But they’ve got an unlikely ally—a savvy, ‘unpaid representative’ who is giving beleaguered homeowners a fighting chance against stingy insurers
PRINCE TOWNSHIP — With council braced for soaring expenses and fewer provincial dollars this year, the pressing issue at January’s meeting was whether the township could stretch its budget to include cyber liability insurance when it renews its municipal policy next month.
Carlo DiCandia, of Algoma Insurance, told council it would cost $2,500 extra to include cyber liability insurance in a policy whose premium is already poised to top $33,000 plus HST.
DiCandia said the township’s present policy with Jardine Lloyd Thompson Canada would cover damages to computer and telecommunications systems caused by virus infections and hacking events.
But it would not provide protection if residents and vendors had their privacy breached and decided to sue the township.
DiCandia said cyber liability insurance would not prevent information thefts; however, it would provide coverage for responses to cyber attacks, and for funds stolen from bank accounts.
It would also cover the cost of business interruption, and provide personnel to notify individuals whose data was in the municipal system of the privacy breach and to advise them to contact their banks and credit card companies.
“The new legislation that came in October … (requires) that you have to report hacking incidents immediately,” DiCandia said.
Cyber liability insurance would also cover the cost defending a municipality in court in case of a lawsuit, he added.
DiCandia noted too that cyber attacks on municipal computer systems are no longer rare events, citing incidents in Wasaga Beach and Midland, Ont., last summer, where cybercriminals encrypted their systems with ransomware, forcing them to pay huge ransoms in bitcoins to have their systems released.
“It cost Wasaga Beach roughly $35,000 to get their system back,” he said. “In Midland, it must have been a lot more, because they didn’t even disclose what it cost them.”
Closer to home, Wawa had its system disabled by ransomware in December. DiCandia predicted the final cost would be “absolutely exorbitant,” as Wawa did not have cyber liability insurance.
Coun. Dave Amadio asked whether the township could scale back other items in its insurance policy to make cyber liability insurance more affordable.
DiCandia suggested opting for higher deductibles but cautioned against cutting back on coverage.
Coun. Michael Matthews asked whether the township could lower the $2,500 price tag for cyber liability insurance by installing specialized software on its system to reduce the risk of a cyber attack.
DiCandia said he would send the township information on how to enhance the security of its computer system.
Council agreed to review DiCandia’s information before the Feb. 12 council meeting, when the question of whether to purchase cyber liability insurance will be put to a vote.
In other council news:
— The result of this month’s poll on the topic of recycling pickup dates suggests that most residents want to continue recycling every two weeks instead of switching to 3-week or 4-week intervals.
Of the 47 residents who responded to the poll, 31 wanted to keep biweekly recycling, and 11 opted for monthly recycling. Five thought three-week intervals would suffice, but Prince CAO Peggy Greco said GFL Environmental Inc. didn’t favour this option.
The poll was conducted via the township’s web site, its Facebook page and Instagram account as well as in the January Prince Township Newsletter.
Given the response, council agreed to maintain biweekly recycling for now, but to revisit the issue at budget time.
“If we went to (every) four weeks, it would save us $20,000,” Amadio said.
— The township’s Official Plan, which dates from 2014, is due for its five-year review. Council agreed to have township planner Steve Turco update the OP at an estimated cost of $2,800 once this year’s budget is approved.
The update will bring the OP into compliance with the Provincial Policy Statement and provide direction on whether the micro-cultivation of cannabis should be a permitted activity in rural areas.
DETROIT — An insurance study shows that owners of five Hyundai and Kia cars and SUVs file fire insurance claims at a rate far higher than the average for comparable vehicles.
The Highway Loss Data Institute analyzed claims data from insurers representing about 85 per cent of the U.S. industry. It found that some Hyundai and Kia vehicles equipped with four-cylinder engines have at least double the noncrash fire claim rates than the average of comparable vehicles.
The institute began the study after a consumer group found that owners of some Hyundai and Kia models made a higher-than-normal number of fire complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Last week the South Korean brands announced they would recall about 168,000 vehicles to fix a fuel pipe problem that can cause engine fires.
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. _ Authorities in southern Alberta are warning people to be aware after an 81-year-old senior was defrauded of $250,000 in a sweepstakes scam.
Police in Lethbridge say they were contacted last week by the woman’s son, who said his mother had been persuaded by scammers to send large sums of money _ mainly in the form of bank drafts _ almost weekly since last March.
Investigators have determined the senior initially received a letter purporting to be from the Bank of America and indicating that she had won a U.S. sweepstakes.
She believed the letter was authentic and over the next 10 months dealt with numerous scammers on the phone.
They continued to press her for payments and to provide her personal and banking information.
Police say the woman received hundreds of phone calls from the scammers, who in mid-January began to indicate they were from the Canada Revenue Agency and said that she now owed Canadian taxes.
