13 places from across the country selected as finalists for Great Places in Canada 2015

Source: CPI Press Release

The jury is in from its first round of deliberation, and thirteen nominations have been selected as finalists in the Great Places in Canada contest from an initial slate of twenty-nine.

The jury is now delving deeper into each finalist’s nomination.  The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP), host of the annual contest, will announce the winners in each category on November 4, 2015, in conjunction with World Town Planning Day.


In the category of Great Street, the finalists are:

· Broadway                     

Orangeville, ON

· Lower Johnson Street – LoJo    

Victoria, BC

· Wolfville’s Main Street                    

Wolfville, Nova Scotia

In the category of Great Neighbourhood, the three finalists are:

· Quartier Petit Champlain                   

Quebec, QC

· Schmidtville                                       

Halifax, NS

· West End                                       

Vancouver, BC

And finally, in the Great Public Space category, which received the most nominations, the seven finalists are:

· Blockhouse Island                       

Brockville, ON

· Grizzly Plaza                              

Revelstoke, BC

· Lethbridge River Valley                      

Lethbridge, AB

· Mississauga Celebration Square           

Mississauga, ON

· Pemberton Downtown Community Barn   

Pemberton, BC

· Prince Arthur’s Landing at Marina Park     

Thunder Bay, ON

· Stuart Park                                              

Kelowna, BC


“The nominations were stronger than ever this year,” says Hazel Christy, President of CIP, “and the support the nominees received from their respective communities was tremendous.  This program really showcases the amazing work done by professional planners and how that work can transform.”

The prize of People’s Choice, awarded to the nominee in each category that received the most online votes, will be announced on November 4th along with the Grand Prize winners determined by the Great Places in Canada jury.

“The nominations were stronger than ever this year,” says Hazel Christy, President of CIP, “and the support the nominees received from their respective communities was tremendous.  This program really showcases the amazing work done by professional planners and how that work can transform.”

The prize of People’s Choice, awarded to the nominee in each category that received the most online votes, will be announced on November 4th along with the Grand Prize winners determined by the Great Places in Canada jury.

The nominator of a Grand Prize winner in each category will receive a $500 travel voucher, a MEC Station shoulder bag, a one-year subscription to Plan Canada, the official magazine of the Canadian Institute of Planners, and a certificate for nominating a winning place.  A stainless steel plaque will be delivered, engraved with the winner’s new designation, which can be mounted at the site.

The nominator of a People’s Choice winner will receive a leather travel case from Roots Canada, a 25% off voucher from any purchase at Roots, and a one-year subscription to Plan Canada.  A certificate will also be presented to the nominator for putting forward a winning place.

A big thank you also goes out to Communities in Bloom and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for their support in this contest.

Visit greatplacesincanada.ca to vote!

AODA compliance update: January 1, 2016 requirements

Stikeman Elliott LLP

It’s that time of year again – time to consider whether your organization is compliant with the next set of requirements under Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the AODA).   In addition to those AODA requirements under the Customer Service and Integrated Accessibility Standards that are already in place, effective January 1, 2016, a number of additional requirements come into force.   This post outlines those requirements as they apply to private and not-for-profit organizations.

Information and Communications Requirements

Organizations must ensure that, upon request and in consultation with the person making the request, publically available information in respect of the organization’s goods, services or facilities is provided in an accessible format and at no greater cost than that normally charged.  The public must be notified about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports provided by the organization.

Employment Requirements

Employers are required to establish a number of internal practices with respect to the recruitment, accommodation and advancement of employees.

Employers must:

  • Provide external and internal notification of the accommodation of persons with disabilities during the recruitment process and subsequent employment, and consult with job applicants who request accommodation to provide effective accommodation measures.
  • Inform employees of the organization’s policies in support of persons with disabilities.
  • Develop and implement a process for the creation of individual accommodation plans  and a documented return to work process for employees that have been absent from work due to a disability.
  • Ensure that the organization takes into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when implementing performance management, career development, advancement or redeployment processes.

Should your organization require assistance with achieving compliance with the AODA, please reach out to a member of our Employment and Labour Group.

Uber drivers say proposed regulations could drive them out of business

By Laura Osman, CBC News

Uber and taxi drivers, now bitter adversaries, are going to battle at Edmonton city hall this week.  But this time they have something in common.

Both the ride-share company and traditional cabs say the city’s plan to revise its regulations and make Uber legal would drive them out of town.

Licensing director Garry Dziwenka unveiled the plans Sept. 4, which would make Edmonton the first city in Canada to legalise the controversial company.

Dziwenka said the city’s goal was to make room for the new service while protecting traditional cabs.

In an effort to make sure Uber and other ride-share companies are safe, the city proposed rules that would require potential drivers to undergo criminal record checks, vehicle inspections, license applications and get commercial insurance.

That would set an Uber driver back approximately $6,800 a year. Uber spokesperson Xavier Van Chau called the proposal “unworkable,” given most drivers don’t work for them full-time.

