This Busy Holiday Travel Season, Air Canada Offers Up Tips To Make Your Journey A Smoother One

Follow these six steps to make your travel experience less stressful

MONTREALDec. 5, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – The busy holiday travel season is around the corner with a peak expected between December 19, 2018 and January 5, 2019. To make your travel experience as smooth as possible, Air Canada recommends these six essential travel tips.

1. Save time. Check-in 24 hours in advance.

Check-in online at aircanada.com, mobile.aircanada.ca or via the Air Canada app (be sure to download the app for iOS or Android). You can also select/change your seat, select the number of checked baggage and pay any baggage fees in advance.

Be sure to provide your contact information (email or mobile number) when checking-in (mobile‎/kiosk/web) so that we can contact you in case of travel disruptions.  If you’ve booked with a travel agent, please ensure they’ve included your contact information on your booking.

  • Travelling with kids under six? We’re here to help.
    • Look for Family Check-in signage at select airports (TorontoMontreal and Vancouver);
    • Kids under age 6 and their family board early, before general boarding. This means extra time to store belongings and settle in;
    • Once you have booked your tickets, contact us and we will assign seats for you and your kids under the age of 12 that are close together.

For added fun, you can register your child for Air Canada’s Skyriders (skyriders.aircanada.com) program to help them track their travels. Each child gets a Skyriders starter kit that consists of a friendly introduction letter, a sturdy luggage tag and a logbook to keep a record of each one of their flights.

More information on travelling with kids is available at aircanada.com/familytraveltips

2. Is your flight on time? Confirm online 24/7 at aircanada.com/flightnotification or via the Air Canada app.

You can stay informed of flight status for all Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights by signing up for Flight Notifications or calling the toll-free Air Canada flight status line at 1-888-422-7533; TTY (Hearing Impaired): 1-800-361-8071.

We also post a Daily Travel Outlook that lists possible flight disruptions due to forecasted weather or other events and provides a link to a self-service rebooking tool.

3. Arrive early. Here’s when: aircanada.com/deadlines.

Arrive early at the airport to be at the gate on time and avoid congestion that may occur during peak periods. If you are travelling to the US, please arrive 3 hours prior to departure to clear customs as well.

4. Review baggage rules. Here’s what to carry-on and check-in.

Check size and weight allowances when packing at aircanada.com/carryon as carry-on baggage will be screened and tagged. Information on checked baggage allowance is available at: www.aircanada.com/checked.

Consider bringing a bag that will fit under the seat in front of you as space in the overhead bins is limited. We also strongly recommend checking any bags that do not fit into our sizers to make the boarding process more efficient and prevent delays.

Bring all valuables including electronics, documentation, medication, car keys, money and jewelry in carry-on bags and not in checked bags.

Bag Tags – Place identification INSIDE bags as well as on the outside, as external baggage name tags sometimes become detached.

Gifts – when travelling with gifts in your carry-on, remember to keep them unwrapped to facilitate security inspection.

5. Check your documentation. Avoid unnecessary surprises before your vacation takes off. Ensure that all your travel documents are valid at: aircanada.com/traveldocumentation.

Travel within Canada

  • Customers must present a valid government-issued photo identification that includes date of birth and gender for all passengers 18 years of age and older.

Travel from Canada to an international destination

  • A valid passport, signed, with an expiration that meets the requirement of the destination country in required. Some countries require passports to be valid for at least 6 months or more before allowing a traveler to enter the country.
  • Visas may be needed to enter the country of destination and/or when connecting via certain countries. Check IATA Travel Centre search tool for country-specific passport, visa and health entry requirements. When using a third-party website or travel agent, take the extra step of verifying the requirements of your destination country.

Travel to Canada from an international destination

Canadian citizens

  • A Canadian passport for travel to Canada.
  • Dual nationals may no longer use a non-Canadian passport to arrive in Canada.

Friends and family from outside Canada

  • A reminder to visiting friends and family from outside Canada that the Government of Canada requires an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) that must be obtained prior to travel. More information is here: aircanada.com/eta.

