Select Page

Hong Kong – FS welcomes annual report of Process Review Panel for Insurance Authority

FS welcomes annual report of Process Review Panel for Insurance Authority

*************************************************************************


     The Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, today (October 22) welcomed the publication of the first Annual Report of the Process Review Panel (PRP) for the Insurance Authority (IA). 

     Mr Chan said, “The PRP plays an important role in enhancing the accountability of the IA in the exercise of its regulatory powers. In its inaugural term, the PRP conducted a comprehensive review of the internal procedures and operational guidelines of the IA through detailed examination of selected cases. The Report, which is the first report of the PRP summarising its work and recommendations, is conducive to ensuring the IA exercises its regulatory powers in a fair and consistent manner.
 
     “I would like to express my gratitude to the PRP Chairman, Mr Eugene Fung, SC, and members of the PRP for their dedication in working with the IA to enhance our regulatory regime for the insurance industry of Hong Kong,” he added.
 
     The PRP is an independent panel established with the approval of the Chief Executive on November 1, 2019, to review and advise the IA on the adequacy of the IA’s internal procedures and operational guidelines governing the actions taken and operational decisions made by the IA and its staff in the performance of the IA’s regulatory functions.
 

Hong Kong – Process Review Panel for the Insurance Authority publishes 2021 Annual Report

Process Review Panel for the Insurance Authority publishes 2021 Annual Report

*****************************************************************************


     The Process Review Panel for the Insurance Authority (PRP) published its 2021 Annual Report today (October 22), covering the work of the PRP in its inaugural term.

     The PRP Chairman, Mr Eugene Fung, SC, said, “The PRP selected and reviewed 30 cases, which straddled various regulatory functions of the Insurance Authority (IA), including complaint handling, authorisation of insurers, licensing of intermediaries and exercise of statutory power. The PRP made a number of observations and recommendations to the IA for its consideration, which would be conducive to the IA’s enhancement of procedures and guidelines.”

     He added, “I am pleased to learn that the IA has made a positive response to the PRP’s recommendations. I believe this report marks a good starting point for the PRP in its journey to assist the IA in exercising its regulatory power in a fair and consistent manner.”

     The 2021 Annual Report has been uploaded to the website of the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau at www.fstb.gov.hk/fsb/en/business/prp/doc/ia_prp_report21_e.pdf.

     The PRP welcomes views of the public and market participants on the PRP’s work. The comments can be referred to the PRP via email at prpia@fstb.gov.hk.

Hong Kong – Hongkong Post to issue “Congratulations on the Outstanding Achievements of the Hong Kong, China Delegation at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games” special stamps (with photo)

Hongkong Post to issue “Congratulations on the Outstanding Achievements of the Hong Kong, China Delegation at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games” special stamps (with photo)

******************************************************************************************


     ​Hongkong Post announced today (October 22) the release of a stamp sheetlet and associated philatelic products on the theme of “Congratulations on the Outstanding Achievements of the Hong Kong, China Delegation at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games” on December 9. Advance orders are being accepted from today.
 
     Since the first debut in 1972, this was Hong Kong’s 13th delegation to the Paralympic Games at Tokyo 2020. A total of 24 athletes, half of whom were debutants, took part in various events, namely archery, athletics, badminton, boccia, equestrianism, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair fencing. The Hong Kong, China Delegation performed at their best in the competitions and demonstrated fully their unwavering determination and perseverance, with the remarkable result of winning two silver and three bronze medals. The people of Hong Kong are proud of these achievements.
 
     To celebrate the outstanding achievements, the stamp sheetlet contains a set of three stamps, showcasing the events of badminton, boccia and table tennis. All the Paralympic medallists will be featured, making the commemorative stamp sheetlet an exceptionally meaningful collectible.
 
     Customers may place their orders for the stamp sheetlet and associated philatelic products through the Hongkong Post Stamps website (stamps.hongkongpost.hk) or the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/HKPStamps) now. Customers may also download and complete the printed form and return it to any post office (except mobile post offices) or by post to the Hongkong Post Philatelic Bureau P. O. Box 11968, General Post Office Hong Kong or Hongkong Post Philatelic Bureau, Freepost No. 15 Hong Kong (for locally posted mail only). Printed forms will also be available at post offices. The deadline for order placement is November 4.
 
