IBC releases 2017 Top 10 stolen vehicles list

Source: IBC

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) published on December 5, 2017 its annual Top 10 Most Frequently Stolen Vehicles list. High-end luxury SUVs are the most commonly stolen vehicles in Ontario.

This year’s 10 most frequently stolen vehicles in IBC’s Ontario region are:

  1. 2016 Toyota 4Runner 4-door 4WD SUV
  2. 2015 Toyota 4Runner 4-door 4WD SUV
  3. 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD and GMC Yukon 4WD SUVs
  4. 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 2WD Pick-Up
  5. 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD and GMC Yukon 4WD SUVs
  6. 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4WD and GMC Sierra 2500 4WD SUVs
  7. 2003 Hummer H2 4-door 4WD SUV
  8. 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe 4-door 4WD and GMC Yukon 4-door 4WD SUVs
  9. 2014 Toyota 4-Runner 4-door 4WD SUV
  10. 2005 Buick Rainier 4-door 2WD, Chevrolet Trailblazer 4-door 2WD and GMC Envoy SUVs

Quoting Statistics Canada as the IBC source, Donaldson noted that Guelph, Ontario reported the largest auto theft activity increase in Canada at 49%. Windsor reported a 14% increase and St. Catharines experienced a 5% increase. Of Ontario’s two largest cities, Toronto reported a 4% increase while Ottawa experienced a 1% decline. Theft was also down 17% in Sudbury, 12% in Barrie and London, 9% in Kingston, and 1% in Peterborough and Hamilton. In Ontario, the rate of recovery for stolen vehicles increased to 60%, up 2 per cent from last year.

B.C. sets minimum age of 19 to consume marijuana, plans mix of retail sales

British Columbia has become the latest province to lay out its plan for regulating recreational marijuana, announcing that pot sales will be allowed through both public and private stores to buyers who are at least 19 years old.

B.C. is following other provinces in keeping the age of consumption, purchase and possession of marijuana consistent with alcohol and tobacco laws, which Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said Tuesday will more effectively protect young people and eliminate the black market.

“We know that the largest consumers of cannabis are young people,” Farnworth said when asked about evidence from health experts on the danger of cannabis on the developing brains of people older than 19.

“If you set it too high, for example at 25, you’re not going to get rid of the black market because they’re going to go and get it elsewhere.”

The federal government intends to legalize non-medical cannabis in July. B.C.’s announcement follows a public consultation period that received submissions from nearly 50,000 residents and 141 local and Indigenous governments.

The B.C. Liberals pressed the government to act quickly on the questions that remain about how pot will be sold and where.

“This should not be seen as a profit centre for government and any extra revenue should be redirected to enforcement and addiction services,” Liberal legislature member Mike Morris said in a statement,

Farnworth released few details about retail sales, beyond saying both public and private vendors will be allowed. He was unable to comment on online sales or whether current marijuana dispensaries would be able to apply for licences to continue operating after legalization.

The government expects to release details of its retail model towards the end January or the beginning of February, he said.

Work also remains to be done on whether people will be allowed to grow plants at home for personal use, a practice that has been banned by Manitoba over concerns about enforcement. Manitoba also released its plans for overseeing marijuana sales on Tuesday.

B.C.’s public consultation produced a report that was released alongside its announcement Tuesday. It revealed polarized views on drug-impaired driving, showing that some want zero tolerance while others said cannabis doesn’t impact the ability to drive.

The report also says there was some confusion among consultation participants on the distribution and retails sales of marijuana, but many opposed Ontario’s model. Ontario intends to sell the drug in up to 150 stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and ban consumption in public spaces or workplaces.

“Most of these individuals preferred to see the existing dispensaries and their supply chain legitimized, licensed and regulated,” the report says.

It also says two points emerged on public consumption: People don’t want to be subjected to second-hand smoke in public places and they want cannabis consumption limited to indoor use at a private residence or a designated space.

 

Motorist Found Fully At Fault For Clipping Cyclist While Attempting to Pass

http://bc-injury-law.com/

Reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, assessing fault for a collision involving a cyclist and a motorist.

In this week’s case (McGavin v. Talbot) the Plaintiff had merged onto the roadway where a bike lane ended.  Shortly thereafter the Defendant, proceeding in the same direction of travel, clipped the Plaintiff’s bike while a vehicle attempting to pass causing him to lose control and crash.  The motorist denied fault.  Mr. Justice Masuhara found fault rested fully with the motorist in these circumstances and provided the following reasons:

[20]         I find that Mr. McGavin had merged on the roadway at the end of the bike lane.  Mr. McGavin estimates he was riding at about 20-25 kmph which I accept.  I also find based on the testimony of Ms. Talbot, that Mr. McGavin was ahead of the Mr. Talbot’s pickup when the bike lane ended.  In my view, Mr. McGavin had the dominant position on the roadway beyond the end of the bike lane, and Mr. Talbot passed Mr. McGavin when there was not a safe distance between his pickup and Mr. McGavin to do so.  Mr. Talbot did not pass at a safe distance. 

