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Ontario Auditor General Probes Casino Anti-Money Laundering Protocols

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Bonnie Lysyk, the Auditor General for the province of Ontario, presented her yearly report to the provincial assembly. In it, she provides advice to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation on how to increase efforts to combat attempts to launder money at the casinos in the province. According to her analysis, the number of transactions that raise suspicion is very modest, but the quantity varies significantly between the various casino facilities.

Legal Gambling in Ontario

When it comes to playing casino games online, players have a number of different Ontario online casinos options available to them. The state lottery was the initial form of gambling to be made available on the internet. The second sort of gambling to follow suit was that of a casino-based variety in Ontario. When single sports gambling was finally made legal in the province in August of 2021, it was then that sports betting was introduced to the mix.

 

Report Findings

According to the study, mystery shoppers had the opportunity to test how easy it would be to launder money as part of their mission. They found that they were able to receive casino cheques with massive amounts of cash without having to confirm the source of the funds. The Auditor General expanded on the fact that the secret shoppers were unable to complete their mission successfully in two of the province casinos due to interference from security.

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Ms. Lysyk did not give the identities of the properties, but she did say that one of them accurately spotted the questionable conduct and turned down the customer’s request for cheques. Even trespass orders were handed out, which prevented the customer from accessing any of the gaming sites that were run by the corporation. Other casinos, on the other hand, were not able to effectively deal with the questionable play and asked for checks.

The auditor revealed that the buyers were able to get casino cheques of well over CA$ 3,000 from two of four gaming facilities despite having played just a little amount and not providing any proof of profits. The agents began their time at the two casinos, player tables games, and slot machines with cash amounts ranging from 5,000 to 11,000 Canadian dollars, and then they cashed out their winnings using cheques.

Following the publication of the report, the Auditor General has stated that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) should develop safeguards for all casino operators in order to combat the possibility of money laundering attempts. These rules would consist of requesting customers for documentation of the funding source for buy-in when making cash transactions of 10,000 Canadian dollars or higher.

In response to the suggestions, the OLG stated that it will make additional efforts to ensure that its anti-money laundering system is compliant. In addition, The Crown acknowledged that there is a requirement to continually address money-washing threats at its brick-and-mortar facilities, and the company pledged to collaborate with casino operators to explore new cheque issuance regulations.

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It's not delivery, it's discontinued: Nestlé to stop selling Delissio pizza in Canada – CBC News

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It’s not delivery, it’s discontinued: Nestlé to stop selling Delissio pizza in Canada  CBC News

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Will winter end soon? Canadian groundhogs split on spring calls

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Groundhog Day didn’t go to script in Canada this year: one died before making a prediction, while others were divided over whether spring will come early this year.

Quebec’s Fred la Marmotte died before he was able to reveal his prediction Thursday, with volunteer children stepping in to take its place.

The organizer of the event, Roberto Blondin, said the famed groundhog had no vital signs when he went to wake it Wednesday night. Fred la Marmotte likely died during hibernation, Blondin said. Fred was honoured with a plush animal toy by organizers.

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The group of children predicted six more weeks of winter, joining the calls from other groundhogs across Canada – except for three.

Folklore states that if a groundhog sees its shadow on Groundhog Day, winter will drag on. If it doesn’t spot its shadow, spring-like weather arrive soon.

Ontario’s Wiarton Willie called for an early spring Thursday morning, as did Alberta’s Blazac Billy. Organizers chanted “Billy, Billy, Billy” to get Billy – a mascot – out of his burrow. In British Columbia, stuffed groundhog Okanagan Okie also called for an early spring.

Their furry counterpart in Nova Scotia, Shubenacadie Sam, saw her shadow as she emerged from a snow-covered enclosure at a wildlife park north of Halifax. In Manitoba, the stuffed groundhog Merv saw his shadow, as did Punxsutawney Phil in the United States.

 

Groundhog Day isn’t just for groundhogs

In Nova Scotia, Lucy the Lobster crawled out of the ocean at Cape Sable Island Causeway at 8 a.m. local time, and saw her shadow, organizers said.

In a playful, peer-reviewed study published by the American Meteorological Society, researchers at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., found groundhogs are “beyond a shadow of a doubt” no better at predicting spring’s arrival than flipping a coin.

— with files from Global News’ Alex Cooke, Brayden Jagger Haines and The Canadian Press

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Migrant worker secret menus in Canada expose exploitation

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Hundreds of customers who scan QR codes for restaurant menus across Canada are being surprised by secret menus instead, revealing the hidden costs behind the food they eat.

These secret menus were designed and distributed by Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, a national organization headquartered in Toronto, aiming to expose exploitative working conditions: low wages, unsafe labour, poor housing, family separation, and long days of backbreaking labour.

The organization plastered these QR codes in place of menus in hundreds of restaurants across the country to communicate a single plea – migrant workers need permanent resident status.

“Because the current laws don’t protect our health, safety, and working status, those of us who speak up are ignored and many others decide to stay silent in fear of deportation and losing their livelihood,” Robert, a Jamaican migrant greenhouse worker, said.

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Each menu item reveals a story about exploitation. The “To-Die-For Sweet Potato Fries” tells the tale of a potato harvester from Jamaica named Garvin Yapp who was killed in a farming accident in Norfolk County, Ont. last summer. Another, the “Bitter Strawberry Tart,” aims to spotlight the 18-hour days some migrant workers spend on their hands and knees harvesting strawberries.

Every year, more than 60,000 seasonal agricultural workers come to Canada from places such as Mexico, Jamaica, and other Caribbean countries. Between January 2020 and 2021, nine migrant agricultural workers died in Ontario.

“We are inviting [the public] to be a part of the struggle,” Syed Hussan, executive director of Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, told CTV News Toronto.

Migrant workers are purposely featuring their stories as food costs rise across the country alongside the profits of big box grocery store owners. Hussan says these profits are made on the backs of migrant workers.

“It’s important to know migrant farm workers are literally tied to their employers,” he added, noting that migrants can’t protect themselves because they don’t have permanent resident status. “What that means is if a worker speaks out about abuse, they become homeless.”

Migrant workers’ stories are featured on secret menus (Migrant Workers Alliance for Change).When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlined Canada’s immigration policy priorities in Dec. 2021, he said his government would expand pathways to permanent resident status for temporary foreign workers.

“Thirteen months later, no action has happened. With parliament returning, now is the time,” Hussan said.

At the bottom of the secret menu, migrant workers are asking restaurant patrons to sign a petition, pleading, “Tell PM Trudeau your food should come with fair working conditions.”

“It’s crucial to understand that if you eat in this country … you are implicated in this food chain,” Hussan said. “Each and every one of us is implicated.”

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