City of Toronto hopes to improve traffic congestion by putting traffic wardens in place

In order to improve the flow of traffic a major Toronto intersections, mayor John Tory says that the city will be deploying full-time traffic wardens.

A pilot project was run in two stages this past year to test the effectiveness of utilizing law enforcement in this way. The pilot projects were run by paid duty Toronto police officers and successfully managed to reduced bottlenecking in high-traffic areas of the city. Thanks to changes made to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, full-time traffic wardens will be put in these areas permanently.

Debt-to-disposable income rates continue to climb in second quarter

Statistics Canada has reported that debt-to-disposable income rates among Canadians rose in the second quarter.

According to StatsCan, household credit market debt, as a proportion of household disposable income, rose from last quarter’s 166.6% to 167.8%. Meaning, that for every $1.00 of household disposable income in quarter two, there was also $1.68 in credit market debt.

Street parking may jump by 50 cents an hour

The Toronto Parking Authority will be voting on Monday as to whether 123 off-street parking locations across the city will see a rate increase of up to 50 cents per hour. The TPA has proposed a 25-50 cent price increase on short-term street parking, and $5-$30 increase on monthly rates. According to the TPA, the increase in rates are estimated to generate $3-$3.5 million in additional total annual parking revenue.

Limitations in Tesla’s automated driving systems were a contributing factor in a fatal crash last year

On Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board came forth to state that the limitations of the Tesla Model S's Autopilot were a major contributing factor in a fatal crash that took place in May of last year. The incident was the first known fatal crash on a highway involving a vehicle operating under automated control systems.

The NTSB cited that the cause of the crash was due to an inattentive driver putting too much stock into the technology while driving on a high-speed highway, when a truck driver made a left-hand turn, cutting in front of the car.

Gas prices began to lower on Monday

Monday saw a slight decline in gas prices in the United States, a trend that should reflect in the Canadian markets soon.

The decline in gas prices can be attributed to the reinstated operations of shipping channels, pipelines and refineries. While port operations across the U.S. Gulf Coast oil and gas hub have resumed, according to the US Coast Guard, many still have restrictions on vessel draft. Key fuel pipelines planned to restart as more of the oil refineries that feed them ramp up production.

Gas prices likely to spike in the wake of Hurricane Harvey

Gas prices in Ontario are predicted climb amid the impact made by Harvey on Houston and the U.S. oil infrastructure.

Senior petroleum analyst for, Dan McTeague, warned that areas including Toronto, London, Ottawa, and Hamilton could see a hike in gas prices of nine to 10 cents per litre on Saturday, on top of a projected rise of five cents per litre on Friday.

If McTeague’s predictions are correct, prices would hit between $1.329 and $1.339 per litre on Saturday, the highest pump prices paid in the area since September 2014.

Many Harvey flood victims are inadequately insured

As if the victims of tropical storm Harvey haven’t suffered enough, many are in for more troubles once things have dried out. According to insurance experts, most in the Houston-Sugarland-Baytown area do not have adequate flood insurance, leaving them on the hook for the cost of any losses and repairs.

"All these people taken out in boats, they have a second problem: They have no insurance," said Robert Hunter, director of insurance at the Consumer Federation of America.