Hanover Deputy Mayor Selwyn Hicks has been elected as Grey County's warden for 2021. “I believe that my credentials speak for themselves. I'm an early riser with a strong work ethic and I have the capacity to build relationships that promote progress,” Hicks said while addressing county councillors during the virtual inauguration session held Tuesday afternoon. The position of warden is voted on by fellow county council members and holds a one-year term. Hicks was nominated for the position by Southgate Deputy Mayor Brian Milne and seconded by Meaford Mayor Barb Clumpus. Hicks was born in South American country of Guyana and moved to Toronto when he was nine. He moved to Hanover in 2003 and he entered politics in 2006, serving as a councillor from 2006 to 2014 and then as deputy-mayor since 2015. Hicks served as warden of Grey County in 2019. He is a lawyer by trade with offices in Hanover and Walkerton, which he operates with his wife of 24 years, Barbara. They have four children: Selwyn IV, Rylee, Connor, and Chloe. At Tuesday’s meeting, Hicks defeated current Grey County Warden Paul McQueen, who is the mayor of Grey Highlands. In the coming months, Hicks says he plans to meet with each lower-tier council representative to build relationships and seek out priorities. “I will also immediately reach out to our provincial and federal representatives to schedule a minimum of one formal meeting each quarter to build relationships and plan how we can work together to address important priorities for the people of Grey County,” he said. “I'm also now a member of the Western Ontario Wardens Caucus," Hicks added. "I have strong relationships from my first year as warden and I plan to continue to build those relationships.” For the coming year, Hicks said he would like to focus on affordable housing, rural broadband programs, and regional transportation. “We've got a number of things on the go. We're still in a COVID environment and we have to figure out how we pull out of this thing together, how to keep people safe, keep our good track record in public health, and take care of our seniors,” he added.Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
Lakefield resident Brant Dunford decided to paint a powerful image on a paddle because he wanted to contribute to the Burleigh Falls Beautification Project and to keep the conversation alive about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. “The idea to paint this portrait came to me when I was doing another drawing on the paddle. I changed my mind, basically erased what I had and got inspired to do the portrait. I’m happy with how it turned out,” said Dunford. The paddle depicts an Indigenous girl with a bloodied hand across her face. It’s a strong image that’s used to show the blood shed of Indigenous woman, while at the same time bringing awareness of MMIWG to the forefront. Dunford says the paddle was purchased at a local store. He says in order for him to paint the paddle he had to sand the surface. “From start to finish, it took me the better part of two days,” he says. Dunford, a father of two and the great-grandson of the late Chief Moses Marsden of Alderville First Nation, says he likes to paint as a hobby and says he has a lot of time to do other work. “During the pandemic I find myself doing more paintings,” he says. He said he has painted a few other paddles with different images and says he plans on doing another one to bring awareness to MMIWG. The auction to bid on the paddle began Dec 1 and continues to Dec. 3. Details about the auction are listed on the Burleigh Falls Beautification Project Facebook page. Stephanie Doughty, organizer, says the project is going strong. She expects there to be a large turnout to bid on the paddle as the art is very well done. She says there was a sneak peak on Nov. 15 where many posted comments on the beauty of the artwork and showed interest in bidding before the auction began.Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Peterborough This Week
Le psychologue sportif, auteur et conférencier de renommée internationale, Sylvain Guimond, rencontrera virtuellement, ce mercredi, à 18h, les étudiants innus du collégial et universitaire afin de les motiver à ne pas abandonner en cette période difficile de pandémie. Stéphane Tremblay, Initiative de journalisme local, Macotenord.com Par le biais de sa conférence, Sylvain Guimond partagera ses trucs et de précieux conseils qui aideront les étudiants à persévérer. "La motivation, c’est l’énergie intérieure qui nous pousse à agir, en créant tes ressorts et en brisant tes freins", mentionne M. Guimond Docteur en psychologie du sport, Sylvain Guimond est conscient que les étudiants doivent parfois jongler avec leurs études, le sport, le travail et les amis, d'où l'importance de comprendre que la clé du succès et d’être bien dans sa tête. Ce professionnel souvent invité à des émissions de télévision souligne que pendant l'actuelle crise sanitaire sans précédent, chaque moment mis à notre disposition doit-être utilisé de façon positive. "Que ce soit pour travailler notre force mentale, mettre à jour nos objectifs ou prendre conscience du chemin que l’on a fait, cette année sera charnière pour plusieurs personnes." Or, des recherches ont démontré que le manque de motivation des étudiants a des répercussions directes sur le décrochage scolaire. Taux alarmant de décrochage scolaire chez les autochtones Organisée par le département de l'Éducation du Conseil de Uashat-Maliotenam, cette conférence tombe à point alors que le taux de décrochage scolaire chez les autochtones est alarmant. Les statistiques sont ahurissantes: plus d'un élève autochtone sur deux