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Alberta to end use of photo radar as ‘cash cow’

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The Alberta government plans to eliminate photo radar as a tool for revenue generation, Transportation Minister Brian Mason vowed Thursday.

“I think in some cases photo radar in the province of Alberta has been a cash cow,” Mason told a news conference in Edmonton. “It’s my intention that we are going to humanely put the cash cow down.”

The government will introduce new guidelines and force municipalities to disclose locations and the rationale for their use at those sites.

Starting March 1, 2020, municipalities will be required to submit reports to the Alberta government showing the cameras are making the roads safer.

Municipal traffic safety plans will have to tie photo radar locations to safety and will be audited by the provincial government.

The government will prohibit the use of photo radar in speed transition zones starting June 1. The new guidelines will, for the first time, define what a transition zone is. The size of a zone varies according to how much a vehicle needs to slow down. For example, a change in speed of 30 km/hr, requires a transition zone of 200 metres, 100 meters on either side of a sign. 

Municipalities will also be prohibited from placing the devices on multi-lane highways, like Anthony Henday Drive in Edmonton, without having documented traffic data to justify them.

Conventional speed enforcement will still be allowed.  

The locations of photo radar cameras will have to be posted online and updated monthly starting June 1.

The new rules come following a $190,000 two-year review on whether municipalities are using photo radar for safety or as a cash cow.

Although the report was commissioned over concerns photo radar was used to generate revenue for municipalities, the report reaches no conclusion given the lack of traffic data.

The third-party review found photo radar has a marginal contribution to traffic safety, reducing collisions rates by only 1.4 per cent.

Mason said most collisions take place at intersections but photo radar is rarely used there. Instead, they are often deployed on stretches of road where drivers usually speed.

Mason said he believes some municipalities were using the program to generate revenue. Some municipalities have fewer photo radar locations but generate more revenue, he said.

“That tells me that there are different factors at play in terms of the decision … on how much photo radar you’re going to deploy, where you’re going to deploy it,” Mason said.

“There’s not a relationship, in many cases, between improved safety outcomes and the deployment of photo radar.” 

 According to the report, in 2016-17 Calgary generated $38.1 million from 950 photo radar locations while Edmonton took in $50.8 million from 272 locations. 

Twenty-seven Alberta municipalities have photo radar programs.

The review began in early 2017. The government hoped to compile data on how photo radar locations are chosen, traffic statistics and how much money municipalities are collecting from the program.

When he announced the review, Mason noted the use of photo radar and resulting revenues increased after the City of Edmonton took over the photo radar program from police.

Edmonton’s program is transparent, mayor says 

Calgary Police issued a statement saying its photo radar program already complies with the new guidelines. 

“We will make any required reporting adjustments and will take additional time to review the findings in depth to determine any further impacts,” the statement said. “We are supportive of the review’s findings as they are intended to enhance public and officer safety.”

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson insisted the city is transparent and responsible about how it uses photo radar. 

“I think It’s important not to generalize about all municipalities,” Iveson said.

He said Edmonton directs its photo radar revenues to a reserve fund that is used to fund traffic safety initiatives like education, crosswalk and signalling improvements.

Iveson said photo radar revenues from 2018 are lower than the amounts collected in 2016. 

In 2018, some $42 million was collected from photo radar and intersection cameras, a drop of about 27 per cent from $52 million in 2016.  

“The revenue is coming down because people are slowing down, which is a good thing,” he said. 

Gord Cebryk, deputy manager of city operations, said the city will review the province’s new guidelines to determine if changes need to be made. 

“I think most of our locations and our practices are already in compliance, but we want to just make sure that everything is in accordance with the new guidelines,” he said. 

That includes showing why certain locations are chosen, that they don’t unfairly have photo radar in transition zones, such as going from 50 km/h to 60 km/h, “making sure that what we do is always safety-based.”

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Meet Canada’s youngest billionaire on 2019 Forbes ranking

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Forty-five Canadians have made Forbes magazine’s annual list of billionaires, with the youngest Canuck being 37-year-old e-commerce founder Peter Szulczewski.

