Problem-Solving Guide for Ontario Residents Marketplace for Ontario Businesses
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Faq

FAQ

  • What is the difference between coarse-grained and fine-grained in computer science?

    don't know

  • If I use 2 antiviruses in my computer then what will happen..?

    You'd better remove one. It's not good to install two antiviruses.

  • Why do I need a business plan?

    A business plan is often the entry-level requirement to getting government money, investor capital or bank loans. Although, you may have a complete picture of the business in your head...

  • If business plans are so important why do so few people actually write one?

    It is in human nature, to put things off and procrastinate. It is a challenge for many business owners to put their assumptions on paper and risk...

  • Motor-Vehicle Accidents

    What are the first steps I should take immediately after an accident?

    • Be sure that you or your passengers if any do not have any serious injuries and are able to move without any restrictions
    • If after the accident you are in a good shape, check the occupant(s) of the other vehicle to find out if anybody is in need of emergency services
    • If you have any suspicions that somebody is hurt or the other driver might be impaired call 911 immediately. Do not move anybody who is injured, you can aggravate their condition with this action.

    What should I do next?

    • Collect all the information about the other driver involved in the accident: name and making of the automobile, name of insurance company including policy number and expire date, plate’s numbers and any other details you consider relevant information; if you have a camera handy takes as many pictures as you deem necessary, they will be very useful to back up any claims.
    • Contact your insurance company, report the accident facts and provide the information you gathered about the other driver.

    The police came to the scene of the accident, what is the best way to approach them?

    • Be honest and just express the facts, do not give any personal opinion or blame your self or the other driver
    • It is very important if the Police ask you to fill an accident report to request a copy of it and be sure that all information related to the agent in charge of the incident is given to you, otherwise, in the future you will need to request that information to the Police Headquarters.

    What could happen to me if I leave the scene of an accident?

    You maybe prosecuted according to Section 252(1) of the Criminal Code and if found guilty, face the possibility of 5 years of imprisonment.

    Should I visit my family doctor the day after the accident?

    Lots of injuries are not felt or detected right away after an accident therefore is the vital importance that you visit your doctor in order to assess your state of health.

    If I believe that I sustained middle or major injuries, when is the best time to contact a personal injury lawyer?

    Do it as soon as possible in order to start your claim and apply for accident benefits.

    How much should I pay to consult about my situation?

    We do not charge for the first consultation, we carefully analyze your case and give you the options you have to succeed with your potential claim.

    What are Statutory Accident Benefits?

    If you are injured in a car accident you may be entitled to the following benefits:

    • Income replacement: 80% of net weekly earnings up to $400.00 dollars per week; for a maximum of 104 weeks
    • Non-earner: $185.00 dollars per week for a maximum of 104 weeks, 6 month deductible applies
    • Medical & Rehabilitation:No more than $100,000 Dollars for a period of 10 years
    • Caregiver: $250.00 dollars per week for the first child, and $50.00 dollars for any successive children, for a maximum of 104 weeks. Only children under the age of 16 are entitled to this benefit.
    • Attendant care: $3,000.00 per month for a maximum of 24 months, Monthly payments according to specific regulations
    • Other expenses: Benefits pay for some expenses incurred such as: home maintenance, housekeeping, repair of replacement of items damaged or lost at the time of the accident and some educational expenses.

    I have a very bad accident and major injuries; do I have the right to sue?

    Yes, if the other driver was at fault, and you meet the requirements an award for damages will be given to you. You have the right to sue for pain and suffering but you must meet the threshold.

    Can you describe the term “Meet the Threshold”

    To meet the threshold, the test is often, whether or not the injured person sustained a "permanent, serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function" or “a permanent serious disfigurement”.

    How difficult is to get compensation?

    The “no fault” System is very complicated, there are so many regulations and requisites that only an experienced lawyer can understand at full. Do not get confused about what you read or hear; large amounts are rarely awarded if the process is not handled properly and the information is not classified accordingly. We always make sure that every step is carefully examined and analyzed to the best for our client.

    If I am compensated, there will be any deductions to the amount awarded?

    One of the restrictions on an injured person’s right to sue is the deductible. Simple put, deductible is an amount of money that is subtracted from the amount awarded for pain and suffering. In Ontario the amount is $30,000.00. Is very important to emphasize that this deductible does not apply when the amount awarded is superior to $100,000.00

    If I file a personal injury claim, will we settle out of court or go to trial?

    Many injury cases can be settled out of court. A lot depends on what the insurance company offers as a settlement for your claim. As you representatives If we believe that the amount is fair to you, we will settle out of court. But if the offer is unacceptable, we may take the case to trial

    What about my family?

    Your family member also has a right to sue if one of the members dies or sustained serious injuries; the prime example is the bread winner not able to support the needs of children and wife. Damages may be awarded for lose of care, guidance and companionship.

    What do I do with the legal documents which the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund has forwarded to me and which appear to deal with a motor vehicle accident?

    You must contact your lawyer or the solicitor for the plaintiff (the person making the claim against you).

    What if I disagree with the claim being made against me as the uninsured motorist?

    You must file a written dispute with the Fund or with the appropriate Court. You may also wish to consult your own lawyer.

    My property (i.e. bicycle, wheelchair) was damaged by an uninsured driver. Can I make a claim with the Fund?

    Yes, under certain circumstances. You should know, however, that the Fund requires specific information about the damage, its location and insurance details on your property before it can consider your claim.

    Can I collect accident benefits from the Fund?

    Only when no other source of automobile insurance recovery is available. If you have contravened the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act then your benefits may be restricted.

    How long does it take to get my first cheque?

    If we have received all of the required information, you can expect to receive your first cheque within 14 days of processing your claim for accident benefits.

    Why am I indebted to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund?

    You were the owner and\or driver of an uninsured vehicle involved in an accident, in which someone was hurt, or property was damaged. Because you were uninsured, the party suffering the loss in the accident requested that the Fund pay for their damages on your behalf. You must now repay this amount to the Fund.

    Why was my driver's licence suspended?

    The Fund paid for property damages or personal injuries caused by the uninsured vehicle of which you were either the owner or the driver. The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act requires that a suspension be recorded with the Ministry of Transportation against the owner and driver of the uninsured vehicle when a payment is made from the Fund on their behalf, until the amount is repaid in full, or a satisfactory repayment schedule is established.

    If I was not both the owner and driver of the vehicle, am I responsible for the entire debt?

    Both the owner and driver are responsible for paying the full amount of the debt.

    How do I get my driver's licence reinstated?

    Repay the full amount of your debt, or establish an acceptable repayment schedule by completing the Fund's Repayment Application form and provide proof of your income and expenses. If you are the owner of a motor vehicle, you must have your insurance company forward an Ontario Certificate of Insurance to the Fund.

    Why must I file an Ontario Certificate of Insurance with the Fund?

    When a balance is owing, the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act requires that the Fund obtain the certificate of insurance before reinstating a suspended driver's licence. This confirms that you are fully insured and protects the Fund from further liability should you become involved in another automobile accident.

    What will my monthly repayment amount be?

    Monthly repayments are established by law, and are to be at least 10% of your gross monthly income. A Collections Officer from the Fund will establish the exact amount in consultation with you.

    After I have arranged to repay, when will my licence be reinstated?

    The Ministry of Transportation will advise you of your reinstatement two to six weeks after they receive the Fund's request for licence reinstatement.

    Do I have to pay a fee to the Ministry of Transportation to have my licence reinstated?

    Currently the Ministry of Transportation charges a fee of $150.00 for each reinstatement processed.

    How will I know when my repayments are due and where I should mail them?

    Your first repayment must be made to the Fund before your driver's licence can be reinstated. A further repayment is due within one month. You will receive a statement and a return envelope fifteen days before each subsequent repayment is due, similar to credit card or utility bills.

    Are there any other options available to me if I cannot repay the Fund?

    In certain cases the Fund accepts settlements of less than the full amount owing if the debtor can show that paying the entire debt would cause undue hardship or if the settlement is otherwise satisfactory.

    What if I refuse to pay?

    The Fund will suspend your driver's licence, and if it has paid a judgement on your behalf, a Writ of Seizure and Sale will be filed against you. If you are the owner of property, the Fund can seize and sell the property to pay off your debt. If you are employed, the Fund can garnishee your wages.

    What happens if I declare bankruptcy?

    The bankruptcy process renders any judgment null and void, limiting the Fund's legal sanctions. However, the Fund's authority to suspend your driver's licence for non-payment is unaffected by the bankruptcy. The Fund can still maintain the suspension of your driver's licence until you establish and adhere to an acceptable repayment schedule.

    Does the Fund charge interest on outstanding debts?

    Currently the Fund does not charge interest. However, in the future there may be interest or late payment charges, and a fee for returned cheques for "insufficient funds," "stopped payments," or "closed accounts."

    Insurance company has stopped paying accident benefits. What should I do?

    If the insurance company refuses or stops paying benefits, they must give you written notice, including reasons for their decision. You can apply for mediation to specially designated branch of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) called Dispute Resolution Services (DRS). Mediation at FSCO is a mandatory first step in dispute resolution. An impartial FSCO mediator will help the involved parties reach a mutually agreeable resolution of their dispute.

    What application forms I need to fill in to apply for mediation?

    If you decide to apply for mediation, you must complete and send to the Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) an Application for Mediation - Form A within TWO YEARS after you receive the insurer’s refusal.

    What if the dispute is not resolved in mediation?

    After the mediation, the mediator will send you a Report of Mediator listing the issues the parties agreed on and the issues that remain in dispute. If the dispute is not resolved in mediation, and you decide to apply for arbitration, you must complete and send us an Application for Arbitration - Form C within TWO YEARS after you receive the insurer’s refusal or within 90 days of the date of the Report of Mediator, whichever is later.

    Can I apply for arbitration at once and skip mediation?

    You cannot apply for arbitration unless you first complete mediation at FSCO and mediation fails.

    What if I want to appeal the arbitrator’s order?

    You may appeal the arbitrator’s order within 30 days on a question of law. If you decide to appeal, you must complete a Notice of Appeal - Form I and send it to FSCO and the other party. You may also wish to consider applying for neutral evaluation or variation/revocation.

    Where can I get help?

    Call us, email us or write to us! It’s the easiest way. However, if you decided to do it yourself then the Dispute Resolution Practice Code and Practice Notes describe the rules for participating in DRS proceedings. Guidelines for accident benefits and the claims process are given in the Superintendent’s Guidelines and can be found at:  http://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/english/pubs/guidelines/Default.asp

    Do I need a lawyer dispute resolution at FSCO?

    You do not need a lawyer for dispute resolution at FSCO. You can choose to represent yourself. You are also entitled to have a friend or family member help you in an informal and unpaid manner, but only if the person receives no compensation directly or indirectly. However, disputes can become complicated and most insurance companies have lawyers representing them at arbitration and appeal, you should consider consulting one of our lawyers or licensed paralegals.

    How much dispute resolution cost?

    FSCO does not charge claimants for participating in mediation. If mediation does not resolve the dispute, a claimant must pay $100 to apply for arbitration, and $250 to start an appeal. There are different charges for insurers. At arbitration, most claimants and insurance companies will incur certain arbitration expenses, including legal fees, fees charged by doctors and other experts for preparing reports, witness, and other fees.

     

  • Bicycle Accidents

    Do I have to wear a bicycle helmet while riding on the road?

    Yes, if you are under the age of 18 you are required by law to wear an approved bicycle helmet when traveling on any public road. Cyclists over 18 are encouraged to wear helmets for their own safety, but are not required to by law.

    Why was the bicycle helmet law introduced?

    Research shows that helmets can be extremely effective in preventing head injuries. About three-quarters of all cycling fatalities involve head injuries. The Ontario government is committed to promoting cycling safety.

    What is the fine for not wearing a helmet?

    The fine is $60. With court costs of $5 and the victim fine surcharge of $10, the total is $75 for a plea of guilty.

    How do I know which helmet to buy?

    Consumers should look for a helmet that fits comfortably and meets safety standards. Check the inside of the helmet for stickers from one or more of the following organizations:

    • Canadian Standard Association: CAN/CSA D113.2-M89
    • Snell Memorial Foundation: Snell B90, Snell B90S, or Snell N94
    • American National Standard Institute: ANSI Z90.4-1984
    • American Society For Testing and Materials: ASTMF1447-94
    • British Standards Institute: BS6863:1989
    • Standards Association of Australia: AS2063.2-1990

    Do I have to wear a bicycle helmet while riding a power-assisted bicycle (also known as an electric bicycle or e-bike)?

    Anyone operating an electric bicycle must wear an approved bicycle helmet at all times.

  • Pedestrian Accidents

    I was hit by a driver that left the scene of the accident, I could not get any identification either from the car nor from the driver what should I do?

    Any pedestrian involved in an accident has the right to be compensated for pain and suffering, loss of earnings, medical and out of pocket expenses, in addition if any member of your family is affected due to the accident they also might be compensated

    Am I entitled to any benefits?

    As same as any other victim of an accident, a pedestrian has the right to apply for benefits and compensation, including:

    • Weekly income replacement benefits
    • Supplementary medical and rehabilitation benefits
    • Attendant care benefits
    • Caregiver benefits
    • Housekeeping benefits
    • Non-earner benefits
    • Funeral and death benefits

    Where should I apply for the benefits?

    You should contact us immediately, our team of injury lawyers will guide trough the process, from the applications to FSCO, the institution that authorize the benefits to the determination of damages due to your injury.

    How long should I wait to be entitled for Therapy and replacement income?

    A. as soon as, FSCO, determines that you fulfill all the requirements, a clinic specialized in physiotherapy will make an assessment of your injuries and time you need to recover and will propose a schedule of rehabilitation to FSCO for approval. Most of the time, experienced clinics can assess before hand the validity of your claim, and start the therapy at once.

    How long should I wait to be entitled for replacement income?

    You might have to wait 1-2 weeks after FSCO approved your claim to receive the first check, you also will inform for how long you are entitled to the replacement income.

  • Occupier Liability

    What would I consider a “slip & fall accident”?

    The most common are: fall on wet surfaces, ice, wet or slick substances leaking from another’s person house, tripping on loose steps, tiles or flooring, trip and fall on lawn or garden, torn carpets or wet entrance mats.

    Are commercial properties liable for slip and fall accidents?

    If you slip and fall in premises such as malls, restaurant, offices, nightclub, bars etc, you may be entitled to financial compensation due to negligence of the owners to keep the place safe for people entering the commercial dwelling.

    Who is responsible for a slip and fall accident?

    The law states that both, the owner of the property and the injured person are responsible, the first because their obligation to keep the property safe and the latter. Have a duty to watch where they are going as well as to be aware of their surroundings, because objects may fall or substances may spill on walking surfaces

    I am completely sure that my accident was not due to my negligence, how can I be partially responsible?

    The court will decide after examining the evidence the percentage of liability for each party involved, an analysis called: “comparative negligence”. The more liable the court find either side, it will determine the amount of compensation for the injured individual.

    What should I do after the accident?

    There are two actions you can take:

    1) if you are seriously injured, ask somebody at the scene of the occurrence to help you gather the most relevant information such as: conditions of the surface, lighting and any other abnormality that is evident. If possible take pictures of the spot in which you fell and if there is any physical evidence or marks in your footwear or dress keep those in a safe place.

    2) if you injury is serious but you can still function, make a detailed report of the incident, describing step by step the occurrence; if somebody help you or other people witnessed the accident, ask for their names, addresses and telephone number, and write down any other opinion that you consider relevant.

    Should I speak with the representative of the insurance company without consulting a Lawyer?

    That’s a no-no, first you need to contact an experienced lawyer as HGGGFFF, to go over the incident. The “Adjuster” from the insurance company will want to know every detail before and after the accident and our expert will help you to organize all the information and prepare a summary of the incident.

    What happen if I am hurt in a city property?

    You need to contact a lawyer as soon as you can, because there are strict rules to notify the City in written about the accident. According to section 44(10) of the Municipal Act, you have 10 days to do so, otherwise, you might lose the right to sue.

  • Criminal Injuries Compensation

    What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board?

    The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is an administrative tribunal that is governed by the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. The role of the Board is to assess financial compensation to those who qualify under the Act as victims or the family members of deceased victims of violent crimes committed in the Province of Ontario.

    Who can apply?

    It depends on whether there was an injury or a death.

    For an Injury:

    Anyone injured as a result of violent crime in Ontario can apply. This includes those hurt or affected while making an arrest or assisting a peace officer with law enforcement duties, or while trying to prevent a crime. Violent crimes may include firearm offences, poisoning, arson and other offences such as assault, sexual assault, domestic assault (e.g. abuse by a spouse/partner), child physical assault, child sexual abuse, etc. The injuries may either be physical or psychological. However, the injuries must be more than merely transient or trifling in nature in order to be awarded compensation. If a victim is under the age of 18, or unable to manage his/her personal affairs, a legal guardian must make the application.

    For a Death:

    If a person died as a result of violent crime in Ontario, or while making an arrest or assisting a peace officer with law enforcement duties, or while trying to prevent a crime, any family members that were dependent on the deceased person or who paid expenses as a result of the death (including expenses to care for one or more children of the deceased person or expenses for bereavement counselling) can apply for compensation. A person can also apply for compensation if he/she witnessed or came upon the scene of the crime that resulted in the death and meets the criteria for a finding of "mental or nervous shock." If a claimant is under the age of 18, or unable to manage his/her personal affairs, a legal guardian must make the application.

    How do I apply for compensation?

    If you believe you meet the criteria for a claim, complete an application form with as much detail as possible. You can download the form from The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board website, or you can call, fax or mail the Board and an application form will be mailed out to you. Once completed, send the original application form (typed or printed in ink) to the address shown on the form, along with any supporting documents. Faxed or photocopied application forms are not accepted. It is important to keep a copy of any document you send us, as the documents will not be returned. You have to fill in your application form very carefully otherwise it might be dismissed. To be on the safe side, just call us and we help you. Remember, the criminal injury compensation process is nothing but simple.

    Can I file an application on behalf of another person?

    Yes. However, you can only do so if:

    • you are a parent or legal guardian of a victim/claimant who is a minor (under the age of 18); or
    • you have the legal authority to make decisions for a victim/claimant because he/she cannot make decisions for himself/herself (e.g. due to mental/physical incapacity).

    Is there a time limit for filing my application with the Board?

    Yes. An application for compensation must be made within two years of the date of the incident. However, we can extend the two-year limitation when it is warranted, but you will have to request such an extension and explain your reason(s) for the delay in the application form.

    Do I need a lawyer or legal representative to apply to the Board?

    It is not necessary for you to have a lawyer. But remember, the criminal injury compensation process is nothing but simple. Once you hire us, we (not you!) will communicate to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and do our best to resolve the problem and get full and fair financial compensation.

    What happens after I send in my application?

    When the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) receive your application form, they assign it a file number. CICB will inform you of that number, and you should write it on any further documents you send to them. CICB may contact you to ensure that the application form is complete. CICB requires information and documents to support the claim. These documents may include receipts, medical or counselling reports, police reports, court files and so on. In some instances, CICB can assist in obtaining documents. When CICB determines that the file is substantially complete, they will schedule either an electronic, oral or documentary hearing. CICB will tell you the time, location and type of hearing. You are responsible for ensuring that CICB has your current contact information (e.g. telephone numbers and mailing address).

    Will the person who committed the crime find out about my application?

    In cases where there has been a criminal conviction, CICB will refer to the person who committed the crime as an "offender." In all other circumstances, CICB will refer to him/her as the "alleged offender." CICB will advise you whether the (alleged) offender will participate in the hearing process. It is important to understand that, by law, the (alleged) offender is entitled to be notified of a Board hearing and may choose to participate. If you have concerns about CICB’s notification of an (alleged) offender or any disclosure of personal information to the (alleged) offender, you must tell CICB representative during the application process.

    Do I have to attend a hearing?

    If your claim can be assessed based on written evidence alone, you won't need to attend a hearing. One of CICB’s adjudicators will make a decision based on the information in the file. This is called a documentary hearing. If an oral hearing is needed, you must be present. During an oral hearing, the adjudicators will ask questions about the incident, injuries and associated costs. Victims/claimants who are minors (under the age of 18) are not required to attend the hearing. In certain cases you or others may participate in a hearing by telephone while the adjudicators are present at a hearing site. An electronic hearing is generally held when the Board determines there is good reason not to have the parties in the same room. The Board may combine an electronic and oral hearing in one proceeding.

    Where are the hearings held?

    The Board holds hearings in 19 locations across the Province: Belleville, Cornwall, Hamilton, Kenora, Kingston, Kitchener, London, North Bay, Orillia, Ottawa, Peterborough, Sault Ste Marie, Sioux Lookout, St. Catharines, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Toronto, Windsor.

    What will the Board consider when it makes a decision on my claim?

    When deciding whether to make an award for compensation and the amount of the award, CICB must consider the following:

    • whether a violent crime under the Criminal Code or an arrest has occurred, or whether the injured/deceased person was assisting a peace officer with his/her law enforcement duties, or trying to prevent a crime from occurring. The Board considers the provisions of the Criminal Code in effect at the time of the incident,
    • whether there is enough reliable information available to support your claim,
    • all of the relevant circumstances, including any behaviour of the injured/deceased person that caused or contributed to the injuries or death,
    • whether you have refused reasonable cooperation with or failed to report the offence promptly to the police,
    • whether you have received any benefits paid by private insurance, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board or any other source, as a result of the crime (not including Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program).

    What happens after my hearing is held?

    Following the hearing, you will receive written notice from the Board informing you of the adjudicator's decision. If you are awarded compensation, we will attach a cheque to the decision. If your claim for compensation is denied, the reason(s) for the denial will be described in the decision. You will also be provided with options if you wish to ask for a review or appeal of the Board's decision.

    What happens if I move or change my phone number after I file my application?

    You must ensure that your contact information is correct. You must also inform CICB if your contact information changes while CICB is processing your claim to ensure that they can send documents to the correct address and can contact you directly, if necessary. If CICB is unable to reach you by phone or mail, your application may be dismissed.

    Am I giving up my right to sue the person who committed the crime?

    No. Our process does not interfere with your right to sue the (alleged) offender(s) in a civil action. However, if you are successful in a civil action, you must reimburse the Board for any compensation you receive from it.

    What is the maximum award the Board can pay?

    When one person is injured or killed as a result of a violent crime, the maximum award that we may pay as a lump sum is $25,000 When more than one person has been injured or killed as the result of a violent crime, we can award a maximum of $150,000 as a lump sum to all of the claimants. Ongoing monthly periodic awards can be made in certain cases when there is an ongoing financial loss (e.g. lost income, child care expenses). When a periodic award is made, the amount of the lump sum component cannot exceed $12,500. The maximum amount that we may award as a periodic payment is $1,000 per month. Periodic payments cannot exceed a total of $365,000. Periodic awards are reviewed on an annual basis to determine whether there is still a need for the funds.

    What types of things can the Board pay for?

    The Board may award compensation for any of the following:

    • treatment expenses
    • travel to treatment expenses
    • loss of income
    • pain and suffering
    • funeral and burial expenses
    • bereavement counselling expenses
    • loss of financial support for the dependants of a deceased victim
    • costs associated with supporting a child born as a result of a sexual assault

    CICB requires original receipts and/or supporting documents before we make such an award.

    What types of things will the Board not pay for?

    CICB does not award compensation for:

    • crimes committed outside the Province of Ontario,
    • damaged, lost or stolen property,
    • motor vehicle incidents (except where the vehicle was used deliberately to assault or harm another person),
    • legal fees for criminal court and/or civil suits,
    • distress and/or loss of wages for attending criminal court,
    • workplace accidents (claim should be filed with the WSIB),
    • accidental deaths,
    • deaths resulting from suicide,
    • pain and suffering for grief and sorrow (however, we may award compensation for bereavement counselling expenses),
    • monetary loss due to fraud,
    • neglect or abandonment of children (except where it amounts to criminal negligence),
    • accidental injuries (slip and falls),
    • negligence by an institution/organization,
    • malicious prosecution of accused persons.

    What happens if I am also receiving benefits from Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works (OW)?

    If you receive an award from CICB while you are also receiving benefits from either the Ontario Disability Support Program or Ontario Works, CICB’s award may have an impact on those benefits. It is recommended that you contact your ODSP/OW caseworker for more information.

    Does the Board need to know if I received (or will receive) other monies for this injury or death?

    Yes. You must inform CICB of any other compensation you have received or will receive in respect of the injury or death (e.g. life insurance, CPP benefits, etc.). CICB must consider this information when we are deciding whether or not to award compensation and assessing the amount of compensation. If you are successful in a civil action in a related matter, you must reimburse the Board for any compensation you received from it.

    What if my circumstances change after my hearing and I need more treatment?

    After a hearing, CICB may vary an order for payment in certain instances where there has been a change in circumstances. A variation can only be granted if an award was made initially at the original hearing.

  • Product Liability

    What’s the definition product liability?

    Product liability is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public are held responsible for the injuries those products cause.

    Can food poisoning be considered a product liability?

    Indeed, food poisoning due to negligence in the preparation and process of food, is a very common situation faced by restaurant’s and bar’s costumer, where the problem becomes serious you have the right to sue the owner of the place. Our team is willing and ready to help you at any time

    My son was injury playing with a defective toy, what should I do?

    If you have enough grounds to prove that the device caused injure you may sue the manufacturer, to find out where you stand, give us a call and our team will give you a clear assessment of your case.

    I bought a power tool and because it did not stop on time, I broke two fingers, fell and hurt my head I was never told that the safety power was not working properly in that specific model, can I sue the manufacturer?

    Surely you can, if they did not recall the product is completely their fault. You have the right to be compensated for injuries and pain.

    While I was carrying a full pallet of chemical products two of the bags tore apart and explode; the powder hit my face and my eyes, I was taken  to the hospital and still not feeling well.

    You should make an appointment as son as possible with us, bring all the paper relevant to the incident; you may sue for physical damages and pain and suffering

     

  • Dog Bites / Animal Owner Liability

    Do I have to send my pit bull out of Ontario or have it euthanized?

    No. Owners of pit bulls may keep their pit bulls, provided they keep them in compliance with the requirements of the new legislation and any regulations made under it. The new legislation will take effect on August 29, 2005.

    Is my dog a pit bull?

    Under the amendments to DOLA, pit bull is defined as:

    • A pit bull terrier
    • A Staffordshire bull terrier
    • An American Staffordshire terrier
    • An American pit bull terrier
    • A dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics substantially similar to any of those dogs.

    Who decides whether or not a dog is a pit bull?

