In loyalty programs, Canadians happiest with small rewards over big dreams

When it comes to loyalty programs, Canadians seem happiest with providers of small rewards such as free movies and groceries rather than those who promise dream vacations, according to an independent national study released today.

According to the Argyle Public Relationships Index™, the annual study by Leger Research and Argyle Public Relationships, Canadians’ satisfaction, trust and overall relationships are strongest with the Scotiabank/Cineplex Scene program and the new PC Optimum program, rather than those focusing their rewards on travel. The survey has no affiliation with any company offering a loyalty program.

In general, Canadians have strong relationships with their preferred loyalty program:

  • 79 per cent are very or somewhat satisfied with the program they use the most;
  • 76 per cent trust their loyalty program;
  • 73 per cent believe the loyalty program takes care of people likely to use it;
  • 70 per cent believe the loyalty program is committed to meeting their expectations;
  • 60 per cent see the loyalty program as concerned about “people like me;” and
  • 41 per cent believe they can influence the decisions or direction of their main loyalty program.

“While Canadians are loyal to their loyalty programs, the ready reward of the free movie or groceries seems to be winning our hearts more than the elusive dream vacation,” says Argyle CEO Daniel Tisch, a leading international expert on public relationships and reputation management. “The recent controversies about the future of Air Miles points, and about Aeroplan’s future, may also be factors in the slight edge gained by those offering smaller, simpler rewards.”

Public relations research suggests there are six dimensions of relationships between brands and their publics: trust; satisfaction; perceived commitment to meet expectations; caring for customers (“exchange relationship”); concern for people like me (“communal relationship”); and people’s perception of their ability to influence the brand. The Argyle Public Relationships Index™ averages public ratings of how the brand they know best in each sector performs on the six dimensions.

Among loyalty programs, the survey reveals average-to-strong relationships between most major programs and the public:

Loyalty program

Public Relationships Index™

(out of 100)

Scotiabank Scene


PC Optimum


Air Miles


RBC Avion


TD Rewards




Relationships with brands drive business, recommendations

The survey also shows that just over two-thirds of Canadians (67 per cent) are interested in having relationships with the brands they buy and the service providers with which they do business, down from 73 per cent a year ago. Seventy-nine per cent are more likely to do business with a brand that builds a relationship with them, and 80 per cent are more likely to recommend the brand to their friends.

“In two years of working with Argyle on this research, it’s clear that the health of a company’s relationships with the public correlates strongly to the health of its brand,” says Lisa Covens, Leger’s Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs. “Whether it’s their products, their communications, or both, the loyalty programs offering these simple, everyday rewards are earning stronger relationships with the Canadian public.”

About the study

This loyalty study of the Argyle Public Relationships Index™ is based on a survey of 1,591 Canadians, completed between January 22-25, 2018, using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. The margin of error for the 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%. Argyle expresses its appreciation to Dr. Alex Sevigny, Director of McMaster University’s Master of Communications Management (MCM) program, for his counsel in the development of the study.

About Argyle Public Relationships™ (

Argyle helps major brands and respected organizations build and strengthen their relationships with the stakeholders who drive their reputations, brands and business success – across Canada and beyond. For more than 35 years, Argyle has been chosen by some of the world’s biggest brands, put big ideas onto the public agenda, and become one of Canada’s largest independent communications firms.

Argyle is a Canadian leader in industry awards for its work in consumer marketing, corporate communications, health communications, public affairs, digital communications, branding and design. In both 2015 and 2016, Argyle was named by PROFIT 500 as one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies.

Argyle TACT Public Affairs, a partnership between Argyle and TACT Intelligence-Conseil, is based in Ottawa and offers public affairs services across the country.

About Leger (

Leger is the largest Canadian-owned polling, research, and strategic marketing firm with 600 employees in MontrealQuebec CityTorontoEdmonton, and Calgary in Canada, and Philadelphia in the United States. Leger is part of the WIN network partners in more than 100 countries, making Leger not only the largest Canadian-owned company in its sector, but also an internationally recognized brand.

Leger provides its clients with unique expertise in market research and information technology, in addition to business consulting and strategies in the fields of customer satisfaction, positioning, brand management, communication efficiency, corporate reputation, social acceptability, crisis management and customer experience.

SOURCE Argyle Public Relationships

January winter storms, floods caused more than $54 million in insured damage

surance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that a significant winter storm event which affected parts of OntarioQuebecNew BrunswickPrince Edward IslandNova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, resulted in more than $54 million in insured damage, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

From January 11-14, 2018, a low pressure system brought high temperatures and heavy rains to much of Eastern Canada. Melting snow, ice jams, and rainfall caused flooding in several parts of the region. Nearly $33 million in insured damage was reported in Quebec and over $12 million in Ontario. The remainder occurred in the four Atlantic Provinces.

