Home Budget


Statement by Minister Khera on Eid al-Adha


OTTAWA, June 15, 2024

Today, I extend my heartfelt wishes to Muslim communities across Canada and around the world, as they commemorate the conclusion of Hajj and celebrate Eid al-Adha.

This is a time when families and friends gather to pray, share meals and provide for those in need. The values of sacrifice, compassion and charity are exemplified by Muslim communities in Canada every day and serve as an inspiration to us all.

During this blessed occasion, let us also take the opportunity to continue to remember those around us facing hardship and adversity. We know that this year, as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues to unfold, Eid al-Adha comes at a particularly challenging time. Canada reaffirms its call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the safe, unimpeded access to humanitarian relief for Palestinians.

Here at home, we as a government remain steadfast in our commitment to combatting Islamophobia and standing up against hate, discrimination and bigotry in all their forms. That is why in Budget 2024, we put forward $273.6 million for Canada’s first ever Action Plan on Combatting Hate. This important investment includes $1.1 million on an ongoing basis to support the Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia, Amira Elghawaby. Through her work, she is helping ensure that the diverse experiences of Muslim communities are reflected in government policies and programs.

The investments will help build a more inclusive society, so that current and future Muslim generations feel safe in their communities, places of worship and workplaces. We are ensuring Canadians of all faiths can freely and safely practise their religion. Let us continue to embody together the power of unity in diversity and inclusion. As Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities, I wish everyone celebrating Eid al-Adha a very happy Eid Mubarak!

Source link

Class and the Vote: The Conservatives are winning over everyone


With a large lead overall, the Conservative Party has held the largest vote share by age, gender, region and income for some time now. But what about the relationship between federal vote and self-described class? Two weeks ago, I shared some data on perceptions around class in Canada. Today, I dig a bit deeper.

The findings below are from an online survey of n=1,500 gen pop adults in Canada from April 11th to 16th. This survey was paid for by Abacus Data.

Before we get into the data, a quick reminder of the federal polling numbers at the time of this survey (undecideds removed).

  • CPC: 43%
  • LPC: 23%
  • NDP: 18%
  • BQ: 7%
  • Green: 5%

And the majority of Canadians consider themselves middle class (41%). Very few say they are upper middle/upper class.

The main takeaway is that Conservatives lead among all classes. 39% of the lower class would vote Conservative, 47% of the working class, 41% of the middle class and 48% among the upper middle/upper class. Perhaps unsurprising, the NDP does best with those who self-describe as lower class. While the Liberals may do best with the middle class, they don’t fare so well among those working hard to join it.

The Bloc are most popular among the middle class- but far more individuals consider themselves middle class in Quebec, compared to other regions of the country.

Digging deeper, the findings get more interesting. When we look at childhood classes, we see much clearer leads for certain political parties. The Conservatives pick up a notable lead among individuals who say they grew up in the working class (49%), but they are far less popular among those who say they grew up in the lower class (32%).

Those who grew up lower class are much more likely to be voting NDP (33%), than other classes (13% among upper middle/upper).

When it comes to class mobility- the Conservatives lead across the board again. There is also a near perfect relationship between class mobility and Liberal vs NDP voting behaviour. Individuals who’ve experienced negative mobility (moving to a lower class) are more likely to vote NDP, while those who have ascended the class hierarchy become Liberal voters. The Conservatives still lead in both segments by a sizable margin.

The higher the class, the more positive the impression of Justin Trudeau. Impressions for Justin Trudeau are highest among the upper classes, and lowest among the working and lower classes. Trudeau has a net negative impression among all classes.

Among the middle class, the target of the federal budget, impressions are net negative (note: this survey was fielded ahead of the official federal budget release but in the midst of several budget announcements). 

When it comes to impressions of leaders, Pierre Poilievre performs best across the board. For Poilievre, impressions are highest among the working class and upper classes.

The only class where Poilievre does not lead on impressions is the lower class. The lower class feels most positive about Jagmeet Singh. And it is one of the only classes where Singh has a positive impression. For Singh, impressions are most positive among the lower and middle classes, and lowest among the working and upper classes.


While self-described class is about income, wealth, and financial stability it is also about identity. Looking at vote and leader impressions it appears as though Pierre Poilievre and the Conservative Party have done best at representing the values and ideals for a number of classes. The Liberal Party has done best with upper classes and the NDP with lower classes.

