It’s World Cancer Day: Are we doing enough for young adults

The excerpted article was written by NICHOLAS SOKIC | Windsor Star

Today is World Cancer Day,  a day to raise awareness and encourage prevention of one of the world’s most feared disease. One aspect of cancer awareness – and support – that our country is decidedly less aware of  is cancer in young adults.

That’s where Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) comes in. The non-profit organization works to connect young adults dealing with cancer into like-minded communities for solidarity and understanding, raise awareness for this underserved demographic, and host survivorship workshops and retreats across the country.

“When you’re a young adult with cancer, you’re usually the first one of your buddies to have deal with it, as I was, and you end up dealing with it in isolation from other people who can understand,” said Geoff Eaton, the founder and executive director of YACC. “That proves to be a massive part of the challenge they’re facing.”

Every day in Canada, 22 young adults are diagnosed with cancer.

Eaton was diagnosed with cancer at 22 and 25, which is when he began building what would become YACC back in 2000 out  of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

A recent study published by YACC reveals the extent to which young adults, here meaning anywhere between 15 and 39, are left by the wayside when it comes to conversations on cancer. Out of 622 diagnosed young adults, 49 per cent missed between one to four years of work. Forty-three per cent over the age of 35 reported having less than $100,000 in assets, compared to just 17 per cent of their non-cancer peers.

“Many of us don’t have the benefit of stable jobs or insurance plans and what often happens is we end up in the social safety net of Canada which is not a way to build a foundation for the rest of your life,” said Eaton.

Further, those with cancer have four to six times the use of payday loans compared to those without, with similar disparities for credit card debt.

When it comes to research and support, Canada lags behind others like the UK and Australia, according to Eaton.

“They have nationally focused charitable organizations that have considerable investments from government and the results to show from that. we don’t have anything close to that in Canada,” said Eaton. “We’re investing .4 per cent of our cancer research spending on young adult cancer patients. You’ll see the same thing with treatment centres, community philanthropy, survivorship issues.”

As well 84 per cent experience significant levels of fear of cancer recurrence. Similarly high levels of young adult patients deal with body issues and depression as a result of the disease.

The perception for young adults is that they are simply ‘too young to get cancer.’ Meanwhile, many of them have to deal with “facing the end of their life just as they’re was starting it,” as Eaton says.

Aon, announced the acquisition of Cytelligence Inc, a Canadian-based cyber security firm

The acquisition combines Aon’s industry-leading investment in cyber security with Cytelligence’s unique technical expertise in incident response and digital forensics services to strengthen Aon’s cyber security client value proposition 

CHICAGOFeb. 4, 2020 /CNW/ — Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, announced today the acquisition of Cytelligence Inc, a Canadian-based cyber security firm that provides incident response advisory, digital forensic expertise, security consulting services and cyber security training for employees to help organizations respond to cyber security threats and strengthen their security position.

The acquisition will help Aon expand its current coverages within the cyber market at a time when cyber claims are almost doubling year-over-year. The 2019 Cybersecurity Almanac published by Cisco and Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that cyber events will cost $6 trillion annually by 2021, as companies are digitizing most of their processes and are often operating remotely. Global cyber insurance premiums are expected to grow from $4 billion in 2018 to $20 billion by 2025. According to Aon’s 2019 Global Risk Management Survey, cyber-attacks were identified as a top ten risk facing organizations and is predicted to be one of the top three risks for organizations in 2022.

“As the number of network intrusions, data breaches, ransomware attacks, and similar threats continues to increase in both frequency and severity, expertise in cyber incident response becomes critical to organizations and insurance companies,” said J Hogg, CEO of Aon’s Cyber Solutions. “The Cytelligence team are deep experts in cyber incident response, ransomware mitigation, and cyber security training for employees, which will help cement our position in both North America and globally as an industry leader.”

