815,000 Canadians affected by Uber data breach

Photographer: Lorenzo Cafaro

Photographer: Lorenzo Cafaro

 

“Uber Canada said late Monday that 815,000 Canadian riders and drivers may have been affected as part of its worldwide data breach announced in November,” wrote The Canadian Press posted by CBC News on December 12, 2017.

The Canadian Press continued, “The disclosure came the same day the federal privacy commissioner said it had opened a formal investigation into the data breach, which saw the theft of information from some 57 million Uber accounts globally in October 2016.

Uber said the information taken includes names, email address, and mobile phone numbers from the accounts, but that its investigation has not identified any location history, credit card numbers, bank account numbers or dates of birth were downloaded.”

Read the full article here. 

Drinking three to four cups of coffee a day shows health benefits vs harm

Photographer: Jakub Kapusnak

Photographer: Jakub Kapusnak

 

“People who drink three to four cups of coffee a day are more likely to see health benefits than harm, experiencing lower risks of premature death and heart disease than those who abstain, scientists said on Wednesday,” wrote Kate Kelland for Reuters published by The Globe and Mail on November 23, 2017.

Kelland continued, “The research, which collated evidence from more than 200 previous studies, also found coffee consumption was linked to lower risks of diabetes, liver disease, dementia and some cancers.

Three or four cups a day confer the greatest benefit, the scientists said, except for women who are pregnant or who have a higher risk of suffering fractures.

Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed drinks worldwide. To better understand its effects on health, Robin Poole, a public health specialist at Britain’s University of Southampton, led a research team in an “umbrella review” of 201 studies based on observational research and 17 studies based on clinical trials across all countries and all settings.”

Read the full article here. 

Passive income rules for small businesses could bring in $6-billion a year

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

 

“The Parliamentary Budget Officer says Ottawa’s planned changes to passive income rules for small businesses will eventually raise up to $6-billion a year, but the spending watchdog supports the government’s claim that only a very small percentage of small businesses will be affected,” wrote Justin Tang/ The Canadian Press for The Globe and Mail on November 23, 2017.

Tang/The Canadian Press continued, “Providing the first cost estimate of the proposal, the PBO expects the plan would raise up to $1-billion a year during the first two years. This would rise gradually to up to $6-billion once the policy has been in place for 20 years.

Overall, the report estimates that about 2.5 per cent of incorporated small businesses – officially known as Canadian Controlled Private Corporations (CCPCs) – would be affected.”

Read the full article here. 

Ontario labour-reform bill passed, and increase in minimum wage

Photographer: Rob Bye

Photographer: Rob Bye

 

“Ontario will implement a $15 minimum wage on Jan. 1, 2019, and enact other new worker-focused rules even sooner, as lawmakers passed a series of revised employment laws at Queen’s Park on Wednesday after years of research and debate,” wrote Josh O’Kane for The Globe and Mail on November 22, 2017.

O’Kane continued, “The labour reforms put in place by the Liberals include requirements that employers pay part-time, casual and temporary employees the same rate as full-time employees for the same job; that employers must pay workers three hours’ wages for shifts cancelled with fewer than 48 hours’ notice; and that all workers be eligible for 10 days of emergency leave, two of which must be paid.

The province’s business community has broadly and vigorously opposed the reforms since the process reached the legislature last spring, arguing the measures will raise costs so much that they’ll have to hire less and raise prices for consumers to make up for those costs. Toronto-Dominion Bank researchers said in September the minimum-wage increase alone could cost the province as many as 90,000 jobs through reduced hiring and greater automation.”

Read the full article here. 

Half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure according to new guidelines

Photographer:  Rawpixel.com

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

 

“New guidelines lower the threshold for high blood pressure, adding 30 million Americans to those who have the condition, which now plagues nearly half of U.S. adults,” wrote Marilyn Marchione for The Associated Press, posted by The Globe and Mail on November 14, 2017.

Marchione continued, “High pressure, which for decades has been a top reading of at least 140 or a bottom one of 90, drops to 130 over 80 in advice announced Monday by a dozen medical groups.

The change means an additional 14 per cent of U.S. adults have the problem, but only an additional 2 per cent will need medication right away; the rest should try healthier lifestyles, which get much stronger emphasis in the new advice. Poor diets, lack of exercise and other bad habits cause 90 per cent of high blood pressure.

“I have no doubt there will be controversy. I’m sure there will be people saying ‘We have a hard enough time getting to 140,”‘ said Dr. Paul Whelton, a Tulane University physician who led the guidelines panel.”

Read the full article here. 