In 2015, Trudeau and the Liberals successfully spoke to Canadians in the middle class and those aspiring to join it. Today they are only able to capture a quarter of those votes, and they struggle with those who feel they are falling behind. The Conservatives and Pierre Poilievre are now the party of the middle class and class mobility.

Winning the next election will mean connecting with the two biggest classes- the working class and the middle class. We have already seen many signals from all parties looking to show they identify or at least represent these groups, and we will continue to watch to see which party can do it best as we get closer to an election.


The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadian adults from April 11 to 16, 2024. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

This survey was paid for by Abacus Data Inc.

Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here:  https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/


We are Canada’s most sought-after, influential, and impactful polling and market research firm. We are hired by many of North America’s most respected and influential brands and organizations.

We use the latest technology, sound science, and deep experience to generate top-flight research-based advice to our clients. We offer global research capacity with a strong focus on customer service, attention to detail, and exceptional value.

And we are growing throughout all parts of Canada and the United States and have capacity for new clients who want high quality research insights with enlightened hospitality.

Our record speaks for itself: we were one of the most accurate pollsters conducting research during the 2021 Canadian election following up on our outstanding record in the 2019, 2015, and 2011 federal elections.

Contact us with any questions.

Find out more about how we can help your organization by downloading our corporate profile and service offering.

Source link

Se familiariser avec le système bancaire canadien


Le CDÉTNO organise une session d’information sur la littératie financière pour les nouveaux arrivants afin de permettre à ces derniers de découvrir et comprendre les outils permettant de bien naviguer dans le système financier canadien. La séance animée par le cabinet de conseil AddValorem lorem abordera les notions de base telles que le budget, la banque, le crédit, l’épargne, les impôts.

Source link

Clinical Care Manager –Nursing Administration–Whitehorse General Hospital (#CLINI0014320)


Requisition # CLINI001432 (Management/Excluded Group)
Regular Full Time – (1.0 FTE)
This position has a yearly salary range of $120,166.00 to $150,207.00

APPLY: https://recruiting.ultipro.ca/YUK5001YUHC/JobBoard/7ed94cc1-3925-495d-a225-c5d6b7c3ad3e/OpportunityDetail?opportunityId=27765fc9-f51b-412c-90ac-78cb8583e40d

Are you looking to be part of an exceptional and passionate health care team in one of Canada’s most spectacular natural environments with vast and stunning wilderness at your doorstep?

Yukon Hospitals strives to cultivate an environment of passionate and engaged people with a culture that values growth, work/life balance, and wellness in helping all our people reach optimal ability. Our organization is an integrated system of hospitals: Whitehorse General Hospital (58 beds), Watson Lake Community Hospital (6 beds) and Dawson City Community Hospital (6 beds).

Reporting to the Director Nursing, Whitehorse General Hospital, the incumbent has the responsibility, authority and accountability for the clinical, financial and personnel management of the patient care unit on a 24 hour basis.

Knowledge and Skills Required:

  • Good knowledge of management methods, techniques and solid management skills including ability to develop and manage a budget and human resources;
  • Knowledge of established practice and procedures of professional nursing care;
  • Knowledge of trends and developments in the nursing field;
  • Knowledge and ability to enhance continuum of care;
  • Knowledge of other health care disciplines and their role in patient care;
  • Knowledge of conflict resolutions skills and techniques;
  • Ability to be effective in planning, implementing and evaluating change;
  • Ability to develop and implement nursing care plans;
  • Ability to maintain records and prepare comprehensive and concise reports and correspondence;
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing;
  • Strong analytical and organization skills;
  • Strong computer skills/proficiency;
  • Strong human resource and interpersonal skills with the ability to organize, coach, mentor and evaluate staff in varied roles
  • Ability to set priorities and to show good judgment;
  • Self- motivated and willingness towards continued learning;
  • Cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity.

The successful candidate will have a Diploma or Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing with a minimum of three (3) to five (5) years of nursing experience related to the assigned department/unit. Candidates must hold a valid Yukon Registered Nurses Association license and have current CPR. Preference will be given to candidates with three (3) to five (5) years of management experience in Surgical Services/ OR, with other management experiences being considered.  Advanced Cardiac Lift Support (ACLS), Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), experience in Mental Health nursing, additional education in nursing management, financial management, staff development, Post graduate certification in specialty areas, Masters in Nursing or Leadership and MediTech experience would be desired.

TO APPLY: Visit our website and apply

For more information, contact recruitment at 867-393-8675/9000 ext 8347

Visit whitehorse.ca and yukon.ca for more information on Whitehorse and living in the Yukon!

