An Alberta based automotive group with their head office in Edmonton has announced it will donate over $3 million over five years to the Kids With Cancer Society.
The money, donated by Go Auto, will help hundreds of families with children diagnosed with cancer every year. The society will use the money on services already offered by the society such as educational and financial programs and counselling to help the children and their families.
Many families were on hand for the cheque presentation Tuesday and shared their emotional stories, also celebrated what the new funding will mean for children coping with the disease that effects an estimated 250,000 children and adolescents worldwide, and 90,000 of these children lose their life to the disease, and it is estimated that approximately 1 in 333 young people will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20 according to statistics from kidswithcancer.ca
Kids with Cancer Society executive director Val Figliuzzi called the donation from the local business group a milestone. “it’s unfathomable,” she said. “We have so many programs we want to expand and also create new programs. This gives us the sustainability which is so important.”
With the new relationship, Go Auto and its 40 dealerships across Alberta, which represent some of the world’s top automakers hope to give more than $5 million with help from customers that purchase vehicles from their stores. For each vehicle sold at their 40 Alberta stores $10 will be donated, and are asking customers to match.
When Todayville asked GoAuto what community means to them, and why they chose Kids with Cancer Society, they replied “We are always looking to give back to the community in new and meaningful ways. Our goal is always the same; to encourage positive change, strengthen our communities and change people’s lives for the better.
Kids with Cancer Society does tremendous work and we identified a need where we thought we could make a big impact in the lives of these families. I also believe that we have come up with a very creative idea to increase the donation by asking our customers to participate.”
Jason Smith, Go Auto President added “The Kids with Cancer Society plays a critical role in the lives of thousands of Canadians every year. Rather than feel alone during treatment, the children and their families are welcomed into a community, provided with incredible support, and reminded that they are more than their diagnosis. This is an organization that means a lot to us. So, we thought it was time to take it to the next level by asking the 50,000 customers we have the privilege of serving each year to join us in this effort.”
September is Child Cancer Awareness Month, represented by a gold ribbon. It acknowledges and gives support to the thousands of families dealing with a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
The organization is funded entirely through community donations. The donation from Go Auto constitutes the largest single donation ever made to the charity in its over-40-year history.
Edmonton passes new State of Local Emergency Order; tough rules all vehicle for hire operations
For the safety of everyone in Edmonton using ride sharing and vehicle for hire operators the city has passed an order under the State of Local Emergency tough new rules to help limit risks of exposure to COVID-19.
Under the order, effective immediately, all taxis, limousines, private transportation providers, shuttle service providers; as well as all ride sharing services such as Uber, Tapp and all others operating vehicles for hire, must adhere to these new restrictions.
- No more than one passenger per vehicle; except if:
- additional passengers are members of the same household, individuals in a close personal relationship, or a required caregiver; or
- the size and capacity of the vehicle allows for 2 metres between each passenger and the driver (e.g. shuttle bus);
- No passengers are permitted in the front passenger seat(s)
- While driving and/or operating as a vehicle for hire service, cleaning and disinfecting supplies must be kept in the front passenger seat in plain view and used for cleaning of vehicles after each trip.
- Door handles (interior and exterior), window controls, door locks, passenger seating area, seat belts and buckles, must be cleaned after each fare and with disinfecting cleaning products and substances. Payment devices must be cleaned after each use.
- Drivers should take appropriate care (e.g. Personal Protective Equipment) when providing physical support to passengers.
- Any vehicle that provides service to a passenger who is demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat, or who otherwise indicates that they are at risk of having COVID-19, must be immediately removed from service and thoroughly sanitized.
These requirements and restrictions are now in place till further notice.
The City of Edmonton promises to work with the vehicle for hire industry to communicate these changes. For any drivers not following this directive, enforcement teams will be deployed to help ensure adherence to the new regulations.
The vehicle for hire industry has been deemed an essential service and these new requirements ensure they can continue to operate in a manner that is safe for both drivers and passengers.
Insurance rate increases absolutely unacceptable: NDP Critic for Service Alberta
This post was submitted by Jon Carson, NDP MLA for Edmonton-West Henday, Opposition Critic for Service Alberta
Thirty per cent.
That’s how much auto insurance rates skyrocketed by for some Albertans at the end of this year, after Premier Jason Kenney and the UCP removed the five per cent cap on rate increases that our NDP government brought in, taking a “no limit” approach to how much insurance companies could actually raise rates.
The jump was immediate.
Albertans saw a wave of premium increases bordering on price gouging. Over 90% of car insurance companies filed for rate increases as soon as the cap was lifted, and rushed to bill drivers as soon as they could. Of the companies that received approved rate changes, the increases ranged from 4.9 per cent to an eye-popping 29.8 per cent.
It was a nice gift from Jason Kenney, who already slammed families for hundreds of dollars of new costs in his fall budget, including hikes to income tax, property tax, as well as more in school fees, prescription drugs and college tuition.
As usual, Finance Minister Travis Toews trotted out the UCP’s one-trick pony and blamed the NDP, claiming that insurance companies were set to pack their bags and flee the province if he didn’t let them jack up premiums beyond five per cent.
The lobbying effort came out in full force. The brokers, the insurance companies, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada are working overtime to sell quite the sob story: a massive spike in claims costs, not enough options for drivers, etc, etc. It’s tough times for the poor, little ol’ car insurance company.
What a load. These are some of the biggest and most profitable companies in Canada, and they simply want back the power they had to jack up premiums hand over fist.
The truth is that claims costs over the past few years are level, a fact that’s supported by the Insurance Bureau of Canada‘s own data. In fact, an actuarial analysis by Fair Alberta Injury Regulators, an organization made up of concerned Albertans, doctors and legal experts, found that injury payouts have stabilized in the last few years, and even started to dip in 2019. Their actuary specifically found evidence that claims are “not skyrocketing.”
This is further supported by the Alberta Superintendent of Insurance, responsible for all regulatory oversight of insurers operating in Alberta with a specific duty to ensure that insurance companies treat Albertans fairly. In his annual report for 2018, he found on average that the claims ratio for car insurance was 80 per cent across all companies in Alberta. Not the 120 per cent figure the insurance companies trot out on TV.
And while the UCP Government continues to claim they have documents to prove the cap made the car insurance industry unsustainable, they haven’t provided a single piece of paper showing any of these companies would bail if they could–GASP–only raise premiums five per cent every year.
So why remove the cap? Well, in politics, it’s who you know. And Jason Kenney knows an awful lot of people in the insurance industry. Namely, his former chief of staff and campaign director Nick Koolsbergen, who was hired to lobby the Premier on behalf of the car insurance industry just last year. He has Kenney’s cell phone number.
Sounds like a good guy to have on your side… if you’re a car insurance company.
The fact is, these companies turn a profit of tens of millions of dollars each year. They’re used to having carte blanche in Alberta, and they want it back.
Under the thinly-veiled guise of “red tape reduction”, the UCP has struck a panel looking at more regulatory changes that the insurance lobby itself has said “could also change the rate regulation framework that governs how insurers set premiums.”
If costs are going to go up even more, who will Jason Kenney look out for? His friends and interests in big insurance? Or everyday Albertans driving to work?
Knowing Jason Kenney, Albertans should brace for impact.
Jon Carson is the MLA for Edmonton-West Henday and the Alberta NDP Opposition Critic for Service Alberta.
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