Category Archives: National

Loblaw resets passwords for all PC Plus accounts to stop counterfeit points scam

 Disgruntled  Ex-employees hacked into the PC Plus program and increased member’s points by millions. Loblaw reset all passwords to stop access to the points until they could resolve the problem.

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Hackers added millions of counterfeit PC points to member’s accounts. If redeemed it would have cost the grocery chain $100s of millions.

Quick thinking at Loblaw may have saved the company millions of dollars. After it was discovered that hackers had added hundreds of millions  in counterfeit PC points to member accounts they reset all of the passwords on the system to buy time to remove the fake points before they are redeemed.

Find the poorly trained staff who would redeem the points without noticing.

It seems that ex-employees had hacked the system and added the points – both to redeem themselves with fake cards – and to cost the company millions in redemptions.  It is not clear how many points were redeemed so far. The hackers had targeted one of Loblaw’s  hiring periods where they over-hire part-time staff and provide little training. This helps weed out new hires without experience proper training.

Knowing this practice, the hackers understood it would be weeks before their unusually  large redemptions would be noticed – they just had to find the poorly trained staff who would redeem the points without noticing.


Recent issues with Canadian Rewards Programs:

  • Tim Hortons increased the prizes for Roll up the Rim to Win and missed their profit objectives Read More>
  • Air Miles changed the terms of their expiry policy Read More>

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An adjustable pricing program designed to gouge customers was canceled abruptly when people caught on. The employees on the project were also fired and it is believed they are behind the hack. If they had no problem gouging customers why not the company?

Insiders say the problem goes back to a pricing program they were developing and testing in Provigo and Loblaw stores in 2015/16.  Company analysts were using their customer’s shopping data from their PC Card to develop variable pricing programs designed to charge customers the highest price possible.

Shoppers noticed the checkout price was higher than what they saw on the shelf

In the dairy department for example, they knew that stay at home women are generally more price conscious with milk men or working women. So they would adjust prices up or down depending which of these groups was shopping.  Catching men who were picking up milk on the way home from work was a prime target. They didn’t worry about the price – they just wanted to make a quick purchase and leave.

The problem with the program is that when they put the price up price sensitive shoppers noticed the price at the checkout was more than the shelf price. They started to realize that the price was being changed throughout the day and complained.  This caused executives to immediately drop the program and the staff was fired.

We will have to wait and see:

  • Will the hackers be caught and charged with an offense?
  • How many of the counterfeit points were redeemed?
  • Will members who redeemed their PC Plus points have to pay them back?
  • Did Loblaw have time to remove the extra points?

We would be interested to hear from PC Plus members – do you have a story to share?

 

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The reason why so many $60 Million Lotto Max and 649 Jackpots are won in Quebec

The reason for the jackpot wins- a new tax break has led to record setting ticket sales.

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In the first 6 weeks of 2017 Quebec residents have claimed more lottery Jackpot wins than the rest of Canada put together. This includes 2 $60 Million Lotto Max jackpots a $25 Million 649 Jackpot plus numerous other wins.

For years Quebec calculated it’s Quebec Sales Tax (QST) including the amount of GST – basically charging residents tax on the tax they were paying.

The Federal government withheld transfer payments until the government stopped the practice. It meant $ millions in lost revenue for the province. Not they have implemented a way to recoup the losses through a lottery ticket program.

Customers who purchase lottery tickets don’t pay the sales tax

Beginning in 2017 anyone in Quebec who made a purchase of more than $50 at retail could be exempt from paying the provincial sales tax of 9.975% if they purchased $5 worth of lottery tickets. It is basically playing the lotteries for free.

The province has calculated that the lost tax will be more than offset by the increased lottery sales. The government already collects most of the revenue from lottery sales. The also  economic boost when the winners

The big part which has paid off quicker than expected, is winning the jackpots. This money – much of it financed by lotto sales outside Quebec (like a transfer payment) is spent, invested and taxed in the province. The trickle down effect of a few hundred million dollars has a huge effect on the economy and makes this program payoff.

The key is winning Jackpots that come from tickets sold across Canada.

This radical program was implemented quietly by the Quebec Government allowing residents a chance to get hooked on it before it could be opposed. Word was spread quickly by retailers who make more money selling lottery tickets than they do collecting tax. The only problem is that retailers who do not have lottery sales are victims of tax discrimination. The government officials had not thought of this problem but will launch an app where customers can purchase their tickets online for this program.

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Having multiple $60Million Lotto Max winners has led to an increase in inter-provincial shopping that the government planners had not expected.

If you are looking for a similar program in you province it isn’t likely to happen. Many provinces have implemented HST taxes which integrate the calculation provincial taxes and GST. This would make a program like this to complicated.

Other Provinces also have a much lower tax rate than Quebec so the numbers wouldn’t work. (See the tax rates in your province)   The key financial point is in winning the Jackpots that come from tickets sold across Canada. If all the provinces hads a chance at winning it wouldn’t work as well.

For once the highly taxed Quebec residents are getting a break.


