Ontario premier discusses importance of cross-border trade with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
Kathleen Wynne: Facebook
#KathleenWynne, #WilburRoss, #NAFTA, #NorthAmericanFreeTradeAgreement, #Washington, #D.C, #ThomasO.EndersMemorialLecture, #JohnsHopkinsUniversity,
Toronto, Sep 16 (Canadian-Media): Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne met with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in Washington, D.C., U.S. last week to discuss with productive dialogue as the third round of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) -- which came into effect on January 1, 1994, creating the largest free trade region in the world aiming to raise the standard of living for the people of all three member countries -- negotiations was approaching, media reports said.
Wynne was reported to say that the focus of their conversation was the importance of cross-border trade in creating jobs, delivering benefits to workers, businesses and consumers and she brought forward the issue about the dependency of families in more than 260 communities across our province on forestry and paper sectors and added,
"Secretary Ross and I also discussed the opportunities presented by a renewed NAFTA -- one that reflects our fast-paced, innovation-driven global business climate. I also expressed Ontario's confidence in the three countries' ability to reach, a deal that will benefit people and businesses across North America."
Wilbur Ross: Facebook
While in Washington, Wynne said she had the honour to deliver the 2017-2018 Thomas O. Enders Memorial Lecture at Johns Hopkins University.
Wynne continued to say that she had shared a clear message with U.S. partners in the past few months considering both Ontario and the U.S. have many common goals, and free trade and open borders enabling success in the partnership.
She said that over the past eight months she had met and spoken with dozens of governors, senators, members of Congress and members of state assemblies and added,
"Every one of them has agreed that North America works best when we work together...but as provinces and states we too have a voice and a key advocacy role to play...and will continue to engage with partners across North America to advocate for free trade and cross-border partnership and said that she remained confident that a renewed NAFTA will "continue to support good jobs and economic growth here in Ontario and we remain committed to making sure that people and businesses across the province have every possible opportunity to get ahead."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#TorontoTransitCommission, #Toronto, #Montreal, #Vancouver, #Joe Mihevc, #Kevin Morton, #Andy Byford
Toronto, Sep 6 (Canadian-Media): The result of findings of high concentrations of pollutants in the TTC’s underground lines -- released earlier this year by the journal Environmental Science & Technology -- prompted Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to invest $500,000 to study air quality in the subway system, media reports said.
According to the study, reported TheStar, concentrations of fine particulate matter on the Toronto subway system were found to be approximately 10 times the level found outside TTC stations and almost thrice higher than those on Montreal’s Metro and five times greater than those on Vancouver’s SkyTrain.
Kevin Morton, secretary-treasurer of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 -- whose union is the TTC’s largest – said, “I don’t believe that (subway air is) safe for the worker who works there eight to 10 hours a day. I think it has long-term, detrimental effects on a worker’s health.”
Councillor Joe Mihevc, board member of TTC was quoted as saying, ““I think that you want to improve the quality in air systems wherever they are, and of course the TTC, there are hundreds of thousands of people who use it every day, so you want to make sure that that subway is functioning well, from an air quality point of view”.
Third-party consultants appointed, reported TTC board, to conduct the study over a one-year period will measure pollution levels in the subway system air as well as monitor the exposure of the transit workers who spend the most time underground.
Three air quality studies had been conducted by The TTC but the last one was done back in 1995.
Andy Byford, the CEO admitted that air quality studies by TTC should be done more frequently than every 22 years, but he said he was confident the new data would show that “not only is the air safe, but air quality has actually improved.”
Byford was quoted by the CityNews as saying, “We have been removing detraitis from the tunnel, clearing the tunnel walls of what’s called ‘tunnel fur’ which hasn’t been done before, to my knowledge,” said Byford. “We’ve also finished the rollout of the rocket trains. We’ve removed lots of garbage from the stations, which can potentially cause fire or dust.”
Toronto Public Health will reportedly carry out a separate assessment to determine the health risks posed to members of the public.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Charles Souza: Facebook
#CharlesSousa, #StatisticsCanada, #GrossDomesticProduct, #GDP, #InternationalMonetaryFund, #IMF
Ottawa, Aug 14 (Canadian-Media): 2017-18 First Quarter Finances released yesterday by Ontario government confirmed Ontario’s budget to be on track to balance the budget this year, with total revenue of $141.8 billion, up $145 million from the 2017 Budget, a news release report said.
