New Year, New You. Earn your Level 2 License

New Year, New You. Earn your Level 2 License

To obtain your Level 2 license you must pass the CAIB 2 and the CAIB 3 exams. (BC, SK, MB)

Alberta requires CAIB 1, CAIB 2 and CAIB 3 completion to earn your level 2 license.

Use ILScorp’s online CAIB exam preparation courses, or Daily Assisted Virtual Classroom Programs to quickly prepare you for your Level 2 license.

CAIB Exam Prep Self-Study Online Video Courses are divided into easy-to-manage chapters with end of chapter quizzes. Each chapter includes 10-20 video clips of the instructor, along with easy to read text. A downloadable PDF workbook, key terms, a mock midterm and a mock final exam are also included. Once you purchase your subscription, you can begin taking your course immediately! All material is viewed online and is accessible 24/7.

MORE INFO ON CAIB EXAM PREP

How the CAIB exam preparation courses work

  • Once you purchase, you can begin taking your course immediately! If you are a new subscriber, you will receive an automated username and password by email.
  • All material is viewed online. All you need is an internet connection!
  • Your course can be accessed any time. You can log in and log out as many times as you wish, pause, rewind and review, unlimited access for 4 months.
  • Quizzes and Final exams help you retain the information.
  • Once you feel prepared to write your CAIB exam, you must contact your Insurance Council, or in BC the Brokers Association to book your exam.
  • Should you require any assistance at any time during your course work, we are here to support you! Email info@ilscorp.com

 

British Columbia Level 2 General Insurance Agent License

A level 2 general insurance agent is not restricted to where he or she can work and is not prohibited from signing contracts of insurance. Although insurance industry experience is not required, an applicant must be an authorized representative of a licensed general insurance agency and have met the educational requirements.

Saskatchewan Level 2 General Insurance Agent License

A Level 2 licensee shall not manage an agency.

Manitoba Level 2 General Insurance Agent License

A level 2 general insurance agent is authorized, to sell the insurance policies authorized under section 3, both inside and outside of the office of a general insurance agency, but is not authorized to manage the office of a general insurance agency

Employers clamp down on ‘ambiguous’ mask rules as more infections tied to workplaces

By Brett Bundale

THE CANADIAN PRESS

On the factory floor, masks were optional.

Until last month, workers at TEC Business Solutions’s corrugated packaging plant in Mississauga, Ont. donned a mask, underwent a COVID-19 screening, had a temperature check and sanitized their hands but once inside and at their own stations, they could remove their masks.

“It gets really warm in there and it can be hard to breathe with a mask,” said Mike Prencipe, the chief operating officer at TEC Business Solutions. “We said if workers can physically distance, they can remove their masks.”

Then two shop workers tested positive for COVID-19, followed by two office employees.

“Everyone around them had to quarantine,” Prencipe said, noting that the bulk of the plant’s workforce had to stay home for two weeks. “We’ve now made it our own policy that if you’re in the plant, you have to wear a mask at all times.”

The small outbreak at the Ontario packaging plant illustrates how workplaces are emerging as a driving force in the second wave of the pandemic.

A growing number of infections can be traced back to workplaces, including in manufacturing, warehouse and shipping facilities, according to Ontario data on active outbreaks by setting.

The province declared a second state of emergency Tuesday amid rising COVID-19 case counts and tightened rules around masks in workplaces among other measures.

More than 10,000 workers have contracted COVID-19 due to work-related exposures, statistics from the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board show.

One of the issues that appears to be fuelling workplace infections is the lack of clarity or consistency surrounding mask-wearing rules in workplaces in Canada.

Across the country, each province and in some cases individual health units or workplace safety boards offer varying guidance on masks at work.

It’s a patchwork that can be confusing. Multiple business operators say they want to stick to the rules and keep workers safe, but have found the regulations unclear.

The  “ambiguous” messaging around mask-wearing in the workplace prompted the office manager at TEC Business Solutions to repeatedly call public health over the last several months to ensure they were following rules, Prencipe said.

