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Prince Edward Island


PEI auto insurance strategy must limit regulation to control costs

HALIFAX, Aug. 12 /CNW/ - While PEI's recently announced measures to address rising auto insurance claims costs are a positive step forward, the insurance industry cautions that a proposal to increase regulation of the industry will tend to drive up the cost of insurance for consumers.

The PEI government plan includes a proposal that would cap non-economic losses at $2,500. A similar measure was introduced in New Brunswick where insurers have responded by applying for and using lower rates for consumers.

"The only way Islanders are going to benefit from lower premiums is by addressing rising claims costs," said Don Forgeron, VP Atlantic, Insurance Bureau of Canada. "Clearly, we're pleased that the government recognizes that."

"However, we would urge the government to reconsider introducing a bill that would impose more regulation on the insurance industry," said Forgeron.

"More regulation does nothing to address the core issue of rising claims costs. In fact, increasing the regulatory burden on an already over-regulated industry is only going to add costs for consumers," Forgeron added. "It's really no coincidence that up until now Islanders have enjoyed the lowest premiums in the country and the least amount of regulation," added Forgeron. IBC remains encouraged by the government's initial steps and looks forward to working together towards implementing lasting reforms to PEI's auto
insurance system.

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents the companies that provide more than 90 per cent of the non-government home, car and business insurance in Canada. To view news releases and information, visit the media section of our web site at www.ibc.ca

 

Six Holland College programs are being eliminated
By Jordan Trethewey


Six Holland College programs are being eliminated.

Holland College president Alex MacAulay says the college decided last year to terminate three programs last year: Parts Management, Small Business Counsellor and Quality Management. This year the three programs which have been cancelled are: Urban and Rural Planning, Autobody and Aquaculture.

The Autobody and Aquaculture programs are one-year courses with optional second-year components. Urban and Rural Planning is a two-year course. First-year students this year in Urban and Rural planning will be allowed to complete the course next year, then it will be officially terminated. "It is important that this is put in context," MacAulay says. "Every year the college does a strategic plan and a part of that strategic plan is to take a look at our programs.

"Over the past number of years, the college has initiated a number of new programs and it has terminated a number of programs that were no longer meeting needs," he says. "And at the same time, last year I think, we initiated three new programs. This year we'll likely initiate three or four new programs."

MacAulay wouldn't say what the new programs will be, but added that they will be named when the operational plan of the college is announced.

"So what's happening is just a part of the normal operation of the college, nothing new "There are a number of critical performance indicators we look at," he said, describing how the college decides to terminate a program. "One of them would be the demand for the program and the most important one is employability -- whether the students are getting employment or not."

He says employability and enrolment have been low in these courses. However, he said it's possible these programs may pop up again, if the market for those skills is present.

MacAulay adds that instructors who are affected will have the opportunity to apply for vacant positions within the college.

"I wouldn't expect there would be many lose their jobs."

Aquaculture instructor Jim Campbell says he is upset the college decided to terminate his program at Ellerslie Centre instead of helping him find a way to boost enrolment. He says course capacity for Aquaculture is 15 students and he only has eight this year, two of which are in the optional second year.

"I have no control of numbers any more," he says. "Before, I could meet the potential students."

Campbell, who learned of the cancellation two weeks ago, says he talked to college officials prior to the announcement about how they could go about increasing enrolment. He was surprised to learn of the program's termination because he thought the college would help him increase enrolment.

"I think some programs around (the college) are still open with lower numbers than this one." Campbell says this is his 14th year teaching the Aquaculture program at the college.

"I've lived here for 13 years," he says, adding that operating the Aquaculture program is a seven days a week commitment. "It's a big part of my life. "I'm in limbo now, they haven't told us what our rights are or what we're entitled to," Campbell says. "When you're involved in a place this long it's difficult to leave."

Campbell says at the end of the school year he'll likely have to kill off the fish and shellfish stock used by the program.

Autobody instructor Garry Sand says he's disappointed that he's losing his position. He anticipated the program's possible move from Royalty Centre, and was skeptical of what the college was going to do with the program.

"I didn't think it would happen this year," he says. He says the college told him the reason the program is closing is because of the Autobody industry itself. "The industry is not promoting the professionalism. We should be here training professionals," he says. "You can't open a law office on P.E.I. without having a law degree. You can't be a doctor without having a degree. But you can open a body shop without a license."

Sand adds not many students come back to the program as apprentices after their initial training and job.

