IIROC releases 2015-2016 Annual Report

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) today released its Annual Report for 2015-2016, highlighting the milestones achieved by the national public interest regulator in its mission to protect investors and support healthy Canadian capital markets.

“Over the past year, a significant focus of our activity was the development of a new Strategic Plan that provides a strong blueprint to guide our actions over the next three years,” said IIROC President and CEO Andrew Kriegler. “We also made tangible progress on a number of important initiatives that improve dealer and market regulation in Canada, while strengthening IIROC’s enforcement and investor protection efforts.”

Highlights of 2015-2016 include:

  • IIROC was selected by the Canadian Securities Administrators as the Information Processor (IP) for corporate debt securities, increasing transparency in this important market and leveraging the information already being collected by IIROC in its public interest regulator role. IIROC began its surveillance of debt market activity by IIROC-regulated firms in November 2015. In July, IIROC began publishing free of charge information on corporate bond trades on a new website, providing all market participants with information that can help them make better investment decisions.
  • IIROC published guidance to strengthen compliance by Dealer Members with the best interest requirements of its Conflicts of Interest rule, with particular focus on the management of compensation-related conflicts. This guidance, published in April 2016, clarifies the requirement that IIROC-regulated firms must address existing or potential conflicts of interest in the best interest of the client.
  • IIROC strengthened investor protection by concluding additional Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with other organizations to close gaps in the financial services regulatory system. Since November 2015 IIROC has negotiated cooperative and information-sharing agreements with the Chambre de la sécurité financière in Québec, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and the Insurance Council of British Columbia to ensure individuals sanctioned by one regulator cannot avoid penalties and continue working in another jurisdiction or sector of the financial service industry.
  • IIROC published a Cyber-Security Best Practices Guide and a Cyber Incident Management Planning Guide to help IIROC-regulated firms protect themselves and their clients against cyber threats and attacks.

IIROC’s full Annual Report for 2015-2016 is available in web format and as a downloadable PDF on the IIROC website.

IIROC is the national self-regulatory organization which oversees all investment dealers and their trading activity in Canada’s debt and equity markets. IIROC sets high-quality regulatory and investment industry standards, protects investors and strengthens market integrity while supporting healthy Canadian capital markets. IIROC carries out its regulatory responsibilities through setting and enforcing rules regarding the proficiency, business and financial conduct of dealer firms and their registered employees and through setting and enforcing market integrity rules regarding trading activity on Canadian equity marketplaces.

SOURCE Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) – General News

For further information: June Yee, Manager, Corporate Communications, 416 943-6921, jyee@iiroc.ca; Karen Archer, Manager, Media Relations, 416 865-3046, karcher@iiroc.ca

Money talk for newcomers: How to learn a new financial language

Money talk for newcomers: How to learn a new financial language

Moving to a new country can offer a wealth of opportunities, but can also come with its own set of hurdles, like learning how to navigate a new financial system. According to a new TD survey, nearly half (45 per cent) of new Canadians said they didn’t know where to start when it came to setting up their finances in Canada, and yet almost nine in ten (88 per cent) consider it a top priority to establish good financial standing in their first year after arriving to Canada.

“Starting over in a new country can be daunting, from finding a place to live, locating new schools, learning a new language to navigating a new banking system,” said Shirley Malloy, Associate Vice President, Everyday Banking, TD Canada Trust. “Cash flow is often top of mind, but don’t let banking fall off the radar. Basics like a chequing account, debit and credit card are essential to day to day life, and securing them early can make it easier to pay for things like rent or groceries, allowing you to focus on building your new life.”

After those initial needs are met, Malloy suggests newcomers revisit their finances regularly as their situation evolves and requires more complex financial advice. For example, the survey found the top three financial goals of new Canadians include saving for a down payment (51 per cent), saving for their kids’ education (35 per cent) and buying or leasing a car (35 per cent).

To reach these medium to long term financial goals, establishing a positive credit history in Canada is key. In fact, building up good Canadian credit history is often required before buying or renting a home or even securing a mobile phone plan. Eventually, building a healthy credit history opens the door to more relaxed borrowing options, often with lower interest rates.

“Eighty-four per cent of new Canadians wish they had a better understanding of how to build their credit rating,” said Malloy. “The reality is that there’s no quick fix when it comes to building credit. Over time, practicing sound financial habits like paying your bills on time and in full will naturally result in an improved credit rating.”

To start your new life on the right financial foot, Malloy shares her top tips to unpack banking basics in Canada:

  • Don’t skip banking 101: As a newcomer in a new country, take the opportunity to ask questions about banking in Canada while addressing your immediate banking needs.
  • Learn the building blocks: Your credit history from another country is not considered when establishing credit in Canada. That’s why it’s important practice good financial habits right from the beginning, like paying all bills on time and in full. Setting up pre-authorized debits to pay credit card and other bill balances each month is a simple and effective way to ensure payments are never missed and your credit rating continues to improve.
  • Cut the jargon: There are plenty of savings vehicles that make finances easier for Canadians, but you can’t take advantage of what you don’t understand. An advisor can explain how things like a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) can help you maximize saving for the future.
  • Practice makes perfect: Like many newcomers, you may face compressed timelines to reach your financial goals. For example, in the first five years, you may plan to buy a home, while saving for your child’s education and retirement. An advisor can help build a plan for the future to address competing priorities that works for your financial reality.

