Connect with us

Business

New Ontario-wide coronavirus lockdown bans Christmas light drive-thrus – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

Published

 on


David Friend, The Canadian Press


Published Thursday, December 24, 2020 1:05PM EST


Last Updated Thursday, December 24, 2020 1:06PM EST

TORONTO — Drive-thru Christmas light festivals will be going dark in Ontario weeks earlier than organizers planned under Doug Ford’s stricter COVID-19 measures that go into effect on Saturday.

But several creators say they hope last-minute efforts to lobby the government before the holidays will convince leaders to make drive-thru shows an exception to the lockdown.

Monica Gomez, whose Polar Drive near Toronto’s Pearson International Airport was scheduled to run until January, says she was surprised when she learned she would have to shut down.

Her region had already been operating under stricter grey-zone lockdown measures that started on Nov. 23, but drive-thrus were still allowed up until the announcement earlier this week.

“It’s Christmas, this was put on us last minute, and now people aren’t in office,” she says of attempts to contact local officials.

“It wasn’t all about the revenue. This was about doing something for families. In our mind, we’re like, why would you take that one thing away from people right now?”

Gomez says it doesn’t make sense that her contactless event isn’t allowed to continue while drive-thru fast-food restaurants can still hand items through

Ontario is grappling with rising COVID-19 infection rates, including a new record high of 2,447 cases reported Thursday.

Residents are being told to stay home as much as possible and only go out for essential services, even before the province-wide lockdown begins on Dec. 26 and lasts at least a month.

The latest changes impacted other businesses that relied on in-car experiences.

Drive-in movie theatres were told several days before the opening of “Wonder Woman 1984” on Dec. 25 they could no longer operate, while the drive-in Immersive Van Gogh exhibit will be forced to close as well.

Some drive-in Christmas light events have already thrown in the towel, including Canadian Tire’s Christmas Trail, which closed up on Dec. 23 and cancelled all future reservations.

Andrew Gidaro, who co-produces Holiday Nights of Lights in Vaughan, Ont., says he’s not opposed to the lockdown, but feels the province “missed the mark a little” when it lumped contactless in-vehicle events into the latest measures.

He believes a “meaningful dialogue” with local government officials in Vaughan could lead to an agreement that these events are “something necessary” for the community.

“We’re hopeful that we can get this thing turned and continue to operate,” he added.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

TD Bank CFO Ahmed to head securities unit, move seen as CEO succession play

Published

 on

TD Bank Group on Thursday named Chief Financial Officer Riaz Ahmed chief executive of its securities unit and head of wholesale banking, a move some investors interpreted as a sign he will succeed CEO Bharat Masrani.

For Ahmed, 58, the change marks a return to his TD roots. He began his career at the bank in 1996 as an investment banker in the securities division, following which he served as its CFO and chief administrative officer. He has been part of TD Bank‘s executive team for nine years, and CFO for over five.

“Cross-training in the capital markets role … increases the likelihood of (Ahmed) succeeding Masrani when he retires, but I doubt it would be soon, as that would create unnecessary turnover atop TD Securities,” said Brian Madden, portfolio manager at Goodreid Investment Counsel.

“Maybe Masrani announces his retirement next year (or the following) and leaves early in 2023” or 2024.

Masrani’s compensation arrangements anticipated his retirement in 2020, TD said in its 2019 shareholders meeting proxy circular. But he was granted stock options worth C$1.9 million ($1.5 million), vesting in five years, on the condition that he remain available to serve as CEO throughout that period.

Ahmed replaces Bob Dorrance, who will retire on Sept. 1 after about 16 years at the bank, Canada’s second-biggest lender by market value said in a statement.

When asked about TD’s succession plans, a spokesperson said: “Today we are celebrating Bob Dorrance’s incredible career and accomplishments, and the appointment of top executives to critical, leadership roles.”

At a time when diversity, particularly in executive and board ranks, has come under increased scrutiny, Ahmed’s appointment as CEO would mean TD, the only one of Canada’s six biggest lenders to have a non-Caucasian at its helm, would retain that aspect.

Ahmed’s appointment comes after TD’s wholesale banking unit recorded an 8% revenue decline in the second quarter from a year ago, contributing to the bank’s overall underperformance versus some rivals.

Kelvin Tran, currently executive vice president for enterprise finance, will replace Ahmed as finance chief.

