OMCA Report
Nov. 28, 2014

Additional AODA requirements take effect Jan. 1, 2015
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was passed in 2005. If you operate a business in Ontario (unless your business is federally regulated) you are subject to the AODA and the standards. Many of the requirements under the Act and regulations have been phased in gradually since 2012. Jan. 1, 2015 is the next "trigger date" for additional obligations under the Act and regulations as follows:

• Effective Jan. 1, 2015, businesses with 50 or more employees must ensure customer feedback processes are in a format accessible to persons with disabilities and must notify the public of the availability of accessible formats.
• Effective Jan. 1, 2015, businesses with under 50 employees must implement policies on how they will achieve accessibility through compliance with the regulation. [This requirement has been in place since Jan. 1, 2014 for businesses with 50 or more employees.]
• Effective Jan. 1, 2015, businesses with under 50 employees must consider accessibility when designing or procuring self-service kiosks. [This requirement has been in place since Jan. 1, 2014 for businesses with 50 or more employees].
• Effective Jan. 1, 2015, businesses with 50 or more employees must ensure:

1. Training is provided to all employees appropriate to their duties (including anyone who provides services on behalf of the business) on the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Regulation (O. Reg. 191/11) and on the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities.
2. Changes to the organization's Accessibility Policies & Plans are covered in training on an on-going basis.
3. Training records are kept, including dates and number of employees trained. More

Ontario unveils transportation plan for Pan Am Games
The Globe and Mail
The Ontario government will be limiting access on major highways across the Toronto area during the Pan Am Games next summer, part of a $61 million plan for managing traffic during the athletic competition. The plan offers greater detail about the reality for locals when the Games come to the area. It will boost the number of high-occupancy vehicle lanes — while increasing the number of people required to use them — as well as prompting parking and driving restrictions near venues.More

Pan Am Games traffic plans include HOV lanes, free transit trips for spectators
Metro News
The provincial government is asking Torontonians to change their transportation habits during the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, but the Minister in charge of transportation won't say how badly residents' commutes will be affected. Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca is urging people to avoid travelling during rush hour, to carpool and to walk or cycle during next year's events. More

MiWay transit's an exciting new direction for Mississauga
Toronto Star
The next time Hazel McCallion tells you it's MiWay or the highway, it'll be a boast, not a warning. And why not? The city over which she presided for so many years has just opened phase one of its $460 million bus corridor, the Transitway, that eventually will bisect Mississauga east to west, from Winston Churchill Blvd. to Renforth Dr.More

Scottish bus maker to establish Ontario plant as part of Metrolinx deal
Canadian Manufacturing
Metrolinx has signed a deal with Alexander Dennis (ADL) to buy 253 double-decker buses that will see the Scotland-based bus maker establish a local chassis assembly facility near Toronto. According to Metrolinx, Ontario's Crown transportation agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, it has reached an agreement with the company that will see the fully accessible, low floor, double-decker buses delivered to its GO Transit arm over five years beginning in 2016. More

Ontario probes whether salters, plows late clearing GTA roads
680 News
Ontario's transportation minister says companies contracted to clear and salt the province's highways could be fined if it's found they were late doing their job during a recent snowfall in the GTA. Steven Del Duca said he's asked his staff to determine why conditions were so slippery on the QEW and other 400-series highways and expects a report back shortly.More

Expect to pay way more in Toronto for express transit to airport
The Globe and Mail
In Cleveland, the trip costs $2. Ditto for Baltimore. In Vancouver and Chicago, fares are a few dollars more. In Toronto? Expect to pay significantly more. Metrolinx will soon announce the fare for its Union Pearson Express, the new downtown-to-airport rail service that the agency projects will take more than a million car trips off the road each year. More

Best time to cross Canada-U.S. border and other holiday shopping tips
Global News
There's no worse way to delay a day of shopping than in a line-up of hundreds of cars at the Canada-U.S. border. As Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is offering some helpful tips to maximize your time.More

Petition for more GO Station parking gaining momentum
A petition for more parking at the Milton GO Station is gaining momentum, garnering almost 200 signatures in its first week. Milton resident and Ward 6 councillor candidate in the recent municipal election, Alex Anabusi started a petition to increase parking at the Milton lot after noticing a sign that directed transit users to find parking in Mississauga. More

Ontario experiencing a hotel boom
The hustle and bustle at the Toronto Delta ahead of its opening is part of a boom for Ontario's hotels and restaurants that has seen them add more jobs than any other sector in any province this year. It's the clearest illustration yet of how a weakening Canadian dollar is helping Ontario reverse a decade of relative decline that has seen its dominance over the national economy wane.More

Improving community transportation for seniors, persons living with disabilities
Government of Ontario
Ontario is launching a new pilot program to improve community transportation services for seniors, persons living with disabilities, youth, and other members of the community who need transportation. The Community Transportation Pilot Grant Program will provide funds to municipalities to partner with community organizations, such as health and community agencies, transit agencies, school-bus operators and private transit operators, to co-ordinate local transportation services, so more rides can be provided to more people, and to more destinations. More

Toronto to narrow traffic lanes in hopes of increasing safety
The Globe and Mail
Toronto will narrow many of the city's traffic lanes in a bid to increase safety by reining in speeds while freeing up space for bicycle lanes or wider sidewalks. The city has just finished a new policy for lane widths, guidelines that will be rolled out gradually across Toronto.More

Mayor-elect Tory says feedback is positive on Smart Track transit plan
Just before John Tory officially becomes Toronto's mayor, everyone around him likes Smart Track. That's the message served up by the mayor-elect at the Ontario Investment Trade Centre, a provincial office high above the Eaton Centre where foreign investors are welcomed and deputy ministers have working lunches.More

It's time winter tires were made mandatory
Toronto Star
The government of Ontario should make winter tires mandatory. If a minority of car drivers can make life miserable for the majority of responsible car owners and transit users, then the government has to step in to make sure calamities aren't repeated.More

Ontario won't work with Canada Border Services Agency on road blitzes
Ontario will no longer allow the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to join the province's road safety blitzes, which federal agents have used to make arrests on immigration violations, the government announced recently. More

Private bus service looking to expand across Toronto
Toronto Sun
The organization that launched a charter bus taking commuters to Union Station from Liberty Village is close to launching another route — this time, from the Beaches — a route that could directly compete with the TTC. More

Ontario drives through auto insurance rate reductions
Northern Life
Ontario has passed the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, 2014, which will help the provincial government continue to fight fraud and abuse, reduce costs and uncertainty in the auto insurance system and protect more than nine million licensed drivers across the province. With the passage of the bill, the province will strengthen consumer protection and help keep the auto insurance system fair, reliable and affordable.More