RIO DE JANEIRO _ What Canada Did on Tuesday at the Rio Summer Olympic Games (distances in metres):

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Severe summer storm in the Prairies causes more than $48 million in insured damage

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports a severe storm that swept through Alberta,Saskatchewan and Manitoba during the second week of July has resulted in more than $48 million in insured damage according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

From July 8 – 11, a low pressure system caused severe thunderstorms in the Prairies. The storms produced strong winds, hail, lightning, heavy rainfall, and funnel clouds. This system also caused significant flooding in Estevan, SK and produced a brief tornado touchdown in Humboldt, SK on July 10.

“Severe storms have been happening more often and with greater intensity across the Prairies,” said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC. “It is important that Canadians understand their insurance policies and what’s covered. It’s also essential to have an emergency preparedness plan and know what to do before, during and after bad weather strikes.”

Most property damage were reported to have occurred in Saskatchewan. The most severe isolated thunderstorm cell over Estefan produced up to 130mm of rain in a short period of time. The heavy rains overwhelmed the local storm water systems causing streets to flood and sewers to backup.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca.. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

About CatIQ
Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ) delivers detailed analytical and meteorological information on Canadian natural and man-made catastrophes. Through its online subscription-based platform, CatIQ combines comprehensive insured loss indices and other related information to better serve the needs of the insurance and reinsurance industries, public sector and other stakeholders. To learn more, visit www.catiq.com.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Pot, policing hot topics at 2016 AMO Conference

The 2016 Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s Conference delivered  key presentations on policing costs and marijuana legalization today.

Wendy Williams, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, an independent inspector of police services, spoke to delegates about theUnited Kingdom’s efforts to reduce policing costs while maintaining safety and protecting community policing and frontline policing. Rising policing costs continue to be a concern for many municipal governments.

Delegates also heard from Ashley Rea Kilroy, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy, City and County of Denver. Ms. Kilroy discussed Denver’s experience with the legalization of marijuana, noting that it required significant coordination between public services.

“Municipal governments deliver many of the services that will be impacted by the legalization of marijuana,” said Gary McNamara, AMO President. “Policing, licensing, public health and local economies will all be affected. We need to work with the provincial and federal governments as legalization moves forward.”

Conference presentations are being posted to www.amo.on.ca.

Ontario Government Ministers took questions from Conference delegates in an open session. Key issues include interest arbitration, municipal insurance costs and energy. More information on these and other key municipal matters is available at :www.amo.on.ca/AMO-Content/Footer/Newsroom.

The Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth announced the launch of the Investment Ready: Certified Site Program aimed at helping projects get off the ground faster by marketing sites to international investors.

Program highlights for Wednesday, August 17, the final day of the Conference, will include:

  • 9:05 a.m. – Incoming AMO President Lynn Dollin, Deputy Mayor, Town of Innisfil
  • 9:15 a.m. – The AMO Gas Tax Awards are presented by Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs and MP, Spadina-Fort York
  • 9:45 a.m. – Special session on Climate Change Going Forward

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports and enhances strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component ofOntario and Canada’s political system.

Follow AMO on Twitter: @AMOPolicy, #AMOCONF16

SOURCE Association of Municipalities of Ontario

Manitoba says it plans to overhaul how Crown corporations operate

WINNIPEG _ Manitoba says it plans to overhaul how Crown corporations operate to save money and to make them more accountable.

The changes would affect Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, Manitoba Public Insurance and the Manitoba Centennial Centre Corporation.

The government says the changes are needed to improve how decisions are made and to more clearly spell out responsibilities and liabilities.

Crown Services Minister Ron Schuler says the legislation will be introduced later this year.

He says the changes will also eliminate overlap and duplication within government.

Schuler says maintaining the status quo would leave Crown corporations vulnerable to interference.

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ICBC’s “Casual Disregard” of Court Order Results in Steep Costs Punishment

ICBC’s “Casual Disregard” of Court Order Results in Steep Costs Punishment

Today’s guest post comes from B.C. injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, hitting ICBC with a steep costs award for the “casual disregard” of a Court disclosure order.

In today’s case (Norris v. Burgess) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2010 collision and sued for damages.  Prior to trial ICBC offered to settle the claim for $678,500.  The Plaintiff rejected this offer and proceeded to trial where a jury awarded $462,374.  After statutory Part 7 deductions the amount was reduced by $70,196.

