Climatologists have long warned that extreme weather, including floods, will become more common as temperatures warm.

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Two-thirds of Canadians enter 2019 worried about the economy

NEWS PROVIDED BY

Financial Planning Standards Council 

TORONTOJan. 21, 2019 /CNW/ – Two-thirds of Canadians enter 2019 worried about their financial fortunes, according to a recent economic poll. The Kitchen Table Forecast, a Leger poll of 1,515 Canadians, was conducted for non-profit organizations Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) and Credit Canada.

The survey sought to add consumer context to reports on slowing economic growth by asking Canadians about a series of “kitchen table” issues – the sort of daily financial concerns that confront people on a daily basis, such as bill payments and debt, cost of living, job security and bankruptcy. It comes on the heels of a global report by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that suggests Canada is showing signs of a sharp decline in growth in 2019.

“Canadians are feeling stressed about their finances and are often at a loss to improve their situation,” said author, personal finance educator and FPSC’s Consumer Advocate, Kelley Keehn. “This hopelessness can cause people to do nothing, and possibly make their condition worse. Uncertainty about an ever-changing job market and economy only intensifies the average person’s confidence and ability to handle the ebb and flow that life inevitably presents.”

The “R word” – Four-in-10 Canadians feel economy will get worse in 2019
The report didn’t ask about the dreaded “R-word” (recession) specifically; however, four-in-10 Canadians (42%) feel that the economy will get worse in 2019 – while 36 per cent believe it will stay the same. Across the country, people aged 55-plus are significantly more likely than those under 55 to feel the economy will get worse in 2019 (47% vs. 39%). Meanwhile, Quebecers (at 46%) are more confident than the rest of Canadians (34%) that the economy will stay the same in 2019.

“It’s no surprise people over 55 are more pessimistic (or realistic) when it comes to our economy. This isn’t their first rodeo and they know the red flags,” says Credit Canada CEO, Laurie Campbell. “Insolvency rates were up by more than five per cent last fall, we’ve seen five interest rate hikes since mid-2017, and the cost of living continues to rise. If debt levels don’t come down and people don’t start to get serious about paying off their debt, it’s only a matter of time before we’re in major trouble. You can only bury your head in the sand for so long.”

Looking ahead – Daily financial concerns 
Respondents were also asked the question “Looking ahead into 2019, what are you most worried about?”  Overall, two-in-three Canadians (67%) say they have worries when forecasting their prospects for the year. While gender does not play a role, those under 55 are considerably more likely to be worried (76% vs. 52% for those over 55). Respondents with children under 18 are also more likely to have concerns (79% vs. 62% for those without children).

Here are the “kitchen table” issues that are keeping Canadians up at night:

  • 34 per cent are concerned that the increased cost of living will put them further in debt
  • One-in-four (23%) are concerned they won’t be able keep up with monthly payments
  • Also, one-in-four (23%) are concerned with their debt growing
  • 13 per cent are concerned about losing their job
  • 10 per cent are concerned about other bread-winners in their home losing their jobs
  • 14 per cent are concerned about an unaffordable increase in mortgage interest rates
  • Five per cent are concerned about going bankrupt

Alternatively, one-in-four Canadians (26%) were “not worried about anything” going into 2019.

How to recession-proof your life – tips from FPSC’s Consumer Advocate, Kelley Keehn

  1. Get your emergency fund established and funded.  Experts estimate three-to-six months of household income that’s safe and secure.
  2. Do a family net worth statement.  Know your situation and know where you may be leaving money on the table, like with an employer-funded pension plan or employer RRSP matching plan.
  3. Consider your insurance needs during times of high debt in the case of death, disability or job loss.
  4. Don’t panic – seek out expert assistance from a CFP® professional who can create a plan that protects your downside without adding to your already stretched bottom line.
  5. Take a hard look at ways to cut expenses or increase your income to increase your bottom line and help fund your emergency account.

How to recession proof your life – tips from Credit Canada CEO, Laurie Campbell

  1. Build (and stick to) a monthly budget to ensure you know exactly how much money is coming in, how much is going out, and how much is left over for financial goals. See where you can cut costs – for example, find cheaper cell phone and internet plans, gym memberships and better insurance rates.
  2. Contribute regularly to an emergency savings fund. Make regular contributions – even small amounts, such as $20, is a very positive step. Consider setting up automated savings through your bank.
  3. Pay down debt. Start with paying off the credit cards with the highest interest rates first, also known as the “avalanche” method for paying down debt. Credit Canada’s free Debt Calculator can help determine the best debt repayment strategy for each individual.
  4. Always remember that Credit Canada offers free, confidential, one-on-one counselling sessions with certified credit counsellors.

The full results of the Kitchen Table Forecast can be found on the FPSC and Credit Canada websites.

About Credit Canada 
Credit Canada is a not-for-profit credit counselling agency that provides free and confidential debt and credit counselling, personal debt consolidation and resolutions, as well as preventative counselling, educational seminars, and free tips and tools in the areas of budgeting, money management, and financial goal-setting. Credit Canada is Canada’sfirst and longest-standing credit counselling agency and a leader in financial wellness, helping Canadians successfully manage their debt since 1966. Please visit www.creditcanada.com for more information.