     Information about the special stamps and associated philatelic products is available on the Hongkong Post Stamps website and in the “ShopThruPost” mobile app.

Canada – Campbell River professional whale watching guide fined $10,000 under the Species At Risk Act for knowingly approaching Threatened killer whales

On September 13, 2021, in Campbell River Provincial Court, the Honourable Judge R. Lamperson found Nicklaus Templeman, the owner and operator of Campbell River Whale and Bear Excursions, guilty of violations under both the Species At Risk and Federal Fisheries Acts.

October 21, 2021

Campbell River, British Columbia – On September 13, 2021, in Campbell River Provincial Court, the Honourable Judge R. Lamperson found Nicklaus Templeman, the owner and operator of Campbell River Whale and Bear Excursions, guilty of violations under both the Species At Risk and Federal Fisheries Acts. Justice Lamperson ordered Mr. Templeman to pay a fine of $5,000 for each violation, for a total of $10,000. He also directed that these monies be used for the conservation and protection of marine mammals in the waters off British Columbia.

The sentence stems from a incident on May 27, 2019, when Mr. Templeman was observed by two other whale watching guides illegally approaching a killer whale within 35 metres near Willow Point. Mr. Templeman acknowledged over the VHF radio that he was aware of the presence of the whale pod. However, he continued to travel in their direction and positioned his vessel in a way to ensure that the whales would have to pass him in close proximity.

The Department has a mandate to protect and conserve marine resources and to prosecute offenders under the Fisheries and Species At Risk Acts. It ensures and promotes compliance with these Acts and other laws and regulations through a combination of land, air, and sea patrols, as well as education and awareness activities.

As part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s work to end illegal activity, the Department asks the public for information on activities of this nature or any contravention of the Fisheries Act and regulations. Anyone with information can call the toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336, or email the details to DFO.ORR-ONS.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

Record, Reporting line by the other whale watching guides and a Conservation and Protection fishery officer from the Campbell River Detachment went to assess the situation.

There were six to seven commercial whale watching vessels in the area of the incident who subsequently provided witness statements, as did several of the tourists who were on board. These witnesses also provided significant amounts of photos and video statements.

It is mandatory to respect the approach distances and other protective measures in place for marine mammals.

Section 7(2) of the Marine Mammal Regulations states that: disturb includes to approach the marine mammal to, or to attempt to trap it or its group between a vessel and the shore or between a vessel and one or more other vessels. Mr. Templeman contravened this section of the Fisheries Act by approaching from behind within 35 m and encircling the whales, and positioning his vessel near the shoreline, resulting in the two groups of Orca transiting between his vessel and the other whale watching vessels that were offshore.

The Species at Risk Act (SARA) is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to keep Canadian wildlife species from becoming extinct and secure the necessary actions for their recovery. It provides for the legal protection of wildlife species and the conservation and preservation of their biological diversity.

Bigg’s killer whales are long-lived upper trophic level predators that are considered to be at risk due to small population size, very low reproductive rate (one calf approximately every five years), and high levels of chemical contaminants that are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. Because they rely on stealth and passive listening to detect prey, Bigg’s killer whales are at risk of habitat degradation through acoustic disturbance from underwater noise.

Leri Davies, Strategic Media Relations Advisor

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region

Tel: (604) 666-8675

Cell: (604) 612-6837

Canada – Government announces targeted COVID-19 support measures to create jobs and growth

With one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the world, many businesses safely reopening, and employment now back to pre-pandemic levels, Canadians have reached a turning point in the fight against COVID-19. The government has now surpassed its target of creating a million new jobs. Canada is on the road to economic recovery—but some areas of the country and economy continue to need targeted support.

October 21, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

With one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the world, many businesses safely reopening, and employment now back to pre-pandemic levels, Canadians have reached a turning point in the fight against COVID-19. The government has now surpassed its target of creating a million new jobs. Canada is on the road to economic recovery—but some areas of the country and economy continue to need targeted support.

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced that the government is taking targeted action to create jobs and spur economic growth. This includes moving from the very broad-based support that was appropriate at the height of lockdowns to more targeted measures that will provide help where it is needed, while prudently managing government spending.

