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ONTARIO | REGIONAL NEWS

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NO MORE 90210

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has suggested that the practice of dictating insurance premiums based on postal codes may soon end. The insurance industry’s practice of pricing based on location represents unfair gouging of consumers, according to Ford. “I know we’re working on a plan for insurance companies, as far as I’m concerned, that’s totally unfair for the people of Brampton, of Scarborough–they’re going after these people based on their postal codes,” said Ford.

This statement comes from a conference related to recent gas tax cuts implemented to help Ontario drivers. This focus on driver-friendly policies seems to be a staple of the Ford government. Ford has already implemented the removal of license plate renewal fees, and the tolls from some highways as well. In the Ford government budget released in April, the Ontario PC party promised that insurance reforms would give Ontario residents more options when it comes to their car insurance. “Insurance companies are making tons of money and it’s coming out of the pockets of Ontarians. So, we’re going to be all over them,” said Ford.

For Ford, the proposed insurance reform comes down to an issue of fairness. “They have to treat people fairly right across the board,” said Ford.

MAGIC SCHOOL BUS

Environmental innovation has become a popular focus of society at large. As such, it has found a home in the creative minds of high schoolers at Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary School in Milton, Ontario.

“It’s inspiring what a bunch of students can build together,” says Matthew Lim, former graduate from BRCSS. The innovation in question is a bus, measuring six metres (20 feet) long, which BRCSS students have transformed into a working and living space. The project brought together students from multiple fields of study, utilizing the expertise of students in the culinary, arts, math, engineering, and design programs. The project itself began pre-pandemic, with a plan of completion within two years. However, due to the pandemic, the project was delayed until recently.

The bus itself has almost ten square metres (94 square feet) of living space, which can expand in size to 110 feet. It also has mounted solar panels for electricity. Inside, there is a table that folds out into a bed, USB ports, a sink, shower, and portable toilet as well as a library space. “It’s a different curriculum than sitting in a classroom,” says student Nabina Imran, “You get out and put it into action. You’re trying to minimize waste, minimize cost.”

The project is a timely one. Houses are getting more expensive, and people are finding alternative ways to live and survive in the world, such as mobile and tiny homes.

Most of all, however, this project gave students the ability to work on something, while learning at the same time. “It’s experiential learning,” says teacher Cesar Da Silva. “They learned theories and then were able to apply them in real-life.

The bus itself has almost ten square metres (94 square feet) of living space, which can expand in size to 110 feet. It also has mounted solar panels for electricity. Inside, there is a table that folds out into a bed, USB ports, a sink, shower, and portable toilet as well as a library space.

 

PRICE SPIKE

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is calling out the Mississauga City Council after an abrupt decision to increase towing rates by 87.5 percent on July 6.

According to IBC, this brings the cost of the average tow in Mississauga to $750, up from $400. This is nearly twice that of other cities in the Greater Toronto Area, with London being the cheapest at $275 and Brampton as the closest runner-up at $400.

This motion to increase towing fees was unanimously passed without consultation or reports. It also falls in line with the provincial government’s recent developments for more oversight of the towing industry, which has been linked to multiple, well-documented incidents of fraud and violence.

IBC says this decision is not in the public interest and worsens existing consumer pressure from inflation and calls on the council to “reverse this decision until the effects of this increase can be studied and justified in a more complete and open fashion.”

 

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