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SASKATCHEWAN | REGIONAL NEWS

KEEPING TABS

The government of Saskatchewan has introduced legislation with the aim of tightening up regulations surrounding scrap metal theft in the province. The legislation includes an update to the Pawned Property Amendment Act and the requirements for reporting for scrap metal dealers.

The changes would require that dealers obtain and record the identification and transaction information of the client from whom they are purchasing scrap metal, as well as the imposition of further restrictions on cash transactions in the attempt to curb the anonymous sale of stolen scrap metal.

As well, changes to the Traffic Safety Act will give police the ability to press charges for numerous actions commonly associated with auto theft, such as falsifying documents for the sale or registration of a vehicle or altering a VIN.

Currently, police have to investigate and charge someone under the Criminal Code. The proposed changes will give police the ability to issue a summary offence ticket without requiring Criminal Code proceedings.

PANDEMIC PADDING

A new report from Saskatchewan sheds additional light on the money saved by insurance companies during the pandemic, with firms in the prairie province holding onto an impressive $169 million in savings.

“With most people stuck at home, their cars have inevitably stayed in the garage,” said Antoine Fruchard, editor-in-chief at HelloSafe, the price-comparison website responsible for publishing the report.

“Indeed, customers are inevitably questioning why they continued to pay such high insurance premiums while they weren’t able to drive,” Fruchard said. Collision claims were down about 27 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the report, however, spokespeople from Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) have a different perspective on HelloSafe’s findings.

“SGI did see approximately 20 per cent fewer claims related to auto collisions over the past nine months. We also saw an increase in the severity of some injury claims which may be related to, in part anyway, to more severe accidents resulting from less congested roads,” said SGI spokesperson Tyler McMurchy.

However, for shop owners, the reality of running a business during lockdown speaks for itself.

“As far as business goes there was a lot less business in 2020 than in 2019,” said Monty Heiser, owner of Superior Autobody in Saskatoon. Drivers in Manitoba have already been issued two rounds of rebate cheques from Manitoba Public Insurance totalling $240-260, however, no plans for rebates have been made in Saskatchewan as of yet.

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