Abandoning a boat in Canadian waters will no longer be legal

By Mia Rabson


OTTAWA _ There will be no more free passes for boat owners who dump dirty, old hulks in Canadian harbours and waterways.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s new Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act, introduced Monday in the House of Commons, would make it illegal to abandon boats, while empowering the government to go after the owners of the 600 derelict vessels already polluting the country’s waterways.

Individuals who abandon a boat can face fines up to $300,000 and a six-month jail term, while corporations can be fined as much as $6 million.

Now, owners who dump and run from decrepit vessels are not subject to any penalties and some see abandonment as the cheapest, easiest route when a boat is no longer operational, Garneau told a news conference.

“This has to stop,” he said.

Abandoned boats are an environmental hazard, sometimes sitting for years in harbours or abandoned along coast lines with fuel still in their tanks _ “a blight on the countryside,” as Garneau put it.

The legislation, which was promised as part of the federal government’s Oceans Protections Plan, brings into Canadian law the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, a 10-year-old international agreement that establishes uniform rules for removing abandoned and derelict vessels from international waters.

Canada will also require owners of large commercial vessels to carry insurance to cover the potential cost of disposing of the ships and there will also be significant penalties in place to go after those who do abandon vessels.

Garneau acknowledged that while the bill gives the government new powers to try and force owners of existing derelicts to remove them safely, it packs a less powerful punch for those boats.

There will be no fines or penalties imposed on the owner of a boat which has already been abandoned, said Garneau. The ownership of some of them can’t even be determined, he noted, which is why Canada is also working with the provinces and territories to establish better rules for identifying boats.

The government is going to establish an inventory of the existing derelicts with the goal of trying to remove them all.

B.C. New Democrat MP Sheila Malcolmson said the number of abandoned boats is actually “in the thousands,” according to her unofficial conversations with coast guard officials. After 15 years of urging federal governments to do something, it’s nice to see some action, she added.

“This is absolutely a breakthrough for coastal communities,” Malcolmson said.

She said she needs some time to go through the 120-page bill to see if it fills all the gaps she believes have been identified by the communities affected. Garneau has committed to working with provinces to establish better licensing and registration systems for pleasure craft and launch a study to find the gaps in federal commercial vessel registration systems.

Malcolmson said the system for registering boats has become so lax it is fairly easy for someone to abandon a boat without it being traced.

Her hometown of Ladysmith, B.C., is dealing with the effects of an abandoned vessel that sank in the harbour Oct. 21, spewing oil and gas into the water. The coast guard managed to contain the leaks, but Malcolmson said the federal government identified the boat as a risk three years ago.

It would have been a lot easier and cheaper to remove it before it sank, she said.

Removing old boats can be prohibitively expensive. Last year it cost more than $1 million to remove the Viki Lyne II from Ladysmith’s harbour, four years after it was abandoned nearby.

The government of Nova Scotia spent nearly $20 million to remove the MV Miner, which ran aground in Nova Scotia in 2011 while it was being towed to a scrap yard in Turkey.

Average driver will pay $130 more per year for insurance once all the increases come into effect

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Alice Keung of Economical joins Insurance-Canada.ca Advisory Board

WATERLOO, ON, October 30, 2017 — Rowan Saunders, President and Chief Executive Officer of Economical Insurance, is proud to announce that Alice Keung, the company’s Senior Vice-President and Chief Transformation Officer, has been appointed a member of the Insurance-Canada.ca Advisory Board This is an external link.

The Advisory Board, inaugurated in 2015, provides Insurance-Canada with advice and counsel on programs and services to best serve the Canadian insurance community.

Alice is the driving force behind implementing leading-edge technologies at Economical. Having delivered a best-in-class digital experience for Canadians through Sonnet, Alice and her team are driving innovation in the company’s business model, transforming the way Economical works and supporting long-term growth opportunities for the company’s broker partners. A seasoned IT executive with extensive public and private sector experience, Alice was named to the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada in 2004 and 2007.

Alice Keung of Economical joins Insurance-Canada.ca Advisory Board


“We are delighted to welcome Alice to our Advisory Board,’ said Patrick Vice, Partner, Insurance-Canada.  “Alice will bring strong executive IT and transformation skills that will complement her colleagues on ICAB.”

“I am honoured to join such an august group of Canadian insurance professionals on the Insurance-Canada.ca Advisory Board,” she said. “This organization does very interesting work in areas where insurance and technology meet. The insights and networking opportunities their forums provide are highly valued by everyone in the P&C insurance industry.”

Alice will join a board with a wide range of skills.  Her colleagues are Debra Ambrose, SVP Marketing, Aviva Canada; Andy Bates, SVP Market Relations, JLT; Dario Battista, President & CEO, Isure; David Crozier, President & CEO, Everest Insurance Company of Canada; David Gallagher, SVP Marketing, Hubio; Christine Haeberlin, Client Executive, IBM Canada; Paul MacDonald, SVP & Chief Claims Officer, RSA; Jamie McDougall, VP Analytics, Gore Mutual;  Lorie Phair, Managing Director, Canadian Broker Network; Matt Turack, President, Insurance, CAA/SCO; and Jeff Walker, Vice-President Sales & Business Development, Intact.

About the Insurance-Canada.ca Advisory Board

The Insurance-Canada.ca Advisory Board consists of senior member of the Canadian insurance industry, representing our three major constituencies: Insurers, Distributors, and Suppliers. The board members provide knowledge and advice to increase the value of Insurance-Canada.ca products and services for the communities we serve.

Since 1995, Insurance-Canada.ca Inc. has provided both consumers and insurance professionals with independent and impartial information about technology and the business of insurance in Canada through thought leading events, a deep website, and consulting services.

