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New vaping advertising limits coming, but no further restrictions on nicotine yet –



With government figures showing a spike in the number of young people vaping, the federal government is preparing to place stricter limits on advertising and make health warnings on vaping products mandatory, CBC News has learned.

However, Ottawa is not yet ready to go as far as many health advocates want by further restricting the flavoured vape products known to appeal to younger users. It’s also still considering whether to further limit the level of nicotine in vaping products. Under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, it is prohibited to sell vaping devices that contain 66 mg/g of nicotine or more because they have been deemed “very toxic” by regulators. Most products sold legally are below that threshold.

The government has been considering the moves since consultations began in February.

Proposed regulations include banning advertising anywhere it can be seen or heard by youth, which includes public spaces, convenience stores and online.

They would also ban in-store displays of vaping products except for specialty stores that restrict entry to people 18 years or older.

Some brands already include health warnings on their products, but the proposed regulations would make it mandatory for all.

But that won’t go far enough for some public health advocates. Earlier this fall, organizations including the Canadian Medical Association called on the government to go further. They want more limits on the number of flavoured products available, in an effort to make vaping less attractive to youth. They have also called for stricter limits on nicotine levels.

Dr. Andrew Pipe, a professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa and a clinician scientist in smoking cessation at the university’s heart institute, welcomed the federal initiative but said more needs to be done. 

“I want to emphasize that the regulations that have been proposed have already been in place in Quebec, for instance, for some time and they’ve experienced the same rapid increase in vaping amongst young people as is being experienced all across Canada,” Pipe said in an interview. 

“Far from being a package of comprehensive regulations, this is just an initial attempt to address some of the more egregious marketing practices of the vaping industry.”  

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked on CBC’s Power & Politics what’s holding his government back from moving further and faster on vaping.

“I think we need to leave room for proper science. We’re a government that works on evidence-based decisions,” Trudeau said.

A government official, speaking on background, said earlier that Health Canada still hopes to take action on flavours and nicotine levels in the new year. Officials are currently still debating the best way forward.

Youth vaping doubles

Health Canada has cracked down on shops selling illegal vaping products that defy current federal regulations. In 2019, the agency raided more than 3,000 vape shops, collecting more than 80,000 units of non-compliant vaping products.

The products seized include those that feature flavours advertised as “confectionery,” soft drinks or energy drinks, and products that exceed existing nicotine levels or include banned additives.

Under existing regulations, the government has restrictions on which ingredients can be put in a vaping product.

According to the government official, many of the vaping-related illnesses reported by people in recent months have come from users of vaping pods purchased on the illegal market. These products often include a vitamin E acetate additive, which the U.S.-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said is partly to blame for the recent spate of vaping-related illnesses.

All of this is happening as youth e-cigarette use skyrockets.

According to the government’s figures, via the Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, the number of students (grades 7-12) who say they have used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days has shot up to 20 per cent in 2018-19 — double the number from the previous year.

Health Canada said the changes will be published in Canada Gazette on Dec. 21, followed by 30 days of public comments and consultation. 

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



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)

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



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)

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Interac: Canada’s Latest Payment Solution Phenomenon



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.

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