About Financial Planning Standards Council
A professional standards-setting and certification body working in the public interest, FPSC’s purpose is to drive value and instill confidence in financial planning. FPSC ensures those it certifies―Certified Financial Planner® professionals and FPSC Level 1® Certificants in Financial Planning―meet appropriate standards of competence and professionalism through rigorous requirements of education, examination, experience and ethics. There are approximately 18,500 financial planners in Canada who have met, and continue to meet, FPSC’s standards. More information is available at FPSC.ca and FinancialPlanningForCanadians.ca. Effective April 1, 2019, FPSC will become FP Canada™: a national professional body dedicated to advancing professional financial planning. Learn more at FPCanada.ca.

About the Kitchen Table Forecast
The survey of 1,515 Canadians was completed between January 4 and January 7, 2019, for Credit Canada and FPSC using Leger’s online panel. The margin of error for this study was +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Leger’s online panel has approximately 400,000 members nationally and has a retention rate of 90%.

Websites

https://www.creditcanada.com/ 
http://www.financialplanningforcanadians.ca/   
http://www.kelleykeehn.com/

CFP® and Certified Financial Planner® are certification trademarks owned outside the U.S. by Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. (FPSB). Financial Planning Standards Council is the marks licensing authority for the CFP marks in Canada, through agreement with FPSB. All other ® are registered trademarks of FPSC, unless indicated. © 2018 Financial Planning Standards Council. All rights reserved.

SOURCE Financial Planning Standards Council

ICBC’s Secret “Meat Chart” for Pain and Suffering and the Actual Law

Source: Erik Magraken BC Injury and ICBC Claims Blog

As reported by the Vancouver Sun, ICBC’s top brass have handed out directives to all adjusters to withdraw settlement offers on existing claims and re-assess claims not by the law but by an internal meat chart.

Details of this secret memo are slowly coming to light and it appears ICBC has created 5 different categories for non-pecuniary damage assessment.  The first three deal with soft tissue injuries, the fourth with more serious injuries and the last with what ICBC deems to be catastrophic injuries.

I have not yet had the privilege of seeing ICBC’s full memo to their adjusters (who have been instructed to keep the details secret) but sources tell me that ICBC will be valuing pain and suffering by completely artificial criteria which run contrary to well established law.  If and when full details of ICBC’s new policy are shared with me I will gladly publish them.

In the meantime, if you are being told that your claim is worth an artificially small amount based on ICBC’s internal assessment please know your rights.  It is well established that non-pecuniary damages are assessed individually on a case by case basis using the following non-exhaustive list of factors.  If ICBC is not prepared to use these you can be confident BC courts will –

a)     age of the plaintiff;

b)     nature of the injury;

c)     severity and duration of pain;

d)     disability;

e)     emotional suffering; and

f)       loss or impairment of life;

g)     impairment of family, marital and social relationships;

h)     impairment of physical and mental abilities;

i)       loss of lifestyle; and

j)       the plaintiff’s stoicism (as a factor that should not, generally speaking, penalize the plaintiff: Giang v. Clayton, [2005] B.C.J. No. 163, 2005 BCCA 54).

Organigram Inc: Class Action Certified To Proceed to Trial

A class action was certified against Organigram Inc. (the “Company” or “Organigram”) and its parent company Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX VENTURE: OGI) (OTCQX: OGRMF), a leading licensed producer of cannabis in Canada, on Friday, January 18, 2019.

Certification is not a decision on the merits of the lawsuit, but simply deals with the proper procedure for a lawsuit, which allows it to continue to the next stage. The Company is reviewing the decision to determine whether it will appeal. The Company intends to vigorously defend itself against this class action.

The lawsuit was filed with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on behalf of class members who purchased medical cannabis that was the subject of the Company’s voluntary product recalls in December 2016 and January 2017.

The lawsuit deals with the reimbursement of funds paid for the cannabis purchased by medical customers in 2016. Organigram has already voluntarily reimbursed many of its customers for this recall via a comprehensive credit and refund program. Organigram has insurance to cover the cost of legal fees associated with the defense of the class action. Insurance coverage may also cover some or all of any monetary damages associated with any resolution of this matter.  While the ultimate outcome of any Court process is difficult to ascertain, Organigram management does not anticipate that the class action (including the resolution thereof) will impact its business or operations in any material manner.

