OMCA Report
Oct. 2, 2015

Ontario minimum wage increased Oct. 1, 2015
OMCA
As reported previously in OMCA Report, Ontario raised the general minimum wage from $11 to $11.25 per hour, effective Oct. 1, 2015. The increase is a result of recent changes to the Employment Standards Act. The minimum wage for certain jobs and/or employees such as liquor servers, homeworkers, and students are also increasing at the same time. Minimum wage increases are announced by April 1 each year, and are effective on Oct. 1 of the same year. To see the new minimum wage rates go to: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/guide/minwage.phpMore

Elementary teachers' union, government to resume bargaining
Toronto Star
Less than 48 hours before it had warned it might launch rotating strikes, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario has agreed to resume talks at the invitation of Education Minister Liz Sandals. "We learned [...] that Minister Sandals has called upon ETFO to return to the bargaining table. ETFO has been ready to return to the table for two weeks to bargain a fair and reasonable collective agreement specific to ETFO members," said union president Sam Hammond in a statement. More

Buzzing Toronto sports scene bringing boost to tourism industry
By Katherine Radin
From hockey to basketball to baseball and everything in between, Toronto's sports teams have built great empires, raking in millions of dollars every season. This summer saw the city host the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, bringing an influx of tourists. And when the Games ended, Torontonians rediscovered the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays, who recently clinched a playoff spot for the first time in 22 years. How has tourism been affected by these sporting events? Let's take a look. More

Canada's tourism sector grew in midst of economic contraction
Business In Vancouver
Canadian tourism is benefitting both from staycationing locals and an increase in international tourists, according to the latest numbers released by Statistics Canada. Overall, tourism spending in Canada rose 0.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2015. That includes both spending by Canadians at home and international tourists. More

Ontario making progress on York Viva Bus Rapid Transit
Government of Ontario
Metrolinx and York Region Rapid Transit have awarded the contract to design, build and finance the next phase of the York Viva Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) rapidways to EDCO, creating about 14,000 construction jobs in the area. The project includes 10 new vivastations and approximately 12 kilometres of rapidway along two sections of the Highway 7 transit corridor in Vaughan and Richmond Hill. More

Northwestern Ontario bus service options open
NetNewsLedger
The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) are applauding the Government of Ontario for providing an extension to the period for public comment on the future of inter-city bus services until Friday, Oct. 23. NOMA, along with a number of individual municipalities and the Common Voice Northwest Transportation Task Force had called for the extension after it was recognized that no one in the region even knew about the consultation.More

New tourism signs to promote northwestern Ontario as a region
CBC News
Drivers crossing the Canada-United States border at the Minnesota-Ontario Pigeon River crossing will see a new sign welcoming them to the area. It's part of a new tourism marketing strategy aimed at promoting the entire northwestern Ontario region. More

Eglinton Crosstown LRT opening pushed back to 2021 by Metrolinx
InsideToronto.com
The opening of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT has been pushed back to 2021, Metrolinx has confirmed. The 19-kilometre light rail project, the first LRT for Toronto, will travel below and at street level along Eglinton Avenue and was initially scheduled to enter service in 2020. More

What's new in Canadian travel, from Ontario to the east
Toronto Sun
Whether you want to fly high on the longest zipline in North America or seek out and relax in one of Parks Canada's new signature red chairs, there are so many travel experiences to discover across Canada. These are the hottest new events and attractions — live from Destination Canada's GoMedia 2015 conference — from Ontario east to the Atlantic provinces. More

With the dollar heading south, can snowbirds still afford to?
The Globe and Mail
"You're going to see a slowdown of Canadian snowbirds for a season, then people are going to adjust and go down again," Dan Noel, a certified financial planner and investment manager with Wyverstone Capital in Moncton, says. "It's just the fear factor right now."More

Auditor general to scrutinize cost of Pan Am Games
Toronto Star
The summer Pan Am/Parapan Games, whose executives are in line for $5.7 million in bonuses, are going under the financial microscope of Ontario's auditor general. Liberal members of the public accounts committee joined with opposition members recently in asking Bonnie Lysyk to audit the books for the $2.5 billion sports showcase. More

Ontario could be first province to regulate the sharing economy
National Post
Yes, the sharing economy includes big brands such as AirBnB, Car2GO and, of course, Uber, but the term also captures small community tool-sharing programs and even small, locally grown start-ups. By unlocking that potential and the untapped, privately held capital at the base of so much of the sector, Ontario MPP Tim Hudak says we can both foster broader economic growth and provide families with new sources of much-needed income.More