vivants sur les réserves abandonne les études secondaires. Le taux de décrochage est aussi inquiétant pour les autochtones qui vivent à l'extérieur des réserves. Plus de 40% de ces autochtones ne terminent pas leurs études secondaires. Dans le reste de la population canadienne, le taux de décrochage oscille autour de moins de 10%. La conférence Web du Dr Guimond offre des pistes concrètes et des stratégies à mettre en place pour motiver les diplômés de demain. De plus, les concepts développés dans la conférence s’appliquent à de nombreuses sphères de la vie. Anxiété et stress Une planète au ralentie par une pandémie occasionne beaucoup de stress et d'anxiété dans notre quotidien et les étudiants n'y échappent pas. Coauteur du livre, avec Johanne Lévesque, Anxiété sois mon invitée, Sylvain Guimond explique simplement et sans préjugés, comment naviguer entre stress, peurs, frayeurs, anxiété, angoisses, phobies... et les maîtriser. "Car être anxieux n’est pas une condamnation, et bien que l’anxiété puisse handicaper une vie, elle apporte aussi une énergie qui peut être un formidable moteur pour nous pousser à nous dépasser." Sylvain Guimond s’exprime de façon claire et imagée et propose des solutions simples aux questions parfois complexes. Il a travaillé avec plus de 1000 athlètes d’élite, dont le célèbre golfeur Tiger Woods. Stéphane Tremblay, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
NEW YORK — Chuck Rosenberg makes no secret of his admiration for Robert Mueller.Keep that in mind, along with the format of Rosenberg's podcast “The Oath,” now that NBC announced Wednesday that the former special counsel who looked into Russian interference in the 2016 election has given an extensive interview that debuts next week.Mueller, the ex-FBI director, rarely speaks publicly and has been virtually silent about his special counsel experience since testifying before Congress in July 2019.In two separate podcast episodes, each nearly an hour, Mueller doesn't talk about his work as special counsel. He isn't even asked.“There are some questions that you simply don't have to ask,” said Rosenberg, who worked for Mueller as an FBI counsel. “I knew he wouldn't talk about it and I had really no intention of asking about it.”He took Mueller at his word that he wouldn't talk about his work as counsel after his testimony. Mueller made an exception in September, pushing back after one of his former prosecutors suggested in a book that the counsel's team wasn't aggressive enough.Rosenberg's stance is consistent with the format of “The Oath,” in which present and former government officials who have taken an oath to protect the Constitution are interviewed about their lives and careers, while steering clear of current events and political controversies.Rosenberg, also a former federal prosecutor, has taken the oath nine times. He's been an analyst and podcast host for NBC News since quitting as acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2017, after President Donald Trump suggested to law enforcement officers that they “don't be too nice” to suspects in custody.Even in an era of suspicion about the “deep state,” or perhaps because of it, there has clearly been a public taste for “The Oath.” The Mueller interview leads its fourth season.The show has been in the Top 200 of the Apple Podcasts charts for more than a year, said Andy Bowers, co-founder of the podcast hosting company Megaphone.Rosenberg's extensive experience helps with access, so his guest list is consistently interesting, said Benjamin Wittes, editor in chief of the Lawfare blog. He's also unapologetically earnest, as are many of his guests, at a time of cynicism.“That's the winning formula on ‘The Oath,’ a serious person talking to serious people about public service at a time when people really want to remember what public service is supposed to be," Wittes said.The Mueller interview is a bookend to Rosenberg's two-parter with Mueller's successor as FBI director, James Comey, in the podcast's first season.The voluble Comey is a contrast to Mueller, who's quite comfortable with short answers. “I did OK,” Mueller said when Rosenberg was trying to draw him out about commendations he received during training with the Marines.Did you like law school? “Not particularly,” Mueller said.“Jim is a natural storyteller, so in some ways it is easier (to interview him),” Rosenberg said. “Bob also has a lot of stories to tell, you just have to let him tell them in his own way. I found that compelling — two very different styles, as our listeners will notice, but I think two men of substance.”Although there was talk after his congressional testimony that Mueller, now 76, had lost some sharpness with age, Rosenberg said “he seemed fine to me.”When coaxed, Mueller is most interesting in the first podcast talking about his experience in Vietnam. He volunteered for the Marines after a teammate on his Princeton lacrosse team was killed there, and commanded a unit that was — he found out later — essentially used as bait to draw out the North Vietnamese army.The experience inspired a lifetime of public service, primarily because Mueller was grateful to have survived.It's the type of service that's hard for the cynical to fathom. In another episode this season, Rosenberg speaks to Heather “Lucky” Penney, a former fighter pilot given the assignment on Sept. 11, 2001 of stopping United Airlines Flight 93 as it was bound for the U.S. Capitol. Since there was no time to arm the jet, her only choice was to ram the airliner; she was effectively sent on a suicide mission. Instead, the plane crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers overpowered the hijackers.In the Mueller interview, Rosenberg said he relished the opportunity to get to know someone he knew only as a boss.“There's a bit of a Marine Corps officer outer shell,” he said. “He can be a little bit intimidating. But underneath all of that, he is a remarkably kind and humble and civil man. Coming up in the ranks of the Department of Justice, Bob Mueller is an icon. Everybody that I worked with knew of him and admired him, but often from a distance.”David Bauder, The Associated Press
