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Trudeau 'concerned' by latest threat to vaccine supply from EU – CBC.ca

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he is “concerned” by the threat of export restrictions being imposed by the European Union, but insisted his government would work hard to ensure vaccine doses continue to flow into Canada. 

“We are concerned with the new reports of restrictions out of the EU — or potential restrictions out of the EU — and we will be continuing to work with our counterparts, including direct contact from me to the highest levels of the European Commission, in order to ensure that Canada’s supply of vaccines is not in danger, is not interrupted,” Trudeau told the House of Commons today.

The prime minister was responding to the Commission’s plans to strengthen existing export controls that would require evaluation of export licences for vaccines based on two factors: the destination country’s vaccination rates and their willingness to export vaccines, or the raw materials to produce them, to the EU.

The proposed new measures will be discussed Thursday by EU leaders and will come into effect unless they are opposed by a “qualified majority” of member states — 55 per cent of EU member states representing 65 per cent of the EU’s population.

“Today, the EU has strengthened the COVID-19 vaccines export transparency and authorization mechanism to preserve the security of our supply chains by introducing the principles of reciprocity and proportionality as additional criteria to be considered before authorizing exports,” an EU spokesperson said in a statement.

“This is not an export ban. It is about making sure that Europe gets its due share of vaccines and inviting other countries to open up for exports.”

Trudeau said he was also paying close attention to reports that India has put a temporary hold on all major exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India in order for that country to meet domestic demands. 

Canada has an agreement with the Serum Institute for two million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but has so far received only 500,000 of those.

“At this point we have no indications that the two million doses we will be receiving from the Serum Institute over the coming two months will in any way be affected and we will continue to ensure that that be the case,” Trudeau told the Commons today. 

Pfizer is deeply concerned by any legislation that threatens our ability to manufacture in, or export from, the European Union.– Christina Antoniou, Pfizer’s director of corporate affairs

Deputy High Commissioner for India in Canada Anshuman Gaur told CBC News that his country has shipped more than 60 million doses of vaccines to more than 75 countries but India’s production capacity is dependent on a supply of raw materials.

“Some major suppliers in the West have banned the export of vaccines and also of raw materials,” he said, adding that the delivery schedule for the remaining 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine destined for Canada currently “remains under discussion.”

EU calls for ‘reciprocity’

The EU said that since January 30, it has granted 380 export requests to 33 different countries for shipments of 43 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of the EU, including 6.6 million to Canada.

“It has always been our intention to keep export restrictions to an absolute minimum,” an EU spokesperson said in a media statement.

“Vaccine exports from the EU to Canada are still subject to an authorization request. Under the strengthened rules, introduced today, export authorizations should be granted where they do not pose a threat to the security of supply of vaccines and their components in the [EU] while also considering reciprocity and proportionality.” 

A spokesperson for Pfizer told CBC News it’s too early to determine how or if Canada will be affected by the EU’s move Wednesday to further restrict exports of its Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from Europe.

“Pfizer is deeply concerned by any legislation that threatens our ability to manufacture in, or export from, the European Union,” said Christina Antoniou, Pfizer’s director of corporate affairs. 

“We are working closely with governments around the world to continue to meet our commitments and ensure the supply of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in accordance with the agreed schedules.”

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

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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

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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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Your Education and Certificates Need to Align the Job Requirements

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After your professional experience, your education/certifications (verified skills) will be the next section on your resume the reader will use to judge whether you go into the “to be interviewed” pile. 

Many job seekers apply to job postings knowing they don’t have the education/certification requirements. They believe their “experience” will compensate. With so many highly qualified job seekers now on the job market this is rarely the case. If your education/certifications align with the job requirements, the education section of your resume will play a critical part in setting you apart from all the “spray and pray” job seekers.

Suppose a job posting for a Director of Finance lists as a qualification “Canadian Accounting Designation (CPA).” You have a university degree and 15 years of experience managing a mid-size company’s finances, but no CPA—don’t bother applying. Job postings generate an influx of applicants. Undoubtedly there’ll be many applicants who possess a CPA applying. There’s also the employer’s ATS to consider, which likely has been programmed to scan for “CPA.”  

Education background information you should provide:

  • Degree/certification obtained 
  • School’s name
  • Location of school
  • Period of attendance
  • Relevant coursework
  • Honors, academic recognition, extracurricular activities, or organizations participation worth mentioning

When it comes to presenting your educational background keep your ego in check. You may have impressive education background; however, it may not be impressive for the job you’re vying for. Prioritize relevancy over perceived prestige.

Here’s my suggestion how to present your education/certificates (there’s no hard formatting rule):

BS Biomedical Science

University of Calgary, Calgary, AB — 09/1992 – 06/1996

Courses:

  • Principles of Human Genetics
  • Organismal Biology
  • Principles and Mechanisms of Pharmacology
  • Advanced Bioinformatics

PMP® Certification

Ryerson University Continuing Education, Toronto, ON — 10/2001 – 04/2003

Courses:

  • Planning and Scheduling
  • Leadership in Project Management
  • Project Cost and Procurement Management
  • Project Risk and Quality Management

As I’ve pointed out in previous columns— there’s no universal hiring methodology. No two hiring managers assess candidates the same way. Depending on the job requirements respective employers search for different things when it comes to a candidate’s education. Read the qualifications in the job posting carefully. Then present your education/credentials accordingly. Don’t hesitate to add/remove courses to better tie in your education towards the job. It’s for this reason I suggest you list courses, not just your degree/certification. Listing of courses is rarely done, doing so will give your resume a competitive advantage.

You’ll have noticed my examples indicated start and end dates. Many “career experts” advise against this. The thinking being dates, even just the graduation year, will give employer’s a sense of your age, which if your over 45 can hinder and prolong your job search. This advice is supposed to be a workaround to ageism. However, these same “career experts” unanimously agree employment dates (month/year) need to be indicated. To me, this is a mixed message.    

I believe in complete transparency from both sides of the hiring process. Full transparency ensures the likelihood of there being a solid fit for both parties. At some point, whether when the employer checks your digital footprint or interviews you, your interviewer will have a good indication of your age. Besides, not mentioning dates, which I call “obvious” information, is a red flag. 

If your age is a deal-breaker with an employer, they aren’t the employer for you. The job search advice I give most often: Seek employers who’ll most likely accept you, where you’ll feel you belong—look for your tribe.

Some professions, such as finance or healthcare, require specific certifications or degrees. In such cases, show you have the necessary “must-have” (a deal-breaker if you don’t) credentials by placing your education at the top of the page just below your contact information before your professional experience.

One last note: Often overlooked is education in progress. If relevant, this should be included in your resume. In this case, list pertinent courses and the month/year you intend to graduate.

Using suggestions in this and previous columns you are now able to create a resume that “WOWs.” Next week, I’m going to begin discussing cover letters. Yes, many hiring managers, like myself, do read cover letters, which have one purpose—to give the reader a reason to read your resume.

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Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send him your questions at artoffindingwork@gmail.com.

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