More Quebec Stories

Quebec Government Selling New MUHC Super Hospital

Quebec’s newest Billionaire – the king of Traffic Pylons!

Police Raid Montreal Pot Stores-Will There be Protests?


 

Results of the MyDemocracy.ca survey allowed the Trudeau Govt to cancel Electoral reform

Survey results showed Canadians want their politicians to be accountable – so Trudeau Cancelled election reform.

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Maryam Monsef and Dominic LeBlanc – The biggest challenge for the multi-million dollar committee was determining is it – Electoral Reform or Electorial Reform?

Some election promises are made by parties who don’t expect to get elected. When they do they get stuck with a silly platform promise that they don’t or can’t fulfill. The Liberal party is great at handing out money to spend but not so great at getting things done.

In the election Prime Minister Trudeau presented Electoral Reform as a critical need for Canadians. Then he got elected without it. Why would he want it now?

 The vague questions in the survey resulted in vague answers. This gave Trudeau way out.

They tried to throw it under the bus by using a cross party committee to make the plan. They got caught however, when the plan had some good ideas that would make it work.

They tried trashing the plan in parliament, but backfired on them as calling people smarter than you “stupid” usually does. So they took it to the people with the MyDemocracy.ca survey.

It cost millions to stage and promote but it got the results the Liberals desired. A mess of confusing information that could be interpreted any way they like.

The results from the Liberal MyDemocracy.ca survey on electoral reform were meant to validate Prime Minister Trudeau’s vision on election reform.

Problem is he never communicated what his vision is and Canadian’s doing really like playing charades.


More on the story:

Liberal Electoral Reform Survey Based on Cosmo Quizzes


MyDemocracy.ca Survey Results

The full report on the results have not been released but here are some of the things that have been released:

  • 85% of respondents were Millennials under 30 years old. 45% of these were under the voting age of 18.
  • 63% preferred using a Facebook style “LIKE” instead of checking a box on a voting ballot.
  • 75% said that Looks and Style should be included in the selection process not Race or Sex.
    •  Meaning: They want to get away from the sexist move towards an equal mix of males and females in government and racist minority mixes. They feel this is a move catering to the Oppression Olympics.
    •  They prefer a balance of styles. Stating there is a complete lack of of Culinary Explorers, Nostalgics, and Millennial Marthas. They feel the same for shutouts, Travel Enthusiasts and underemployed. Problem is if they joined the government they would lose their identity.  
  • 57% Preferred Small parties to big (It should have said “Political Parties” but didn’t so it was interpreted as liking public gatherings – the reason behind the recent Trudeau town hall meeting tour)
  • 98% Canadians want their politicians to be more accountable (Surprised?) – so Prime Minister Trudeau cancelled election reform.

 

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This pic is unrelated to the above story…

Billions in Trudeau Govt infrastructure cash was spent on cosmetics

The Trudeau Liberals promised that infrastructure cash would be spread easily across Canada and it was – in a layer 1 inch thick.

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The Liberals gave out buckets of infrastructure money in 2016 most of it was used for cosmetic road repairs

After their election win the Trudeau Government smugly handed out billions in infrastructure cash. They talked about big projects to get the economy going. What they gave us was a national pavement cosmetic facelift.

The provincial and municipal governments on the receiving end of the cash wanted to maximize their spending power to gain the most votes for themselves. They paved every road they could.

We need good roads, the problem is they didn’t do the traditional tear down and repave the whole road. They scraped off the top inch of pavement and and put down a nice looking – but superficial – 1″ layer of asphalt.

So everyone is happy with a all these smooth new roads, until a year or so down the road when it cracks and falls apart.

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Paving companies doubled down on their profits by recycling the 1″ of pavement they removed and sold it to homeowners as new driveway pavement.

So the National Debt increases, Paving companies line their pockets (knowing they will get to repave these roads again in a year or two) and politicians take credit for all these great roads they gave us. Lucky us….

Helicopter Parent backlash, their Helicopter Kids are taking over!

 Millennials embarrassed by their parents inability to keep up with change are taking over their parents lives.

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Whether a Hipster, Haul Girl, SeaPunk, Goth, Nerd, or Geek Feminist they are all concerned about their parent’s image

Controlling helicopter parents are now getting the backlash from their adult children. Raised under the umbrella of perfection they are turning the tables on their parents.

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When they were younger it was funny when their parents were scared of technology – smart phones, the internet, programing VCR clocks

When they were kids Millennials joked about their parents not being able to program their VCR clock, save numbers on their flip phone, and showed fear of the internet. As adults they don’t find it funny anymore. They don’t want to be embarrassed in front of their friends or work colleagues in public or online. So they are flipping roles with their helicopter parents.

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When the kids were young their parents could wear terrible clothes but their friends rarely saw them so they didn’t care.

As millennial kids hit their late teens they began with  giving parents direction and advice about what was appropriate. But they never crossed paths socially  so that was as far as it went.

Over time this advice backfired as parents became more courageous with technology and social media. This made their lifestyle intersect with their adult children and it was not pretty.