“We wanted to follow the protocols and keep our employees safe,” he said. “They told us we were taking the right precautions.”

Still, Prencipe made the call to tighten the mask rules in his workplace following the December outbreak, a move that Ontario appears to have followed.

In response to the “alarming and exceptional circumstances,” the province said individuals are now required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses at all times.

Ontario is also stepping up enforcement measures. Provincial workplace inspectors are expected to focus on areas of high transmission, including break rooms, and issue tickets those not wearing a mask indoors.

Indeed, Prencipe said the virus may have been spread in either the company’s lunchroom or bathroom, spaces that both plant and office workers access.

Yet other provinces continue to only require masks in workplaces where employees are interacting with the public, or if two meters of distance cannot be maintained between workers.

In Nova Scotia, for example, the provincial mask requirement applies to spaces the public has access to  not private spaces.

“We encourage business owners/employers to set their own policies for private spaces,” Health Department spokeswoman Marla MacInnis said in an email.

Business leaders can learn from political vacation scandal, experts say

By Brett Bundale

THE CANADIAN PRESS

The ongoing controversy involving politicians who ignored travel warnings over the holidays holds important lessons for Canadian business executives, according to experts in public relations and organizational strategy.

They say the situation provides valuable insight into effective C-Suite leadership and communication during a turbulent period.

A growing number of federal and provincial politicians have found themselves in hot water in recent days for travelling outside the country over the holidays even as Canadians were urged to avoid non-essential travel to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The backlash against politicians illustrates how easily hypocrisy, contradiction and privilege are exposed in an age of social media, said Bob Pickard, principal at Signal Leadership Communication.

Outdated  “spin-doctoring” is not only ineffective, he said, it can make leaders appear further out of touch, worsening the backlash.

“There’s a disconnect between how leaders are communicating and how people are feeling,” Pickard said.

“There’s a lot of pain out there and high anxiety, public emotion is on a knife’s edge … leaders need to anticipate the playing out of public emotions.”

The public relations expert said politicians and business leaders alike must “understand the zeitgeist” of the moment and how people feel and allow that to shape their actions and communications.

He said leaders should practise a sort of “radical candour” communication style.

“You’ve got to be transparent, you’ve got to be candid. You don’t need to sugar-coat it,” Pickard said. “Leaders have to be frank and honest if they want to earn the respect and buy-in of the public or their workforce.”

Lorn Sheehan, a professor of strategy at Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business, said it’s critical that the actions of leaders align with the policies and objectives of an organization.

“If you expect people to behave or act in a certain way, and then the leaders act or behave in a different way, it creates confusion and raises very legitimate questions,” he said. “The leader needs to set the example.”

While crafting a good strategic plan or policy is important for any organization, he said the actions of the leadership will determine its effectiveness.

“Increasingly, we’re realizing that for any organization to achieve its vision, it requires a strong culture,” he said, adding that the culture is often set “at the top.”

“It’s the effect that people in positions of power hold.”

Steve Pottle, director of risk management services at Thompson Rivers University, said the success of a strategic plan at any organization or company hinges on individual buy-in.

He said that’s achieved through strong leadership, an effective plan and consistent follow-through by senior management.

For example, if a company makes masks mandatory but the CEO fails to wear one, Pottle said it sends a message to employees that it’s not necessary to follow the rule.

Meanwhile, Pottle, also vice-chair of RIMS Canada Council, a standing committee of the Risk and Insurance Management Society, said it’s also important to consider a plan from a risk perspective, including what can throw a plan off course and what can help an organization achieve its goals faster.

 

New Brunswick city rebuilding its IT system after major cyber attack in November

Saint John, N.B., is rebuilding its computer network rather than submitting to criminals who launched a cyber attack against the city in November.

City manager John Collin updated council Monday on the city’s efforts to rebuild its IT system following a ransomware attack; he said no ransom was paid.