MONTREAL — National Bank of Canada topped expectations as it reported a fourth-quarter profit of $492 million.The Montreal-based bank says its profit for the quarter ended Oct. 31 amounted to $1.36 per diluted share, down from a profit of $604 million or $1.67 per diluted share a year ago.Revenue totalled $2 billion in the quarter, up from $1.91 billion in the same quarter last year.Provisions for credit losses in the quarter were $110 million, up from $89 million a year ago.On an adjusted basis, National Bank says it earned $1.69 per diluted share for the quarter, in line with its result a year ago.Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of $1.52 per share, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:NA)The Canadian Press
BUDAPEST, Hungary — The head of the European Parliament delegation representing Hungary’s ruling party is being targeted for expulsion from his political group in the European Union legislature after comparing the group's leader to the gestapo.Members of the European People’s Party have called for a vote on expelling Tamas Deutsch, the head of the Hungarian delegation to the centre-right group. Deutsch is a founding member of Hungary’s right-wing ruling party, Fidesz, which belongs to the European People's Party.In a Monday letter addressed to the leader of the EPP in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, and delivered to all group members, EU lawmakers referenced their “growing dismay and impatience (with the) increasing radicalization and verbal abuses of certain Fidesz MEPs."The signatories demanded that a vote on Deutsch’s expulsion be held at the group’s next meeting on Dec. 9.Weber, who represents Germany, has been critical of Hungary and Poland’s decision to veto passage of the EU’s next seven-year budget and coronavirus recovery fund, which the two countries oppose due to a so-called rule of law mechanism which would link payment of EU funds to countries’ adherence to democratic standards.Weber had called the veto “irresponsible,” and said if media freedom and judicial independence were upheld in Hungary, the country's leaders had no reason to fear the rule of law mechanism.Deutsch told two Hungarian news outlets last week that Weber’s comments were reminiscent “of the Gestapo and (Hungary’s communist-era secret police) the AVH.”In the letter demanding a vote on Deutsch’s expulsion, EPP lawmakers called his remarks “shocking and shameful.”“Comparing our support for the rule of law with Gestapo or Stalinist methods is an insult to all of us in the EPP group,” the letter reads.Deutsch told pro-government newspaper Magyar Nemzet on Tuesday that the effort to oust him from the EPP was proof that Hungary must “use all means” to prohibit adoption of the rule of law mechanism.The Hungarian delegation to the European People's Party also is facing fallout from the news that another senior lawmaker had attended an illegal lockdown party in Brussels. Fidesz MEP Jozsef Szajer resigned Sunday after police broke up a party that media reports described as a sex orgy.The EPP suspended Fidesz’s membership in 2019 over concerns that it was eroding the rule of law in Hungary and engaging in anti-Brussels rhetoric. In a weekend interview with Belgian newspaper De Standaard, Weber said the EPP would have already made a decision on expelling Fidesz from the group were it not for the coronavirus pandemic.A spokesperson for the EPP confirmed to The Associated Press that Weber had received the letter, and said that it would be up to the EPP’s presidency when to hold a vote on Deutsch’s exclusion.Justin Spike, The Associated Press
BURNABY, B.C. — The death of a teenager in Burnaby, B.C., is now being investigated as a homicide.A statement from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says the 18-year-old woman was found in a Burnaby home on Sunday.She was suffering from critical injuries and died in hospital.Sgt. Frank Jang with the homicide team says one man was arrested at the scene but has been released without charges as the investigation continues.Jang says the woman knew her attacker, the case is considered isolated and there is no risk to the public.He urges anyone with information to contact investigators. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.The Canadian Press
La population de Sainte-Rose-du-Nord fait face à une surpopulation de chats errants sur son territoire, ce qui n’est pas sans créer des remous chez certains citoyens . Au cours des derniers jours, le citoyen Étienne Voyer a écrit une missive aux médias pour faire part qu’à l’automne, des citoyens ont contacté la Société pour la prévention de la cruauté contre les animaux (SPCA) pour faire part de leur inquiétude devant la croissance du nombre de félins dans les entourages. L’objectif était de se débarrasser des animaux de façon éthique. Ils ont alors été dirigés vers la municipalité à qui incombe le contrôle des animaux. Selon M. Voyer, les instances municipales auraient fait preuve d’indifférence et auraient fait part de deux options possibles, soit payer eux-mêmes les 300 $ pour capturer les animaux errants et les envoyer à la fourrière, ou régler le problème en tuant les