Stikeman Elliott LLP
It’s that time of year again – time to consider whether your organization is compliant with the next set of requirements under Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the AODA). In addition to those AODA requirements under the Customer Service and Integrated Accessibility Standards that are already in place, effective January 1, 2016, a number of additional requirements come into force. This post outlines those requirements as they apply to private and not-for-profit organizations.
Information and Communications Requirements
Organizations must ensure that, upon request and in consultation with the person making the request, publically available information in respect of the organization’s goods, services or facilities is provided in an accessible format and at no greater cost than that normally charged. The public must be notified about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports provided by the organization.
Employers are required to establish a number of internal practices with respect to the recruitment, accommodation and advancement of employees.
- Provide external and internal notification of the accommodation of persons with disabilities during the recruitment process and subsequent employment, and consult with job applicants who request accommodation to provide effective accommodation measures.
- Inform employees of the organization’s policies in support of persons with disabilities.
- Develop and implement a process for the creation of individual accommodation plans and a documented return to work process for employees that have been absent from work due to a disability.
- Ensure that the organization takes into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when implementing performance management, career development, advancement or redeployment processes.
Should your organization require assistance with achieving compliance with the AODA, please reach out to a member of our Employment and Labour Group.
By Laura Osman, CBC News
Uber and taxi drivers, now bitter adversaries, are going to battle at Edmonton city hall this week. But this time they have something in common.
Both the ride-share company and traditional cabs say the city’s plan to revise its regulations and make Uber legal would drive them out of town.
Licensing director Garry Dziwenka unveiled the plans Sept. 4, which would make Edmonton the first city in Canada to legalise the controversial company.
Dziwenka said the city’s goal was to make room for the new service while protecting traditional cabs.
In an effort to make sure Uber and other ride-share companies are safe, the city proposed rules that would require potential drivers to undergo criminal record checks, vehicle inspections, license applications and get commercial insurance.
That would set an Uber driver back approximately $6,800 a year. Uber spokesperson Xavier Van Chau called the proposal “unworkable,” given most drivers don’t work for them full-time.
Uber driver Eskinder just recently began picking up fares using the app to make some extra money on the weekends. CBC agreed not to use his last name because he could be fined by the city.
Eskinder said the expense would be too much to justify the few hours he works for Uber, and he has no intention of quitting his day job. He would have to stop.
“I don’t think I can afford paying all of this money,” he said. “I can’t keep this job like regular job. I work as a part time.”
Uber officials said many of their drivers would be in a similar situation.
Last week, in an email to its Edmonton clients, Uber wrote that “if amendments are not adopted Uber will be unable to continue operating in Edmonton.”
The company would like to see the burden of regulation fall on them, rather than individual drivers. Its business model depends on it.
READ MORE HERE: The big insurance question
ANDRÉ PICARD | The Globe and Mail
On Feb. 6, 2016 – one year after the historic Supreme Court ruling in the case of Kathleen Carter and Gloria Taylor – physician-assisted death will be legal in Canada. The Canadian Medical Association last week debated what life would be like for physicians and patients in this brave new world. One thing was clear: We are woefully unprepared for Feb. 7.
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The Court said the Criminal Code’s prohibitions on assisted suicide will no longer apply “to the extent that they prohibit physician-assisted death for a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination of life and (2) has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.” It also stated that physicians cannot be compelled to hasten a person’s death.
In the yawning gap between this straightforward theory and the complexities of everyday practice lie many questions:
• When a patient asks for a hastened death, who will they ask?
• What do the terms “grievous and irremediable” and “enduring suffering that is intolerable” mean?
• Who will determine a patient’s capacity to consent?
• If a physician can’t be compelled to perform the act, does he or she have an obligation to refer to a doctor who will?
• How long will the “cooling off” period be between a request and administration of a lethal drug?
• Who will train doctors to administer these drugs?
• Does a physician have to administer a lethal drug in hospital, or can patients take pills on their own at home?
• Will there be a billing code for assisted death?
• What do you write on the death certificate?
• Will life-insurance payouts be denied because a person is opting for a form of suicide?
The Supreme Court suspended its ruling for one year to give the federal government time to come up with an amended law (or not), and to allow provincial governments and regulators to prepare.
The government of Stephen Harper, which didn’t like the ruling, did nothing until July, when it appointed a committee to consult Canadians (and stipulated it could not consult during the election campaign). Ottawa is clearly abdicating its responsibility.
The provinces, led by Ontario, have appointed their own consultative committee, but it won’t report till year’s end
READ MORE HERE:
Frequency of severe storms encourages 91% to buy comprehensive auto coverage
Excerpted article: HuffPost British Columbia
Every summer heavily forested areas leave animals and humans alike susceptible to wildfires. By July of this year, British Columbia saw over 189 active fires burning — a number that Professional Organizers in Canada says is too high to not be prepared.
