Consumer Alert: Should you buy pet insurance?

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IBC and insurers team up with law enforcement in fight against insurance fraud on behalf of consumers

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National reporting program to help battle cargo theft in Atlantic Canada

Source: Journal Pioneer

The Cargo Theft Initiative, which IBC and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) launched in Ontario in 2014, brings together industry stakeholders to raise awareness of the dangers and costs associated with cargo theft and to assist in the recovery of stolen goods.

Historically, cargo theft has often gone unreported because there are so many different parts of the transportation process that it can be overlooked.

The success of the program is illustrated in a case that occurred last summer in Ontario. The cargo theft reporting database – the heart of the program – facilitated communication between insurance companies and law enforcement regarding the return of goods. This communication led to a police raid in which the police were able to identify the owners of about $1.4 million in stolen goods.

“To fight cargo theft, we must be as organized as the criminals,” said Amanda Dean, vice-president, Atlantic, IBC. “Cargo theft is not a victimless crime. It is exacting a human toll, costing the Canadian economy billions of dollars and threatening the security of Canadians.

Officials say reporting crime as soon as possible is one of the most effective ways to solve and prevent further incidents.

“As the police, we need that information. By knowing where and when criminals are active, we’re able to investigate and do the analysis required to catch and charge those responsible and help prevent further incidents,” said RCMP Chief Superintendent Wayne Gallant.

Transportation officials and police report that cargo theft involves a sophisticated network of criminals who commit the thefts and distribute the stolen goods. The stolen goods are usually items that people use on a daily basis, such as laundry detergent, T-shirts, dry goods and electronic components.

Well-organized systems are in place to move the products for quick sale in the underground economy. Often the products are parcelled out and sold well before the theft is reported. A thriving black market keeps sophisticated and networked thieves in business.

newsroom@journalpioneer.com

Edmonton taxi companies: Uber accused of price-fixing in $150M lawsuit

CBC news

A collection of taxi companies in Edmonton have filed a lawsuit against ride-sharing service Uber.

The group — which includes the Greater Edmonton Taxi Services, Alberta Co-op Taxi Lines, and 24-7 Taxi Line — filed the suit Monday.

They accuse the company of intentionally flouting city of Edmonton’s bylaws regulating vehicles for hire as well as the Traffic Safety Act and the federal Competition Act.

The claim accuses Uber of allowing drivers to operate vehicles-for-hire without proper driving licenses or commercial insurance, despite being explicitly informed they were acting in violation of the city’s rules.

It also cites city regulations that say vehicles-for-hire must have a metering device approved by the municipal government, and must be registered as a taxi broker.

The cab companies’ lawsuit further alleges that Uber has also conspired to violate section 45 of the Competition Act by fixing prices.

It claims that under the act, Uber is considered a competitor to its drivers — since Uber, not the individual drivers, set the prices for fares, the lawsuit says the company “has unlawfully conspired with the Defendant Drivers to fix prices of (vehicle-for-hire) services” in Edmonton.

Uber has long said that its drivers are not full employees, but should be considered independent contractors. The suit claims that if this is the case, Uber is still price fixing by setting the prices charged by competing drivers.

The lawsuit asks for $150 million in general damages, due to economic harm the companies say they have suffered due to Uber ignoring city bylaws.

As well, it seeks an injunction to stop the company and its drivers from operating in a way that violates the bylaws.

Uber has not filed a statement of defence. The company declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Edmonton may become the first city in Canada to legalize the service; city councillors are expected to debate a bylaw this week that would regulate ride-sharing companies.

However, both Uber and taxi companies have dismissed the proposed bylaw.

Jaywalking Vancouver pedestrian hit with court costs after judge dismisses her civil suit against Porsche driver

BY CHERYL CHAN, THE PROVINCE

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has dismissed a civil suit filed by a woman claiming she was hit by a car at a downtown Vancouver crosswalk and instead found she was jaywalking.

Hanan Alsaeedi testified during a three-day trial that she was hit by a vehicle on Oct. 7, 2008 while crossing Thurlow Street at Alberni Street on her way to work.

She said she had the pedestrian “walk” sign and was at least halfway through the road when she was struck on her left side and fell to her hands and knees.

Alsaeedi claimed “substantial injuries” and planned to seek damages should the driver be found negligent.

However, in his judgment issued Aug. 27, Justice Robert Jenkins sided with defendant Satvinder Singh Lally, who testified he had waited for the crosswalk to clear before turning left on Thurlow from Alberni.

Lally testified he was already past the crosswalk when he noticed a woman running and cutting through the road on a southeasterly angle. He said he was already stopped when she fell in front of his car. He denied the car struck the woman.

Lally said he got out of his vehicle to offer assistance to the woman, who he said began swearing at him and accusing him of hitting her.

Citing the testimony of independent witness Mason Bennett — who said he saw the woman running across the street outside the crosswalk on a red light — the judge ruled the plaintiff “was not in the crosswalk at the time of the ‘incident.”

Jenkins also found “there was no impact” between Alsaeedi and Lally’s Porsche 911 Carrera S. He said Lally was a cautious driver who “took abundant measures to avoid the unexpected,” noting he had waited until the crosswalk was clear before turning and proceeded slowly past the intersection.

The judge dismissed Alsaeedi’s suit and ordered her to pay Lally’s court costs.

Largest South Coast storm in a decade causes mass power outages

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