» Ontario Minimum Wage Increasing – Plan Your Budget Accordingly
The recent announcement made by the Ministry of Labour to raise minimum wages for workers across the province is in line with Ontario's economic growth plan, as they aim to improve living standards for individuals and working families. The wage increase will officially go into effect October 1, 2017 which will allow businesses and workers room for adjustment. The current wage increase comes after a 2014 legislation change proposed by the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel that suggested minimum wage increases should correspond to Ontario's Consumer Price Index (CPI)-a measure of inflation.
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» Marijuana Legalization – Federal Government Set Date July 1, 2018
Ontario provincial government has responded to reports that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will legalize pot by July 1, 2018 revealed little about the province’s strategy to regulate the substance: the Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi said “we have not made any policy decisions,” but noted the province’s cross-ministerial panel on marijuana legalization is focused on public health and protecting youth.
The Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the government plans to divert much of the revenues from pot sales to fund addiction treatment. The Transportation Minister Steve Del Duca said he has “grave concerns about the impact on road safety” related to impaired driving. Government officials said no decisions have been made on the appropriate age limit for marijuana sales or whether pot will be distributed and sold by the province via the LCBO, or whether it will continue to be sold in private dispensaries. PC MPP Steve Clark said his party is waiting until legislation is tabled to comment. Clark called for continued consultation with the police.
To view recent media on this topic click here.
» Community Accessibility Forums 2017
The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario will be presenting a series of nine regional forums for municipal Accessibility Advisory Committees (AACs) in spring 2017. As you know, in 2017, Ontario will commemorate its 150th anniversary. The theme of the forums is “Accessibility: Honouring the Past, Showcasing the Present and Inspiring the Future.”
The target audience for the forums are members of municipal AACs and municipal staff who work with and support these committees. As well, we hope to attract community organizations and businesses that provide services to or support people with disabilities.
The forums will provide a legislative update on the progress that the Ontario government is making in implementing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and making Ontario accessible. It will also give attendees the opportunity to network with their peers and colleagues.
Jim Kyte, a former National Hockey League player with a profound hearing disability, will be the keynote speaker. He is a noted motivational speaker and Dean of the School of Hospitality and Tourism at Algonquin College. Other accessibility champions will also share success stories and personal perspectives of accessibility.
Registration is now open. Click on the date below to register, or visit www.eventbrite.ca and search for “Accessibility Forum” in the city of your choice. Register soon, as spaces are limited.
April 19, 2017, London - Best Western Lamplighter Inn
April 26, 2017, Windsor - University of Windsor
May 3, 2017, Stoney Creek - Liuna Gardens
May 10, 2017, Sault Ste. Marie - Delta Sault Ste. Marie
May 17, 2017, Ottawa - Carleton University (bilingual)
May 23, 2017, Kitchener – Crowne Plaza
June 1, 2017, Toronto - Intercontinental Hotel
June 7, 2017, Sudbury - Radisson Sudbury Hotel
June 14, 2017, Thunder Bay - Victoria Inn
For more information on the forums and to register click here.
If you need help to register, please contact the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario at email@example.com; phone 1-866-515-2025, TTY 1-800-268-7095.
» Ontario Boosting Cultural Tourism in Communities Across the Province
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Ontario is supporting 45 art and cultural events that celebrate the province's rich culture and heritage, attract visitors and grow local economies.
Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, made the announcement today at Ryerson University's Ryerson Image Centre, which will host exhibits for the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival--the world's largest photography event. With support from the province, this year's festival will feature Canadian photography at over 200 exhibitions across the Greater Toronto Area and is expected to attract over one million visitors.
Examples of other projects being funded through the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (OCAF) include:
- Franco-Fête 2017, a festival that celebrates Ontario's francophone culture with performances in the Ottawa region.
- The Confederation Plays, in Toronto, which explore the history of confederation through four key figures: John A. Macdonald, Louis Riel, Wilfred Laurier and Chief Big Bear.
- A Taste of Greece, a cultural event in London that features traditional Greek dancing and music, including several traditional dance troupes from communities across the province.
- The Stars and Thunder International Fireworks and Music Festival in Timmins. The eight-day event will include daily musical performances by Indigenous, French and English artists. An international fireworks competition will wrap up the festivities each night.
The Fund helps strengthen cultural tourism, which boosts local economies, creates jobs and draws visitors to communities across the province. This year's recipients also feature initiatives that commemorate Ontario's 150th anniversary and are expected to attract an attendance of approximately four million people.