Ontario would be able to invest, continued the release, in the programs and services needed most by the people and families including better health care, opening of new hospitals and free prescription medications for everyone under 25 through OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare.
Approximately 100,000 more kids will have access to high quality, licensed child care, the release continued, and seniors can stay active and engaged in their communities, with access to new and improved facilities.
“Supporting ongoing economic growth is a top priority for our government. We are encouraged by the influx of many innovative and dynamic businesses that are investing across the province, bringing good jobs, higher wages and greater prosperity to our communities. We will continue to implement our balanced plan to build a healthy and sustainable economy for all of Ontario,” Charles Sousa, Ontario Minister of Finance was quoted by the release.
Ontario’s real gross domestic product (GDP), reported by Statistics Canada increased 1percent in the first quarter (January, February, March) of 2017 -- with solid growth in business investment and consumer spending, following a 0.5 percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Based on production by industry, reported Statistics Canada, Ontario real GDP expanded 1.3% in the first quarter, following a gain of 0.3% in the previous quarter. Both the goods (+1.7%) and service (+1.2%) industries contributed to first quarter growth.
Ontario’s net debt-to-GDP ratio for the year is reportedly projected to be 37.5 percent, unchanged from the 2017 Budget forecast.
Ontario's real GDP growth of one percent in the first quarter of 2017, outperformed that of Canada, the United States and all other G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) which are seven major advanced economies as reported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Created in 1945, said official reports, IMF is governed by and accountable to the 189 countries to foster cooperation between global monetary fund in securing financial stability to facilitate international trade and reduce poverty around the world.
Ontario’s employment reportedly advanced by 3,700 in the second quarter of 2017, following a gain of 36,400 in the first quarter.
As of July 2017, Ontario’s unemployment rate is reported to be 6.1 percent and has been below the national average for 28 consecutive months.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#CBSCorp, # ColumbiaBroadcastingSystem, # digitalstreamingservice, # CBSAllAccess, # LeslieMoonves
Toronto, Aug 9 (Canadian-Media): An American commercial mass media company, CBS Corp -- that creates content and distributes it to audiences, around the world, across a variety of platforms -- had been planning to expand its digital streaming service in Canada in 2018, media reports said.
CBC, earlier known as Columbia Broadcasting System (CBC) is a broadcast television network that is a flagship property of CBS Corporation, official reports said.
Its businesses reportedly include CBS Television Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International, CBS Television Distribution, CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBS Interactive, CBS Films, Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, Pop (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Lionsgate), Smithsonian Networks, Simon & Schuster, CBS Television Stations, CBS Radio and CBS EcoMedia.
CBS All Access -- an over-the-top subscription streaming video on demand service owned and operated by CBS -- was launched in the US in October 2014 and gave access to subscribers to watch the network's entire catalogue of more than 9,000 episodes with expectations of four million subscribers by the end of the year, CBCNews reports said.
CBS All Access is expected to allow subscribers, continued the reports, to access CBSN, a 24/7 news service's select specialty channels owned by CBS, such as Showtime -- without needing a cable television subscription -- from the network's daytime, prime time and late-night content.
"CBS All Access is growing faster than we anticipated domestically, and now represents a whole new opportunity internationally as well," CBS chair Leslie Moonves said.
"By going direct to consumer around the world, we will facilitate new connections between the global audience and our industry-leading premium content," News reports said.
Like Netflix, said the reports, different shows would be available at different times in different regions subject to the type of license-sharing deals signed by the subscribers.
Digital rights to many CBS shows in Canada are owned by Canadian broadcasters because some CBS shows are already available on Netflix in Canada.
Bell Media, for example, had acquired -- reported last year -- the exclusive rights to the forthcoming CBS Show Star Trek: Discovery in Canada and the show, it was announced, would be later available to stream on Bell's streaming service, CraveTV.
But uncertainty looms regarding the quantity and availability of CBS's current, future or past offerings at launch.
The outcome of content that's already available on other services, said reports, was also uncertain.
The cost of the service is $5.99 US a month in the US and pricing details for Canada was not mentioned in CBS's release on Monday.
Canada had been identified as the first foreign market more details are pending.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Brad Duguid: Twitter
#StatisticsCanada, #LabourForceSurvey, #Gross Domestic Product, #GDP
Ottawa, Aug 07 (Canadian-Media): Ontario’s economic boost by an addition of 25,500 Jobs in July (17,600 full-time jobs and 7,900 part-time jobs) resulting in Ontario’s strong economical growth and pushed unemployment rate below the national average for 28 consecutive months, media reports said.