Parents travelling with children

  • If passports are required, all children must have their own passport.  Remember that parents/legal guardians MUST NOT sign their child’s Canadian passport, as doing so invalidates it.
  • Visit IATA Travel Centre and Travel and Tourism Canada or contact the embassy high commission or consulate of all countries you and your child will be visiting to confirm all entry and exit document requirements.

6. Seamless travel to US. Here’s how.

Travelling to the USA

  • Air Canada customers flying to the US (from or via Canada) will clear US Customs at Canadian airports before their flight.  Our operations at all three primary Canadian hubs, Toronto (YYZ), Montreal (YUL) and Vancouver (YVR) are all under one roof with no terminal transfers, meaning connections are easy, comfortable and seamless.

Travelling from the USA

  • For our customers travelling from the U.S. through our hubs and onwards to any international destination, the seamless connection process and quick passport check means passengers don’t have to wait in customs lines, pick up bags or transfer terminals. Simply walk to the next departure gate.

For more information on connections, go here.

What else to know:

The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoint lines can be longer during busy periods. The TSA recommends arriving at the airport two hours before departure if your flight is in the early morning or evening, when wait times for screening can be up to one hour. Members of Known Traveler Programs, such as Nexus or Global Entry, may experience normal wait times. Learn more here.

The United States requires that travellers provide additional Secure Flight information at least 72 hours before their flight or at time of booking. Please note that this requirement applies to many international flights which are deemed to over-fly the US. For more information, please consult aircanada.com/secureflight.

Eligible Air Canada customers enjoy the benefits of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s TSA Pre✓ program which provides accelerated security screening at most U.S. departure airports by allowing customers to keep shoes, belts and light outerwear on, and laptops and liquids in carry-on baggage. Learn more about TSA Pre✓ and how it applies to Air Canada flights.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2017 served more than 48 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 63 airports in Canada, 56 in the United States and 98 in Europe, the Middle EastAfricaAsiaAustralia, the CaribbeanMexicoCentral America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,317 airports in 193 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the 2018 Best Airline in North America. For more information, please visit: aircanada.com/media, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.

SOURCE Air Canada

2019 marks beginning of CPP enhancements to be rolled out over seven years

By David Paddon

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ The biggest change to the country’s pension plans in more than a decade will take place in the new year, but the effects will be felt differently depending on which generation you belong to.

Beginning in early 2019, the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan will phase in enhanced benefits over the next seven years to provide more financial support for Canadians after they retire.

However, while pension contributions will gradually increase for all employees and employers, the younger generations will see the lion’s share of enhanced benefits as the improvements slowly make their way through the system.

“Don’t get too excited unless you’re 30 years old or less. Then it could impact you fairly significantly,” says Doug Runchey, an independent consultant who specializes in Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security.

Currently, employees contribute a percentage of their pensionable earnings until hitting an annual cap, while their employers pay an equal amount per employee. Self-employed people pay both amounts.

Under the enhanced plan, CPP contributions will go up in two ways.

One increase will involve a series of higher contribution rates from 2019 to 2023 and the other will involve a higher ceiling on annual income subject to contributions in 2024 and 2025.

On Jan. 1, 2019, the total rate paid by employees and employers will rise to 10.2 per cent per employee from 9.9 per cent (employee portion of contribution rises to 5.10 per cent from 4.95 per cent).

The contribution rate is scheduled to gradually increase to 11.9 per cent of an employee’s pensionable earnings in 2023 (of which employees contribute 5.95 per cent).

Until 2023, the contributions will be applied on up to a maximum annual income ceiling that rises most years under an established formula.

In each of 2024 and 2025, however, the ceilings will be determined by a new formula meaning people earning above a certain threshold will contribute more and receive more CPP benefits than they would under the original calculations.

As a result of the contributions increase, benefits will also increase gradually although it will take decades and a lifetime of employment for most of them to be fully available to retirees.

In general, baby boomers and generation Xers will stand to gain less than millennials or generation Z because it will take 45 years to achieve maximum benefits, although they go up slightly every year of employment starting in 2019.

Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, says the economic benefits of CPP enhancements will more than offset the increased costs and help the overall economy by giving retirees more buying power.

“I believe the premium increase is going to have little or no impact, both on workers but equally so on employers who are going to have to contribute,” says Yussuff, who campaigned for several years to get support of the enhancements.