Hackers launch ransomware attacks by infecting computers with software and often demand money in exchange for the attack to end.

Collin said the city’s network was disconnected from the internet as soon as the Nov. 13 attack was discovered, and he said it’s not believed any personal identifying information such as banking details was stolen.

“I’m happy to report we have no indications whatsoever that there was any spread of the ransomware from any city-owned assets or systems to others,” he told council.

Collin wouldn’t say what parts of the network were affected by the attack or provide any information he said could help the “hostile actors.”

“We do not want to give to these criminals any information that could help refine their tactics and techniques, nor do we wish to provide such information to copycats,” he said.

Collin said, however, that the attack penetrated deeply into the city’s IT system, and therefore, he added, rebuilding the network was more cost effective than repairing the damage.

“Instead of repair, we have decided to build an entirely new network,” he told council. “Not only will this afford us the opportunity to take advantage of all the latest innovations in cybersecurity and in network design, it will also remove the risk of any virus remnant that could occur if we took the approach of a repaired system.”

The cost of the network rebuild, Collin said, will be covered by insurance and the city’s IT reserve fund. “We will not need to adjust up any yearly budget or alter our service delivery to our community because of this IT attack,” he said.

The rebuild of the IT system is expected to take a few more months. Collin said the full cost of the attack and the system rebuild is still being evaluated, adding that he’ll report to council when the total amount is known.

No one wins if current rules for financial professionals’ titles remain as is

The excerpted article was written by  The Globe and Mail

Recent efforts from the Ontario government to ensure that only financial professionals with appropriate credentials be able to call themselves “financial planners” or “financial advisors” are being met with resistance from financial services industry associations lobbying to maintain the status quo. If this self-serving push is victorious, it will only benefit the least-qualified providers of financial services and be another setback for professionalization and transparency in the investment industry.

Currently, financial professionals’ titles in any province other than Quebec are borderline meaningless due to lack of standardization and qualifications. These titles do nothing to inform consumers of financial services as to what the financial professional they deal with actually does. Worse yet, these titles give the person providing the service a level of credibility that may be completely unearned and unwarranted.

The provincial government in Ontario – home to the largest population of financial professionals in the country – aimed to rectify all of that when it passed the Financial Professionals Title Protection Act, 2019. (The legislation received Royal Assent in May 2019.) Since then, the Ontario government has entrusted the province’s newest financial services regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), to oversee the implementation of the law. Public consultations on the draft regulations closed on Nov. 12.

The proposed regulations would limit the use of the title “financial planner” or “financial advisor” only to financial professionals who hold a qualifying credential. Ontario’s goal is to review the available credentials – such as the certified financial planner and the chartered investment manager – to determine which ones qualify for either title. This will be a substantial improvement from where things stand today, in which anyone can call themselves anything they want.

There are many positive submissions to the public consultations. For example, various investor groups and advocates have argued the proposed rules don’t go far enough because they don’t impose a fiduciary standard. Many have even provided constructive feedback on how the FSRA can make the most of this legislation.

In contrast, some industry associations’ submissions are nothing more than a self-interested preservation of the status quo. They say Ontario’s proposed rules set the bar too high because they would exclude some people who are using either title now from continuing to do so without achieving further designations or credentials.

For example, the proposed rules say that someone who has achieved a licence to sell life insurance products – and no further designations or training – would not qualify to use either the financial planner or financial advisor title. In response, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. (CLHIA) and various insurance-centric organizations argue that the existing insurance sales training “meets or exceeds the baseline competency of someone who calls themselves a ‘financial advisor,’” and, as a result, no further qualifications should be required.

Similarly, the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) argued in its submission on the proposed rules that financial professionals who are regulated by either the Mutual Funds Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) or the Investment Industry Regulatory Association of Canada (IIROC) should be exempt from any requirement to obtain further credentials or training before using the financial advisor title.