About Economical Insurance

Founded in 1871, Economical is one of Canada’s leading property and casualty insurers, with more than $2.2 billion in annualized premium volume and more than $5.5 billion in assets as at June 30, 2017. Based in Waterloo, this Canadian-owned and operated company services the insurance needs of more than one million customers across the country. Economical conducts business under the following brands: Economical Insurance, Economical, Western General, Economical Select, Perth Insurance, Sonnet, Petsecure, Economical Financial, and Family Insurance Solutions.

The Weather Network’s Halloween Forecast–should Canadians be frightened

After experiencing freakishly warm temperatures during parts of the fall, some Canadian trick-or-treaters could be startled by the cold this Halloween.

“With fall in Canada, you’re never quite sure what’s lurking behind the corner,” said Chris Scott, Chief Meteorologist at The Weather Network. “In the final days leading up to Halloween, conditions will vary sharply across Canada and this active weather pattern has the potential for a few surprises, so be sure to check the forecast frequently.”

In addition to paying close attention to the weather, Canadians are encouraged to take note of the sunset times in their area. If planning to trick-or-treat after dark, think about adding reflective tape to costumes or incorporating glow sticks to make your little ones more visible to drivers. And, because nothing ruins a great costume like a bulky jacket, remember to help your kids stay warm by layering clothing under their outfits.

Since it’s scary how fast a weather forecast can change in the fall, parents should stay prepared by visiting www.theweathernetwork.com or by downloading The Weather Network App. Canadians can also upload photos and videos of their spooky decorations and costumes, and share them with The Weather Network on Twitter and Facebook using #ScareYourWeather.

Sunset Times & Historical Halloween Weather  


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About Pelmorex Weather Networks
Pelmorex Weather Networks, a division of Pelmorex Corp., is a leading international provider of weather-related information services. It operates in North AmericaEuropeLatin AmericaIndia and Australia under the brands The Weather NetworkMétéoMédiaEltiempo.es and Clima. The Weather Network and its French counterpart MétéoMédia are Canada’s most popular weather and information services on TV, web and mobile apps. Eltiempo is Spain’s leading multi-platform weather information provider. Pelmorex also operates Canada’s National Alerting Aggregation and Dissemination System (Alert Ready) which aggregates and distributes emergency alerts issued by authorized government agencies.

SOURCE The Weather Network

Great-West top ranked Canadian insurance company by the Carbon Disclosure Project

Great-West Lifeco Inc. today announced it has earned an A- rating from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Great-West Life was the top ranked Canadian insurance company and ranked among the top six financial services companies in Canada. This achievement reflects its commitment to sustainability across its operations, both in Canada and abroad.

“Our companies strive to help build a more sustainable future for generations to come, and one of the ways we contribute is through our work to reduce the environmental impact of our operations,” said Paul Mahon, President and CEO, Great-West Lifeco. “For the first time, we are reporting on our operations around the world and we are pleased that our commitment to sustainable practices in all of the countries in which we operate is being recognized.”

The CDP is a global disclosure system that enables companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts. As part of the CDP’s climate change program, companies can earn a position on the “A List” by disclosing high-quality data related to their carbon emissions and the management of climate change related risks and opportunities.

CDP’s annual global climate change report, along with the climate scores of all companies publicly taking part in CDP’s climate change program this year, is available on CDP’s website.

The 2017 CDP Ranking comes just weeks after the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) ranked GWL Realty Advisors number one in Canada and in the top 8% of real estate advisory companies around the world for its commitment to sustainable environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.

GRESB is the world’s leading benchmark for evaluating and ranking the sustainability practices of real estate companies. It is used by the investor community to better understand real estate companies’ ESG activities and the sustainability performance of their portfolios.

“The top rankings from both the CDP and GRESB are a reflection of a strong commitment to continuous improvement in all areas of our operations,” said Stefan Kristjanson, President and Chief Operating Officer, Canada, Great-West Life. “These accomplishments are only made possible through the dedicated efforts of our employees, who I want to thank for their unrelenting drive to serve our customers.”

About Great-West Lifeco Inc.
Great-West Lifeco Inc. is an international financial services holding company with interests in life insurance, health insurance, retirement and investment services, asset management and reinsurance businesses. Lifeco has operations in Canadathe United States, and Europe through Great-West Life, London Life, Canada Life, Irish Life, Great-West Financial and Putnam Investments. Lifeco and its companies have approximately $1.3 trillion in consolidated assets under administration as of June 30, 2017 and are members of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies. Great-West Lifeco trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker symbol GWO. To learn more, visit www.greatwestlifeco.com.

SOURCE Great-West Lifeco Inc.

B.C. set to have Canada’s most expensive auto insurance: taxpayers federation

B.C. is about to assume a title that few drivers are likely to be proud of: the most expensive place to buy auto insurance in the country.

That’s according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), which noted in a Friday news release that the average cost of insurance will shoot up to $1,680 next year with a rate hike.

That cost would put B.C. over Ontario, which used to have Canada’s most expensive average insurance when it cost $1,458 in 2015.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada confirmed both those numbers.

“Every other province, every other driver has an average lower insurance rate than we do here in B.C.,” Kris Sims, the B.C. director for the CTF, told Global News.

“And we have no choice, we have to stick with ICBC.”

The Insurance Bureau said Ontario’s rates have been stable, or dropping.

But B.C.’s have just kept on rising — and it’s not a popular trend with drivers.

“It just keeps going up,” said one. “They say one thing and bring it up another way.”

ICBC didn’t make a spokesperson available to speak on camera. But it questioned the numbers from both parties.

Sims said B.C. drivers need more options for buying insurance.

“We need to change this corporation and we need choice when it comes to insurance,” she said.

At least one commuter agreed with her.

“I think if we had competition then they wouldn’t be able to keep jacking up prices,” he said.



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