To read the complete article click here.
» Complete Your AODA Report on Compliance
This year all sectors – private, non-profit and public – must submit accessibility compliance reports by December 31, 2017.
Learn more about requirements and who has to report at ontario.ca/accessibility.
» Niagara Region to Host 2021 Canada Summer Games
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Ontario is pleased to announce that the Canada Games Council has selected Niagara Region to host the 2021 Canada Summer Games.
In August 2021, Niagara Region will welcome approximately 4,600 athletes from across Canada to compete in 17 sports over the course of two weeks.
The province is supporting Niagara Region to help plan and deliver the Games through the Games Ontario program.
The Canada Summer Games were established as a legacy of the 1967 centennial and are the country's largest multi-sport event for youth. By supporting these Games, the province is providing opportunities for Ontario's amateur athletes to gain the elite competition experience they need to excel on the world stage.
High-profile sport events like the Canada Summer Games also generate significant economic activity for the host community and help build strong and capable local volunteers.
To read the complete article click here.
» MPPs Vote For Ontario’s Top Craft Beers
Ontario Craft Beers to be highlighted at the Legislative Assembly in 2017/2018
Members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario gathered at Queen's Park on Monday, March 20, 2017 to sample and vote for their favourite fresh, local Ontario Craft Beers during the 12th annual
Ontario Craft Brewers' Legislative sampling event.
Hosted by Hon. Dave Levac, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Ontario MPPs and Queen's Park staffers were invited to sample a wide selection of craft beers from 32 craft breweries from 26 ridings across the province and cast their votes in favour of the craft beers to be highlighted at the Legislative Assembly for 2017-2018.
"The annual OCB tasting is one of the highlights of the year at Queen's Park," says Speaker Levac. "MPPs and staff enjoy sampling the amazing variety of beers, voting for their favourites and socializing with local, independent craft brewers."
Voting ballots were given to the guests allowing them to vote for their favourite beers in specific style categories, as below. The winning craft beers of the 12th annual Speaker's tasting event are:
Speaker's Choice: Black Oak Pale Ale, Black Oak Brewing Co.
Ale: Old Credit Amber Ale, Old Credit Brewing Co.
Lager: Beau's Lug Tread, Beau's All Natural Brewing Co.
Stout: Russian Gun Imperial Stout, Grand River Brewing Co.
Pilsner: Steam Whistle Pilsner, Steam Whistle Brewing Co.
Porter: Porter After Nine, Bobcaygeon Brewing Company
Specialty: Skullpucker Dry Hopped Sour Ale, 5 Paddles Brewing Co.
"This is a great opportunity for Ontario Craft Brewers to showcase our premium quality products to government and industry stakeholders," says Garnet Pratt Siddall, president & CEO of Side Launch Brewing Company and chair of Ontario Craft Brewers. "We want to show our appreciation and gratitude to the Ontario government for its support. We continue to create jobs in Ontario communities and the government's ongoing support will move us closer to our goal of having a brewery in every city and town in the province."
Thirty-two Ontario Craft Breweries poured 100 different Ontario Craft Beer brands for government members and staff guests, pairing their samples with delicious hors d'oeuvres made with Ontario ingredients supplied by Saffron Catering Company. The event was sponsored by Policy Concepts Inc.
» Excise Tax Impact to Licensees – Recent Federal Budget
The following are estimate numbers but accurate enough to give you a sense of overall impacts.
The increase for excise on spirits is $0.07 on a 750 ml bottle of whisky, gin, vodka etc. When you take into account LCBO mark-up and HST this is about $0.20 on a bottle. Spirits has the highest excise rate by far.
Wine – the excise increase on a 750 ml is just over a penny and a half. Total price impact is about $0.02.
Beer – the increase in excise is $0.0062 per litre, so not even a full penny. On a 24 of 341 ml bottles total price impact is $0.05
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers the Excise Duty taxes through the Excise Act . All alcoholic beverages full under this act with various tax fee formulas applied to domestic vs imports and to the different categories in spirits, wine and beer.
Canadian produced wines utilizing Canadian grown grapes does not pay federal excise tax. (the excise duty on Canadian wine was eliminated in 2006)
Excise duty is applied through a tier system based on annual production from a brewery without any requirement of brewing domestic grown agricultural ingredients.
The Excise Duty is applied at $11.696 per litre of absolute alcohol (LAA), which is the equivalent of $3.51 per 750ml bottle of spirit at 40% alcohol by volume (ABV). (rates are listed prior to the recent federal budget increase.