Ontario: Two gamblers spearhead class action against casino over hacking of private data

By Colin Perkel


TORONTO _ Two gamblers who allege their privacy was breached are spearheading a proposed class action against an Ontario casino whose databases were hacked.

In a notice of action, they also alleged Monday that Casino Rama, north of Toronto, unjustly enriched itself at the expense of the claimants.

In the allegations contained in the notice, Leonid Kaplan, of Barrie, Ont., says he provided casino staff with copies of his driver’s licence and credit card when he went there to gamble in September.

Kaplan says he received an email by the CEO of Casino Rama, John Drake, on November 10 with the subject line: “Unauthorized Access to Personal Information.”

The email stated that the organization had been the “victim of a cyberattack that resulted in the theft of past and present patron, employee and vendor information.”

The casino publicly confirmed the attack last week but did not say exactly when it occurred or over what period.

The other proposed representative plaintiff, Cheryl Mizzi, of Stouffville, Ont., says she and her husband regularly went to Casino Rama starting in 1999. They last visited in 2015. She, too, provided various forms of identification.

Neither proposed plaintiff have said what losses, if any, they incurred as a result of the privacy breach.

The lawsuit also names Ontario’s gaming commission, the Penn National Gaming and its Ontario subsidiary, which run the casino, and the Chippewas of Rama First Nation where the facility is located.

The suit, which has yet to be certified as a class action or tested in court, seeks $50 million in damages as well as another $10 million in punitive damages.

Lawyer Ted Charney said Monday the “unjust enrichment” claim arises from the casino generating revenues from gambling when customers thought reasonable security measures were in place to protect privacy.

“The casino elected not to invest in adequate staff and technology while collecting gambling revenues, promising to provide adequate security measures,” Charney said.

The suit also alleges the defendants breached contracts and violated consumer laws.

A Casino Rama spokeswoman did not address the allegations, but said Monday the organization was working with the authorities on the ongoing investigation.

“We are limited in how much detail we can provide,” Jenna Hunter said. “We deeply regret this situation and recognize the seriousness of the issue.”

Casino Rama Resort warned its customers, vendors as well as current and former staff last Thursday to keep an eye on their bank accounts, credit cards and other financial information.

The casino said it had “recently” discovered becoming the victim of a cyberattack that resulted in the large-scale data theft.

Stolen data appeared to include internal financial and security-incident reports, emails, payroll data, client information, social insurance numbers, and dates of birth, according to the casino.

“The hacker claims that the employee information dates from 2004 to 2016, and that some of the other categories of information taken date back to 2007,” the casino said in a statement.

The resort, which has 2,500 slot machines and more than 110 gaming tables, said the games themselves weren’t hacked.

Located on Rama First Nation, the casino opened 20 years ago.


Cape Dorset’s burned down high school under-insured by millions

Excerpted article was written By Elyse Skura, CBC News

Five years before Cape Dorset’s Peter Pitseolak High School burned to the ground, it underwent an extensive, $17-million renovation and expansion. But the Government of Nunavut’s insurance company never knew about it.

It wasn’t until after the fire that officials with the finance department realized the school was under-insured — by millions.

“What happened with that project is we found out that the $17,335,054 had not been communicated to the insurance company,” Finance Minister Keith Peterson told MLAs yesterday.

“When the school burned down, we learned that it was under-insured, so we couldn’t put a claim in for the remaining value of the school there, the book value.”

But that wasn’t the only bad news from the insurer.

“There have been three schools in the past that had burned down, I believe,” Peterson further explained. “The insurer decided that there would be a $10-million deductible. In essence, we were to become self-insurers.”

What about other government properties?

The news came during a review of Bill 21, the 2015-2016 Write-off of Assets Act, where members of Nunavut’s committee of the whole agreed to forgive about $14.7 million for the school.

That number, Peterson explained, represents the book value of the addition after amortization.

David Joanasie, the MLA who represents Cape Dorset, had a number of questions for Peterson, wondering not only how and why this happened, but if it’s possible that this could happen again.