    The amendments provide that in a Part IX proceeding the onus of proving that the dog is not a pit bull will lie with the owner of the dog. In offence proceedings, the amendments provide that the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, a veterinarian's certificate attesting that a dog is a pit bull is evidence of that fact. Part IX proceedings and offence proceedings are heard before the Ontario Court of Justice.

    What sort of documentation do I need to travel with my pit bull?

    The amendments do not deal with customs documentation regarding shipping of dogs to Canada from foreign jurisdictions and dogs that are in transit destined for other countries. The legislation bans pit bulls and their importation into Ontario. It is the responsibility of an owner to show that a pit bull is not being imported into Ontario in contravention of the ban.

    What if I am just passing through Ontario with my pit bull?

    You will be in contravention of the law if you are found to have imported a pit bull into the province. Your pit bull may be subject to seizure and you may be subject to a fine and/or jail time. Please note that exceptions exist for Ontario residents who are out of the province with their pit bulls for less than three months. Limited exceptions also exist for individuals coming to Ontario for purposes of participating in recognized dog shows and flyball tournaments.

    Do I have to have my pit bull muzzled and leashed?

    Regulations provide that pit bull owners must comply with leash and muzzle requirements by October 28, 2005. Municipal by-laws may have such requirements prior to October 28, 2005. Check with your local municipality for further information.

    What if I want to complain about a dog? Who do I contact?

    Municipalities are responsible for animal control and you should generally contact your local animal control or by-law enforcement office in relation to animal control issues. In emergency situations, the police should be contacted. Please note that after October 28, 2005, owners of existing pit bulls must ensure that their dogs are sterilized and that they are muzzled and leashed while walking them in public.

    Do I have to register my pit bull?

    There is no provincial plan for dog registration as animal control is a municipal responsibility. You should license and register your dog in compliance with requirements set by your local municipality.

    I am being harassed when walking in public with my pit bull. What should I do?

    The Ontario government's amendments to DOLA are designed to make all Ontarians safer. The fact that the government has chosen to ban pit bulls is no justification for harassment of pit bulls owners or cruelty to animals. Pit bull owners are allowed to keep their dogs and walk them in public, as long as they obey the law as it applies to all dog owners. However, pit bull owners walking their dogs in public after October 28, 2005, must comply with certain requirements, such as keeping the dog muzzled and on leash. Pit bull owners who are subject to harassment that may constitute criminal activity and/or fear for their safety should contact the police.

  • Personal Injury

    Can I sue for assaults and/or sexual assaults?

    Yes. There may, however, be financial reasons why suing is not the most economical way to address these claims. Your lawyer will be able to guide you as to the best route to take to address your claims against those responsible for your injuries.

    What if my injuries prevent me from working?

    You can receive income replacement benefits through your accident benefit insurance company. An income replacement benefit will pay 80% of your net loss of income up to a maximum of $400.00 per week. You may also be entitled to receive short term disability benefits and/or long term disability benefits through either a privately held insurance policy or a group policy of insurance purchased by your employer. Lastly, you may apply to Canada Pension Plan for a disability pension in certain circumstances. In addition to these benefits, you are entitled to claim for remaining loss of income in your lawsuit.

    What benefits am I entitled to if I was not working?

    If you were the primary caregiver for someone in your home before the accident and you are not able to continue providing care after the accident, you may be entitled to caregiver benefits of $250.00 per week. You may be entitled to an additional $50.00 per week for every other person you were taking care of before the accident. Even if you were not the primary caregiver for someone in your home, you may be entitled to non-earner benefits of $185.00 per week beginning six months after the accident, if you are completely unable to carry on a normal life. You must be at least 16 years old to receive non-earner benefits.

    What if I am a student and can't return to school?

    If you cannot return to school, you are eligible for a lost educational expense not to exceed $15,000.00 for expenses incurred before the accident for tuition, books, equipment or room and board.

    What if I am a pedestrian or cyclist and don't have insurance?

    You are still entitled to receive benefits from the accident benefit insurance company or the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. In addition, you can start a lawsuit against the at fault driver.

    What if I'm at fault for the accident?

    You are still able to receive full accident benefits. If your injuries are serious, these benefits may be substantial.

    Do I have the right to choose my own case manager and treatment providers or must I accept those assigned by the insurance company?

    You have the right to choose the person who will manage your care, treat your injuries and direct your rehabilitation. The right lawyer can help you make an informed choice. It is not in your best interest to speak to any representative for the negligent party. Do not speak to an insurance company or the claims adjuster. The insurance company has a business interest to maximize your claim and recovery and pay you less. If you wish to speak to the insurance company, talk to a lawyer first to be advised and prepared for questions that likely will be asked. Typically the insurance adjuster will want to take a tape recorded statement. Before giving such a statement, you should be prepared and counseled as to how to answer expected questions. We do not typically suggest you agree to give a recorded statement to any insurance adjuster.

    Can I recover damages no matter how I am injured?

    No. In the most general terms, someone other than the injured party must be responsible for causing the injury. This responsibility can arise in one of a number of ways:

    • An intentional act, such as a physical assault;
    • A failure to act, or omission, where the responsible party has a duty to act (i.e. peace officers, municipal officials, etc.);
    • Negligence; where a party fails to meet legally-required standards of care to avoid harm or injury.

    The assessment of whether or not a particular incident creates liability on the part of some other person or agency is one of the most technical aspects of personal injury practice. To paraphrase a common warning, "Don't try this yourself". Leave it to the experts. In particular, do not rely on the advice of friends, co-workers or other non-professionals. In the area of motor vehicle law, there are certain circumstances in which even an "at fault" driver may be entitled to certain payments (or "benefits") even if they are the sole cause of their own injuries. (Please refer to the section in this manual dealing with "Accident Benefits".)

    What is a “notice period”?

    Somewhat similar to a limitation period, it is a period of time, usually shortly after the event causing the injury, within which the injured party must formally notify a particular party or entity of an intention to seek damages from them. The form of the notice usually specifies that it must be in writing and contain certain particulars such as the date and location of injury, contact particulars for the injured party and various other matters. It also must be delivered (or "served") on a specific party or entity. It is critical not only that the notice is delivered, but also that proper proof of delivery is obtained. Failure to provide a required notice can have the effect of limiting, reducing, and in extreme cases, eliminating the prospect of recovery. Because these notice requirements are often as short as several days after the event, timely appreciation of a notice requirement is crucial.

    What is a “limitation period”?

    It is a legal time limit that forces you to start a court proceeding within a specific period of time following the incident that caused your injury. Failure to do so is fatal to your right to recover compensation (damages). The specific limitation periods for different matters range from several years to merely a number of months. Critical periods relating to motor vehicle accidents are set out elsewhere in this guide and on our website. For other claims, we urge you to take the time to find out from a qualified source. Our experts would be more than happy to hear from you about the particulars of your situation and advise you accordingly.

  • Dispute Resolutions

    Insurance company has stopped paying accident benefits. What should I do?

    If the insurance company refuses or stops paying benefits, they must give you written notice, including reasons for their decision. You can apply for mediation to specially designated branch of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) called Dispute Resolution Services (DRS). Mediation at FSCO is a mandatory first step in dispute resolution. An impartial FSCO mediator will help the involved parties reach a mutually agreeable resolution of their dispute.

    What application forms I need to fill in to apply for mediation?

    If you decide to apply for mediation, you must complete and send to the Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) an Application for Mediation - Form A within TWO YEARS after you receive the insurer’s refusal.

    What if the dispute is not resolved in mediation?

    After the mediation, the mediator will send you a Report of Mediator listing the issues the parties agreed on and the issues that remain in dispute. If the dispute is not resolved in mediation, and you decide to apply for arbitration, you must complete and send us an Application for Arbitration - Form C within TWO YEARS after you receive the insurer’s refusal or within 90 days of the date of the Report of Mediator, whichever is later.

    Can I apply for arbitration at once and skip mediation?

    You cannot apply for arbitration unless you first complete mediation at FSCO and mediation fails.

    What if I want to appeal the arbitrator’s order?

    You may appeal the arbitrator’s order within 30 days on a question of law. If you decide to appeal, you must complete a Notice of Appeal - Form I and send it to FSCO and the other party. You may also wish to consider applying for neutral evaluation or variation/revocation.

    Where can I get help?

    Call us, email us or write to us! It’s the easiest way. However, if you decided to do it yourself then the Dispute Resolution Practice Code and Practice Notes describe the rules for participating in DRS proceedings. Guidelines for accident benefits and the claims process are given in the Superintendent’s Guidelines and can be found at:  http://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/english/pubs/guidelines/Default.asp

    Do I need a lawyer?

    You do not need a lawyer for dispute resolution at FSCO. You can choose to represent yourself. You are also entitled to have a friend or family member help you in an informal and unpaid manner, but only if the person receives no compensation directly or indirectly. However, disputes can become complicated and most insurance companies have lawyers representing them at arbitration and appeal, you should consider consulting one of our lawyers or licensed paralegals.

    How much dispute resolution cost?

    FSCO does not charge claimants for participating in mediation. If mediation does not resolve the dispute, a claimant must pay $100 to apply for arbitration, and $250 to start an appeal. There are different charges for insurers. At arbitration, most claimants and insurance companies will incur certain arbitration expenses, including legal fees, fees charged by doctors and other experts for preparing reports, witness, and other fees.

    Please remember, there are lots of things that have to be taken to consideration: the criminal injury compensation process is nothing but simple. Sometimes even professionals with a great experience can be overwhelmed. To be on the safe side, just ask a paralegal or a lawyer and they will help you.

  • Forms of Business

    What is a Sole Proprietorship?

    A Sole Proprietorship is an unincorporated business with one (sole) owner. The owner must be an individual. It is NOT a corporation.

    What is a Partnership?

    A Partnership is an unincorporated business with two or more partners operating under a firm name.

    What is a Corporation?

    A Corporation is an incorporated entity with its own rights and responsibilities as a distinct person under the law. A business corporation is owned by the shareholders and managed by directors chosen by the shareholders.

    Who can form a corporation?

    One or more competent individuals who are Canadian residents, 18 years of age or older and who are not in a status of bankrupt may form a corporation under the Ontario Business Corporations Act (OBCA) or under the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA).

    Do I need to hire a lawyer to incorporate?

    No. A lawyer may provide valuable advice, but is not a requirement for incorporation.

    What is the governmental institution which deals with small businesses and corporation and how I can contact it?

    The Ministry of Government Services plays a very important role in the delivery of government services to the people of Ontario and is responsible for the government's workforce, procurement and technology resources. One of their key activities is to provide government information to individuals and businesses. With the Ministry of Government Services, for the Business Name Registration program, you can:

    • change principal place of business address;
    • change business mailing address;
    • change the business activity;
    • change owner address;
    • change partner names and addresses as long as one of the original partner’s names remains the same;
    • cancel your business name registration.

    You can access a wide range of information and services through its toll-free call centres, 64 walk-in Government Information Centres or online through:

    www.mgs.gov.on.ca/ - Ontario Ministry of Government Services
    www.canadabusiness.ca/ - Canada Business - Services for Entrepreneurs
    www.serviceontario.ca/ - Service Ontario
    www.ontario.ca/economy - Ontario Ministry of Economic Development
    www.cra.gc.ca/ - Canada Revenue Agency

    By Mail:

    393 University Avenue
    Suite 200
    Toronto ON M5G 2M2

    In Person:

    375 University Avenue
    2nd Floor
    Toronto ON
    Hours of Service:
    8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST Monday to Friday – closed on statutory holidays
    1-800-361-3223 (toll-free province wide) (416) 314-8880
    TTY Services: (416) 212-1476

    Should I incorporate?

    This depends on your particular situation. The type of legal structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation) you decide on for your business will depend upon the type of business you are in, your potential risk and liability, and the amount of money you need to start and expect to earn. If your potential risk and liability are high, the incorporation process will provide protection. If you are starting a home-based business with little or no risk, you should consider the advantages of having a sole proprietorship. It is always a good idea to consult a lawyer and tax accountant.

    I am a sole proprietor but I would like to change my business ownership to a corporation type. Can I do so?

    No, you cannot change your business ownership or ownership type. If the ownership or ownership type changes you must close/cancel your existing account(s) and re–register.

    A change of ownership or ownership type includes:

    • From a sole proprietor to a different sole proprietor
    • From a sole proprietor to a partnership
    • From a sole proprietor to a corporation
    • From a partnership to a different partnership (See Note A)
    • From a partnership to a sole proprietor
    • From a partnership to a corporation
    • From a corporation to a different corporation
    • From a corporation to a sole proprietor
    • From a corporation to a partnership

    Note: The Ministry of Government Services and Canada Revenue Agency may allow you to change partners as long as one of the original partners remains.

    I want to change my business name. What I can do?

    For the Ministry of Government Services a change of Business/Trade/Operating Name requires a new registration. You must cancel your existing business name registration, re-register the new business name and pay the applicable registration fee. Only with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) you can change both your legal and trade names. Contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) directly if you wish to update the Business/Trade/Operating Name or your Business Number (BN) or any program accounts.

    Should I inform the Ministry of Government Services of changes in my business address?

    For the Ministry of Government Services, if you are amending business name registration information or cancelling your business name registration, please do so as soon as possible to ensure that the public record is accurate. The Business Names Act requires changes to business information, such as addresses, business activity or partners, to be filed within 15 days after the change.

    Can I use a post office box to register my small business?

    No. A post office box, rural route, general delivery, suburban service or mobile route is not acceptable as a principal place of business address. For rural addresses, use Lot/Concession numbers or Part/Plan numbers. If there is more than one place of business, select one as the principal place.

    If my business address is outside of Ontario how can I change my business name registration with the Ministry of Government Services?

    If your business address is outside Ontario you have to contact the Ministry of Government Services for the information and instructions.

    What is the difference between a Federal Business Number (BN) and a Business Identification Number (BIN)?

    The Business Number (BN) is a 9-digit federal client identification number to which businesses can register program accounts. This number should be used when communicating with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) about accounts you have or wish to create. For example, if you would like to discuss your GST/HST account or you would like to create a payroll account, you should quote your existing BN. The Business Identification Number (BIN) is also a 9-digit number. This number is used by the Ministry of Government Services to identify a provincial Business Name Registration. It appears on the Ontario Master Business Licence.

    What if I don’t know my Ontario Business Identification Number (BIN) or my Ontario Corporation Number (OCN)?

    If you are unsure of your BIN or your OCN, please see the information on how to contact the Ministry of Government Services.

    I am considering changing my Limited Partnership Declaration. Can I do it with the Ministry of Government Services?

    No, you cannot. A Limited Partnership is a business with at least one general partner and one or more limited partners. General partners have unlimited liability and limited partners have limited liability up to the amount of their investment. In Ontario, filing a Declaration Form 3 under the Limited Partnerships Act creates a limited partnership.

    What is the difference between trademarks and trade names?

    A trademark is a word, logo, symbol or design, or a combination of one or more of these features, that is displayed for identification purposes to the public. The display can be on commercial goods or their labels or containers, in association with the advertisement of services, or for the purpose of identifying the services or goods to purchasers. A trade name is a name under which a particular business is carried on by an individual, partnership, or company. A trade name can be registered under the Trade Marks Act as a trademark only if it is also used as a trademark.

    Should I register the trademark?

    It is not mandatory to register a trademark, but it is advisable to do so in many situations. If a trademark has not been registered, the holder of the trademark has what are called common-law rights. In other words, rather than the Trade Marks Act and cases relating to the Act providing protection, the owner of the unregistered trademark must rely on the courts to determine what is fair or appropriate in the circumstances.

    What are advantages and disadvantages of incorporating a company federally rather than provincially?

    Both types, federal or provincial, companies can implement business throughout Canada. Federal incorporation may be of benefit if you want to protect your business name across Canada, or if you want to do international business with the expectation that a federal corporation may attract more prestige than a provincial one. You do not need to apply for an extra-provincial license anymore in Ontario, if your company is incorporated federally or from another province. Only if your company was incorporated outside of Canada, you will have to register for a license. However, no matter how you incorporate, you will still need to file an Initial Financial Return with the Province under the Corporations Information Act within 60 days of commencing business within Ontario.

    What is a legal contract?

    In fact, a contract is an agreement. To be legally enforceable a contract does not have to be in writing: a verbal agreement can be as good as a written from the law point of view. However, when large amount of money or important transactions are involved, it would be wise to have it in writing and hire a lawyer to do it. For instance, if you pay your neighbour to do some garden work in your front yard in April, and your neighbour agrees to it, your agreement becomes a legal contract. If it’s already June and your neighbour doesn’t show up, you can seek legal actions against him/her. However, if your neighbour hears that you need garden work, and says that he/she will “help,” it is not a legally binding contract because you offer nothing in return.

  • FAQ for Parents

    Which school can my child attend?

    Each district school board in Ontario administers "attendance areas" for its schools, and generally, children go to the school located in the attendance area in which they live. Parents wanting to send their children to a school outside their normal attendance area must make a request to the local board for permission to do so. Refer to the School Board Finder to find the contact information of your local school board or school authority.

    Can a student from outside Canada attend school in Ontario?

    Yes, but in order to study here, an international student requires a valid student visa. Contact the Canadian embassy, consulate, or high commission in your country to apply for one. You will also need a letter from the school in Ontario, stating that a space is available. To find out which schools have openings for foreign students, you should contact district school boards and school authorities (for publicly funded schools) or the private schools that interest you.

    Who determines the school curriculum?

    The Ministry of Education sets curriculum policy and defines what teachers are required to teach and students are expected to learn in each grade and subject. A consistent, province wide curriculum is thereby ensured. However, teaching and assessment strategies are left to the professional judgment of teachers, enabling them to address individual student needs and deliver the curriculum in a context that is locally meaningful.

    To whom do I speak regarding an issue at my child's school?

    Whenever you have a suggestion or a concern about your child's school or education program, do not hesitate to speak with your child's teacher or the school principal. Teachers and principals are responsible for issues relating to their own schools, and welcome parental involvement. If you have further inquiries or concerns you should contact your district school board or school authority.

    How do I find a private school for my child?

    A directory of all the private elementary and secondary schools in Ontario is available on this website. The database indicates general information about each school, including religious affiliation and the availability of residential facilities. To find out about courses, tuition fees, and entrance requirements, please contact the school that interests you.

    How do I open a private elementary or secondary school?

    Operators of private schools in Ontario are required to notify the Ministry of Education annually of their intention to operate. To obtain the relevant information package, please contact the Ministry at 416-325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514.

    As an adult, how can I complete the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)?

    There are several ways to complete your secondary school diploma. For example, secondary school courses leading to diploma credits are offered by correspondence through the Ministry of Education's Independent Learning Centre. More information on this program is provided in the ILC Course Guide. If you would prefer to take courses in a classroom with other adults, contact your local school board to discuss adult credit programs. Evening classes, as well as English as a Second Language courses for those who would like to improve their English skills, are also available through most Ontario school boards.

    Can I take my General Educational Development (GED) test in Ontario?

    The General Educational Development test is an international secondary school equivalency examination program for adults. The GED tests cover what secondary school graduates are expected to know in mathematics, writing, science, literature, and the arts. Candidates who successfully complete the tests can earn the Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate. GED tests are offered in English and French, and testing sites are located in several cities across Ontario including Toronto, Mississauga, Sudbury, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, and Windsor. For detailed information, visit the General Educational Development page of the Independent Learning Centre.

    How do I get an official transcript from the secondary school I attended?

    If you left a publicly funded school within the past five years, you will most likely be able to obtain your secondary school transcript (the Ontario Student Transcript) from the last school you attended. However, some school boards maintain records in a central office, so you may be referred to the board to obtain your transcript. If you left a publicly funded school more than five years ago, or if the school you attended is no longer in operation, you should contact the school board directly.

    How do I get an evaluation of elementary or secondary education documents from outside Ontario?

    In Ontario, individual elementary and secondary schools evaluate the academic records of all new students. If you or your children are new to Ontario, please take your education documents (translated into English or French) directly to the school you or your children will be attending. The records will be used by the school to determine grade-level placement and the number of graduation credits still required.

    Where can I find the contact information and web address of a district school board or board authority?

    Contact information for publicly funded schools can be found through the School Information Finder (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/sift/ ). Refer to the School Board Finder (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/sbinfo/boardList.html ) to find the contact information of your local school board or school authority. If you are looking for the contact information of a private school refer to the directory at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/privsch/index.html

    If a private secondary school you attended is no longer in operation, you should contact: Ontario Ministry of Education

    Education Research and Evaluation Strategy Branch

    900 Bay Street
    Toronto, Ontario M7A 1L2
    Telephone: (416) 325-2492

    Where can I find out how my school board is performing?

    The School Board Progress Reports provide information about how school boards are performing on key indicators, including literacy results, credit accumulation and class sizes.

    Who sets school budgets?

    This is the responsibility of the school boards. In recent years, increases to the funding formula have been made for many components of our publicly funded education system including increases in funding for special education and for the hiring of additional teachers.

    How do I find a child care provider?

    There are two basic kinds of child care in Ontario: licensed and unlicensed. Whether or not a child care program needs a licence depends on how many children a caregiver is looking after. In Ontario, caregivers can look after up to five unrelated children under the age of 10 without needing a licence. Search for licensed child care at http://www.ontario.ca/ONT/portal61/licensedchildcare

    Visit your local Ontario Early Years Centre for information about unlicensed child care.

    How do I find out if a child care provider is licensed?

    You can search for licensed child care and find out the terms and conditions of a provider's license on their profile. Licensed child care programs have to meet and maintain specific provincial standards. These standards are set out in the Day Nurseries Act. The standards help to make sure that the health, safety, and developmental needs of the children are being met. Licences have to be renewed at least every year. In Ontario, caregivers can look after up to five unrelated children under the age of 10 without needing a licence.

    What supports are available to help me pay for child care?

    The following programs provide help in paying for child care:

    Which legislation governs elementary and secondary education?

    In Canada, education is a provincial responsibility. Elementary and secondary education in Ontario is governed by the Education Act and any amendments made to that Act. You can also obtain the Education Act on paper or CD-ROM from ServiceOntario Publications, the Government of Ontario book store. In addition, provincial legislation may be accessed at all depository libraries, at many public libraries, and in the reference sections of those university libraries that are open to the public.

    How can I obtain a particular document, such as a curriculum guideline or a news release?

    Begin by checking the sections of this website containing ministry publications and news releases. If the document you're looking for is not posted there, you should contact ServiceOntario Publications to determine whether printed copies are available for purchase. The address is:

    ServiceOntario Centre

    College Park Building, 777 Bay Street
    Market Level, Suite M212
    Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C8
    Telephone: (416) 326-5300
    Toll free (in Ontario): 1-800-668-9938

    Some documents may be out of print. If they are, you should be able to consult them at depository libraries or at a nearby university faculty of education.

  • FAQ for Students

    Which legislation governs elementary and secondary education?

    In Canada, education is a provincial responsibility. Elementary and secondary education in Ontario is governed by the Education Act and any amendments made to that Act. Ontario Statutes and Regulations are now available online. You can also obtain the Education Act on paper or CD-ROM from Publications Ontario, the Government of Ontario book store. In addition, provincial legislation may be accessed at all depository libraries, at many public libraries, and in the reference sections of those university libraries that are open to the public.

    Can a student from outside Canada attend school in Ontario?

    Yes, but in order to study here, an international student requires a valid student visa. Contact the Canadian embassy, consulate, or high commission in your country to apply for one. You will also need a letter from the school in Ontario, stating that a space is available. To find out which schools have openings for foreign students, you should contact district school boards and school authorities (for publicly funded schools) or the School Authorities (for publicly funded schools) or the private schools that interest you.

    Who determines the school curriculum?

    The Ministry of Education sets curriculum policy and defines what teachers are required to teach and students are expected to learn in each grade and subject. A consistent, province-wide curriculum is thereby ensured. However, teaching and assessment strategies are left to the professional judgment of teachers, enabling them to address individual student needs and deliver the curriculum in a context that is locally meaningful.

    As an adult, how can I complete the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)?

    There are several ways to complete your secondary school diploma. For example, secondary school courses leading to diploma credits are offered by correspondence through the Ministry of Education's Independent Learning Centre. More information on this program is provided in the ILC Course Guide. If you would prefer to take courses in a classroom with other adults, contact your local school board to discuss adult credit programs. Evening classes, as well as English as a Second Language courses for those who would like to improve their English skills, are also available through most Ontario school boards.

    Can I take my General Educational Development (GED) test in Ontario?

    The General Educational Development test is an international secondary school equivalency examination program for adults. The GED tests cover what secondary school graduates are expected to know in mathematics, writing, science, literature, and the arts. Candidates who successfully complete the tests can earn the Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate. The GED tests are offered in English and French, and testing sites are located in Toronto, Mississauga, Sudbury, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, and Windsor. For detailed information, visit the General Educational Development page of the Independent Learning Centre.

    How do I get an official transcript from the secondary school I attended?

    If you left a publicly funded school within the past five years, you will most likely be able to obtain your secondary school transcript (the Ontario Student Transcript) from the last school you attended. However, some school boards maintain records in a central office, so you may be referred to the board to obtain your transcript. If you left a publicly funded school more than five years ago, or if the school you attended is no longer in operation, you should contact the school board, rather than the school. If a private secondary school you attended is no longer in operation, you should contact:

    Ontario Ministry of Education
    Education Research and Evaluation Strategy Branch
    900 Bay Street
    Toronto, Ontario M7A 1L2
    Telephone: (416) 325-2492

    How do I get an evaluation of elementary or secondary education documents from outside Ontario?

    In Ontario, individual elementary and secondary schools evaluate the academic records of all new students. If you or your children are new to Ontario, please take your education documents (translated into English or French) directly to the school you or your children will be attending. The records will be used by the school to determine grade-level placement and the number of graduation credits still required.

  • Labour Relations

    What is the “ESA”?

    The ESA is the Employment Standards Act, 2000, which sets out the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers and minimum standards for conditions of employment in most workplaces in Ontario. The ESA establishes basic employer obligations and employee rights with respect to rates of pay, hours of work and overtime, vacations, public holidays, various forms of leave and more. The ESA contains some of the rules affecting work in Ontario. The ESA is enforced by officers who work for the Employment Standards Program, which is part of the Ministry of Labour.

    What does the ESA cover?

    The ESA covers a wide range of employment standards including: minimum requirements for workplaces; provisions to assist employees with family responsibilities; increased flexibility in work arrangements; and mechanisms for compliance and enforcement. No employee can agree to waive or give up their rights under the ESA (for example, the right to receive overtime pay or public holiday pay). Any such agreement is null and void. Subjects covered under the ESA include:

    • Posting Requirements
    • Hours of Work
    • Eating Periods
    • Rest Periods
    • Wages and Overtime
    • Minimum Wage
    • Pregnancy and Parental Leave
    • Personal Emergency Leave
    • Family Medical Leave
    • Public Holidays
    • Vacation
    • Termination and Severance of Employment
    • Temporary Layoffs
    • Equal Pay for Equal Work
    • Temporary Help Agencies
    • Enforcement and Compliance

    Who are covered and not covered by the ESA?