The unemployment rate declined, according to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey of July 2017, by 0.2 percentage points to 6.3 percent, the lowest rate since October 2008.
Increase in Ontario's employment by 137,900 year over year, continued the release, was mainly due to gains in the information, culture and recreation, wholesale and retail trade and business, building and other support services sectors.
This resulted in an increase in employment in many economic regions of Ontario such as Muskoka-Kawarthas, Hamilton-Niagara Peninsula and Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie which showed 11.2 percent, 5.3 percent and 4.9 percent increase respectively.
Ontario's real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew one percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to 2017 First Quarter Ontario Economic Accounts, outpacing Canada, the United States and all other G7 countries -- United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Italy, Japan and Germany represent the world's largest industrialized economies -- boosting real GDP posted in the fourth quarter of 2016 by 0.5 percent.
“Our government has made economic growth and job creation our top priority, and our efforts are clearly paying off. We have worked hard to ensure an economic environment that is positive and allows the private sector to create good jobs and drive economic growth,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Growth.
Increased business investment of 5.5 percent, the official reports said, upsurge in residential construction by nearly eight percent and consumer spending were the main forces behind the overall GDP increase.
Ontario’s efforts in simplifying businesses, according to 2017 Burden Reduction Report, to comply with modern regulations resulted in $29.3 million in savings, bringing the total amount of burden reduction savings to $152 million since 2011.
In an effort to decline net debt-to-GDP, the 2017 Ontario budget reports said,
“Like many jurisdictions around the world, the government responded to the global economic recession…to stimulate economic growth, supporting jobs for Ontarians…these stimulus investments helped lift Ontario out of the economic recession, they also resulted in a rise to the net debt-to-GDP ratio starting in 2008–09…The net debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to be 37.8 per cent in 2016–17 and is expected to continue to decline. The government is setting an interim net debt-to-GDP ratio target of 35 per cent by 2023–24 and continues to maintain a target of reducing the net debt-to-GDP ratio to its pre-recession level of 27 per cent, with current projections showing that this will be achieved by 2029–30.”
Ontario’s ‘Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs’ had a clear goal of $15 minimum wage and equal pay for part-time and full-time workers.
The government will continue to work with business, said the report, to ensure Ontario's competitive economic environment continues to support the creation of new, good jobs for people across the province.
Employment in 2017 is forecast to increase, the official reports said, by 1.3 percent, which would result in 94,000 new jobs.
Ontario's employment in 2016 increased by 1.1 percent, equaling 76,400 net new jobs.
There was an increase of 5.3 percent new motor vehicle sales in Ontario over the first five months of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.
Ontario's Wholesale trade rose 9.3 percent over the first five months of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.
‘The Changing Workplaces Review — Final Report’ recommended creation of better workplaces in Ontario with good working conditions, with a better knowledge and understanding of basic rights and obligations and compliance with the law.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Eleanor McMahon: Facebook
Legend 3D, Inc., #EleanorMcMahon, #Ontario, #BradDuguid, #JobsandProsperityFund, #AidanFoley
Toronto, July 27 (Canadian-Media): Ontario’s partnership with Legend 3D, Inc. to help grow the company's major Canadian studio that creates visual effects for film, television and digital media productions, would create 271 new jobs, doubling the current workforce and retaining 280 positions in Toronto, a news release said this week.
These 551 jobs, continued the release, will focus on post production, 2D to 3D conversion, and research and development.
A global leader in visual effects for movies, television and the virtual reality sector, Legend 3D has clients such as Sony Pictures, Marvel Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Studios and includes projects such as Hollywood blockbusters like Ghostbusters, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Doctor Strange, The Amazing Spider-Man and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
“Ontario’s digital media sector is growing rapidly and leading edge companies like Legend 3D are at the forefront of the creative economy in the province. This partnership and the jobs it will create will help maintain our position as the top jurisdiction for film and television production in the country,” Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the release said.
Ontario is investing up to $3.1 million through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund -- -that funds Businesses, business associations and entrepreneurs for projects to enhance productivity and help them compete in the global marketplace -- for this project, supporting an additional investment of more than $27 million from Legend 3D, for a total project value of approximately $31 million.
“Our government is thrilled to support Legend 3D’s expansion plans in Ontario. This is a testament to the impressive talent, dynamic business climate and vibrant innovation ecosystem in this province. We are committed to strategic partnerships like this one, which will ensure our robust digital media sector remains globally competitive,” Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth, the release said.