With a net worth of US$1.4 billion, the Polish-Canadian entrepreneur came in at number 1,605 on the global list, but ranked 34th out of the 45 Canadians.

Shopify founder Tobi Lutke was the second-youngest Canadian on the list at 38 years old, followed by StumbleUpon’s 40-year-old Garrett Camps.

Szulczewski is a University of Waterloo alumnus and previously worked as a coder at Google before launching ContextLogic, a software company that looks at a person’s internet browsing history to predict their interests.

In 2011 Szulczewski and university friend Danny Zhang re-launched the company as Wish.

Wish is a mobile e-commerce app that connects shoppers with merchants in China that sell discounted products listed on users’ ‘wish-lists.’ The app has over 500 million users on iOS and Android platforms worldwide.

The list of Canadian billionaires is topped by media mogul David Thomson and family, with an estimated net worth of US$32.5 billion.

All Canadians in the billionaires club are listed below. Rankings are based on Forbes’ global index and all estimated net worth figures are in U.S. dollars.

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Optimum Talent and CareerJSM Are Excited to Announce the Launch of Thrive, the First Career Wellness Platform.

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TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar 6, 2019–Automation will impact half of all Canadian jobs over the next decade. As employers are faced with transitioning employees on to new opportunities, job seekers will need a solution that combines traditional career transition support with dynamic learning opportunities to upskill or retrain for a new profession. To address this need, Optimum Talent and CareerJSM have partnered to develop a software-driven solution that makes learning a key priority during career transition.

Thrive will redefine how outplacement and career transition services are delivered in the Canadian and global marketplace. On Thrive, employers deposit dollars into individuals’ accounts, empowering transitioning employees to select the services that will be most impactful to them during their transition. Job seekers can choose traditional services such as career coaching, resume reviews, and interview preparation, and contemporary services like Skillsoft, LinkedIn Learning, mental health support, and social media training.

While Thrive officially launches this month, the career wellness platform already supports seven client organizations and 200 job seekers across Canada; and they anticipate substantial growth over the next 24 months as employers switch to new solutions that align with the changing labour market.

“Thrive represents the future of outplacement and career transition. Over the past decade, we have seen rapid changes in the job market and outplacement support has not kept pace, until now.” said Mike Bacchus, Chief Executive Officer at Optimum Talent. “The needs of our clients and job seekers have evolved. Upskilling, reskilling, flexibility, and affordability are now top priorities and Thrive addresses those priorities first and foremost.”

“CareerJSM first launched our outplacement SaaS solution in Canada in 2017, and two years later we have clients on four continents. While there is a huge geographic distance between our clients, they are all focused on how the changing labour market has made upskilling and reskilling an imperative component of an effective outplacement solution. Thrive is the answer, and we are excited to launch this global platform with our partner Optimum Talent,” said Jeffrey Doucet, Chief Executive Officer at CareerJSM.

About Optimum Talent
Optimum Talent enables organizations to achieve success through people. We collaborate with leading organizations to recruit, develop, engage, retain, and transition talent. The result for our clients is a stronger employer brand, and a team of talent with the capability to achieve their business goals.

With origins dating back over 40 years, Optimum Talent has grown to over 260 colleagues operating in 13 offices from coast to coast. We provide expertise in Executive Search and Recruitment Solutions, Leadership Assessment and Development, and Career Transition and Outplacement.

About CareerJSM
Founded in 2014, CareerJSM is a global software company specializing in job-search management software. CareerJSM is used by over 80,000 professionals and enterprise clients in eight countries worldwide.

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Halo Labs Awarded Annual Cannabis Manufacturing License by California, among the First to Implement Track and Trace (METRC)

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CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. & TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar 5, 2019–Halo Labs Inc (“Halo” or the “Company”) (NEO: HALO, OTC: AGEEF, Germany: A9KN) is pleased to announce that the Company has 1 of only 52 annual state licenses issued to date and is one of the first operators in California to fully implement California’s Cannabis Track-and-Trace (CCTT) system.