“Everyone has different financial priorities, so we encourage newcomers to come and talk to us about their personal goals, whether it’s buying a car, a home, saving for the future or their children’s education,” said Malloy. “Especially in the early months, it’s important to revisit and revise the plan as the financial situation evolves, and as income, lifestyle and financial goals change.”

For more information, visit www.tdcanadatrust.com/newtocanada

About the TD Newcomers Study Poll
TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct a custom online survey of 502 adults from Tuesday, April 26Tuesday, May 10, 2016. In order to qualify for this survey respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, be born outside of Canadaand moved to Canada in only the past 5 years.

About TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, plus credit protection and credit travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as at over 1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For more information, please visit: www.tdcanadatrust.com. TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America.

SOURCE TD Canada Trust

General Motors to Announce up to 1000 New Jobs in Oshawa

Published reports say General Motors Canada is expected to announce up to 1,000 new jobs this week.

The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, citing unidentified sources, say the jobs are expected to be announced Friday, June 10, 2016 at GM Canada’s engineering centre in Oshawa, Ont.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne are expected to be on hand when the announcement is made at GM’s Canadian headquarters.

The reports say the new positions will eventually be spread out at a number of General Motors research and development facilities.

A spokeswoman for GM Canada declined to confirm the reports but said the company was looking forward to an announcement it has scheduled for Friday, June 10, 2016 at its engineering centre.

General Motors said in 2012 that it would spend $750 million on research and development by 2017 under a commitment to the federal and Ontario governments, which provided some of the money for a 2009 bailout of its U.S-based parent.

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Oilsands giant Syncrude loses court fight against rules on renewable diesel

Syncrude has lost its court battle against federal rules on renewable diesel in a case that some suggest could have handcuffed national efforts to fight climate change.

The oilsands company, of which Suncor owns the majority, had argued that it was unconstitutional for Ottawa to require that at least two per cent of diesel fuel be from renewable sources such as ethanol.

That demand interfered with provincial jurisdiction over resources by changing markets for non-renewables, Syncrude argued.

The company also argued the government was wrong to use criminal law to enact the regulations. “The production and consumption of petroleum fuels is not inherently dangerous,” it said.

A decision released last week from the Federal Court of Appeal found that fighting climate change is a legitimate federal goal.

“Protection of the environment is, unequivocally, a legitimate use of the criminal law purpose,” wrote Justice Donald Rennie.

Federal Court documents say Syncrude uses about 351 million litres of diesel in its operations. It produces about 204 million litres itself for the company’s own use.

The company argued the regulation, passed in 2011, will actually increase Syncrude’s greenhouse gas emissions by forcing it to transport biodiesel to its northern Alberta operations.

Rennie wrote that environmental protection is legitimate whether or not it affects markets under provincial jurisdiction.

“The environment and economy are intimately connected,” he wrote. “Indeed, it is practically impossible to disassociate the two.

“The existence of the economic incentives and government investments … do not detract from the dominant purpose of what the (rules) do and why they do it.”

The court also noted Syncrude’s admission that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change was inconsistent with its argument those gases couldn’t be regulated through criminal law.

“Syncrude’s position is problematic,” Rennie wrote.

Syncrude spokesman Will Gibson said the company is reviewing the decision.

“Syncrude has complied with the regulations since they were enacted and will continue to do so,” he said.

Greenpeace spokesman Keith Stewart said environmentalists are relieved.

“If (Syncrude) had won, it would have set back action on climate change for years,” he said. “That would have had huge impacts on everything else the federal government does.”

Stewart said the Syncrude decision should strengthen Ottawa’s hand in negotiating with the provinces over climate change and clears the decks for action.

“This would have been the last vestige of any argument as to why you would delay action,” he said. “The court has clearly said, ‘OK, government, you can do this.’

“The only thing left for the government to do is act on climate.”

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Sick Day? Parental Leave? Retirement? What Employers Need to Know

Sick Day? Parental Leave? Retirement? What Employers Need to Know

Payroll is rarely straightforward; practitioners who administer payroll are consistently responsible for managing employees’ pay that falls outside the norm of the payroll cycle. Special payments cover a whole host of payment exceptions including employee bonuses, severance pay, workers’ compensation top-ups, and death and retirement benefits, to name a few. Also included are payments that cover employees when they’re away from the office for planned or un-planned absences like vacation, sickness and parental leave.

How can employers help payroll and HR manage the volume and complexity of special payments? By encouraging payroll and HR practitioners to undertake ongoing professional development, employers can be assured that their staff will have the knowledge, tools and resources needed to confidently handle special payments and properly administer the Record of Employment (ROE) on behalf of employees. The Canadian Payroll Association’s Special Payments & Completing the ROE seminar, offered across Canada throughout the year, arms payroll and HR practitioners with the knowledge to understand what special payments are and when they apply, provides a thorough block-by-block walkthrough of the ROE, and supplies an ROE Checklist to enable practitioners to confidently and correctly administer the form.

