made for mental health professionals providing related support.

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Provincial minimum wage increases

In 2023, the minimum wage in several regions in Canada will go up as scheduled.

Saskatchewan is among the provinces bumping up its minimum wage in 2023. Up $1, minimum wage employees in the region must be paid at least $14 per hour as of October 1.

In Manitoba, it will go up a little earlier, on April 1, to $14.15 per hour, a 65 cent increase from the previous minimum. It's set to go up even further on October 1, to around $15.

Minimum wage workers in Nova Scotia must get paid at least $14.30 as of April 1, 2023, increasing again to $14.65 per hour as of October 1.

Residents of P.E.I. can also expect two minimum wage increases in 2023, on both January 1 and October 1. The amount will jump by 80 cents to $14.50 at the beginning of the year, before increasing again to $15 per hour before the end of it.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, minimum wage increases will occur on April 1 and October 1, with all workers earning at least $15 per hour before the end of the year.

In the Northwest Territories, a new formula will come into effect in September 2023 that will ensure the minimum wage is adjusted annually "based on the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Yellowknife," among other things.

Federal minimum wage increases

While no specific figures have been confirmed yet, the federal minimum wage is also expected to increase in 2023.

On April 1 each year, the federal minimum wage is adjusted automatically based on the average annual increase of the CPI.

Any changes to the federal minimum wage will impact all workers and interns in federally regulated sectors, as well as those employed directly by the federal government.

This includes those working in banks, the postal services, transport industries and more.

In 2022, it increased by 55 cents per hour to $15.55. Employees working in regions where the provincial minimum wage rate is higher will continue to receive the higher amount.

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Inflation relief measures

In Alberta, the provincial government is making an effort to tackle inflation in 2023 by offering affordability payments to eligible people.

Qualifying households with an annual income under $180,000 will be able to get six months worth of $100 payments, up to a total of $600.

What's more, changes to personal income tax rates mean some Albertans will start seeing improvements as early as January 2023.

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Easier access to medications

It's set to be a busy year in Ontario, where several new laws and regulations are expected to be introduced in 2023.

Among them is a change to the way Ontarians will be able to access certain medications, which will make it easier to get treatment for a number of common ailments without visiting a doctor.

As of January 1, pharmacists across the region will be able to prescribe medication for 13 ailments including hay fever, dermatitis, menstrual cramps, acid reflux, cold sores, insect bites, sprains and strains, UTIs and more.

It means people who are unwell with related illnesses will not have to see a doctor to receive the medication they need in many cases – something the province says will be more convenient for residents, as well as provide doctors with more "bandwidth to provide care for more complex needs."

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This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.