Indigenous Workforce Initiative – We are committed to having a workforce that reflects the community we serve.  When you apply for a job, you can choose to identify as Indigenous in your application.  Please do so in whatever manner you feel accurately reflects who you are.   Yukon Hospitals’ Indigenous Engagement Advisor will then contact you to offer support with your application, share information about training or mentorships, and answer any questions you may have.  All self-identification information will remain confidential. You can get support before or after applying for a job by contacting IWI@yukonhospitals.ca or calling 867-332-7203.

Yukon Hospital Corporation is committed to employment equity.  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply, however, only those candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted. Unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to consider resumes from International applicants. Candidates must be legally entitled to work in Canada in order to apply, i.e. have Landed Immigrant Status, Work Visa, or be a Canadian Citizen.

The post Clinical Care Manager –Nursing Administration–Whitehorse General Hospital (#CLINI0014320) appeared first on HealthCareCAN.

Source link

What do Canadians believe is slowing down the construction of new housing?


Between April 25 and 29 2024, Abacus Data conducted a nationwide survey involving 1,500 Canadians (18+) to assess their perceptions of the housing situation in Canada. The survey explored the perceptions of homeownership, key factors affecting housing affordability, barriers to accelerating construction, and the role and impact of government actions.  

The housing landscape in Canada is facing significant challenges, and the current research shows that many Canadians continue to express deep concerns about the attainability and affordability of homeownership. These findings underscore the need for coordinated actions and solutions to instill confidence in the housing market and ensure that homeownership becomes an achievable aspiration for all Canadians.

Perceptions of Homeownership in Canada Today

The current research reveals a negative outlook on Canadians’ perceptions of homeownership today. Specifically, 64% believe homeownership in Canada represents risk and financial strain, especially among non-homeowners (70%). Additionally, 89% of Canadians view housing as unaffordable for most, highlighting the widespread feeling of being priced out of the market. This suggests that many Canadians have lost confidence in the attainability of homeownership.

Furthermore, 81% believe the dream of homeownership is dead and unattainable for most, particularly among renters (85%). These findings underscore the urgent need for action to revive the dream of homeownership and make it attainable for all Canadians, as the dream of homeownership in Canada is currently at risk.

Factors to Consider Regarding Housing Affordability and Perceived Barriers to Speeding Up Construction

With many Canadians losing confidence in the attainability of homeownership, it is important to understand the factors people think are important when considering housing affordability. Among the most important factors to consider with respect to housing affordability, 39% of Canadians cite builders and developers prioritizing profit, while 38% point to increased immigration. Beyond these primary concerns, Canadians also recognize other critical factor that have an impact on construction costs. These include the availability and cost of land (37%), a shortage of skilled trade workers (28%), borrowing costs for builders (27%), provincial regulations (23%), and municipal bylaws (21%). Thus, while many Canadians believe builder and developer profit motives are a significant issue, they also acknowledge the various other factors affect housing costs and the ability to offer affordable housing.

To expedite the construction of new homes and alleviate the housing crisis, it is crucial to understand the perceived barriers. Nearly two-thirds of Canadians (63%) believe high construction costs are the biggest obstacle. Additionally, 46% cite lengthy approval processes and red tape, 41% point to a shortage of skilled labor in the construction industry, and 32% highlight zoning restrictions. These barriers impede the speed of construction and must be addressed to effectively tackle the housing crisis and make affordable housing a reality.

Role and Impact of Government

Degree to which government is doing enough to address housing affordability

Only 1 in 4 Canadians believe the federal government is doing enough to address housing affordability, marking a 10-point improvement since September 2023. Those planning to vote Liberal in the next election are significantly more likely to believe the government is addressing housing affordability (49%) compared to those intending to vote Conservative (11%). Additionally, 26% of Canadians believe their provincial government is doing enough (+12 points since September 2023), and 20% feel their municipal government is taking adequate action (+6 points since September 2023). Despite these improvements, over half of Canadians still believe that all levels of government are not doing enough to address housing issues.

Level of Importance Placed on Making Housing More Affordable

Most Canadians do not believe government, at all levels, are prioritizing housing adequately. Specifically, 63% feel the federal government, 65% their provincial government, and 69% their municipal governments are not giving sufficient importance to housing affordability today. At the federal level, those planning to vote Conservative in the next election are significantly more likely to perceive the government as neglecting housing affordability (71%) compared to Liberal voters (36%). These perceptions highlight a widespread sentiment that housing affordability is not receiving the necessary attention, underscoring the urgent need for more effective government action across all levels.

