Over the last few years we have provided our clients with information about a wide variety of legal topics.1 Since the law is ever changing we thought it would be helpful to update you on some of those topics
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Winter 2004)
The sections of this Act dealing with all organizations conducting a commercial activity in Canada came into effect on January 1, 2004.
Automobile Insurance Act
Numerous changes have been made to the province’s auto insurance scheme. These changes came into effect between October 2003 and January 2004. Some of the key changes are:
o The deductible, which applies to awards for pain and suffering (general damages), has been increased from $15,000 to $30,000 for injured party claimants and from $7,500 to $15,000 for Family Law Act claimants.
o Amendments to the threshold, which must be met before an injured person can recover tort damages, have been introduced.
o The maximum weekly amount of income replacement has been lowered to $300 for those who purchase or renew an auto insurance policy on or after January 1, 2004.
o The definition of catastrophic impairment has been amended to cover more serious injuries.
The new Limitations Act, 2002, which is now in force, has created a basic limitation period of two years and replaces most previous limitation periods. Therefore, except in specific circumstances, an individual cannot commence an action in respect of a claim after the second anniversary of the day on which the claim was discovered. In some cases, this new legislation has substantially shortened the time for commencing a lawsuit. As a result it is important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity if you believe that you have a legal case against another.
Ontario New Home Warranty Plan (Spring 2001)
ONHWP has recently changed its name and has undergone a new look. ONHWP is now called Tarion and their website is www.tarion.com. Although the warranty for new home buyers essentially remains the same, there is one major change with respect to deposits. New home buyers, who signed an agreement of purchase and sale on or after February 1, 2003, are protected against loss of deposits up to $40,000 (up from $20,000) should the sale of their home not be completed through no fault of their own.
Tenant Protection Act
During their election campaign the Liberals indicated that they would make changes to the Tenant Protection Act. They are currently working on new legislation. We will keep you appraised of these changes in upcoming editions of Legal Issues.
In June 2003, the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered the definition of marriage to be changed to include same-sex couples. The federal government chose not to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. Although there was talk of relevant federal legislation being drafted, this has been put on the back burner.