“Climate change is causing severe weather events to happen more frequently and with greater intensity, especially storms involving floods. While the insured damage from these floods is significant, the total economic cost to homeowners and government is not yet known,” said Craig Stewart, Vice-President, Federal Affairs, IBC. “Because flooding can cause significant damage in a very short amount of time, it is critically important for consumers to know what their policies cover and whether they have overland flood protection. Consumers should check with their insurance representatives to see what options are available to them.”

For more information on how to protect property against floods and other disasters please visit IBC’s website.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $52 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

About CatIQ
Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ) delivers detailed analytical and meteorological information on Canadian natural and man-made catastrophes. Through its online subscription-based platform, CatIQ combines comprehensive insured loss indices and other related information to better serve the needs of the insurance and reinsurance industries, public sector and other stakeholders. To learn more, visit

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Mortgage 101 For First-Time Homebuyers

Article by The Ross Firm

Entering the housing market for the first time can be a bewildering experience, especially where financing is concerned. Our post this week looks at the bare basics of residential mortgages and how a real estate lawyer can help ensure that a housing newbie’s first go at financing is a smooth one.

Mortgage Types – Conventional vs High-Ratio

Mortgages fall into two categories depending on the amount of home that a buyer finances. Those able to finance less than 80 per cent of a property’s value can apply for a conventional mortgage.

High-ratio mortgages are for purchasers who finance between 80-95 per cent of the property’s value. These mortgages allow more individuals to join the housing market, but with the higher risk involved, the law imposes mandatory mortgage loan insurance on these transactions as a safeguard against mortgage default. Read more about mortgage loan insurance in one our previous post.

It Pays To Shop Around

The first place that first-time homebuyers logically turn to for mortgage help is their own bank. This can be a good starting point to obtain information and do some number crunching, but a number of alternative options exist. These include trust companies, insurance companies, credit unions and private lenders.

Rates, options, conditions, risks and benefits differ, so it’s wise to treat a mortgage no differently from any other major purchase decision. Shopping around could also sizably impact the total money a buyer saves or loses in interest over the long term.

Working with a mortgage broker instead of a single lender opens up options. These brokers do the shopping for the mortgagee, scouring various institutions to gather the best possible packages to suit the needs in each transaction.

The Role Of A Real Estate Lawyer In Financing

Meeting with a real estate lawyer is the next wise investment, especially for a first-time buyer. Experienced lawyers have reviewed hundreds and thousands of mortgage agreements. They can cut through the fine print and provide clarity to ensure that buyers know exactly what they are signing to.

Real estate lawyers can also spot existing and potential problems that buyers are often not aware of. They can also ensure that legal provisions are in place to protect against possible future risks. With one of life’s largest investments involved, professional scrutiny makes good sense – both financially and practically.

Buying or selling?

Call us.

On behalf of Quinn Ross of The Ross Firm Professional Corporation posted in Residential Real Estate on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

$85,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Chronic Wrist Injury

Today’s guest post comes from B.C. injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, assessing damages for a permanent wrist injury sustained in a vehicle collision.

In today’s case (Fatin v. Watson) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2014 collision.  The Defendant disputed fault but ultimately was found 75% to blame.

The Plaintiff suffered a variety of injuries the most serious of which affected his wrist and was expected to be permanent. In assessing non-pecuniary loss at $85,000 prior to apportionment of damages Mr. Justice Grauer provided the following reasons:

[28]         Dr. Fatin suffered a blow to his head and his left shoulder, but neither of these caused any lasting injury.  The significant injury was to his right wrist.  He suffered, and continues to suffer, from a condition called “SLAC wrist”.  SLAC is the medical short form for scapholunate advanced collapse, and comprises injury to the right scapholunate ligament leading to intercarpal and radialcarpal osteoarthritis.

[29]         This injury has had a marked effect on Dr. Fatin’s lifestyle.  Although retired from medicine for some years, he has been very active in carrying out extensive renovations and landscaping to the homes and recreational properties in which he and his family have lived, and was active in activities such as golf and bocce.  He can no longer lift a heavy item, wield a hammer, drive a screw, swing a golf club or put a backspin on a bocce ball.  He wears a brace on his right wrist to minimize the pain that comes with movement. 

[30]         The injury itself and the wrist osteoarthritis were not caused by the motor vehicle accident, but were pre-existing degenerative conditions that were asymptomatic.  It is not contested that the collision caused the osteoarthritis to become symptomatic, and that he will have a permanent disability in the form of pain, decreased wrist movement and decreased strength in the right upper limb. 