Some of that cannabis subject to the Company’s voluntary product recalls in December 2016 and January 2017contained trace elements of one or two pesticides not approved for use by Licensed Producers. The lawsuit also contains allegations of adverse health effects from the product.  The Court noted that it will be up to the plaintiffs to prove that trace elements of these pesticides can cause any adverse health effects and if so, it will be up to each individual to prove that the alleged health effects were actually caused by the cannabis. Health Canada issued  the following clarification in Health Canada on myclobutanil and cannabis, on March 9, 2017:

“Here are the facts. When the cannabis plant is combusted, a number of compounds are produced, including very low amounts of hydrogen cyanide. Health Canada’s analysis of the recalled cannabis products show that the trace levels of myclobutanil that were present would have produced a negligible amount of additional hydrogen cyanide upon combustion, in comparison to the levels already produced by marijuana alone. Specifically, the level of cyanide from the burning of myclobutanil found on the cannabis samples is more than 1000 times less than the cyanide in cannabis smoke alone, and is 500 times below the acceptable level established by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. As such, the risk of serious adverse health consequences resulting from the inhalation of combusted myclobutanil in the recalled cannabis products was determined by Health Canada to be low.”

Organigram’s Commitment to Quality

Every day, the Organigram team earns customers’ confidence and trust through the production of high quality products. Since the voluntary product recall, the Company has worked diligently to incorporate the seven critical steps that were communicated as a result of the Company’s internal review process, found at www.organigram.ca/safety:

  • 100% of the product sold by Organigram undergoes comprehensive testing for pesticides at a third-party, Health Canada approved laboratory;
  • Results of this testing via a Certificate of Analysis is provided with each order to provincial and private retailers across Canada;
  • As part of the Company’s ongoing commitment to patient safety, registered Organigram patients have access to the Certificates of Analysis for all product available for sale on the Company’s website;
  • Oranigram has also incorporated a robust vetting process for all external suppliers;
  • The Company conducts regular spot-checks on all incoming materials;
  • Oranigram has also implemented a robust security process supported with full video monitoring ability; and
  • The Company has developed a comprehensive training and onboarding process for all new members of the Organigram team.

As a result of these enhancements, the Company has quickly evolved into a leader in product quality, as evidenced by winning ‘Best Sativa’ at the 2017 Canadian Cannabis Awards.  The Company continues to work on process enhancements and innovations with an unwavering focus on product quality, most recently demonstrated by being the first Canadian licensed producer to include humidity control units in all pack sizes of dried flower for both adult recreational use consumers and medicinal patients.

About Organigram Holdings Inc.

Organigram Holdings Inc. is a TSX Venture Exchange listed company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Organigram Inc., is a licensed producer of cannabis and cannabis-derived products in Canada.

Organigram is focused on producing the highest-quality, indoor-grown cannabis for patients and adult recreational consumers in Canada, as well as developing international business partnerships to extend the company’s global footprint. Organigram has also developed a portfolio of legal adult use recreational cannabis brands including The Edison Cannabis Company, Ankr Organics, Trailer Park Buds and Trailblazer. Organigram’s primary facility is located in Moncton, New Brunswick and the Company is regulated by the Cannabis Act and the Cannabis Regulations (Canada).

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

This news release contains forward-looking information which involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual events to differ materially from current expectations. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations are disclosed in the Company’s documents filed from time to time on SEDAR (see www.sedar.com). Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation, except to the extent required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE OrganiGram

http://www.organigram.ca

Cyber-security scammers ‘getting more and more creative

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Winter storm brings snow, rain, wind & cold to Eastern, Central Canada

A powerful winter storm that brought heavy rain and snow to much of Eastern and Central Canada has closed schools, flooded streets, knocked out power and is forcing school buses to stay off the roads in Toronto today as temperatures plummet.

Weather warnings remained in place in much of the region, cautioning that Sunday’s nasty storm system could deliver a one-two punch as plunging temperatures cause slush, pooling water and any precipitation to flash freeze.

Schools in much of New Brunswick were closed today, and some offices and universities were delaying their openings following rains that left some streets in areas like Saint John submerged under ice-clogged waters.

Several Toronto school boards, including the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board, decided to cancel bus service out of concerns that frigid temperatures could delay travel and put students at risk as they wait for pickup.

NB Power reported about 3,000 customers were without electricity, while Nova Scotia Power said about 34 outages were affecting just over 1,100 customers.

Environment Canada was forecasting flurries and ice pellets or freezing rain in New Brunswick this morning changing to snow in the afternoon with winds gusting to 40 km/h, and wind chill temperatures as low as minus 50 Celsius.

Wind and rainfall warnings have been posted in central Nova Scotia, while in Prince Edward Island a flash freeze warning has been issued with rain showers expected to change to flurries early in the afternoon.

Newfoundland is dealing with wind and rainfall warnings, with 20 millimetres of precipitation forecast for the south coast, along with 50 km/h winds gusting to 80 and even 100 km/h in some areas.

In Quebec and Ontario the snow has largely stopped falling, but extreme cold warnings remain in place with wind chills expected to drop to almost minus 40 in Toronto.

Montreal and Ottawa are looking at daytime highs of just minus 15 to 17 with icy wind chills as low as minus 40 where exposed skin can suffer frostbite in just minutes.

Sunday’s snow storm caused some flight cancellations at airports across the affected regions, and in Montreal they even cancelled a festival dedicated to snow.

The city said it was suspending the Fete des Neiges due to the snowy, windy and cold weather as well as the dangerous conditions on Quebec’s roads.

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