A New Year Always Brings Change

Dogs, e-scooters, vaping and out-of-country OHIP coverage highlight some of the new year changes

If you don’t like change, then the start of every new year must be difficult.

There are new rules and laws in place as of today in Ontario.

For starters, if you travel abroad, out-of-country OHIP coverage no longer exists. You will need travel insurance, something the experts say you should always buy, OHIP or no OHIP coverage.

The Ford government announced in May that it was doing away with out-of-country OHIP coverage, arguing there was no taxpayer value and coverage was minimal, at best.

As well, with concerns growing about the health impact of vaping on young people, vaping products are no longer allowed to be promoted at convenience stores and gas stations.

Vaping can still be promoted in cannabis and specialty shops.

image courtesy creativemode.com

There is also a new law on the books that dog owners might give consideration to once the weather gets warmer.

Bars and restaurants will have the option to allow dogs on their patios, but only in areas where “low-risk foods” are being served, such as pre-packaged snacks and beer.

Finally, if you own an e-scooter, the province has launched a five-year pilot project to allow them on roads.

The decision will be left up to municipalities.

Currently, e-scooters are only allowed on private property in the province.

The new rules require anyone operating an e-scooter to be at least 16 years of age and riders must wear a helmet.