Taking over their parents social media profiles like a corporate webmaster

Embarrassing social media posts left the kids wide open for ridicule from their online friends and they did not like it. The solution was something they learned directly from their parents as they were growing up – the Helicopter method.

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Helicopter kids drew the line when their parent’s “inappropriate” content hit social media

They have taken to going through their parents wardrobe like a reality show – purging what they don’t approval of and giving direction on what to buy. Many are using apps to put together and schedule their parents daily wardrobe choices.

They are also taking over their parents social media profiles like they are a corporate webmaster. They approve any photos that are uploaded, and have passwords so they can delete any comments, tweets or likes they don’t approve.

It sounds pretty harsh but that is the way they were brought up.

Have you seen this behavior in your circle of friends?


What you must always remember is that change is good for you, that in the long-term everything transforms itself from the lower to the higher.


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Millennial spends 30 hours stranded in car – next to a payphone

 10 years ago payphones were universally known – everyone knew what they were and how to use them.  The tech savvy Millennial generation may be the first generation who don’t.

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The payphone was unmarked but in good working order. When Mr Ryan was found he was parked less than 3 meters from the phone in plain site.

18 year old Toronto native Logan Ryan got lost on his way from Toronto to Edmonton. He was running low on gas and his GPS took him to an abandoned gas station. His car ran out of gas as he idled the car deciding what to do. He could not get a signal on his smartphone so he stayed in his car waiting for help to come.

Unfortunately  he did not know what a payphone is, he was parked next to one the whole time. One quick call and he could have had help within an hour.

Many people below the age of 30 have never seen a car without power windows and locks. They don’t know you can open a car door with a key (ask your kids). Others don’t know about payphones.  They have quickly disappeared from the landscape, and with the proliferation of smartphones many people don’t notice the ones that are left.

When people  from the city  do dumb things we call them “Citiots”

Ryan had a sleeping bag and food so he camped out in his car. The road the gas station was

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A sheepish Logan Ryan ready to resume his trip

on was bypassed years ago and only gets local traffic now.  After spending 2 nights alone, a farmer going by in a tractor noticed Logan in the car, and offered help.

The farmer – who requested to be unnamed – found the who thing to be amusing. “When people come from the city and do dumb things in the country we call them “Citiots” cus they are idiots from the city.” “But this is different because it would be a dumb move in the city too.” The Farmer explained “I showed him the phone but he didn’t seem to believe what it was as there was no screen on it” 

The farmer helped Logan get some gas, food and a hot shower and sent him on his way to Edmonton.

Mr Ryan was casually driving from Toronto to Edmonton and had not yet been reported missing by his family. It is not clear what the purpose of his trip is.

 

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Mr Ryan was driving from Toronto to Edmonton. The location of the abandonded gas station was approximately 2 hours drive south east of Edmonton

The payphone numbers

In the last 15 years Canada has gone from 150,000 payphones to just over 50,000. Bell Canada told the CRTC that, in 2013, they had 636 payphones that hand no calls in the past year, and 10,500 phones with an average of 1 call/ day.


 

 

 

Quebec City Mosque Shooting is an issue for all Canadians, not just Muslims

The horrific shooting took place in a place of worship impacting the safety and freedom of all Canadians.

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America has become deeply divided through politics, religion, crime and hate. We need to stick together as Canadians, making sure we have one strong unified Canada!

We’ve all seen it the news – a story involving a visible minority, religion or race. Where the reported is a visible match to the group and the story is as much about the group as the incident. So many people pass over it as though it is not about them.

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How many Amber Alerts do you remember hearing for a Native Canadian child? They go missing too!

Native women went missing for years with nothing being done. Many Canadians felt it was not about them, and ignored it.  It took years of work and protests by the families and friends of this missing women to convince Canadians that it was their issue too.

When people hear of violence against women many say – “I’ve got daughters, this is very important to me.” What about their sons? Caring shouldn’t be gender related.

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Hard to believe that Canadians would be against any type of head covering – especially in winter!

For decades Canadians were proud that we provided U.N. peacekeepers to war torn countries. Peacekeepers set the example of treating people fairly, setting an example of how to get along and live together.

In Canada we need to get this attitude back.

There were thousands of Canadians protesting President Trump in the U.S.  The Quebec City Mosque shooting is in Canada. All Canadians need to get involved so it does not happen again.


More info:

nccm-hate-crime-map
A great place to lend your support for Muslim Canadians. The hate crime map might surprise you – National Council Of Canadian Muslims Click for more>

Canadian Multiculturalism Act, 1985

An Act for the preservation and enhancement of multiculturalism in Canada

WHEREAS the Constitution of Canada provides that every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination and that everyone has the freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion, expression, peaceful assembly and association and guarantees those rights and freedoms equally to male and female persons;

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Not a fan of Multiculturalism – it’s the law in Canada, if you don’t like it, you can always move. (Let us know where you would go) Click for more>
nwac
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. Click for more>