Finance Minister Keith Peterson says the government has checked all its assets to ensure they are properly insured. (Nunavut Legislative Assembly)

“We’re going to have to build a new school using the government’s money,” Joanasie said in Inuktitut. “Can the minister give us an update to today: [is] all the Nunavut government infrastructure insured?”

After the incident was discovered, Peterson says the departments of Finance and Community and Government Services “quickly moved to remedy the issue,” checking the value of buildings against insurance records.

“I’m pretty sure we’re OK there and all the buildings are adequately covered for insurance,” he concluded.

How it should work

Jeffrey Chown, the deputy finance minister, says the government’s risk management and insurance division then worked with Community and Government Services to ensure this “communication error” is a one-off mistake.

At the time of construction, Chown says, the asset is insured at its initial value.

High school students in Cape Dorset are currently taking classes in four portables. The new school will cost $34 million. (submitted by Christa Borden)

Whenever the building gets an upgrade, the additional value should be added.

“We’ve done a full review of all the assets out there to revisit the valuation,” said Chown. “We’re continuing to work with them to ensure that we don’t have communication errors of this nature in the future.”

This fall, Cape Dorset high school students began using four portable classrooms. The government estimates the new high school will cost $34 million by the time it opens in 2019.

Heavy rain, swelling rivers threaten Vancouver Island First Nation

PORT ALBERNI, B.C. _ A First Nation near Port Alberni, B.C., expects to evacuate some homes as heavy rains cause rivers to flood.

Tseshaht Nation emergency preparedness co-ordinator Hugh Braker said the community has been sand bagging riverside properties and roads, but with up to 120 millimetres of rain expected by Wednesday, the risk for flooding remains high.

Out buildings including garages and carports were damaged by flooding on the weekend, but no homes have been affected yet, Braker said.

Six families who were forced to leave their homes on the weekend as a precaution were able to return, but a new round of evacuations is anticipated to begin Monday evening.

Braker said the reserve’s major thoroughfare, Highway 4, is also expected to be washed out by rising water levels, posing challenges for emergency crews as they try to reach people.

“Our reserve is serviced by the fire department of the City of Port Alberni. If we have a fire above the flooded highway, it’s going to take a very long time for the trucks to respond.”

Although a school on the reserve is not within the flood plane, Braker said classes might be cancelled to prevent students from having to travel on flooded roads.

He said flood levels from the Somass River are expected to peak Tuesday, and could be comparable to historic flooding that devastated the community in 2014.

The reserve has faced flood risks every year since then.

“It’s very unusual for us,” he said about flooding three years in a row. “Certainly it’s something the … Tseshaht First Nation council will have to look at after this emergency is over.”

The Tseshaht Nation declared a state of emergency on Friday and has been working with the province and Environment Canada to monitor the flood and take precautions.

“We’ve been able to do a lot of preventative planning and placement of resources in anticipation of the flood.”


Alberta pays tribute to first responders who battled massive Fort McMurray fire

The Alberta government is paying tribute to first responders who battled and dealt with the Fort McMurray wildfire.

The province is naming the bridge that crosses Highway 63, which goes through the town, as “Responders Way.”

The fire in May forced almost 90,000 people to flee the region and destroyed more than 1,900 structures.

When the first batch of residents were allowed back about a month later, first responders stood on the bridge over the highway to welcome them home.

Melissa Blake, mayor of the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes the city of Fort McMurray, says they are delighted with the tribute.

Premier Rachel Notley, who was in Fort McMurray on Wednesday to make the announcement, says people will think of what the first responders did every time they cross the bridge or drive under it.

“First responders, during the Wood Buffalo fire, absolutely made the difference. They made the difference between safety and danger, they made the difference between chaos and order, and certainly, in many, many cases, they made the difference between life and death,” said Notley.

“They dedicated themselves without thinking. All of you did, you just went out and you did your work, and you worked and you worked for hours and hours and days and days and I remember coming up here and seeing people who hadn’t gone home for days, they were just working and working, even knowing that their home wasn’t even there.”