    Most employees and employers in Ontario are covered by the ESA. However, the ESA does not apply to certain individuals and persons or organizations for whom they work, including:

    • Those in sectors that fall under federal jurisdiction, such as airlines, banks, the federal civil service, post offices, radio and television stations and inter-provincial railways
    • Individuals performing work in a work experience program authorized by a school board, college of applied arts and technology, or university
    • People who do community participation under the Ontario Works Act, 1997
    • Police officers (except the Lie Detectors part of the ESA, which does apply)
    • Inmates taking part in work programs, or people who perform work as part of a sentence or order of a court
    • People who hold political, judicial, religious or trade union offices.

    What the Labour Relations Act is about?

    The Labour Relations Act, 1995 governs both the process by which a trade union acquires bargaining rights and the procedures by which trade unions and employers engage in collective bargaining; the Act applies primarily to workplaces in the private sector, but also applies to certain parts of the public sector (municipal workers, hospital employees, Ontario Hydro, etc.) with some modifications.

    What are other workplace-related laws?

    The other provincial and federal workplace-related laws include:

    • The Occupational Health and Safety Act
    • The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act
    • The Pay Equity Act
    • The Human Rights Code
    • The Canada Pension Plan
    • The Ontario Works Act

    If an employee is off sick, can he or she be fired?

    If the sick day is a personal emergency leave day under the ESA, the employee cannot be penalized for taking the day off. Personal emergency leave days are job-protected under the Act.

    Can employees take time off for doctor's appointments?

    An employee whose employer regularly employees 50 or more employees is entitled to 10 personal emergency leave days per year. Personal Emergency leave days can be used to attend a doctor's appointment if the appointment is because of an illness, injury or medical emergency. This leave is job-protected.

    Do employees have to give notice to their employers when they quit their job?

    The ESA does not address the issue of employees giving notice to the employer when they quit their job, except under the pregnancy and parental leave provisions, which require that employees give notice to their employer if they are not returning, and in cases where the employer is terminating the employment of 50 or more employees in a four-week period. Employees may be required to provide their employer with notice that they are quitting under other laws

    Can employees choose to take their employer to court for wrongful dismissal rather than filing a claim with the Ministry of Labour?

    An employee can choose to sue an employer in a court of law for wrongful dismissal. However, an employee can't sue an employer for wrongful dismissal and have a claim for termination or severance pay investigated by the ministry for the same termination or severance. The employee must choose one procedure or the other.

    What does the law say about exceeding limits on hours of work?

    In Ontario, a written agreement is required for exceeding limits on hours of work. An employer and an employee can agree in writing that the employee will work more than 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week. These agreements are valid only if, prior to making the agreement, the employer gives the employee the Information Sheet for Employees about Hours of Work and Overtime Pay prepared by the Director of Employment Standards that describes the hours of work and overtime rules in the ESA. In order to be valid, the agreement must also include a statement in which the employee acknowledges receipt of the Information Sheet. In most cases, an employee can cancel an agreement to work more hours by giving the employer two weeks' written notice and an employer can cancel the agreement by providing reasonable notice. Once the agreement is revoked an employee is not permitted to work excess daily or weekly hours even if the employer has an approval from the Director of Employment Standards for excess weekly hours. An agreement between an employee and an employer to work additional daily or weekly hours, or an approval from the Director of Employment Standards for excess weekly hours, does not relieve an employer from the requirement to pay overtime.

    What does the law say about coffee breaks?

    An employee must not work for more than five hours in a row without getting a 30-minute eating period (meal break) free from work. The law does not require an employer to provide any breaks in addition to this eating period. However, if the employer does provide another type of a break, such as a coffee break, and the employee must remain at his or her workplace during the break, the employee must be paid at least the minimum wage for that time.

    Is the employer required to provide a ride home if an employee works late?

    Employers have no obligation to provide transportation to or from work under the ESA, although individual contracts of employment or a collective agreement may require it.

    Do employers have the right to schedule an employee to work an overnight shift alone?

    The ESA does not put restrictions on the timing of an employee's shift, other than the restrictions relating to hours of work (i.e., the maximum length of a work day, certain hours employees are entitled to be free of work, eating periods).

    Do employees get paid more for working Sundays, or for working late at night?

    There is nothing in the ESA that requires employees to be paid more for working Sundays, or late at night.

    Can an employee agree not to receive his or her rights under the ESA?

    No employee can agree to give up his or her rights under the ESA (for example, the right to personal emergency leave). Any such agreement is invalid.

    My employer has charged me for the uniform that I have to ware at work. Was he right?

    The employer is responsible for making decisions about dress codes, uniforms and other clothing requirements. An employer may make a deduction from wages to cover the cost of a uniform, or other clothing requirements if the employee has signed a specific written authorization permitting the deduction and setting out its amount. However, a dress code cannot violate a collective agreement at the workplace, the Ontario Human Rights Code or the rules under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

    Are pensions covered by the ESA?

    The ESA does not require employers to provide pension plans. However, if they do, they are required to allow employees to continue participating in the plans (and certain other benefit plans, if these are provided) when on pregnancy, parental, personal emergency, family medical or declared emergency leave under the Act. In addition, the ESA does not allow employers to discriminate on the basis of age, sex, marital status or same-sex partnership status in the provision of benefit plans, including pension plans, unless this is allowed by the Benefit Plans regulation under the ESA.

    What if the employer does not follow the ESA?

    If an employee thinks the employer is not complying with the ESA, he or she can call the Employment Standards Information Centre at 416-326-7160 or toll free at 1-800-531-5551 for more information about the ESA and how to file a complaint. Complaints are investigated by an employment standards officer who can, if necessary, make orders against an employer-including an order to comply with the ESA. The ministry has a number of other options to enforce the ESA, including requesting voluntary compliance, issuing an order to pay wages, an order to reinstate and/or compensate, a notice of contravention, or issuing a ticket or otherwise prosecuting the employer under the Provincial Offences Act.

    I think my employer has broken some of the employment standards. How I can make a claim?

    There are 4 steps that must be followed in order to file a claim.

    • Step 1: Contact your employer
    • Step 2: Collect important documents
    • Step 3: Fill out the Claim Form
    • Step 4: The Claim Form Submission

    It is recommended that an employee file his or her claim submission online. They will receive a claim submission number immediately. You may also file your claim submission:

    • By fax at 1-888-252-4684.
    • In person at a ServiceOntario Centre (1-800-267-8097).
    • By mail to:
    Provincial Claims Centre
    Ministry of Labour
    70 Foster Drive, Suite 410
    Roberta Bondar Place
    Sault Ste. Marie ON P6A 6V4

    Employees can get a copy of the Employment Standards Claim Form:

    • on the Ministry of Labour's website (www.labour.gov.on.ca)
    • by mail through ServiceOntario Publications; or
    • in person at a ServiceOntario Centre.

    The Ministry of Labour has published a Claim Form Guide with detailed instructions about the completion of the Claim Form (http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/claim/index.php)

    What are considered good reasons for not contacting my employer?

    On the Claim Form an employee can request an exemption from the requirement to contact his or her employer. The Claim Form provides a list of possible acceptable reasons for doing so, including a language barrier, fear to do so and employer closure or bankruptcy. There are also possible exemptions for certain employees such as live-in caregivers and young employees. The Claim Form will also allow employees to give an explanation of other reasons which they believe should be considered for exemption.

    When an employee cannot file a claim?

    An employee who is covered by the ESA cannot file a claim with the Ministry of Labour if:

    • an employee is represented by a trade union: these employees - if they are covered by a collective agreement and whether or not they are actually members of the union - must use the grievance procedure contained in the collective agreement between the employer and the trade union.
    • an employee has already filed a claim in a court of law

    What is Ontario's Family Medical Leave?

    With Ontario's Family Medical Leave, an employee is eligible for up to eight weeks job-protected leave from work in the event of a loved one becoming gravely ill to whom a qualified medical practitioner has issued a certificate indicating that he or she has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks. So you can stop work and care for them, knowing your job will be there when you get back. The eight weeks of a Family Medical Leave do not have to be taken consecutively but an employee may only take a leave in periods of entire weeks within a specified 26-week period.

    Who can take family medical leave?

    All employees, whether fulltime or part-time, permanent or contract, who are covered by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 are entitled to Family Medical Leave.

    I need to take care of my family member who is seriously ill. Is a family medical leaf paid?

    Family medical leave is unpaid, job-protected leave of up to eight (8) weeks in a 26 week period. Family medical leave may be taken to provide care or support to certain family members and people who consider the employee to be like a family member in respect of whom a qualified health practitioner has issued a certificate stating that he or she has a serious illness with a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks. Some employers have paid benefit plans for sickness, bereavement and other leaves of absence. These plans aren't required by the ESA.

    Who can take a personal emergency leave?

    Employees who work for employers that regularly employ at least 50 employees are entitled to personal emergency leave in certain situations. Personal emergency leave is unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 10 days each year. It may be taken in the case of a personal illness, injury or medical emergency, or a death, illness, injury, medical emergency of, or urgent matter relating to, certain relatives. An employer is allowed to ask an employee to provide evidence that he or she is eligible for a personal emergency leave. The employee is required to provide evidence that is reasonable in the circumstances.

    Are there specified family members for whom a family medical leave may be taken?

    The specified individuals for whom a family medical leave may be taken are:

    • the employee’s spouse (including same-sex spouse)
    • a parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse
    • a child, step-child or foster child of the employee or the employee’s spouse
    • a brother, step-brother, sister, or step-sister of the employee
    • a grandparent or step-grandparent of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
    • a grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
    • a brother-in-law, step-brother-in-law, sister-in-law or step-sister-in-law of the employee
    • a son-in-law or daughter-in-law of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
    • an uncle or aunt of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
    • the nephew or niece of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
    • the spouse of the employee’s grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece
    • Family medical leave may also be taken for a person who considers the employee to be like a family member. Employees wishing to take a family medical leave for a person in this category must provide their employer, if requested, with a completed copy of the Compassionate Care Benefits Attestation form, available from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, whether or not they are making an application for EI Compassionate Care Benefits or are required to complete the form to obtain such benefits.

    I am a foreign live-in nanny. Is there any law in Canada that protects my rights?

    Yes, there is. The Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (Live-in Caregivers and Others), 2009 (EPFNA) came into force on March 22, 2010. The EPFNA applies to foreign nationals who are employed or attempting to find employment in Ontario as live-in caregivers, to employers of foreign nationals working as live-in caregivers in Ontario, to persons who act as recruiters in connection with the employment of foreign national live-in caregivers in Ontario, and to persons acting on behalf of these employers or recruiters.

    What key rights and obligations does the Act create?

    As a brief overview, the EPFNA:

    • prohibits recruiters from charging any fees to foreign live-in caregivers, either directly or indirectly.
    • prevents employers from recovering placement costs from the live-in caregiver.
    • prohibits employers and recruiters from taking a live-in caregiver’s property, including documents such as a passport or work permit.
    • prohibits a recruiter, an employer, or a person acting on their behalf from intimidating or penalizing a live-in caregiver for asking about or asserting their rights under the Act.
    • requires recruiters and, in some situations, employers to distribute information sheets to live-in caregivers setting out their rights under the EPFNA and those provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) considered to be of particular relevance.

    What do I do if I think someone has violated this Act?

    If you are covered by the EPFNA and you want to make a complaint, you can get a claim form from the Ministry of Labour website or from a Service Ontario Centre and mail or fax it to the address or fax number shown on the form. Please note the EPFNA has its own claim form distinct from that which is used for ESA claims.

    If you choose not to file a claim, but would like to leave a “tip” (provide information to the ministry about possible violation), contact us online or call 416–326–7160 or 1–800–531–5551 (Toll–free). The information provided will be considered for an appropriate response.

    Are there time limits for filing a claim?

    Yes, you can file a claim within three and one half (3.5) years from the date the violation occurred.

    Are there provisions in the Act to ensure that employees who assert their rights under the legislation are not penalized?

    Yes. A recruiter, an employer, or a person who acts on their behalf is prohibited from intimidating or penalizing a live-in caregiver because the caregiver:

    • asks any person to comply with the legislation,
    • asks about his or her rights under the legislation,
    • asserts or attempts to assert a right under the legislation, or
    • gives information to an employment standards officer, testifies or participates in a proceeding under the legislation.
    • files a complaint under the legislation.

    What is a collective agreement?

    A collective agreement is a written contract of employment covering a group of employees who are represented by a trade union. This agreement contains provisions governing the terms and conditions of employment. It also contains the rights, privileges and duties of the employer, the trade union and the employees.

    What is collective bargaining?

    Collective bargaining is a process in which a trade union and an employer negotiate a first collective agreement or the renewal of a previous collective agreement. In this process, the parties usually focus on such issues as wages, working conditions, grievance procedures and fringe benefits.

    How are negotiations for a collective agreement begun?

    If a trade union has just been certified, it will then give the employer written notice of its desire to bargain. If the employer and the union are already bound by a collective agreement, then either party may give notice to bargain within the 90 days before the agreement is due to expire, or during any other time period specifically set out in the agreement. In either case, the union and the employer must meet within 15 days from the giving of notice, unless they agree to some other time period.

    What happens if, during negotiations, the employer and the union cannot agree on the terms of a collective agreement?

    Either the employer or the union may ask the Minister of Labour to appoint a conciliation officer. This officer will then try to help them reach an agreement.

    What is Conciliation?

    Conciliation is a process by which a trade union or an employer can ask the Ministry of Labour for help in resolving their differences so that they can reach a collective agreement. Either party may apply to the Ministry. If parties are in negotiations, conciliation is mandatory in the sense that the parties must use the government's conciliation services before they can get into a position to engage in a strike or lock-out.

    What if the employer and the union cannot reach agreement in conciliation?

    The conciliation officer informs the Minister of Labour that a collective agreement was unable to be effected. The Minister would then generally issue a notice informing the union and the employer that he or she "does not consider it advisable to appoint a conciliation board" (cl. 21(b) of the Act). This notice is known colloquially as the "no board". [Conciliation boards are exceedingly rare. They have not been appointed since the 1960s.]

    What further assistance is available to the bargaining parties after a "no board" gets issued?

    If the parties have not reached a settlement in the Conciliation stage, the Ministry offers to provide the services of a Mediator who will confer with the parties and endeavour to effect a collective agreement. Mediation is also a process by which a third party attempts to help a trade union and an employer in reaching a collective agreement. Since mediation is discretionary, the service is only used if both parties are amenable to it.

    What is a strike?

    Section 1 (1) of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 defines a strike as a cessation of work, a refusal to work or to continue to work by employees in combination or in concert or in accordance with a common understanding, or a slow-down or other concerted activity on the part of employees designed to restrict or limit output.

    What is a lock-out?

    Section 1 (1) of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 defines a lock-out as the closing of a place of employment, a suspension of work or a refusal by an employer to continue to employ a number of employees, with a view to compel or induce the employees, or to aid another employer to compel or induce that employer's employees, to refrain from exercising any rights or privileges under this Act or to agree to provisions or changes in provisions respecting terms or conditions of employment or the rights, privileges or duties of the employer, an employers' organization, the trade union, or the employees.

    When are the parties in a legal position to strike or lock-out?

    A strike or lock-out is legal beginning on the 17th day after the Minister mails the "no board" notice. For example, if the notice was mailed on August 1, the parties can legally strike or lock out on August 18. There can be some confusion about this because the Act states that the period is 14 days after the release of a notice. The notice is not deemed to have been released, however, until the second day after it was mailed. This extends the period to 16 days, and since they must be 'clear' days, it means that a strike cannot legally start until the beginning of the 17th day. (See Sections 79(2)(b) and 122(2)(a) of the Labour Relations Act, 1995). In addition to the above, parties covered by the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act (CECBA). must have negotiated an essential services agreement before a strike can be lawfully initiated.

    Do all employees covered by the Labour Relations Act, 1995 have the right to strike?

    No. Employees of hospitals and nursing homes do not have the right to strike. Instead, unresolved bargaining issues are settled by binding arbitration. They are covered by the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act (HLDAA). The Labour Relations Act, 1995 also gives the union and the employer the right to agree voluntarily that the matters about which they are negotiating be referred to an arbitrator or board of arbitration, who will decide, after hearing arguments from both sides, what the terms of the collective agreement will be (See Section 40 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995). Once this agreement is reached, neither the union nor the employer is allowed to change its mind and engage in a strike or a lock-out.

    What does "grievance" mean as the term is used in labour relations?

    A grievance is a written complaint alleging a contravention of the collective agreement.

    What if an employee or a trade union feels the employer is not following the terms of the collective agreement, or if there is a disagreement about the meaning of part of the collective agreement?

    In such a situation, the employee or the union may file a grievance. The grievance procedure is set out in the collective agreement itself. Normally, it involves three or four steps. At each step more senior people from both the union and the employer try to settle the grievance. The collective agreement will often provide for a time limit within which the grievance must be commenced (usually a certain number of days after the event giving rise to the grievance). If the grievance is not filed within this period, it may be dismissed. An arbitrator has the power to extend the time limit, but only if the other side's position will not be prejudiced, and if the collective agreement does not forbid such an extension (See Section 48 (16) of the Labour Relations Act, 1995).

    What if the union and the employer cannot settle a grievance?

    The grievance must then be referred to an arbitrator or board of arbitration. The method for doing this should also be set out in the collective agreement. An arbitrator performs a function similar to a judge or court by making a binding decision resolving the matters in dispute between the parties. Occasionally, collective agreements provide that the grievances be heard and decided by one person acting as a sole arbitrator. More common, however, is the appointment of a three-person arbitration board. The union and the employer each select a member, and those two members, in turn, agree on a chair (See Section 48 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995).

    Employment Ontario

    Employment Ontario is Ontario's employment and training network that can help you get the training, education, skills and experience you need to achieve your goals. Employment Ontario can connect people looking for work with employers looking for workers. You can access Employment Ontario in three ways: by telephone, online or in person. Descriptions of Employment Ontario services are available in 25 languages. Callers to Employment Ontario's toll-free Hotline will receive help in the language of their choice.

    Employment Ontario Hotline offers information and referral services in the language you choose

    • Call Toll-free (no charge): 1-800-387-5656
    • For service in a language other than English or French: After the telephone greeting please stay on the line and an information counsellor will assist you by adding a certified interpreter to the call to help us get you the information you need
    • TTY (telephone service for the deaf) 1-866-533-6339

    Employment Ontario website http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/etlanding.html

    You can visit Employment Ontario in person: Employment Ontario has offices all across the province. You can use its website to find services in your area.

  • FAQS for Employees

    I want a change. Where can I go to learn about other jobs or careers?

    You can use the Employment Ontario network to find Job Banks and other employment services in your area. Also, Job Connect can help you plan, prepare for and succeed in the job market, and work toward higher skills training and employment. Through Job Connect you can get help with:

    • learning about jobs and careers
    • planning your career and preparing for employment
    • finding a job suited to your skills

    I'm going to be losing my job. What can I do?

    If you are affected by a plant closure or downsizing, the government's Adjustment Advisory Program can help. An adjustment advisor can give you advice on career planning, upgrading your training or education, job searching, starting a small business, or dealing with stress of job loss. If you are interested in this program, just contact one of the 26 apprenticeship field offices across Ontario for more information and ask to be referred to an adjustment advisor.  Services offered by the federal government include Employment Insurance and Active Employment Measures. Finally, the Ontario Works Program provides income and employment assistance for people who are in temporary financial need.

    My disability is making it hard to find work. What should I do?

    In addition to the services available to all Ontarians, the Ontario Disability Support Program provides supports to people with disabilities who want and are able to work.

    What supports are there for Aboriginal peoples?

    The Aboriginal Human Resources Development Council of Canada offers a number of services to help Aboriginal peoples enter and stay in the workforce.

    Where can I find out more about the working in Ontario?

    The Ministry of Labour provides information for employees on many topics including:

    • Wages and Hours of Work
    • Health and Safety
    • Insurance and Benefits
    • Business Productivity

    How can Employment Ontario help me?

    Employment Ontario is Ontario's employment and training network. We want to help you get the training, education, skills and experience you need to achieve your goals. We want to connect people looking for work with employers looking for workers. You can access Employment Ontario in three ways: by telephone, online or in person. Callers to Employment Ontario's toll-free Hotline will receive help in the language of their choice. Descriptions of Employment Ontario services are available in 25 languages.

  • FAQ for Job Seekers

    Where can I get help with my resume, cover letter, interview skills, etc?

    Here are some basic tips from our Summer Jobs brochure. You should also have a look at the Resources for Job Seekers section of our website. For detailed information about job skills and work habits that employers look for, see the Ontario Skills Passport.

    Does the Ontario government have summer jobs for students?

    The Ontario government supports many summer job opportunities, including:

    How do I make a complaint if I believe an employer has unfair hiring practices?

    Workers in Ontario have both rights and responsibilities under the law. You'll find lots of information on these and other topics in the What Workers Want to Know section of the ServiceOntario Workplace Gateway website. You may also want to review the Employment Standards information on the Ministry of Labour website.

  • FAQs for Employers

    Why should I get involved in apprenticeship training?

    Participating in apprenticeship training allows you to develop employees who are not only trained to provincial industry standards but who also understand your specific workplace. There can often be financial benefits as well. Recruiting potential apprentices through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program can be a cost-effective solution to training and retaining young workers. The Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit is available to help employers hire apprentices in certain skilled trades. You also benefit from the government-supported in-class training your apprentices will receive, while supporting your future workforce needs and those of your industry. Want to get started? Take a look at the services for employers or contact Employment Ontario.

    Where can I find information on hiring an apprentice?

    The Employers section of this website offers news and information for employers. Take a look at the services for employers or contact Employment Ontario.

    Why should I consider hiring people who have been trained or educated in other countries?

    Your business success – and Ontario's economy – depend on a well-educated and highly skilled workforce. Internationally trained individuals have become a key component of Ontario's workforce, and a source of competitive advantage. Most new Ontarians of working age bring with them first-hand experience of countries that are not only potential clients but also economic rivals in today's global marketplace. The majority of newcomers to Ontario are in their prime working years. More than 70% of those of working age are highly skilled, with postsecondary education or training.

    What are my responsibilities as an employer and where do I find information about the laws regarding employees?

    You'll find a wealth of information on these and other topics in the What Employers Want to Know section of the Service Ontario Workplace Gateway website. You may also want to review the Employment Standards information on the Ministry of Labour website.

  • FAQs for Workers’ Compensations

    What is “Workers' Compensation” about?

    Workers' compensation was Canada's first social program to be introduced as it was favoured by both workers' groups and employers hoping to avoid lawsuits. The system arose after an inquiry by Ontario Chief Justice William Meredith who outlined a system that workers should be compensated for workplace injuries, but that they must give up their right to sue their employers. It was introduced in the various provinces at different dates. Ontario was first in 1915, Manitoba in 1916, British Columbia in 1917. In Ontario, the occupational health and safety are legislatively assigned to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

    What are the laws that govern workplace health and safety issues in Ontario?

    The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) is Ontario's cornerstone legislation for workplace health and safety. Other legislation includes the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) and the Human Rights Code.

    What is Workplace Safety and Insurance Board?

    In Ontario, the occupational health and safety are legislatively assigned to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. The program also has a preventative role ensuring workplace safety. The workers' compensation insurance system is funded by employers based on their payroll, industry sector and history of injuries (or lack thereof) in their workplace (usually referred to as "experience rating"). A worker who sustains a personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of their employment is entitled to benefits under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

    What are the most common workplace injuries?

    The most commonly reported workplace injuries are: death, head injuries, brain injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, back injuries, spinal cord injuries, lung cancer, and cancer caused by asbestos exposure (mesothelioma). Slips, trips and falls are some of the leading causes of workplace lost-time injury in Ontario. They can occur in any workplace, and nearly 20% of all lost-time injury claims in Ontario relate to slips, trips and falls. Many construction accidents involve electrocution. Welding activities are another common cause of accidents. Trenching is another of the highest risk activities. Recently crane injuries and fatalities have been noted.

    I work as a driver for a big corporation and have got injured in a motor vehicle accident while working. Where I have to go to apply for the accident benefits?

    In the case of motor vehicle accidents, there are special situations that are confusing. For example, if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, if you are a driver in the course of your employment duties, you may have to seek recovery through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, rather than through the "normal" insurance. An early determination of these jurisdiction and forum issues is critical in order that you take the steps necessary within the many prescribed time limits because in every case the injured party is responsible for making application for the benefits and compensation they are entitled to.

    What are the “insured” injuries?

    If the accident arises out of the worker’s employment, it is presumed to have occurred in the course of the employment unless the contrary is shown. However, a worker is not entitled to benefits if the accident occurs while the worker is employed outside of Ontario. Under the insurance plan a worker is entitled to benefits for: mental stress, occupational diseases and heart injury.

    I have got injured at work and was unable to work for a while. Now I’m recovered and ready to work again. Does my employer has legal obligation to re-employ me?

    The employer of a worker who has been unable to work as a result of an injury and who, on the date of the injury, had been employed continuously for at least one year by the employer shall offer to re-employ the worker. The employer is obligated until the earliest of:

    • the second anniversary of the date of injury
    • one year after the worker is medically able to perform the essential duties of his or her pre-injury employment
    • the date on which the worker reaches 65 years of age

    What is the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) about?

    The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) protects workers from health and safety hazards on the job. It sets out duties for all workplace parties and rights for workers. It establishes procedures for dealing with workplace hazards and provides for enforcement of the law where compliance has not been achieved voluntarily. OHSA applies to almost every worker, supervisor, employer and workplace in Ontario, including workplace owners, constructors and suppliers of equipment or materials to workplaces covered by the Act. OHSA does not apply to work done by the owner or occupant, or a servant, in a private residence or on the connected land (Section 3(1))

    Who is not covered by OHSA?

    Workplaces under federal jurisdiction are regulated by the Canada Labour Code, which is administered by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). Federally incorporated businesses are those businesses that are working for the common good of at least two provinces and are outside the exclusive legislative authority of any one province. They are subject to provincial employment laws if they are not operating with these 15 major sectors:

    • air and water transport
    • federal crown corporations
    • energy and mining
    • banking
    • the federal public service
    • pipelines
    • bridges and tunnels
    • feed, flour and seed mills
    • postal contractors
    • broadcasting
    • grain elevators
    • rail transport
    • communications
    • longshoring
    • interprovincial road transport

    How is OHSA enforced?

