Uber launches affordable ridesharing in Saskatoon

Today, Uber officially launches its affordable uberX ridesharing service in Saskatoon, offering residents and visitors a safe and easy way to get around the city with a few taps on their mobile device.

Saskatoon marks Uber’s first ridesharing launch in Saskatchewan after the provincial government adopted new regulation for ridesharing services, followed by Saskatoon’s by-law approvals in December 2018.

“We are excited about the launch of new safe and affordable transportation options for the city of Saskatoon, along with flexible economic opportunities for local residents,” said Michael van Hemmen, Business Manager (west), Uber Canada. “We also want to highlight the innovative and collaborative approach taken by the provincial government and municipal authorities to help make this launch possible.”

The city also represents Uber’s first market entry in partnership with a provincial government-run auto insurance program. Working with Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), Uber’s blanket auto-insurance program provides insurance for every ridesharing trip allowing drivers to use their personal vehicles without additional individual insurance requirements.

“The fight against impaired driving is a priority for our government, and ridesharing will provide another option for people to get home safely. We welcome Uber to Saskatchewan,” said the Honourable Joe Hargrave, Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI)

Offering a safe and reliable way home, Uber’s launch in Saskatoon comes in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada. As part of the long-term partnership, both organizations work together to support regulatory reform promoting greater access to ridesharing as a service that contributes to road safety and prevents impaired driving.

“Having access to safe, convenient and accessible transportation options is a crucial way to reduce impaired driving and related crashes, deaths and injuries,” said MADD Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie. “With Uber, you can book a safe and reliable ride home at the push of a button. MADD Canada is very pleased that this important option is now available to the people of Saskatoon.”

With Uber, safety is built into every trip. Riders and drivers alike can quickly access Uber’s key safety information and resources in one dedicated place within the app. Users can review safety tools and controls, find safety tips, contact emergency services or learn more about driver screening processes, insurance protection and community guidelines right from the home screen.


Co-founded by Calgarian entrepreneur Garrett Camp in 2009, Uber is evolving the way the world moves. Present in communities across Canada, Uber has revolutionized transportation and offers Canadian driver-partners a new way to earn income in their spare time by offering an affordable transportation alternative to riders across the country. For more information, visit uber.com.

SOURCE Uber Canada Inc.

Winnipeg HumaneSociety selects Petsecure as Exclusive Provider of Trial Pet Health Insurance

The Winnipeg Humane Society and Petsecure, a Canadian owned and operated pet insurance company, are proud to announce that they have an agreement to make Petsecure’s Adoptsecure program the exclusive provider of pet health insurance for Winnipeg Humane Society’s pet adopters.

The Adoptsecure program delivers a six-week complimentary trial insurance policy that provides pet owners with initial pet health insurance coverage valued at up to $500 after they adopt a dog or cat from participating shelters. Shelters also receive onsite support from a designated Petsecure Territory Manager.

“The WHS welcomes Petsecure to our team, and we look forward to working together by providing a free trial of pet insurance for anyone adopting a pet from our shelter,” says Winnipeg Humane Society CEO Javier Schwersensky. “Pet Insurance is an important aspect of ensuring that, in case of emergency, we have the peace of mind of knowing veterinary bills will be covered and the best treatment options can be pursued. With the Petsecure free trial that we can now offer with every adoption, you can learn more about how insurance works, plus have the extra peace of mind of rescuing an animal from our shelter without worrying about a sudden change in health condition.”

“We are excited to partner with Javier Schwersensky and his team at the Winnipeg Humane Society,” said Raegan Ahlbaum, AVP, Petline Operations of Petsecure. “The Winnipeg Humane Society has been helping animals for 125 years and adopts out more than 4,000 animals a year. Encouraging pet owners to see the value in pet health insurance allows us to provide ongoing humane care and protection.”

Petsecure offers different solutions to suit the unique needs of individual pets. The pet health insurance plans include coverage for veterinary visits, dental coverage as well as alternative and preventative care. Petsecure works to help protect pets and give owners peace of mind.