The government is proposing the following changes to business support programs:

Extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 7, 2022, for eligible employers with current revenue losses above 10 per cent and increase the subsidy rate to 50 per cent. The extension would help businesses continue to hire back workers and to create the additional jobs Canada needs for a full recovery.
Deliver targeted support to businesses that are still facing significant pandemic-related challenges. Support would be available through two streams:

Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, to hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, and restaurants, with a subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent.
Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, would support other businesses that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50 per cent.
Applicants for these programs will use a new “two-key” eligibility system whereby they will need to demonstrate significant revenue losses over the course of 12 months of the pandemic, as well as revenue losses in the current month.
Businesses that face temporary new local lockdowns will be eligible for up to the maximum amount of the wage and rent subsidy programs, during the local lockdown, regardless of losses over the course of the pandemic.
These programs will be available until May 7, 2022, with the proposed subsidy rates available through to March 13, 2022. From March 13, 2022, to May 7, 2022, the subsidy rates will decrease by half.

To ensure that workers continue to have support and that no one is left behind, the government proposes to: 

Extend the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit until May 7, 2022, and increase the maximum duration of benefits by 2 weeks. This would extend the caregiving benefit from 42 to 44 weeks and the sickness benefit from 4 to 6 weeks.
Establish the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit which would provide $300 a week in income support to eligible workers should they be unable to work due to a local lockdown anytime between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022.

With these changes, the government is supporting the hardest-hit sectors and those who are affected by the virus while recognizing that broad-based assistance is no longer needed. These changes will continue to prioritize job creation and a strong economic recovery. 

“Our economy is rebounding and we are winning the fight against COVID. It is also true, though, that the recovery is uneven and the health measures that are saving lives continue to restrict some economic activity. That is why today we are announcing what we very much hope and believe is the final pivot in delivering the support needed to ensure a robust recovery – for everyone. Our focus is to protect and create jobs. And ensure the strongest possible recovery for everyone. And we will continue to deliver on this promise we have made to Canadians.”

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Existing income and business support programs will end on October 23, 2021, as previously announced.

Budget 2021 introduced the Canada Recovery Hiring Program to help employers hire the workers they need to recover and grow, with a subsidy of up to 50 per cent of additional eligible salary or wages. This support gives employers the certainty they need to rehire and return to growth. 

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has helped more than 5.3 million Canadians keep their jobs, with over $95 billion in support already paid out through the program to help employers re-hire workers and avoid layoffs. 

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support have helped more than 210,600 organizations with over $6.8 billion in support for rent, mortgage, and other expenses.

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit has delivered $3.58 billion to 465,610 unique applicants. The benefit provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. It applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit has delivered over $742 million to 698,970 unique applicants. The benefit provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.

Projected GDP growth for Canada in 2021 is 5.7 per cent according to the IMF and 5.4 per cent according to the OECD. 

Canada has now recovered 100 per cent of the jobs lost during the pandemic, compared to 78 per cent in the U.S.

Canada – The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit

Canada is on the road to economic recovery and employment is now back to pre-pandemic levels. This is thanks to the resilience of employers and hard work of Canadians.

Canada is on the road to economic recovery and employment is now back to pre-pandemic levels. This is thanks to the resilience of employers and hard work of Canadians.

The government is making adjustments to pandemic income support programs to reflect the new phase of the recovery. The government is moving from broad-based programs to more narrowly targeted support.

Canada is still fighting the fourth wave of this pandemic and it is particularly virulent in some parts of the country. The Government of Canada wants to ensure that if another level of government takes a decision to impose a temporary lockdown to save lives and stop the spread, they can do so with full confidence that individuals will get the income support they need.

The Government of Canada is proposing to introduce legislation for the new Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit, which would provide income support to workers whose employment is interrupted by specific government-imposed public health lockdown scenarios and who are unable to work due to such restrictions.

The new benefit would be: 

$300 a week.
Strictly available to workers whose work interruption is a direct result of a government-imposed public health lockdown.
Available until May 7, 2022, with retroactive application to October 24, 2021 should the situation warrant it.
Accessible for the entire duration of a government-imposed public health lockdown (up until May 7, 2022).
Available to workers who are ineligible for Employment Insurance (EI) and those who are eligible for EI, as long as they are not paid benefits through EI for the same period. 

Individuals whose loss of income or employment is due to their refusal to adhere to a vaccine mandate would not be able to access the benefit.

Further details on this proposed benefit will be released in the coming weeks.