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Updated: 6th January 2019 17:50

8 changes coming to Alberta on Canada Day weekend

Some of the rich get a little poorer, the poorest seniors get a tiny bit richer, some would-be Canadians face a longer wait and MPs come out ahead as usual in our list of changes that occur this Canada Day weekend.

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)

As the midpoint in the calendar year, and a nationally symbolic one at that, June 30 and July 1 are dates on which new regulations or tax changes often come into effect or current ones expire and quarterly adjustments are made to some government programs.

Here's a look at some of the changes coming into effect in Alberta on July 1:

  • Pharmacists may offer medical services such as prescription renewals, injections and others
  • Reduced prices for generic drugs
  • Reinstatement of chiropractic coverage for seniors
  • Stiffer penalties for drivers with blood alcohol over .08, which includes an immediate license suspension
  • Changes to the Alberta Insurance Act, which extended limitation periods, strengthened consumer protection and revised rules to various legal processes
  • Closure of "Ask a Question," a service offered by Alberta libraries for the past 12 years
  • Inflation-adjusted Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit rates. Maximum income level eligibility raised to $34,897
  • Parents may force their severely drug-addicted teens into longer detox programs

Other changes happening this holiday weekend in Canada and beyond:

  • Tobacco products for sale anywhere in the Canadian market must carry the federal excise stamp 
  • The maximum basic Old Age Security benefit paid to people age 65 or older rises $4.86 a month to $544.98 for people making less than $69,562 a year
  • Refugees will no longer receive dental and vision care and will have reduced prescription drug coverage
  • MPs' pension fund will be $23 million richer
  • Most applicants for semi- and low-skilled professions under the Provincial Nominee Program will have to undergo testing and meet mandatory minimum language standards in English or French
  • An immediate freeze under the Skilled Worker Program and the Immigrant Investor Program to reduce the backlog of applicants seeking to come to Canada under those programs

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