About Petsecure

Petsecure is the flagship brand of Petline Insurance Company, a Canadian owned and operated pet health insurance provider. Petsecure offers comprehensive pet insurance coverage options to pet owners in Canada. Underwritten by Petline Insurance Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Economical Insurance, Petsecure and logo are registered trademarks of Petline Insurance Company.

SOURCE Petsecure


Gary Gardner joins Sedgwick as SVP of national sales in Canada

Sedgwick, a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions, announced the appointment of Gary Gardner as senior vice president of national sales in Canada.

Gardner brings to Sedgwick 35 years of experience in global sales and marketing, with specialties in disability, data management, business process outsourcing, property and casualty, third-party claims administration and workers’ compensation consulting. In his new role, he will be responsible for overseeing sales of Sedgwick’s products and services in Canada, as well as developing business development strategies, identifying new market opportunities, and supporting the continued coast-to-coast growth of Sedgwick’s business across Canada.

Gary Gardner senior vice president of national sales

“Gary joins us at a pivotal stage in Sedgwick’s business development in Canada, and I am confident he will excel in his new role and boost our sales operations, so we can better serve our customers and meet our market goals,” said Michael C. Holden, president of Sedgwick in Canada.

Gardner holds the designation as a Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) from the Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC). He has been recognized for his charitable efforts on behalf of the Ontario Risk and Insurance Management Society (ORIMS) and the Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC). He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto.

“Gary’s knowledge of our claim services and business process outsourcing and consulting solutions will be a great addition to Sedgwick and our clients,” said Sedgwick group president Bob Peterson. “With his extensive experience in the industry, Gary’s appointment nicely complements our business strategy and supports our plans for continued expansion in this market.”

To learn more about Sedgwick in Canada, visit sedgwick.com/ca or call 888-601-6228.

About Sedgwick 
Sedgwick is a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions. We provide a broad range of resources tailored to our clients’ specific needs in casualty, property, marine, benefits and other lines. At Sedgwick, caring counts®; through the dedication and exper­tise of more than 21,000 colleagues across 65 countries, the company takes care of people and organizations by mitigating and reducing risks and losses, promoting health and productivity, protecting brand reputations, and containing costs that can impact the bottom line. Sedgwick’s majority shareholder is The Carlyle Group; Stone Point Capital LLC, La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and other management investors are minority shareholders. For more, see sedgwick.com.

SOURCE Sedgwick

Canada budget to include limited coverage for prescription drugs – sources

OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s Liberal government will propose a limited expansion to the country’s universal healthcare system in the spring budget to cover part of the cost of prescription drugs, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The modest broadening of the healthcare program is set to become one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s key campaign promises ahead of the October election, which is shaping up to be a close fight.

The government would not commit to meeting 100 percent of the cost of prescription drugs for those who have no insurance through their workplace, the sources said. That suggests the government is leaning toward a narrower, more insurance industry-friendly model of pharmacare, as it is called, than that recommended by a government health committee last year.

A spokesman for Finance Minister Bill Morneau declined to comment.

Officials have yet to decide how much detail to provide about the pharmacare system in the budget, which is expected in the week of March 18, the sources said. They may release a general commitment to boost coverage and leave the specifics for the campaign, they added.

But new information on pharmacare’s inclusion in the spring budget and its limited scope gives a first glimpse of the government’s blueprint for what has been called the “unfinished business” of Canada’s publicly funded healthcare system, called medicare.

The sources, who spoke in recent days, requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Canada’s health system covers care provided in hospitals and doctors’ offices, but prescription medication remains largely the purview of private insurance, often offered through employers, and a patchwork of public plans geared primarily toward the old and the very poor.

Opinion polls consistently show strong popularity for Canada’s public healthcare system.

There have been calls for Canada to extend medicare to include prescription drugs since medicare came into existence in the late 1960s, and multiple studies have recommended its inclusion.

Surveys have found 20 percent of Canadians are either uninsured for prescription drugs or under-insured, and one in 10 Canadians goes without prescription medications because of an inability to afford them, according to the standing committee on health’s pharmacare report released in April 2018.

Manulife Financial Corp, Sun Life Financial Inc and Great West LifeCo are among the major insurers in Canada.


