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5 Things Friday

First National Cross-Border Vehicle Test

 Ontario and Michigan are completing North America’s first national, cross-border automated vehicle test drive through Southern Ontario and Michigan. The test drive began in Detroit and will continue from Windsor to Sarnia before crossing back over the border. The drive will conclude in Traverse City, with the signing of a new agreement between Ontario and Michigan to continue collaboration in testing, developing and marketing automated and connected vehicle technology. Demonstrations included features like traffic jam assist and technology that measures driver fatigue.

Ontario Court of Appeal

 Ontario has appointed the Honourable Justice Eileen Gillese, an experienced judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal, to lead an independent public inquiry into the policies, procedures and oversight of long-term care homes. In particular, Justice Gillese has been asked to inquire into the circumstances and systemic issues which may have contributed to the assault and death of residents who were under the care of Elizabeth Wettlaufer. The inquiry will help get answers to make sure a tragedy like this never happens again.  As part of her broad mandate, Justice Gillese will review the accountability measures in place to ensure they meet the objectives of the Long-Term Care Homes Act.

HOT lanes

 Ontario has opened the next round of permit applications and renewals for Canada’s first High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. The HOT lanes are on 16.5 kilometres of the QEW in both directions – from Trafalgar Rd. in Oakville to Guelph Line in Burlington. Vehicles with two or more occupants, or green licence plates, can travel in the lanes for free, while drivers of single-occupant vehicles can apply to purchase a permit. Applications to purchase or renew permits valid from October 1 to December 31, 2017 are now open until August 31, 2017. Permit holders wishing to renew who have already renewed twice will have to re-enter the application draw.

Safe Medical Alternative

 Ontario is giving women more choice over their reproductive health by making Mifegymiso, a safe and effective medical alternative to surgical abortion, available at no cost. Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of the Status of Women, on behalf of Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was at Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre in Toronto today to announce that, as of August 10, 2017, women with a valid health card and prescription from their doctor or nurse practitioner will be able to get the drug for free at participating pharmacies across the province. Mifegymiso is taken to medically terminate an early pregnancy. It is a safe, effective and non-invasive alternative to a surgical abortion that women can administer themselves.

Bike Share System

 The Ontario Government reiterated their commitment to expanding Toronto's Bike Share system. The Government of Ontario provided $4.9 million to the Toronto Parking Authority in 2016 to double the size of their network.‎ The Government of Canada and the City of Toronto will each contribute $1.25 million towards 50 stations, and the City will contribute an additional $1.5.Over the month of August, the 70 new Bike Share Toronto stations that will be put in place across the city will bring the total number of stations in Toronto to 270 with 2,750 bikes and 4,700 docks.

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