As of today, January 1, prescription medications are free for anyone aged 24 and under who has a health card. Health Minister, Dr. Eric Hoskins all you need is a valid prescription and an Ontario health card number and meds can be obtained free-of-charge from any pharmacy in the province. Ontario is the first province in Canada to offer children and young adults free Pharmacare.
Also January 1, the minimum wage jumps to $14 an hour and will bump up to $15 next January.
New mortgage lending rules go into effect today, January 1, and the Bank of Canada estimates about 10 percent of new home buyers will no longer qualify for a mortgage. Buyers must now pass a test to prove they would still be able to make their payments if rates go up. Previously, the rule only applied to buyers making small down payments, but it now applies to everyone.
A smoking ban goes into effect today. It’s now illegal to smoke on hospital property in Ontario. Hospital staff, patients and visitors looking to take a smoke break will no longer be able to smoke in designated smoking areas. Some smokers are fuming over the new rules.