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 Industry News

RCCAO: HOT lanes can ease Ontario traffic congestion
Daily Commercial News
As the 2015 Pan Am Games inch closer, the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) is again suggesting the province move forward and test drive the idea of High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes as a way to ease congestion. RCCAO Executive Director Andy Manahan reiterated the alliance's views on HOT lanes after Ed Clark, the chair of the Advisory Council on Government Assets, recently suggested ways the province could improve managing its assets and invest in transit and transportation infrastructure.
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Ontario to ban smoking on restaurant and bar patios, playgrounds, sports fields
Canadian Safety Reporter
Ontario will ban smoking on all restaurant and bar patios as well as at playgrounds and publicly owned sports fields starting Jan. 1, 2015, the Liberal government announced. Associate Health Minister Dipika Damerla said regulations will also be amended to ban the sale of tobacco on college and university campuses. The changes to the Smoke Free Ontario Act will replace a patchwork of municipal regulations governing smoking on restaurant and bar patios, and will not hurt their businesses, she added.
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John Tory convinces city manager Joe Pennachetti to delay retirement
Toronto Star
Toronto city manager Joe Pennachetti has accepted mayor-elect John Tory's request to delay his retirement until the end of April, after Tory's first budget. Pennachetti, the city's top civil servant for the past six years, had planned to retire at the end of November. Tory, the first person in decades to be elected mayor of Toronto without first serving on city council, called Pennachetti a "strong, trusted leader."
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'All of a sudden he jumped me': Sheila Copps on fellow MPP's sexual assault
Toronto Star
Former MPP and onetime deputy prime minister Sheila Copps says she was sexually assaulted by a Progressive Conservative legislator more than 30 years ago, and is urging other victims who experience similar assaults to come forward. Copps' revelation came in her regular column in the Hill Times, an Ottawa publication. In that column she also revealed she had been raped prior to entering provincial politics by someone she had been dating.
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Guthrie: Unpaid fines depriving Guelph of millions in revenue
CTV News
Guelph's mayor-elect says he's already found one way the city can raise its revenue without raising its tax rates. More than $5 million is owed to the city in the form of unpaid fines, Cam Guthrie says, and it's time to collect. "I would rather do that than try to tax more," he says. "We would love the money (and they) owe it anyway, so let's get going." The fines cover parking tickets, noise bylaw infractions and all other manners of civic wrongdoing that result in financial penalties.
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Worker protection bill passes with amendments to help temps and wage theft claimants
Toronto Star
Ontario's legislature voted unanimously in favour of a new worker protection bill recently, after it was amended to include two key concessions to workers' rights advocates. Bill 18 will now become law pending Royal Assent — almost a year after being first introduced. Campaigners welcomed two changes in particular to the bill, one affecting temporary workers, the other workers who want to launch a wage theft claims.
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4 habits of good listeners
Fast Company
Once you've landed the sale, it's time to stop talking, says Eric Chen, a business professor at the University of St. Joseph. "All you can do at this point is lose the business. So, clam up," he says. Being a good listener can sometimes give you a strategic advantage, especially if the person you're negotiating with slips and says something they weren't intending to say.
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Chief Blair recommends police budget be flat-lined, force reduced
Toronto Star
Toronto police Chief Bill Blair is recommending the police service have its budget frozen in 2015 and the number of uniform officers reduced by 43. If the board approves the freeze, it will be the first time in 10 years the police budget has been flat-lined, assuring an early political victory for John Tory, who will be sworn in as mayor.
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Ontario health minister orders data on clinics made public
Toronto Star
Health Minister Eric Hoskins is introducing sweeping measures to make Ontario's health system more transparent. He told the Star that he has put the province's 36 public health units and 23 colleges that regulate health professionals on notice that he wants investigation and inspection reports made public.
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RBC tests Nymi Wristband, in hopes you'll tap your wrist to pay
Huffington Post
You've heard of paying retailers with the tap of a smartphone, but Royal Bank thinks shoppers are ready to take another big step: wearing payment options on their wrist. The bank has paired with Toronto-based technology developer Bionym to test a wristband called Nymi (pronounced Nim-ee), which identifies owners through their unique heartbeats when charging purchases to their credit or debit cards.
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Ontario hospital launches lawsuit against owners of gene patent
CTV News
A hospital in eastern Ontario is launching a lawsuit against the owners of a patent of cardiac genes, in the hopes that the case will eventually make it easier for Canadian doctors to conduct important genetic testing. The test case speaks directly to an issue affecting Canadian health-care services: Can human genes be patented?

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Critics say Ontario expanding too quickly into risky private clinics
Mississauga.com
The Liberal government's love affair with private medical clinics is putting patients' lives at risk, opposition critics say. They were reacting to a Toronto Star story revealing that 13 per cent of Ontario health clinics, which perform procedures such as cosmetic surgery, colonoscopies and pain injections, have not met inspection standards since they began in 2011.

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Ontario Tories push government to examine workplace sexual harassment
Toronto Star
Premier Kathleen Wynne says she's "open" to another look at workplace sexual harassment issues in the wake of allegations against fired CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi. She was pushed recently by Progressive Conservative MPP Laurie Scott to form an all-party committee of MPPs to delve deeper into Ontario's prohibitions against harassment and ways they could be improved.

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 AMCTO Legislative Updates


New mandate letters released by Ontario Cabinet
AMCTO
Last week, the province released the mandate letters written to Parliamentary Assistants by their respective Cabinet Ministers. These newly-published instructions come just a month after the release of similar letters from the Premier to each of her Cabinet ministers. AMCTO encourages its members to read the mandate letters here.
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A change may be coming to Ontario's conflict of interest law
AMCTO
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has confirmed that it is considering changes to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA), following an election season perceived by some to have been influenced by political scandals.
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Minimum wage legislation set to become law
AMCTO
Bill 18, a piece of legislation that will raise the minimum wage in Ontario passed its third reading in the legislature last week, with support from all parties. The Bill will raise the minimum wage from $10.25 to $11 per hour.
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Federal government unveils its new plan for open government
AMCTO
Last week the Federal government unveiled its new open government strategy, dubbed Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government 2.0. The plan includes 12 commitments intended to push federal ministries to foster greater openness and transparency.
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Government re-introduces bill to deal with invasive species
AMCTO
As part of its commitment to follow-through on a raft of legislation first introduced before the spring election, the government has re-tabled Bill 37 the Invasive Species Act, which is designed to mitigate the considerable social, environmental and economic effects of invasive species.
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Additional smoking prohibitions to take effect in 2015
AMCTO
Last week the government announced that it is updating the Smoke Free Ontario Act to include additional smoking prohibitions on restaurant patios and public sports fields, as well as banning the sale of tobacco on university and college campuses.
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