15 little transitions for the Canada Day weekend

Canada Day is the midpoint in the calendar year, and as we mark the holiday weekend, various changes, bylaws and new rules will come into effect across the country.
The Canadian flag flies near the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. As Canadians mark the Canada Day weekend, rules for new or would-be Canadians are among several changes taking place. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Canada Day is the midpoint in the calendar year, and as we mark the holiday weekend, various changes, bylaws and new rules will come into effect across the country.

Here are 15 changes that will affect Canadians in different parts of the country.

1. Are you an Ottawa smoker? A smoking ban in Ottawa for patios, public parks and public beaches will reach the end of its warning phase. City officials will begin cracking down on offenders starting July 2. The ban includes cigarettes, cigars and hookahs (water pipes).

2. Do you ride a motorcycle in B.C.? British Columbia law banning novelty helmets — "beanies" or "skullcaps" — comes into effect. Motorcycle riders will be required to wear helmets that follow the province's safety regulations.

3. Are you a senior living in N.W.T. subsidized housing? Seniors living in the Northwest Territories will no longer be provided free housing by the government. The territory’s housing corporation will implement a new rent scale where seniors’ rents will be calculated, like everyone else’s, based on household income.

4. Do you make a living behind the wheel in Quebec? The province will implement a new law stating that professional drivers, such as taxi and bus drivers, who are found consuming any alcohol on the job will have their licences suspended for 24 hours.

5. Have you arranged a designated driver for your Canada Day celebrations in Alberta? Penalties for drinking and driving become tougher. The amount of alcohol a driver can consume before getting behind the wheel won't change, but consequences will.

6. Ontario science in the summer? The Ontario Science Centre in Toronto will increase its general admission fee for adults from $20 to $22, but won't change prices for children, youth, seniors or adult tickets to Imax movies.

7. T.O. trash takeout? Toronto residents will no longer have to pay five cents for a plastic bag after this weekend. The city's decision to ban the bags will come into effect in 2013.

8. Are you an Ontario airport taxi or limo driver? Taxis and airport limos will be allowed to use Ontario's high occupancy vehicle lanes whether they have passengers in tow or not.

9. Planning a traditional Asian banquet in Mississauga? A bylaw will come into effect in Mississauga, Ont., banning the possession, sale and consumption of shark fin products. Shark fin soup is a highly prized Asian dish for special occasions.

10. Are you paying a lot for your generic medication? Alberta is reducing the cost of generic drugs to 35 per cent of the equivalent brand price.

11. Do you have children in Manitoba daycare? Parents will pay more for daycare as Manitoba raises the maximum amount daycares can charge by as much as $1 a day.

12. Special occasion liquor permits for an Ontario event? The final changes to Ontario's liquor laws will kick in this weekend. Starting Sunday, organizers of multiple-day events will only have to apply for one permit and will be able to carry over the liquor portion from one day to the next. The changes also make it easier to obtain special occasion permits by allowing any Liquor Control Board of Ontario store to process applications.

13. Looking for answers in Alberta? The province's libraries will close down the "Ask a Question" internet service which has operated for the past 12 years.

14. Are you an Ontario homeowner with a disability? The home repair benefit for homeowners in the Ontario Disability Support Program who need to make emergency repairs, such as damage caused by disasters or roof leaks, will be cancelled.

15. Are you in the Saskatchewan film industry? The province will kill a film and television tax credit that offers productions a financial incentive to shoot in the province.