One of the best facets of living in a modern nation-state (aside from having a functioning legal system) is the fact that its legal framework is in a constant state of revision and evolution. In 2018, our lawmakers extensively studied the marijuana or cannabis, to consider whether or not it is deemed fit for recreational use. And, the answer was in the affirmative. And so, cannabis moved from being labelled as an ‘illegal substance’ to essentially a normal (but regulated) commodity.
While 2018 will forever be remembered as the year a major G7 country – Canada – legalized the use of recreational marijuana, there are more laws and rules that are expected to come to force before the end of 2018.
Canada’s Legalization of Cannabis
Naturally, Canada’s legalisation of recreational marijuana remains at the top of our list. Expected to come to force by the October of 2018, all adults will now be legally allowed to consume and possess a certain quantity of cannabis (30 grams in dried leaves). The government has also taken the necessary measures to ensure there’s a stringent, regulated framework in place, where only licensed vendors have the right to distribute cannabis. Furthermore, there are also requisite packaging and labelling requirements that manufacturers must adhere to.
Extension of Parental Leaves
December onwards, mothers and fathers with a child can now take an extended parental leave and spend additional time with their child. Parents will now have the option of spreading over 12 months of their federal employment insurance over a period of eighteen months. Now, with the introduction of family caregiver benefits, those responsible for the care of a critically ill or injured adult or a critically ill or injured child will also be entitled to a 15-week and a 35-week leave respectively.
Changes in Small-Business Taxation
With the introduction of ‘income sprinkler’, small business owners may have some respite from high taxes as they share some of their income with their relative. Now, The Department of Finance has made it clear that conditions apply, as they mark out the changes on its website. The essential criterion applicable here is that the business owner must be able to prove that the relative has made a legitimate contribution that makes them eligible for a lower tax burden. Furthermore, The Department of Finance will now conduct relevant tests to understand if the relative in question has made a sizeable capital investment, if the relative is of the minimum legal age, or if the family member has worked for sufficient hours to merit this tax relief.
It’s a privilege to be a part of a nation-state with its ever-evolving legal system. As professional lawyers, we’re aware most laws are far from perfect. But, that’s the entire point of a revision, debate, and bringing about necessary changes.