bêtes de leurs mains, tout en l’informant qu’il n’existe pas de règlement encadrant les chats errants. Il aurait même été évoqué que les chats errants finissent dans une poche de jute coulée dans le fjord ou que l’hiver aurait raison de la population de chats. D’autres chats à fouetter Interrogé sur le sujet, le maire Laurent Thibeault reconnaît que le problème existe, qu’il y a beaucoup de chats dans le décor roserain et que la population féline augmente. « Je vois des chats tous les jours sur ma galerie. Il y a des chats. Est-ce une quantité problématique qu’on voit se promener dans le village ? », interroge-t-il. Il assure toutefois que ni la direction générale de la municipalité ni les élus n’ont émis de directives visant à éliminer les chats errants de façon cruelle en proposant de les tuer soi-même ou en les noyant dans le Saguenay. Il avoue du même souffle qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une préoccupation majeure pour lui et qu’il a d’autres chats à fouetter avec la préparation du budget municipal qui sera déposé le 14 décembre prochain. Le maire Thibeault ajoute que l’administration devrait enregistrer un surplus budgétaire pour l’exercice 2020. Du côté de la SPCA, il n’a pas été possible de discuter avec la directrice Claudia Côté, sauf qu’un membre du personnel nous a indiqué qu’habituellement, l’organisme intervient dans les municipalités qui accordent du financement pour obtenir le service.Denis Villeneuve, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
Teen banking app Step has raised $50 million (37.4 million pounds) from investors led by Coatue Management alongside celebrities such as singer Justin Timberlake, influencer Charli D'Amelio and former quarterback Eli Manning. Step, which offers teenagers a bank account connected to a secured spending card and peer-to-peer payments, also said it had secured funding from existing backers including Stripe, Will Smith's Dreamers VC, CrossLink Capital and Collaborative Fund. San Francisco-based Step allows parents to view balances and real-time activity, add money to their teens' accounts and manage and freeze cards.
En date du 1er décembre, le député bloquiste de Bécancour–Nicolet–Saurel a bouclé 36 ans, deux mois et 27 jours aux Communes, battant de trois jours le record de Charles Marcil, l’élu de Bonaventure qui siégea jusqu’au 29 janvier 1937. L’indépendantiste qui se fait appeler amicalement «Doyen» par ses collègues est arrivé à la Chambre des communes en 1984 sous les couleurs du Parti progressiste-conservateur de Brian Mulroney. Avec l’échec de l’Accord du lac Meech en 1990, il change de fusil d’épaule pour cofonder le Bloc québécois, le parti politique créé à Sorel-Tracy en 1991. À 77 ans, Louis Plamondon s’apprête à briguer un douzième mandat. S’il est élu, il pourrait battre le record de longévité de cinq députés anglophones dont deux de 37 ans et trois autres de plus de 39 ans parmi lesquels le libéral Herb Gray. Ce dernier est le député qui a siégé le plus longtemps à la Chambre des communes avec au compteur une longévité de 39 ans, six mois et 30 jours. En tant que Doyen de la Chambre des communes, Louis Plamondon a régulièrement présidé la première session du parlement au lendemain des élections depuis 2008. Le secret de son ancienneté réside dans la proximité qu’il a longtemps développée avec les gens dans sa circonscription et aux assemblées parlementaires. Dans l’une de ses entrevues accordées au Courrier Sud pendant la pandémie, il s’est montré profondément affecté par les restrictions qui l’empêchent d’assister aux multiples évènements sportifs et culturels qui ont longtemps meublé son emploi du temps. M. Plamondon a plusieurs fois confié qu’il s’ennuyait des contacts humains et des activités auxquels il s’était habitué. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
WASHINGTON — The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local): 9:25 a.m. President-elect Joe Biden says he won’t immediately lift tariffs placed by President Donald Trump on many imports from China or break Trump’s initial trade deal. Biden says he wants to maximize his leverage in future talks with the United States' geopolitical rival. Speaking to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Biden said, “I’m not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs.” Biden adds in Friedman's column published Wednesday: “I’m not going to prejudice my options.” Under Trump, the U.S. and China engaged in a yearlong trade war that has been largely frozen since a Phase One deal was reached in January. While some industries have benefited from Trump’s protectionist policies, the policies have been largely panned by the business community and most experts — and most of the cost of tariffs has been borne by American businesses and consumers. Biden tells Friedman an early priority after his January swearing-in will be to restore relationships with allies to strengthen his negotiating position with China. Biden says key to talks with China is “leverage” and in his view "we don’t have it yet.” ___ HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN'S TRANSITION TO THE WHITE HOUSE: President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks are quickly running into the political reality of a narrowly controlled Senate that will leave the new Democratic administration dependent on rival Republicans to get anything done. Read more: — Ron Klain brings decades of DC experience to Biden White House — Trump threatens defence veto over social media protections — Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud — Senate GOP leader sticking with partisan COVID-19 relief plan The Associated Press