Degree to Which Governments are Working Together

Amidst the prevailing sentiment that all levels of government are falling short in addressing housing affordability and prioritizing its importance, 3 in 5 Canadians (60%) express skepticism about the effective collaboration between provincial and federal governments to tackle the housing crisis, with merely 15% perceiving effective collaboration. Among those doubting this collaboration, 71% intend to vote for the Conservative party in the upcoming election, compared to 44% who plan to vote for the Liberal party. These findings underscore a significant lack of confidence in government cooperation, adding complexity to efforts aimed at addressing the housing crisis and restoring belief in the feasibility of affordable homeownership for Canadians.

The Upshot

Over the past year, Canada’s housing crisis has reached critical levels, prompting widespread attention from politicians nationwide. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has taken significant strides towards addressing housing accessibility and affordability, notably through measures outlined in the 2024 Federal Budget. However, despite these efforts and some signs of a shift in sentiment, there remains a prevailing sense of dissatisfaction among Canadians regarding the government’s response. Many believe that the federal government is failing to adequately address housing affordability, prioritize it effectively, and collaborate efficiently with provincial counterparts on this issue. Consequently, pessimism persists among Canadians regarding the future of housing accessibility and affordability in the country, with a strong belief that the dream of homeownership in Canada is dead and unattainable.

This pessimistic sentiment surrounding the state of housing in Canada adds an intriguing dimension to the current political landscape. While Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government strive to demonstrate their commitment to addressing housing concerns, Pierre Poilievre has actively championed housing affordability as a central focus of his political agenda, consistently emphasizing this message. As the discourse on housing continues, navigating these differing approaches will be crucial in addressing the pressing needs of Canadians and shaping the future trajectory of the housing market.


The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadian adults from April 25 and 29 2024. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region.

This survey was paid for by Abacus Data Inc.

Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here: https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/


We are Canada’s most sought-after, influential, and impactful polling and market research firm. We are hired by many of North America’s most respected and influential brands and organizations.

We use the latest technology, sound science, and deep experience to generate top-flight research-based advice to our clients. We offer global research capacity with a strong focus on customer service, attention to detail, and exceptional value.

And we are growing throughout all parts of Canada and the United States and have capacity for new clients who want high quality research insights with enlightened hospitality.

Our record speaks for itself: we were one of the most accurate pollsters conducting research during the 2021 Canadian election following up on our outstanding record in the 2019, 2015, and 2011 federal elections.

Contact us with any questions.

Find out more about how we can help your organization by downloading our corporate profile and service offering.

Source link

ISED renews support to Mitacs through Strategic Science Fund


Ottawa, ON — Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) released an update on its Strategic Science Fund (SSF) this week, acknowledging Mitacs as one of the successful applicants that will receive funding through the program.

The SSF award from the Government of Canada is an important acknowledgment of Mitacs and the organization’s role in Canadian economic development. The announcement reconfirms Mitacs’s ability to act as a powerful ecosystem connector, mobilizing research and developing talent to drive innovation.

Mitacs was part of a vital group of innovation organizations asked to participate by submitting an application to the SSF in 2022, and this recognition from ISED also highlights the longstanding partnership with the Ministry. Mitacs was proud to receive support from ISED in Budget 2021 and to be named as part of the National Quantum Strategy in January 2023.

Mitacs is joined by other 23 members of the innovation community — including AGE-WELL NCE, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Genome Canada, Kids Brain Health Network, and Stem Cell Network — in receiving this important acknowledgement and support from SSF.


John Hepburn, CEO, Mitacs

“Through this show of confidence from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Mitacs will be able to continue our important work, connecting research, talent, and industry to solve innovation challenges and drive economic growth. Support from the Strategic Science Fund will also allow us to continue making innovation accessible — recognizing talent in underrepresented communities and removing systemic barriers that prevent these groups from taking an active role in innovation.”

About Mitacs

Mitacs works to bring innovation to more people in more places across Canada and around the world. Mitacs makes investing in new knowledge easier through access to top researchers, flexible project plans, and co-investments in talent.

A not-for-profit organization, Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, Innovation PEI, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Yukon.

Learn more at mitacs.ca


Source link

Advancing Concrete Quality in the Industry With SmartRock®


In the construction industry, precision and efficiency are paramount, and SmartRock® sensors emerge as a pivotal innovation for industry professionals. Designed to provide real-time, actionable data on concrete strength, these wireless sensors are changing how construction sites operate. They directly impact various roles and address the core concerns of owners and developers in search of concrete quality.