Legend 3D: Facebook
The Jobs and Prosperity Fund helps secure private sector investment in Ontario in its partnership with businesses to create jobs and increase productivity, innovation and exports.
Every dollar invested through the fund results in an average of $9 in private sector investments, said the release.
Since January 2013, Ontario had announced 22 projects with government commitment totaling approximately $600 million which could get more than $4 billion in total eligible investment.
Jobs and Prosperity Fund projects are responsible for creating and retaining more than 35,000 jobs in Ontario at companies such as Thales Canada in Toronto, Mitsui Hi-Tec Inc. in Brantford, Sandvine Incorporated in Waterloo, Huawei Canada in Ottawa, Markham and Waterloo, Superpufft in Mississauga, A. Lassonde Inc. in Toronto, Toyota in Cambridge and Woodstock, Linamar in Guelph and Polycorp in Elora.
“We are pleased to be collaborating with the Ontario government as we continue to grow our international operations. Ontario was a natural choice to continue our expansion due to the top talent, world-class infrastructure and the cutting-edge digital media, film and television sectors located here,” Aidan Foley, CEO, Legend 3D, Inc.
Support from Ontario's Jobs and Prosperity Fund will boost Legend 3D's competitiveness and global growth expansion initiatives, hiring and training employees, and research and development and upgrading of equipment and facilities.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#RubySahota, #Canada150CommunityInfrastructureProgram, #CIP150, #NavdeepBains, #FedDevOntario, #Brampton, #Ontario, #Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, #Linda Jeffrey, #SoniaSidhu
Brampton, Ontario, July 25 (Canadian-Media): Ruby Sahota, a Canadian Liberal politician, is a member of Parliament from Brampton North said on Monday that the community is an important part of Brampton's (part of Greater Toronto) identity and also made an announcement of investment to upgrade the facilities in Brampton.
On July 24 Ruby Sahota and Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development jointly announced investing up to $2,941,775 -- for upgrades to playgrounds, parks, trails, a cenotaph memorial, a health and fitness centre, and an art gallery and museum in Brampton -- under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150) .
Ruby Sahota said: “Community is an important part of Brampton’s identity. The residents of Brampton rely on community spaces and centres to connect and learn from each other. The investments made through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program exemplifies this Government’s commitment towards building stronger communities, supporting families and celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017."
CIP 150 -- which supports the renovation, expansion and improvement of existing cultural infrastructure in the community -- was delivered by regional development agencies across Canada to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.
These investments, added Sahota, would benefit everyone in neighbourhoods across Brampton to access safer playgrounds, recreational facilities and developed spaces for arts, culture and nature exploration.
“This investment is a nation-building project to mark our nation’s 150th anniversary. There’s no better way to mark this milestone than to celebrate the places that bring us together – the places that allow us to stay fit, unwind and connect with our friends and neighbours. That’s how we establish the bonds of common understanding and friendship in a country where people come from every corner of the world. The values of openness, diversity and inclusion that define all Canadians are forged in our community spaces,” said Bains who is responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
FedDev Ontario -- an agency that helps in building strong communities by delivering programs to help in creation, retention and growth of businesses to support a strong southern Ontario economy -- would reportedly fund of up to $88.8 million over two years for these projects across Southern Ontario.
As Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, these projects would help Canadians to access and enjoy upgraded community spaces such as parks, trails, cultural and community centres and leave lasting legacy.
“In a diverse and fast-growing city like Brampton, it is vital to have recreational spaces that everyone can enjoy. We are pleased to be partnering with the federal government to improve the safety and accessibility of Brampton’s parks and playgrounds, and help make Brampton a more active, healthy and livable community,” said Linda Jeffrey, Mayor of Brampton.
Linda Jeffrey: Facebook
These projects represented 61 of over 730 projects approved to date in southern Ontario under the program’s two intakes.
“I am proud that our Government is investing in important community infrastructure projects in Brampton. These investments will mean that Bramptonians can get more enjoyment out of these community facilities across the city, and in my riding downtown. As we celebrate Canada 150, we look toward the next 150 years and the future of our communities is an important piece to consider” said Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South.
Sonia Sidhu: Facebook
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Image of LCBO
#LCBO, #Ontario, #4-year contract, #OPSEU, #Warren(Smokey)Thomas, #DeniseDavis
Toronto, Jul 22 (Canadian-Media): A new collective agreement this week that limited the percentage of casual workers had been narrowly approved by Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) members at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).