[21]         I find the passing occurred before the X in the lane and before the start of guard rails for the Colquitz Bridge (Exhibit 1, Tab 4) and that the rear of the pickup driven by Mr. Talbot struck or clipped the handle bar of the bicycle ridden by the plaintiff causing the plaintiff to fall at about the start of the guard rails by the Colquitz Bridge. 

[22]         As a result, it is my determination that Mr. Talbot is entirely at fault for Mr. McGavin’s fall. 

[23]         My finding here is made on the bases that:

(a)            A cyclist has the same rights and duties of a driver of a vehicle pursuant to s. 183(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, s. 318;

(b)            A driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle must cause its vehicle to pass to the left of the other vehicle at a safe distance and must not cause or permit the vehicle to return to the right side of the highway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle pursuant to s. 157(1); and 

(c)             A driver of a vehicle must drive with due care and attention and must have reasonable consideration for other drivers pursuant to s. 144.

‘Particularly vulnerable:’ Proposed law offers protection to Alberta pet owners

Davida Marantz got an unwelcome surprise when she got out of hospital in 2014 and went to pick up her beloved Sheltie Libby from friends.

The dog needed $4,800 dollars in dental surgery while the Edmonton senior was gone, an amount she felt obligated to pay back.

“They were so generous in taking her and caring for her and doing a really fine job that there’s no way I would leave the dog with them and the bill with them,” says Marantz, 70.

But when she checked with other clinics after paying the bill, she found that the surgery could have been done for thousands of dollars less.

That’s why she applauds legislation introduced last week by the Alberta government that cracks down on the way veterinarians communicate their fees.

If passed, veterinarians will be required to disclose their fees up front and get customer approval before any procedures are performed. They will also be allowed to advertise what they charge, something currently prohibited.

“Seniors are so vulnerable because they have these very strong ties to these animals,” Marantz says. “Some clinics may prey on that emotional bond.”

The deputy registrar for the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association is disappointed with the proposed law.

“All procedures that are undertaken by veterinarians are already being done with the authorization of their clients,” says Dr. Phil Buote. “We see this as unnecessary and inappropriate to have this kind of intrusion or overeach into legislation for a self-governing profession.”

Buote says veterinary practices are allowed to set their own fees because they are private businesses and there are no government subsidies.

Stephanie McLean, the minister of Service Alberta, says the majority of veterinarians are “good and trustworthy,” but she says posting their fees and ensuring customers give approval is important.

“Sometimes people have to make the really heart-wrenching choice of putting that animal down or giving it up for adoption because they get slammed with a bill they were completely surprised by,” McLean says.

“It’s a particularly vulnerable situation for folks. There’s a lot of emotions involved if you’re talking about a family member _ even a fluffy family member.”

That’s a situation Sara Courtepatte and her husband faced seven years ago after their cat swallowed a sewing needle.

She says she was charged $300 for an X-ray and was told surgery would be an additional $1,200 to $1,500, which she and her husband didn’t have.

Courtepatte was told it would cost $400 to put the animal down or they could agree to another option.

“They said you give us that $400 and we’ll do the surgery and we’ll take your cat. We paid the money and never saw our cat again. It was an absolutely wretched experience,” she says.

“I remember afterwards sitting in the car crying thinking I just paid somebody to take my cat away. What the hell just happened?”

Courtepatte now has two cats and a dog and she says she pays $300 a month for pet insurance.

She’s glad the government is making sure veterinarians have to make it clear how much care will cost.

“There’s going to be more information up front about cost and I think that would be hugely beneficial.”

Kath Oltsher, co-founder of Zoe’s Animal Rescue in Edmonton, also likes the proposed guidelines. The animal rescue takes in unwanted animals and attempts to help those with low incomes pay for the cost of veterinary care.

Oltsher says she’s had positive experiences with veterinarians who provide services to the shelter. She doesn’t want the profession to think that the changes are meant to be adversarial.

“It does come like we’re coming after you,” she says. “But I don’t know how else to make a change happen.”

Saskatchewan government proposes zero tolerance for drug impaired driving

The Saskatchewan government is proposing zero tolerance for drug-impaired driving.

The proposed legislation introduced by Joe Hargrave, minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, includes an immediate driver’s licence suspension if someone is accused of driving under the influence of drugs.

Vehicle seizures of 30 or 60 days would apply if a driver was also impaired by alcohol.

Three new federal Criminal Code laws on drug-impaired driving are expected to take effect in the next month or two.

Saskatchewan says there will be additional charges under the province’s Traffic Safety Act for anyone facing the federal charges.

It’s the province’s first step in developing regulations in the lead-up to the federal legalization of cannabis next July.