Understanding SmartRock Sensors

SmartRock sensors are revolutionizing the construction industry with their wireless capabilities and robust data collection. These sensors are embedded in the concrete and monitor strength and temperature in real time. The data is directly transmitted to the cloud accessible by the SmartRock app or Giatec 360™. This approach to measuring concrete maturity eliminates the guesswork, allowing for accurate and timely decisions.

The Diverse Roles in Construction Management

Construction projects are complex, with multiple professionals working towards a common goal. Field Operations Personnel, Superintendents, Operations Managers, and Concrete Quality Control officers have distinct responsibilities requiring precise and reliable information.

Tailored Benefits for Each Role

Field Operations

The agility of SmartRock sensors transforms the landscape for field operations. With data sync capabilities to mobile devices, field personnel can access concrete strength metrics instantaneously. This enables swift decision-making that aligns with the real-time status of the concrete’s curing process. Field teams can dynamically adapt their schedules, minimize downtime, and move personnel and resources by integrating data with mobile project management apps. This ensures project milestones are met with greater accuracy and efficiency.


Superintendents have the monumental responsibility of ensuring that construction proceeds without compromising structural integrity or safety. The real-time data from SmartRock sensors act as their eyes within the concrete, providing instant alerts if conditions deviate from optimal curing parameters. Moreover, the continuous flow of data enhances the superintendent’s ability to coordinate between different trades and activities on-site, ensuring that each stage of construction is ready to proceed as soon as the concrete reaches the required strength.

Operations Managers

For Operations Managers, the integration of SmartRock sensor data into comprehensive project management platforms is a strategic boon. It not only facilitates a more robust approach to risk management but also enhances the ability to make informed decisions about labor and material costs. With detailed analytics at their fingertips, managers can project more accurate timelines, budget allocations, and resource needs, which helps in maintaining the project’s profitability and adherence to contractual obligations.

Concrete Quality Control

Quality Control professionals are the gatekeepers of construction standards. The precision offered by SmartRock sensors gives them unparalleled control over the verification of concrete maturity. This leads to a reduction in the reliance on error-prone manual testing methods and provides a solid basis for certifying that structural components meet the required strength thresholds before proceeding to the next phase of construction, which is crucial in high-stakes projects where safety and compliance are non-negotiable.

Meeting Owner’s Demands

By leveraging SmartRock sensors, construction teams not only optimize their workflows but also align the outcomes with the expectations of discerning owners. Owners today demand not just structural soundness but also accountability and predictability in the construction process. Projects utilizing SmartRock technology deliver on these counts by ensuring that the finished structure is resilient, within budget, and completed on schedule, thereby bolstering owner confidence, and paving the way for future collaborations.

Overcoming the Pain Points With SmartRock

Uncertainty in concrete curing has historically led to conservative estimates and overdesign, resulting in inflated costs and extended timelines. SmartRock sensors dispel these uncertainties by providing accurate, real-time data on concrete strength. This precision allows for the optimization of material use, leading to cost-effective and timely project completion.

SmartRock Sensor 600x449SmartRock Sensor 600x449
Copyright of Giatec Scientific Inc.

Technological Advances in Managing Concrete

The SmartRock represents the zenith of technological innovation in concrete management, merging data collection with advanced analytics. Giatec 360 not only documents the curing process but also offers a Thermal Modeling feature that allows to predict future curing scenarios based on ambient conditions, concrete mix design, and pour variables. The ability to forecast concrete behavior allows to keep concrete quality standards to par and plan for upcoming anomalies.

As the construction industry continues to evolve, SmartRock sensors stand as a testament to the power of technology. They enhance the efficiency, safety, and quality of construction projects. They allow industry professionals to meet the intricate demands of modern construction, and ensure that projects are completed to the highest standards, on time, and within budget.

Source link

Addressing Non-Financial Misconduct, Insider Trading & #FCA’s Strategy



1. In continuation of previous events, the FCA has issued surveys to over 180 banks and broker dealers asking for details of any non-financial misconduct and resulting follow-up or disciplinary action

2. The FCA explained that it is using these requests to gain a “clearer understanding of when and where non-financial misconduct occurs”

3. The regulator took action against Mohammed Zina for fraud and insider dealing, and has 17 additional insider dealing cases in progress

4. In an effort to increase transparency, the FCA will “name and shame” any firms it is investigating, which will “amplify the deterrent impact of the FCA’s work”

5. To avoid being “named and shamed,” firms should consider how they will apply budget to internal processes

This Regulatory Wrap is brought to you by Global Relay’s Director of Regulatory Intelligence, Rob Mason.