    Enforcement begins with the issuing of orders and may proceed to prosecution. A prosecution may be initiated against anyone having duties mentioned in OHSA. Inspectors are the enforcement arm of the Ministry of Labour; their role includes the following:

    • inspection of workplaces
    • issuing of orders where there is a contravention of OHSA or its regulations
    • investigation of accidents and work refusals
    • resolution of disputes
    • recommendation of prosecution

    What are the penalties for not complying with OHSA and its regulations?

    The maximum penalties for a contravention of OHSA or its regulations are set out in OHSA Section 66. A successful prosecution could, for each conviction, result in:

    • A fine of up to $25,000 for an individual person and/or up to 12 months imprisonment
    • A fine of up to $500,000 for a corporation.

    What rights does OHSA give to workers?

    Workers' rights under OHSA include:

    • The "right to participate" to be part of the process of identifying and resolving health and safety concerns. This right is expressed mainly in the requirements for Joint Health and Safety Committees and representatives.
    • The "right to know" about any hazards to which they may be exposed. The requirements of the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) are an important example.
    • The "right to refuse work" that they believe is dangerous and, under certain circumstances, certified Joint Health and Safety Committee members can stop work that is dangerous.

    What duties do workers have under OHSA?

    In Ontario, all workers have a general duty to take responsibility for personal health and safety. They have to work in compliance with OHSA and regulations; use any equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer; report any known workplace hazard or violation of the Act to the employer or supervisor.

    What duties do employers have under OHSA?

    There are general and specific duties to employers:

    • Take all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of workers
    • Ensure that equipment, materials and protective equipment are maintained in good condition
    • Provide information, instruction and supervision to protect worker health and safety
    • Co-operate with the JHSC
    • Comply with all regulations made under OHSA
    • Develop and implement a health and safety program and policy
    • Post a copy of OHSA in the workplace
    • Provide health and safety reports to the JHSC

    Are there any legal temperature ranges for workplaces, either hot or cold?

    In a health care facility or an industrial establishment, such as a factory, store, shop or office, the regulations set a minimum temperature of 18°C. Working outdoors or in freezers is a subject to exemptions. The construction projects regulation specifies a minimum of 27°C for underground change rooms, a maximum of 38°C for work chambers, and where work is done in compressed air, the provision of a medical lock with a minimum of 18°C and maximum of 27°C. There are no set minimum or maximum temperatures for other workplaces. Nevertheless, because either extreme heat or cold may be a hazard, temperature is a legitimate issue in determining workplace safety. A particular concern is heat stress.

    I work in a warehouse and often I have to lift very heavy things. Are there any legal limits about how much weight a worker is required to lift?

    The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) does not have any particular numbers describing a safe weight for lifting, although it is well known that lifting can be a hazard for workers. The maximum acceptable amount of weight a worker can handle depends on the worker's build and fitness, the height lifted from and to, the distance from the body, the frequency of lifting, and other factors. There are general precautions that can reduce lifting hazards, and an ergonomic analysis can be performed to determine what is likely to be safe for a specific person performing a particular task.

    I work in an office and one of my colleagues smokes at work. What can I do about it?

    Local public health units will carry out inspections and investigate complaints in workplaces to enforce the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. The act prohibits smoking in enclosed workplaces in Ontario in order to protect workers from exposure to second hand smoke. The act repeals the Smoking in the Workplace Act, which was enforced by the Ministry of Labour.

    What are the legal requirements for personal protective equipment?

    Although there is no general requirement in the Ministry of Labour's legislation for an employer to provide workers with personal protective equipment, an employer has a general duty, under OHSA Section 25(2)(h) to "take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances" to protect workers. In practical terms, this means personal protective equipment should be provided to workers wherever there are health (or safety) risks that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways. PPE can reduce or prevent a worker's exposure to a health hazard in the workplace and can include respirators, hearing protectors, protective clothing, footwear and face and eye shields. Personal protective equipment is required in specific situations and dealt with in regulations made under OHSA. Section 7 of the Regulation respecting the Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents requires respirators to be provided when engineering controls are not practical. Under Section 139(2) of the Regulation respecting Industrial Establishments, a worker with an excessive exposure to noise must wear hearing protection.

    Are there workplace requirements for first aid?

    Workplaces that are covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 are required by regulation to have adequate first aid equipment, facilities, and trained people. Additional first aid requirements for particular work situations are specified in the Ministry’s of Labour Regulations for Construction Projects (Sections 261 to 263, 355, 361 and 362) and for Mines and Mining Plants (Section 281.1 and the Schedule).

    What should a worker do if injured at work?

    Obviously, first thing to do for an injured worker is to get proper medical attention. It is the responsibility of the employer. It may take the form of first aid from a trained co-worker or require transportation to and treatment at a hospital. The injury-causing incident must also be reported to the worker's supervisor or employer, so that the employer's responsibilities under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act can be met. One of these responsibilities is completion of a Workplace Safety and Insurance Board form (WSIB Form 7), which must be submitted to the WSIB before workers, who are eligible, can receive workplace safety insurance (formerly known as workers' compensation).

    What is a Joint Health and Safety Committee?

    A Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC) is a committee of at least two persons, who represent the workers and the employer at a workplace. Their primary role is to identify workplace health and safety problems and bring them to the attention of the employer. Any workplace that regularly employs 20 or more workers (Section 9 of OHSA) has to have a JHSC. Workplaces with more than five but less than 20 workers are not usually required to have a JHSC. Instead, workers must select a person from among themselves to be a health and safety representative.

    What is the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)?

    WHMIS is a Canada-wide system designed to give employers and workers information about hazardous materials used in the workplace. It has been implemented by a combination of federal and provincial legislation. The main purpose of the federal WHMIS legislation is to require suppliers of hazardous materials used in the workplace to provide health and safety information about their products as a condition of sale. WHMIS requires employers to obtain health and safety information about hazardous materials in their workplaces and to pass it on to their workers (Regulation 860). There are three ways in which the information is to be provided:

    • Labels on the containers of hazardous materials
    • Material safety data sheets to supplement the label with detailed hazard and precautionary information
    • Worker education programs

    What is an occupational hazard?

    An occupational hazard is a thing or situation with the potential to harm a worker. Occupational hazards can be divided into two categories: safety hazards that cause accidents that physically injure workers, and health hazards which result in the development of disease. It is important to note that a "hazard" only represents a potential to cause harm. Whether it actually does cause harm will depend on circumstances, such as the toxicity of the health hazard, exposure amount, and duration. Hazards can also be rated according to the severity of the harm they cause - a significant hazard being one with the potential to cause a critical injury or death.

    What is the difference between “hazard” and “risk”?

    The hazard posed by some material or situation is its potential to cause harm. Risk is the probability, or chance, that it actually will harm someone. For example, crossing the Atlantic Ocean by plane or rowboat exposes the traveller to the same hazard of drowning, but the risk of drowning is immeasurably higher in the rowboat. It is the risk of drowning (among other things!) not the hazard that discourages people from rowing across the Atlantic.

    What are the benefits that a worker can be compensated for?

    The compensation can be the following:

    • Payments for loss of earnings
    • Payments for loss of retirement income
    • Compensation for non-economic loss
    • Degree of permanent impairment
    • Death benefits

    A worker who has a loss of earnings as a result of the injury is entitled to payments beginning when the loss of earnings begins. The payments continue until the earliest of,

    • the day on which the worker’s loss of earnings ceases;
    • the day on which the worker reaches 65 years of age, if the worker was less than 63 years of age on the date of the injury;
    • two years after the date of the injury, if the worker was 63 years of age or older on the date of the injury;
    • the day on which the worker is no longer impaired as a result of the injury

    If a worker’s injury results in permanent impairment, the worker is entitled to compensation for his or her non-economic loss. The amount of the compensation is calculated by multiplying the percentage of the worker’s permanent impairment from the injury is $51,535.37 plus $1,145.63 for each year by which the worker’s age at the time of the injury was less than 45; or $51,535.37 less $1,145.63 for each year by which the worker’s age at the time of the injury was greater than 45. However, the maximum amount to be multiplied by the percentage of the worker’s impairment is $74,439.52 and the minimum amount is $28,631.22.

    Is there a time limit to file a claim for benefits?

    A worker shall file a claim as soon as possible after the accident that gives rise to the claim, but in no case shall he or she file a claim more than 6 months after the accident or, in the case of an occupational disease, after the worker learns that he or she suffers from the disease. The Board may permit a claim to be filed after the six-month period expires if, in the opinion of the Board, it is just to do so. If the claimant does not file the claim with the Board, no benefits shall be provided under the insurance plan unless the Board, in its opinion, decides that it is just to do so.

    I think that my working conditions are not safe. What can I do about it?

    Health and safety concerns should first be brought to the attention of the employer or supervisor. If nothing is done, it can be taken to the worker's health and safety representative or Joint Health and Safety Committee. If the situation is not corrected, it can be reported to the nearest office of the Ministry of Labour. Workers also have the right to refuse unsafe work. OHSA Section 43 outlines the procedure that must be followed, and this process should be understood before a refusal is initiated.

  • FAQs for Auto Insurance

    What is the mandatory amount of automobile insurance that I must have to drive in Ontario?

    The mandatory automobile insurance coverage in Ontario are: $200,000 of third party liability, statutory accident benefits, uninsured automobile and direct compensation-property damage.

    I know that demerit points affect my insurance that is why I always pay my traffic ticket immediately.

    What most people do not realize is that insurance companies are now assessing your risk level based on how many convictions you have on your record, and of course by how serious the offences are. Demerit points DO NOT affect your insurance. But what does, is getting convicted of an offence.

    What is No-Fault Insurance?

    The No-Fault insurance exists in Ontario and New Brunswick. "No Fault" refers to the fact that regardless of fault each person reports to their own company and companies do not sue each other to recover on certain types of losses. "No-Fault" does not literally mean that no one is "at fault". The insurance company is compelled to assess fault using the Fault Determination Rules that are part of the Insurance Act.

    Can I lose my Licence if I drive without insurance?

    You might, also do not forget that the penalty for driving without insurance are stiff. If you are having this kind of problem do not try to solve the matter by yourself, you will end up paying more than you should if you do not hire a Paralegal.

    I always pay my tickets right away, how come I have charges on my record?

    Paying your ticket automatically finds you guilty of the offence and creates a conviction on your driving record for 3 years.

    Will it affect my insurance rates if I make an accident claim?

    Assessment of rates for the most part is based on who is liable for the accident. Whether or not you claim for Accident Benefits once you have submitted a claim is not a factor when calculating rates.

    Do I have to report any accident to an insurance company?

    Each party involved in an accident reports to their own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. As part of the Ontario policy, you agree to inform your insurance company of any accident involving the automobile that must be reported to the police under the Highway Traffic Act or for which you intend to make a claim under the policy. The Highway Traffic Act of Ontario indicates that you must report any accident that involves an injury, and must report any accident in which the total damages to all vehicles and property is greater than $1000. You must notify your insurance company within 7 days after the accident, or if unable, as soon as possible after that.

    What additional automobile insurance coverage can I buy?

    In addition to the mandatory insurance, you can buy coverage such as:

    • Collision coverage: this coverage pays for repair or replacement of your vehicle if it collides with another vehicle, flips over, or crashes into an object, as a result of accidents that you cause.
    • Comprehensive coverage: this coverage pays for losses from incidents other than a collision, such as fire, falling objects, theft and vandalism.
    • Increased third-party liability limit: the mandatory amount is $200,000 but you can increase the amount up to the limits the company provides. Additional protection of $1,000,000 is usually purchased.
    • Underinsured motorist coverage: part of Family Protection Coverage, it protects you or an eligible member of your family, to the same limits as your Third-Party Liability coverage, if you are involved in an automobile accident where you are not at fault, with someone who carries less insurance, no insurance, or is an unidentified driver.

    I have medical benefits through a plan at work. Why do I need to purchase statutory accident benefits on my auto insurance policy?

    In Ontario, automobile insurance is mandatory. The government has a responsibility to provide a product which addresses the needs of as many insurance consumers as possible and ensures that the interest of the public at large is protected. This is why all vehicles operated on the road must carry certain mandatory coverage. These coverage is liability, statutory accident benefits, uninsured automobile and direct compensation-property damage. The statutory accident benefits provided to persons insured are detailed in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS). Coverage includes, among other things, income replacement benefits, supplementary medical and rehabilitation benefits, death and funeral benefits and long-term care benefits. These benefits are available not only to the owner of the policy, but they could also be accessed by passengers in the vehicle, as well as pedestrians, who may not have coverage under their own automobile insurance policy.

    What factors affect my automobile insurance premium?

    Insurance companies use a variety of risk factors to determine a premium. The cost of automobile insurance for different drivers varies as the level of risk for the insurance companies varies. Factors that could affect your premiums include:

    • driving history, including previous at-fault accidents and driving violations;
    • type of vehicle including make, model and model year;
    • where you keep and drive your vehicle;
    • the age and gender, along with the number of years licensed;
    • the number of kilometres driven in a year;
    • whether the vehicle is used for pleasure, commuting or business purposes

    How does my company determine whether I am at fault in an accident?

    In Ontario, companies are required to use Regulation 668, Fault Determination Rules, to assess fault in an accident for purposes of vehicle damage. These rules help insurance companies deal with vehicle damage claims quickly and economically. These rules:

    • cover more than 40 accident situations using diagrams to illustrate specific occurrences;
    • can be applied to almost every possible road collision scenario; and,
    • are applied regardless of road or weather conditions, visibility, point of impact on the vehicles, or the actions of pedestrians.

    The police officer who attended the accident scene told me I was not at-fault in the accident. Why did my insurance company tell me that I am at-fault?

    A police officer may say that neither of the drivers were at-fault in a situation such as a vehicle being unable to stop on an icy road and rear-ending another vehicle. Such a comment relates to the laying of charges and should not be taken as an opinion about how the Fault Determination Rules apply to an auto insurance claim. In a case like this, the insurer would apply the rule stating that a vehicle which rear-ends another is at-fault.

    How does an at-fault accident affect my premium?

    In many cases, if you have your first at-fault accident after six or more years of claims-free and conviction-free driving, your premium may not change or may increase by a relatively small amount. Some insurance companies offer endorsements to drivers that will allow them to maintain their driving record or premium after a first at-fault accident. Most companies will change your driving record to reflect the accident and increase your premium by a small amount. You will need to regain your six years of accident-free driving before you return to lower premiums. If this is your second at-fault accident in the last six years, you can expect your premiums to increase quite significantly. If you have any convictions or cancellations of a policy, in addition to an at-fault accident, or are an inexperienced driver with an at-fault accident, you may be considered to be a high-risk driver and be placed with an insurer that specializes in these types of risks. When you are shopping around for insurance, you should always ask the broker or agent how your premiums will be affected after an at-fault accident.

    Does a driver’s licence suspension affect my auto insurance rates?

    Insurance companies increase rates for some types of licence suspensions, such as those due to driving related convictions. They may also not renew your policy or may cancel it due to these types of suspensions, if they have an approved underwriting rule permitting them to do so. Insurance companies do not raise rates for licence suspensions that are due to medical reasons, non-payment of fines (e.g., parking tickets) or where the suspension is for less than a year. Because each insurance company has unique underwriting rules and rating criteria that deal with licence suspensions, you should contact your insurance agent or broker to find out how a suspension will affect your rates.

    What can I do if my insurance agent or broker filled out my Ontario Application for Automobile Insurance incorrectly?

    You are responsible for checking your application for accuracy. By signing this form, you are agreeing to all the statements in it. Even if your answers are written by someone else, you are responsible for them. If the application was completed in person, then a licensed insurance agent or broker should have asked you to read and sign it to confirm that all of the questions had been answered correctly. If your insurance agent or broker is completing the application for you over the phone, request a completed hard copy to review and insist that it not be submitted to your insurance company until you sign it. If the insurance agent or broker remembers the omitted/incorrect information, ask him/her to communicate this to the insurance company immediately for further review. If the insurance company’s review is unfavourable, and you cannot resolve the issue with the company, you may want to contact the General Insurance OmbudService and/or obtain legal advice.

    What is an excluded driver endorsement?

    An excluded driver endorsement is an agreement that allows you to exclude specific drivers from being covered under your auto insurance policy. It is typically used by people who want to exclude a young driver in their household, or a driver with at-fault accidents or convictions, to avoid higher premiums. An excluded driver endorsement is signed by you and the driver(s) you want to exclude from your policy. By signing the endorsement, you promise to prohibit the excluded driver(s) from driving the vehicle described in the agreement. The excluded driver, by signing this agreement, promises not to drive this vehicle and acknowledges that if he/she does, there is no liability insurance in effect. However, if the excluded driver is found to have operated the vehicle while excluded, along with there being no liability insurance in effect, the owner of the vehicle and others legally responsible for the acts of the driver may be held personally liable for damages and injuries in the event of an accident. In addition, the insurance company may terminate or non-renew the policy for material misrepresentation or breach of contract if the insurance company has filed an underwriting rule permitting it to do so.

     

  • Immigration

    Who is a federal skilled worker?

    Skilled workers are chosen as permanent residents based on their education, work experience, knowledge of English and/or French, and other factors. These things often help them succeed in Canada. People can apply to immigrate to Canada under "Federal skilled worker" category.

    What are the language requirements for Federal Skilled Workers Program applicants?

    If you are a new applicant, you must include the results of an English or French language test with your application. It must be a designated third-party language test. This rule applies to all federal skilled worker and Canadian Experience Class applications received on or after June 26, 2010.

    Can lower-skilled workers apply for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class?

    No. To apply for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class, you must work in one or more of these National Occupational Classification (NOC) categories:

    • Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations),
    • Skill Level A (professional occupations) or
    • Skill Level B (technical occupations and skilled trades).

    However, Provincial Nominee Programs may be available to lower-skilled workers. These are workers in jobs classified at NOC skill levels C and D.

    I have a one-year master’s degree or certificate. Can I apply under the Canadian Experience Class?

    Perhaps. Anyone accepted as a permanent resident under the Canadian Experience Class (based on their studies) has to have studied in Canada for at least two years. Normally, this means you graduated with a Canadian post-secondary credential that requires at least two academic years of study. However, there is one exception. You are eligible if you complete a one-year graduate degree in Canada after completing another program of at least one academic year in Canada. You must earn both credentials from a post-secondary institution recognized by a province. Also, you must finish the programs within two years of each other. This exception applies only to one-year graduate degrees. One-year certificates and diplomas do not count.

    Can I count part-time work toward the requirements for work experience?

    Yes, you can count part-time work toward the requirements for work experience under the Canadian Experience Class. However, it will take you longer to get the number of hours you need to apply than it will take if you work full time.

    What is arranged employment?

    Arranged employment is when you have a permanent job offer from a Canadian employer that has been approved by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. This job offer can improve your chances of having a federal skilled worker application approved.

    Which family members may come with me to Canada when I immigrate?

    The family members who can come with you to Canada when you immigrate include:

    • your spouse or common-law partner,
    • your dependent child,
    • your spouse or common-law partner’s dependent child, and
    • a dependent child of a dependent child.

    Your parents, grandparents and other family members cannot come to Canada with you. However, you may be able to apply to sponsor them to come to Canada after you immigrate here.

    Who is a dependent child?

    A child who depends on their parent for financial and other support. A son or daughter is considered a dependent of their parent when the child is:

    • under 22 years old, and does not have a spouse or partner, or
    • a full-time student on an ongoing basis since before the age of 22, and has depended largely on a parent’s financial support since that time, or
    • 22 years old and over, and
      • became a spouse or partner before the age of 22, and
      • has been a full-time student on an ongoing basis since before the age of 22, and
      • has depended largely on a parent’s financial support since they became a spouse or partner, or
    • 22 years old and over, and has depended largely on the parent’s financial support since before the age of 22 because of a physical or mental condition.

    How can I check the status of my sponsorship application?

    How do I sponsor my spouse, partner or dependent child to become a permanent resident of Canada?

    To sponsor a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child, you must send the required forms to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. To sponsor more than one dependent child, you must use a separate application form for each child and send all the applications in the same envelope.

    How can I check if my application has been received?

    • If you mailed your application to CIC, you may wish to use a courier service that requires a signature when delivered, gives you a delivery confirmation and/or allows you to track your package. Please note that there may be a delay between the date CIC physically receives your application and the date it is opened. CIC cannot confirm that your application package has been received until it has been opened in our offices.
    • If you applied at a Visa Application Centre, CIC cannot confirm that your application package has been received until it has been opened in our offices.
    • If you applied online, you will see a confirmation page after you submit your application. You will also receive an email asking you to check your MyCIC account. A confirmation message with a confirmation number will be in your MyCIC account. Keep your confirmation number for your records. Please note that it may take a few hours for you to receive an email from CIC after you’ve submitted your application.

    How long will it take to process my application to sponsor someone to live in Canada?

    See the processing times to find out how long it will take to process your application.

    What do I need to work in Canada?

    This depends on a few factors, such as the job you want to work in and what program/stream you will apply under. Usually you will need any number of these:

    • a job offer in Canada,
    • proof that you are certified or accredited to work in that occupation,
    • proof from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada that your proposed employer is allowed to hire you (known as a positive Labour Market Opinion),
    • a visa to travel to Canada,
    • a work permit letter from a Canadian mission overseas,
    • a work permit issued at the border and generally stamped into your passport.

    Can my spouse or common-law partner work in Canada?

    Perhaps. If your spouse or common-law partner wants to work in Canada, they must apply for their own work permit. Normally, they must meet the same requirements that you do. In most cases, your spouse or common-law partner must apply for a work permit for a specific job. The employer may have to get a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. An LMO allows a particular employer to hire someone for a specific job. However, your spouse or common-law partner may be able to apply for an "open" work permit—allowing him or her to accept any job with any employer—if you meet one of these conditions:

    • you are
      • allowed to work in Canada for at least six months,
      • doing work in Canada that meets a minimum skill level (usually work that requires at least a college diploma) and
      • doing a job listed in Skill Level 0, A or B in the National Occupational Classification, or
    • you are
      • allowed to work in Canada and
      • doing work in Canada that is on a list of eligible occupations in participating provinces.

    If your spouse or common-law partner gets an open work permit, it is normally valid for the same period as yours. In some cases, your spouse or common-law partner will need a medical exam. Some provinces and territories also have pilot projects for spouses or common-law partners to get open work permits in some cases.

    How can I find out about jobs in Canada?

    You can find out about jobs in Canada through the Working in Canada tool, labour market information and job banks.

    What is a Labour Market Opinion?

    A Labour Market Opinion (LMO) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker. A positive LMO will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job and that no Canadian worker can do the job. A positive LMO is sometimes called a Confirmation letter. Your proposed employer must contact Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). HRSDC will provide details on the LMO application process. In some cases, you may not need a LMO to apply for a work permit.

  • Landlord & Tenant

    I’m a small landlord having big problems with my tenants. Where I have to go and ask for help? Police? Or maybe Small Claims Court?

    The legal institution that deals with all matters concerning landlord and tenant issues is the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board. At Landlord & Tenant Board Office they can provide you with information about the Residential Tenancies Act and the processes; they cannot provide you with legal advice. It is always a good idea to hire a Paralegal to help you out. You can contact the Landlord & Tenant Board:

    • On-line: www.ltb.gov.on.ca
    • Call at 416-645-8080 or toll-free at 1-888-332-3234 and speak to one of the Customer Service Representatives, which are available Monday to Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    What does the Landlord and Tenant Board do?

    The Landlord and Tenant Board (the Board) was created by the Residential Tenancies Act (the RTA) which came into force on January 31, 2007. This Act gives residential landlords and tenants specific rights and responsibilities, and sets out a process for how these rights and responsibilities can be enforced.

    What is the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, about?

    The Residential Tenancies Act covers most residentialrental units in Ontario including mobile homes, care homes and rooming and boarding houses. The Act sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants who rent residential properties. The Act does not cover commercial tenancies. The Residential Tenancies Actcovers most of the landlord-tenant related matters:

    • Landlord Rights and Responsibilities
    • Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
    • Tenancy Agreement
    • Rules for Rent
    • Maintenance and Repairs
    • Care Homes and Mobile Homes
    • Entering the Rental Unit
    • Security of Tenure
    • Ending a Tenancy
    • Landlord and Tenant Board
    • Board Proceedings
    • Vital Services
    • Evicting a tenant
    • Enforcement of an Order and more

    Which rental units are not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act?

    There are some situations where a rental unit may not be covered by the Act or certain parts of the Act.  The Residential Tenancies Act does not apply to people living in:

    • Emergency shelters
    • Hospitals or nursing homes
    • Non-profit and public housing
    • Prison
    • University and college student residence or dormitories
    • Units that are used on a seasonal or temporary basis
    • Those sharing a kitchen or bathroom with the owner or certain family members of the owner

    Do landlords and tenants have to have a written lease or tenancy agreement?

    The Residential Tenancies Act does not require all landlords and tenants to have a written tenancy agreement. A tenancy agreement can be an oral or written arrangement. However, it is generally better to have a written agreement. A written agreement creates a record of the things agreed to by the landlord and tenant. If there is a dispute later, a written record of the agreement may help to settle the dispute.

    What information should be included in a tenancy agreement?

    If the tenancy agreement is in writing, it must set out:

    • the legal name and address of the landlord so that the tenant knows where to send any notices or documents.
    • the date the tenant will move into the rental unit
    • the rent amount
    • the date rent is to be paid
    • what services are included in the rent (such as electricity or parking) and any separate charges
    • the rules that the landlord requires all tenants to follow

    Can a landlord charge a person a deposit or a fee for allowing them to rent a unit?

    Yes, a landlord can collect a rent deposit if it is requested on or before the day that the landlord and tenant enter into the tenancy agreement. The rent deposit cannot be more than one month's rent or the rent for one rental period, whichever is less. For example, if rent payments are made weekly, the deposit cannot be more than one week’s rent; if rent payments are made monthly or bi-monthly, the deposit cannot be more than one month’s rent.

    Can the landlord refuse to rent to a person if they have a pet?

    Yes, if a landlord has a “no pets” policy and they learn that a person applying to rent an apartment has a pet, the landlord may refuse to rent to that person. The Residential Tenancies Act states that any clause in a lease that prohibits pets is void. This means that once a person becomes a tenant, if they have a pet even though the lease says pets are not allowed, the landlord cannot evict the tenant just for having the pet. However, the Landlord can apply to the Board to evict a tenant if the pet is causing a problem.

    Can a landlord ask a person applying for a rental unit to provide information about their Income, credit references and rental history?