He says small business owners like their employees and the self-employed have difficulty saving for retirement.

“So the CPP is going to guarantee they get something out of the system,” Yussuff says.

“Of course it will take some time for this new enhancement to deliver the benefits, but that’s the nature of all pensions.”

One of the main voices speaking against the enhanced CPP when it was proposed in 2016 was the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Monique Moreau, the CFIB’s vice-president for national affairs, says the business group constantly needs to remind governments that its members must deal with a range of cost increases  not just the expense of the latest initiative.

“An enhanced CPP may seem like a relatively manageable increase, but that’s just for the CPP,” Moreau says.

She notes that a new federal carbon tax will go into effect next year in provinces that don’t have a comparable program.

However, she says, Ottawa has also reduced the small business tax rate to 10 per cent, as of Jan. 1, 2018, and it will go down to nine per cent as of the new year.

In addition, the rate for employment insurance premiums and maximum annual EI premiums have fallen since 2016 due to annual adjustments.

Has water damaged your home?

Desjardins Group

Latest Desjardins survey reveals 1 in 4 Canadians have experienced water damage to their home but only half know what’s covered by their insurance policy

AURORA, ONDec. 6, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – With winter right around the corner, Canadians are already in the midst of snow and sub-zero cold. The freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your home, causing pipes to freeze and ice damming.

Water is the most common cause of damage and accounts for 50% of home insurance claims costs. And although home insurance policies cover accidental damage resulting from a burst water pipe, a leaking dishwasher or an overflowing bathtub, a recent Desjardins survey reveals that 50% of respondents do not know what types of water damage is covered. When asked if their home was ever damaged by water, 26% say yes but most (43%) said they don’t know how to prevent water damage to their home.

Increase in claims
With more frequent and severe weather incidents like heavy rain, lightning storms, hail, freezing-thawing cycles and flooding, there has been an increase in the number of water-related insurance claims across the country.

When asked if they feel weather severity has increased in frequency in the last 10 years, 75% of respondents believe that’s true, with 58% indicating they are worried about climate change impacting their personal safety or safety of their property.

Tech solutions can mitigate damage
“As one of Canada’s leading property and casualty insurers, we understand the level of stress people can experience because of water damage. Lost or damaged valuables and family treasures cannot be replaced. This is why we focus on innovation to prevent and reduce the frequency and severity of claims and, above all else, to bring peace of mind to our clients,” says Alain Hade, Vice-President, Marketing and Member Client Experience at Desjardins Insurance.

Alert is an innovative prevention program offered to home insurance policyholders. It comes with a free water and freeze detector and, if the unexpected happens, like a burst pipe or leaking toilet, clients get an alert on their smartphone and can act fast to limit the damage.

Radar will send you an alert when there is a risk of severe weather, like a hail storm, heavy rain, high winds, a hurricane or tornado, within 500 metres of your specific addresses. Clients are alerted by push notification via SMS or email as a heads-up that can help them protect their property.

These programs give clients prevention and awareness tools to help limit the damage caused by water and freezing.

Links to additional resources:

About the Survey
The online survey, conducted in March 2018, polled 3,020 respondents of driving age across Canada.

SOURCE Desjardins Group

Technology-driven client solutions top list of opportunities; regulatory risks loom large and pressure of disruption mounts

Read more

Privacy watchdog calls for stronger laws to protect Canadians’ digital privacy

By Teresa Wright

THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA _ Canada’s privacy watchdog says he’s worried that privacy rights in Canada are being cast aside as both public and private entities rush to mine digital data from citizens and customers.

“We have reached a critical tipping point upon which privacy rights and democratic values are at stake,” privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien said in a letter to Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains on Wednesday.

Therrien wrote that government has been slow to put a legal framework in place to ensure Canadians maintain trust in the digital economy and he’s increasingly troubled by it. The government must take stronger actions to protect Canadians’ digital privacy in the face of the lightning-fast evolution of ways to collect deeply private information, he says.

“Recent events have shed light on how personal information can be manipulated and used in unintended, even nefarious ways,” the letter says.

