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Monthly Archives: March 2015

ABEX Supports Reopening of Canada House in London

Jim & Alix Canada HouseJim McGregor and his wife Alix were honoured to attend the reopening of Canada House in London by the Queen who was accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.  Canada House was officially reopen on February 19 after a $225-million renovation.

Canada House was first opened by the Queen’s grandfather George V in 1925.

As the official party entered the building they heard clapping and cheering echoing from across nearby Trafalgar Square where hundreds of Canadian expats and tourists had gathered.

The Queen was particularly interested in an atrium named in her honour, as well as a gallery showcasing art of Canadian artists Emily Carr and Gordon Smith.

Jim and Alix McGregor are shown below proudly standing next to the piece of art they donated to Canada House.  They are also among the people on the stairs shown in Hello Magazine’s picture below, in the bottom right corner.

Canada House



ABEX Accepts a Plaque as a Finalist for ICTA Award

ICTA-Abex-LQABEX was honoured to be among 9 finalists for the prestigious Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Award for 2015.

We accepted our plaque at the Awards Ceremony on March 9th.

ABEX Offers Efficient and Fast Access to Niche Products for Brokers

ABEX Affiliated Brokers Exchange Inc. and Insurance Technology Solutions Inc. (ITS) have developed a next-generation Policy Administration System, ABEXAccess.com™, that provides secure Real-Time Rating and Paperless Policy Issuance through the ITS BindEasy Solution.

ABEXAccess.com allows brokers to:

  • Provide clients with real-time quotes in minutes (for both Personal and Commercial Lines)
  • Issue paperless policies securely
  • Provide brokers with a secure web portal that allows brokers to make coverage changes, update policy information, fill out applications for new insurance coverage, self-serve for certain types of insurance certificates and get real-time quotes
  • Get instantaneous response on account referrals in a secure real-time environment
  • Go mobile! Both brokers and their clients can experience all of the above benefits using mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, Android and Window tablets and phones).

ABEX is proud to lead a fundamentally different and profoundly new direction in insurance technology that focuses on the benefits for brokers, better yet, with no cost to the broker. ABEX understands that our investment in this broker focused technology will drive growth in the business we wish to attract. At the same time, the automated underwriting benefits are dramatically reducing costs as well as increasing the ability to service. ABEX is now rolling out new products taking advantage of underserved risk niches that could only be exploited through the technology breakthrough that is ABEXAccess.com. New products can be added in hours, after being approved by our partners. We hope that ABEXAccess.com, with Insurance Technology Solutions, will become the standard in our industry.

Technology by Insurance Technology Solutions Inc. (ITS).

Protecting Canadians From Online Crime Act Becomes Law, Impacts Employers

CQuick facts:

  • On March 9, 2015, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act (Act) comes into force.
  • The Act updates Canada’s Criminal Code to make the distribution of intimate images on the Internet without consent a crime.
  • The Act expands the powers of law enforcement agencies investigating online activities and creates new compliance obligations for certain employers.

On Dec. 9, 2014, Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act (Act) received royal assent. The Act, which has been labelled Canada’s cyber bullying law, will come into force on March 9, 2015.

True to its name, the Act introduces new provisions to Canada’s Criminal Code concerning cyber bullying, but it also increases the power of law enforcement agencies to obtain electronic information related to the investigations of crimes.

Going forward, employers that maintain electronic information on behalf of others must be aware of new compliance obligations created by the Act.

Cyber Bullying Provisions

Under the Act, it will now be an offence to knowingly publish, distribute, transmit, sell, make available or advertise intimate images of an individual without his or her consent in electronic mediums, where there is reasonable expectation of privacy.

To help prevent cyber bullying, the Act empowers courts to:

  • Order the removal of intimate images from the Internet;
  • Order the forfeiture of the computer, cell phone or other device used to commit cyber bullying;
  • Provide for reimbursement to victims for the costs incurred from removing the intimate image from the Internet; and
  • Issue orders to prevent an individual from distributing intimate images.

Amendment to Lawful Access Standard

Of greater concern to most employers are the changes to lawful access the Act introduces. “Lawful access” generally refers to an investigative technique used by law enforcement agencies and national security agencies that involves the interception of private communications and the seizing of information where authorized by law.

The Act changes the threshold necessary for obtaining lawful access related to the search and seizure of computer, transmission and tracking data. Prior to the passage of the Act, orders for the search and seizure of computer data were granted only if a judge determined that law enforcement officers had “reasonable grounds to believe” that an offence had been committed.

The Act lowers the legal threshold for lawful access by now requiring that only a “reasonable ground for suspicion” be demonstrated prior to a judge issuing an order. Under this new lower threshold, some legal experts predict that law enforcement agencies will have an easier time gaining access to employers’ electronic data.

Preservation of Computer Data

The Act provides law enforcement agencies with two new tools that they may utilize in investigating crimes, preservation demands and preservation orders.

Preservation demands and orders require employers to preserve computer data in their control or possession to ensure that it is not deleted before a production order or search warrant is obtained.

Preservation demands can be made by law enforcement officers directly to the person or employer without the authority of a judge.  Preservation demands expire after 21 or 90 days, depending on whether the offense is committed under Canadian or foreign laws.

A preservation order is an order issued by a judge requiring a person or employer to preserve the computer data sought by a law enforcement officer or public officer. Preservation orders expire 90 days after they are granted.

It should be noted that preservation demands and orders differ from general data retention requirements. General data retention requirements dictate that employers collect and store data for a particular period of time for all subscribers, regardless of whether they are subject to an investigation. In contrast, a preservation demand or order relates only to a particular telecommunication or person, in the context of an investigation.

New Types of Production Orders

The Act also creates new production orders related to transmission data and tracking data that employers must contend with.

For the purposes of the Act and production orders, “transmission data” is a specific set of metadata that indicates the origin, destination, date, time, duration, type and volume of a telecommunication, but does not include the actual content of the telecommunication. Examples of transmission data include IP addresses of websites visited or search terms used.

“Tracking data” is information that relates to the location of a thing or individual.

The new production orders created by the Act allow law enforcement agencies to obtain transmission or tracking data that is already in an employer’s possession at the time of the order. Employers that are issued a production order must produce the transmission or tracking data requested or face penalties.

Production of Financial Data

The Act also imposes additional obligations on financial institutions. Judges may now order financial institutions to prepare and produce documents with the following information in their possession or control:

  • The account number of the person or the name of the person attached to an account specified in an order;
  • Information related to the type of account the person named in the order holds;
  • The status of the individual’s account; and
  • The date on which the account was opened or closed.

Additionally, judges may order that financial institutions disclose the date of birth, current address and previous addresses or the person identified in order to confirm his or her identity.

Voluntary Disclosure

Employers should note that the Act provides immunity from criminal and civil liability to employers that voluntarily preserve or produce data to law enforcement officers, even if the officer does not have a preservation or production order.


Penalties for failing to comply with the Act’s requirements are stiff. Individuals or employers that violate a preservation demand may be fined up to $5,000. Penalties for violating the terms of a preservation or production order are harsher. An individual, employer or financial institution that violates the terms of a preservation or production order may face fines up to $250,000 or six months of imprisonment.

Impact on Employers

In light of the new obligations created by the Act, employers should review and, if necessary, amend their privacy, information management and data retention policies to ensure compliance with potential preservation or production orders. Employers’ policies should outline the procedure for responding to preservation demands, preservation orders and production demands and make clear which staff members are responsible for responding to demands and orders.



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