    Yes, when choosing a new tenant, a landlord can ask the person applying for the rental unit to provide information such as: current residence, rental history, employment history, personal references and income information (if credit references and rental history information are also requested).

    Can a tenant withhold rent because their landlord isn’t properly maintaining their building or unit?

    No. If the tenant withholds rent, the landlord can give the tenant a notice of termination for non-payment of rent and then file an application to evict the tenant.

    When does a landlord have to turn the heat on? What temperature does my landlord have to keep my apartment at?

    If a landlord provides heat, the Act requires the landlord to keep the heat to at least 20 degrees Celsius from September 1 to June 15.

    Can a tenant change the locks?

    A tenant cannot change the locks unless the landlord agrees. Also, the tenant cannot add locks that might stop a landlord from entering the unit if there is an emergency or if the landlord has a valid reason for entering the rental unit and the landlord has given the tenant proper notice to enter. If the tenant does change the lock, a copy of the key should be given to the landlord immediately.

    When is the rent considered late?

    Rent is considered late if it is not paid by the day that it is due. For example, if the rent is due on the 1st of the month and it is not paid by on that day, it is late.

    If a tenant is late with their rent, what can the landlord do?

    If a tenant does not pay rent on the date that it is due, the landlord can give the tenant a Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent (Form N4). This notice gives a tenant who pays rent monthly 14 days to pay the rent due or to move out. If the rent is not paid, and the tenant does not move, the landlord can make an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an order:

    • requiring the tenant to pay the rent that is owing, and
    • evicting the tenant if they do not make the entire payment by a specified deadline

    What is the process for evicting a tenant?

    In most situations, before a landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to evict the tenant, they must first give the tenant a Notice of Termination that tells the tenant what the problem is. For some termination notices, the landlord must wait a specific number of days to see if the tenant corrects the problem before they can file the application with the Landlord and Tenant Board. The number of days the tenant has to correct the problem is set out in the notice. If the tenant does not correct the problem and/or does not move out, the landlord can file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board and in most situations a hearing will be scheduled. At the hearing, the parties can appear in front of a Member of the Board. The Member will listen to what each person has to say and then make a decision. If an eviction order is issued, it tells the tenant when they must be out of the unit. If they do not move out, then the landlord can file this order with the Court Enforcement Office. Only the Sheriff can evict a tenant who does not leave a unit as directed by an eviction order issued by the Board

    Can a tenant be evicted without a hearing?

    Yes, for some types of applications an ex parte order can be issued without holding a hearing.

    Can a tenant be evicted in the winter?

    Yes. There is nothing in the Residential Tenancies Act that prevents a tenant from being evicted during the winter months.

    For what reasons can a landlord evict a tenant?

    For some reasons, a landlord can only evict a tenant at the end of the tenancy agreement (at the end of a lease) – in mostof these situations, the tenant has not done anything wrong, but the landlord needs the unit back. Other reasons allow a landlord to evict a tenant in the middle of their tenancy agreement or lease – generally, when the tenant has done something wrong. For example, the tenant has not paid their rent or has damaged the rental property.

    Can a tenant be evicted for having a roommate?

    No, a tenant cannot be evicted simply for having a roommate. However, a tenant may be evicted if the roommate is causing a problem for the landlord or for other tenants. For example, if the roommate is making a lot of noise, damaging the unit, or there are too many roommates (overcrowding), the landlord can serve a notice of termination and apply to evict the tenant and any other occupants of the unit.

    Can a tenant be evicted if the landlord wants to use the unit themselves?

    Yes, a tenant can be evicted if a landlord "in good faith" requires the unit for:

    • their own use
    • the use of an immediate family member
    • the use of a person who will provide care services to the landlord or a member of the landlord’s immediate family, if the person who will be receiving the care services lives in the same building or complex.

    Can a tenant be evicted for something that their roommate or a guest they allow into the rental unit does?

    Yes, a number of the reasons for eviction are based on problems caused by an occupant of the unit (someone that the tenant lets live with them), or a guest that the tenant lets into their building. So, for example, if a tenant’s guest punches a hole in the hallway wall, the landlord could give the tenant a notice of termination and, if the problem isn’t resolved, make an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board to evict the tenant.

    Do I need to get a lawyer or agent?

    You are not required to have a lawyer or agent with you at a Landlord and Tenant Board hearing – you can present your own case to the Member. But, if you think that your case is difficult, or you would feel more comfortable if we represent your case, you can hire CP Paralegal Solutions. This is a decision that you have to make.

    Can I ask someone else to go to the hearing in my place?

    Yes. If you cannot be there, you can ask someone to go in your place. You must give them written authorization, signed by you, that says you are allowing them to speak for you and to represent you at the hearing (or in mediation). CP Paralegal Solutions can represent you and defend your rights.

    What if the hearing date is not good for me - can I have it moved to another day?

    Your hearing date can only be changed if you get all the other parties to agree. If all the parties agree, you should tell the in writing that you would like the hearing to be rescheduled. Otherwise, you have to come to the hearing (or send someone on your behalf who has your written authorization – see previous question) to ask if the hearing can be changed to a new date. If the Member says no, the hearing will take place on that day.

    What happens if I am late for my hearing or do not attend it?

    If you do not arrive by the time your hearing starts, a Member can do one of these things:

    • If you filed the application, the Member may decide that you have abandoned your application and do not want to continue with it. The Member could dismiss your application.
    • If the application was filed against you, the Member may decide that the hearing will go ahead without you. The Member will make a decision about the application without the evidence that you may have given if you were there.

     

  • Life Events - Birth

    Birth Registration

    How can I register a birth in Ontario?

    Use the following four steps to register a child in Ontario:

    1. Use the Newborn Registration Service to fill out the Statement of Live Birth electronically. OR After you give birth, the hospital or midwife will give you a form called a Statement of Live Birth (Form 2). This is your child’s permanent identity record. Fill out the form, ensuring the information is clear and accurate.
    2. Once you have completed and carefully reviewed the Statement of Live Birth, the parent(s) must sign the form. If a father's or other parent's information is provided, both parents must sign and certify the form. If a father's or other parent's information is not provided, only the mother must sign. It is an offence to sign someone else’s name on the form. If one of the parents is unavailable, send the form to him/her to be signed and returned (originals only).
    3. Mail the Statement of Live Birth (Form 2) to the Office of the Registrar General (Government of Ontario), where the birth registration with the province takes place.
    4. When your child’s birth is registered, you may apply for his/her birth certificate. By using the Newborn Registration Service, you can apply for the birth certificate while completing your birth registration form, all online. The birth certificate will be produced after the birth has been registered.

    Can I register my baby's birth online?

    You can apply for your newborn’s birth certificate online at the ServiceOntario, Canada Revenue Agency and Service Canada's joint Newborn Registration Service - https://www.orgforms.gov.on.ca/IBR/start.do - the easiest way to register your baby's birth and fastest way to apply for their birth certificate, Canada Child Benefits and Social Insurance Number all at the same time.

    What do I need to know before I begin?

    • If both parents are going to be named on the child's birth registration then both parents must be present at the computer to complete and certify (sign or confirm online) this form.
    • Either parent named on the child's birth registration is eligible to apply online for the child's birth certificate and social insurance number. Only the mother is eligible to apply for Canada Child Benefits online. The eligible person(s) must be present at the computer in order to apply for any of these services.
    • Your child must be under one year of age. If your child is one year or older, contact the Office of the Registrar General.
    Deputy Registrar General
    Office of the Registrar General
    P.O. Box 4600
    189 Red River Road, 3rd Floor
    Thunder Bay ON
    P7B 6L8
    In Toronto 416-325-8305
    Toll-free Outside Toronto 1-800-461-2156
    Fax: (807) 343-7459

    How much does a birth certificate cost?

    • first birth certificate (short form - 2.5" x 3.75") $25
    • replacement birth certificate (short form) $35
    • first certified copy of birth (long form - 8.5" x 14") $35
    • replacement certified copy of birth (long form) $45

    How can I pay?

    You can pay online by VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Interac® Online. If you are mailing in your application, you can pay by cheque, money order or credit card.

    How long will it take?

    Provided that the birth is registered, it should take:

    • online service - 15 business days (including delivery)
    • premium online service - (Online Only) 5 business days (including delivery) plus $30 surcharge
    • fax or regular mail service - 6 to 8 weeks plus delivery
    • expedited service - 10 days plus delivery

    What if I need a birth certificate in a hurry?

    As long as the birth is registered and you have proof of urgency - 2 days plus delivery and $30 surcharge. You MUST apply in person at the Toronto Office at:

    4th Flr Unit 417, 47 Sheppard Avenue East
    Toronto, ON M2N 5N1
    General Inquiry: 1-800-267-8097

    Parents who anticipate a need for travel soon after birth, are advised to use the fully electronic 4-in-1 Newborn Registration Service to register the newborn's birth and apply for a birth certificate at the same time. If you did not order a birth certificate at the same time the birth registration information was submitted, you should apply for a birth certificate via the Office of the Registrar General Premium Online or Emergency services for the quickest delivery.

    How long does it take to register a birth in Ontario?

    If you choose to use the fully electronic 4-in-1 Newborn Registration Service to register your baby's birth, it will take approximately 6 weeks from the time you submit the birth registration to complete the process. If you choose to mail the paper version of the Statement of Live Birth form to the Office of the Registrar General (Government of Ontario), it may take approximately 4 months to complete the birth registration from the time your baby is born.

    How can my child travel before his/her birth is registered?

    Parents who anticipate a need for travel soon after birth, are advised to use the fully electronic 4-in-1 Newborn Registration Service to register the newborn's birth and apply for a birth certificate at the same time. If you did not order a birth certificate at the same time the birth registration information was submitted, you should apply for a birth certificate via the Office of the Registrar General Premium Online or Emergency services for the quickest delivery.

    Are there fees associated with registering a birth in Ontario?

    With the province-wide implementation of the fully electronic 4-in-1 Newborn Registration Service, there are no longer fees associated with registering a birth in Ontario.

    My name contains letters with accents. How do I enter these characters using my PC?

    1. Ensure Num Lock is on.
    2. Hold down the Alt key and type the number listed below using the Numeric Keypad on the right side of your keyboard.
    3. When you release the Alt key, the character will appear.
    Character Press Alt + type
    à 133
    â 131
    ä 132
    ç 135
    Ç 128
    é 130
    É 144
    è 138
    ê 136
    ë 137
    î 140
    ï 139
    ô 147
    ö 148
    ù 151
    û 150
    ü 129

    Can I submit the application electronically or do I need a printer to complete the birth registration form?

    The fully electronic 4-in-1 Newborn Registration Service does not require a printer to complete the birth registration process. Once completed online, the Statement of Live Birth can be submitted electronically to the Office of the Registrar General for processing. You may wish to print out the confirmation receipt once the information has been submitted. Parents without the necessary equipment in their home should be aware that most libraries in Ontario are equipped with computers, printers and Internet. Many libraries in rural, remote and First Nations communities, have staff who are specially trained to help clients access the ServiceOntario website. Also, parents may access computers, printers and Internet at any one of the many ServiceOntario centres across Ontario.

    Where do I send my child’s birth registration form?

    If you choose to use the fully electronic 4-in-1 Newborn Registration Service to register your baby's birth, the birth registration information will be sent directly online to the Office of the Registrar General (Government of Ontario). If you choose to use the paper version of the Statement of Live Birth form, the registration must be mailed to the Office of the Registrar General using the address that is listed on top of the paper form.

    How do I register a child that is older than one year of age?

    Unregistered children who are older than one year cannot use this online service. A delayed registration of birth through the Office of the Registrar General must be completed. Please contact the Office of the Registrar General for more information (https://www.orgforms.gov.on.ca/IBR/scr03b_ContactUs.html).

    BIRTH CERTIFICATE

    Why should I use the online Newborn Registration Service to apply for my child’s birth certificate?

    You can apply for your newborn’s birth certificate online at the ServiceOntario, Canada Revenue Agency and Service Canada's joint Newborn Registration Service - https://www.orgforms.gov.on.ca/IBR/start.do - the easiest way to register your baby's birth and fastest way to apply for their birth certificate, Canada Child Benefits and Social Insurance Number all at the same time. The online birth certificate application can be completed quickly and easily once the birth registration section is complete. By using this service, you will not have to fill out a birth certificate application at a later date. As well, you will not have to wait for a confirmation of birth registration before applying for a birth certificate.

    Who is eligible to apply for a birth certificate using the online Newborn Registration Service?

    To use online service, a child must be under the age of one. The following people are eligible to be the applicant (the applicant is the person applying for the child’s birth certificate):

    • A parent named on the birth registration
    • A legal guardian - a person with legal custody of the child

    How can I apply for a birth certificate using the online Newborn Registration Service?

    Select Option 1 or Option 2 to apply for a birth certificate. Upon completion of the birth certificate application, the application information will be sent to the Office of the Registrar General for processing. Processing will begin AFTER the birth has been registered.

    How can I pay for the birth certificate using the online Newborn Registration Service?

    You can pay online by VISA, MasterCard, and American Express or by using INTERAC Online. Your payment will be processed at the end of your session.

    Are birth certificates ordered using online service eligible for the same Service Guarantee as birth certificates ordered using the online birth certificate application?

    No. The Service Guarantee is only applicable to births that have already been registered. However, we anticipate that your birth certificate(s) will be delivered to you within 15 business days after the birth has been registered and is in electronic format.

    How do I know what type of birth certificate I require for my child?

    There are two types of birth certificates: the certified (long) version and the short version. Your child will need a birth certificate to access a variety of government services. A short form is an extract of information from the original birth registration. It is useful as basic identification. A long form is a certified copy of the birth registration and is needed when you are:

    • Moving to another country
    • An executor for a foreign estate
    • Are adopting a child abroad
    • Filling out certain citizenship or immigration documents

    If you are applying for a birth certificate for a particular agency or organization, it is best to check with them to determine what type of birth certificate they require from you. For more information to determine what type of certificate is required to apply for a Canadian Passport visit Canada Passports: http://www.ppt.gc.ca/index.aspx?lang=eng

    How long will it take to receive the birth certificate?

    Using the Newborn Registration Service to apply online means you`ll get the birth certificate several weeks faster than if you applied by paper. Once the registration has been completed, your child`s birth certificate will be issued within 15 business days.

    How can I check the status of the birth certificate request?

    For inquiries call:

    • In Toronto 416-325-8305
    • Toll-free Outside Toronto 1-800-461-2156

    How is the child’s birth certificate information sent to the Office of the Registrar General?

    After your payment has been processed, the child’s birth certificate information is sent electronically to the Office of the Registrar General.

    If I have already registered the child’s birth, where I can apply for a birth certificate?

    If your child is registered and you would like to apply for a birth certificate, please visit the Online Birth Certificate Application at https://www.orgforms.gov.on.ca/eForms/start.do.

    What should I do if I am planning to move within the next 2 months?

    Your child’s birth certificate, when issued, will be delivered by courier, and someone will need to be at the mailing address to sign for it. If you are moving within the next two months, you need to give us your new mailing address, otherwise you will need to contact our office to file a notice of address change in writing.

    CANADA CHILD BENEFITS (CCB)

    What benefits and credits can I apply for using the Canada Child Benefits (CCB) application?

    You (the mother) will be applying for:

    • Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)
    • Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB)
    • Any related provincial/territorial programs such as Ontario Child Benefit (OCB).

    Your child will also be registered for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit if you choose to apply for CCB.

    Who can use the online Newborn Registration Service?

    You must be the mother of the child, a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, the primary caregiver of the child and be able to provide your social insurance number in order to use this service. For this service, "Mother" refers to the child's birth mother. If you do not meet these eligibility requirements, you will have to apply for Canada Child Benefits (CCB) using the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) online service My Account (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/esrvc-srvce/tx/ndvdls/myccnt/menu-eng.html ) or using the CRA's Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application. To get this form, visit the CRA's Website (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/rc66/README.html ) or call 1-800-959-2221.

    Why should I use the online Newborn Registration Service to apply for my child's benefits?

    Applying for Canada Child Benefits (CCB) is an optional service to the mother of the child. There is no additional fee for this service. The online application is quick and easy and it saves you from having to use another method such as completing the CRA's Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application, at a later date.

    Can I use the online Newborn Registration Service if I am not the mother of the child?

    If you are not the mother of the child, you cannot use this service. For this service, "Mother" refers to the child's birth mother. You will have to apply for Canada Child Benefits (CCB) using the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) online service My Account or using the CRA's Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application. To get this form, visit the CRA's Website or call 1-800-959-2221.

    What if I am the mother of the child and I do not want to apply for CCB using the online Newborn Registration Service?

    The information you provide to register this birth will not be sent to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) using this service. You will have to apply for Canada Child Benefits (CCB) using the CRA's online service My Account or using the CRA's Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application. To get this form, visit the CRA's Website or call 1-800-959-2221.

    If I choose to use this service, do I also need to complete an RC66, Canada Child Benefits application, for the child?

    No. Application is automatically made by providing your consent in the appropriate section of this birth registration process. Re-applying by any other methods may result in a delay in processing your application and issuing payments.

    How can I use the online Newborn Registration Service?

    Select Option 1 or Option 2 (Canada Child Benefits) and complete the application that is provided. We recommend you consider applying for Canada Child Benefits online (Option 1 or 2). There is no fee for this service and the online application can be completed quickly and easily once the birth registration section is complete.

    Are there fees associated with the online Newborn Registration Service?

    There are no fees to apply for your Canada Child Benefits.

    I would like my benefits direct deposited into my bank account. Is it possible?

    Yes, but you will have to apply using the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) “Arrange my direct deposit” service at My Account or get Form T1DD, Direct Deposit Request - Individuals, on the CRA's Website. However, if you already receive CCTB payments for another child by direct deposit, you do not have to apply again. The payments you are entitled to for your newborn will be deposited in the same bank account.

    When can I expect my first payment after using the online Newborn Registration Service?

    Once the Canada Revenue Agency receives your application through this service from the province of Ontario, you can expect to receive your first notice/payment within 80 calendar days.

    How can I check the status of my CCB application?

    By telephone: toll-free: 1-800-387-1193 if you have not received your first notice/payment within the next 80 calendar days.

    Online: you will be able to view the status of your benefit payments by visiting the Quick Access page on the CRA Web site (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/esrvc-srvce/tx/ndvdls/qckccss/menu-eng.html ).

    By Mail:

    Sudbury Tax Centre
    PO Box 20000 Stn A
    Sudbury ON P3A 5C1

    What information is sent to the Canada Revenue Agency (Government of Canada)?

    The following information is sent to the CRA: mother's name, date of birth, place of birth, SIN, and mailing address; your child's name, date and place of birth, and sex; and your child's birth registration number.

    If I have a new address, will my address automatically be updated with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) using the online Newborn Registration Service?

    No. If you move, you must inform the CRA immediately using one of these toll-free numbers: 1-800-959-8281 or 1-800-387-1193. You can also change your address using the CRA's online service My Account (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/esrvc-srvce/tx/ndvdls/myccnt/menu-eng.html).

    If I have already registered my child's birth, can I use the online Newborn Registration Service to apply for my child's benefits?

    You cannot apply for Canada Child Benefits using this service if the child's birth has already been registered. You will have to apply for Canada Child Benefits (CCB) using the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) online service My Account or using the CRA's Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application. To get this form, visit the CRA's Web site (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/rc66/README.html ) or call 1-800-959-2221.

    SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER (SIN)

    What is a Social Insurance Number?

    A Social Insurance Number is a nine-digit number used in the administration of various Canadian government programs. A SIN is required to work in Canada or to access various Government of Canada programs and benefits.

    Why should I use the online Newborn Registration Service to apply for my child’s SIN?

    Applying for a SIN is optional. There is no additional fee for the SIN. Once the online birth registration section is complete, the online SIN application can be completed quickly and easily. Completing it online saves you from having to apply at a later date. While applying for your child's SIN is optional, it is required to access various Government of Canada programs and benefits such as:

    • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
    • Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)
    • Canada Learning Bond

    Who is eligible to apply for a SIN using the online Newborn Registration Service?

    You must be the parent of the child and a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident to use this service to apply for a SIN. If this is not the case, you may still be eligible to apply for the child's SIN, but will need to apply directly to Service Canada (http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/ ).

    How can I apply for a SIN using the online Newborn Registration Service?

    Select Option 1 or Option 2 to apply for a SIN. We recommend you consider applying for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) online (Option 1 or 2). There is no fee for the SIN, and the online application can be completed quickly and easily once the online birth registration section is complete.

    What is the fee for a first-time SIN?

    There are no fees required to apply for a first-time SIN.

    How long will it take to receive my child’s SIN?

    Using the online Newborn Registration Service to apply online means you`ll get the SIN card several weeks faster than if you applied by paper. Once the registration has been completed, your SIN application will be processed immediately by Service Canada and the SIN card delivered within five business days.

    How can I check the status of my child’s SIN application?

    By Telephone: toll-free, 1 800 206-7218. Select Option 3 for Social Insurance Number information.

    By Mail:

    Social Insurance Registration
    P.O. Box 7000
    Bathurst, New Brunswick
    E2A 4T1

    Online: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca

    Who do I contact regarding the SIN ordered using the Newborn Registration Service?

    Contact information regarding SIN:

    By Telephone: toll-free, 1 800 206-7218. Select Option 3 for Social Insurance Number information.

    By Mail:

    Social Insurance Registration
    P.O. Box 7000
    Bathurst, New Brunswick
    E2A 4T1

    Online: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca

    How is my child’s SIN application sent to Service Canada (Government of Canada)?

    The application will be sent electronically to Service Canada (http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/) once the birth has been registered with the Province of Ontario providing the parent has provided consent.

    If I have already registered my child’s birth, can I use the online Newborn Registration Service to apply for a SIN?

    No. You cannot apply for a SIN using this service if the child’s birth has already been registered. Visit Service Canada (http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/ ) for information about how to apply.

    If the child is over one year of age, can I use the online Newborn Registration Service to apply for a SIN?

    No. If the child is over one year of age, you cannot use this service to apply for a SIN. Visit Service Canada (http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/ ) for information about how to apply.

     

  • Life Events - Death

    Why do I need a Death Certificate?

    The funeral director will issue copies of a proof of death that you can use in certain situations. There are some organizations, however, that may require an official death certificate from the Province of Ontario, Office of the Registrar General. You may need an official death certificate or certified copy for:

    • Settling an estate
    • Insurance purposes
    • Access to/termination of government services, i.e. health card, pension, voters´ list
    • Genealogy searches

    Who is entitled to apply for a death certificate?

    There are no restrictions on who may apply for a death certificate.

    Who is entitled to apply for a certified copy of a statement of death?

    The deceased’s Next of Kin or their authorized representative may apply for a certified copy of a statement of death. Next of kin of the deceased includes his/her parents, spouse or common-law partner, children and siblings. If all the Next of Kin are deceased, Extended Next of Kin or their authorized representative may apply. Extended Next of Kin relationships include aunt, uncle, first cousin, grandchild, grandfather, grandmother, nephew and niece.

    Who is responsible for final arrangements?

    The Executor and/or next of kin bear legal responsibility in the disposition of the deceased. It is prudent for the executor to include the family in any decisions regarding final arrangements.

    Is embalming required in Ontario?

    Embalming is not required in Ontario but may be necessary under some circumstances.

    Can services be prearranged?

    Yes, services can be prearranged through a funeral home or transfer service and can be prepaid if you wish.

    How much do funerals and transfer services cost?

    Costs depend entirely on the goods and services selected by you. Every funeral director and transfer service operator is required by law to have price lists available to the public at no charge and without obligation.

    When will I find out the cost of the goods and services I have selected?

    At the time the arrangements are agreed upon, the funeral director or transfer service operator must give you a written contract including the total price of the goods and services selected and estimate of any disbursements. The contract must be approved and signed by the person making the arrangements with the funeral director or transfer service operator.

    Is it necessary to retain the services of a funeral director or transfer service operator for all deaths?

    No. It is possible to bury a member of your own family provided you comply with all relevant legislation.

    What are cash disbursements?

    Cash disbursements are payments made by the funeral director on your behalf and might include items such as newspaper notices, clergy honoraria or flowers. Disbursements are charged to you at actual cost and if they appear on your contract, must be itemized and included in the total price.

    Must a casket be placed in an outside container for burial?

    This is not the law in Ontario. However, local customs vary and some cemeteries have by-laws requiring that outside containers be used for interment. For more information contact Cemetery Regulations, Ministry of Consumer Services; Tel: (416) 326-8393/1-800-889-9768; TTY: (416) 229-6086/1-877-666-6545.

    What is a prepaid service?

    You may prearrange and prepay services and supplies by means of a contract between you and the funeral establishment or transfer service.

    What happens to my money?

    You have two options either it is held in trust for you at a bank, trust company, credit union or fraternal society or you may have the option to purchase an insurance product.

    Is the price of a prepaid service guaranteed?

    Funeral homes do not have to guarantee services that have been prepaid. Purchasers should ensure that the contract clearly states whether or not the price will be guaranteed.

    How does a guarantee work?

    At the time of death the funeral director or transfer service will calculate cost based on the current prices. If the principal plus interest or insurance death benefit is less than the cost of services no other money is owed.

    What happens if there is an excess of funds after a guaranteed prepaid funeral has been provided?

    If you prepaid after June 1, 1990 the balance, if any, of the prepayment funds that are in excess of the cost of delivering the services and supplies contracted for must be refunded to the estate. If you prepaid prior to June 1, 1990 the funds will be refunded at the funeral establishment’s discretion.

    How are prepaid funds protected?

    Legislation provides several means for ensuring protection of prepaid funds. At the time of prepayment, the funeral director or transfer service operator must provide the purchaser with a contract, signed by the purchaser and the funeral director, showing clearly the services you have selected and the monies you have paid. Within 10 days of the investment of the prepaid funds, the funeral establishment or transfer service operator must deliver to the purchaser an investment receipt from the financial institution that the investment has been made. If you do not receive a receipt within this time frame we encourage you to contact the funeral home or transfer service. In addition, trust funds are inspected by the Board of Funeral Services. Funeral establishments and transfer service operators must annually submit to the Board of Funeral Services a Report of the Public Accountant on their trust funds. The Board of Funeral Services administers a Compensation Fund that provides compensation in the event of misappropriation of trust monies.

    Will my money be returned if I change my mind?

    Yes. When a written request is received, all monies including principal and accrued interest must be refunded. However, the funeral home or transfer service may keep an administration fee of 10% of the funds to a maximum of $200.00 if the contract is cancelled after thirty days. The financial institution or insurance company may also charge a cancellation fee.

    How can I obtain information about services or costs?