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — The Supreme Court of Slovakia on Wednesday increased the prison sentence of a former soldier convicted of killing an investigative journalist and his fiancée, a case that triggered a political crisis and brought down the country’s government. In April, a lower court gave Miroslav Marcek a 23-year prison term for the contract killings of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova in February 2018. The high court increased the sentence to 25 years. Marcek had pleaded guilty to fatally shooting the two but appealed as did the prosecutors. The verdict by the Supreme Court is final. In September, a court acquitted a businessman, Marian Kocner, who was accused of masterminding the slayings, and one of his co-defendants. Prosecutors appealed the verdicts but the Supreme Court has yet to rule on that. Kuciak, 27, was shot in the chest and Kusnirova, also 27, was shot in the head at their home in the town of Velka Maca, east of Bratislava, on Feb. 21, 2018. Kuciak had been investigating possible government corruption. The killings prompted major street protests and a political crisis that led to the government’s collapse. Two other defendants have been sentenced in the case. One received 25 years in prison in September for his role. The other, who had acted as a go-between, agreed to co-operate with prosecutors in exchange for a lesser sentence and received a 15-year prison term in December. The Associated Press
The proposal to have the former Capital Pointe site be a temporary parking lot for one year has been approved.Regina's new city council voted 6-5 in favour of the proposal. A developer has said it is interested in purchasing the land if it had approval to use it as a parking lot for a one-year term.The city is owed $2.8 million from the property. Councillors Landon Mohl, Jason Mancinelli, Terina Shaw, John Findura and Lori Bresciani voted in favour, along with Mayor Sandra Masters. "I feel that I need to put a little bit of a trust going forward," Findura said. "I would like to see it move forward, get out of that hole." Councillors Andrew Stevens, Bob Hawkins, Cheryl Stadnichuk, Shanon Zachidniak and Daniel LeBlanc voted against the proposal."I think it's a mistake, frankly," Stevens said. "There was such promise with that corner. It really fell short and went from a hole to a buried hole now to a parking lot. And I'm not sure what's worse from a planning perspective. There was absolutely no reason to approve this." Masters said that the city is not in the business of commercial real estate development."I have a bigger fear that if we don't provide what assistance we can in terms of facilitating a sale, that we end up ... we can end up with possession of it for years," Masters said. It was the first time the new council was together. It approved a new meeting schedule and will now meet twice a month instead of once a month. Councillor Lori Bresciani is in her second term. She said from her view, the first meeting went smoothly."Of course, there's the procedural things that take a little bit of time. But I thought overall it was very, very well done," Bresciani said. "Mayor Masters did a great job and actually all of councillors spoke. So I think, again, very inclusive. And at the end of the day, that's what we want."New wellness committee, no more mandatory written statements for delegatesCity council also created a new community wellness committee. The committee will discuss housing, poverty reduction, mental and physical wellness, addiction, discrimination and other social determinants of health and crime. Masters said this is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the city needs to support those combating the increasing number of overdoses. "The city needs to continue to support the services that are providing the [naloxone] kits and arriving on scene for the overdoses," Masters said. She said the city also needs to build relationships with different levels of government for funding initiatives. Masters said a safe consumption site is one of the options the committee could look into. She said she's interested in hearing from Prairie Harm Reduction about the one in Saskatoon."As well as looking at other best practices in other communities for the success stories that they've had or perhaps mistakes that have been made or learned lessons," she said. Stevens said the creation of the committee is symbolic right now and hopes it shows commitment to these issues. "I think what's really exciting about this new council and mayor is that everybody's talking about addictions, social determinants of health and community well-being," Stevens said.Also during the meeting, city council debated the mandatory written statements that previously had to be provided by people hoping to address the councillors.Councillor Stevens brought forward an amendment and said he has worked with people with intellectual disability who have trouble with the written requirement. People did not have to read their written statement verbatim. The idea passed with only Councillor Shaw opposed. Now people wanting to speak to the council will need to tell city administration in advance and will be encouraged to provide a written submission so the city administration can prepare answers, but the written submission is not a requirement. Both the priorities and planning committee and the finance and administration committee were cut, with their responsibilities transferred to the executive committee. The community and protective services committee and the public works and infrastructure committee also merged into a new operations and community services committee.
