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Read the blogs below for the most current National and Regional issues the Sign Association of Canada is undertaking on behalf of its members.
City of Waterloo
The Sign Association of Canada's Ontario Chapter Regulatory Committee has been working with the City of Waterloo on the re-development of their new sign bylaws. The work which has been progressing for the past year is on-going. The Committee has met with the planners with respect to the draft and have submitted a formal letter with recommendations. The bylaw is expected to be before Council in a public meeting in early Oct with ratification by the end of the year.
At the meeting of Council Oct 1, there were many industry stakeholders present who pleaded their case. Most issues were with respect to portable signage. It should be noted that during the presentation, it was addressed that there have been a total of 15 complaints in 2012 with respect to signage and 13 of them came from Waterloo staff. All complaints were with respect to portable signage.
Our recommendations were received and a presentation about EMC's was made by Mike Novak from Daktronics. We are waiting now for further responses from the CIty.
City of Waterloo approves fourth version of sign bylaw by Paige Desmond, Record staff
WATERLOO — It only took two years and four drafts, but the City of Waterloo finally has a new sign bylaw.
Monday, councillors approved a bylaw without an opposing peep from the sign industry after months of pushback.
Danielle Ingram, zoning committee co-ordinator, said there had been a lot of community consultation.
“We have reached out to the public eight times over the course of two years,” Ingram said.
Past versions of the bylaw were met with both opposition from local businesses and concerns from council.
There were issues with everything from who would decide on exceptions to the rules and which types of signs could go where.
The bylaw goes into effect April 1.
The sign bylaw specifies where different types of signs can be located in the city. The document has been in the works since June 2010. In October, small business owners objected to a proposal to limit mobile signs, prompting November amendments which left local businesses — and councillors — concerned yet again.
Key changes proposed for the bylaw include: councillors serving as an appeal body for those who would like exceptions, allowance of fluorescent letters on signs and no requirement for accessory sign permits.
|Jan 2013||By Brian Lilley ,Parliamentary Bureau (Toronto Sun)||
Turn out the lights: Government should walk away from ban on incandescent bulbs
The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation, but apparently they have all kinds of business in every other room in our house.
If you are not aware, you have just one year left to buy real light bulbs before it becomes illegal to trade in Thomas Edison’s greatest-ever invention.
Starting next January, 75- and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs will become black market items, and by the end of 2014 the same will happen to 40- and 60-watt versions.
It’s all for the environment, though, so I’m sure it is a good thing.
The change was announced in 2007 by then-environment minister John Baird.
“Greenhouse gases are rising. The climate is changing. Winter is disappearing as we know it,” Baird said at the time.
Funny thing, as I write this, there is about four feet of snow atop my Ottawa roof and the temperature outside this morning was -25 C. Winter is not disappearing, scientists are increasingly questioning the official story on climate change and what exactly should be done and Canada has withdrawn from Kyoto. But Baird’s bulb ban remains.
The government claims the bulb ban is technology neutral, but the net effect is the light bulbs we have used for generations and once produced here in Canada, or in the United States, will now be replaced with compact fluorescents and LEDs from China.
Forget for a moment the “carbon footprint” caused by shipping all of our light bulbs in from China and consider whether this really is the best move. First there are the concerns about how the light looks.
As a man, this was never something that I thought of — light is light — but shortly after this ban was announced, I started hearing from women who will swear that fluorescents and LEDs produce a colder light, a less flattering light.
“I don’t like reading by the cadaver light or looking like a lizard in bed,” a friend e-mailed me recently.
The environmentalists would dismiss that as a vanity concern and nothing we should endanger the planet over, but what about our health concerns? I’ve had several CFL bulbs break in my house, including one that melted in the socket in my children’s playroom.
Have you seen the instructions on how they must be cleaned? Here are some of the steps recommended by Health Canada:
n Remove people and pets from the room and keep them out of the room during the cleanup process.
n Ventilate the room for at least 15 minutes prior to starting cleanup by opening windows and doors to the outdoors.
n Do not use a vacuum to clean up the initial breakage, as it will spread the mercury vapour and dust throughout the area and may contaminate the vacuum.
n Place the broken glass and cleanup materials in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid to further minimize the release of mercury vapour.
Ventilate for 15 minutes? Don’t vacuum? Seal materials? It’s a wonder they don’t tell us to call in a HazMat team with their white suits!
The decision to ban incandescent bulbs was a political attempt to make it look like the Harper government was acting to fulfil our Kyoto commitments. We walked away from Kyoto and we should walk away from the ban as well.
Of course, that would have environmentalists screaming blue murder but then again, they dismissed the move as insignificant when Baird announced it six years ago.
|Nov 2012||City of Toronto||
New Electronic Permit Submission and Issuance rules for Toronto
As of Nov 12 2012 the City of Toronto will be issuing sign permits in electronic form only.
In Nov 2010, the City of Toronto implemented a new electronic permit application process and through the evolution of this process, now all permits issued will be via email.
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INCREASED PERMIT FEES - Ministry of Transportation Ontario
Please note that we have received word that the MTO permit fees have increased.
New fees as of Oct 1 2012:Schedule of Rates
Permit Type Fees Frequency of Renewals
Location Sign $23.00/m² One time fee
All cheques to be issued to "Minister of Finance"
Credit cards are acceptable at most area offices
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|Aug 2012||Environment Canada||
Mercury - Product Care programs - UPDATE
We last addressed this topic in Jan 2012 where we had a visit from Environment Canada. Since that time, we have had 1 phone conference call with participants from all sectors of industry in Canada. Representatives from Building Management, Local Government, Provincial Bodies, and Elected Officials, etc participated in a discussion about the impact of new recycling rules and disposal procedures for products containing mercury.