Cytelligence will join the growing portfolio of Aon’s Cyber Solutions, which combines digital risk management services, security services, professional risk solutions, and a global risk consulting practice. This acquisition enhances Aon’s 2016 acquisition of Stroz Friedberg and now allows Aon’s Cyber Solutions to offer an even more holistic portfolio of services to clients from proactive security services, to incident response, to risk quantification and insurance broking.

“Together, we will deliver complete proactive solutions from risk assessment, cyber risk policy underwriting to secure insurance coverage to protect critical assets, to cyber breach response, effective and efficient cyber incident remediation, meticulous data collection and data preservation,” said Daniel Tobok, CEO of Cytelligence. “Put simply, everything that is connected to the internet can be compromised. proactive companies and their Boards are preparing now with proactive actions with penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, security audits, and training of their employees.”

Cytelligence has offices in TorontoOttawaNew YorkSan Francisco and Miami. The firm employs professionals in cyber security and education, investigations, and forensic analytics. The firm was founded in June 2016.

Mr. Tobok will join Aon as the Canadian President, Aon’s Cyber Solutions.

About Aon
Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.

About Cytelligence
Cytelligence is a leading international cyber security boutique with deep expertise in Cyber Breach Response, Cyber Breach Investigations, and Digital Forensics. We are known for our technique: well planned, well executed and detailed-oriented engagements. Our Offensive Security Consulting includes: Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Security Audits, and Secure Development Lifecycle Management, including code reviews.

SOURCE Aon plc

Wife of late Palestinian terrorist can’t collect on life insurance policy

By Colin Perkel

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ The wife of a notorious Palestinian terrorist who attacked an Israeli airliner has lost out on her bid to collect on her late husband’s life insurance because he failed to mention his unsavoury past when he took out the policy in 1987.

In overturning a lower court decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled against Fadia Khalil Mohammad given the important omission on his original application.

“It is a principle of long-standing that an applicant for insurance has an obligation to reveal to the insurer any information that is material to the application,” the Appeal Court ruled.  “The deceased knew that his past activities were relevant.”

Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Mohammad, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, made international headlines in 1968 when he and an accomplice attacked an El Al commercial aircraft at the airport in Athens. They threw grenades and fired live rounds, killing one person and destroying the plane.

Mohammad was convicted in Greece of manslaughter and other offences but released after a hostage negotiation when other front members stormed another plane. He moved to Lebanon and then, under an alias, to Canada in 1987 and settled in Brantford, Ont.

After a publicized battle with immigration authorities, he was deported to Lebanon in 2013 and died from cancer in 2015. His wife, as sole beneficiary, sought to collect on the $75,000 policy issued decades earlier by the Manufacturers Life Insurance Company.

When he applied for the policy, Mohammad said he had just moved to Canada from Spain and provided a social insurance number, court records show. The application, however, did not ask about his citizenship or residency status, or any convictions. He made no mention of his nefarious past.

Khalil argued successfully before Superior Court last May that she should get the money. Justice Shaun O’Brien ruled that her late husband had not misrepresented his immigration status or failed to provide significant information about himself, because the insurance company had simply not asked those questions on the application form.

Manufacturers appealed, arguing O’Brien was wrong. The company maintained that Mohammad’s failure to disclose material facts had voided the policy. It relied on a clause that stated the company required “complete and accurate answers” and that it could deny a claim if any answers were wrong.

The Appeal Court agreed with Manufacturers, pointing out that insurance legislation requires applicants to disclose all facts material to the insurance.

“The past actions of the deceased were material to the risk that he posed for the purpose of having his life insured,” the Appeal Court found. “There is no suggestion that (Manufacturers) ought to have known that the information related to the deceased’s past existed, and therefore cannot be faulted for not having inquired into it.”

The higher court noted that shortly after applying for the insurance, Mohammad himself argued his life would be in danger if deported to Israel. The upshot, the court said, was that he had intentionally hidden his past activities from Manufacturers, just as he had done with the federal government when came to Canada.

