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Mayor defends Vernon’s 4.9% tax increase in 2020 budget – Okanagan

Many city councils have been crunching the numbers for their 2020 budgets, and in Vernon, the result is a significant tax increase.

Vernon rate payers will be levied almost 4.9 per cent more next year.

However, the city’s mayor is defending the tax hike, saying the money will translate into extra services.

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“It is really quite a level budget matching inflation,” Mayor Victor Cumming said.

“The only difference we’ve really done is added these extra services in fire, in safety and in recreation.”

Central Okanagan Public School releases first survey results from transportation review

Central Okanagan Public School releases first survey results from transportation review

Along with extra funding for bylaw and recreation staffing, the 2020 budget will see the city continuing with an infrastructure catch-up program to make up for Vernon’s lack of investment in replacing aging equipment in the past.

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Vernon is currently eight years into what is expected to be a 10-year catch-up program, which the mayor said is already paying off.

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“We are spending less on emergency maintenance every year because we are catching up to basic maintenance and basic replacement,” Cumming said.

The budget also includes money to staff Vernon’s second fire hall in the landing area nearly 24/7 for faster response times.

During a pilot project for staffing that fire hall, Cumming said, crews had quicker response times in the western part of the city and faster response times for backup crews.

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“We ran a pilot last year,” the mayor explained. “We discovered that we got quicker access to any kind of issue on the west part of the city.

“We also got a really much better backup when we send firemen to a situation — we had much faster backup.”

After Vernon was plagued by dust advisories when the snow melted last year, the city is also planning to spend roughly $350,000 on a vacuum street sweeper in an effort to improve air quality.

“If anybody’s seen our street cleaners, there is a bit of a cloud of dust around them,” Cumming said.

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“We are hoping to eliminate that and clean the streets faster and clean them more thoroughly.”

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Exactly how the tax increase will be divided up among residential, commercial and industrial rate players won’t be decided till the new year.

Vernon mayor Victor Cumming speaks on development near heron rookery

Vernon mayor Victor Cumming speaks on development near heron rookery

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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This is the list of the top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada

With key-less entry, GPS and mobile apps, vehicles are getting smarter and smarter — and auto thieves are keeping up, according to a new report by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

Sophisticated thieves are using technology to “bypass security systems,” IBC, which represents Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers, warned in a press release on Tuesday.

Auto theft these days is less and less about stealing keys and manual hot-wiring and increasingly about intercepting the signal between your vehicle and your entry fob, said IBC’s Vanessa Barrasa. As long that the two are in close proximity, thieves can capture the signal, she added.

READ MORE: Your car-loan payment may be way too high. Here’s what’s happening

That may explain why, despite ever more sophisticated technology, auto theft has held remarkably constant over the past few years. The IBC estimates thieves steal a vehicle every six minutes in Canada, something that collectively costs owners close to $1 billion every year, with insurers paying out around half that to fix or replace the stolen trucks, SUVs and cars.

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As for the top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada, here’s the list from IBC:

1. Ford 350SD AWD 2007
2. Ford 350SD AWD 2006
3. Ford 350SD AWD 2005
4. Ford 350SD AWD 2004
5. Ford 250SD AWD 2006
6. Ford 350SD AWD 2003
7. Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD 2018
8. Ford F250 SD 4WD 2005
9. Ford F350 SD 4AWD 2002
10. Honda Civic Si 2DR Coupe 1998

What’s so special about the Ford 350?

While the list is dominated by the popular Ford pickup truck, that’s hardly an indication that Ford 350 owners are more likely to suffer theft, Barrasa said. Rather, the data is a reflection of “what’s available” for thieves to steal.

The truck is very common in populous provinces like Alberta, which weighs heavily in the national data, she added.

Still, pick-up trucks in general, as well as some SUVs, are being shipped for resale overseas, which is part of a larger organized crime problem, Barrasa said.

Global News reported in 2018 that organized crime was behind a surge in Canadian vehicle thefts, with some provinces, such as Ontario, seeing double-digit increases in theft even as the national average remained roughly steady.

READ MORE: Organized crime behind surge in Canadian vehicle thefts, auto insurance fraud, experts say

Organized auto theft rings are involved in international trade-based money laundering and raising money for drug-trafficking and terrorism, the IBC told Global News. Transnational gangs are even sending SUVs stolen in Canada to carry out terrorist bombings in the Middle East.

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Still, owners of small, less expensive vehicles can’t rest easy either, as thieves also may target vehicles in order to steal parts or take them on a joyride, according to Barrasa.

“These are thieves: they’re picky, but they’re not too picky.”

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How to protect your vehicle

Some of the steps Canadians can take to reduce the risk of theft are just commonsense precautions. For example, leaving your vehicle running while unattended — even if it’s really cold outside, Barrasa said.

Always locking your doors and making sure the windows are closed is another simple step that can help you ensure your vehicle isn’t an easy target. Other deterrents include steering wheel or brake pedal locks and visible or audible devices that let thieves know the vehicle is protected.

But as auto thieves turn into something closer to hackers, there is more vehicle owners need to know. Thieves can use wireless transmitters to intercept the signal of your key-less entry fob if you leave it at the front entrance of your house, the IBC warned.