Source link

“Make sure nobody is left behind”


Why transit is a key element in creating a fair and equitable society.

When Jennifer Pennell-Ajie set out to help fix Fort Erie, Ont.’s struggling bus system in 2019, she instantly found herself up against a number of formidable obstacles. At the time, the town’s transit network was in undeniable free fall — ridership was down, costs were up — and, though nobody could predict it, the pandemic would soon make the situation much worse. Even the local geography was an impediment. Unlike other municipalities with distinct city centres, Fort Erie is made up of multiple pockets of urban density connected by rural areas. Designing efficient, extensive transit for the town had always been tricky, and the low-income residents who needed it most — seniors, students, recent immigrants — suffered its inadequacies the most.

Prior to tackling the town’s transportation woes, Pennell-Ajie had spent a dozen years working in social services, helping teens in foster care and newcomers looking for jobs. She understood, keenly, that if Fort Erie’s transit was going to work, it needed to work for everybody. “We needed to rethink transit,” she says “and figure out how we service our community better.”

That rethink went in an unexpected direction. With Pennell-Ajie leading the effort, the Town of Fort Erie began researching alternatives to its existing bus system. By early 2021, the decision was made to replace the conventional, fixed-route approach with a dedicated fleet of on-demand minivans. Ten months later, Fort Erie residents could effectively enjoy door-to-door service — all on a smaller municipal budget and with a much smaller carbon footprint. According to a study done by the U.S.’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the cost per ride decreased by 29 percent, and GHG emissions per ride were cut by 63 percent. Ridership also boomed: In 2019, there were 40,000 rides logged on the bus network; by the end of 2023, that number had more than doubled.

This transit miracle was made possible by a Toronto firm called Pantonium. Founded in 2011 by engineer Remi Desa and technology entrepreneur Khun Yee Fung, Pantonium builds software that optimizes a community’s vehicle fleet to meet rider demand in real time. While the proprietary algorithm behind the software is complex, its principle is simple: Through the company’s app or via a regular telephone, riders schedule a trip, indicating their desired pickup and drop-off times. The software uses map data and calculates the routes in real time to find the most efficient route possible. On-demand transit isn’t exactly a taxi, limo or ride-hailing service; depending on location, some riders can be picked up at their own doors, but just as often, they will need to walk to a nearby stop or a central hub. Those hubs are considered stops and can also have fixed pick-up times so people are able to board buses even if they didn’t book in advance. Riders also still share vehicles with other passengers. But ultimately, for customers, it means more convenience. For transit operators, it means running a more cost-effective, efficient fleet — vehicles no longer run without passengers, wasting fuel and weathering wear-and-tear for no reason. For both parties, it means a more sustainable, lower-pollution transportation option.

For all of its limitations, mass transit still works well enough in most Canadian big cities. For smaller ones, however, it’s almost impossible to get anywhere on a public bus in a timely or straightforward way. Those municipalities, of course, have been designed for cars and trucks, operating on the assumption that anyone who can drive will drive. Poor transit systems (and inadequate public investment in those systems) only compound that car dependency. But if we’re going to cut carbon emissions, we need to encourage the expansion and greater use of public transit. One 2020 report found that single-occupancy vehicles account for 23 percent of all GHG emissions worldwide, so reducing the number of individual cars on the roads can make a big impact. The best, and most obvious, way to encourage that is to make transit better.

Pantonium’s first attempt to do this was in Belleville, Ont. in 2018. The city adopted the company’s technology, replacing its single late-night route with an on-demand service that covered the entire city, so that people could access any stop on one bus without having to transfer. The pilot was startlingly successful: Ridership increased by 300 per cent, with the same number of vehicles able to cover 70 percent more stops. Belleville expanded the program, commissioning more vehicles to handle the increased rider demand. As the service got busier, Pantonium worked with the city to create a flexible hybrid network. Other towns and cities followed suit, with the company’s transit platform now deployed in dozens of North American municipalities.

Pantonium’s founders have justifiably touted the environmental benefits and cost savings that result from implementing its system. But there has been less discussion about the role this tech can play in improving equity. Simply put, access to high-quality, affordable, safe transportation must be a priority for a fair and equitable society, says Ignacio Tiznado Aitken, a postdoctoral fellow and acting director of Mobilizing Justice, a research coalition at the University of Toronto that is working to address transportation inequities. “The main reason you provide transportation is that it allows people to participate in society,” he says. People need a way to get to their jobs, school, doctor’s appointments and other facilities. If residents can’t afford a private vehicle, or are unable to drive, they must rely on a public transit system to access those things.