The Liberal-dominated government health committee strongly recommended Canada adopt a universal, national pharmacare program that covers drug expenditures for all Canadians for a wide range of drugs.

That would not only improve equity and access, advocates said, but lower drug costs because there would only be one buyer negotiating with pharmaceutical companies.

The government’s budget watchdog estimated that would cost about C$20.4 billion ($15.5 billion) a year – a hefty price tag for the government, but offering an overall saving of C$4.2 billion compared with the total now spent on prescription drugs.

What the government is likely to include in its budget is a much more targeted plan aimed at filling the gaps in coverage not already filled by private insurance or existing public plans, the sources said.

That matches with the government’s finance committee recommendation late last year, which Morneau, himself a former benefits industry executive, has said he would prefer.

It is also in line with what the insurance industry has been asking for. Standing to lose business to a universal government plan, the insurers have argued that most Canadians have good private coverage and that pharmacare changes need only affect a small uninsured minority.

But the Liberals will likely face criticism from policy advocates and left-leaning political opponents for not pursuing a more comprehensive plan. Without a universal system overhaul, advocates argue, people will continue to slip through costly cracks in the coverage system.

An advisory council appointed to study the implementation of pharmacare is expected to come out with recommendations this spring.

New Canadian Drone Regulations

Field Law

On January 9, 2019, Transport Canada published new rules for flying drones in Canada to enhance predictability for businesses, improve the security of aviation and ensure our airspace is safe for everyone.

The new regulations distinguish between basic and advanced operations and require drones of a certain size to be registered with Transport Canada and drone pilots to get a drone pilot certificate. The regulations also prohibit reckless or negligent operation of a drone and those who break the rules can face fines up to $25,000 or jail time.  The rules apply to Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)/drones that weigh between 250 grams and 25 kilograms.

A summary of the new rules that come into effect on June 1, 2019, can found on the Transport Canada website. Until June 1, drone pilots should continue to follow the existing rules.

How will the changes to RPAS/drone regulations affect your business?

The Emerging Technology team at Field Law will be presenting a workshop in March 2019 to help business owners and other users of RPAS understand the new regulations and navigate the legal landscape for drone use including contractual, insurance, privacy, and intellectual property issues.

To receive more information about this event, or other updates relating to drone law, please subscribe here.

McNamara wants fairer system to protect municipalities against insurance hikes

‘We can’t be held entirely responsible for somebody else’s negligence,’ said Gary McNamara

The excerpted article was written by Dale Molnar · CBC News

Tecumseh mayor and Essex County warden Gary McNamara says the government needs to come up with a system that makes it fairer for municipalities when it comes to liability claims.

Premier Doug Ford has told members of rural municipalities in Ontario that his government will look at ways to reduce the costs they have to pay when they are sued.

Some municipalities are facing high insurance rate hikes because even though they are found only one per cent liable for accidents on municipal property, they often have to pay 100 per cent of judgments.

This has forced smaller municipalities to close toboggan hills and snowmobile trails.

“Municipalities should be in a comfort zone where they don’t ban tobogganing or not allow kids to play street hockey. We can’t be held entirely responsible for somebody else’s negligence,” said McNamara, who is one of 1,100 municipal officials attending the Rural Ontario Municipalities Association conference in Toronto.

Rural municipalities have long been calling for reforms, saying they fear the legal convention could mean they face steep lawsuits for even minor injuries on public property.

Gary McNamara says Ontario municipalities are spending $300 million collectively each year on insurance premiums. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

McNamara understands injured people need to be compensated somehow, but he said municipalities can’t afford the high insurance rates that have resulted, because courts consistently award complainants large amounts of money to be paid by the municipalities.

“All we’re saying is it should be fair, equitable, balanced so that municipalities can have a more sustainable program insuring their communities,” said McNamara.

McNamara said municipalities across Ontario are collectively spending $300 million in insurance premiums annually — money that could be going into infrastructure programs.

He said trial lawyers and judges should not be making policy, instead, it should be the job of the government.

Minister of municipal affairs Steve Clark and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney will be looking at the issue to come up with a solution.

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