We think about law a lot. Sometimes we even write it down.

See all Entries

Posted on December 3rd 2012 in Legal Articles

New Legal Changes for 2012

The following is a pot pourri of recent changes to a number of different laws.

Residential Landlord and Tenant Law

A landlord can legally increase rent once every 12 months, provided the tenant is given 90 days notice in writing and that the increase does not exceed the guideline. The guideline increase for rents for 2012 is 3.1%.

Family Law

As of January 1, 2012, the rules for dividing pensions under the Family Law Act have been changed. Separating spouses will no longer have to resort to the services of a pension valuator. Instead, a pension plan administrator will determine the value of benefits according to a legal formula. The second major change is that an immediate lump-sum transfer from the plan of the active pension plan member may now be made to the non-member spouse. For retired members, settlement is made by dividing pension plan member’s payments. For additional information about these changes please contact a member of our Family Law Group.


On January 1, 2012, the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service came into effect for all businesses and organizations in Ontario with one or more employees. For everything you need to know about these changes see Legal Issues Summer 2011 and visit the Ministry of Community and Social Services’ website at www.mcss.gov.on.ca

Employment Law

Mandatory retirement is being eliminated for federally regulated workplaces and employers. What this means is that, unless a federally regulated employer can prove that there is a bona fide occupational requirement, it cannot terminate an individual’s employment because of his or her age. This change comes into force on December 15, 2012.


As of January 1, 2012, employees between the ages of 60 and 70 years old are able to collect their CPP retirement pension without having to stop working or reduce their earnings. Employees must stop contributing to the CPP after the month in which they turn 70 years of age.

Employers must deduct CPP contributions for all employees aged 60 to 65-even if the employee is currently receiving a CPP retirement pension. Employers must also deduct CPP contributions for all employees who are 65 to 70 years of age unless they elect not to contribute to the CPP by giving the employer a signed and completed copy of Form CPT30.

Workers Compensation

The pre-registration provisions of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act, 2008 became effective January 1, 2012. The remainder of the Act, which extends mandatory workers compensation coverage to independent operators and some other individuals carrying on business in construction, will come into force on January 1, 2013. Period premiums for those who pre-register will not be charged because the requirement to pay premiums will not be in force until January 1, 2013, which is also when coverage begins.

Immigration Law

Live-in caregivers should be able to get open work permits about 18 months sooner, thanks to a processing change announced on December 15, 2011 by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Kenney.