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The extension follows a call from several groups, including the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance (AODA Alliance). The group is concerned that the government’s proposed five-year pilot project, which would allow e-scooters on roads in the same places as bicycles, poses dangers for people with disabilities. The group wants the government to agree to study the safety impacts of e-scooters before going forward with the pilot. Comments on the proposed regulation can be submitted until September 12. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Ontario is facing pressure from some of the world’s largest e-scooter companies—including Lime, Bird and Uber—to catch up to regulation in other provinces and allow e-scooters on the roads. B.C., Alberta and Quebec have all granted exemptions so e-scooters can go on roads in Kelowna; Calgary and Edmonton; and Montreal, respectively. In Ontario, the City of Waterloo cited laws limiting e-scooter use on public roads for the termination of its pilot with Lime. The pushback over accessibility concerns is a growing challenge to the e-scooter companies’ desire for quick regulatory changes, as the AODA Alliance is one of several groups with major concerns. Balance for Blind Adults and the CNIB (formerly known as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind) have also sounded alarms about the potential dangers of e-scooters to disabled Canadians. The advocacy groups are concerned that because e-scooters are dockless, they can be placed anywhere—including a crowded sidewalk—when a user is done with them. They argue this can significantly hamper freedom of movement for wheelchair users and visually impaired individuals.

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The entrepreneurship accelerator, which runs programs to help firms scale up, lost about $19 million in provincial funding and laid off 43 employees—about half of its current workforce—according to sources. OCE said only 28 people lost their jobs. (BetaKit)

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Talking point: OCE is a shadow of what it was in November 2017, when it had over 120 staff. The staff reduction can be tied nearly entirely to the shift in provincial government: since Doug Ford became premier in June 2018, OCE largely stopped hiring. In November 2018, eight staff working on cleantech projects lost their jobs after the Ontario government halted the cap-and-trade program. Previous governments have used OCE as a vehicle to invest in promising companies that they hope can create jobs and economic activity in the province. From 2017 to 2018, the accelerator invested $81 million into Ontario companies. Ford’s government is in the midst of making cuts to a number of similar programs while it awaits the findings of a Jim Balsillie-led panel examining the effectiveness of organizations formed to commercialize innovations.