Pantonium can help by creating a more nimble bus network, which can service a larger area. While the technology can be used in big cities to make up for service and geographic gaps in existing infrastructure, it’s proven most effective in smaller areas with low population density and little public transit. It can extend existing networks, which was the case in Belleville, or, as in Fort Erie, it may replace that network altogether. “For rural and suburban areas, or even small cities, this is probably the future,” Aitken says.

That may be true, but arriving at that future is taking longer than Aitken or Desa would like. Many cash-strapped municipalities are wary of adopting new technological solutions, and are dependent on federal or provincial grants to fund innovative projects. A major factor in effective procurement, however, is soliciting comprehensive input from residents. “When planning and designing new interventions like on-demand transit,” Aitken says, “it’s so important to consult equity-deserving groups and see what they really need.”

It also helps to have a forward-thinking champion like Pennell-Ajie. She argues that, in the past, transit reflected the whims of the transit provider and the demographic running it. “It catered to men,” she says. “It catered to corporations. It catered to typical commuter-type things. It didn’t cater to women and children, it didn’t cater to the immigrant population, it didn’t cater to the service industry.” This was most apparent to Pennell-Ajie when the pandemic struck — when transit was suddenly cut, frontline workers who were obligated to show up in person suffered the most.

It was precisely these groups for whom their new on-demand system was designed. Every minivan has a bike rack, and passengers can strap in a car seat if needed. Two of the fleet’s nine vehicles are wheelchair-accessible. And the Pantonium app or website can be used to schedule rides, but Pennell-Ajie knew that many riders might not be comfortable with the tech. To accommodate their needs, a dedicated phone number for booking was established. (There’s also a free phone for riders at Walmart, the most popular destination in town.)

When people used the new system, Pennell-Ajie was delighted. But she was even more thrilled to see which people were taking transit. Students who work summers at the local zoo can now get there much more easily. Other students can now select co-op placements that require them to travel further afield. There are more and more seniors on board. A foster mom who was previously stuck with ferrying her teenage children all over town to activities can now just put them on different buses. And, while the bulk of riders are still from low-income demographics, middle-class residents are increasingly using the service — families eager to drive less or take transit if they want to have a drink at dinner.

While Pennell-Ajie cautions that no technological solution is a “one-size-fits-all” fix, she’s convinced that transportation equity is the one framework that will help build better systems. “That’s how we need to think of transit moving forward in our world,” she says. “Make sure nobody is left behind.”

Pantonium is one of eight companies in Mission from MaRS: Public Procurement, a special initiative that’s working to make it easier for communities to adopt climate solutions.

Photo illustration: Monica Guan; Photo: Unsplash

Source link

JPMorgan Chase hit with almost $350 million in fines for gaps in trade surveillance data


It has been just over six months since the last substantial regulatory action sent shockwaves through the financial space, so the recent news of a near $350 million fine levied against JPMorgan Chase (JPMC) by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve Board may feel like history repeating for those in the industry.

But whereas the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s $289 million action was taken against 11 Wall Street firms for recordkeeping failures around off-channel communications, the OCC and Federal Reserve Board’s fine was levied solely against JPMC – and for something that might prove to be the next area of regulatory focus.

“Unsafe and unsound”

The joint actions, with the OCC fining JPMC $250 million and the Federal Reserve Board imposing a $98.2 million penalty, were taken against JPMC due to “deficiencies in its trade surveillance program”:

“The OCC found that JPMC operated with gaps in trading venue coverage and without adequate data controls required to maintain an effective trade surveillance program.”

The Federal Reserve Board’s summary also adds that JPMC “operated without adequate oversight and reconciliation processes to achieve effective and comprehensive trade surveillance” and failed to “monitor firm and client trading activities for market misconduct”.

The regulators found, that since at least 2019 (and possibly as far back as 2014), JPMC:

 “Operated with gaps in trading venue coverage and without adequate data controls required to maintain an effective trade surveillance program.”

Trading venues are digital platforms that “bring together multiple third-party buying or selling interests in financial instruments to perform a transaction”. By failing to establish effective processes and surveillance workflows, JPMC:

“Failed to surveil billions of instances of trading activity on at least 30 global trading venues.”

