|ONTARIO TRAILS COUNCIL|
The Ministry of the Attorney General is seeking input on a proposed legislative change to liability exposures for Ontario municipalities. Frank Cowan Company has worked with AMO and lobbied the Ministry of the Attorney General with the goal of easing the liability burden on municipalities in Ontario. As you are well aware decisions such as Thornhill v. Shahid; Giuliaini v. Halton; Deering v. Scugog and Oshawa and Fordham v. Dutton-Dunwich have seen liability assessments against municipalities increase to as high as 66.6%. Many claims are paid almost fully by municipalities due to the burden placed on them by the joint and several legislation.
In addition, awards have risen dramatically causing increased premiums. After many years of effort, the Ministry of the Attorney General appears to be willing to act and is now canvassing various legal associations for input on their proposed changes which are detailed below. While these recommendations to the joint and several legislation do not go as far as we would have liked, they are a positive step in the right direction.
Frank Cowan Company would appreciate you voicing your support for these changes to The Ministry of the Attorney General and/or your Associations. These are the points we feel are most important: • Joint and several legislation unfairly puts the burden of paying the majority of liability losses on Ontario municipalities. • Municipalities are facing increased premium and self-retention levels that divert funding from other essential municipal services. • Claims costs have risen dramatically over the past ten years. • A small number of insurers are willing to offer municipal liability insurance. Many of the insurers that enter the market exit shortly thereafter due to excessive exposures. •
The current situation is not sustainable for Ontario municipalities. Please click here to read AMO's Breaking News publication.