Big data is playing a prominent role in life insurance this year.Interest in coverage has surged during the pandemic, but for many people, social distancing mandates took the life insurance medical exam off the table. As consumers look for quick, noninvasive ways to buy policies, insurers have turned to accelerated underwriting, a process that uses algorithms instead of exams to evaluate applicants.While accelerated underwriting isn’t new, more than a third of life insurers have expanded it due to the pandemic, according to a study by the Society of Actuaries. And no-exam life insurance appeals to many people. “They want it to be fast and easy,” says Gina Birchall, chief operating officer for the life insurance trade group LIMRA.Accelerated underwriting can help you get life insurance quickly online, but there are caveats. What you gain in speed, you may lose in flexibility and price.HOW BIG DATA HAS CHANGED LIFE INSURANCETraditionally, buying life insurance was a lengthy process involving bloodwork, urine samples and long waits for approval. “It was probably the hardest or most difficult product to buy left in the modern economy,” says Brooks Tingle, president and CEO of John Hancock Insurance.This changed as the world became steeped in big data. Insurers now typically check your prescription drug history and data from the MIB Group, an information-sharing service for insurers. Companies may also consider non-medical data, such as your credit history, driving record and shopping habits. Algorithms then combine these data points to quickly determine eligibility and cost of coverage.This data can be tricky to dissect, but industry experts expect the trend to grow.“The more information we have, the deeper the data that we have, the more capable we are of making sound decisions,” says Jackie Morales, chief insurance officer for Bestow, an insurer that uses accelerated underwriting.HOW ACCELERATED UNDERWRITING WORKSCompanies typically use accelerated underwriting techniques in two ways:1\. TO FAST-TRACK HEALTHY PEOPLE’S APPLICATIONS. Many major carriers approve low-risk applicants based on big data and then require medical exams for everyone else, says Jeremy Hallett, CEO of Quotacy, a life insurance broker. On average, it takes nine days for an insurer to reach a final decision using accelerated underwriting instead of the traditional 27, according to LIMRA. These policies are considered fully underwritten, even if you don’t take an exam.2\. TO PROVIDE INSTANT ANSWERS. Insurers like Bestow use information from your application and big data algorithms to assess risk, and never require a medical exam. Coverage is not guaranteed, but the application process is fast and you often get an answer within minutes.Accelerated underwriting is not to be confused with “simplified issue” life insurance, which considers the answers on your application but doesn’t tap into big data. These policies typically cost more and offer less coverage than standard policies because they rely on limited information.WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A POLICYWhen you shop for life insurance, be sure to ask how the policy is priced. Both instant-answer and fully underwritten policies have pros and cons, and your specific needs will dictate what is right for you.Before you apply, ask yourself these questions:HOW FAST DO YOU WANT COVERAGE?If speed is paramount, consider instant-answer policies that solely use big data and never require an exam. You will get an answer quickly, although the answer may be no.“What big data is providing people is speed,” says Bestow’s Morales. Nearly 85% of people who apply for a Bestow policy do so on a mobile device, she says.HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT TO PAY?A policy with full medical underwriting is likely to be the cheapest option. If the insurer chooses to use accelerated underwriting to fast-track your application, you are not penalized; your price and product will likely be the same as if you had taken the exam, Hallett says.Instant-answer policies may not offer rates in the cheapest brackets since the insurer doesn’t have the option of a medical exam to get more information. But Morales says, “Some people will trade off that ability to get a fast decision at a reasonable price.”DO YOU WANT FLEXIBILITY?Fully underwritten life insurance may offer more options, such as the ability to convert from term to permanent coverage. This is not always true of policies that rely solely on your application information and big data.“When you at least have that medical exam as a possibility,” Hallett says, “you get a more robust product.”___________________________________This article was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Georgia Rose is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.comRelated Links:NerdWallet: Options for No Medical Exam Life Insurance https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-medical-life-insuranceMIB Group: Request a copy of your report https://www.mib.com/request_your_record.htmlGeorgia Rose Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press