“Every family should organize an emergency kit and an emergency plan that they implement with their children — especially those living in heavily forested areas,” says Marie Potter, Marketing Director for Professional Organizers in Canada. “It takes less than a day, but can mean a lifetime.”
Potter also says that these kinds of kits can be used in the event of other natural disasters. “We don’t just see wildfires in Canada. We have extreme snowstorms, power outages and sometimes tornadoes. These kinds of kits are about being prepared and having that comfort,” says Potter.
To help Canadians stay safe all year round, we are sharing our top tips for organizing and implementing emergency kits.
Develop an emergency kit that can last 72 hours
In your kit, have necessary items such as:
- Prescriptions, special medication and glasses
- Copies of your essential documents: passports, birth certificates, SIN number, license and health cards
- A change of clothes
- Water and food
- An LED flashlight and extra batteries
- Cell phone, battery-operated cell phone charger and lithium batteries
- Mess kit
- Moist toilettes, toilet paper, garbage bags and ties for personal sanitation
- First aid kit
When you make your kit, don’t forget about your pets! Always have an extra leash or pet bag, and pack extra water and food.
Have an evacuation strategy
In the event of a wildfire, you will want to have at least two routes that you and your family can use to safely get away from your home. You should also practice these routes with your children, but not in a way that can scare them. Make these routes a part of your family walks or regular bike trails.
It is also recommended to make a list of friends or family that you can contact or stay with if your home is not safe. Be sure to have their contact numbers in a notebook in your emergency kit, and let them know that they are a part of your evacuation plan.
If you don’t have family or friends that you can stay with, make a note of where the nearest emergency shelter is.
Organize necessary items so that they’re easy to find
Keep your emergency kit in an area of your home that you won’t forget. This area should also be easily accessible — near a door, near your bedside table, or even in your car. Once you find that spot, make sure that everyone in your family knows where it is.
Have the right policies and documents in place
Make sure you have insurance that can assist you if you lose any of your belongings. Know what your deductible is, and always keep a copy of your insurance coverage.
Wildfires and natural disasters are difficult to cope with, but being prepared is half the battle. To find an organizer who can help you make an emergency kit and plan, visit www.organizersincanada.com
BOSTON, Aug. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — John Hancock Retirement Plan Services (JHRPS) has received six awards from The Insurance and Financial Communicators Association (IFCA) for marketing and communications creativity, design and writing. The annual awards competition, now 84 years old, offers communicators internationally the opportunity to submit their best work in over 60 categories. The judging is done by peers and each entrant receives feedback and comments from the judges.
“We are honored to have received this recognition from IFCA,” said Andrew Ross, senior vice president, Marketing and Product Development, John Hancock Retirement Plan Services. “Our efforts focus on putting the participant first, and we are thrilled to see a variety of marketing and communication tools recognized.”
JHRPS was honored with three “Best in Show” awards for:
- JH Signature Fairness ads – a multi-faceted trade advertising campaign that illustrates how retirement plan costs are allocated among participants
- 401(k) Atlas – an online education center for financial representatives to develop and share knowledge on a variety of retirement plan topics
- It Pays to Be Green Challenge – an internal incentive campaign designed to help build awareness for green-friendly online and phone enrollment options
One “Award for Excellence” for:
- JH 401(k) Ideas website – a personalized website that automatically distributes actionable sales ideas and industry insights to financial representatives
JHRPS also received an “Honorable Mention” for:
- JH Signature Enrollment Experience – a robust suite of personalized online tools, websites and marketing collateral, designed to make the enrollment experience convenient and easily accessible to all plan employees
- JH Education Experience – a variety of tools and materials to help educate plan employees on the importance of saving for retirement
About John Hancock Financial and Manulife
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, our group of companies offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were C$883 billion (US$708 billion) as at June 30, 2015. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.
The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.
John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), John Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York and John Hancock Retirement Plan Services LLC are collectively referred to as “John Hancock”.
John Hancock Retirement Plan Services, LLC offers plan administrative services and service programs through which a sponsor or administrator of a plan may invest in various investment options on behalf of plan participants. These investment options have not been individually selected by John Hancock Retirement Plan Services, LLC. John Hancock Trust Company, LLC provides trust and custodial services to such plans.
Group annuity contracts and recordkeeping agreements are issued by John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), (not licensed in New York) and John Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York. Product features and availability may differ by state.
Both John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) and John Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York do business under certain instances using the John Hancock Retirement Plan Services name.