Federal government to announce supports for people, businesses hit by COVID-19

PM says Ottawa expecting ‘significant economic impacts’ from COVID-19

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will announce on Wednesday supports for people and businesses affected by COVID-19 — the first part of a federal package designed to help workers who are forced to stay home from their jobs as the virus spreads and disrupts the economy.

Trudeau will announce supports for those facing “immediate pressures,” with more aid for other sectors to be announced in the coming days.

Sources have told CBC News that the measures Trudeau will announce include waiving the one-week waiting period for Employment Insurance benefits for people who have to self-isolate because of the outbreak.

The package also will include a boost to research funding to combat the virus, over and above the $27 million announced in Montreal last week.

Ottawa is also leading a pan-Canadian effort to bulk-buy certain medical devices, and the federal government says it will be ready to support provinces needing further assistance to shore up their health care systems as the number of confirmed cases rises.

Trudeau met with top ministers this afternoon, including Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Health Minister Patty Hajdu, as part of the government’s response to a virus that has sickened dozens across Canada and killed one person in B.C.

“We recognize that there are going to be significant economic impacts for Canadians, for workers, for businesses, and that’s why we’re going to be talking very soon about measures that Canada is going to put forward to support people on the economic side,” Trudeau told reporters on his way into question period.

Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos said Ottawa is considering stimulus spending in the upcoming federal budget.

Beyond Wednesday’s planned announcement, Duclos said the federal government will spend more to help people “go through the crisis” and help “workers, families and businesses thrive and sustain themselves.”

“We have the fiscal room and the fiscal power to intervene and provide the stimulus that the economy will demand,” Duclos said in an interview with CBC’s Power & Politics. “We have the will and the ability to make a difference. We will use our considerable fiscal room and power to invest.”

While the debt-to-GDP ratio has been falling in recent years, Ottawa is running a federal budget deficit of $26.6 billion for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

READ MORE HERE AT CBC NEWS

Canada Life lays off 85 employees in Winnipeg, Montreal & London, Ont

Insurance giant to replace staff by outsourcing services from Winnipeg-based telemarketing company

Dana Hatherly · CBC News Manitoba

Canadian insurance giant Canada Life is laying off dozens of employees working in three provinces.

In an emailed statement to CBC, the company confirmed Tuesday it is laying off 85 employees in its Winnipeg, Montreal and London, Ont., offices.

The insurance company cited shifting demographics and changing the way it engages with customers in its decision.

Canada Life says it’s partnering with 24-7 Intouch Solutions — a multinational telemarketing company based in Winnipeg — to offer bilingual services and longer hours.

“24-7 has the tools and infrastructure to provide longer service hours for our customers,” vice-president Diane Bezdikian said in the statement.

She added the change “will provide greater flexibility in servicing our customers in both official languages.”

When asked by CBC, a company spokesperson would not say how many employees would be laid off in each of the three affected cities.

Three life insurance companies recently came together under the Canada Life banner when Great-West Life Assurance in Winnipeg, London Life Insurance and Canada Life Assurance consolidated as part of a restructuring process.

No jobs were cut as a result of that announcement last spring.

BCAA, TuGo both not covering coronavirus-related claims

Read more

belairdirect busts a move with unexpected events in new advertising campaign

When the unexpected happens, belairdirect is there to ensure all is forgiven in its latest advertising campaign. In a continuation of its cinematic platform for showcasing unique products and customer offerings, belairdirect surprises the audience.

belairdirect busts a move with unexpected events in a new advertising campaign

 

In the latest campaign titled “The Gangs”, a scene unfolds with dancers in the street having what appears to be a dance-off. Out of nowhere, a car narrowly misses the group of dancers and unintentionally drives into a house. Capturing the attention of the neighbourhood, a brief back-and-forth occurs between the driver and homeowner, but the tension lifts when the crowd learns about belairdirect’s forgiveness products.

Building on the success of a storytelling-driven approach to ad campaigns, this new ad remains light-hearted, colourful and playful while focusing on belairdirect’s claim forgiveness products for home and auto policies. belairdirect understands that unexpected events can happen that are out of the customer’s control. With Home Claim Forgiveness and Accident Forgiveness your premium is protected.

“We had a lot of fun producing belairdirect’s latest campaign. With the success of our storytelling platform, our ad creates ‘ah-ha’ moments for the audience. Proving to resonate with customers, this campaign continues on with an amusing moment without being overly promotional,” said Humberto Valencia, Vice President Marketing & Digital Strategy at belairdirect. “Insurance provides peace of mind and this is why it is the focal point of our new campaign.”

This 360° campaign includes TV, online videos, radio, digital, billboards and social elements and will be predominately seen in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia starting March 9, 2020.

