A Great Coming Into Force – Heads Up for Ontario Legislation Changes!

On Monday Simon Fodden pointed out some of the legislation coming into force as of January 1st. For those of you working with Ontario legislation, thought I would mention some major statutes have been proclaimed into force, and subsequent regulations published. The good people who bring us e-Laws, usually on the top of their game having things updated within a day or two, are working hard to get all changes incorporated into the service, but they are behind right now. If you are working with the conslidated statutes on e-Laws, check the notes at the top of the individual documents since they do point out the legislation that has not yet been incorporated. You may need to look at the source acts section or regulations as filed section of the site to view the pending changes.


  1. New legislation is all well and good…but it’s worthless unless it’s enforced and in Ontario, enforcement is elusive.

    Having felt overwhelmed at no access to legal services (including denial to use the law library to get my own legal information) I requested help from Hamilton’s Chief of Police Brian Mullan. On Thursday October 5th 2006 I sat in his office along with now retired Deputy-Chief Tom Marlor, in which he told me, yes indeed police officers can take an information under the Provincial Offenses Act if a piece of legislation has an offense clause since all police officers are provincial offense officers.

    I wanted the HPS to take an information under the offense clause of the Personal Health Information Protection Act for some serious breaches of medical privacy by Hamilton’s “medical” community since the Privacy Commission had seen to it that they arbitrarily changed the Act and frustrated my rights to be protected under it and perverted their legislated responsibility to enforce it.

    Previously I had been told by Nancy Goodes-Ritchie, an HPS officer with the Professional Standards Branch, (before she had started a bogus investigation into a complaint I made), that officers could only take an information and enforce certain pieces of legislation.

    Detective Tony Bellisario told me when I requested the same that “he didn’t care about my privacy concerns”.

    Now the Chief has contradicted these two HPS officers but his verbal disclaimer was that I should have to wait until I am contacted…but for how long?

    I’m still waiting…

    So I guess it’s up to me to administer justice….but wait…doesn’t the new Access to Justice Act under the source acts section say that it’s the Minister of the Attorney General’s responsibility?

  2. Me again…

    I recently went to the e-laws website which I use quite often and looked up the Human Rights Code Amendment Act in the source law: public statutes as enacted. That Act says it was assented to December 20th 2006.

    The Human Rights Code linked here
    refers to the new legislation on source law and its’ commencement date.

    I just got a voice mail message from Patricia Garnier the Registrar of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal telling me that the Human Rights Amendment Act was not enacted yet and wasn’t in force, therefore I wasn’t able to utilize clause 34 (1) of the new Act.

    Wasn’t the commencement date December 20th 2006? Doesn’t assented mean it’s been accepted into law on the date noted? Or does it have to specifically state “royal assent”? The * indicates the currency of the document is good within two business days of accessing it and I accessed it last week.

    What’s up with this?

  3. The issue is complex but the ground rules are set out in the Legislation Act that was passed last year.

    Statutes may come into force:

    * on the day they receive Royal Assent
    * on a specific date, for example January 1, 2007
    * on a date to be named by proclamation

    And different parts of a statute may have different effective dates.

    There’s nothing sinister in this. Often an Act may set out broad rules, which need detailed regulations to be drafted to be effective. If the regulations aren’t ready, then they’ll delay the Act coming into force. Or an office needs to be established, staff recruited and everything made ready for the public. You can’t do that overnight.

    Occasionally, delaying is due to a recognition that an Act won’t quite work the way it was intended. There’s a table at the back of the statutes volumes showing Acts that are not yet in force because they haven’t been proclaimed. They were passed by the Legislature. They’re just not yet in force.

    Some statutes may wait a decade or more in this limbo state: the Spills Bill and the Unclaimed Intangible Property Act being two examples.