Brown paper packages, white plastic envelopes and large cardboard boxes are spilling beyond the confines of mailrooms and storage rooms at residential buildings throughout the Lower Mainland. With more people turning to online shopping since the beginning of the pandemic, and the year's biggest shopping events clustered within these final weeks of the year, one building manager says the volume of deliveries is presenting new challenges. "Generally most buildings have seen about 100 per cent increase in packages this year alone since the COVID-19 pandemic started," said Matthew Scott, an area manager with FirstService Residential, which manages more than 400 buildings in the Lower Mainland. Some buildings are receiving 70 to 100 packages a day and Scott expects that number will only go up with deliveries from Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas still to come. Scott says front-desk staff in the buildings have learned to be efficient, but processing each package still takes a few minutes. The packages have to be entered into a computer system, which tracks them and notifies residents that their deliveries have arrived. This is done on top of everything else staff have to manage, including approving visitors and overseeing tradespeople."You've got the daily machinations of running a building going on: people looking for trades, people being locked out, people moving, you know, all those other things going on, you need to get these packages out of the way," he said. He says some buildings were receiving so many packages their strata councils decided the concierge would no longer accept parcels, while others put restrictions on the size and weight of packages they will accept.Some higher-end buildings that had the budget decided to hire a dedicated staff person just to handle deliveries."That's all the person does, is receive packages and be prepared to hand them out," said Scott. Canada Post is expecting a significant increase in parcel volumes this holiday season. As a result, it's hiring 4,000 more temporary seasonal employees and adding 1,000 vehicles to its fleet.It's advising people to shop early for their own peace of mind as well as to help retailers, delivery companies, and Canada Post deliver the packages in time. As for how residents can help front-desk staff with the mountain of online shopping packages, Scott advises picking up parcels as soon as possible."Residents can be really helpful with us if they can collect their packages as soon as they get the notification or within 24 hours. You know, that just allows us to free up that space a little bit more."
A Halifax-area bank executive has been awarded more than $765,000 for post-operative advice that ultimately cost him the lower part of his left leg.David Robbins, 59, had what should have been a fairly routine hip replacement surgery on Jan. 26, 2012. The surgery itself went well, but Robbins started experiencing pain days after the procedure when he was back at home and performing the rehabilitation exercises he'd been instructed to do.Robbins tried to reach the doctor who'd performed the surgery, Dr. Michael Gross, but he wasn't available. Instead, Robbins was directed to the on-call orthopedic resident, Dr. Arpun Bajwa.The contents of their phone conversation on Feb. 6, 2012 was the subject of some dispute at the trial, which was conducted in September and October of this year.Robbins described Bajwa as being very abrupt on the phone and acting as though he was interrupting her. He said her advice to him was: "It doesn't sound like anything serious, stay home, do your exercises and everything should be fine".Robbins testified he was relieved when he heard this and didn't feel he had to go to the hospital or follow up with calls to other doctors.Leg needed to be amputatedDr. Bajwa claimed that she told Robbins to call his family doctor or go to a hospital emergency room but he disputed that version of the call. Bajwa said she didn't take notes during her phone conversation but said she had a clear recollection of what was said.Days later, when senior staff questioned her about the Robbins case, Bajwa drafted a letter which began with the line: "This letter is written for my lawyer in the event legal action is pursued against me with respect to patient Robbins, David."Robbins's pain persisted and on Feb. 9, 2012, he called the orthopedic clinic at the hospital. The nurse who returned the call told his wife, Natalie Robbins, to pinch her husband's toes. They were white and the colour did not return to them. The nurse instructed Robbins to bring her husband to the hospital.When Robbins arrived at the hospital, he was referred to a vascular surgeon. It was determined he had developed clots in arteries in both legs.He had surgery the next day, Feb. 10, but it was too late. The condition of his left leg had deteriorated to the point where it was amputated below the knee on Feb. 18, 2012.Robbins 'reliable and credible'Many of the facts in this case are not in dispute. Justice James Chipman had to assess the credibility of the key players."In assessing the witnesses in this case, I found Mr. Robbins to be both reliable and credible," Justice Chipman wrote in his decision.As for Bajwa, the judge focused part of his assessment on the letter she drafted for senior hospital staff when questioned about this case. "I am dubious about her denial that it was, in fact, written 'for my lawyer in the event legal action is pursued against me'", Chipman