Elliott Silverstein is Manager of Government Relations at CAA South Central Ontario. He is responsible for managing and executing key elements of CAA’s provincial advocacy efforts, along with overseeing municipal advocacy efforts. Elliott is actively representing Ontario’s 2.3 million CAA Members to municipal and provincial governments on issues concerning personal mobility, road safety, consumer protection, and motorist-related legislation.
Elliott brings a mix of communications, advocacy and strategy to CAA's advocacy initiatives. He has managed several provincial advocacy campaigns in Ontario with many resulting in legislative and regulatory changes that benefit Ontarians every day. These efforts include advocating for dedicated funding for infrastructure, regulation of the towing industry, changes to Ontario's distracted driving laws, amendments to the Highway Traffic Act, and the inclusion of the towing industry in Ontario’s Slow Down, Move Over legislation to help protect roadside assistance workers.
Industry Expertise (3)
Areas of Expertise (7)
York University/Ryerson University: M.A., Communications and Culture 2002
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture
Specialization in Politics and Policy
York University: B.A., Politics and Communications 2000
Media Appearances (35)
Where are the bottlenecks?
Canadian Underwriter online
“Right now, municipalities have varying regulations and bylaws around how much a tow can cost, how the process works in terms of hooking the vehicle up, and where the vehicle goes,” says Elliott Silverstein, manager of government relations at CAA South Central Ontario.
Analysis: Are tougher texting-and-driving penalties changing driver habits?
Mississauga News online
“We see it on our roads every day, but now we’re seeing more and more people actually self-admitting and admitting that they’re driving distracted and they’re taking on behaviours that are risky for themselves and others on the road,” said Elliott Silverstein, manager of government relations at CAA.
Insurer reveals distracted driving punishment statistics
Canadian Underwriter online
“We hope this is going to serve as a deterrent,” CAA SCO government relations manager Elliott Silverstein told Canadian Underwriter earlier, commenting on Ontario’s new distracted driving penalties. “It’s not going to change behaviour overnight but we have only seen the growth of the smart phone over the last five to 10 years.”
Are drivers in denial? Only 43 per cent of Ontarians admit to being distracted drivers
Canadian Insider online
"Distracted driving continues to be a challenge on Ontario's roads, nearly a decade after the initial legislation banning handheld devices was introduced," says Elliott Silverstein, manager of government relations, CAA SCO.
Will Ontario’s updated distracted driving laws prompt drivers to finally put down their devices?
Stouffville Review online
“CAA fully supports the increased fines and penalties that will be in place for distracted driving,” said Elliott Silverstein, CAA SCO government relations manager. “Hopefully these new rules will encourage motorists to remain focused on the road and keep devices far from reach when operating their vehicle.”
How this insurer detects distracted drivers
Canadian Underwriter online
The licence suspensions for distracted drivers “adds an extra element that wasn’t there before,” CAA SCO government relations manager Elliott Silverstein told Canadian Underwriter earlier.
Making road safety education a priority in Durham Region
Oshawa This Week print
“Now that Ontario has legalized cannabis, we must shift our conversation from the theoretical to reality such as keeping our roads safe.”
How often do people drive while high?
CBC Metro Morning radio
A new study from CAA says 1.9 million cannabis users in Ontario have driven while high, and the majority think they drive as well or better when stoned.
Nearly half of cannabis users say they have driven while impaired
“This study really told us that a considerable number of Ontarians who are cannabis users are getting behind the wheel. In the past three months, it is estimated that about 750,000 Ontarians were getting behind the wheel (after consuming cannabis),” Elliott Silverstein, CAA’s manager of government relations, told CP24 on Thursday morning.
Half of Ontario cannabis users have driven after using the drug, according to new poll
The Toronto Star online
“It tells us right away that road safety must be a priority and be a leading issue now that we’re getting towards the point of legalization,” said Elliott Silverstein, the CAA’s manager of government relations, who emphasized the need for public awareness campaigns to deter driving while high.
Nearly 2M drivers have driven high on pot in Ont.: CAA
CTV News online
"Road safety needs to be prioritized as a leading issue as cannabis becomes legal in the coming weeks, but it's clear that the focus can't solely be on cannabis-impaired driving," Elliott Silverstein, manager of government relations for the CAA SCO, said in a news release.
Almost 2 million Ontario drivers have driven under the influence of cannabis: CAA
Global News online
“We’re now learning through this study the volumes of people — those who are using alcohol to some degree and cannabis before getting behind the wheel. That’s a significant conversation that’s yet to be had, but one that is absolutely very real on our roads right now, said Elliott Silverstein, manager, government relations, CAA South Central Ontario (SCO).
Pay-as-you-go auto insurance coming to Ontario this summer
Insurance Business Magazine online
“As we stand here today in Union Station, tens of thousands of commuters have chosen to take public transportation into the downtown core from their residences across the Great Toronto and Hamilton area, and beyond,” said Elliott Silverstein (second from right), manager of government relations for CAA South Central Ontario. “They are individuals who have chosen to reduce the amount of kilometres they put on their cars daily and now, there is an insurance program that is more aligned to their lifestyle and their choice.”
Winter tires cut auto insurance claims frequency: CAA
Canadian Underwriter online
“As road safety advocates, CAA led the effort seven years ago to have an insurance discount for installing winter tires on your vehicle” in Ontario, said Elliott Silverstein, manager of government relations for CAA South Central Ontario, on Wednesday.
How much should an airline pay for bumping a passenger? Now you can have your say
Toronto Star print
Elliott Silverstein, a CAA spokesperson, said it’s reasonable for airlines to offer vouchers or upgrades, as long as cash remains one of the options. The challenge with a voucher is that it may have a limited lifespan or be challenging to use.