Dorrance, who has headed TD Securities since 2005, will stay on as chairman of TD Securities and serve as special adviser to Masrani.

TD shares were flat at C$87.12 on Thursday afternoon, compared with a 0.2% gain in the Toronto stock index. The shares are up 21% this year, versus a 15% gain in the benchmark.

($1 = 1.2303 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Nichola Saminather in Toronto; Additional reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in BengaluruEditing by Nick Zieminski and Matthew Lewis)

Continue Reading

Business

AIB agrees to life and pensions joint-venture with Canada Life

Published

 on

Allied Irish Banks on Wednesday said it would form a joint venture with Canada life as it seeks to plug gaps in its life, savings and wealth products.

The joint venture will be equally owned by Canada Life, a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc.

“The move to create this joint venture is aligned with AIB’s stated ambition to complete its customerproduct suite and diversify income,” AIB said in a statement.

“Through this strategic initiative AIB intends to offer customers a range of life protection, pensions, savings and investment options enhanced by integrated digital solutions withcontinued access to our qualified financial advisors.”

The Irish lender highlighted Canada Life’s “deep experience” of the Irish bancassurance market through Irish Life Assurance, which is also a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco.

AIB currently operates under a tied agency distribution agreement with Irish Life, and will enter into a new distribution agreement with the new joint venture company.

Chief Executive Colin Hunt highlighted the need to plug gaps in AIB’s life, savings and wealth products when he set out the bank’s medium-term targets last December.

AIB expects its equity investment in the joint venture will be around 90 million euros ($107.51 million), equating to around 10bps of CET1.($1 = 0.8372 euros)

(Reporting by Graham Fahy;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

Continue Reading

Business

Interac: Canada’s Latest Payment Solution Phenomenon

Published

 on

Few can argue that digital payment methods aren’t central to modern-day society. In recent times, increasing numbers of payment solutions have come to the forefront, offering consumers more choice regarding their transaction preferences. Canada, in particular, has embraced a wide-ranging selection of secure, forward-thinking options. Of those available throughout the country, Interac has piqued the interests of local consumers the most. So, let’s look at why this payment solution is an especially popular option throughout Canada. 

Usable Across Various Markets 

It speaks volumes about Interac’s versatility in that it’s usable across a variety of different industries. Since being founded in 1984, the Canadian interbank network has become integral to numerous markets, including local air travel. Air Canada, which has been operating since 1937, has expanded their accepted payment methods, and now passengers can pay for their flights using Interac. According to the airline’s official website, the Interac Online service lets consumers pay for their tickets via the internet directly from their bank account. 

Not only that, but Interac is also available at Walmart. In November 2020, the two organizations partnered together to expand in-store and online payment options. Walmart has adapted well to the digital trend, with American Banker reporting that they’ve opened Interac Flash sale points throughout their stores. 


Source: Unsplash

Aside from the above, Interac has also taken the digital world by storm. Following its rapid rise to prominence, the solution has also altered the online casino industry, with platforms like Genesis Casino now accepting the transaction type. The provider, which features Interac Canadian casino options, uses the popular payment method to enhance transaction speeds of deposits and withdrawals, as well as security. Players can use Interac Online and Interac e-Transfer to make deposits or withdrawals from their desktops or mobiles as the platform is fully optimized. 

A Reflection of Modern-Day Society 

In recent times, Interac recorded a 55 percent increase in transactions between April and August 2020 compared to the same period the previous year, as per BNN Bloomberg. These figures somewhat reflect the current state of e-Commerce and modern consumerism. Following the rise of Interac and other payment methods, it’s now less troublesome for consumers to complete in-store and online purchases. 


Source: PxHere

There’s an ever-growing perception that land-based businesses need to adapt within the digital era and accept forward-thinking payment methods. According to Cision, Interac is of utmost importance to the Canadian economy, and a year-on-year increase in Interac Debit payments of 333 percent reflects that. Not only that, but Interac e-Transfer payments are growing at 52 percent each year. This Interac-oriented trend appears unlikely to fade over the coming years, with the network being selected as the country’s provider for a new real-time payment system, as per Lexology. 

Consumer Habits are Changing 

There can be no doubt that consumerism has changed drastically over the past decade. The popularity of Interac suggests that a cashless future may be on the horizon, with increasing numbers of shoppers enjoying the security of online payment methods. While it’s currently unclear if that will happen, Interac appears to be prevalent for the long run.

Continue Reading

Trending