OMCA Report
Jan. 31, 2014

MTO officers to enforce speed limits and moving violations
As reported by Today's Trucking, beginning this spring, MTO will begin equipping its patrol vehicles with radar devices to enforce the province's (truck) speed limiter requirement. Officers will be able to clock commercial motor vehicles and will be able to charge any truck driver traveling at 115 km/h or greater for violating the province's speed limiter law, which requires most trucks to have a functioning speed limit system set at 105 km/h. The radar reading will be used as evidence that the speed limiter is not functioning. In addition, all MTO enforcement officers will be trained and begin to enforce specific "moving violations" under the Highway Traffic Act related to large commercial motor vehicles, including buses. Officers will start to lay charges such as improper lane change, failure to obey traffic signals etc., but speeding violations will continue to be the responsibility of the police. When a bus is stopped for a "moving violation" the officer will also conduct a Level One or Two CVSA inspection on the bus.More

Pacific Western Transportation wins the 2014 IMG Safety Award
Pacific Western Toronto has been named recipient of the International Motorcoach Group Safety Award for 2014. The IMG Safety Award is given to the IMG Operator who exemplifies best practices in operations from a safety standpoint and who demonstrates a leadership role that benefits fellow members and the IMG organization. IMG monitors the activities and safety records of its members and compares these results with recommendations from a committee of past Safety Award winners and IMG Corporate Alliance members in the insurance and safety industries. With the criteria being met, finalists are selected, safety records are reviewed one last time and the winner is determined. Toronto General Manager Dean Wright explains: "We are very excited about this award as it acknowledges our commitment to safety. "Safely Home" is our deep conviction to safety, and it is the ultimate promise we make to each other, to our clients, and to the communities in which we operate.More

Ontario minimum wage goes up June 1 to $11
Toronto Star
Ontario's minimum wage will rise 75 cents to $11 on June 1, Premier Kathleen Wynne confirmed. Her minority Liberal government will soon propose legislation linking future increases in the minimum wage, which has not changed since 2010, to the inflation rate. More

Green Automotive Company announces the launch of its 100 per cent electric shuttle bus
Green Automotive Company, a state-of-the-art niche vehicle design, engineering, manufacturing, and sales company, driving innovation in the use of cutting edge zero and low emission technologies, announced that its Californian subsidiary Newport Coachworks is planning to launch its 100 per cent electric shuttle bus at the LCT Show in Las Vegas.More

Anti-idling group has a clean, green message: Turn off your engine
Toronto Star
At any time of the day or night in downtown Toronto — or anywhere in Ontario, really — there is a car idling in front of a McDonald's, a cab idling outside a condominium building, a TTC bus idling at a station or a transport truck idling at a gas station. Some for a few minutes, some for much more. While motionless, these vehicles are wasting fuel and adding harmful emissions to the atmosphere. More

Tour operators impose 'currency surcharge' as loonie continues its tumble
The Gazette
The price of a trip to the sunny south is going up as more tour operators add a so-called "currency surcharge" to offset the sharp decline in the value of the loonie against the U.S. dollar. Transat A.T. spokeswoman Debbie Cabana confirmed that Canada's largest tour operator is adding a $35 currency surcharge to sun destinations and Florida. More

Canada, U.S. to share names from border crossings
Records of Canadians' trips across the border into the United States could soon be shared with a number of federal departments, including the RCMP and CSIS, documents show. Under an expanded data-exchange program between the two countries set to take effect on June 30, a traveller's entry into one country will be used to create an exit record from the other country. More

Do I have to stop if traffic lights aren't working?
The Globe and Mail
Ontario's Highway Traffic Act (HTA) says that when power is out and the traffic lights do not work, the intersection becomes an uncontrolled intersection, says Bob Nichols, a spokesman for Ontario's Ministry of Transportation, in an email. An uncontrolled intersection has no working lights, stop sign, traffic cop or yield signs directing traffic — you're on your own. You're supposed to yield to vehicles already in the intersection and to vehicles entering the intersection from your right. More

Top 10 travel destinations for Family Day
Global News
If the post-Christmas blues are getting you down, don't fret — a long weekend is just a few weeks away. For many Canadians, Family Day is the first long weekend of the New Year — and it's fast approaching. If you're planning a weekend getaway but don't yet know where to go, has released their list of the top 10 most popular travel destinations for Canadians over Family Day 2014. More

Travelling this year? Don't leave home without insurance
Global News
The Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada conducted a national survey of Canadians about their travel habits and their understanding of provincial health coverage. The survey revealed that 35 per cent of Canadian travelers do not buy travel health insurance. "Only six per cent of Canadians realize that provincial health plans cover approximately nine per cent of medical expenses when travelling outside of Canada," said THIA President, John Thain. More

New U.S. ruling could make crossing the border easier
Global News
A new ruling by the by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal says Canadians are exempt from having to produce extensive proof of their reason for travel, as long as they're going for legitimate business or tourism purposes. This is the first time since the expedited removal laws were passed in 1996 that any U.S. court, administrative tribunal or other body has recognized the existence of such an exemption, according to the BC Chamber of Commerce. More

Toronto City Council approves 6 new (free) on-street bus parking spaces near Toronto City Hall
As reported in OMCA Report last fall, redevelopment of Nathan Phillips Square in front of Toronto's City Hall resulted in the loss of some free on-street bus parking spaces on Queen Street and the remaining two (at the east end) are signed for bus loading and unloading only, and not for parking. More

Tourism agency releases 2014 Travel Guide
Seaway News
After a widely successful transition to a full-sized, more informative format, Cornwall and the Counties Tourism (CCT) have created a publication that presents the region as a viable tourist destination. More

OPP Commissioner urging motorists to change driving behaviour
Canada Newswire
As Ontario continues to get battered by one of the worst winters in recent history, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Commissioner and OPP Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support are taking a hard line with the numerous drivers who, through poor driving behaviour, are causing a steady rash of collisions, some of which are jeopardizing the safety of OPP officers and other emergency personnel responding to collision scenes. More

Niagara-On-The-Lake hotels top choice for romance
Just in time for Valentine's Day, TripAdvisor has released its list of Top 25 Hotels for Romance in Canada, and four Niagara-on-the-Lake properties made the cut. Coming in at number eight on the list is Harbour House Hotel, a Niagara's Finest Inns property located on Melville Street. For the third year running, the Harbour House was also included on the Top 25 Hotels list. More

Lake Ontario Winery to hold Chocolate and Wine bus tour
Democrat & Chronicle
Mayer's Lake Ontario Winery is planning two dinners, a Chocolate and Wine Bus Tour and a comedy dinner show. Reservations are due by Feb. 3 for the sixth annual Chocolate & Wine Bus Tour, which will begin around 9 a.m. Feb. 8., with coffee and muffins or Danish served starting at 8:30 a.m. Three wineries, a brewery, a cidery and two shops will be visited during the tour, which will end around 4:30 p.m. More