“These types of scams are unfortunately very common and the criminals behind them can be very convincing,” Sgt. Paolo Magliocco of the economic crimes unit said in a release Monday.
The Better Business Bureau says that almost 500,000 people in Canada and the United States have reported being the victims of sweepstakes, lottery or prize scams in the last three years.
“It’s critical for people of all ages to be vigilant and understand that if something sounds too good to be true, it is,” Magliocco said.
A class action was certified against Organigram Inc. (the “Company” or “Organigram”) and its parent company Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX VENTURE: OGI) (OTCQX: OGRMF), a leading licensed producer of cannabis in Canada, on Friday, January 18, 2019.
Certification is not a decision on the merits of the lawsuit, but simply deals with the proper procedure for a lawsuit, which allows it to continue to the next stage. The Company is reviewing the decision to determine whether it will appeal. The Company intends to vigorously defend itself against this class action.
The lawsuit was filed with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on behalf of class members who purchased medical cannabis that was the subject of the Company’s voluntary product recalls in December 2016 and January 2017.
The lawsuit deals with the reimbursement of funds paid for the cannabis purchased by medical customers in 2016. Organigram has already voluntarily reimbursed many of its customers for this recall via a comprehensive credit and refund program. Organigram has insurance to cover the cost of legal fees associated with the defense of the class action. Insurance coverage may also cover some or all of any monetary damages associated with any resolution of this matter. While the ultimate outcome of any Court process is difficult to ascertain, Organigram management does not anticipate that the class action (including the resolution thereof) will impact its business or operations in any material manner.
Some of that cannabis subject to the Company’s voluntary product recalls in December 2016 and January 2017contained trace elements of one or two pesticides not approved for use by Licensed Producers. The lawsuit also contains allegations of adverse health effects from the product. The Court noted that it will be up to the plaintiffs to prove that trace elements of these pesticides can cause any adverse health effects and if so, it will be up to each individual to prove that the alleged health effects were actually caused by the cannabis. Health Canada issued the following clarification in Health Canada on myclobutanil and cannabis, on March 9, 2017:
“Here are the facts. When the cannabis plant is combusted, a number of compounds are produced, including very low amounts of hydrogen cyanide. Health Canada’s analysis of the recalled cannabis products show that the trace levels of myclobutanil that were present would have produced a negligible amount of additional hydrogen cyanide upon combustion, in comparison to the levels already produced by marijuana alone. Specifically, the level of cyanide from the burning of myclobutanil found on the cannabis samples is more than 1000 times less than the cyanide in cannabis smoke alone, and is 500 times below the acceptable level established by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. As such, the risk of serious adverse health consequences resulting from the inhalation of combusted myclobutanil in the recalled cannabis products was determined by Health Canada to be low.”
Organigram’s Commitment to Quality
Every day, the Organigram team earns customers’ confidence and trust through the production of high quality products. Since the voluntary product recall, the Company has worked diligently to incorporate the seven critical steps that were communicated as a result of the Company’s internal review process, found at www.organigram.ca/safety:
- 100% of the product sold by Organigram undergoes comprehensive testing for pesticides at a third-party, Health Canada approved laboratory;
- Results of this testing via a Certificate of Analysis is provided with each order to provincial and private retailers across Canada;
- As part of the Company’s ongoing commitment to patient safety, registered Organigram patients have access to the Certificates of Analysis for all product available for sale on the Company’s website;
- Oranigram has also incorporated a robust vetting process for all external suppliers;
- The Company conducts regular spot-checks on all incoming materials;
- Oranigram has also implemented a robust security process supported with full video monitoring ability; and
- The Company has developed a comprehensive training and onboarding process for all new members of the Organigram team.
As a result of these enhancements, the Company has quickly evolved into a leader in product quality, as evidenced by winning ‘Best Sativa’ at the 2017 Canadian Cannabis Awards. The Company continues to work on process enhancements and innovations with an unwavering focus on product quality, most recently demonstrated by being the first Canadian licensed producer to include humidity control units in all pack sizes of dried flower for both adult recreational use consumers and medicinal patients.
About Organigram Holdings Inc.
Organigram Holdings Inc. is a TSX Venture Exchange listed company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Organigram Inc., is a licensed producer of cannabis and cannabis-derived products in Canada.
Organigram is focused on producing the highest-quality, indoor-grown cannabis for patients and adult recreational consumers in Canada, as well as developing international business partnerships to extend the company’s global footprint. Organigram has also developed a portfolio of legal adult use recreational cannabis brands including The Edison Cannabis Company, Ankr Organics, Trailer Park Buds and Trailblazer. Organigram’s primary facility is located in Moncton, New Brunswick and the Company is regulated by the Cannabis Act and the Cannabis Regulations (Canada).
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This news release contains forward-looking information which involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual events to differ materially from current expectations. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations are disclosed in the Company’s documents filed from time to time on SEDAR (see www.sedar.com). Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation, except to the extent required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Cyber-security scammers ‘getting more and more creative