    Funeral directors and transfer service operators welcome and encourage people to make such inquiries prior to or at the time of need. Call the funeral home or transfer service and request a price list. They must provide a price list without cost or obligation. You are encouraged to compare prices and services by obtaining price lists from several establishments.

    What is cremation?

    Cremation is a process where fire reduces the body to a residue.

    Is a casket required by law for cremation?

    No. However, if a casket is not used, crematoria require that the body be enclosed in rigid container of combustible material.

    What is done with the cremated remains?

    Cremated remains may be retained by the family, interred in a cemetery, placed in a niche in a columbarium, or scattered on one's private property or in a designated area of the cemetery.

    Do I have to buy an urn?

    No. The ashes are returned to you in a small plastic box.

    What happens if I don't want a traditional funeral?

    All funeral homes must offer an inexpensive service known as 'direct disposition'. Transfer Services are companies that may only offer the 'direct disposition' option.

    What is a direct disposition?

    This option includes the removal of the deceased from the place of death, the placement of the body in a container or casket, the delivery of the body to the cemetery or crematorium and the filing of necessary documentation. It does not include visitation or services with the body present.

    Does direct disposition mean I have to have cremation?

    No. You can have either cremation or earth burial.

    Is it possible to donate your body or organs to medical science?

    Yes. However your wishes should be discussed with your family.

  • Life Events - Marriage

    How do I get a marriage licence?

    In most cases, if you are being married in a religious or civil ceremony, you need a marriage licence. You can apply for a marriage licence at the municipal offices in your city, town, village or township if there is a license issuer OR you can download the Marriage Licence Application Form and bring it with you to your nearest municipal office. Fill out the application and then apply for the marriage licence in person. Make sure you and your partner bring identification, such as a birth certificate (along with any change of name certificates), current passport, Record of Immigrant Landing or Canadian citizenship card and photo ID to prove your current legal name and age.

    Is there a marriage licence fee?

    There is a marriage licence fee. Contact your local municipal office for the current fee.

    Does a marriage licence have an expiration date?

    The marriage licence is valid anywhere in Ontario for three months from the date of purchase. If the licence expires, you will have to purchase another one.

    What is the minimum age to get married in Ontario?

    You must be at least 18 years old to be married in Ontario by licence or under the authority of the publication of banns (an announcement of the details of your intent to marry in your church, mosque or synagogue) without parental consent. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you may marry if you have the written consent of both parents. Other restrictions may apply.

    Where do I get a Special Permit to serve alcohol at my wedding reception?

    If you plan on serving or selling alcohol at your wedding reception, you will need a Special Occasion Permit from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). Get the Special Occasion Permit form online. Find an LCBO store that issues permits.

    What if I want to remarry after a divorce?

    If you were divorced in Canada, you must bring the original or court-certified copy of the final decree, final judgment or certificate of divorce to your local municipal office when you are purchasing the marriage licence. If you were divorced outside of Canada, you must obtain authorization from the Ministry of Government Services before you can purchase a marriage licence. For authorization, collect the following documents:

    • A completed Marriage Licence Application.
    • A Statement of Sole Responsibility for each divorce signed by both parties of this marriage.
    • An original or court-certified copy of the divorce decree or annulment. If the decree is in a language other than English or French, include a translated copy together with an affidavit sworn by a certified translator.
    • A legal opinion from an Ontario lawyer, addressed to both applicants to the marriage, giving reasons why the divorce or annulment should be recognized in the Province of Ontario. The Office of the Registrar General will fax a sample legal opinion letter to your lawyer if you call (807)-343-7492 or toll-free at 1-800-461-2156.

    And send them to:

    The Office of the Registrar General
    Marriage Office
    P.O. Box 4600
    189 Red River Rd.
    Thunder Bay, ON P7B 6L8

    How do I get a marriage certificate?

    Immediately after the marriage ceremony, the couple may receive a Record of Solemnization of Marriage from the person who performed the ceremony. This document includes the couple’s names, the date of the marriage, the names of the witnesses and whether the marriage was performed under the authority of a licence or the publication of banns. This is not a marriage certificate or a legal record. You still need a marriage certificate. The person who performed the marriage must forward a completed and signed marriage licence to the Office of the Registrar General for registration. The marriage must be registered before you may apply for a marriage certificate.

    You can Apply for a Marriage Certificate online. You can also print off a Request for Marriage Certificate form (PDF) and mail it in or apply for one in person at your nearest ServiceOntario Centre.

    Can I check the status of my marriage certificate application?

    Yes. You can check the status of your Ontario Marriage Certificate Application online.

    Is there a fee for a marriage certificate?

    A marriage certificate costs $15. A certified (long form) copy costs $22.

    How soon I can get a marriage certificate?

    Service delivery times: An online application takes 15 business days plus delivery, regular mail service takes 6 to 8 weeks plus delivery. For urgent cases, you can pay $30 extra for Expedited service (10 days plus delivery) or Premium Online Service (5 business days). Emergency Service (2 days plus delivery) is available in person at the Toronto Office only, and proof of urgency is required.

    Who is entitled to get a marriage certificate?

    A marriage certificate may be obtained by: the bride or groom; a parent of either the bride or the groom; by a child of their marriage (natural or adoptive). There is no restriction on the number of marriage certificates a person may apply for and receive. Multiple applications may not be cancelled and refunds will not be issued.

    How do I change my name to my partner’s last name?

    You do not have to get a legal name change to use your partner’s name as your last name. Instead, you can assume your partner’s name. Assuming a name is not a legal name change, so it does not change your birth certificate. Most people assume a name instead of undergoing a legal name change.

  • Life Events - Divorce and Separation

    I would like to get a divorce. What do I do?

    In order to legally end your marriage, you must apply to the court for a divorce. An application for divorce can only be filed in a Superior Court of Justice or Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice.

    How long does a divorce take?

    An application for divorce can usually be finalized within four to six months, provided there are no other issues, such as custody/access, support or division of property. If your application is more complicated, the completion time will depend on how complex the issues are and whether they can be resolved with the agreement of both parties. In order for a divorce to be granted, you must have been separated from your spouse for one year, unless you have established other grounds, such as adultery or mental or physical cruelty.

    How much does a divorce cost?

    It costs approximately $450.00 to file for divorce in Ontario: Court fees of $167.00 are due when an application is filed. An additional $280 is due when an affidavit for divorce is filed, for total of $447.00. Court fees may be paid by cash, cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance. If you are unable to pay the court fees, you may request a fee waiver.

    Do I need a lawyer to get a divorce?

    While you do not need a lawyer to file a divorce application, it is a good idea to consult one before doing so. A lawyer can help you understand the effects a divorce can have on your rights and obligations. For example, you may no longer qualify for health benefits under a spouse's plan after a divorce has been granted.

    Do I have to be separated for a certain amount of time before I can get a divorce?

    In most cases, in order for a divorce to be granted, you must have been separated from your spouse for one year. This means living separate and apart. While you can file an application beforehand, you cannot complete an affidavit for divorce based on a separation until a year has passed. If you have established other grounds, such as adultery or mental or physical cruelty, a divorce can be granted at any time.

    Am I still considered separated even though my spouse and I live together in our home?

    If your relationship has ended but both spouses are still living in the home, you may still be considered to be living separate and apart if you are no longer behaving as though you were married. If you are unclear about whether you are living separate and apart, you should speak with a lawyer.

    Can I still get a divorce if there are issues that have not yet been settled (e.g. custody/access and support)?

    If you have children, a court will not grant the divorce until you have shown that adequate child support arrangements are in place. You can apply for a divorce before the other issues have been resolved, but your spouse could then ask the court to deal with them, which may delay the process.

    Is the Certificate of Marriage Required to Apply for a Divorce?

    Yes, you must have an original government issued Certificate of Marriage or Certified Copy of the Registration of Marriage to apply for a divorce in Canada.

    What is a simple divorce application? What is a joint divorce?

    A simple divorce is a request for a divorce only. It can be prepared either by one spouse, or by both spouses as a joint application. Through a joint application, the spouses can request a divorce only, or a divorce with other orders (e.g. agreed upon child support payments). In this case, both spouses must complete all documents necessary to obtain the divorce. If a divorce application is prepared by one spouse only, it must be served (legally delivered) upon the other spouse after it has been issued. He or she would then have 30 days to respond (60 days if the application is served outside of North America).

    I have lived with my common law partner for three years, but we never married. Do we need a divorce?

    No, only married spouses need a divorce. Common law spouses may, however, have other issues that need to be resolved, including child custody and access, and support and division of jointly owned property. You should speak to a lawyer about your rights and obligations arising from a common law relationship.

    Which court should I start my divorce case in?

    If children's issues (custody of, or access to, children) are involved, you should start the case in the place where your children normally live. Otherwise, it can be started in the place where either party lives. For a complete listing of the court addresses in Ontario, go to http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/Court_Addresses/. If there is both an Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice in your jurisdiction, you must start your case in the court that can decide your issues.

    My spouse has served me with a divorce application, what do I need to do?

    If you live in Canada or the United States, you have up to 30 days (60 days if the application is served [legally delivered] outside of North America) to respond to the application. If you do not agree with the claims set out in the application, or wish to make a claim of your own, you must prepare a response, serve it on the other party and file it with the court. The document that is filed in response is called an answer. If you are using a lawyer, you should make an appointment right away to discuss your response. If you do not file an answer within the required time, your spouse can ask the court for an order based on the claims in the application.

    Which forms should I use?

    Guides for court processes are available for cases heard in the Ontario Court of Justice, the Superior Court of Justice and the Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice. These guides explain the steps in the court process, as well as the documents that need to be served (legally delivered) and filed with the court at each stage. Choose the guide for the court where your case is being heard, or visit the nearest Family Law Information Centre (FLIC). These centres are available in all court districts and provide information about the family justice system and court processes.

    What steps are involved in the divorce court process?

    Unless you are filing for divorce only, the Family Law Rules require both sides to attend at least one conference with a judge to discuss the issues in dispute and how they can be resolved. The first conference is called a "case conference". Here, the judge and parties discuss ways to resolve the issues in dispute, as well as steps that should be taken for the case to proceed. Following the case conference, one or both parties may bring a motion for a temporary court order (e.g. to deal with custody of children). That temporary order would be in effect until it is changed or a final order is made. A case conference is usually followed by a settlement conference, where the judge and parties attempt to settle the case. At this point, the judge may be able to provide an opinion of how the issues in dispute could be resolved. If the parties still cannot settle the case, a trial may be necessary. A trial management conference would then be held to determine how the trial would proceed. Before each court appearance, both parties must serve (legally deliver) certain documents on the other party and file them with the court. For more information about which documents must be filed at each step, see A Guide to Family Procedures (http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/guides/fc/ ) for the court where your case is being heard: Ontario Court of Justice, Superior Court of Justice or Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice

    I need to get a court order right away, what should I do?

    In most cases, you must attend a case conference before you can bring a motion to ask the court for a temporary order. However, if your situation is urgent, you can ask the court for an immediate temporary order. The judge hearing the motion will decide whether the order should be made before a case conference has been held.

    Is a court order necessary?

    A court order is not always required in family disputes. If the parties can come to an agreement then they can enter into a separation agreement that sets out the agreed upon terms. If they can't come to an agreement or if one party is concerned that the other will not comply with an agreement, one of the parties may want to obtain a court order to determine what the arrangements will be (for example what support will be paid) and to enforce those arrangements.

    I can't attend a court date that has already been arranged, what should I do?

    You should inform your lawyer or the other parties as soon as possible that you can't be there and need to reschedule. If you are requesting the court date be moved to a later date (an adjournment), you should file a Form 14B: Motion form. You should note on that form whether or not the other parties agree with your request. If you are requesting an adjournment because of an emergency, you should contact the family court office as soon as possible.

    If I'm not happy with a court decision, what can I do?

    If you believe that the court made the wrong decision, you can file an appeal. If you are considering an appeal, you should speak to a lawyer right away about your options for appeal. You should also discuss deadlines for it to be started and whether it is likely to be successful.

    Is there a publication that can help me learn more about family law?

    Download the booklet What You Should Know About Family Law in Ontario (available in 9 languages).

    Can I settle out of court?

    Most families don't need to go to court to settle their family law disputes. Some can agree on the issues themselves and others come to an agreement with the help of mediators or collaborative family lawyers.

    What’s the difference between mediation and going to court?

    It is up to you and your partner to decide the best way to resolve the issues between you. Having a mediator or lawyer help you is the least expensive way to divorce. If you and your partner cannot work things out, you may have to go to court and ask the court to decide.

    Can I just stay separated? Do I have to file for divorce?

    You need to be separated for a one-year period to get a divorce. If you simply separate without getting a divorce, you can’t legally remarry and you can’t assume a new partner’s name. Separation agreements and court orders can resolve some family matters but they do not legally end your marriage. The only way to legally end your marriage is to get a divorce.

    My partner wants sole custody of the children. Do I have to pay child support?

    Both parents are financially responsible for their children, regardless of who has custody. The parent who does not live with the child must pay child support.

    My partner and I both want custody of the children. Who decides?

    When you separate or divorce, you must arrange for the care of the children. A lawyer can help you to work out custody and access arrangements. If you and your partner can’t decide, you will have to go to court.

    How do we divide our property?

    A lawyer or mediator can help you divide your property. The general rule is that any property that you acquired during your marriage and that you still have when you separate must be divided 50-50. There are exceptions to this rule though. Learn more about dividing your property and download the Family Law in Ontario booklet.

    How do I get a divorce certificate and change my name?

    You need to contact the court office where your divorce case was started to get a divorce certificate. If you do not know where in Canada your divorce was started, or if you are searching for documentation on a divorce granted in Ontario before 1979, you may need to contact the Central Registry of Divorce or the Archives of Ontario. Learn how you can change your name back.

  • Bankruptcy

    What is bankruptcy and what are the benefits to the debtor?

    Bankruptcy is a legal process, regulated by the Act, by which you may be discharged from most of your debts. The purpose of the Act is to permit an honest, but unfortunate, debtor to obtain a discharge from his or her debts, subject to reasonable conditions.

    I am in financial trouble and want to know if bankruptcy is a solution for me. Where do I begin?

    There are a number of reputable non-profit organizations that offer credit counseling to consumers (often for free), and may be able to help you put together an informal agreement with your creditors. If a more formal remedy is needed, a licensed bankruptcy trustee can help you understand the various options available to deal with debts, including proposals and bankruptcy. Your first meeting with a trustee is called an assessment interview. The trustee will review your financial situation and explain what options are available and the consequences of each. In most cases, trustees do not charge for the initial interview. If you decide to file for a bankruptcy, the trustee will help you prepare the necessary documents, and will file them with the Official Receiver. Sometimes this can de done on the same day; in other cases it may take a few days to gather all the information needed, especially if your financial situation is complex.

    Can I declare bankruptcy myself without a trustee?

    No. You must meet with a trustee for assessment purposes. The trustee will advise you and suggest alternatives other than bankruptcy to solve your financial problems. For all intents and purposes the trustee then files formal documents with the Official Receiver.

    Because of my financial situation, I am unable to pay the trustee. Can I declare bankruptcy without paying anything?

    If you are overburdened by debt and cannot obtain the services of a trustee, the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy in your area will help you find one through its Bankruptcy Assistance Program. You will be eligible if:

    • you have tried to obtain the services of a trustee after contacting at least two participating trustees;
    • you are not involved in commercial activities; and
    • you are not in jail.

    One of the participating trustees will be designated as your trustee. You will still have to pay certain amounts regularly; but those amounts will be smaller to ensure that you can maintain a reasonable standard of living.

    How can I declare bankruptcy?

    Only an insolvent person may declare bankruptcy. You are considered to be an insolvent person when:

    • you are not bankrupt already (not currently undischarged bankrupt)
    • you owe at least a $1000.00; and
    • you are unable to meet your regular payments as they become due; or
    • you would not be able to pay all of your debts if all of your assets were sold;

    I do not want to include all my creditors in the bankruptcy, especially the family members and friends who helped me. Can I continue to pay them back and include the other creditors in the bankruptcy?

    No. All your debts must be included in the bankruptcy. All of your creditors must be treated equally. If you make a payment to one of your creditors (ex: a family member) without paying the others, the trustee is entitled to demand the reimbursement of such payment. Be aware that such action may constitute an offence according to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. However, nothing prevents you from repaying your family, friends or any other creditors once you are discharged from the bankruptcy.

    What happens at the first meeting of creditors?

    If a meeting is called, the trustee will give a report about your assets and liabilities and the creditors may ask you questions related to your financial file. The creditors will then vote to either confirm the trustee's appointment, or substitute a trustee of their choice. The creditors will then have an opportunity to vote for the appointment of inspectors. They may also give directions to the trustee related to the administration of the estate.

    What does the examination with the Official Receiver involve?

    The Official Receiver may send you a notice instructing you to appear before him or her for an examination under oath. The Official Receiver will then ask you a number of questions about the causes of your bankruptcy, your conduct, the disposition of your assets and the nature of your debts.

    When is a bankrupt discharged?

    If you are a first-time bankrupt, you will be automatically discharged 9 months after the date of bankruptcy if you have no surplus income. You will be automatically discharged after 21 months after the date of bankruptcy if you are required to make surplus income payments to the estate. For a second bankruptcy, you will automatically be discharged after 24 months after the date of bankruptcy if you have no surplus income and 36 months after the date of bankruptcy if you are required to make surplus income payments to the estate.

    How does bankruptcy affect employment?

    For the most part, bankruptcy should not affect your employment. However, there are some special cases. For example, you may have difficulty being bonded. Your trustee will be able to give you more information on other possible restrictions or prohibitions.

    What is the effect of a bankruptcy discharge?

    The bankrupt is released of most debts. Some debts are not released, however, such as an award for damages in respect of an assault; a claim for alimony, spousal or child support; any court fine; a debt arising out of fraud or misleading representation; or debts or obligations for student loans if the bankruptcy occurs while the debtor was still a student or within seven years after the bankrupt ceased to be a student.

    I have not been discharged from my first bankruptcy. How do I obtain my discharge?

    You should contact the trustee who handled your bankruptcy. The trustee will inform you of the reasons why you did not obtain your discharge. You may have to fulfill certain conditions in order to obtain this discharge. If you do not remember the trustee's name, contact the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy in your area for assistance.

    I want to obtain a copy of my certificate of discharge. My trustee tells me that my file was destroyed and that a copy is available at my local Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.

    When the trustee cannot provide you with a document concerning your bankruptcy, you can obtain the document from the OSB and in some cases also the bankruptcy court. That court may not keep any records. You can then apply to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy located in the place where you lived at the time of the bankruptcy to obtain a copy of the document you want.

    The information in my record at the credit bureau is incorrect. What can I do?

    Credit bureaus are independent agencies that have no business relationship with the OSB. You must contact them directly.

    When can I get credit again?

    Immediately after filing, anyone can apply for credit during your bankruptcy; however, you must disclose your bankruptcy to the creditor.

    I have declared bankruptcy and been discharged. The Canada Revenue Agency has not been informed of this, and my tax refunds are being sent to the trustee. I am told that I must send a copy of my certificate of discharge to the Agency to straighten out the situation. Is this true?

    When you are discharged from the bankruptcy, the trustee will give you a certificate of discharge. The trustee is not obliged to send a copy of that certificate to the Canada Revenue Agency. You will have to provide a copy of the certificate when someone requests it. You should also consider sending a copy to the OSB.

    My former spouse has declared bankruptcy and creditors are claiming amounts from me for the debts we incurred jointly. Do I have to pay my former spouse's share? What action can I take?

    If you and your former spouse have contracted a joint debt, the creditor might be able to seek payment from either one of you. You may therefore become liable for a part or the entire debt owed to that creditor. However, if you pay the part of the debt that was owed by your former spouse, you then become a creditor in his/her bankruptcy. As a creditor, you can file a proof of claim with the trustee.

    I have declared bankruptcy and been discharged. One of my creditors has asked me to reimburse my debt which was previously declared in my bankruptcy file. Do I have to repay this debt?

    No, you are not obliged to pay this creditor since an order of discharge generally releases you from your debts. However, a discharge from bankruptcy does not release you from certain debts such as:

    • alimony payments;
    • fines or penalties imposed by a Court;
    • debt or liability arising out of fraud or embezzlement; and
    • debts for student loans when the bankruptcy occurs before the date on which you ceased to be a full- or part-time student or within seven years after that date.

    What is a consumer proposal?

    A consumer proposal is an offer made by a debtor to his or her creditors to modify his or her obligations to them. For example, you may propose to your creditors that you will pay a lower amount each month, but over a longer period of time. Or you may propose that your creditors accept being paid a percentage of what you owe.

    How does a consumer proposal benefit you?

    Your unsecured creditors will not be able to take legal steps to recover their debts from you (such as seizing assets or garnisheeing wages). However, creditors may continue to pursue recovery of debts that would not be released by an order of discharge in a bankruptcy (except if the proposal explicitly provides for the compromise of such claims and the creditor votes in favour of the proposal).

    Who can make a consumer proposal?

    Any natural person who is insolvent, including a bankrupt, whose debts do not exceed $250 000, excluding a mortgage for the person's principal residence, can make a consumer proposal. When a bankrupt wishes to make a proposal, the proposal must first be approved by the inspectors and the bankrupt must have obtained the assistance of a trustee who will be the administrator of the consumer proposal. If the person's debts exceed $250 000, the proposal will be made under Division I of Part III of the Act.

    What happens after a proposal is filed with the Official Receiver?

    Within 10 days after filing your proposal with the Official Receiver, the administrator is required to send the Official Receiver a report. The report contains the administrator's opinion about whether the proposal is fair and reasonable, and whether he or she believes you will be able to perform it. It also contains a list of your creditors. At the same time, the trustee must send to each of your creditors a copy of your proposal, of your statement of affairs (which contains the list of your assets and liabilities; list of your creditors; information related to your personal affairs; and budget information) and of the trustee’s report on your proposal.

    How does a proposal get accepted?

    Your creditors will have up to 45 days to consider whether to accept or reject your proposal. A creditor may send a notice to the administrator accepting or rejecting the proposal. If creditors do not respond, they will be considered to have accepted the proposal. If a sufficient number of creditors accept the proposal, then it will become binding on you and your creditors, and you will have to meet its terms.

    What happens if the proposal is rejected?

    If the proposal is rejected, you will no longer be protected by the Act. The administrator will, within 5 days, notify you, all your creditors and the Official Receiver of the rejection. Your creditors will now be able to take legal steps to recover their debts from you. If you were bankrupt when you made this proposal, the administration of your bankruptcy will continue.

    What if I stop making the payments and default on the performance of the proposal?

    If you fail to keep the terms of your proposal, it may be annulled or deemed annulled. If you were insolvent prior to making the proposal, you return to the same situation and your creditors would have a claim against you for the amount owed to them before the proposal, minus any amount you paid them during the proposal. If you were bankrupt when the proposal was made and then your proposal is subsequently annulled or deemed annulled, you will be considered bankrupt on the date of the annulment.

    References:
    http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/bsf-osb.nsf/eng/br02048.html
    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/lf-vnts/bnkrptcy/bnkrptcy-eng.html

     

  • Record Suspension (former Pardon)

    What is the difference between a criminal conviction and a criminal record?

    Since the Identification of Criminals Act only allows the taking of fingerprints in relation to indictable or hybrid offences, the RCMP national repository of criminal records is fingerprint-based and only contains information relating to these two categories of offences. Summary offences are only included in the national repository if submitted to the RCMP as part of an occurrence involving an indictable or hybrid offence. Note: Not all offences are reported to the RCMP national repository of criminal records. A search against a local police agency's records may reveal criminal record information that has not been reported to the RCMP.

    Is a non-conviction record different from a criminal record?

    Yes. A non-conviction record refers specifically to criminal charges with court decisions other than “guilty” (e.g. not guilty, acquitted, withdrawn, stays of proceeding, peace bond). In comparison, a criminal record must include charge information where an individual was convicted (e.g. guilty) of a criminal offence. An individual’s file may include conviction and/or non-conviction records.

    What is a criminal record check?

    In general terms, a criminal record check is a search that is used to determine whether an individual has a criminal record. The search can be based on an individual's name and date of birth, or for much greater assurance, it can be based on fingerprints for positive identification. A criminal record check is performed against the national repository of criminal records maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), which holds approximately 4.2 million records. Checks are also in many cases performed against a Canadian police service's local records.

    What is a Record Suspension (Pardon)?

    A pardon is the forgiveness of a crime and the cancellation of the relevant penalty; it is usually granted by a head of state (such as a monarch or president) or by a competent authority. A pardon allows people who were convicted of a criminal offence, but have completed their sentence and demonstrated they are law-abiding citizens for a prescribed number of years, to have their criminal record kept separate and apart from other criminal records.

    What is the role of the National Parole Board in the Record Suspension (Pardon) process?

    The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is the official and only federal agency responsible for making pardon decisions under the Criminal Records Act (CRA). Under the CRA, the PBC can grant, deny and revoke a pardon.

    What does “CPIC” mean?

    CPIC is the acronym for "Canadian Police Information Centre". CPIC is a computer based police information system located in Ottawa. CPIC records can be accessed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and most other Canadian police agencies and the U.S.

    Who can grant a Record Suspension (Pardon)?

    The National Parole Board (NPB) has exclusive jurisdiction to grant, refuse to grant or to revoke a record suspension (pardon). The law that governs pardons is known as the Criminal Records Act (CRA). The Criminal Records Act provides for the relief of persons who have been convicted of offences and have subsequently rehabilitated themselves.

    Who can reveal my Suspended (Pardoned) record?

    Under the CRA, only the Minister of Public Safety Canada has the authority to disclose information from a pardoned record. This happens ONLY in exceptional circumstances. If, for example, a subsequent serious criminal offence is committed the file may be re-opened. As long as you do not re-offend, no one will ever be able to gain access to your pardoned criminal record.

    I have got my Record Suspension (Pardon). What should I say if I am asked "Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence"?

    The answer to that question is NO. The government of Canada has forgiven you of your past charges. They no longer want the conviction to reflect adversely on your character, and wish to remove any disqualification to which you are subjected. It is treated as though it never happened. Your name will not show up if an RCMP search is done.

    If I have more than one conviction, do I need more than one Record Suspension (pardon)?

    No. If the requisite waiting periods have passed for each of your convictions, and if you have met all of the other requirements, you can apply to have all of your convictions pardoned at the same time.

    What is the effect of a Record Suspension (pardon)?

