Although the act is now law, most of it — in fact, almost all of it — is not in force, and will not come into force except by order in council in, according to the Attorney General, 12 to 18 months.
Section 482 of the act sets out a table showing which parts of the act are in force now, and which will come into effect later on. Effective immediately:
- Family Relations Act, s. 90 (parental support) is repealed
- Family Relations Act, s. 120.1 (property agreements of unmarried parties) is repealed
- Land (Spouse Protection) Act, ss. 1, 3, 5 and 6 are amended to make the act apply to persons who have cohabited in marriage-like relationship for at least two years
- Property Transfer Tax Act, s. 1 is amended to make the act apply to persons who have cohabited in marriage-like relationship for at least two years
- Evidence Act, ss. 6, 7 and 8 are amended to make "spouses" competent witnesses, not just husbands and wives
In addition, references to "husband and wife" or "a man and a woman" are changed to "spouse" or "two people" in the Family Relations Act, the Industrial Roads Act, the Insurance (Vehicle) Act, the Law and Equity Act, the Marriage Act, the Members' Conflict of Interest Act, the Property Law Act, the School Act, the Wills Act, and the Workers Compensation Act,
References to "father" and "mother" are changed to "parent" in the Mental Health Act, the Property Transfer Tax Act, the School Act, and the Workers Compensation Act.
Other minor amendments less susceptible to generalization are made to the Adoption Act and the Name Act.
The Attorney General's office has posted a new webpage with background to the new act, the past discussion papers including the white paper, and news releases.