CAA unveils 'pay as you go' insurance
The Canadian Automobile Association is launching a new policy that allows you to pay for insurance based on mileage.
CAA introduces MyPace 'pay as you go' insurance
Global News 640 Toronto radio
Elliott Silverstein, Government Relations Manager for CAA, joined The Exchange with Matt Gurney to chat about MyPace and how the 'pay as you go' insurance works.
CAA unveils pay-as-you-go car insurance
CAA is launching CAA MyPace.
CAA Recommends Extra Vigilance When Changing Winter Tires
Kingston Herald online
“Wheel separation can not only cause traffic congestion from broken down vehicles, but also property damage, injuries and even fatalities,” said Elliott Silverstein, government relations manager, CAA SCO. “It is important to pay careful attention when changing your tires whether you or your local repair facility make the switch.”
Time to change your winter tires – but make sure it’s done properly: CAA
Durham Radio News online
“Wheel separation can not only cause traffic congestion from broken down vehicles, but also property damage, injuries and even fatalities,” said Silverstein. “It is important to pay careful attention when changing your tires whether you or your local repair facility make the switch.”
Towing Industry and Consumer Rights
Car Help Canada: The Car Help Podcast radio
This week we have Elliott Silverstein from the CAA joining us to talk about the tow truck industry in Ontario.
York Region Eyes Unprecedented Road Tax Over Five Years
York Region.com online
York Region councillors are considering boosting the regional portion of the property tax bill by an extra one per cent every year for the next five years to bankroll roads projects.
A dedicated road tax that would address “the pain and the pressure” of traffic congestion in a growing region appears to make sense, Elliott Silverstein, manager of government relations with the Canadian Automobile Association’s Thornhill office, said.
New red light cameras curbing fatal collisions, city says
Toronto Star print
Red light camera use continue to grow in the City of Toronto, in an effort to eliminate traffic death and serious injuries. Comments in the article reflect a recent CAA survey of its members on the subject, and why some may oppose the use of this technology.
Toronto man out $800 after he says tow truck driver promised CAA would cover cost
CBC News online
A Scarborough man says he is out $800 after trusting a tow truck driver who reassured him that his insurance would reimburse him for towing his pickup truck.
Hamilton's Burlington Street East is 'Ontario's worst road': CAA
CBC News online
"The biggest challenge we've heard is the crumbling infrastructure — the potholes, the bumpy roads, the patches," said Silverstein. "At the end of the day, it's a safety issue. Whether you're a cyclist, pedestrian or motorist, if you experience some of these road conditions, you face making split-second decisions and having to navigate through those."
CAA's Worst Roads campaign
Tim Hudak Radio Show radio
Interview on the Tim Hudak Radio Show discussing CAA's Worst Roads campaign and CAA's advocacy efforts across Ontario. Simulcast across the Bell Media Network (CFRB Toronto, CFRA Ottawa, CJBK London, CKTB St. Catharines, CKLW Windsor).
The Worst Roads in Ontario
Citytv - Breakfast Television tv
Live interview with Melanie Ng on Breakfast Television promoting the CAA Worst Roads campaign that launched on April 10, 2017.
Consumer protection when using a tow truck
AM 640 Toronto - The Morning Show radio
Interview on AM 640's The Morning Show discussing the rights of consumers when using towing services in Ontario.
Towing issues in the City of Ottawa
CFRA Ottawa - The Bill Carroll Show radio
Appeared on CFRA's The Bill Carroll show to discuss recent issues around overcharging by tow truck operators for services in the Ottawa area.
Know your rights before your vehicle is towed
"A lot of consumers were being subjected to excessive costs and very little information, and no access to their vehicles," said Elliott Silverstein, CAA's manager of government and community relations.
"And as of Jan. 1, the rules have changed that motorists are required to sign authorization before towing commences, and also receive an estimate for the costs that are going to be incurred, and the costs cannot be more than 10 per cent at the end of the day beyond what was initially quoted."...
Tow truck drivers must now disclose rates in advance, get permission to tow
CTV News Kitchener tv
“There are a number of changes that have come forward to give consumers more power and greater say when they’re using a towing service,” Elliott Silverstein, the Canadian Automobile Association’s manager of government relations, said in an interview.
What to do when you see an accident
The Globe and Mail
“If somebody is in distress, call 911,” said Elliott Silverstein, manager, government and community relations for CAA South Central Ontario.
If you do pull over to help – or to call 911 – make sure your four-way flashers are on, Silverstein said...
Quebec’s Couillard calls on Ottawa to criminalize distracted driving
“We want to make sure penalties that are out there can be enforced,” CAA spokesman Elliott Silverstein said in an interview with Global News. “Because if we create penalties that can’t be enforced, it’s harder to get the public to buy in.”...
Distracted driving fatalities doubling impaired driving deaths, OPP says
King Connection online
“It goes without saying that we all lead hectic lives. We rush to get kids out the door in the morning, drop them off to school or daycare and try to get to work on time,” Silverstein said.
“But we can’t let our busy lifestyle stand in the way of the safety of our children.”
Ontario has no plans to make snow tires mandatory
Kingston Whig-Standard online
“I think there is a lot of value in winter tires, but at the same time, winter tires are not the solution to bad winter driving,” Silverstein said. “You can really have the highest-end vehicle, the heaviest vehicle, but if you are driving erratically, you are going to end up in a ditch either way, if you have snow tires or not.”
Silverstein agreed that the decision to use winter tires should be left to individual drivers, based on their driving habits, commuting distance and budget.
He said tire choice is one part of preparing vehicles for winter, along with ensuring their battery and wiper blades are in good condition and the fuel tank is always at least half full.