To view the full commercial, please visit:

https://youtu.be/KBGrU6X1YAM

CREDITS
Title:
The Gangs
Advertiser: 
belairdirect – Humberto Valencia, Evelyne Lepage, Marie-Claude Filion, Emilie Bélanger
Agency: 
Sid Lee Toronto
Production House: 
Ruffian
Director:
The Bobbsey Twins from Homicide
Post-production: 
Saints Editorial, Embassy vfx, Fort York vfx, Alter Ego
Sound: 
Vapor RMW, BLVD
Media:
PHD Montréal

About belairdirect

Founded in Quebec in 1955, belairdirect provides car and home insurance products directly to consumers. It currently employs more than 1,600 people. The company offers a simple but complete solution, allowing customers to communicate with an agent by phone, online or in person. belairdirect was the first property and casualty insurer in North America to sell car insurance products online (www.belairdirect.com), attesting to the company’s innovative character. belairdirect is a subsidiary of Intact Financial Corporation, the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada and a leading provider of specialty insurance in North America (TSX : IFCwww.intactfc.com). belairdirect is a proud partner of Breakfast Club of Canada. For more information, please visit https://www.belairdirect.com or follow belairdirect on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

SOURCE belairdirect

Related Links

belairdirect.com

Cowan Insurance Group Awarded Platinum Status by Canada’s Best Managed Companies

Press Release:

Cambridge, ON – March 5, 2020 – Cowan Insurance Group, a leading Canadian insurance brokerage and consulting firm, was recognized for the eighth consecutive year by prestigious Canada’s Best Managed Companies program, earning Platinum Club status, for a second straight year.

Now in its 27th year, Canada’s Best Managed Companies is one of the country’s leading business awards programs recognizing Canadian-owned and managed companies for innovative, world-class business practices.

Cowan has proven itself as a market leader in commercial and personal insurance, group benefits, and wealth management through its client-centric approach to doing business and commitment to innovation and excellence.

“Best Managed Platinum Club winners are resilient. They have been consistent in successfully adapting to change throughout the years and overcoming economic challenges. These companies truly impact how Canada is viewed on the world stage when it comes to the success of private business,” said Kari Lockhart, Partner, Deloitte Private and Co-Leader, Canada’s Best Managed Companies program.

Applicants are evaluated by an independent judging panel comprised of representatives from program sponsors, in addition to special guest judges. 2020 Best Managed companies share commonalities that include a clear and concise strategy, and investment in resources and development with a strong emphasis on corporate social responsibility.

“Attaining Platinum status for a second consecutive year is a testament to our employees who continually go the extra mile and deliver excellence,” said Heather McLachlin, President of Cowan Insurance Group. “We care about what you care about is more than simply our tagline, it’s how we do business. Our clients are at the centre of all that we do.”

Winners will be recognized at the annual Canada’s Best Managed Companies gala in Toronto on April 1, 2020.

The Best Managed program is sponsored by Deloitte Private, CIBC, Canadian Business, Smith School of Business, and TMX Group.

Source: Cowan Insurance Group

Canada’s largest airlines waiving fees to change flights because of coronavirus

By Ross Marowits

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ Canada’s largest airlines are waiving change fees in light of concerns about the novel coronavirus.

Air Canada says a one-time change is permitted for tickets purchased from the airline between March 4 and March 31 for travel within 12 months.

It also applies to Aeroplan flight reward bookings and Air Canada Vacations has implemented flexible booking policies.

WestJet Airlines Ltd. says the one-time change fee waiver applies to new bookings made between March 5 and March 31.

Air Transat has two policies, including one that applies to Venice, a hot spot for the virus called COVID-19. All customers who booked flights on or before March 2 for travel until June 30 can change their date or destination for a trip until Oct. 31.

Other passengers travelling outside the eco budget fare class can change their travel dates, destination or hotel at no charge for bookings made between March 4 and March 31 for travel through Oct. 31.

“Although almost all of our destinations are very safe and the government of Canada’s advisories currently affect only one of our destinations located in northern Italy, we are aware that the outbreak and progression of the coronavirus may raise questions and even concerns among some travellers,” Transat said in a news release.

“The situation is evolving rapidly, and in order to reassure travellers and enable our clients to carry out their travel plans, we are offering them peace of mind by deploying a highly advantageous flexibility policy.”

Most airlines will waive the fee for changes made at least 14 days before travel. However, Transat passengers can change their booking up to 24 hours before departure.

All airlines require passengers to pay any fare difference between the original and new flights.

Sunwing says its destinations have not been impacted to date but its waiver applies to all new bookings made March 4-19 for flights until June 24.

Sunwing passengers can purchase insurance starting at $50 per person that provides full cancellation coverage up until three hours before departure for any reason.

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