OMCA Report
Jul. 5, 2013

10-year Driver Examination Services contract is awarded to Plenary Serco DES
Over the past two years, MTO undertook a procurement process to select a service provider to deliver the Ministry's Driver Examination Services, following the expiry of the current contract with Serco DES on August 31, 2013. The government recently announced that Plenary Serco DES has been confirmed as the service provider to deliver Driver Examination Services for the next 10 years, commencing September 1, 2013. Plenary Serco DES is a consortium of Plenary Group Canada and Serco DES.

In addition to providing Driver Examination Services, Plenary Serco DES will also be responsible for making capital improvements, such as providing new IT systems aimed at improving customer service.

Over the contract term, Plenary Serco DES will pay the Province approximately $207 million to operate and manage the DriveTest Centres across Ontario.

Infrastructure Ontario will post a copy of the agreement online at in the coming months. Further details about this procurement can be found at

SYTA Reception in Toronto, July 8
The Student & Youth Travel Association invites OMCA members to attend a reception on Monday, July 8, 2013 from 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Hard Rock Cafe. Take this opportunity to meet SYTA Leadership and network with SYTA members. Learn about SYTA's initiative to increase student travel to Canada. Toronto will host the 2014 SYTA Annual Conference. Please RSVP to Sharon Keating at

Canada set to launch Phase II of Entry/Exit Initiative
Canada Border Services Agency
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced that it will begin implementing Phase II of the Entry/Exit Initiative with the United States (U.S.) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on June 30, 2013, as outlined in the Beyond the Border Action Plan. Under Phase II, the CBSA and DHS will exchange entry data collected on third-country nationals (those who are neither citizens of Canada nor of the U.S.), permanent residents of Canada who are not U.S. citizens, and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. who are not Canadian citizens, at all automated land ports of entry along the common border, including all major land border crossings. More

Safety advisory: Check tires during hot weather
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) caution motorists that hot weather and under-inflated tires are a dangerous combination. In the summer months, while vehicles are being driven at highway speeds, the heat and hot roadways contribute to the breakdown of tires and a greater likelihood for tire failure. More

How to avoid long border waits re-entering Canada
CTV News
Canada Customs is beefing up its staff for the summer holidays to allow those crossing the border to suffer a less painful wait. The CBSA recommends that those hoping to avoid long waits should avoid crossing at peak periods, which are from 2 p.m. to midnight. They also point to their site and their Twitter notifications to get updates on delays at each border crossing. More

WEGO bus service rolls into Niagara-On-The-Lake
Niagara-On-The-Lake Town Crier
Visitors coming to the area now have a way travel between Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake without access to a car. The Niagara Parks Commission launched a daily summer shuttle service on June 23. The service will travel along the Niagara Parkway from Queenston to Niagara-on-the-Lake. It will be a continuation of the WEGO bus service, launched last summer, that connects tourists and visitors with key tourism areas. More

SafeHarness: A personal, portable seatbelt for motor coach buses launches a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo
SafeHarness, the first and only personal, portable seatbelt for motor coach buses, has launched a 50-day campaign on crowdfunding platform The creators hope to raise $50,000 to help bring these innovative products to market in order for all to have a choice in basic motor coach safety.More

New bus service takes car-less campers to Algonquin Park
Ottawa Citizen
No car? No problem. Ottawa residents will be able to hitch a bus ride headed to Algonquin Provincial Park to enjoy the outdoors without the burden of a vehicle. Parkbus is a Toronto startup that has been connecting urbanites with Ontario's provincial parks since 2010. More

MTO meets with industry stakeholders on changes to Driver Certification Program (DCP)
On Wednesday June 26, MTO met with approximately 140 Recognized Authorities (RAs) or their designees and industry associations (including OMCA) for a half-day to discuss the future of MTO's Driver Certification Program. More

Sports tourism ready for next level
North Bay Nipissing News
North Bay is looking to move up to the big leagues of Canadian sports tourism. City staff are recommending the city hire a consultant a part of an enhanced strategy to help decide where energy and resources should best be focused to slice off a piece of the national $3.6 billion dollar sports tourism pie. The city's parks and recreation director Ian Kilgour says creating an official strategy is crucial to attracting high-level events and attracting funding.More

Cache'ing in on treasure hunts
Hamilton Spectator
Combine a sense of adventure with global positioning technology and a desire to take advantage of the great outdoors, and you have a phenomenon known as geocaching — and tourism promoters are catching on, hoping to cash in. Some tourism groups have watched the geocaching trend blossom over the past decade, and are taking advantage of it to attract treasure hunters, and their treasure. More

MKC partners with Bancroft for new tourism package
Barry's Bay This Week
A new partnership between Bancroft and the Madawaska Kanu Centre is helping to create a tourism route in the area and to attract visitors to explore what is there. To do so, the Barry's Bay based Kanu Centre is offering special family rafting packages every Monday of July and August. Interested families gather in Bancroft and for $70 per adult and $59 per child, they get return transportation on the TROUT bus to the Kanu Centre, freshly-made lunch and two hours of family rafting. More