Canada is finally getting rid of those annoying paper declaration forms at the airport


Your international travel is about to get a little bit easier.

Starting Monday, you won’t need to use paper declaration forms when flying into Ottawa from outside the country.

Self-serve kiosks for international travellers will be at the Ottawa airport starting March 20, the federal government has announced. They’ll be rolled out to other major Canadian airports later this year.

The kiosks — called primary inspection kiosks — will allow international travellers to verify their travel documents, complete declaration forms on screen and confirm their identity with the kiosk using facial recognition to take a photo of the traveller and compare it to a passport picture.

Travellers will also be able to use the government’s new mobile declaration app called CanBorder –  eDeclaration, which will let people complete their declaration in the app then use a generated QR code to scan at the kiosk when they arrive in Ottawa.

NEXUS travellers will be asked their declaration questions at the NEXUS kiosks in Ottawa.

Eventually, Canada Border Services Agency will phase out handing out declaration cards on airplanes.

Source: Vancouver Sun

Do you have your General Insurance Level 1 License, but not using it?

Do you have your General Insurance Level 1 License, but not using it?

So you have got your license, now what?

Do you have your General Insurance Level 1 License, but not using it? Do you know of someone looking for an excellent long-term career in the insurance industry? We have a unique fast-track 7-week personal lines insurance training opportunity starting April 17, 2017. We are looking for candidates from Victoria and the Lower Mainland area of BC, Kelowna and Kamloops. Hosted by Intact Insurance, you will receive technical, product and sales training for a successful career as a Personal Insurance Broker.

If you are a self-starter who is willing to give 100% to this fantastic program or know of someone who may be interested in applying to be a participant, please forward your cover letter and resume, along with two references, to:

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Note: This program is only available for people not working in the insurance industry. If you are currently working for a general insurance broker, this opportunity is not an option for you at this time.

Testimonials from previous program participants:

“I believe it was a great start for me learning general insurance having no knowledge of the industry at all. The job shadowing with the underwriters helped me build a great relationship with them that whenever I give them a call and have questions and concerns it’s always pleasant and solutions are always given.” Ceazar Simon

“The ILS course was broken down in the best possible way. Very supportive staff that are dedicated to helping you achieve success. The live instruction is absolutely engaging and the instructors make it very easy to focus and learn what could otherwise be a dry subject. I have come out a great broker with a great career path ahead of me. I would recommend this course to absolutely anybody looking to get into the insurance sales industry. ” Joe Tobin

Why would I want to become a Personal Lines Insurance Broker?
Many people think working in the insurance industry is a boring 9 – 5 desk job that involves working alone in isolation under piles of paperwork.

This is not the case!

While many insurance industry roles do have an element of independence, an insurance career often calls for frequent client interaction, teamwork, networking and the opportunity for community involvement. These activities not only provide variety, they also provide a well-rounded set of skills and experience that can help you find a role or set of responsibilities that matches how you like to work. If you’re seeking a career that offers you the chance to succeed professionally while contributing something positive and necessary, becoming a personal lines insurance broker could be just the career opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

Edited by ILSTV.

Alert! Desjardins launches a new water damage prevention program

Desjardins is announcing the launch of Alert, a new home insurance program to prevent water damage, available nationwide.

When clients with a home insurance policy from Desjardins Insurance or The Personal sign up for Alert, they get a free water, freeze and humidity detector to place in their home close to a potential source of leaks. The detector is a connected object, and if it senses a problem, it sends an alert to the client’s smartphone, so they can act quickly to limit any damage. And clients can choose whether they want to receive alerts by notification, text message or email.

“No one wants to deal with the stress of water damage. Depending on the extent of the damage, it can mean lost valuables and family treasures that just can’t be replaced, not to mention a possible relocation during repair work. With the Alert program, we’re helping clients harness the power of technology to avoid this type of stressful situation as much as possible,” says Alex Veilleux, Vice-President, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at Desjardins General Insurance Group.

  • Water damage accounts for more than 50% of home insurance claims.
  • By acting fast in many of those cases, homeowners would have been able to prevent significant damage and avoid the disruption that comes with it.

The detector is a small device, with a sleek, modern design. It can be placed near the kitchen sink or dishwasher, in the bathroom, near the washing machine, near the water heater or anywhere else a leak might occur.

Program participants can even name a person as a monitor to receive the same notifications. “So if you can’t get home quickly, someone you trust can go instead. That’s why we suggest policyholders make sure a friend or family member has a house key,” adds Veilleux.

The Alert program was designed to offer clients peace of mind. As such, participation in the program can never lead to premium increases or changes in existing coverage, regardless of how many alerts a client receives or the actions they take. Simply put, the program gives policyholders a prevention tool to help limit the damage caused by water and freezing.

