The new year has begun with several new laws throughout the Maritimes in early 2021 concerning driving, taxes and healthcare.
The fine for distracted driving in New Brunswick doubled to $280 on Jan. 1, while the fine for driving past a school bus with flashing lights doubled to $480.
As of January, police in New Brunswick can impose zero-tolerance provisions of the law on new drivers following a standard field sobriety test. Additionally, drivers in the province, who encounter a public or private utility vehicle with flashing lights, must move over one lane and slow down to at least half the posted speed limit.
Several tax changes are taking effect on Prince Edward Island, including an increase in the low-income reduction threshold and a reduction in the small business tax. Additionally, a new $500 tax credit is available to P.E.I. parents and guardians to claim for youth activities promoting a healthy lifestyle.
In Nova Scotia, history will be made on Jan. 18 when the province becomes the first jurisdiction in North America to adopt presumed consent for organ donation – meaning almost every resident will be considered an organ donor unless they opt out.
Meanwhile, throughout Canada, $1, $2, $25, $500, and $1,000 banknotes will stop being accepted as legal tender. The bills can still be redeemed for their full value directly through the Bank of Canada.