Uber driver Eskinder just recently began picking up fares using the app to make some extra money on the weekends. CBC agreed not to use his last name because he could be fined by the city.

Eskinder said the expense would be too much to justify the few hours he works for Uber, and he has no intention of quitting his day job. He would have to stop.

“I don’t think I can afford paying all of this money,” he said.  “I can’t keep this job like regular job. I work as a part time.”

Uber officials said many of their drivers would be in a similar situation.

Last week, in an email to its Edmonton clients, Uber wrote that “if amendments are not adopted Uber will be unable to continue operating in Edmonton.”

The company would like to see the burden of regulation fall on them, rather than individual drivers. Its business model depends on it.

READ MORE HERE: The big insurance question

Court has ruled on assisted death, but Canada is not prepared

ANDRÉ PICARD | The Globe and Mail

On Feb. 6, 2016 – one year after the historic Supreme Court ruling in the case of Kathleen Carter and Gloria Taylor – physician-assisted death will be legal in Canada. The Canadian Medical Association last week debated what life would be like for physicians and patients in this brave new world. One thing was clear: We are woefully unprepared for Feb. 7.

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The Court said the Criminal Code’s prohibitions on assisted suicide will no longer apply “to the extent that they prohibit physician-assisted death for a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination of life and (2) has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.” It also stated that physicians cannot be compelled to hasten a person’s death.

In the yawning gap between this straightforward theory and the complexities of everyday practice lie many questions:

• When a patient asks for a hastened death, who will they ask?

• What do the terms “grievous and irremediable” and “enduring suffering that is intolerable” mean?

• Who will determine a patient’s capacity to consent?

• If a physician can’t be compelled to perform the act, does he or she have an obligation to refer to a doctor who will?

• How long will the “cooling off” period be between a request and administration of a lethal drug?

• Who will train doctors to administer these drugs?

• Does a physician have to administer a lethal drug in hospital, or can patients take pills on their own at home?

• Will there be a billing code for assisted death?

• What do you write on the death certificate?

• Will life-insurance payouts be denied because a person is opting for a form of suicide?

The Supreme Court suspended its ruling for one year to give the federal government time to come up with an amended law (or not), and to allow provincial governments and regulators to prepare.

The government of Stephen Harper, which didn’t like the ruling, did nothing until July, when it appointed a committee to consult Canadians (and stipulated it could not consult during the election campaign). Ottawa is clearly abdicating its responsibility.

The provinces, led by Ontario, have appointed their own consultative committee, but it won’t report till year’s end


Frequency of severe storms encourages 91% to buy comprehensive auto coverage

Read more

Don’t Get Burned: How to Organize an Emergency Wildfire Kit

Excerpted article: HuffPost British Columbia

Every summer heavily forested areas leave animals and humans alike susceptible to wildfires. By July of this year, British Columbia saw over 189 active fires burning — a number that Professional Organizers in Canada says is too high to not be prepared.

“Every family should organize an emergency kit and an emergency plan that they implement with their children — especially those living in heavily forested areas,” says Marie Potter, Marketing Director for Professional Organizers in Canada. “It takes less than a day, but can mean a lifetime.”

Potter also says that these kinds of kits can be used in the event of other natural disasters. “We don’t just see wildfires in Canada. We have extreme snowstorms, power outages and sometimes tornadoes. These kinds of kits are about being prepared and having that comfort,” says Potter.

To help Canadians stay safe all year round, we are sharing our top tips for organizing and implementing emergency kits.

Develop an emergency kit that can last 72 hours
In your kit, have necessary items such as:

  • Prescriptions, special medication and glasses
  • Copies of your essential documents: passports, birth certificates, SIN number, license and health cards
  • A change of clothes
  • Water and food
  • An LED flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cell phone, battery-operated cell phone charger and lithium batteries
  • Mess kit
  • Moist toilettes, toilet paper, garbage bags and ties for personal sanitation
  • First aid kit
  • Cash

When you make your kit, don’t forget about your pets! Always have an extra leash or pet bag, and pack extra water and food.

Have an evacuation strategy
In the event of a wildfire, you will want to have at least two routes that you and your family can use to safely get away from your home. You should also practice these routes with your children, but not in a way that can scare them. Make these routes a part of your family walks or regular bike trails.

It is also recommended to make a list of friends or family that you can contact or stay with if your home is not safe. Be sure to have their contact numbers in a notebook in your emergency kit, and let them know that they are a part of your evacuation plan.

If you don’t have family or friends that you can stay with, make a note of where the nearest emergency shelter is.

Organize necessary items so that they’re easy to find
Keep your emergency kit in an area of your home that you won’t forget. This area should also be easily accessible — near a door, near your bedside table, or even in your car. Once you find that spot, make sure that everyone in your family knows where it is.

Have the right policies and documents in place
Make sure you have insurance that can assist you if you lose any of your belongings. Know what your deductible is, and always keep a copy of your insurance coverage.

Wildfires and natural disasters are difficult to cope with, but being prepared is half the battle. To find an organizer who can help you make an emergency kit and plan, visit www.organizersincanada.com

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