Auto thefts are on the rise for car owners and dealers

Auto thefts are on the rise for car owners and dealers

That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t keep storing your fob near your front door, Barrasa said. But instead of dropping in into a generic bowl along with your gloves, and spare change, put it in a metal box with a lid, she suggested.

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Another way to protect yourself from electronic auto theft is to install an immobilizing device, which prevents thieves from bypassing the ignition and hot-wiring a vehicle. This includes devices that require wireless ignition authentication as well as starter, ignition and fuel pump disablers, according to IBC.

READ MORE: Border officers frustrated at police inaction over stolen cars being exported through Montreal

Some vehicles already come with this type of device installed, but if yours doesn’t, you can do your own research or contact your manufacturer or dealer, Barrasa said.

ICB also suggests installing a tracking device, if your vehicle isn’t already equipped with one. While this won’t thwart a theft, it may help authorities to retrieve your vehicle. The device sends a signal to a monitoring station or directly to police in case of auto theft.

Finally, Barrasa recommends storing personal information like insurance and ownership papers in your wallet rather than your glove compartments. That helps prevent a tech-savvy auto thief from also stealing your identity.

— With reporting from Sam Cooper, Global News

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Netflix accounts ‘reactivated’ without permission and sold on eBay

A number of Netflix customers who cancelled their subscriptions have found their accounts reactivated without their knowledge.

Fraudsters have been caught logging in to dormant accounts and resubscribing customers – without the need for their bank details.

Netflix wants to make it easy for customers to rejoin if they later change their minds after leaving the service.

And as part of this, it keeps hold of your data for 10 months after you leave, including your billing details.

This information, it said, is available to members who choose to cancel. They can opt to have it deleted by email.

However an investigation by BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme , has found criminals may be exploiting this loophole.

Emily Keen from Oxford cancelled her Netflix service in April 2019, but found her account had been charged £11.99 by Netflix in September.

She said: “I tried to login to my account, but it said my email and password had not been recognised.

Have you been affected by this? Get in touch: [email protected]

Netflix not working? Here are some ideas to fix it
Accounts are being sold on eBay

“It turns out the criminals had changed my login details completely and had signed me up for the most expensive service.”

Keen contacted Netflix customer services and was told her card would be blocked and she would be refunded.

However, Netflix went on to take two more payments in October and November, and refunded her only in part.

On twitter, many more customers have complained about similar issues.

“When you cancel your @netflix account yet somehow it gets reactivated the next month?,” one user wrote.

Another tweeted: “@netflix someone logged into my Netflix account & reactivated it without my consent & ive been charged. Help.”

And non-Netflix customers admit they’ve been sold the service on eBay.

“If you look on eBay people are selling “life time Netflix subscriptions” for peanuts. I bought one and I was sent, by email some bloke’s email address and password to log in Clearly a stolen account. I didn’t use it and just deleted the email,” one user confessed on social media.

There is a lucrative market for Netflix login details, with criminals selling “lifetime” accounts on eBay for as little as £3.

However, an eBay spokesperson denied the listings – claiming that such items are banned from the platform.

It said all posts would be removed and enforcement action taken against the sellers.

Netflix added that the safety of its members’ accounts is top priority, and members who notice any unusual activity on their account should contact them immediately.

A Netflix spokesperson told Mirror Money: “The safety of our members’ accounts is a top priority for us, and we are always working to improve this.

“We use a variety of measures to protect our members, notifying users to change their password when suspicious activity is detected, and when there is a sign-in to their account on a new device.  If a member notices any unusual activity on their account, they should contact us immediately.”

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Tesco is selling a tiny trolley for kids – and it’s cheaper than Asda and B&M – The Sun

TESCO is selling a tiny trolley for kids to help you keep mini bargain hunters entertained.

Better yet, the supermarket has slashed the price in half from £16 to just £8.

 Tesco has reduced the price of this adorable tree by £8


Tesco has reduced the price of this adorable tree by £8Credit: Money Saver Online/Facebook

The trolley comes with a mini bag for life and a fabric seat so the little ones’ dolls can join the shopping fun too.

The price tag is lower than similar trolleys up for grabs at Asda and B&M, so it could make a great Christmas gift for the kids.

B&M sells its mini trolley for almost a fiver extra at £12.99, although this also comes with fake groceries.

While the Asda-branded version sets you back £15 at the supermarket.

John Lewis also sells a mini trolley, but this is even pricier by setting you back £20.

Tesco’s mini trolley was shared by Facebook page Money Saver Online, and parents can’t get enough of them.

One user said: “Just got ours! Bargain! There is going to be one happy little boy on Christmas Day.”

While another tagged her friend and wrote: “Your boys would love this.”

The trolley is available on Tesco’s website as well as in stores. You can find your nearest one using its store locator tool.

The offer is only valid until November 28 though, according to its website, so it’s best to be quick if you don’t want to miss out.

In February, Lidl rolled out tiny trolleys for children nationwide so they can help parents with the weekly shop.

While Wilko has launched a massive 50 per cent off toy sale including Fisher Price, Harry Potter and Marvel.

We’ve made a round-up of the best toy deals for Black Friday – check them out here.

Tesco Christmas advert 2019 with supermarket staff delivering food to Winston Churchill and office raves

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