Therrien pointed to technology executives, such as Apple’s Tim Cook, who have recently warned about data extraction being used in ways that could breach the public trust. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg also recently admitted his company committed a “serious breach” in the Cambridge Analytica data controversy, which involved the alleged unauthorized use of some 87 million Facebook profiles globally including those of more than 600,000 Canadians.

Both companies have expressed support for new laws to protect and regulate digital information.

“You know the ground has shifted and that we have reached a crisis point when the tech giants have become outspoken supporters of serious regulation,” Therrien wrote.  “Now is the time to ensure we adopt the best approach for Canadians.”

He raised a concern over a question posed to Canadians by Bains’ department as part of a national public consultation launched this summer on data. It asks how government should try to strike protect Canadians’ digital privacy  “while not impeding innovation.”

Therrien wrote that he is  “wary of this discourse” as it suggests that privacy and innovation are at odds.

“At a time when new and intrusive targeting techniques are already influencing democratic processes and data analytics, automated decision-making technologies and artificial intelligence are raising important ethical questions that have yet to be answered, Canadians need stronger privacy laws, not more permissive ones.”

Therrien is urging the Liberals to create a new law to protect the private data of Canadians and to give his office greater powers of investigation and enforcement.

He also says it is  “absolutely imperative” for privacy laws to apply to Canadian political parties.

Intact Financial Corporation Announces $1 Million Donation to Support the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

TORONTODec. 5, 2018 /CNW/ – Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) today announced it is committing $1 million to the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative to support the establishment of a regional centre of training and learning in Rwanda. The regional hub of practice, research and advocacy will serve as a meeting place for countries to exchange and learn how to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

The $1 million donation builds on Intact’s initial investment of $300,000 in the Dallaire Initiative, which began in 2015. These new funds will help the Dallaire Initiative establish a permanent presence in Africa.

According to the UN Secretary-General’s 2018 Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict – seven national armies and 56 armed groups operating in 14 countries recruit and use children as soldiers.

“The Dallaire Initiative is a pioneer in the work of preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers and a permanent presence in Rwanda will strengthen their effectiveness,” said Charles Brindamour, Chief Executive Officer of Intact Financial Corporation. “I spent time in Rwanda this spring with the Dallaire Initiative and saw first hand, the importance of their work. While the problem of using children in wars is far from resolved, the General’s team is moving the needle and making progress.”

“This level of support makes Intact the Dallaire Initiative’s first $1 million corporate donor,” said Dr. Shelly Whitman, the Dallaire Initiative’s Executive Director. “These funds will be critical in enhancing our training in East and Central Africa, where some of the gravest violations against children are taking place.” The donation will also go towards funding a fellowship for the Executive Director to continue advocating for children’s rights on the international peace and security agenda.

An event marking the first anniversary of the Vancouver Principles, is being hosted tonight by the Permanent Missions of Canada and Rwanda to the United Nations in collaboration with the Dallaire Initiative.

Hosted by Canadian Ambassador Marc-André Blanchard, special guests include LGen (ret’d) Roméo Dallaire, Executive Director of the Dallaire Initiative Dr. Shelly Whitman, global advocates for children and Dallaire Initiative Advisors Michel Chikwanine and Ishmael Beah as well as Intact Financial Corporation CEO Charles Brindamour.

At the event, the Dallaire Initiative will announce the establishment of a regional centre of training and learning in Rwanda, the first African country to endorse the Vancouver Principles. To date, 69 UN member countries have endorsed the Principles, a watershed initiative that was jointly launched by the Government of Canada and the Dallaire Initiative.

About Intact Financial Corporation

Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) is the largest provider of property and casualty (P&C) insurance in Canada and a leading provider of specialty insurance in North America, with close to $10 billion in total annual premiums. The Company has approximately 14,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than five million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada and the U.S. In Canada, Intact distributes insurance under the Intact Insurance brand through a wide network of brokers, including its wholly-owned subsidiary BrokerLink, and directly to consumers through belairdirect. In the U.S., OneBeacon Insurance Group, a wholly owned subsidiary, provides specialty insurance products through independent agencies, brokers, wholesalers and managing general agencies.

About the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

The Dallaire Initiative, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is recognized as the only organization in the world taking a prevention-oriented, security sector focused approach to the crime against humanity that is child soldiery. Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a leader committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.

SOURCE Intact Financial Corporation

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