CANADA DENTAL BENEFIT
Seeing a dental care professional is important not only for oral health, but for overall health. In Canada, a third of people do not have dental insurance, leaving many unable to visit an oral health professional to get the dental care they need.
On December 1, the Government of Canada announced that applications for the new interim Canada Dental Benefit are now open. The Canada Dental Benefit will give eligible families up-front, direct payments of up to $650 a year per eligible child under 12 for two years (up to $1,300) to support the costs of dental care services.
In order to ensure potential applicants are aware of the new benefit, the CRA will be issuing over 800,000 emails to prospective recipients who have signed up for e-mail notifications providing an overview of the benefit and advising on how they can apply. Unlike most e-mails from the CRA, clients will not be required to access MyAccount to read an additional message.
About the Canada Dental Benefit
Depending on the adjusted family net income, a tax-free payment of $260, $390, or $650 is available for each eligible child. This interim dental benefit is only available for 2 periods. Recipients can get a maximum of 2 payments for each eligible child. Benefit payments are administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.
The first benefit period is for children under 12 years old as of December 1, 2022 who receive dental care between October 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.
In order to access the benefit, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
More information on the Canada Dental Benefit can be found here: Canada Dental Benefit - Canada.ca
STAYCATION TAX CREDIT
Ontario's staycation tax credit comes into effect on Jan. 1 and will last for the duration of 2022.The program was announced as part of the Doug Ford government's Fall Economic Statement, which was tabled in November. Ontarians will get a 20 per cent personal income tax credit on eligible accommodation, between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, up to a maximum of $1,000 for an individual and $2,000 for a family, for a maximum credit of $200 or $400 respectively. Ontario residents could apply for this refundable credit when they file their 2022 personal tax returns and benefit even if they do not owe any tax.
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE
The Ontario government announced earlier this year the provincial minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour on Jan. 1. The minimum wage will then continue to rise by the rate of inflation following that date, the government said. The bump will also apply to liquor servers in the province, who currently make $12.55 per hour.
DIGITAL ID PROGRAM
After a delay due to the rollout of vaccine certificate system, Ontario’s digital ID program will launch sometime in 2022, though the government hasn't given a specific date. When the digital ID program launches, Ontarians will be able to have an electronic version of their government ID – like driver's licenses and health cards – stored in their digital wallet app. The digital ID program will allow people and businesses to prove who they are both online and in person without using a physical card. According to the government, the digital ID will offer more privacy to users than a physical ID. Ontarians are not required to participate in the digital ID program.
WORK-LIFE BALANCE RULES
In late November, the Ontario government passed new laws it says will help employees disconnect from the office and create a better work-life balance. The "Working for Workers Act" requires Ontario businesses with 25 employees or more to have a written policy about employees' rights when it comes to disconnecting from their job at the end of the day. These workplace policies could include, for example, expectations about response time for emails and encouraging employees to turn on out-of-office notifications when they aren’t working, the government says. According to the act, between Jan. 1 and March 1 of each year an employer must ensure it has a written policy in place for all employees with respect to disconnecting from work.
NON-COMPETE RULES BANNED
As part of the "Working for Workers Act" was ending the practice of non-compete clauses in Ontario. Non-compete clauses usually prevent people from exploring other work opportunities and higher salaries at other jobs. According to the government, Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada, and one of the first in North America, to ban non-compete agreements in employment.
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