5 Things To Know
Expert tells Ontario to raise gas tax and add toll roads. Ontario’s public high school students can kiss extracurricular activities goodbye next school year. Crackdown on UberX drivers to continue after 36 drivers charged for a total of 72 offenses. Bank of Canada set to make a rate announcement. New sexual violence warning app coming to Toronto. +**Canadian Pan Am Wrap up Day 4.**
EXPERT TELLS ONTARIO TO RAISE GAS TAXES AND ADD TOLL ROADS
Higher taxes and road tolls could be in the cards according to a road pricing expert from Trent University. A report to be released on Wednesday from professor Harry Kitchen suggests that Queen’s Park should hike the gas tax from 14.7 cents to 23 cents a litre, this year. Along with an increase in diesel tax, the hikes could generate some where in the neigbourhood of $14 Billion over seven years for transportation infrastructure funding. The money could be tacked on to the $130 billion the province is looking to spend on infrastructure over the next 10 years or so. Kitchen also suggests that Ontario should implement High Occupancy Toll lanes and believes the higher cost of driving could push motorists to consider more environmentally friendly options when driving.
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS CAN KISS EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES GOODBYE
The prospect of strike action by tens of thousands of teachers this fall looms as no contract negotiations are scheduled and talks are at am impasse. Ontario’s public high school students can kiss extracurricular activities goodbye next school year. The union representing Ontario’s public high school teachers say they won’t be supervising extracurricular activities when students return to class later this summer. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation – which represents 60,000 teachers – will be in legal strike position as of Monday. The action means any athletic programs that start in August will be affected. Teachers with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association will be notified next month as to what form the job action will take. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario began a work to rule campaign in May, while talks with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation broke off in May but more talks could be scheduled for August as the group have applied for conciliation.
36 UBERX DRIVERS FACE TOTAL 72 CHARGES, CRACKDOWN TO CONTINUE
The city of Toronto has slapped 36 Uber X drivers with a total of 72 charges relating to operating unlicensed transportation services and Mayor John Tory says he expects the crackdown to continue. The city’s licensing director Tracey Cook says that about half of the charges laid come on the heels of last weeks debate in City Hall where the decision was made to crack down on the ride sharing company. The charges carry fines between $300 and $500, plus a victim surcharge. The maximum fine is $5,000 under the Provincial Offences Act. However, the San Francisco based ride-share company sent letters to its drivers, assuring them that the company would pay for any bylaw tickets they receive. Uber currently operates in 57 countries world wide and came on the scene in Toronto 3 years ago.
BANK OF CANADA SET TO MAKE RATE ANNOUNCEMENT
Economists from Canada’s big banks are predicting the central bank will cut its key rate this morning. It’s expected that the current price of three quarters of a percent will be slashed down to half a percent. Experts say the cut is needed to jumpstart the slumping economy amid speculation Canada may have slipped into a recession in the first half of the year.
NEW APP TO PREVENT SEXUAL ASSAULTS IN GTA
A new notification system is going to be launched this fall, aiming to warn Toronto residents of sexual assault incidents. The social media tool was developed with the help of Jane Doe, a victim of sexual assault who’s identity is protected by a publication ban. Doe won a landmark case in 1998 after she was attacked by the city’s infamous “Balcony Rapist.” She was awarded $220,000 on the grounds that investigators were negligent not warning the public about the attacker. Doe, with the help of Toronto Police, anti-violence group METRAC are launching The “Safety Information System” also known as SISTO. It’s a Twitter account that will notify users every time police report a sexual assault. The SISTO Twitter won’t be up and running until fall, but those interested are being encouraged to sign up early to help test it out.
Canadian Pan Am Wrap up Day 4
Another huge medal haul for Canada at the Pan Am Games: 23 on day four, the largest tally for the host country thus far. Canada’s total medal count now sits at 64, including 25 gold. The Americans are nipping at Canada’s heels, sitting second with a total of 60 medals. Today’s events include swimming, squash, sailing, artistic gymnastics, tennis, water polo and wrestling.