After their initial experience in the industry and after they've indentured as apprentices, Autobody students can return to the college for more theory, preparing them for an examination, which if passed, makes them licensed journeymen. Sand adds he plans to continue to work with the college, so the students who wish to come back to the college to finish their apprenticeships, can. He says in the two years he's been an instructor, there have been 12 to 15 students in the program each year and apprenticeship has been low.

"I feel that's something that should change. It's been discussed in the industry before, but it hasn't happened yet," he says. "You can leave this program after nine months and get enough knowledge on how to use the materials and stuff and you can go home and open a business in the trade."

He doesn't agree with the idea that the Autobody program and its graduates are not in demand. "We have 12 students this year," he says. "There are a number of graduates from last year that are working. Perhaps in other programs the end result is better. It could be a problem, but I'm not exactly sure that's totally true or not. I know the college would like to have 18 students in the program and 10 more on the waiting list."

He said he learned of the termination about three weeks ago.

"My plan is to continue on with my training career, I hope," he says. "I'm going to go back to Human Resources and if there is a position for me somewhere I'm going to try it. They (the college) had shed some light that there may be some opportunities, I don't know what they're thinking."

Urban and Rural planning instructor Alton Glenn was unavailable for comment at press time. "There are a number of critical performance indicators we look at," he said, describing how the college decides to terminate a program. "One of them would be the demand for the program and the most important one is employability -- whether the students are getting employment or not."

He says employability and enrolment have been low in these courses. However, he said it's possible these programs may pop up again, if the market for those skills improves.

MacAulay adds that instructors who are affected will have the opportunity to apply for vacant positions within the college.

"I wouldn't expect there would be many lose their jobs."

Aquaculture instructor Jim Campbell says he is upset the college decided to terminate his program at Ellerslie Centre instead of helping him find a way to boost enrolment. He says course capacity for Aquaculture is 15 students and he has only eight this year, two of which are in the optional second year.

"I have no control of numbers any more," he says. "Before, I could meet the potential students." Campbell, who learned of the cancellation two weeks ago, says he talked to college officials prior to the announcement about how they could go about increasing enrolment. He was surprised to learn of the program's termination because he thought the college would help him increase enrolment.

"I think some programs around (the college) are still open with lower numbers than this one." Campbell says this is his 14th year teaching the Aquaculture program at the college. "I've lived here for 13 years," he says, adding that operating the Aquaculture program is a seven-day-a-week commitment. "It's a big part of my life.

"I'm in limbo now, they haven't told us what our rights are or what we're entitled to," Campbell says. "When you're involved in a place this long it's difficult to leave." Campbell says at the end of the school year he'll likely have to kill off the fish and shellfish stock used by the program.

Autobody instructor Garry Sand says he's disappointed that he's losing his position. He anticipated the program's possible move from Royalty Centre, and was surprised it was cut. "I didn't think it would happen this year," he says.

He says the college told him the reason the program is closing is because of the Autobody industry itself.

"The industry is not promoting the professionalism. We should be here training professionals," he says. "You can't open a law office on P.E.I. without having a law degree. You can't be a doctor without having a degree. But you can open a body shop without a licence."

Sand adds not many students come back to the program as apprentices after their initial training and job.

After their initial experience in the industry and after they've indentured as apprentices, Autobody students can return to the college for more theory, preparing them for an examination, which if passed, makes them licensed journeymen.

Sand adds he plans to continue to work with the college, so the students who wish to come back to the college to finish their apprenticeships, can. He says in the two years he's been an instructor, there have been 12 to 15 students in the program each year and apprenticeship has been low.

"I feel that's something that should change. It's been discussed in the industry before, but it hasn't happened yet," he says.

"You can leave this program after nine months and get enough knowledge on how to use the materials and stuff and you can go home and open a business in the trade."

He thinks the Autobody graduates are still in demand.

"We have 12 students this year," he says. "There are a number of graduates from last year that are working. Perhaps in other programs the end result is better. It could be a problem, but I'm not exactly sure that's totally true or not. I know the college would like to have 18 students in the program and 10 more on the waiting list."

He said he learned of the termination about three weeks ago.

"My plan is to continue on with my training career, I hope," he says. "I'm going to go back to Human Resources and if there is a position for me somewhere I'm going to try it. They (the college) had shed some light that there may be some opportunities, I don't know what they're thinking." Urban and Rural planning instructor Alton Glenn was unavailable for comment at press time.