    A record suspension (pardon) keeps a judicial record of a conviction separate and apart from other criminal records, and gives law abiding citizens an opportunity to reintegrate into society. The Criminal Records Act removes all information about the conviction for which you received the Pardon from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). Federal agencies cannot give out information about the conviction without approval from the Minister of Public Safety Canada. A pardon removes disqualifications caused by a criminal conviction, such as the ability to contract with the federal government, or eligibility for Canadian citizenship. If you are convicted of a new offence, the information may lead to a reactivation of the file in CPIC.

    Will a Record Suspension (pardon) erase my conviction?

    No. A pardon does not erase the fact that you were convicted of a crime. Your criminal record is not erased, but it is kept separate and apart from other criminal records.

    Do I need a lawyer or a representative to apply for a Record Suspension (pardon)?

    No. The Record Suspension application guide includes simple step-by-step instructions on how to apply for a record suspension (pardon) and all the forms that you need. You can also call 1-800-874-2652 for help. Just follow the steps and mail your Pardon Application form, $150.00 (CDN) Pardon Application fee, and official documents. An application from a lawyer or a representative does not receive preferential treatment.

    Do I need a Record Suspension (pardon) if I was a young offender?

    You may need to apply for a pardon if you were found guilty as a young person and before the specific period of time defined in youth legislation, you were convicted as an adult. The pardon may cover both the youth and adult records. You do not need to apply for a pardon if you were found guilty only in a youth court or youth justice court, since your record will be destroyed or archived once all applicable time periods have elapsed under the Young Offenders Act or the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

    Do I need a Record Suspension (pardon) if I received an absolute or conditional discharge?

    If you have only received absolute or conditional discharges, you do not need to apply for a record suspension (pardon). If you received an absolute discharge on or after July 24, 1992, the RCMP will automatically remove it from its system one year after the court decision. If you received a conditional discharge on or after July 24, 1992, the RCMP will automatically remove it 3 years after the court decision. If you received an absolute or conditional discharge before July 24, 1992, contact the RCMP to have the information removed (RCMP Pardon & Purge Services, P.O. Box 8885, Ottawa, ON K1G 3M8)

    Will a Record Suspension (pardon) guarantee me entry into a foreign country?

    No. A record suspension (pardon) does not guarantee you entry or visa privileges to another country. Before you go, contact the authorities of any country you wish to visit to find out what you need to do to enter that country. U.S. and other non-Canadian citizens are not eligible for a pardon unless they were convicted of a crime in Canada.

    Do I need a Record Suspension (pardon) to apply for a passport?

    No. Passport Canada reviews each application on its own merit. You should contact Passport Canada directly to find out more about the specific requirements for getting a passport.

    If I am charged with a crime but not convicted, does the Royal Canadian Mounted Police automatically destroy my non-conviction record?

    No. The police agency that laid the charge must make a request to the RCMP. The RCMP will review the request and determine if it should be approved or denied.

    Under what circumstances would the RCMP deny a request for destroying a non-conviction record?

    Several factors are considered before non-conviction information is destroyed. This includes if the applicant has criminal convictions on file, or outstanding criminal charges before the courts. For the list of reasons why the RCMP would deny a request to destroy non-conviction information you can visit Compelling Reasons for Denying a Request to Destroy Non-Conviction Information. (http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cr-cj/nc-dest-eng.htm)

    Does the RCMP treat certain criminal offences differently from others when determining if non-conviction information should be destroyed?

    Yes. When reviewing a request for destroying non-conviction information, the RCMP considers the nature and recentness of the criminal charge. Non-conviction information related to serious offences such as murder, treason, aggravated assault, sexually-based offences, and offences related to terrorist activity is normally retained for a minimum of five years from the date of the decision.

    Why does the RCMP keep non-conviction records?

    Non-conviction information may be used by police agencies for operational activities, including crime scene investigations, identification of deceased persons, and the identification of persons with amnesia.

    Who can access non-conviction information?

    Non-conviction information is available to Canadian police agencies for identification and investigative purposes, if required. The information is not normally used for background checks or employment screening purposes.

    Will my criminal record automatically disappear after a certain period of time?

    No. Criminal convictions are not automatically destroyed or sealed. The individual must take steps and apply to have their record removed.

    How long does the RCMP keep non-conviction information?

    The RCMP will keep non-conviction information in the National Repository of Criminal Records until the police agency which laid the charge requests the information to be destroyed. The information will be destroyed if the RCMP approves the request.

    How do I make a request to have my non-conviction record destroyed?

    You must contact the local police agency that reported the original charge. The police agency will make the official request to have the non-conviction record destroyed. In some cases, fingerprints may also be required to confirm your identity.

    When can I request my non-conviction record to be destroyed?

    You can request to have your non-conviction information destroyed at any time. However, if you have other charges before the courts, are under investigation, have a criminal record, or it has been less than a year since a peace bond was imposed or a stay of proceeds was entered, the RCMP may deny the request. If it has been less than five years since the non-conviction court decision for a serious crime, such a treason, murder or sexual assault, you must provide documentation to support your request. Supporting documentation includes Crown proceedings, police service records, and/or court documents.

    How do I know if my request is approved or denied?

    The RCMP will advise the police agency that made the request. If the RCMP decides to retain the record, an explanation will be provided.

    The RCMP has denied my request to destroy my non-conviction record. Can I appeal the decision?

    Yes. You can appeal the decision by contacting:

    Royal Canadian Mounted Police
    ATTN: Director General, Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services
    1200 Vanier Parkway, NPS Building
    Ottawa, ON K1A 0R2

    When appealing a decision, you should identify if there was an error in fact or process regarding the decision, and/or new information has been obtained that was not included in the original request. Any new information should also be provided to support the appeal, such as copies of applicable Crown proceedings, police service records, and/or court documents.

    What is the difference between a Record Suspension (pardon) and a file destruction/purge?

    When a person is found guilty and convicted of an offence they require a pardon. The record, including fingerprints, photographs, and the RCMP report and court records are then sealed, and never opened unless the individual is subsequently charged with a criminal offence. File destructions and purges apply to records where an individual was accused, fingerprinted and/or attended criminal court, but not convicted. In the case of file destructions and purges your fingerprints and photographs will be destroyed and proof of this provided.

     

  • Small Claims Court

    What is a Small Claims Court?

    In Ontario, the Small Claims Court is a branch of the Superior Court of Justice. The small claims courts are meant to be an easier and less expensive way to resolve disputes, than in the higher courts. Small Claims Court procedure is regulated both by provincial legislation and rules. Small claims procedure is simplified with no strict pleadings requirements, no formal discovery process and parties costs may be limited. For example, the forms in Small Claims Court use a fill-in-the-blank style.

    What kinds of cases go to Small Claims Court?

    The Small Claims Court can handle any action for the payment of money or the recovery of possession of personal property where the amount claimed does not exceed $25,000, excluding interest and costs such as court fees. This includes the value of all goods that the plaintiff is asking for in total, no matter how many defendants there are. Examples of claims that can be filed in the Small Claims Court include:

    • unpaid accounts for goods sold or services delivered
    • unpaid loans
    • unpaid rent
    • NSF cheques
    • property damage
    • clothes damaged by a dry cleaner
    • personal injuries
    • breach of contract

    The amount of money that somebody owes me is $30,000. I’ve got two Promissory Notes from him for $20,000 and $10,000. Can I file 2 claims?

    You cannot divide the amount of money you are claiming into separate cases. You cannot, for example, divide $30,000 into a $20,000 claim and a $10,000 claim in order to have the total amount dealt with in two cases. If the amount of your claim is more than $25,000, you can still choose to use Small Claims Court. However, you will have to give up the amount of money over $25,000, as well as any future right to get this money in any other court.

    Is it worth it?

    Before starting a lawsuit, you should ask yourself if it will be worth it. To bring a lawsuit you will have to pay for: court fees at each step in the case; legal fees if you have someone represent you; photocopies and delivery of documents; fees, travel expenses and interpreters for witnesses you call to court. If you win the case, the judge may order the other side to pay some of your costs. If you lose, you may have to pay some of the other side’s costs, as well as your own. To keep costs low, you might want to try to reach an agreement out of court. This is called settlement. Even if you win, the defendant may not pay you or return your goods. If this happens, you will have to take further steps to get your money or goods from the defendant.

    How much does it cost to make a claim in the Small Claims Court?

    You must pay a fee to file a claim or defense in Small Claims Court and for most steps in a proceeding, such as filing a motion, requesting a trial date, and taking steps to enforce a judgment. The number of steps in a proceeding varies from case to case. There are also fees and allowances that you must pay to witnesses you have summoned for their attendance and travel to court. In addition, you will have to pay for any interpreters you or your witnesses require, other than bilingual (English or French) interpretation and visual language interpretation, unless your fees are waived. A party – often the successful party – can ask that the other party be ordered to pay his or her costs, such as court fees. The Ontario Government introduced a fee waiver certificate for persons who may be denied access to justice because of their financial circumstances. Some examples of fees that may apply are as follows:

    Item Fee
    Filing of a claim by an infrequent claimant $75
    Filing a notice of motion served on another party, a notice of motion without notice or a notice of motion for a consent order (except a notice of motion under the Wages Act) $40
    Issuing a summons to a witness $19
    Fixing of a date for trial by an infrequent claimant $100

    Are there any time limits? How long I can wait before making a claim?

    There may be a time limit to how long you can wait before making a claim. If you are uncertain about what period of time applies in your case, you should consult CP Paralegal Solutions.

    In which Small Claims Court office should I file my claim?

    It is very important where, in which location, to file your claim.  You must file your claim in the court office that satisfies any of the following criteria:

    • the court in the territorial division where the cause of action arose (i.e. where the event took place or problem occurred)
    • the court in the territorial division in which the defendant lives or carries on business (if there are several defendants, then it can be the court in the territorial division in which any one of them lives or carries on business)
    • at the court’s place of sitting that is nearest to the place where the defendant lives or carries on business (if there are several defendants, then it can be the court nearest to the place in which any one of them lives or carries on business).

    What proof do I need to support a claim?

    You will have to prove your case. Consider what witnesses and/or documents (for example, contracts, NSF cheques, record of payments) you have to support you. If you do not have supporting documents (e.g. you entered into a verbal agreement) or witnesses, your claim may still be successful. However, if it is just your word against the other person's, it may be more difficult to prove your case. You will be required to write in the claim form a short, clear summary of the events that took place and the reasons you think you are entitled to a judgment (court order). Copies of documents that you intend to use to support your claim must be attached to the claim form if you decide to go ahead. The other party is able to respond to your claim and may give evidence that will affect the judge's view of your entitlement.

    My English is not very good and I think I’ll need an interpreter. How does it work?

    Small Claims Court provides interpretation services for all court proceedings and written documents from English to French and French to English. If you or your witnesses will need language interpretation in court from French to English or English to French, notify the court office at the outset of the case. Interpretation from English or French to any other language must be arranged for, and paid by, the party who requires the interpretation. The interpreter must be accredited as being capable of performing that function. The court office will pay for ‘in-court’ interpretation in any language for individuals who qualify for fee waiver.

    What if I need sign language interpreter?

    If you have a hearing impairment and need an interpreter, you can make a request at the Small Claims Court office. The staff will first ask whether written communication would satisfy your needs. If written communication would not be satisfactory, then a visual language interpreter can be used. You can either bring an interpreter with you or ask to have one arranged for you. You may have to make an appointment to come back when an interpreter is available. The court will pay visual language interpreters the standard Ministry interpreter rate or a requested fee (whichever is less).

    Who do you want to sue?

    You will need to know the legal name of the person or business and a current residential or business address.

    How do I make a claim in Small Claims Court?

    There are 4 steps in making a claim

    • Completing the Plaintiff’s Claim form
    • Filing the Plaintiff’s Claim: You need to decide which Small Claims Court to go to. Bring to the court office the original and a copy for each defendant - the Plaintiff’s Claim form; and the documents that support your case
    • Paying Court Fees: When you submit these documents you will be expected to pay the court filing fee
    • Serving the Plaintiff’s Claim: After you have filed the claim with the court, you must deliver a photocopy of the claim and your documents to each defendant. This is called serving the defendants. You have six months to do this

    Can I ignore the lawsuit?

    You should not ignore the lawsuit. If you don’t reply, the case will go on without you. You will not have a chance to defend yourself and tell your side of the story. If you ignore the lawsuit the court will think the plaintiff is right about the facts. The court may then order you to pay money or deliver goods to the plaintiff.

    I’ve got a notice that I’m being sued in the Small Claims Court. How do I reply?

    The defendant’s response to the Plaintiff’s Claim is called the Defence. You must file your Defence with the court office no later than 20 days after receiving the Plaintiff’s Claim. There are 3 steps in replying to a claim

    • Completing a Defence form: do not forget to attach copies of any documents that support your case
    • Filing the Defence form: Bring to the court office where the plaintiff started the claim the original and a copy for each party listed on the plaintiff's claim: the Defence form; the documents supporting your case. The court office will deliver a copy of the Defence form and documents to the plaintiff(s) and any other defendant listed on the plaintiff's claim.
    • Paying Court Fees: When you file your Defence form and document you will be expected to pay the court filing fee

    What if I miss the deadline?

    If you did not file the defence on time, the court may make a decision against you and may order you to pay money or give goods to the plaintiff. This decision is called a “default judgment”.

    What if the plaintiff owes me money or someone else is responsible for the loss?

    You can also make a claim of your own against the plaintiff or someone else. This is called a Defendant’s Claim. For example, the plaintiff may owe you money. Or you may believe someone else caused the plaintiff’s loss and that person should pay instead of you.

    What happens if the defendant does not reply to my claim?

    If you have filed a claim and the defendant has not filed a defence within 20 days, you can ask the court clerk to find or note the defendant in default. You do this by filing a Request to Clerk form. You must prove that the defendant was properly served with the claim. You do this by filing an Affidavit of Service form. Court fees must be paid to take these steps. When a defendant has been noted in default you can ask the court to order them to pay money to you. This can be done by:

    • Asking the court clerk to sign default judgment for a specified sum of money
    • Asking a judge to order judgment

    What is a motion?

    A motion is a formal request to a judge to make an order about your case. Anyone who is a party to a case can make a motion. Motions can be helpful but they can also make the case take longer and cost more money. For example:

    • A defendant could ask the court for more time to send in a Defence or a Defendant’s Claim.
    • A party could ask for more time to serve documents.
    • A party could ask the court to resolve a specific issue in the case, for example to extend time to pay costs ordered by the court.
    • A party could ask the court to change an order that has already been made, for example the plaintiff could ask the judge for an order overturning an order dismissing the claim as abandoned.
    • The defendant could ask the judge for an order stating that the money owed has been paid in full, or goods returned

    How do I bring a motion?

    There are following steps to bring a motion:

    • Fill out a Notice of Motion and Supporting Affidavit form.
    • Explain what you want and why. Explain the facts supporting your motion.
    • Obtain a hearing date for the motion from the court. Write this date on the Notice of Motion and Supporting Affidavit form.
    • Serve the Notice of Motion and Supporting Affidavit on the other parties. This must be done at least 7 days before the court date for the motion.
    • Bring to the court the completed Notice of Motion and Supporting Affidavit and an Affidavit of Service.
    • Pay the court filing fee.

    Can I settle the case outside the courtroom?

    Before a trial starts, the parties should try to find a solution on their own. There are four ways to do this:

    • The defendant can admit to owing money or goods.
    • The parties can reach an agreement at a settlement conference.
    • The plaintiff or defendant can make a written offer to settle.
    • The plaintiff and defendant can talk about settling outside of court.

    What is a settlement conference?

    If there is no agreement between the parties, the court will hold a meeting no later than 90 days after the first Defence is filed with the court. This is called a settlement conference. A settlement conference is a meeting with the parties and a judge to try to find an answer to the case that all parties can agree to. All parties must attend unless the court orders otherwise. This meeting usually takes place in a private room with the judge and the parties sitting around a table. The goal of this meeting is to find a solution both parties can accept. If it is not possible to find a solution for the whole case, the judge will try to get the parties to agree on some of the issues. If all of the issues are not settled at this meeting, then a trial will be planned.

    How do I get my money if I win in Small Claims Court?

    If you are the plaintiff and you win the case you become the creditor and the defendant becomes the debtor. The court will order the defendant (debtor) to pay money to you or to give you goods. The debtor may pay right away or may ask you for more time to pay. If the debtor does not pay, there are steps you can take to get the money or goods. This is called enforcing the judgment. There are fees for each of these steps.

    What is an examination hearing?

    You can ask the court to hold a court hearing about the debtor’s finances. You are not required to have this hearing to take steps to get money from the debtor, but it can help you get information you need to get your money. You do this by filing a Notice of Examination form and an Affidavit for Enforcement Request with the court, and serving them on the debtor. If the debtor is an individual (not a corporation), you would serve these documents together with a blank Financial Information Form. The debtor must complete this form and give a copy to you and the judge. This form is not filed in the court file. At the hearing the debtor must give information about their job, income, property, bank accounts, debts, expenses and reasons for not paying. After looking at this information, the judge may order the debtor to make payments on certain dates.

    What I can do if the debtor does not make the payments ordered?

    If the debtor does not make the payments ordered, you have two options for trying to get the money:

    Garnishment: You can ask the court to make the debtor’s employer or bank pay this money to the court. The court will then pay you. This is called garnishment.

    Seizure and sale of personal property or land: If the debtor does not pay, you can have their things seized

    Will the court collect the money for me?

    No, it will not. However, there are a number of procedures available to the parties, but it is up to the parties to commence the different enforcement procedures available.

    What can the debtor do if they disagree with the judgment?

    If the judgment was obtained by default, you may ask the court to set aside the default judgment.

    Can orders of boards, tribunals, agencies or other courts be enforced in Small Claims Court?

    The orders of some boards, tribunals and agencies, as well as other levels of court can be filed and enforced in the Small Claims Court (e.g. orders under the Tenant Protection Act, Employment Standards Act, and the Provincial Offences Act). Once the order is filed, for enforcement purposes, the order is treated as an order of the court. Refer to section 19 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act for more information. There is a fee to file these orders. Once the order has been filed with the Small Claims Court, it can no longer be enforced in the office of the criminal court where it was made.

    Does the creditor have to wait for the debtor to decide to sell the land?

    No. Four months after filing the writ with the enforcement office you can direct the enforcement office (sheriff) to seize and sell the land, but the actual sale cannot proceed until the writ has been on file for six months. The sale of land is a complicated and costly process, and commencing this process requires a large initial deposit for anticipated expenditures. It is rarely used to enforce a Small Claims Court judgment, since a debtor will often have personal property or garnishable debts that will be sufficient to satisfy the judgment.

    How long does the writ last?

    The writ will expire six years from the date it is issued, unless you renew it for an additional six-year period. A writ may be renewed before it expires by filing a Request to Renew a Writ of Seizure and Sale [Form 20N]with the enforcement office. Each renewal is valid for six years from the previous expiry date. There is a fee to file and renew a writ.

    Is there an alternative to starting a lawsuit?

    Going to trial to have a judge hear evidence and decide your case may be one of the most expensive ways to resolve your dispute. Before starting a court case you may wish to consider other options, such as mediation.

    What is mediation?

    Mediation is a way for people to settle disputes or lawsuits outside of court. In mediation, a neutral third party - the mediator - helps the disputing parties look for a solution that works for them. Mediators are neutral third parties who can help you agree on issues. Mediators do not decide cases or impose settlements. The mediator's role is to help the people involved in a dispute to communicate and negotiate with each other in a constructive manner, to gain a better understanding of the interests of all parties, and to find a resolution based on common understanding and mutual agreement. The purpose of mediation is not to determine who wins and who loses, but to develop creative solutions to disputes in a way that is not possible at a trial.

    Why choose mediation?

    There are several reasons for choosing mediation over a court hearing:

    • Parties to a dispute may choose mediation as a less expensive route to follow for dispute resolution.
    • The mediation process generally takes much less time than moving a case through standard legal channels. While a case in the hands of a lawyer or filed in court may take months or even years to resolve, a case in mediation usually achieves a resolution in a matter of hours. (Time is money, literally)
    • Mediation often leads to resolutions that are tailored to the needs of all parties. Generally, the best solution to a problem is one worked out by the people themselves.
    • Many people find mediation more satisfying than a trial because they play an active role in resolving their dispute, rather than having a solution determined by a judge.
    • The mediation process is informal and completely confidential. Parties in mediation may speak more openly than in court. Many people find mediation a more comfortable and constructive process than a trial.
    • In situations where the parties have an ongoing relationship, mediation is particularly helpful because it promotes cooperative problem solving and improved communication.
    • Mediation offers multiple and flexible possibilities for resolving a dispute and for the control the parties have over the resolution. In a case filed in court, the parties will obtain a resolution, but a resolution thrust upon the parties by the judge or jury. The result probably will leave neither party to the dispute totally happy. In mediation, on the other hand, the parties have control over the resolution, and the resolution can be unique to the dispute.

    Will I be forced to attend a mediation session?

    Mediation is voluntary if it happens before a court case starts. You and the other party must be willing to try to work out a solution. You must both agree to the mediation. If you do not mediate at the beginning of your civil dispute and decide to sue in court instead, you could still later participate in a mediation session. During your court case you might be required to participate in a mediation session. Mediation is mandatory in most civil court cases in Toronto, County of Essex (Windsor) and Ottawa.

    How long is the mediation session?

    The length of time of a mediation session, and the number of sessions required, will depend on many factors, such as:

    • Number and type of issues to be mediated
    • Amount of conflict between the parties
    • Degree of communication and cooperation among the parties.

    Where is the mediation session held?

    The mediation session may be held at any location that is convenient and acceptable to the parties, including the mediator's office and the office of one of the parties or one of the lawyers.

    Do we still need lawyers?

    The mediator does not take the place of a lawyer. Each party is encouraged to get independent legal advice before and throughout the mediation process. It is very important for you to know about your legal rights and obligations and how the law affects your issues. Each party should review the final mediated agreement with his or her lawyer before signing. If you do not reach an agreement during mediation, you can start a court case or continue your court case.

    Who attends the mediation session?

    All parties should attend the mediation session. If a party is represented by a lawyer, the lawyer must also attend.

    What happens during a mediation session?

    Before the mediation session begins, the mediator explains the mediation process and reviews the terms of the mediation, which may be set out in a written "agreement to mediate". Although mediation is an informal process, the mediator structures the discussion. All parties have a chance to present their side of the story, to explain what is important to them and to ask questions. The mediator will help parties to reach a fair and lasting settlement. The mediator does not take sides or make decisions for the parties. Mediators cannot give you legal advice.

    Who pays for a mediation session and how much does it cost?

    Parties may share the cost of a mediation session. Parties pay mediators directly for their services. A mediation session is generally less expensive than suing in court.

  • TRAFFIC TICKETS

    I have got a traffic ticket, now what?

    After receiving an Offence Notice (ticket) you have three options: 1) plead guilty by paying the fine; 2) visit a court office to plead guilty but make submissions about the penalty (amount of fine or time to pay); 3) request a trial. If you do not choose one of the above options within 15 days of receiving the ticket, or if you do not appear for your trial, a Justice of the Peace will review your case and may enter a conviction without you there. It is always a good idea to consult a Paralegal.

    How many days do I have to respond once I got a traffic ticket?

    Please read and follow the instructions provided on back of the yellow ticket. Within 15 calendar days, you must choose one of the following options:

      1. Plea of guilty - payment out of court
      2. Plead guilty with an explanation
      3. Trial option or a meeting with a prosecutor

    There are two amounts on my ticket. Why?

    One amount is the set fine and the second is the total payable. The total payable consists of the set fine, court costs and the Victim Fine Surcharge. The set fine is ordered by the Chief Judge of the Ontario Court of Justice as an amount payable by the defendant in lieu of attending court to contest the charge. Court costs are an amount to be paid by the defendant for the service of the offence notice and/or summons and upon conviction of an offence. The costs are authorized by Section 60 of the Provincial Offences Act and the amount is set by regulation. Section 8 of the Provincial Offences Act provides that payment of an offence notice (ticket) constitutes a plea of guilty and results in a conviction being registered. The Victim Fine Surcharge is imposed by the Provincial Government and is added to every fine imposed under the Provincial Offences Act. The amount of the Victim Fine Surcharge is variable, and is based on the amount of the set fine. Proceeds from the surcharge are used to maintain and expand provincial services to victims of crime.

    What is the victim fine surcharge?

    • The provincial government adds a victim fine surcharge (VFS) to every non-parking fine imposed under the Provincial Offences Act. It is deposited into a special fund to help victims of crime.
    • The amount of the VFS is usually 20% of the imposed fine. For example, a $100 fine would result in a $20 surcharge. Fines over $1,000 carry a surcharge of 25%

    What does exactly Demerit Point System say?

    It is a common misconception that drivers "lose" points due to convictions for certain traffic offences. In fact, a driver begins with zero demerit points and accumulates demerit points for convictions. Demerit points stay on your record for two years from the offence date. If you collect enough points, you can lose your driver's licence. The demerit point penalties for driving offences are as follows:

    7 Points

    • Failing to remain at the scene of a collision
    • Failing to stop when signaled/requested by a police officer

    6 Points

    • Careless Driving
    • Racing
    • Exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/h or more
    • Failing to stop for a school bus

    5 Points

    • Driver of a bus failing to stop at an unprotected railway crossing

    4 Points

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 30 to 49 km/h
    • Following too closely

    3 Points

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 29 km/h
    • Failing to yield the right-of-way
    • Failing to obey the directions of a police officer
    • Failing to report a collision to a police officer
    • Crowding the driver's seat
    • Driving or operating a vehicle on a closed road
    • Failing to slow and carefully pass a stopped emergency vehicle
    • Improper passing
    • Driving through, around or under a railway crossing barrier
    • Failing to obey a stop sign, traffic control stop/slow sign, traffic light or railway crossing signal
    • Driving the wrong way on a divided road
    • Improper driving when road is divided into lanes
    • Going the wrong way on a one-way road
    • Crossing a divided road where no proper crossing is provided
    • Failing to move, where possible, into another lane when passing a stopped emergency vehicle
    • Improper use of high occupancy vehicle lane

    2 Points

    • Improper opening of a vehicle door
    • Towing people — on toboggans, bicycles, skis, etc
    • Failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing
    • Improper right turn
    • Failing to signal
    • Prohibited turns
    • Failing to obey signs
    • Failing to share the road
    • Improper left turn
    • Unnecessary slow driving
    • Reversing on a divided high-speed road
    • Driver failing to wear a seat belt
    • Driver failing to ensure that a passenger less than 23 kg is properly secured
    • Driver failing to ensure that a passenger under 16 years is wearing a seat belt
    • Failing to lower headlamp beams
    • Backing on a highway
    • Driver failing to ensure infant/child passenger is properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system or booster seat

    Demerit Points and New Drivers

    • As a Class G1, G2, M1 or M2 driver, if you get two or more demerit points, you will be sent a warning letter.
    • At six points, you may have to go to an interview to discuss your record and give reasons why your licence should not be suspended. If you don't attend, your licence may be suspended.
    • At nine points, your licence will be suspended for 60 days from the date you surrender it to the Ministry of Transportation. You can lose your licence for up to two years if you fail to surrender your licence. A driver's licence may be surrendered at any Driver & Vehicle Licence Issuing Office, Ministry of Transportation Queen's Park Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office, or mailed to:
    Ministry of Transportation
    Driver Improvement Office
    Building A, Main Floor
    2680 Keele Street
    Downsview, ON M3M 3E6
    • DriveTest centres do not accept surrendered licences for suspension purposes.
    • After the suspension, the number of points on your record will be reduced to four. Any additional points could again bring you to the interview level. If you reach nine points again, your licence can be suspended for six months from the date you surrender it to the Ministry of Transportation.

