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OMCA responds to The Globe and Mail's attack on tour buses
OMCA
Doug Switzer, president and CEO of OMCA, responded to The Globe and Mail regarding a recently published article on tour buses: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/car-life/looking-to-live-outside-the-law-become-a-tour-bus-driver/article13871129/.

Andrew Clark's Aug. 21 article: "Looking to live outside the law? Become a tour bus operator" certainly proves the old adage that you should never let the facts get in the way of a good rant.

His argument that tour bus operators are somehow immune to parking laws is not only utterly false, it ignores the fact that buses are actually discriminated against in the parking fine structure.
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OMCA's 3rd Quarter Driver Licence Status Check detects hundreds of downgraded and invalid licences — and for the first time, drivers with 'Code W' medical condition
OMCA
Last Friday, OMCA conducted the third licence status check of the year. The licence status for 46,000 drivers was checked against the MTO driver database and a report was provided to each subscriber identifying drivers with a licence discrepancy. Subscribers could then contact drivers whose licences have been downgraded or suspended to pre-empt any possibility of a driver getting involved in an accident or incident while holding an improper or suspended licence. As with past status checks (this was our 19th quarterly check) many subscribers were surprised by their results, thankful that our system caught these problems before anything happened. For the first time, the status check report flagged any driver having a "Code W" medical condition that prohibits them from driving a bus or truck in the U.S. The next Quarterly Status Check will be November 21, 2013.
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OMCA Board and Sector Councils meet
OMCA
The OMCA Board, Tour Operator Council, Bus Operator Council, and Supplier Council met in Niagara Falls prior to golf for the mid-year update meetings. The Board discussed the action items that OMCA is taking on membership, golf, Conference, the Driver License Status Check, PRIDE, the Ontario Transportation Expo, and the Pan Am Games. Each Council addressed issues facing the membership and what OMCA can do to assist our members. Some great discussions and action items came from the meetings. All members are encouraged to contact any of the Council members with issues they feel the association can assist with. The list of Board members and Council members can be found on the OMCA website at http://www.omca.com/about/people.html (Board) and http://www.omca.com/about/committees.html (Councils).
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
 
Toast to our wine country

With 18 wineries throughout Essex County and Pelee Island, there's plenty to sip and savour. Travel along our scenic wine route hugging the shores of Lake Erie and sample some of the finest wines in the world. Red or white, fill your glass with our award-winning selections and enjoy!
 


Congratulations to all of our golf tournament winners!
OMCA
OMCA would like to extend congratulations to all the contest winners at our 43rd Annual Golf Tournament at Legends on the Niagara. Our top foursomes were as follows:
- 1st Place: Jacques Dufresne, Shawn Geary, Pat Grobe, Jeff Roth in the BFL Canada Risk and Insurance Services Inc. foursome
- 2nd Place: Ray DeNure, Greg Hammond, Larry Hundt, Tim Thorne in the Prevost foursome

Thanks for playing this year! We hope you all had fun, and we look forward to seeing you all next year!

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MTO driver and vehicle fees increase on Sept. 1
OMCA
The Ontario government has announced it is continuing its phased increase of driver and vehicle licence fees, including fees for new driver licences and renewals, driver licence replacements, driver examinations and vehicle permits. The government points out that until last year, they had not been increased in 15 years. The Government's media release states, "The changes are necessary to cover the rising costs of maintaining provincial roads, bridges and highways and to support the quality services Ontarians rely on, such as education and health care. Even with these increases, Ontario's passenger vehicle licence fees will remain lower than many other provinces in Canada." Here are some examples of fee increases effective Sept. 1, 2013:

• Classified Road Test increases to $85
• Classified Knowledge Test increases to $15
• Z Endorsement Practical Test increase to $50
• Bus plate validation stickers increase based on RGW

To view the Governments' Fee Increase Backgrounder, go to: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/news/backgrounder/fee-changes-2013-09-01.shtml

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Industry News


Aging demographic threatens tourism industry in northwest
CBC News
Gerry Cariou, head of the Kenora-based Ontario Sunset Country Travel Association, said attracting young people to outdoor activities is vital to the future of northwestern Ontario's tourism industry.
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Double-decker-vision rolls on for peace
Hamilton Spectator
You are — and are not — seeing double when you look at the Peacemaker bus. The cream-and-maroon motor home was made by fusing a 1955 GMC Semicruiser and a 1949 American Aerocoach.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

   


Print or digital, guidebooks lead the way
Calgary Herald
Whether tackling big cities or quaint villages in Europe, you don't want to feel like a stranger in a strange land (even though that's exactly what you are). Getting oriented is especially important in big cities — which, for many travellers, are the most intimidating part of a European trip.
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Fall forecast: Extra bright colours
Windsor Star
Environment Canada's outlook for fall is brilliant red and orange. A warm fall lies ahead across Canada, bringing great conditions for fall colours, the department's long-term forecast says. "If this weather forecast holds up, it is showing almost the perfect picture for this," said David Phillips, senior climatologist for Environment Canada. "It is warm and dry. Hey, it's good for the economy and tourism."
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Travel and adventure: Canada's capital deserves to be known
The Enterprise
Canada's capital of Ottawa hardly evidences its wild and woolly past. But its history and fascinating mix of current urban appeals make it a place most people — particularly those from the neighboring United States — should get to know better.
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5 great Canadian road trips
Carpages.ca
While the summer road trip season is close to winding down, you still have enough time to check out some of Canada's best sites. There are obviously more things to see and do nationwide than there is time to take them all in before summer gives way to fall, but the following list of five great road trip ideas will give you some destination options to consider.

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Why you need to go to the Dufferin County Museum this summer
The Huffington Post
There is a place where one can go to discover the beauty and history of rural Ontario. The Dufferin County Museum and Archives is located right at the north-east corner of Highway 89 (accessible from Hwy 400 and Hwy 10) and Airport Road. Everyone knows Airport Road, as it becomes Airport Road just north of the Toronto International Airport.

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Niagara Falls calls for more casinos and OLG investment in existing casinos
Canada Newswire
The city of Niagara Falls has put out the welcome mat for investment by the world's gaming sector, unanimously passing a City Council resolution asking Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Finance Minister to allow new gaming sites in the city and to direct Ontario Lottery & Gaming (OLG) to include the city's two existing resort casinos in its modernization program.

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Wine bus has legs
The Chronicle Herald
Wolfville, Halifax's award-wining Magic Winery Bus, is winning even more fans as it rolls through its second year of operation. "We're trending nicely to exceed last year's volume of 2,900 guests, but this is not so much about increasing the quantity as it is improving the quality," said David Hovell, executive director of Wolfville Business Development.
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Casino debate set without provincial OK of second site
Ottawa Citizen
As members of the city's finance committee prepared to debate Ottawa's casino bid recently, there was still no word on whether the province will allow a second gambling site. Committee members and the public will debate a motion that city council ask the Ontario Lottery and Gaming for two casino sites one at the Rideau Carleton Raceway and one new location built and run by a private operator.
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Wet weather dampens tourism numbers
CBC News
This summer's cool and rainy weather has taken a toll on some tourism operators in northwestern Ontario. The owner of Superior Outfitters in Rossport said it's one of the worst seasons he's seen in the 20 years he has run his kayaking business.
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OMCA Report
Frank Humada, Multiview, Director of Publishing, 289.695.5422
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Oliver Kirby, Multiview, Content Editor, 289.695.5401   
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Disclaimer: Please note that the views expressed in those articles not written by OMCA staff do not reflect the views of OMCA and are presented here merely for the information of our members.

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