In both cases, the argument is that the existing qualifications are sufficient to merit the use of the financial advisor title and that requiring further training would pose an “undue regulatory burden” on financial professionals. The problem with this approach is that IIROC or MFDA licensing provides people the level of understanding required to sell a product. However, financial advice and financial planning are not focused narrowly on product sales. In fact, they may result in no product sales whatsoever.

Instead, financial planners or financial advisors synthesize information to make well-educated, informed recommendations. Product selection and sales are only a tiny fraction of financial planners’ or financial advisors’ process and are only made after information-gathering, analysis, and synthesis to ensure the right fit.

The FSRA has already singled out the course that qualifies someone to sell insurance in Ontario as falling short of the standard required for the financial planner title. The course leading to MFDA licensing similarly falls short of that standard. In fact, Jason Watt, a full-time instructor at the Business Career College, a financial services course provider that’s recognized nationally, says “the mutual fund licensing course represents a bar of proficiency no better, if not lower, than the standard set by the life insurance sales training course.”

If the submissions from the CHLIA, the IIAC and others pushing for the status quo are accepted, title reform in Ontario won’t amount to anything more than rubber-stamping the entire financial services industry as-is – turning this entire exercise into a perfect example of regulatory capture.

The winners of title regulation will be the least-educated and least-qualified members of the industry – and the companies that rely upon them for sales revenue. Everyone else – especially consumers of financial services, educated and credentialled financial planners and financial advisors, and the entire financial services industry in Ontario – will lose.

Millennials and members of Generation Z already distrust financial services institutions and are looking at digital alternatives like robo-advisors. Turning title reform into a farce is just one more reason for them to continue to shift away from traditional financial services providers altogether.

4 steps to pet-proof your holiday tree this season

4 steps to pet-proof your holiday tree this season

Trees decorated with bright lights and ornaments are key part of many holiday celebrations. It’s important to protect pets from any holiday hazards and make sure everyone enjoys this annual tradition. These four tips can help pet guardians keep their furry friends safe from any accidents involving the tree.

Consider an artificial tree

  • Real trees are considered to be mildly toxic to pets. The tree oils can irritate your pet’s mouth and stomach causing excessive drooling or vomiting.
  • If pets eat the tree needles they can puncture the animal’s gastrointestinal tract. Watch for signs such as excessive vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Tree needles can also get stuck in your pet’s paws. Make sure to vacuum up any loose needles on a regular basis.
  • Make sure your pet does not drink the tree water, which commonly contains chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides and preservatives that can make them sick. Use a covered tree water dish to protect your pet.
  • Remember to avoid artificial trees coated with flocking (imitation snow) or glitter, which is hazardous to pets

Secure the tree

  • Make sure your tree has a heavy and solid base to prevent it from being easily knocked over.
  • Secure the tree to the wall using a cord, rope or chain
  • Prevent access to the tree with a baby gate or exercise pen
  • Close the door to the room to keep pets away from the tree
  • Make cat repellent spray using citrus or essential oils and spray on the tree
  • Don’t put the tree near furniture or tables that cats can use as a launch pad to jump on the tree

Be mindful of decorations

  • Pets can chew on light cords and shock or burn themselves. Use a protective covering for light cords and unplug them when leaving the house or going to bed at night
  • Don’t use tinsel – cats will eat it and tinsel can obstruct their digestive system.
  • Don’t hang shiny ornaments low on the tree where cats will be tempted to play with them
  • Don’t decorate with ornaments made out of glass, porcelain or other breakable materials or put them higher up on the tree where pets are less likely to reach them
  • Use twist ties or plastic hooks to hang the ornaments instead of metal hooks
    Don’t decorate with candy canes, popcorn strings, wrapped chocolates or other treats – pets can eat these and become sick

Wait to put the gifts out

  • Wait until the big day to put gifts under the tree – dogs can smell chocolate or fruitcake through the wrapping paper, chew through and make themselves sick
  • Remember to cleanup soon after presents are unwrapped to make sure pets don’t eat ribbons, string or ties

Source: BC SPCA

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