This conference call addressed the issues that some regions (BC and QC) have gone ahead and are implementing rules and regulations through Product Care for the recycling of lamps and other mercury containing items.
EC will be joining with SAC on Sept 27th for a conference call with respect to the new rules for BC and QC starting Oct 1 2012.
In addition to this, SAC has communicated with Product Care about the impact, requirements and requirements of our industry. A discussion paper on this has been prepared and can be downloaded from the link provided.
Manitoba currently has regulations pertaining to the sale of lamps for residential use and proposed in 2013 to begin regulations pertaining to lamps sold for commercial use. The details on this are to follow.
The other provinces currently do not have official plans in place for lamps sold for commercial use.
Environment Canada advises they will be implementing by 2015 - 2017 national standards that will be used by all Provinces whether or not they have locally established regulations. These standards will not supersede any local regulations and would run in parallel with these programs. It is anticipated that when the EC's plans are in place, dual registration will be required in some regions.
SAC is working hard to unify these and simplify the process.
At the moment, it is recommended that if you are a user of, vender of or servicer of illuminated signage containing mercury content lamps (flourescent, neon, cold cathode, metal halid, mercury vapour) that you become informed on these regulations and requirements in BC, QC and MB.
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London - Improving Permit Services
The Ontario Chapter of the Sign Association of Canada has begun working with the City of London to help reduce the number of returned sign permit applications. In conversations with the City, we addressed a few areas of concern and requested that the City examine its procedures and that we would speak to our members with respect to completion of applications for submissions.
To that end, the City has endeavoured to improve its level of service and has appointed Lou Pompilli as the new manager for Zoning and Signs Team.
Initial feed back since these endeavours began in March is that there are less and less sign permit applications being sent back to the applicants. This reduction in volume is a significant step in the right direction.
The Sign Association of Canada would like to re-enforce the need to ensure that signage details are accurate and that all required information is included on the drawings and within the application for a permit. To assist, the City has provided two links to checklists they have provided to assist with this.
Our goal is to reduce the number of returned incomplete sign permit applications to 0. We request that all members follow the checklists provided to ensure that their applications are complete.
|Mar 2012||Electrical Safety Authority||
ESA - Information on Inspections and approvals
The Sign Association of Canada had a conversation today with John Calabrese, Technical Advisor, CSS Region, Central Region, Electrical Safety Authority - 905-712-7885.
John was kind enough to provide ESA Bulletin 2-7-28 which is a guide for the approval of electrical Equipment in Ontario. This guide includes a listing of Recognized Certification Bodies as well as Recognized Field Evaluators.
By following this guide, members doing business in Ontario can rest assured their products will be approved and acceptable for installation.
Below is a link to this guide and we recommend any manufacturer doing business in Ontario download and keep a copy of this guide in their records for future use.
Please note that the ESA is also a recognized field evaluator, but the field evaluation division is separate from the Regulatory Body and therefore is no more or no less a level or standard of approval. Any recognized certification body or field evaluator is treated and recognized on the same level.
On a last note:
Follow this link to the CSA publications web site:
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|Feb 2012||City of Toronto||
Toronto - Permit guide, forms, Historical Database and 2012 fees
The forms and guide you are going to need in order to complete a sign permit at the City of Toronto can be downloaded below.
The Link on the City of Toronto's Web site for the Sign Bylaw Unit is: http://www.toronto.ca/signbylawunit/index.htm
At the right, you will see a link to "Sign View". When you click on this, you can access the City's cool software that allows you to enter the project address and see an image of the zoning around the site. Clicking on the "I" for info and then the zone of the property will refresh the page and scrolling down below the map you will see a tab for sign bylaw regulations. This will give you the specific regulations for the site.
The Link on the City of Toronto's Web site for Application forms and Guide is: www.toronto.ca Sign Permit Forms
The Link to the City of Toronto's Heritage Inventory Listing is: http://www.toronto.ca/heritage-preservation/heritage_properties_inventory.htm
NOTE: Under the separate division requirements, a sign permit and a building permit is now required. The building permit form must be completed and submitted along with the required fees.
If you need a sign variance, there are 3 levels to consider.
There are various special sign districts. Below are the maps to these districts.
Toronto Building Mandatory Electronic Sumissions
Starting November 7, 2011, the Sign Bylaw Unit will be moving to a fully electronic service.
All documnets including forms, reports, specificaitons, calculations and plans will be required to be submitted in electronic format.
This can be done in person via re-writable DVD, or
Permits will also be issued electronically.
Details can be found at:
The official PDF notification is also attached.
First Party Sign Permits may qualify to be fast-tracked and issued in 2 business days.
The details of the program are as follows
* After 2 business days, the permit will be issued, or a detailed notice describing all deficiencies will be issued. Once a deficiency notice has been issued, the permit will be processed at the discretion of the Sign Bylaw Unit staff. All other Sign Permit applications will have a target turnaround time of 10 business days.
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|Jan 2012||City of Saskatoon||
Saskatoon Increase in permit fees
At the Annual General meeting for the Saskatchewan Sign Association a Chapter of the Sign Association of Canada it was discussed that the City of Saskatoon was increasing their sign permit fees. The previous fees of $10 per $1,000 value has now changed to:
|Jan 2012||City of Kamloops||
Kamloops Letter of Appreciation for our help
The BC Chapter of the Sign Association of Canada worked extensively with the City of Kamloops and their review of Electronic Message Centres.
At the Recent UBCM conference in Sept 2011, the BC Chapter had a booth where the Sign Association was able to field questions and offer suggestions and services to a vast array of municipalities that dropped by the Booth.
The BC Chapter welcomes all inquiries pertaining to municipalities from all parties. Municipal officials to customers, we are here to help!
Attached is the letter from the City of Kamloops.
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