“Our conclusion that the deceased intentionally withheld this information is sufficient to establish fraud,” the Appeal Court said.

More than half of Canadians would choose additional vacation time over a raise

TORONTO, Feb. 3, 2020 /CNW/ – Travel is top of mind for Canadians this year! A recent survey by Rakuten.ca revealed that 57% of Canadians would rather take more vacation time than an equivalent pay increase. In fact, 26% of Canadians plan to take four weeks or more of vacation time in 2020.

“Not only are Canadians prioritizing time off over salary increases,” says Claire Sweeney, VP of Marketing and shopping expert at Rakuten.ca, “57% don’t consider it a vacation unless they travel somewhere.”

How Canadians Are Saving
Saving for travel is a priority. 78% of Canadians save up for travel, in fact over half (51%) of Canadians budget for travel in lieu of other personal expenses. This is particularly true for Canadians under 35 with a whopping 84% stating they ensure to save for travel.

Planning your Next Trip
With the focus on budgeting for travel, it’s no wonder two-thirds of Canadians start planning their trip two or more months in advance. Most Canadians (66%), book their vacations online with over half (52%) using Expedia.ca to book their trips.

How Canadians Vacation
Road trips top the list for leisure escapes this year (35%) followed by beach vacations (32%) and all-inclusive resorts (24%). More than a third (34%) of Canadians under 35 are leaning towards an adventure vacation – a complete 180 from beach lounging and buffets. Canadians in British Columbia were the most likely to staycation (24%) while those in Alberta were the least likely (11%).

Most Canadians are likely to travel with others. 56% list their significant other as their travel partner compared to the 22% who prefer a solo adventure.

Travel Perk: Cash Back and Points
Canadians are savvy shoppers when booking trips. 53% expect to get Cash Back on their travel purchases while 49% expect points and miles. Rakuten.ca has partnered with over 100 travel retailers from airlines to hotels, and vacation booking sites to offer members Cash Back and discounts on all their travel needs.

About the survey The Rakuten Canada survey was conducted online by Ignite Lab, a Toronto-based survey consultancy specializing in retail, travel and technology segments, in January 2020 with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Canadians. A sample of this size is accurate to within +/-3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About Rakuten.ca. Rakuten.ca is a leading e-commerce company that provides free membership for deals, rewards and Cash Back to its over 5 million Canadian members – and counting. Since launching in 2012, Rakuten.ca has helped Canadians earn over $70 million in Cash Back at over 750 of their favourite top-name retailers. Rakuten.ca headquarters are located in North York, Ontario, and is proudly built by Canadians, for Canadians. For more information, visit Rakuten.ca.

SOURCE Rakuten.ca

Federal IT systems at risk of ‘critical failure,’ Trudeau warned in memo

By Jordan Press

THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA _ Newly released briefing notes for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau describe the dire state of federal computer systems, which deliver billions in benefits and are on the precipice of collapse.

Officials briefing Trudeau after his party’s re-election noted  “mission-critical” systems and applications are “rusting out and at risk of failure,” requiring immediate attention from his government.

Some systems are pushing 60 years old and built on “outdated technology” that can no longer be maintained.

The Canadian Press obtained the documents through the Access to Information Act, and much of the text has been blacked out because it is considered sensitive advice to government.

One of the few visible lines says the public service will be working on projects  “to stabilize mission-critical systems.”

The Liberals promised in the fall campaign to improve services for Canadians.

These back-office problems often require long-term spending commitments and improvements that aren’t easily seen by voters, which means they aren’t usually top-of-mind issues for politicians. But there has been a growing belief inside the government that how satisfied citizens are with digital services is linked to how much trust they place in their government.

Nowhere is the issue of antiquated systems more pronounced than Employment and Social Development Canada, which oversees child, parental, senior and employment insurance benefits.

The Liberals have already made multiple changes to the federal social safety net that required programming changes to old systems. The documents to Trudeau suggest the aged systems pose a problem for more changes the Liberals have promised.