Alert is a free, voluntary program that comes with one detector for each home insured. “Our clients can purchase additional detectors at an affordable price, thanks to an agreement with the fintech/insuretech Roost, our business partner and Alert technology provider,” says Veilleux.

The Alert program will also be offered to clients of State Farm Canada in June 2017.

A single app for Alert, Ajusto and much more!
For Desjardins, this launch is an opportunity to capture its entire mobile offer in a single smartphone app, called Desjardins Insurance Home-Auto or The Personal. As well as Alert, the app includes the Ajusto program, which rewards clients for improving their driving habits. It’s also a hub for online services, where policyholders can access their insurance policy, change their address, store a vehicle, start a claim and get an online quote. This app makes Desjardins the first insurer in Canada to introduce a connected home and auto insurance offer.

Visual material
To download pictures of the detector or screenshots of the Desjardins Insurance Home-Auto or The Personal app, click here.

About Desjardins General Insurance Group
A subsidiary of Desjardins Group, Desjardins General Insurance Group (DGIG) is Canada’s third largest provider of property and casualty insurance. The company distributes insurance under the Desjardins Insurance, The Personal, and State Farm Canada brands. DGIG is also a leader in Canada in white label distribution.


SOURCE Desjardins Group

Dax Shepard takes ‘CHIPS’ from primetime to”Bad Boys”

By Lindsey Bahr


LOS ANGELES _ Dax Shepard was only 2 when “CHiPs” started airing on NBC and 8 by the time the popular series about the California Highway Patrol ended. He remembers the show _ the sunshine, the motorcycles, the diversity (there weren’t many Latinos in his hometown of Detroit). It was like a vacation from the greyness every night on prime time.

But it was a faint memory until recently, when Shepard found himself googling how to spell Poncherello for a joke for a screenplay he was writing and came across a photo of Jon and Ponch looking “kind of cool.” Suddenly he saw something else: A cool “CHiPs,” in the vein of “Lethal Weapon” or “Bad Boys.”

Suffice it to say, the names might be the same (other than some punctuation), but “CHIPS” is not your father’s “CHiPs.” The once family friendly show has veered into hard-R territory in the feature film, out Friday.

It’s not an uncommon practice. “21 Jump Street” and its sequel, and also “Miami Vice” veered successfully into the R zone, as will this summer’s “Baywatch” remake.

And “CHIPS” wasn’t always going to be that way. When Shepard signed on to write, direct and star in the adaptation, it was envisioned as PG-13 with a $45 million budget. When that was slashed to $25 million, Shepard insisted on the R.

“I generally like to see R-rated movies and I think you should make what you want to consume even though it’s really tempting to make something you think people want to see,” he said in a recent interview at a Los Feliz coffee shop. Shepard blew into the place, Matcha-filled coffee mug in hand, apologizing for any tardiness. The father of two, a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, had been up all night with his youngest and was dealing with a hot water heater replacement while his wife, actress Kristen Bell, was out of town.

“People don’t usually bring their own Matcha in here, do they?” Shepard asked the barista, who just shook her head “no.” Shepard laughed and ordered another.

At 42, Shepard has a few writing and directing credits to his name, including “Brother’s Justice” and “Hit and Run,” but he’s no doubt more widely known for his acting in films like “Idiocracy” and televisions shows like “Punk’d” and “Parenthood.” He didn’t have any delusions of his own star power to actually open a film. When he pitched his modern vision for “CHiPs,” he actually assumed the studio would go with a proven star like Chris Pratt or Channing Tatum for Jon Baker.

But Warner Bros. liked Shepard, and his plan to cast Michael Pena as Ponch, and they got the green light. For one, Shepard is an economical director. “Brother’s Justice” cost $5,000 to make and “Hit and Run” cost $1 million. They also had the intellectual property cushion on their side.

“I could have never gone to a studio and said, ‘Hey here’s this original comedy called ‘Bonkers for Motorcycles’ and it’s me and Michael Pena and we need $25 million.’ They would have never done it. I knew if I were going to get any movie made it was going to have to be within a brand or a property that provided the studio with some insurance,” Shepard said. “And then I get to make a completely original movie that just has the known title in it.”

From there, Shepard got to make the action comedy he’s felt has been missing from cinemas in the past 15 years _ one that doesn’t treat the action as a throwaway.

“I see pretty big budget action movies where there’s a lot of cheating going on,” he said. “I just get bored when I watch computer generated battles in movies. I’ve walked out of more movies in the last five years than I have my whole life.”

Shepard took pains to do everything practically, from the motorcycle stunts to blowing up propane tanks. With the exception of one small shot, nothing in the film is digital.