[31]         No one can say whether or when it would have eventually become symptomatic but for the accident.  His treating plastic surgeon, Dr. Slobodan Djurickovic, who has a special interest in hand and wrist surgery, wrote in his report:

It is impossible to know whether or not he would have had significant wrist pain had he not been involved in an accident.  It is my opinion that he likely would not have developed severe wrist pain.  He had significant arthritic changes and no pain into his 75th year and was able to golf etc.  As a result I feel he would have likely had only mildly painful wrist arthritis at the most if it weren’t for the motor vehicle accident.

[32]         I accept Dr. Djurickovic’s opinion.  It is consistent with the opinion of the defence orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Brenda Markland, who wrote in her report:

It is likely that Dr. Fatin would eventually have become aware of the osteoarthritis in his right wrist, but it is difficult to predict exactly when that would have happened.  After all, he made it to the age of 75 years without any symptoms, and might have lived out the rest of his life without knowing that the problem existed.  However, a fall on the outstretched hand or the strenuous activity involved in renovations might have brought out the symptoms earlier, or the progression of the degenerative changes over time might have given him gradually increasing pain.

[33]         Accordingly, I find that the motor vehicle collision caused Dr. Fatin’s pre-existing osteoarthritis to become symptomatic to the point where it became disabling, and that he would not have suffered that degree of disability but for the accident.

[34]         The only potential treatment is surgical: either a wrist fusion, which would likely relieve pain but completely limit movement, or a wrist joint replacement (arthroplasty), from which, according to Dr. Djurickovic, Dr. Fatin could expect a reasonable result, with reduction in pain, increased range of motion, and more comfort in activities of daily living, lighter duties and hobbies.  It is not clear that Dr. Fatin would be able to resume golf or undertake renovations, and he would be advised to continue wearing a splint for anything more than light activities.

[35]         Given Dr. Fatin’s age and physical demands, as well as the fact that he is right hand dominant, it is Dr. Djurickovic’s recommendation that he undergo the wrist replacement procedure.  Dr. Fatin is still considering his options…

[40]         Dr. Fatin is a man who took great satisfaction from his ability to carry out manual tasks at which he was very good.  These included, as I have noted, renovating his several houses, extensive maintenance, repair work, landscaping and gardening.  He engaged in these all his life, including in his retirement.  He has been considerably more active than many of his age.  All of this has been greatly impaired by his injury.  In addition, the leisure activities he has enjoyed in retirement have also been affected, particularly golf.  For him, the loss of independence that we all face as we age has been greatly accelerated.  Dr. Fatin has faced this stoically, but not without real frustration.

[41]         There is no doubt that his injury is permanent.  It is possible that wrist replacement surgery would improve things, but it would not cure the condition.  Dr. Fatin has expressed some reluctance to proceed with such surgery because of experience he has had from procedures in the past where he has suffered side effects usually limited to 1% or so of the population.  There nevertheless remains, I find, a real and substantial possibility that he will choose to undergo such a procedure, if for no reason other than to reduce pain and relieve frustration, and I assess the likelihood at 50%.

[42]         Taking all of these factors into account, I assess Dr. Fatin’s claim for non-pecuniary damages at $85,000. 

New Data Highlighting the Behavioural Impact of the #MeToo Movement

Press Release:

To mark International Women’s Day, Plan International Canada today released new survey data highlighting the significant impact of the #MeToo movement on changing behaviours and perceptions related to gender in Canada.

Of 3,000 respondents surveyed from across the country, nearly half said they believe social movements such as #MeToo and Time’s Up are paving the way for real gender equality. Two-thirds of men and women agree that these movements are empowering females and that they are causing men to re-evaluate how they interact with women. Thirty-one percent of respondents say the movements have changed how they think about sexual assault.

“These findings demonstrate the powerful force that women’s and girls’ voices are for creating meaningful change in attitudes towards gender here in Canada,” says Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO of Plan International Canada. “We must persist so that this momentum can continue and the impact can be felt far beyond our borders. Women and girls are the world’s most vulnerable population; globally we must help amplify their voices and, importantly, listen to their stories.”

On March 8, Plan International Canada is asking people to mark International Women’s Day by using #WeMust on social media to share what #WeMust do collectively and as individuals in Canada and around the world to strengthen the gender movement and propel it forward.

Key Findings

The survey results found that recent social movements, including #MeToo, are changing attitudes and behaviours around gender relations rapidly.

  • Two-thirds of men (64 per cent) and women (70 per cent) in Canada agree that #MeToo and Time’s Up are empowering women and girls to share their experiences;
  • Sixty-seven per cent of men and 69 per cent of women believe the movements are causing men to re-evaluate how they interact with women;
  • Nearly half (47 per cent) of survey respondents say the movements have created a positive impact on workplaces and schools, with 46 per cent saying this is paving the way for real gender equality;
  • One-third of Canadians (32 per cent) say the way they think about male-female power relations has changed because of the movements;
  • Thirty-one per cent say the movements have changed how they think about sexual assault.

