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Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Canada: New Proposed Regulations are Announced

Canada is refining its approach to money laundering. On July 4, 2015, new proposed amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PC Act) were published in the Canada Gazette. The clock is now ticking as this signals the start of a 60 day consultation period.

 

Norton Rose Fulbright has a comprehensive overview here: CLICK HERE …

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July CIA Interest Rates for Commutation

2015

2.4% 10 Yrs / 3.7%  —  January

1.9% 10 Yrs / 3.3%  —  February

1.9% 10 Yrs / 3.4%  —  March

1.9% 10 Yrs / 3.4%  —  April

2.2% 10 Yrs / 3.6%  —  May

2.2% 10 Yrs / 3.6%  —  June

2.3% 10 Yrs / 3.8%  —  July

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Bill 34 and Bill 57 in Quebec: Amendments to the Supplemental Pension Plans Act

Have you heard about the changes happening in Quebec, where Bill 34 amends the Supplemental Pension Plans Act (SPPA)?

There are significant changes to MEPPS (multi-employer pension plans).

In addition, Bill 57, “an Act to amend the Supplemental Pension Plans Act mainly with respect to the funding of defined benefit pension plans” was introduced just last month, on June 11.

You can find a very good synopsis of the changes at McCarthy Tetreault. CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE …

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Is Berkshire Hathaway Exchanging Nuptials With an Unsuitable Spouse?

Everyone knows that Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway likes to buy quality companies and leave the current management team in place with a totally hands-off approach. He essentially rewards a successful track record.

But what happens when you have more money in the bank than quality companies in which to invest? Maybe then you consider going down market?

Stacey Muirhead has an interesting take on a recent Berkshire partnership …

CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE …

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Top Twelve Disruptive Tech Trends?

It turns out that the future is known and available for all. At least, according to a new book from McKinsey (No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends).

What can you expect in the coming couple of decades?

1) Cheaper energy storage (batteries) which will transform transportation and energy systems.

2) Genomic analysis tools will lead to dramatic health improvements and life extension by 2025.

3) Advanced materials as engineers learn to manipulate things on a molecular level.

4) Autonomous vehicles. Why drive when you can play Go Fish?

5) Renewable energy. The sun will account for more than all other forms of electric power generation combined by 2050.

6) Robots. Well, duh!

7) 3-D printing. Why buy shoes when you can print them?

8) Mobile Internet. Are you reading this on a PC? What’s a PC?

9) Automation of knowledge work. By 2025, computers could do the work of 140 million knowledge workers.

10) Internet of things. Today, 99% of physical objects are not connected to the Internet. Soon, almost everything will be.

11) Cloud. Soon, every new startup will have the same IT backbone and scalability and reach as the largest corporations.

12) Advanced oil and gas recovery. The world carbon market will transform as fracking releases gas from rocks.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE ….

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July 20 Critical Windows Security Flaw Announced

Microsoft announced that a previously unknown security flaw involving fonts (of all things) could let a hacker take over your computer. This issue affects virtually ALL versions of Windows.

If your Windows computer updates automatically, you probably do not need to take action, as an update will be uploaded to your computer (hopefully before a hacker exploits the flaw!).

More information from Microsoft is available here: https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/MS15-078

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Flash! Secret Security Hole Revealed by Source Code Theft

IMPORTANT NOTE: Penad software does not use Adobe Flash Player and is not susceptible to the security problem described below. However, if your computer uses Flash, it IS susceptible. In such a case, a hacker can take control of your computer. If Penad software is running on that computer, then the hacker may be able to access Penad software and data. Because Adobe has NOT yet (as of this article) released a security patch for this newly discovered problem, we recommend that you disable Adobe Flash Player to ensure you are not vulnerable to attack.

News Flash: Adobe Flash Player is NOT SAFE FOR WORK!

A few days ago, a hacker broke into the files of an Italian computer “security firm” and released their internal company emails and the company source code onto the Internet. The targeted company, Hacking Team, has made a business of finding security holes in computing operating systems and exploiting them on behalf of their clients.

Their value proposition is that they will help clients break into and take control of the computers of their targets. Hacking Team clients include the governments of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sudan, Egypt, and the USA.

An analysis of Hacking Team’s source code and email communications has revealed that Hacking Team had identified a previously unknown security hole in Adobe Flash Player. This security hole HAS NOT BEEN FIXED BY ADOBE AS OF THIS WRITING.

Using this security hole, a hacker is able to take control of a target computer running Adobe Flash Player. Hacking Team described this security hole as “the most beautiful Flash bug for the last four years”. Computers running Windows, OS X and Linux are all vulnerable.

Now that Hacking Team’s approach has been released to the Internet, EVERY HACKER ON EARTH is now able to exploit this security hole. Because Adobe has not yet released a fix, your computer is vulnerable if it is running Adobe Flash Player. We therefore recommend that you disable Flash immediately.

Adobe has issued the following statement:
A critical vulnerability (CVE-2015-5119) has been identified in Adobe Flash Player 18.0.0.194 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Successful exploitation could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. Adobe is aware of reports that an exploit targeting this vulnerability has been published publicly. Adobe expects to make updates available on July 8.

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Are You Ready for Windows 10?

Here are some interesting facts about Windows.

— Windows is currently the OS on 1.5 billion PCs.

— 77% of businesses with Windows still run Windows 7 on some or all of their PCs, because Windows 8 and 8.1 were/are so reviled.

— Only 18% of companies deployed Windows 8 or 8.1 on their computers.

— Because of the failure of Windows 8 and 8.1, there is a huge pent-up demand for an upgrade path.

— Windows 10 will be launched on July 29, 2015, and it will be free for people running Windows 7, 8, and 8.1.

— 60% of IT departments have already tested Windows 10, and 73% plan to adopt Windows 10 by 2017.

— Windows 10 will actually have a Start button, just like in Windows 7. Amazing, but the more things change, the more they stay the same.

 

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Are You Aware of the 2015 Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security Benefit Rates?

For those already receiving CPP benefits, their rate will increase by 1.8%. The maximum CPP benefit for new recipients age 65 is now $1,065 per month. The amount you receive is based on your average yearly maximum pensionable earnings for the five years prior to retirement, plus whether or not you took early benefits. Speak with your financial planner to calculate your possible benefit and best retirement age.

The OAS rate for the first quarter of 2015 (January to March) is $563.74 per month.

NOTE: The Old Age Security (OAS) benefit is paid to qualified Canadian citizens regardless of income during their working years. The Canada Pension Plan (CPP, or the Quebec Pension Plan in Quebec) is based on contributions and income during your working years and also offers disability, death, survivor and children’s benefits.

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Acadia University Ditches Stand-Alone Pension Plan

In the end, it was just too much of a struggle for Acadia University to resist the lure of joining the much larger public service pension plan of the province of Nova Scotia.

Plan members voted in late February on the proposed transfer and 88% of the 400 members were in favour. The vote was made possible because of the province’s decision to open the public service pension plan to non-civil service members.

The $140 million Acadia plan was facing difficulties including a 25% funding shortfall and high administration costs. By joining the $5 billion public service plan and changing the benefit structure, Acadia will eliminate the funding shortfall.

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