Normally where a Plaintiff is awarded less than a defence formal settlement offer they are stripped of some of their costs and sometimes ordered to pay some of the Defendant’s costs.  ICBC sought such a result but the Court refused.  Mr. Justice Funt instead ordered that ICBC pay the Plaintiff an additional $155,340.86 in ‘special costs’ because the insurer disregarded a Court order to produce surveillance evidence.  In reaching this decision Mr. Justice Funt provided the following reasons:

[65] As noted, at the October 20, 2015 trial management conference, Justice Koenigsberg ordered the listing and description of any surveillance or video to occur on or before October 23, 2015. The existence of the 2015 Video was not disclosed until the start of the fourth week of trial and was, as Mr. Miller stated, harmful to the defence.

[66] ICBC is a public insurance company and an agent of our provincial government. It is a sophisticated litigant which assumes conduct of trials on behalf of many insureds in our province.

[67] A simple “pilot check” by ICBC, possibly in the form of an email or call to Mr. Levy, a review of its paid surveillance video invoices, or a review of its file notes, would have revealed the existence of the 2015 Video. The Court finds that ICBC showed a casual disregard for the October 20, 2015 Court Order; an order designed to ensure that the scheduled jury trial was heard without surprises or ambush.

[68] Mr. Miller stated that an ICBC adjuster often handles a large number of files and that this may explain the late disclosure of the 2015 Video. If ICBC adjusters are overworked and therefore prone to make mistakes, then it was incumbent on ICBC, on being told by its counsel of the October 20, 2015 Court Order, to ensure that a mistake had not been made.

[69] The late disclosure affected the efficient administration of justice. It required plaintiff’s counsel to consider the plaintiff’s options, and likely discuss and receive instructions on a significant matter just as the plaintiff’s case was about to close, rather than be focused on the conduct of the plaintiff’s case..

[75]         When a jury trial is disrupted and affected by the actions of a party, the court’s rebuke or reproof is more likely warranted.

[76]         The reputation of the court was also affected. Especially with a jury trial, a reasonable member of the public would have questioned the efficient workings of the trial and, more generally, the efficient administration of justice. He or she would question the significance and respect ICBC gives a court order designed to avoid surprise and trial unfairness.

[77]         Finally, the video surveillance for all three years was central to the trial generally. Of course, the actual weight given to this evidence remains in the jury room, as it properly must.

[78]         In sum, ICBC’s casual disregard for the disclosure rules, especially when reinforced by the October 20, 2015 Court Order, warrants rebuke in the form of an award of special costs.

Alleged $8M fraud leads to front office firing at Alberta Motor Association

By Chris Purdy

THE CANADIAN PRESS

EDMONTON _ The Alberta Motor Association has filed a lawsuit against a former executive, alleging he swindled $8 million from the organization and bought lavish homes and vehicles.

The lawsuit claims James Gladden misappropriated the funds dating back to at least 2013 while he was vice-president of information technology at AMA.

The suit also names Gladden’s wife, Dana, and several companies he was involved in.

It alleges Gladden authorized fake invoices and wired payments to various banks in the United States and China.

“Mr. Gladden was provided with and exercised discretion and authority to authorize payments on invoices. As a result, the AMA was particularly vulnerable to any misuse by Mr. Gladden,” said the statement of claim, filed last week in Edmonton.

“The investigation is ongoing and further instances of misappropriated funds may be discovered.”

A lawyer for the AMA also appeared in court last week asking for an injunction. A judge agreed to freeze Gladden’s bank accounts and assets, including a vacation home in Scottsdale, Ariz., a boat, two Porsches and a Maserati.

The suit also claims Gladden bought an extravagant home in southwest Edmonton and a downtown office building with the embezzled money.

Gladden has not filed a statement of defence and the lawsuit contains allegations that have not been proven in court.

Edmonton police spokeswoman Noreen Remtulla said a complaint about the case was received last week and officers with the economic crime unit are investigating. No charges have been laid.

The Alberta Motor Association has nearly one million members and advocates for traffic safety, sells auto, home and travel insurance, travel packages and roadside assistance.

An affidavit filed in court by the AMA’s chief operating officer, Michelle Chimko, detailed how the organization first became suspicious of Gladden.

Chimko said that Gladden was allowed to work some hours from home in August 2015 because of a leg injury. He did not recover quickly, remained away from his office for many months and failed to show up for meetings, she said.

Two months ago, he was asked to go on disability leave but became upset and refused, said the affidavit. He was ordered to take disability and, after he was replaced, questions surfaced about his invoices.

Gladden was fired on July 20, Chimko said in the affidavit.

The AMA said in a statement Monday that insurance will cover any financial losses and customer information has not been compromised. It added that additional controls have been put in place to prevent similar incidents in the future.

“We expect all our employees to perform their duties in a manner that maintains and enhances the public’s confidence and trust in our organization,” the organization’s statement read.

“AMA takes cases of improper conduct very seriously and when the matter was brought to senior management, we acted swiftly and decisively.”

canada-press

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