The new service will focus on Whister, Tofino resort communities
It could be a Green Christmas for those awaiting ride-hailing in Whistler and Tofino during the holidays.
The Passenger Transportation Board on Monday announced it has approved an application from Green Coast Ventures to provide ride-hailing in the Lower Mainland, Whistler and Vancouver Island outside of the Capital Regional District.
The company says it will focus on the resort areas of Whistler-Squamish-Pemberton-Lillooet and Tofino-Ucluelet. Expansion plans include Courtenay-Mt. Washington and Parksville-Qualicum.
Uber and Lyft still await a decision from the transportation board.
Green Coast told the board that the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino gets about 25 ride-hailing requests a day, the Wolf in the Fog restaurant in Tofino gets about 30, while the Nicklaus North Golf Course at Whistler calls for more than 20 taxis a day but that even when phoning an hour ahead, taxi companies can’t meet the demand.
“First-year fleet size goals are 15 vehicles for (Tofino-Ucluelet) and 30 vehicles in (Whistler),” the board said in its decision to award Green Coast its licence.
“Green Coast relies on (founder Dylan) Green’s previous experience operating a transportation company and knowledge of resort communities to establish that it is fit, proper and capable.”
Green started Tofino Bus Services 16 years ago with one vehicle, growing to 30 by the time he sold his company to Wilson’s Group in 2018. He could not be reached to comment on when his service will be running.
The decision points to the “significant peaks and valleys” resort communities experience in transportation demands depending on tourist seasons and holidays, and noted Green Coast’s unique app, Whistle, which focuses on resort towns.
“Passengers may also choose to share their ride, aiming to reduce fares for locals who often have to commute from outside of town to work,” the company said in its application.
The board turned down an application from another company, LTG Technologies, to operate in the Capital Regional District and the rest of Vancouver Island, and in the Interior (Okanagan, Kootenays, Boundary and Cariboo).
“A business plan requires documentation on the market for the proposed product or service,” the board decision on LTG says. “The only market information contained in LTG’s business plan consists of a few references to the global market for ride sharing. There is no information on the market for ride-hailing in the areas in which LTG proposes to operate. … The directors of LTG do not have experience in operating a passenger transportation business.”
The decisions were made after a careful review of the extensive materials received during the application process which included the supporting information provided by the applicants and submissions from interested members of the public, which included information from experts, the board said.
The next step for Green Coast is to secure appropriate insurance and to work with municipalities to ensure compliance with local bylaws, the transport board said.
Claire Trevena, the transportation minister, said she welcomes the announcement.
“People want to see ride-hailing vehicles on the road as soon as possible,” she said. “We are hoping to hear of more decisions in the very near future.”
The transport board is an independent licensing tribunal and continues to review the remaining 22 ride-hailing applications that have been submitted to it so far, a spokesman said.
RBC warns house price correction could be deepest in decades | CTV News – CTV News Toronto
A housing correction, which has already led to four consecutive months of price declines in the previously overheated Greater Toronto Area market, could end up becoming “one of the deepest of the past half a century,” a new report from RBC warns.
New data released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) last week revealed that the average benchmark price for a home in the GTA fell six per cent month-over-month in July to $1,074,754.
Sales were also down a staggering 47 per cent from July, 2021.
In a report published on Aug. 4, RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue said recent data from real estate boards underlines that higher interest rates are beginning to take a “huge toll” on the market.
Hogue said that with further hikes to come, prices will likely continue to slide in the coming months.
That prediction, it should be noted, goes against a report from Royal LePage last month which painted a rosier forecast for sellers in which values would more or less holding for the rest of the year following some declines in the second quarter.
“Our expectations for further hikes by the Bank of Canada—another 75 basis points to go in the overnight rate by the fall— will keep chilling the market in the months ahead,” Hogue said. “We expect the downturn to intensify and spread further as buyers take a wait-and-see approach while ascertaining the impact of higher lending rates. Canada’s least affordable markets Vancouver and Toronto, and their surrounding regions, are most at risk in light of their excessively stretched affordability and outsized price gains during the pandemic.”
The Bank of Canada has hiked the overnight lending rate by 225 basis points since March and has warned that further hikes will be necessary given that inflation remains at a near 40-year high.
In his report, Hogue pointed out that the housing correction “now runs far and wide across Canada” but he said that it is particularly pronounced in the costlier markets of Toronto and Vancouver.
In fact, Hogue said that housing resale activity in Toronto is at its slowest pace in 13 years, outside of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The stockpile of available homes is also up 58 per cent from a year ago, he noted.
“With more options to choose from and higher interest rates shrinking their purchasing budgets, buyers are able to extract meaningful price concessions from sellers,” he said, pointing out that the average price of a home in the GTA is down 13 per cent from March. “We expect buyers to remain on the defensive in the months ahead as they deal with rising interest rates and poor affordability.”
While Hogue did say that condos in the City of Toronto are likely to remain “relatively more resilient” he said that prices elsewhere will continue to fall for the time being, especially in the 905 belt “where property values soared during the pandemic.”
The July data from TRREB suggested that the average price of a home in the GTA was still up one per cent from July, 2021.
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Canada Revenue Agency plans email blitz to get Canadians to cash outstanding cheques worth $1.4-billion – The Globe and Mail
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is planning a massive e-mail notification campaign to reach Canadians across the country who have uncashed cheques worth a net $1.4-billion.
The e-mail notifications will target recipients of the Canada child benefit and related provincial and territorial programs, as well as recipients of the GST/HST credits and the Alberta Energy Tax Refund.
The CRA said it plans to send approximately 25,000 e-mails in August, another 25,000 in November and a further 25,000 e-mails by May, 2023.
However, even without receiving an e-mail notification, the agency said a taxpayer can check if they have a cheque by logging into My Account, a secure portal on its website to check if they have an uncashed cheque over a period of six months. It added that representatives can also view uncashed cheques of their clients.
Each year, the CRA said it issues millions of payments to Canadian taxpayers in the form of refund benefits. These payments are issued by either direct deposit or by cheque.
“Over time, payments can remain uncashed for various reasons, such as the taxpayer misplacing the cheque or even a change of address which did not allow for delivery,” the agency said in a statement.
The CRA said since the e-mail notification initiative was first launched in February, 2020, about two million uncashed cheques valued at $802-million were redeemed by May 31, 2022.
The average amount per uncashed cheque is $158 with some of them dating as far back as 1998, the agency said.
As of May, 2022, there were an estimated 8.9 million uncashed cheques with the CRA. In May, 2019, about five million Canadians had an estimated 7.6 million uncashed cheques.
“As government cheques never expire or stale date, the CRA cannot void the original cheque and re-issue a new one unless requested by the taxpayer,” the statement read. “These upcoming e-notifications are to encourage taxpayers to cash any cheques they have in their possession.”
The agency said taxpayers can register for the direct deposit option on its website to receive payments directly into their bank accounts.
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