    Demerit Points and Fully Licensed Drivers

    • As a fully licensed driver, if you get six demerit points, you will be sent a warning letter.
    • At nine points, you may have to go to an interview to discuss your record and give reasons why your licence should not be suspended. If you don't attend, your licence may be suspended.
    • At 15 or more points, your licence will be suspended for 30 days from the date you surrender it to the Ministry of Transportation for the first suspension. You can lose your licence for up to two years if you fail to surrender your licence. A driver's licence may be surrendered at any Driver & Vehicle Licence Issuing Office, Ministry of Transportation Queen's Park Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office, or mailed to:
    Ministry of Transportation
    Driver Improvement Office
    Building A, Main Floor
    2680 Keele Street
    Downsview, ON M3M 3E6
    • DriveTest centres do not accept surrendered licences for suspension purposes.
    • After the suspension you may be required to complete a driver re-examination (vision, knowledge and road tests), the number of points on your record will be reduced to seven. Any extra points could again bring you to the interview level. If you reach 15 points again, your licence will be suspended for six months.

    I know that demerit points affect my insurance that is why I always pay my traffic ticket immediately.

    What most people do not realize is that insurance companies are now assessing your risk level based on how many convictions you have on your record, and of course by how serious the offences are. Demerit points DO NOT affect your insurance. But what does, is getting convicted of an offence.

    If I get demerit points, how long they are going to be on my record?

    Three years; the problem is this information most of the time stays in the Ministry of Transportation data, therefore the Insurance Companies (which have access to it) can make decisions upon your insurance renewal.

    What does the Canadian Law says about impaired driving?

    Drinking and driving in Canada is a crime. Section 253 of the Criminal Code of Canada sets out the offence of impaired driving:

    “Every one commits an offence who operates a motor vehicle or vessel or operates or assists in the operation of an aircraft or of railway equipment or has the care or control of a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment, whether it is in motion or not,

    • while the person’s ability to operate the vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment is impaired by alcohol or a drug; or
    • having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the concentration in the person’s blood exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred milliliters of blood.

    A person is guilty of impaired driving where he uses a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. The person must either use the vehicle while impaired or after his blood alcohol level was 80mg of alcohol to 100ml of blood (0.08).”

    What is No-Fault Insurance?

    The No-Fault insurance exists in Ontario and New Brunswick. "No Fault" refers to the fact that regardless of fault each person reports to their own company and companies do not sue each other to recover on certain types of losses. "No-Fault" does not literally mean that no one is "at fault". The insurance company is compelled to assess fault using the Fault Determination Rules that are part of the Insurance Act.

    Can I lose my Licence if I drive without insurance?

    You might, also do not forget that the penalty for driving without insurance are stiff. If you are having this kind of problem do not try to solve the matter by yourself, you will end up paying more than you should if you do not hire a Paralegal.

    I always pay my tickets right away, how come I have charges on my record?

    Paying your ticket automatically finds you guilty of the offence and creates a conviction on your driving record for 3 years.

    Will it affect my insurance rates if I make an accident claim?

    Assessment of rates for the most part is based on who is liable for the accident. Whether or not you claim for Accident Benefits once you have submitted a claim is not a factor when calculating rates.

    What is my deductible and when I have to pay it?

    The deductible is the amount which is shown on your Certificate of Automobile Insurance and which you agree to pay toward the cost of any claim you make, if any. The deductible applies each time a claim is made and separately to each automobile that is insured. Some sections of coverage do not have a deductible. For example, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario involving another vehicle and the other vehicle is "at-fault" for the accident, and if the other vehicle has valid insurance you will typically not be required to pay a deductible.

    What if my mailing address is different from my residential address?

    An Ontario residential address is required and will appear on your driver's licence and vehicle permits. However, the ministry will require your mailing address to send your driver's licence and vehicle permits, as well as any other future correspondence/products such as renewal notices. If your mailing address changes, please notify the ministry within six days of the change.

    What is the difference between a Part I and a Part III offence?

    A Part I offence is called an offence notice (ticket) and has an out of court settlement (fine) on it, whereas a Part III is a "Summons" (has a date on which you must attend court to answer to the charge(s)). Part I matters require you to request a court date (if you want to fight your ticket), they are often minor offences and the court penalty is kept at a minimum. Court penalties for Part III offences are more severe and can involve licence suspensions, jail time, heavy fines etc.

    How do I fill out a Notice of Intention to Appear?

    If your ticket says that you must attend court to request a trial, then you will be required to complete a Notice of Intention to Appear at the court office. It is vital that the information recorded on this document is written neatly, correctly and completely to ensure that notification, when mailed, will be directed properly.

    What happens if I ignore my ticket?

    If you do not respond to the ticket within 15 days, you may be convicted of the offence you are charged with. If you are convicted you would be required to pay the set fine, court costs and, if it is not a parking ticket, the victim fine surcharge by the due date. Failure to pay the fine imposed upon conviction by the due date will result in one or more of the following:

    • For certain offences, including parking infractions, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation could refuse to issue or validate your vehicle permit
    • For certain offences, including speeding, your driver's licence could be suspended
    • You will be charged an additional administrative fee
    • Your defaulted fine will be referred to a collection agency
    • Your defaulted fine information will be given to a credit bureau.

    What if I need more time to pay a fine?

    • If you need more time to pay a provincial offence fine, visit the court office noted on the back of your ticket.
    • If you just received the ticket but cannot pay right away, you will be required to see a Justice of the Peace to plead guilty but ask for extra time to pay.
    • If you have already been convicted, you will be asked to fill out a form that will be reviewed by a Justice of the Peace. This form will require you to fill in all of the information regarding your ticket including how much you have paid so far and a specific date that you would like it extended to.

    What happens if I don't pay my fine in full?

    Failure to pay your fine in full could result in a conviction being entered against you. Upon conviction you will be required to pay the set fine including court costs and the applicable victim fine surcharge by the due date. Failure to pay the fine imposed upon conviction by the due date will result in one or more of the following:

    • Refusal by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation to issue validation of your vehicle permit
    • Refusal by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation to issue a vehicle permit
    • Driver's licence suspension
    • An additional administrative fee
    • The defaulted fine information is provided to a credit bureau.

    What do I do if I cannot attend a trial?

    To change a Trial Date you have 3 options:

    1. Where this is the first request for an adjournment the defendant must attend the court office where his/ her trial is being held at least five (5) business days in advance of the scheduled trial to request an Adjournment of First Trial Date with the a Clerk of Court. The clerk will complete Request for Adjournment of First Trial Date and defendant will have to deliver completed form to prosecutor’s office to obtain their consent before the clerk can assign a new date. This can be accomplished with one visit to the court administration office.
    2. Where option 1 does not apply the defendant must attend the court office where your trial is being held at least five (5) business days in advance of the scheduled trial and file a Notice of Motion to change their trial date. This will also require you to return to court to have this Motion heard.
    3. You or your agent (another individual over the age of 16) can attend the trial date that has been set and request the presiding Justice of the Peace for an adjournment and give the reasons why you could not attend.

    What is the traffic ticket process?

    After being served a traffic ticket you have three options

    1. Pays fine - a conviction is registered
    2. Pleads guilty with explanation - a conviction is registered
    3. Attends court office to file a request for trial (must complete a Notice of Intention to Appear) and/or meet with a prosecutor.

    If you do not exercise one of the above options within 15 days, or if you do not appear for your trial, a Justice of the Peace will review your case and may enter a conviction in your absence.

    What is a reopening and how is it processed?

    A reopening is a process for people to follow if they feel they have been convicted of a Part I (minor traffic matter) or Part II (parking matter) through no fault of their own. The reopening must be requested at the administration office of the court address indicated on the back of your ticket. Once the paperwork is complete the person requesting the reopening will see a Justice of the Peace. If a reopening is granted, the original conviction and fine are struck and a new trial is given, normally at the same time. A reopening can be requested at the appropriate court office Monday to Friday (except holidays) between 8:30 AM and 2:00 PM. Please note that large volumes may necessitate a cut off earlier than 2:00 PM at the instructions of the Judiciary.

    Can I serve time in jail rather than paying my outstanding fines?

    No. Serving time in jail is not an option.

    What is disclosure?

    Disclosure is a procedure whereby the defendant is provided with copies of all evidentiary documentation which will be used by the Prosecutor at trial.

    How do I order disclosure?

    Attend a court location and fill out a Request for Disclosure form. To avoid inconvenience to you, you should apply for disclosure as soon as possible.

    What happens if I am found guilty?

    You will be sentenced. Your sentence could include a fine, probation, court order, by-law related order, licence suspension, imprisonment or any combination thereof. You will receive a document entitled "Notice of Fine and Due Date". However, if you do not receive this document, you are still responsible to pay the fine within the time period granted by the Justice of the Peace.

    How do I file an appeal of the Court's decision?

    You must file an appeal on a Part I matter within 15 days of the conviction date and within 30 days of the conviction date on Part III matters. The fine must be paid in full or an application to file an appeal without paying the fine must be completed before filing the appeal. If you are past the allotted time, you may also apply for an extension of time to appeal under Section 85 of the Provincial Offences Act. A Provincial Judge must grant both the application to file appeal without paying the fine and the application for extension of time to appeal. Appeal documents may be obtained from any Ministry of the Attorney General court office.

    I tried to renew my licence plate but I was told that I have an outstanding fine, what should I do?

    In Provincial Offences Court, plate denials only apply to parking offences. Since all parking offence matters rest with the local municipality, you should contact the municipality in which you received the parking offence.

    Do I have to report any accident to an insurance company?

    Each party involved in an accident reports to their own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. As part of the Ontario policy, you agree to inform your insurance company of any accident involving the automobile that must be reported to the police under the Highway Traffic Act or for which you intend to make a claim under the policy. The Highway Traffic Act of Ontario indicates that you must report any accident that involves an injury, and must report any accident in which the total damages to all vehicles and property is greater than $1000. You must notify your insurance company within 7 days after the accident, or if unable, as soon as possible after that.

    What information do I have to get at the scene of an accident?

    After an accident, it is important for you to obtain complete information on the other party or parties involved. For example,

    • all vehicle information
    • Licence plate numbers
    • All names, addresses, and phone numbers
    • drivers licence numbers for the other involved drivers
    • the location of the accident, e.g. major intersections
    • police information (if they attended the scene)

    If the police have attended the scene, it is reasonable to assume that they will secure much of the above information. It is important that you get the officer's name, badge number and report number so that we can get the police report.

  • Highway Traffic Act

    Why is it needed to Yield to Bus?

    The law makes mandatory to Yield to Bus. Yield to Bus is a new provincial law designed to improve transit flow and make transit service more reliable and efficient. The new law requires drivers to yield the right-of-way to buses leaving bus bays to merge with the traffic. It is very difficult to keep a bus on schedule when other drivers don't let the bus back into the travel lane. The new law makes it easier for buses to merge back into traffic and helps to keep buses on schedule. This law improves transit service reliability, especially during rush hours.

    What if I drive a taxi or a truck, do I have to yield to buses as well?

    Yes. The law applies to "every driver of a vehicle". That includes cars, taxis, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and other buses.

    What are the child safety seat and booster seat requirements?

    Everyone including parents, grandparents, relatives or friends, who drives with a child under the age of 8 who weighs less than 36 kg (80 lb.) and stands less than 145 cm (4 ft. 9 in.) tall is required to ensure the child is properly secured in the appropriate child safety seat or booster seat based on his/her height and weight.

    When can a child start using a seatbelt alone?

    A child can start using a seatbelt alone once any one of the following criteria is met:

    • Child turns eight years old
    • Child weighs 36 kg (80 lbs.)
    • Child is 145 cm (57 ins. or 4 ft. 9 ins.) tall

    As a guide, a seat belt may only be used if a child is able to sit with legs bent comfortably over the vehicle seat and with his or her back fully against the back of the vehicle seat. The shoulder belt must lie flat across the child's shoulder and chest, and should not cross over the child's neck. The lap portion of the belt should be positioned low over the hips, not the abdomen.

    What is the penalty for non-compliance with the child car/booster seat laws?

    Drivers who fail to secure or who improperly secure children may be charged and, upon conviction, will be fined $110.00 and have two demerit points applied to their driving record.

    What do I do if there are not enough seat belts for the number of passengers I want to carry in my vehicle, i.e. car pooling or taking a group of children out?

    Remember, it is the law that the driver and passengers travelling in a motor vehicle must wear a seat belt or be in the appropriate child car seat. You must limit the number of occupants in your vehicle to the number of seat belts - one person, one seat belt.

    When I am travelling in a taxi, must I wear a seat belt and must my child be restrained in a child safety seat?

    You must wear a seat belt and, in fact, you could be fined for not buckling up. It is the taxi owner's responsibility to ensure that the seat belt is available and in good working order. The law does not require the taxi owner to provide a child safety seat so it is advisable to travel with your own child car seat.

    My car is damaged because of construction on a provincial highway. How can I get reimbursed for my repair costs?

    Please mail your claim showing the location, date, time and nature of the incident along with other supporting documentation such as estimates, bills, etc., to the address below. If you wish to fax your claim, you must follow through with a mailed copy.

    Ministry of Government Services
    Risk Management Insurance Services
    700 University Avenue, 6th Floor
    Toronto, ON M7A 2S4
    Tel: 416-314-3445
    Fax: 416-314-3444

    How do I report potholes on our highways?

    If you wish to report the location of potholes or other highway maintenance problems, contact the Ministry District Office in your area. Please note that the ministry is responsible for the maintenance of provincial highways (401, QEW etc.). For local or regional roads, contact the municipality involved. See the Blue Pages for the telephone numbers. To file a complaint about potholes or general road conditions call MTO INFO at 416-235-4686 or toll-free at 1-800-268-4686. (TTY: 905-704-2426 or 1-866-471-8929). For up-to-date information on current highway conditions due to weather or construction, please call Road Information toll free at 1-800-268-4686 (TTY: 1-866-471-8929) or in the Toronto calling area 416-235-4686 (TTY: 905-704-2426).

     

  • New Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation takes effect on July 1, 2014

    What is electronic address harvesting?

    Address harvesting refers to various techniques used to automatically compile lists of electronic addresses (e.g. email addresses) for bulk electronic mail-outs. This can be done by the spammers themselves or other entities (some known as electronic address harvesters) who then sell address lists.

    How can I know that my address has been harvested?

    While it’s very difficult and often impossible to know for sure, you can suspect you’ve been a target of address harvesting if you experience a significant increase in spam, either actually delivered to your electronic account or blocked by your spam filter.

    If I can’t tell whether or not my address has been harvested, how can I alert your Office and trigger an investigation?

    If you have reason to believe that your electronic address may have been harvested, you are encouraged to submit your concerns to the Spam Reporting Centre via fightspam.gc.ca. The OPC’s investigations may be triggered based on analysis of accumulated submissions from many users and/or information received from domestic and international partners.

    Under Canada’s anti-spam law (CASL), what should I do if I suspect my address was harvested?

    Once CASL is in force, make a submission and send details of the incident to the Spam Reporting Centre. Submissions received by the Centre will help the Office of the Privacy Commissioner determine whether there are reasonable grounds for launching formal investigations.

    Personal information collection through illicit access to computer systems

    What is the collection of personal information through illicit access to other people’s computer systems?

    This refers to computer programs known as malware or spyware that collect personal information and are downloaded and remotely installed on a computer without the user’s knowledge.

    Some kinds of spyware gather information about web-browsing.

    Others can collect information about user computer activities and send that data to someone else via the Internet. This can include “keylogging”, the recording of individual keystrokes to capture things like passwords and credit card numbers.

    Certain types of malware meanwhile can take the form of a virus specifically designed to harvest addresses from a user’s e-mail address book or instant messaging programs.

    How can I know that my computer or device is infected with spyware?

    Here are some warning signs of a spyware infection:

    • a barrage of pop-up ads, even if your computer isn’t connected to the Internet;
    • a hijacked browser that goes to sites different from those typed into the address box;
    • sluggish performance when opening programs or saving files;
    • a sudden or repeated change in your Internet home page;
    • your web browser suddenly closes and stops responding;
    • random error messages;
    • new and unexpected toolbars; and
    • new and unexpected icons in the system tray at the bottom of your computer screen.

    How do I know if spyware on my computer or device has been collecting personal information?

    Again, as with address harvesting, you may not know for sure. However if someone has taken the trouble to install spyware on your computer, it’s highly probable that personal information has been collected and relayed elsewhere.

    To delve deeper, once CASL comes into force, send details of your concerns to the Spam Reporting Centre via fightspam.gc.ca. Submissions received by the Centre will help the Office of the Privacy Commissioner determine whether there are reasonable grounds for launching formal investigations of parties who are likely using spyware to collect personal information.

    Reports, investigation and enforcement

    What should I submit to the SRC to help investigations into electronic address harvesting and the collection of personal information through illicit access to other people’s computer systems?

    Following July 1, to make a submission, go to fightspam.gc.ca, click on the link to the Spam Reporting Centre’s consumer interface and fill out the form.

    Will I be contacted following the submission of my report?

    You will be asked to provide contact information, however you will not be contacted in order to acknowledge receipt. Instead, one of the enforcement agencies mandated with enforcing CASL may contact you to support an investigation that may follow.

    Why shouldn’t I just file a complaint dealing with electronic harvesting or spyware directly with the OPC?

    It is important that you submit your concerns about email address harvesting, spyware and other similar electronic threats to the Spam Reporting Centre.

    The Spam Reporting Centre is the central repository for information about spam-related activity and threats. While a submission from a single individual about a possible contravention may not provide sufficient evidence to enable the OPC to open an investigation, the collective submissions of many Canadians will help identify possible organizations contravening the legislation which may warrant action.

    Your submission may also be a matter of interest under the CASL mandates of either the CRTC or the Competition Bureau.

    How will the OPC investigate incidents of electronic address harvesting and the collection of personal information through illicit access to other people’s computer systems?

    Analysis of the accumulated reports along with information received from domestic and international partners will greatly assist the OPC identifying email harvesters and spyware that collects personal information. Based on this information, the OPC will determine whether there are reasonable grounds to launch an investigation.

    What penalties can the OPC use to enforce its responsibilities under CASL?

    The OPC can investigate alleged contraventions of PIPEDA and issue reports setting out its findings and recommendations. Where possible, the OPC seeks to obtain voluntary compliance with its recommendations. The OPC does not have the power to issue orders or to impose penalties for contraventions of PIPEDA. However, if an organization fails to comply with the OPC’s recommendation, the OPC may apply to the Federal Court to obtain an order compelling an organization to correct its practices.

    For businesses

    What if I hired a supplier to do something like email marketing? Is my business accountable for work done by a third party on my behalf?

    Yes. Your business must make sure any third party whom you employ complies with the provisions of CASL and PIPEDA.

    What questions should I ask of e-mail marketers who may be carrying out work for me to help ensure that I don’t run afoul of the electronic address harvesting provision?

    Ask them to explain – in detail – where they get the e-mail addresses they will use to promote your business. If the list was purchased from elsewhere, then ask the marketers to explain how the e-mail addresses were originally gathered and how consent was obtained as required under CASL. For more information on this, please consult the CRTC’s resource page at www.crtc.gc.ca/antispam.

    Email and other electronic messaging is an important way for me to reach and stay in touch with my customers. How can I ensure that I do this without breaking the law?

    While there are some exceptions, in order to send people commercial electronic messages, you need to have their consent, an area in CASL over which the CRTC has responsibility.

    What are the guidelines about gaining proper consent?

    Under CASL, the CRTC is responsible for the rules regarding the sending of commercial electronic messages and appropriate consent.

    Sending Messages

    Does the new Anti-Spam Legislation prohibit me from sending marketing messages?

    No. Rather, it sets out some requirements for sending a certain type of message, called a commercial electronic message (CEM), to an electronic address.

    If you are sending a CEM to an electronic address, then you need to comply with three requirements. You need to: (1) obtain consent, (2) provide identification information, and (3) provide an unsubscribe mechanism.

    Section 6 of CASL applies to a commercial electronic message (CEM) that is sent to an electronic address. If both of these elements exist, then section 6 applies.

    Section 6 does not apply if the CEM is not sent to an electronic address, as defined in the legislation. Also, section 6 of CASL does not apply to interactive two-way voice communication between individuals, nor does it apply to faxes or voice recordings sent to a telephone account. However, other requirements outside of CASL may apply in situations like these, such as the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.

    What is CEM?

    A key question to ask yourself is the following: Is the message I am sending a CEM? Is one of the purposes to encourage the recipient to participate in commercial activity?

    When determining whether a purpose is to encourage participation in commercial activity, some parts of the message to look at are:

    • the content of the message
    • any hyperlinks in the message to website content or a database, and
    • contact information in the message.

    These parts of the message are not determinative. For example, the simple inclusion of a logo, a hyperlink or contact information in an email signature does not necessarily make an email a CEM. Conversly, a tagline in a message that promotes a product or service that encourages the recipient to purchase that product or service would make the message a CEM.

    Some examples of CEMs include:

    • offers to purchase, sell, barter or lease a product, goods, a service, land or an interest or right in land;
    • offers to provide a business, investment or gaming opportunity;
    • promoting a person, including the public image of a person, as being a person who does anything referred to above, or who intends to do so.

    What is an electronic address?

    An electronic address is defined in CASL as being: an email account, a telephone account, an instant messaging account, and any other similar account.

    Some social media accounts may constitute a 'similar account'. Whether a "similar account" is an electronic address depends on the specific circumstances of the account in question. For example, a typical advertisement placed on a website or blog post would not be captured. In addition, whether communication using social media fits the definition of "electronic address," must be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending upon, for example, how the specific social media platform in question functions and is used. For example, a Facebook wall post would not be captured. However, messages sent to other users using a social media messaging system (e.g., Facebook messaging and LinkedIn messaging), would qualify as sending messages to "electronic addresses."

    Websites, blogs and micro-blogging would typically not be considered to be electronic addresses.

    Does CASL apply to messages sent by non-profit organizations?

    Yes, CASL applies to activities of non-profit organizations, such as sending commercial electronic messages (CEMs) and installing computer programs. However, there is an exemption under the Governor-in-Council Regulations for CEMs sent by or on behalf of a registered charity, as defined under the Income Tax Act, where the primary purpose of the CEMs is to raise funds for the charity.

    How can I obtain express consent?

    Consent can be obtained either in writing or orally. In either case, the onus is on the person who is sending the message to prove they have obtained consent to send the message.

    The CRTC has issued information bulletins to provide guidance and examples of recommended or best practices. Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin CRTC 2012-548, among other things, helps explain what information is to be included in a request for consent. The Bulletin also suggests some key considerations that may make tracking or recording consent easier, and therefore, may make it easier to prove consent. They are:

    • whether consent was obtained in writing or orally,
    • when it was obtained,
    • why it was obtained, and
    • the manner in which it was obtained.

    The examples provided in the information bulletin are not exhaustive. They are simply examples of recommended or best practices. They may not necessarily be appropriate in every situation. Compliance will be examined on a case-by-case basis in light of the specific circumstances of a given situation.

    How do I show that I have consent to send a commercial electronic message?

    The onus is on the person who claims that they have consent to prove that they have such consent. Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin CRTC 2012-548 provides a few examples on how one can prove they have obtained express consent. Note that the examples provided are not exhaustive; they are simply practices that the Commission considers to be compliant with the legislation. Other practices may satisfy legal requirements imposed by CASL. However, their adequacy will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in light of the specific circumstances of a given situation.

    Someone gives me a business card: is that clear consent to add them to my distribution list?

    You may have their implied consent to send them CEMs, as long as:

    • the message relates to the recipient's role, functions or duties in an official or business capacity; and
    • the recipient has not made a statement when handing you the business card that they do not wish to receive promotional or marketing messages (CEMs) at that address.

    It is important to remember that the onus is on the sender to prove they received consent. Recall that consent under CASL is also implied if you have an existing business relationship, existing non-business relationship with the person. Compliance will be examined on a case-by-case basis in light of the specific circumstances of a given situation.

    I conduct my business from home. Do I need to disclose my home address to fulfill the identification requirements?

    No, you do not need to provide your home address. You can provide another valid mailing address as long as you can be contacted at that address. Please refer to paragraph 9 of Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin CRTC 2012-548 for more information. Of note, that Information Bulletin explains that a mailing address includes not only a street address, but also a P.O. Box, rural route address, or general delivery address.

    I have a limited amount of characters that I can use when sending a message. What should I do if I cannot include all the required information in the commercial electronic message (CEM)?

    Where it is not practicable to include this information in the body of a CEM, then a hyperlink to a webpage containing this information is an acceptable practice as long as the webpage is readily accessible at no cost to the recipient of the CEM. The link to the webpage must be clearly and prominently set out in the CEM.

    For more information, refer to sections 2 and 3 of the Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations (CRTC) and Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin CRTC 2012-548.

    What is unsubscribe mechanism?

    Under CASL, you must include an unsubscribe mechanism in the commercial electronic messages (CEMs) that you send. For example, a CEM sent via SMS may state that an end-user can unsubscribe by texting the word "STOP." Another possibility is a hyperlink that is included clearly and prominently in an email that allows the end-user to unsubscribe by simply clicking it. The hyperlink may also be to a webpage that is readily accessible without delay and is at no cost to the recipient.

    You can set up your unsubscribe mechanism in many different ways. It can be broad or very granular. For example, you can offer a choice to the recipient, allowing them to unsubscribe from all or just some types of CEMs your organization sends.

    A key aspect is that an unsubscribe mechanism must be "readily performed." It should be simple, quick and easy for the end-user.

    For examples of acceptable unsubscribe mechanisms under CASL, please see Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin CRTC 2012-548.