“It’s important for people to remember that in Saskatchewan it is currently and will continue to be illegal to drive while impaired _ whether by drugs or alcohol,” Hargrave said in a release Tuesday.

“That is not changing, even when personal cannabis use becomes legal in July. New federal legislation gives police new tools to detect drug-impaired drivers. Anyone caught will face the same tough consequences as drivers impaired by alcohol.”

Hargrave said there will also be insurance consequences for a convicted driver in addition to jail time, fines, driving suspensions and other sanctions imposed by the courts.

Penalties will include a minimum one-year driving suspension to a maximum of five years, fines ranging from $1,250 to $2,500 and a mandatory education program.

Suggesting Driver At Fault for Collision Based on Past Convictions is “Frivolous”

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

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, describing the suggestion of deciding fault for a collision based in part on a motorist’s past driving convictions as ‘frivolous’.

In today’s case (Rezai v. Uddin) the Plaintiff was a pedestrian involved in a collision with the Defendant.  Fault was disputed.  Prior to trial the Plaintiff sought to amend her pleadings to allege “The Defendant Driver had on several previous occasions driven in a manner that put pedestrians and motorists at risk of injury” based on

a.   on Nov. 27, 2008, the defendant was charged with speeding, for which he plead guilty;

b.   on Dec. 4, 2008, the defendant was charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian on a green light, for which he plead guilty;

c.   on December 5, 2008, the defendant was charged with entering an intersection when the light was red for which he plead guilty;

d.   on March 11, 2009, the defendant was charged with speeding, for which he plead guilty;

e.   on January 17, [2015], the defendant was charged with using an electronic device while driving. He failed to appear at the hearing and was deemed not to dispute the charge.

The court rejected this request noting that past convictions likely do not constitute similar fact evidence.  In dismissing the application Master Wilson provided the following reasons:

[22]         The parties agree that there is no British Columbia authority on the issue of whether a pleading alleging similar fact evidence in the context of a prior driving record should be allowed in British Columbia. The defendant refers me to some Ontario authorities in support of his position that such pleadings are improper.

[23]         In Wilson v. Lind, (1985) 35 C.C.L.T. 95, O’Brien J. struck from the pleadings allegations of prior or subsequent impaired driving by the defendant. The application was brought on the basis that the allegations were prejudicial, scandalous or an abuse of process, a rule akin to our R. 9-5(1). At paragraph 12 the court held the following:

Our Courts have held for a long time, and for good reason, that prior negligence of a party is generally irrelevant to proof of subsequent negligence. …

[24]         I note that of the five driving infractions in our case, only two of them are for the same offence, namely speeding. Both were over five years old at the time of the accident. Indeed four of the five convictions were over five years old, with the fifth occurring some months after the accident. The defendant was not issued a violation ticket arising out of the accident.

[25]         The only possible purpose for Similar Fact Pleading here, given the variety of infractions, would be to enable the plaintiff to suggest that the defendant is a generally bad driver based on his driving record. However, this does not inform the analysis of whether or not he was responsible for the subject accident, any more than a clean driving record would tend to absolve him of responsibility.

[26]         It is highly improbable that the trial judge would admit the defendant’s prior infractions as similar fact evidence to support a finding of liability on the part of the defendant. Evidence of prior speeding infractions does not lead to the inference that the defendant was speeding at the time of the accident. Drivers often speed without receiving violation tickets. Proof of speeding does not conclusively establish negligence in the case of an accident. In Hamm Estate v. JeBailey (1974), 12 N.S.R. (2d) 27, evidence of driving record and habits was held to be irrelevant and inadmissible for the purpose of determining liability.

[27]         In Witten v. Bhardwaj, [2008] O.J. No. 1769, the court was asked to strike certain portions of a statement of claim that also involved a pedestrian struck by a vehicle. The plaintiff had pleaded that the defendant had a ‘pattern of reckless conduct’ that included multiple speeding offences. The allegations of speeding in the Witten case were a year before and a year after the accident in issue.

[28]         After reviewing the decision of Wilson v. Lind, Master Haberman said that there were only two purposes for the plea about the defendant’s driving record and held the plea should be struck regardless of which applied:

The plaintiff’s purpose in including these additional allegations about Paawan’s driving patterns could only involve one of two issues: 1) to enable the plaintiff to ask the court to rely on Paawan’s driving record when assessing whether he was likely speeding at the time of this accident; or, 2) to provide “colour” for the court, so that Paawan will be viewed as a bad driver generally, and hence, be seen as likely responsible for this accident. If the former, what the plaintiff seeks to plead in the impugned portion of paragraph 15 is clearly evidence, not material fact, and on that basis should be struck. If the latter, it is frivolous and should be struck.

[29]         I agree. The Similar Fact Pleading is either evidence and therefore improper to include in a pleading, or is intended to suggest that the defendant is generally a bad driver and therefore he is more likely to be the cause of the subject accident, in which case it is frivolous.

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