Riseboro points to some of the survey’s other findings, which show the size of the gender gap in Canada. Women are twice as likely as men (29 per cent versus 16 per cent) to have felt discouraged from applying for a job or a promotion because of their gender, and four in 10 women (44 per cent) say that they have had to change their behaviour to appear more authoritative in the workplace. She also cites the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap report that ranks Canada behind 15 other countries when it comes to gender equality.

Plan International Canada has applauded the federal government for the gender responsive budget it tabled last week, but Riseboro says it will take more than policies and regulations to truly make a difference.

“Gender equality and inclusion policies are important, but they are focused on the symptoms of the issue. At the root of the problem is the culture we live in, where power, silence and inequality are deeply intertwined. We will not move the needle significantly on gender equality until we examine our culture and our deeply held beliefs,” she says.

That fundamental cultural and behavioural change must be a shared global effort. In its domestic and international work, Plan International Canada engages all genders in the work of girls’ rights and gender equality.

“We must work together to tackle cultural obstacles and defeat harmful stereotypes, especially those that affect girls,” says Riseboro. “So many of the important decisions and experiences that will shape a girl’s adulthood can happen before her 18th birthday, whether it’s what she studies or being forced into early marriage.”

About the Plan International Canada Survey
Plan International Canada partnered with Hill+Knowlton Strategies to conduct an online survey among a total of 3,000 adults from February 16-23, 2018. Of those, two-thirds of respondents were women and one-third were men. All respondents resided in Canada.

About Plan International Canada and the Because I am a Girl initiative
Founded in 1937, Plan International is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan International strives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Because I am a Girl is Plan International’s global movement to transform power relations so that girls everywhere can learn, lead, decide and thrive.

Visit and for more information.

SOURCE Plan International Canada

Illegal home builders put buyers at risk!

Press Release:

Tarion Warranty Corporation is recognizing Fraud Prevention Month with a strong warning to consumers that an illegally built home in Ontario may come with devastating consequences, including a home that may be unsafe to inhabit or a builder who, once paid, abandons the project altogether.

“When it comes to the largest investment of a family’s life, namely a newly built home, it pays to know that your builder has the technical and financial wherewithal to complete the job and that you have the protection of a warranty if anything goes wrong,” said Howard Bogach, Tarion’s president and CEO. “If builders are not registered with Tarion, they are building illegally and won’t provide warranty protection that is legally required in Ontario.”

Bogach emphasized that every builder in Ontario must be registered with Tarion and must enroll all newly built homes in the warranty program. It’s the law. And almost all municipalities across Ontario are supporting it by sharing their building permit information with Tarion. An additional 15 municipalities have partnered up with Tarion to educate consumers who opt to take out permits in their own names as opposed to using a builder licensed by Tarion.

Illegal builds are more than just a bad idea. They can be expensive for homeowners and builders alike. Last year, for example, Ontario provincial courts set down 117 convictions related to illegal building, and illegal builders paid almost $400,000 in fines for proceeding without proper registration, warranties, or permits. In 2016, one builder even went to jail.

Bogach expects this price tag to increase in 2018 because the fines themselves have increased. Beginning in 2018, builders found in violation of the law will face fines up to $50,000 – up from $25,000 – as well as imprisonment for one year, less a day (twice the previous jail time). Corporations building new homes will face the heaviest penalties with maximum fines of $250,000, up from the previous $100,000. Even directors and officers of these delinquent companies are subject to penalties up to $50,000.

For the homeowner, risks are also high. Unregistered builders do not necessarily comply with Ontario Building Code specifications and the new owner can fall victim to poor craftsmanship, including such dangerous and costly elements as electricity and plumbing. There is also the risk that an illegal builder will take a buyer’s deposit and then abandon the build.

In keeping with its mandate of consumer protection, Tarion advises prospective buyers of new homes to recognize the following signs that a builder may be operating illegally. Builders:

  • Say they built the house for themselves but then decided to sell it.
  • Say they offer their own warranty and the homeowner doesn’t need Tarion’s warranty.
  • Say the Tarion warranty is too costly (sometimes quoting $10k when in fact the maximum cost is $1800 plus taxes.)
  • Offer the consumer a brief contract or, worse, no contract at all.

About Tarion Warranty Corporation

For more than 40 years, Tarion has been enhancing confidence in the new home buying experience. Tarion is a private, not-for-profit corporation that administers the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, and backstops the warranty coverage. We set the standards for builder licensing and after-sales service and step in when your builder cannot or will not fulfill the warranty obligations. Since 1976, Ontario’s new home warranty program has registered close to two million homes and paid put hundreds of thousands of dollars in warranty claims. Our mandate is to serve the public interest, and is what guides us every day.

SOURCE Tarion Warranty Corporation


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