Notley made several stops in the community on Wednesday, including spending time at Westwood High School with students in Grades 10, 11, and 12, all of whom had lost their home in the fire.

She also visited the very first home site to get a rebuild permit after the fire. The home is nearly completed.

Erin O’Neill, Wood Buffalo recovery branch lead, said in the Thickwood neighbourhood alone there were a total of 178 homes lost. She said so far 41 rebuild permits have been issued in Wood Buffalo and across the region 229 rebuild permits have been issued.

Some Fort McMurray residents have expressed anger over red tape and the slow pace of insurance payouts.

Severe hailstorm in Moose Jaw causes more than $71 million in insured damage

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports a severe storm that swept through Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan during the third week of July has resulted in more than $71 million in insured damage according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

On the evening of July 22, a cold front caused severe thunderstorms across the southern parts of Saskatchewan. A particularly severe storm formed over the north end of Moose Jaw, SK and pelted the city with large hail.

“The Prairies experience more hail each year than almost any other part of Canada,” said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC. “It is important that Canadians understand their insurance policies and what’s covered. It’s also essential to have an emergency preparedness plan and know what to do before, during and after bad weather strikes.”

Most of the more-than-5,000 insurance claims filed from this storm resulted from hail damage. Across Moose Jaw reports of damage to vehicles, windows, houses, and other pieces of property were widespread. However, the northern end of the city was the hardest hit.

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 $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and@IBC_West or like us on Facebook. 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 www.catiq.com.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

How do I Deal with the Legal System After a Fatal Collision?

Scales of JusticeHow do I deal with the legal system after my son was killed by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel? This was the plea in my in-box from a mother who was trying to understand in the recent aftermath of a catastrophe. The two haunting concerns that she has right now is that this driver is still legally allowed to drive and the most significant consequence that he might face for causing death is a traffic ticket.

At it’s most basic, the investigation by police will involve the gathering of information about all involved, photographs, witness statements and perhaps a few measurements. A situation like this one should also involve an officer specially trained in collision reconstruction and a commercial vehicle inspector as the offending vehicle was a five ton van. At best, a dedicated crash investigation team that employs many experienced investigators with a wide range of skills could be called to participate.

A quick start and a thorough initial investigation to gather as much information as possible is critical to the outcome of any prosecution of the offending driver. This can take time to complete and then prepare a comprehensive report to Crown Counsel for a decision on appropriate charges.

What happens to the offending driver between the initial incident and the first appearance in court to face charges depends on many things. The severity of the incident, the actions of the driver that led to it, their criminal and driving history and the possibility of repeated similar behaviour in the near future are all considered. It is not uncommon to have an alcoholic driver with previous convictions released by a justice of the peace on a condition not to drive until the conclusion of the case for a current offence and could be considered for an incident such as this one.

In British Columbia, once the police investigation is concluded and a report to Crown Counsel is filed a decision will be made on how to deal with the offence. The Crown Counsel Policy Manual sets out responsibility for decisions and what the possible range of actions might be. Depending on the decision, actions may range from alternate measures, a traffic ticket or criminal prosecution.

Finally, the issue of punishment for the offending driver is dealt with by the courts, assuming that the driver is convicted or pleads guilty. Again, the range of outcomes is extensive, ranging from alternative resolutions, Motor Vehicle Act convictions, and criminal convictions including fines, house arrest and jail sentences. The judge is restricted in applying penalty by case law and the charges that Crown Counsel chooses to prosecute.

RoadSafetyBC, also known as the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles can choose to take action if advised as well. The Superintendent can choose to prohibit a driver when it is in the public interest to do so.

The Criminal Code of Canada says that a person commits homicide when, directly or indirectly, by any means, they cause the death of a human being. Further, a person commits culpable homicide when they cause the death of a human being by means of an unlawful act or by criminal negligence. A driver is criminally negligent when they show wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.

A commercial driver who must follow hours of service rules and disregards them could be considered to be showing reckless disregard, as well as any driver who is aware that they are excessively fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel and continues to drive.

Reference Link:

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