said. "I would add that I am similarly sceptical that she wrote this letter at a time when she says she cannot recall knowing whether or not Mr. Robbins' left leg had been amputated."Robbins had also named the surgeon, Dr. Michael Gross, as a respondent in his lawsuit. But the judge found Gross was not negligent in his conduct.Robbins's lawyer, Ray Wagner said medical malpractice suits like this one are difficult to win in Nova Scotia."It's a very difficult road to climb, we worked very hard," Wagner said Tuesday. "Our team here worked very hard on this case as did Mr. Robbins and so we're happy to have a positive result."Incident had a 'great impact'After finding the doctor liable, Chipman then had to assess damages.Prior to losing his leg, Robbins was an avid golfer and hiker. The court heard he has had to reduce both activities. While he used to look after his own yard maintenance and snow removal, he has had to hire companies to perform that work for him."It has a great impact on an extremely active individual who enjoyed a lot of outdoors activities, getting out and about, keeping fit and now that has been compromised so this is a recognition of how that has been compromised," Wagner said.Robbins was off work for some time while he recovered from both surgeries and did rehabilitation, but court heard he has been able to resume a full work schedule.The award includes $210,000 for general damages and more than $417,000 for future care. That figure includes the purchase of new and improved prosthetic devices.MORE TOP STORIES
Albertans feeling cooped up by COVID-19, can take solace in some winter sunbathing. A high-pressure system hovering over Western Canada means the forecast across the province for the week ahead is downright balmy. By the weekend, most Alberta communities will hit double-digit highs. And the unseasonably mild temperatures will be accompanied by sunny, cloud-free skies, perfect for working on your tuque tan. A high of 10 C is expected in Edmonton on Sunday. Calgary will be even milder with a high of 17 C expected by Monday afternoon. Even northern communities like Fort McMurray will get a taste with a long-term forecast free of any icy wind chill. "This is almost tropical in a way," said Dave Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada. "It's clearly an atmospheric gift. You don't expect weather like this." The temperatures started to thaw over the weekend, melting mountainous snow banks, turning roads into skating rinks and giving sun-loving Albertans a welcome reprieve from winter temperatures. The province is being temporarily shielded from the cold by a massive flow of pressurized, sinking air, Phillips said. "It's like putting a dome over the Prairies and it doesn't allow any kind of weather to get in. "You're squeezing in all those air molecules; they're jiggling and jaggling and creating all kinds of heat. And this is what makes it so, so unseasonably mild. "And it doesn't matter where you are. It's not just that Edmonton's getting all the good weather. The entire region is getting this gorgeous kind of weather." 'Sweater weather' The temperatures expected are about 10 to 15 degrees warmer than average for this time of year, Phillips said. He said some temperature records could be broken but the most notable thing about this mild stint of weather is its duration. The balmy temperatures are expected to stick around for more than a week. "One- or two-day wonders are usually in the offing, but not a whole week or even longer with wall-to-wall sunshine, no weather to get in the way," Phillips said. "I mean, it's going to be well, not muscle shirts and tank tops, but hey, you'll be changing. "It'll be going to sweater weather rather than leather weather." After a frigid fall marked by the stress of the pandemic, the balmy forecast is likely a welcome weather anomaly. Phillips said temperatures will begin to cool off next week but the current forecast could be a tiding of things to come. "I mean, we've never cancelled winter in Alberta and we're not going to this year, but we certainly think that December looks milder than normal. "And you know, when you can claim that winter is maybe only three months long instead of five months long, you're already ahead of the game."
"Juno" actor comes out as transgender, named Elliot Page; Pennsylvania court questions whether Cosby has a "signature" crime pattern; Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to spend Christmas at Windsor Castle. (Dec. 2)
HAMILTON — Police say a Hamilton man has been arrested and charged after he allegedly hit a child with a pickup truck, critically injuring him. Hamilton police say the 11-year-old boy was crossing the street at a marked crosswalk Tuesday afternoon when he was hit. The driver allegedly hit the boy after failing to stop for a traffic light and a crossing guard. Police say the child was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. The 28-year-old driver will appear in court today on a charge of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Police are still investigating but say they have ruled out driver impairment and other contributing factors. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020. The Canadian Press
Romantic drama "The End of the Affair" premiered in Los Angeles. (Dec. 2)