OPSEU, representing approximately 130,000 diverse members across Ontario, said LCBO workers voted 56 percent in favour of a tentative agreement in voting that was held earlier this week.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas: Facebook
The deal is also reported by OPSEU to increase job security, improve scheduling, and bring an end to the LCBO’s practice of scheduling workers for two-hour shifts.
Sudhir, an employee of LCBO is our neighbour and last night during a conversation with him he said that he was overjoyed that the job security and the scheduling two shifts for works made life easier for his family and said,
“Once my job is secured, my wife and I can plan for purchasing a house in the near future, while house prices are still stable.”
The clear message of the deal signifying that workers can win when they stand together gave encouragement to Thomas.
Thanking the OPSEU members for their support to the team during negotiations with LCBO, Denise Davis, Chair of OPSEU bargaining team said,
“We went to the table with a plan for a better LCBO,” said Davis. “It was a struggle from day one. But what made that plan a reality was the work done by members in their own communities to build public support for our proposals.
“At the end of the day, this deal will improve the lives of thousands of workers. It has put the issue of precarious work on the political
radar. And that’s all thanks to the members who worked tirelessly over the past months to make it possible,” Said Davis.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Image of Ontario Hydro: Wikipedia
#FraserInstitute, #KathleenWynne, #GlennThibeault, #OntarioEnergyBoard, #Time-of-use(TOU)rates, #KennethP.Green, #TaylorJackson, #AshleyStedman, #ElmiraAliakbari
Toronto, Jul 21 (Canadian-Media): Ontario Energy price Increased by 71 percent from 2008-2016, which is twice the national average increase of 34 percent, and Torontonians’ electricity bills were highest among major Canadian cities, according to a July 2017 report from Fraser Institute ‘Evaluating Electricity Price Growth in Ontario by Taylor Jackson, Ashley Stedman, Elmira Aliakbari, and Kenneth P. Green’, media reports said.
The report says, "Electricity is an essential part of our modern lives. But affordable electricity appears to be a growing challenge for Ontarians. In fact, electricity prices in Ontario have risen substantially over the last decade, placing a burden on many Ontarian households. Indeed, the province of Ontario has the fastest growing electricity prices in the country and its cities have some of the highest average residential monthly bills in Canada.”
“Ontario’s electricity prices have risen by 71 percent from 2008 to 2016, far outpacing electricity price growth in other provinces, income, and inflation…This was two-and-a-half times greater than the national average of 6 percent during the same period. … In particular, the growth in electricity prices was almost four times greater than inflation and over four-and-a-half times the growth of Ontario’s economy (real GDP), said Fraser Institute report”
Fraser Institute, with a mission is to provide Canadians with quality of life by studying, measuring, and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship, and choice on their well-being said,
“Toronto’s monthly electricity bills (including tax) are $60 more per month ($720 more per year) than the Canadian average. Consumers in Ottawa pay $41 more per month ($492 more per year) on electricity bills than Canadians in other provinces. Montreal had the lowest monthly electricity bills for residential consumers at $83”, said the report.
My friend Shubha, a resident of Toronto shocked by the hike in Ontario hydro rate said she failed to understand how Wynne’s government’s introduced legislation in March -- to lower the price of hydro bills by 25 percent over the next 10 years -- works.
She said, “It has become increasingly difficult for me to manage both ends meet with this unresolved electricity rate rising problem? It is high time for this to be resolved.”
Torontonians were reported to have paid an estimated $1,000 more per year for electricity than residents in Vancouver and Calgary. (And Albertans actually saw their bills decrease in recent years.)
Torontonians paid an average of $60 more per month, lat year, than the Canadian average of $141.
During a conversation with our neighbour Jagdish, also a resident of Toronto, Jagdish said he was unhappy when he learnt from his friend Nilesh -- who is visiting him from Vancouver -- that the electricity bill that he receives has considerably declined. Jagdish said, "When would our provincial government bring the price of energy in Toronto closer to the national average?"
Putting the blame on provincial government’s policy options and poorly structured long term contracts for high cost of electricity, the Fraser Institute made a request to the provincial government to reform its policies to bring the price of energy down closer to the national average.
Premier Kathleen Wynne at a Liberal convention last November admitted that focusing too much on larger problems with the hydro system was a mistake. Instead, she said she should have paid attention to consumers’ rising hydro bills.