Most California cannabis industry operators continues to struggle with stricter licensing requirements adopted by state lawmakers and regulators in recent months. In California there are over 10,000 temporary cannabis businesses licenses set to expire in 2019 with as many as 6,200 set to expire by April 2019. Currently, the state has no provisions in place for extending those expiring licences and many operators face the prospect of major business disruptions before they receive their annual licenses. Halo has dedicated the resources to stay ahead of the regulations, and as a result has already obtained its non-temporary annual state and local cannabis licenses and has fully implemented CCTT via the METRC software suite.

The CCTT system is used statewide to record the inventory and movement of legal cannabis products through the commercial supply chain, and prevent both the entry of cannabis from the illicit market into the regulated market, and the diversion of lawfully produced cannabis into illicit markets. Temporary licensees are not allowed to access the METRC system, while annual licensees are required to have employees complete comprehensive training before being permitted to use the METRC-CCTT system.

Kiran Sidhu, CEO commented: “Our teams’ expertise of operating in highly regulated states the past three years has enabled us to stay ahead of the curve in California and be both one of few fully permitted operators in the state and one of the first companies to implement METRC. “

ABOUT HALO LABS

Halo is a cannabis extraction company that develops and manufactures quality cannabis oils and concentrates, which are the fastest growing segments in the cannabis industry. Halo has expertise in all major cannabis manufacturing processes, leveraging proprietary processes and products, and has produced over 3.0M grams of oils and concentrates since inception. The forward-thinking company is led by a strong management team with deep industry knowledge and blue-chip experience. The Company is currently operating in California, Nevada and Oregon, and expects to begin operating in southern Africa through a strategic partnership in the Kingdom of Lesotho. With a consumer-centric focus, Halo will continue to market innovative branded and private label products across multiple product categories.

For further information regarding Halo, see Halo’s disclosure documents on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Statements

This press release contains certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and may also contain statements that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking information and forward-looking statements are not representative of historical facts or information or current condition, but instead represent only Halo’s beliefs regarding future events, plans or objectives, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of Halo’s control. Generally, such forward-looking information or forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or may contain statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “will continue”, “will occur” or “will be achieved”. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained herein may include, but is not limited to, information concerning the Company’s second facility in Cathedral City, the future prospects of the Company, the production capacity of the Company’s current facility in Cathedral City, the Company’s prospects for future partnerships with Canadian and European entities and the expected timing of the launch of DabTabsin various markets.

By identifying such information and statements in this manner, Halo is alerting the reader that such information and statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Halo to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such information and statements. In addition, in connection with the forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release, Halo has made certain assumptions.

Among others, the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information and statements are the following: adverse changes in applicable laws; adverse changes to suppliers and other third parties with which the Company does business, changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets and the other risks disclosed in the most recent management information circular (including the documents incorporated by reference therein). Should one or more of these risks, uncertainties or other factors materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking information or statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected.

Although Halo believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing, and the expectations contained in, the forward-looking information and statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and statements, and no assurance or guarantee can be given that such forward-looking information and statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information and statements. Key assumptions used herein are that the development of the Company’s second facility in Cathedral City will not be subject to any unexpected costs or delays, that the current facility in Cathedral City will be able to operate at full capacity, that the Company’s discussions with potential partners, both domestic and international, will progress as expected and that the launch of the DabTabproduct line will not be subject to any unexpected costs or delays. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and Halo does not undertake to update any forward-looking information and/or forward-looking statements that are contained or referenced herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking information and statements attributable to Halo or persons acting on its behalf is expressly qualified in its entirety by this notice.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190305005878/en/

CONTACT: Halo Labs

Investor Relations

info@halocanna.com

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA CANADA CALIFORNIA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: HEALTH ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE PHARMACEUTICAL

SOURCE: Halo Labs Inc.

Copyright Business Wire 2019.

PUB: 03/05/2019 04:01 PM/DISC: 03/05/2019 04:01 PM

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