Andrew Panay, who produced “CHIPS,” said Shepard is an “incredibly gifted filmmaker,” whose clear vision and kindness permeates the set. He’s also deft choreographer of action sequences.

“Everything is about timing and you can’t really mess up when you’re blowing up cars and splitting trailers in have one shot to get it and you better get it,” Panay said.

Getting the right mix of action and comedy wasn’t all Shepard had to balance. As the screenwriter, Shepard also tried to infuse a little bit of his own social consciousness into the script. There’s an ongoing thread where Ponch is repulsed by the thought of touching a naked man and the two debate whether or not that’s homophobic.

“I love talking about stuff in an apolitical way. I have a unique opportunity because I have a very male, motorsports fan base to bring these things up in a way that’s not preachy,” Shepard said. “We’re always going to be making race jokes, sexuality jokes, those jokes are never going away. That’s what comedians do. So the fun challenge is how do you do it that’s appropriate to 2017? That’s a big juggling act.”

Taxpayers group says tax hikes a hazardous way to fix deficit problems

By Jennifer Graham


REGINA _ The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says higher taxes are the last thing Saskatchewan needs in the provincial budget to be tabled Wednesday.

But Premier Brad Wall has said they will be there as part of the government’s three-year plan to balance the books.

Todd MacKay, the federation’s prairie director, says revenue is down from income, business and consumption taxes, and raising them doesn’t necessarily mean more money coming in.

“The reason for that is pretty clear folks have less money,” MacKay said Tuesday.

“So just increasing the tax burden on Saskatchewanians, when they’re already down, is a pretty hazardous way to fix a deficit problem. It’s not taxpayers’ fault for paying too little tax.”

The Saskatchewan government is facing about a $1.3-billion deficit.

Wall said Monday that some of the shortfall will be made up with tax increases. He said there will be a shift away from income taxes and toward consumption taxes. The government is also looking at the education portion of property taxes, provincial sales tax exemptions and the PST in general.

MacKay said the government should focus on spending.

“Families and businesses started trimming spending in Saskatchewan a couple of years ago,” he said.

“The government hasn’t done that yet. In fact, spending has continued to go up. They’ve got to recognize the reality: there’s less money in Saskatchewan. You’ve got to spend less money.”

For starters, MacKay said, the government should get out of the bus business and shut down the Saskatchewan Transportation Co.

But MacKay said Wall is “bang on when he’s looking at wages.”

Wall has said the government wants public-sector wages and benefits cut by 3.5 per cent, which could save about $250 million, although he hasn’t dictated how that should be achieved.

The government is trying to save money because of a big drop in revenue from oil and gas, potash and uranium. Tax revenue is also lower than forecast and crop insurance claims are up $250 million because of a late harvest.

Saskatchewan Finance Minister Kevin Doherty said there are difficult decisions in the budget.

“We’re going to set in place a plan where we’re not so reliant on resource revenues moving forward,” said Doherty.

“But we need to ensure that our program funding is sustainable over the long term and so we have to change course, make a bit of a shift with respect to where we derive our revenues from.”

Doherty is forgoing the tradition of new shoes ahead of a budget and has instead opted to have his old shoes resoled in a symbolic gesture of the fiscal challenge ahead.

“These shoes are perfectly good to use. They just needed some tweaking, they needed some adjustments, not unlike our economy.”

NDP finance critic Cathy Sproule said the Opposition is concerned about where cuts might be made and offered a pair of hip waders to Doherty.

“We thought that our finance minister’s in a little bit of trouble this year with the amount of deficit that we’re facing,” she said.

“We thought we would be helpful and maybe provide him with these hip waders because we know he’s really deep in red ink.”

Workers Compensation Board wants businesses to develop policy for use of pot

SASKATOON _ A spokesman for a Saskatchewan agency that provides insurance and compensation for workers and employers says businesses should have policies in place before Canada legalizes marijuana.

Ed Secondiak with ECS Safety Services spoke Tuesday at a meeting of the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board.

He says businesses should develop ways to test workers for marijuana; penalties for employees who use marijuana at or before work, or perhaps consider allowing the drug at work.

Secondiak says employers should come up with those policies soon because medical marijuana is already out there and workers’ use could affect safety on the job.

He says medical marijuana can cause people to be impaired as well.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier this month that his government plans to introduce marijuana legislation by the summer, but added current laws haven’t changed.

“We don’t have a level of impairment for law enforcement to follow and we lack a lot of research on the actual benefits, what is should be used for,” Secondiak said.

“Right now it’s been used as a miracle drug for everything and the science might not be there, so we know it’s beneficial, but what is it beneficial for?”

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