The OCC ruling summarized that the regulator “expects banks to perform trade surveillance to monitor the market conduct of its traders”, which JPMC was unable to evidence due to the huge volume of missing trade data. The OCC stated that these gaps in the surveillance program constitute “unsafe or unsound banking practices”.

Cut to the (JPMorgan) chase

Both regulators, as part of their case summaries, highlighted that the bank had self-identified the issue, which was confirmed by JPMC:

“A bank spokesperson said the firm self-identified the issue and is working to address the matter, and does not expect any disruption of existing client services. In addition, there was no evidence of employee misconduct or harm to clients or the broader market.”

Interestingly, self-reporting issues can sometimes lead to regulators reducing a fine (or not fining a firm at all) for non-compliance, urging that organizations take a “self-report, cooperate, and remediate” approach to regulatory relations. In this instance, however, it appears that JPMC’s proactivity might not mitigate all of these outcomes, perhaps due to the timescale and severity of the surveillance issue:

“JPMorgan disclosed in February that it expected to pay roughly $350 million in civil penalties for reporting incomplete trading data to surveillance platforms. It said at the time it was also in “advanced negotiations” with a third unnamed regulator that may not result in resolution.”

There may be more to come on this case should this “third unnamed regulator” follow the OCC and Federal Reserve Board’s examples and act against JPMC. Time will tell.

Making amends

Both the OCC and Federal Reserve Board rulings set out in no uncertain terms what actions JPMC need to take in the wake of this case – some of which are already in progress at the bank. JPMC must:

  • Take corrective actions to address the deficiencies in its trade surveillance program.
  • The firm is also required to provide a written report documenting the affected trading venue and activities, the volume of non-surveilled activity, and any related incidents of market misconduct
  • Seek the approval of both regulators before onboarding new trading venues, with JPMC being unable to onboard new trading venues without prior written non-objection
  • Obtain an independent third party to conduct a trade surveillance program assessment, including a written report of findings and recommendations from the review of surveillance policies and procedures

It’s little surprise that JPMC has chosen to ‘play ball’ with the regulators over this case and take proactive measures to correct the deficiencies in its compliance posture. In 2021, the firm was hit with a $200 million fine as part of the wider crackdown on off-channel communications, and fined a further $4 million in 2023 for the accidental deletion of 47 million electronic communications records – meaning the firm knows how the regulatory game is played.

Failure to communicate

While the issue in this case is around JPMC’s failure to capture and account for trading data due to insufficient surveillance practices and policies, it does echo the previous SEC crackdown on off-channel communications because the problem is missing data, and what that data can’t tell regulators.

The overlap between JPMC’s surveillance failures and the recordkeeping issues of other rulings is that, if a regulator were to request this data as part of an investigation, the firm wouldn’t be able to provide it – meaning it cannot be used to prove or disprove whether there were any instances of non-compliant activity. The SEC’s summary of JP Morgan’s previous email deletion case summarizes:

“Because the deleted records are unrecoverable, it is unknown – and unknowable – how the lost records may have affected the regulatory investigations.”

Each trading venue also includes communications functionality so that traders can discuss details and positions via the platform. This means that, where JPMC is missing “billions of instances of trading activity on at least 30 global trading venues”, it is also missing substantial quantities of communications data related to these trades – putting this in the same ballpark as other regulatory actions against communications recordkeeping failures.

Failure to communicate

A fine of this size inevitably leads to those across the industry sitting up and taking notice. Firms across the industry will taking steps to ensure they learn from this cautionary tale. So, how can you put these learnings into practice and strengthen your trade surveillance – and wider compliance – posture?

  • Refresh and review your oversight processes to make sure you have a complete picture of your trades, trading communications, and the data you capture. This can include making sure you have the right capture and connectivity solutions for trade data and for any bespoke communications channels around trades
  • Review your available surveillance and compliance budget and use this case as a ‘lever’ to open discussions about allocating more where it’s needed, even if budget has been consolidated overall
  • Consider your overall surveillance strategy – is your current solution optimized to spot the tell-tale signs of market abuse, rogue trading, and non-financial misconduct? 
  • Scrutinize any proposed new trading venues and consider whether they present a problem for compliant data capture – regulators aren’t insisting that all firms get the go-ahead on new trading venues before they’re implemented, but due diligence is vital
  • Review your end-to-end data lifecycle – your surveillance function is only as good as the data fed into it, whether it’s trading or communications data, so ensure upstream data providers are providing complete data (and that complete data is being captured and archived) is a must

Source link