Payroll Implications for Special Payment Situations

When it comes to special payments, every organization is unique. The administration of special payments within an organization will depend on numerous factors including federal and provincial legislation, employer procedure and policy, and employee behavior and circumstances.

Is an employee retiring and eligible for a retiring allowance? Did an employee exceed expectations and is now eligible for a bonus or commissions? Is a staff member taking parental leave and will they receive a special top-up payment under company policy? Knowing how to handle these special payments and the ROE is crucial.

Navigating so many factors relies on cooperation and knowledge-sharing between management, human resources and payroll. In many smaller organizations, where the HR and payroll function are handled by a single party, practitioners must consider the implications of special payments from a payroll perspective while managing the employee’s ROE. For industries with high-turnover environments, such as retail or hospitality, managing the ROE and affiliated special payments are a major responsibility for both HR and payroll. Ultimately, it is important for employers to acknowledge the complexity behind special payments to more fully understand what entitlements may affect your employees or your bottom line.

Record of Employment Doesn’t Have to Be a Pain

Because the ROE is a mandatory form required by the government after an employee experiences an interruption of earnings, payroll and HR practitioners must properly navigate the complexity of the ROE form to ensure that they are remaining compliant. Practitioners are legislatively required to issue the ROE five days after the employee’s final pay period. The Government of Canada states that the ROE is “the single most important document used by employees in establishing a claim for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.”  Despite the importance placed on this form, the Canadian Payroll Association’s 2014 Member Census revealed that the ROE remains a pain point for many payroll practitioners who are struggling to keep abreast of changing and complex federal and provincial legislation and growing workload demands.

“Employers should be aware how the changing regulatory landscape and changing employee circumstances place operational challenges on payroll and HR pertaining to special payments and the ROE,” said Janet Spence, Manager of Compliance Services and Programs at the Canadian Payroll Association. “It is in the best interest of employers to encourage their payroll and HR staff to continue their professional development on these topics to ensure ongoing compliance.”

The CPA’s Special Payments & Completing the ROE seminar is one of more than 20 different topics covered by the Association’sProfessional Development Seminars. These seminars, available across Canada for members and non-members in payroll, accounting, finance and human resources, provide vital knowledge to support payroll compliance. For a complete listing of seminar dates and for more information on the Canadian Payroll Association’s Professional Development Seminars, Certification Programs and Benefits of Membership, visit payroll.ca / paie.ca.

About the Canadian Payroll Association:
Canada’s 1.5 million employers rely on payroll practitioners to ensure the timely and accurate annual payment of $901 billion in wages and taxable benefits, $305 billion in statutory remittances to the federal and provincial governments, and $169 billion in health and retirement benefits, while complying with more than 200 federal and provincial regulatory requirements. Since 1978, the Canadian Payroll Association has annually influenced the payroll compliance practices and processes of over 500,000 organizational payrolls. As the authoritative source of Canadian payroll compliance knowledge, the Canadian Payroll Association promotes payroll compliance through education and advocacy.

SOURCE Canadian Payroll Association

Two New Directors Join the Industrial Alliance Board

Two new directors were elected to the Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. board of directors during the company’s annual meeting held today at the Quebec City Convention Centre. They are Agathe Côté and Louis Têtu.

Agathe Côté was Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada from July 2010 until her retirement in January 2016. As a member of the Governing Council, she shared responsibility for decisions with respect to monetary policy and financial system stability, and for setting the institution’s strategic direction. An economist by training, Ms. Côté had previously held a series of management positions with the Bank of Canada.

Louis Têtu is president, chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of Coveo Solutions Inc., an intelligent search applications company. He co-founded Taleo Corporation, which was acquired by Oracle in 2012, and held the position of chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors from the company’s inception in 1999 through 2007. Mr. Têtu also served on the board of directors of l’Entraide Assurance‑vie, a mutual insurance company, from 1998 to 2009, when it was acquired by Union Life, a mutual insurance company.

At the same time, L.G. Serge Gadbois and Jim Pantelidis will be stepping down in accordance with the company’s retirement age policy for board members.

Industrial Alliance’s board of directors is chaired by John LeBoutillier and is made up of 14 members. Its composition is as follows:

  • Shareholders’ directors: Jocelyne Bourgon, Pierre Brodeur, Yvon Charest, Denyse Chicoyne, Michael Hanley, John LeBoutillier,Jacques Martin, Francis P. McGuire and Mary C. Ritchie
  • Policyholders’ directors: Robert Coallier, Agathe Côté, Claude Lamoureux, Danielle G. Morin and Louis Têtu

The proportion of women directors on the Industrial Alliance board has been greater than 20% for many years. Currently, women account for 36% of the board’s membership.

About iA Financial Group
Founded in 1892, iA Financial Group offers life and health insurance products, mutual and segregated funds, savings and retirement plans, RRSPs, securities, auto and home insurance, mortgages and car loans and other financial products and services for both individuals and groups. It is one of the four largest life and health insurance companies in Canada and among the largest publicly traded companies in the country. iA Financial Group stock is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol IAG.

 

SOURCE Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

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