Glenn Thibeault, Ontario’s Energy Minister, was on agreement with Wynne that hydro bills had caused burden on many families in Ontario.
Ontario's independent energy regulator, Ontario Energy Board’s – which aims at ensuring a sustainable, reliable energy sector to help consumers get value from their natural gas and electricity services – announcement last month that electricity prices will go down on July 1 due to government’s Fair Hydro Plan, applied to different customers in different ways depending on how they buy their electricity as revealed by the Time-of-use (TOU) rates, which tracks time-of-use electricity rates since 2006.
The report highlighted that energy prices increased 2.5 times faster than household disposable income, four times faster than inflation and 4.5 times faster than real GDP.
Since 2006, the price Ontarians’ pay for off-peak electricity has gone from 3.5 to 8.7 cents per kilowatt-hour – an increase of nearly 150 percent which means off-peak consumption accounts for roughly 65 percent of a residential customer’s usage.
This concept was not understood by many Torontonians, who could not understand the problem of hydro price rise.
Ottawa residents paid $41 more than the average and Montreal, Comparatively, had the cheapest electricity bills of any major city in the country, with an average bill of $83 per month, or $58 cheaper than the national average in 2016.
“Given the critically important role that affordable electricity plays in peoples’ standard of living, it is time for the Ontario government to have a hard look at how their policy choices are affecting peoples’ lives. It is also time for the government to begin pursuing meaningful policy reforms aimed at lowering electricity bills for Ontario residents” said the Fraser Institute report.
“It’s government choices that led to this consequence,” said Green, who is the senior director at the Fraser Institute’s Center for Natural Resource Studies. “Really, they have to walk back from where they are toward where the rest of the world is going, which is natural gas, nuclear power, hydro (electric power) and not wind and solar power.”
Green added that advantages rendered by cost effective option of natural gas -- which is being availed by most of Canada’s neighbouring countries and U.S.A -- should be adopted by Canada.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Auto collision: Wikipedia
#OntarioAutoinsurancePremium, #CharlesSousa, #FinancialServicesCommissionofOntario, #DavidMarshall, #Ontario, #AutomobileinsuranceofOntario,
Toronto, July 20 (Canadian-Media): An increase in the Ontario auto insurance premium rate of the second quarter of 2017 showing an average increase of of 0.76 percent was posted by Financial Services Commission of Ontario -- a regulatory agency of the Minister of Finance that regulates the automobile insurance of Ontario -- while last quarter’s rates had gone up by an average of 1.24 percent, media reports said.
An average auto insurance premium in Ontario is $1,458, which is almost 55 percent higher than the average of all other Canadian jurisdictions, said David Marshall, Ontario’s auto insurance adviser, in his report 'Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered: A Review of the Auto Insurance System in Ontario'.
The report continued, “Overall, Ontario has one of the lowest levels of auto accidents and fatalities in Canada and the most expensive auto insurance premiums"
The report continued, "What is more disappointing is that while the number of automobile accidents in Ontario – especially very serious ones – have consistently come down, the cost of claims has consistently gone up. Ontario also has one of the least effective insurance systems in Canada. It is filled with disputes and inefficiencies, and a very high percentage of premiums are being used to pay experts and lawyers and not going directly to injured persons.”
Marshall’s report also highlighted insurance system favoured cash settlements in lieu of care and it often took more than a year in settlement of majority of claims and about one-third of overall benefit costs is spent on competing expert opinions, lawyers’ fees instead of going to treatment.
“Simple minor injury sprains and strains (80 per cent of claims) often take over a year to settle and incur high medical costs. -- Instead of a system that helps accident victims recover from their injuries, a significant portion of the system has been diverted into a cash settlement system in lieu of care. Each year about one third of benefit costs, some $1.4 billion – about $7 billion over five years – is being paid for competing expert opinions, lawyers’ fees and insurer costs to defend claims – instead of going to treatment of injured parties.”
Marshall recommended, in his April report, to adopt an approach based on care and not on cost and to explore better ways of caring for catastrophically injured people and said,
“No one in the system is actively managing medical care for accident victims. There are clear indications that accident victims are not receiving appropriate care, they are taking longer to recover and many report that they have developed permanent impairments from simple soft tissue injuries.”
He also stressed, in his recommendations, that there should be more transparency of contingency fees of lawyers.
Ontario’s Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the government, in the coming months, will hold consultations on Marshall's report recommendations.
(Reported by Asha Bajaj)