 

Canadian property market still hot

Photographer: Andrzej

Photographer: Andrzej

 

“It isn’t just Canadians waiting to see tomorrow’s latest real estate numbers,” wrote Don Pittis for CBC News on November 14, 2017/

Pittis continued, “On Wednesday when the Canadian Real Estate Association releases the latest sales statistics and prices for resale homes, it will feel like the whole world is watching.

At the end of last month the Swiss banking giant UBS put both Toronto and Vancouver in the top five of its international bad boy list.

Toronto had the distinction of placing number one on the company’s worst global bubble risk, beating out Hong Kong, London and Amsterdam. Vancouver wasn’t far behind.”

Read the full article here. 

Complaints about CRA freezing and emptying accounts with no notice

Photographer: Wilfred Iven

Photographer: Wilfred Iven

 

“Canada’s Taxpayers’ Ombudsman is investigating what seems to be a problem with the federal tax agency freezing and emptying accounts without warning,” wrote Sarah Smellie for CBC News on November 8, 2017.

Smellie continued, “It’s a problem that shut down a small business in St. John’s last month.

In early October, CBC News reported that Fixed Coffee and Baking owner Jonathan Howse had to close one of his locations when, according to Howse, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) emptied his business’s bank account without warning.

The office of the federal taxpayers’ ombudsman, which aims to improve the CRA’s accountability, read the story, and contacted the St. John’s newsroom.

“What interested us in this is that we were getting complaints from people who were saying the CRA’s frozen my bank account or they’ve taken these actions and they didn’t give any notice to me,” said Sherra Profit.

Profit said her office has received enough calls to “identify this as a systemic issue and determine that this was something that had to be examined.”

Her office notified the minister of national revenue in February that it would be preparing a report.”

Read the full article here. 

Tanker trucks exploded on Highway 400

Photographer: Lorenzo Cafaro

Photographer: Lorenzo Cafaro

 

“A fatal, 14-vehicle pileup that killed at least three people and left Highway 400 about an hour north of Toronto littered with “tangled, twisted metal” may have been caused by an inattentive transport truck driver, police said Wednesday,” wrote CBC News on November 1, 2017.

CBC News continued, “The chain reaction of collisions started around 11:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, when a transport truck slammed into the back of another large truck that was stopped at the end of a long line of traffic in the northbound lanes. Two fully loaded tanker trucks, three other commercial vehicles and multiple cars were involved in the crash that ensued.

Immediately following the initial collision, a series of explosions sent fireballs into the night sky, witness video shows. 

“The vehicles are completely destroyed, melted into the asphalt,” said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the Ontario Provincial Police’s highway safety division.

Early indications are that “potentially, an inattentive vehicle — potentially a fuel tanker approaching northbound to slow or stopped traffic, smashed into the back of the queued traffic,” Schmidt said.”

Read the full article here. 

Statistics Canada shows more immigrants, visible minorities and Indigenous people

Photographer: Soroush Karimi

Photographer: Soroush Karimi

 

“The share of immigrants in Canada has reached its highest level in almost a century, according to 2016 census figures released Wednesday,” wrote Éric Grenier for CBC News on October 25, 2017.

Grenier continued, “The Statistics Canada data also shows the Indigenous population is growing at more than four times the rate of the non-Indigenous population, reaching nearly 1.7 million in 2016.

These are some of the findings of the latest data set from the 2016 census, focusing on the population related to immigration, ethnocultural diversity, housing and Indigenous people.

The numbers come just days before the annual immigration levels are set to be tabled in the House of Commons by the Liberal government. The levels were set at 300,000 per year in 2017.

The census figures show 21.9 per cent of Canadians report being or having been an immigrant or permanent resident, nearly matching the high of 22.3 per cent in 1921 and up from 19.8 per cent in 2006. The number was slightly higher than 21.9 per cent in 1931 too.”

Read the full article here. 

New mortgage rules requiring financial stress test for uninsured borrowers in 2018

Photographer: Brian Babb

Photographer: Brian Babb

 

“Canada’s top banking regulator has published the final version of its new mortgage rules, which include a requirement to “stress test” borrowers with uninsured loans to ensure they could withstand higher interest rates,” wrote Pete Evans for CBC News on October 17, 2017.

Evans continued, “The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released new guidelines for the mortgage industry on Tuesday. The regulator floated a similar version of these rules earlier this summer in draft form, but Tuesday’s release makes them official as of Jan. 1. 

Among the major new rules is a requirement to stress test uninsured borrowers. Previously, only insured borrowers had to undergo such a test.

By law, borrowers with a down payment of under 20 per cent for a home must purchase mortgage insurance. Borrowers pay an insurance premium, but the beneficiary is actually the lender, because the insurance protects the loan giver in the event the borrower defaults on the loan.”

Read the full article here. 

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