“The complex array of existing programs and services means that future program changes, to continue providing Canadians with the programs and services they expect when interacting with their government, will need to account for pressures on legacy IT systems, which are facing rust-out and critical failure,” part of the briefing binder says.

“These aging platforms neither meet the desired digital interaction nor are capable of full automation, and thus are unable to deliver cost-savings through back-office functions.”

For example, the system that runs old age security is almost as old as those now reaching the age to benefit from it.

A separate document says upgrades are taking longer than planned because of procurement delays and the complexity of projects.

Funding pressures are coming in part from the requirement to maintain existing technologies longer than originally anticipated, the document says.

Often, officials didn’t look to upgrade these old systems so long as they continued to work, said Andre Leduc, vice-president of government relations and policy with the Information Technology Association of Canada. He said the majority of departmental IT budgets are used to keep old systems running, leaving little spending room to deploy new technology like cloud computing.

“It’s not that they’re hitting the panic button. There is no panic yet,” Leduc said.

“There is a lot of concern, both within the bureaucracy, within the political layer, and within industry about we need to get this ball rolling. We need to help government digitally transform.”

Leduc said it won’t be an easy fix because of the money required, and getting the government to move ahead with major IT work after getting burned on high-profile projects. The most glaring example is the Phoenix pay system that has left public servants overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all.

B.C. launches talks with taxi industry about fees to aid disability services

By Dirk Meissner

THE CANADIAN PRESS

VICTORIA _ Taxi drivers in B.C. will soon be able to purchase the same kind of insurance available to the ride-hailing industry, the transportation minister said Thursday.

Claire Trevena said talks are also underway with the taxi industry to ensure sustained and improved services for passengers with disabilities.

The province has been working for several months with the Insurance Corp. of B.C. and the taxi industry to provide insurance based on the per-kilometre distance travelled with passengers in their vehicles, which is equivalent to what is offered to ride-hailing vehicles, she said in a statement.

“In the near future, taxi drivers who want this new product will be able to switch their insurance, with coverage beginning in the spring. Drivers who wish to keep their current form of coverage will not be affected.”

Trevena said talks are underway as well with the taxi industry to ensure sustained and improved services for passengers with disabilities. Those discussions involve providing the taxi industry with a portion of the 30-cent trip fee that ride-hailing companies must contribute toward a passenger accessibility fund because their licences don’t require them to provide vehicles for disabled passengers.

The minister’s announcement follows petitions filed in British Columbia Supreme Court by the Vancouver Taxi Association alleging unfairness over the licence approvals for ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft.

Meanwhile, Uber has filed an injunction application in the Supreme Court after Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said city bylaw officers will ticket the company’s drivers operating there.

The taxi association documents, which ask the court to quash the licence approvals for Uber and Lyft, say the rules that require taxi firms to provide costly wheelchair accessible vehicles do not apply to the ride-hailing companies. A hearing is set for Tuesday in Vancouver.

In an interview Tuesday, Trevena said it was “unfortunate” passengers with mobility issues could face service issues connected to disputes over the introduction of ride-hailing in B.C.

“We want people with mobility challenges and accessibility challenges to have as many options for transportation as possible,” she said.

Taxi association lawyer Peter Gall said the companies will argue in court that Uber and Lyft have unfair advantages over the taxi industry. The advantages include no restrictions on vehicle numbers or charge rates and no requirements to provide wheelchair accessible taxis, he said.

“If we’re going to do something which costs more, they should either have to provide the same service, which they can’t, or they should be contributing to the cost of the service,” he said.

Gall said taxi drivers will continue to pick up passengers with disabilities.

Trevena defended the government’s approach to ride-hailing after a contentious first week in Metro Vancouver.

“While efforts continue to ensure safety and fairness, I am proud that our government refused to back down against pressures to abandon our regulatory measures on ride hailing,” she said in the statement. “As a result, British Columbia now has the highest safety standards in North America.”

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