London Inc. Weekly 06 • 22 • 2018

Siskinds LLP commences proposed class actions against CIBC and BMO

SISKINDS LLP, IN partnership with Calgary-based JSS Barristers, commenced a proposed class action against Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and a proposed class action against Bank of Montreal (BMO).

The proceedings, filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, arise from the recently disclosed cybersecurity breaches involving CIBC’s direct banking division, Simplii Financial, and BMO. According to the defendants, the data breaches resulted in the theft of sensitive personal information of up to 40,000 clients of Simplii Financial and up to 50,000 clients of BMO. 

The class actions, brought on behalf of the affected clients of Simplii Financial and BMO, allege that each bank failed to establish robust security measures reasonably required of it to protect its clients’ personal information. The lawsuits seek general, compensatory, consequential and punitive damages on behalf of the affected Simplii Financial and BMO clients.

“The CIBC Simplii and BMO breaches have had far reaching implications on clients’ personal lives and financial affairs, the full extent of which has yet to be determined,” says Sajjad Nematollahi, a lawyer with Siskinds LLP. “Canada’s financial sector has been recognized for years to be vulnerable to widespread and prevalent cybersecurity threats. Financial institutions like CIBC and BMO are entrusted with their clients’ most sensitive personal information, and are expected to have in place robust security measures to safeguard that information against unauthorized access, use or theft.”


Green Ontario Fund axed, contractors scrambling to meet deadline

ANXIOUS HOMEOWNERS WERE checking with their window installers yesterday after incoming premier Doug Ford announced he was cancelling the Green Ontario Fund.

The new Progressive Conservative government has set an August 31 deadline for the installation of windows in order to qualify for the rebates, but some consumers will be left in the lurch.

Christopher George, president of London-based Douglas Windows and Doors, told CBC News that while he was not surprised the program was axed, the timing will pose a challenge for suppliers and installers. 

“I was shocked at how abruptly the program was cancelled. The abruptness will be a challenge to deal with, not only for our company and our competitors, but also the customers.”

The government will honour rebate applications that have already been submitted and those filed by September 30 on work done no later than August 31, according to the program’s website.

But the lead time for window installation tends to be 10 to 20 weeks. If the government sticks to its August 31 deadline, some customers who have planned for fall installation won’t qualify.

The $377-million Green ON rebate fund was introduced by the Liberal government last year as a climate change initiative to encourage environmental building upgrades such as windows, thermostats, heat pumps and insulation. Ford announced Tuesday that the fund was being cancelled as part of the elimination of the cap-and-trade policy that was financing the program.

The fund has been a boon to Ontario’s window and door business, which is worth about $1 billion annually, but it has also caused an artificial bubble in the sector. Consumers, who are prone to delay a costly renovation like replacement windows, saw the rebates—paying for up to $500 of a $1,000 to $1,500 window—as an incentive to get the work done. So window companies have been swamped with demand from building owners wanting to take advantage of Green Ontario.


Tillsonburg’s ZF-TRW packing up and heading to Mexico

DESPITE ATTEMPTED INTERVENTION by the Town of Tillsonburg, an auto parts plant will soon be packing up and heading to Mexico, throwing 71 people out of work.

ZF-TRW, which produces brake assembly systems for vehicles, will phase out production around the end of November, with a small number of employees staying on through December. The plant will close by the end of the year.

The town had been working to try and prevent this loss, but according to the town’s development commissioner, Cephas Panschow, cost pressures, including hydro, hurt efforts.

“We’ve actually been working with the company ZF-TRW over the past year to help find opportunities to keep this plant open,” Panschow told CTV News. “Certainly our goal is to keep that plant open to keep those employees working here. Unfortunately we were not successful.”

The Tillsonburg plant began production in 1979 as TRW Automotive, and remained in the town when the company was bought out by ZF Group. The news comes less than a year after Tillsonburg lost 300 jobs after Siemens closed and left town.


Five-year newcomer plan billed as essential economic development tool

A PLAN TO help London attract and hang onto newcomers could also be an essential tool to help fill gaps in its workforce, a new city hall report suggests. 

London’s newcomer strategy—a five-year plan to welcome, integrate and hang onto immigrants to the city—is also being billed as an important tool for economic growth. The plan went to city council’s community and protective services committee on Monday.

According to Joaquim Balles, one of the authors of the strategy, on average the city’s population grows at less than one per cent a year. However, that that number shrank by nearly a third from 2010 to 2016, and is poised to reduce even further, which could impact job creation.

Balles says the city needs to have annual population growth of about 4,000 to ensure economic growth. London has been coming close to achieving that target, but he says there are concerning trends. “We are looking at about a two per cent decline every year in that growth number,” Balles told The London Free Press. “It is declining, it will continue to decline.”

Balles is also vice president, business development, general counsel and corporate secretary at Trudell Medical Limited and a member of its executive management committee.

The plan, which has an emphasis on international students, skilled workers and entrepreneurs, brings together an array of agencies that support immigrants and focuses on priorities such as reducing stereotypes, appropriately welcoming new Londoners and helping them to navigate employment systems throughout the region.

Next steps include the establishment of an advisory committee to help determine what should be done in regards to establishing programs and policies.


Nestlé Canada adding 150 new jobs

NESTLÉ CANADA IS looking to fill 150 new full-time positions at its London ice cream factory. The positions arrive in the wake of a $51.5-million expansion at the Wilton Grove Road facility, due to increased growth in the ice cream category and greater production demands.

Nestlé Canada will be holding a job fair today (June 21) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hellenic Community Centre. There are various positions available, including packaging products, palletizing finished goods, sanitizing lines and equipment.

“We are really proud to be a part of the London community and excited to be able to offer even more valuable employment opportunities within it,” said Nestlé Canada director, factory operations, in a news release. “For the past 52 years, we have been building a strong foundation for jobs within our state-of-the-art facility that people can feel proud of, and hope to do the same for many more years to come.”


Business Events Calendar

Featured Event:

London Chamber of Commerce June Business After Five

The London Chamber’s monthly networking and socializing event, hosted by Columbia Sportswear.

 

Upcoming Events:

London Chamber Business After Five: June 21, 2018

Diversity in Philanthropy-Why It Matters: June 21, 2018

London International Food Festival: June 22-24, 2018

Screenwriting Fundamentals Masterclass: June 23-24, July 7-8

Startup Drinks London: June 26, 2018

E.P.I.C. Networking: June 26, 2018

Getting Social Series Part 4: June 27, 2018

Business Planning Basics Session 1: June 27, 2018

Ignite Your Sales Potential: June 28, 2018

Systems Thinking Exchange: June 28, 2018

Business Planning Basics Sessions 2 & 3: June 28, 2018

Sunfest: July 5-8, 2018

TennoCon 2018: July 7, 2018