Autumn View Edition 4, 2015

A message from the Chair

The election is over and finally no more Harper and the Conservatives. I personally would have preferred a minority government, but a new look non-right wing government as promised, should be a dramatic improvement for all of us. Now the question is, will Trudeau and his Liberals stay to the left or will the old adage of "Liberals always campaign from the left and govern from the right" come back to haunt us all?

It is incumbent on all of us to hold their feet to the fire and to push for the issues that trade unions, seniors, and social democrats all want to see happen.

There were some 107 Liberal promises in that campaign and clearly, where they come down on and how soon they tackle issues, like higher taxes for the rich, election reform (proportional representation) and action on climate change will indicate the direction they intend to take. Added to that list are several others that should be considered as well, such as the fate of the newly negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership, rewriting Harper's anti-terrorism legislation, having an inquiry into the missing and murdered aboriginal women, medically assisted suicide, and tighter restrictions on political spending, to name a few.

Obviously, listing all the promises will take more space than this message allows, but we must be watching closely and making sure action is being taken on all these and other fronts. Let us not get complacent now that the election is over and fall into the trap of letting these issues slide.

Ed Faulknor, Chair
OPSEU Retired Members Division

CRA Gives Weed the Thumbs Up

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has confirmed that, under the right circumstances, cannabis now qualifies as an allowable medical expense under the Income Tax Act.

The Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association (CMCIA) says it has received a letter from the CRA which confirms that medical cannabis purchased from a licensed producer is an allowable medical expense under the Income Tax Act.

The letter states that patients who are registered under Health Canada's Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) and who have been prescribed medical cannabis by a physician may now claim the cost of the drug as an allowable medical expense on their income tax returns. Although amendments to the Income Tax Act have not yet been introduced to recognize the MMPR, the letter indicates that the CRA "will not disallow eligible medical expenses claimed for the purchase of medical marihuana allowable under these new regulations."

“We have been working with the CRA and the Department of Finance for several months to clarify this issue, and we're extremely pleased that cannabis regulated by Health Canada has been recognized as an allowable tax expense,” says CMCIA executive director Neil Belot. “It's very good news, and will help make the use of cannabis as medicine more accessible and affordable for patients.”

Written by:  Andrew Rickard, September 2015 for the Insurance & Investment Journal

Related News:

CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons) recently announced that CanniMed is now a CARP Recommended Partner, with an advertising campaign entitled “When Conventional Medicine Just Isn’t Enough”.

The campaign states:

“Medical cannabis provides relief from symptoms related to hundreds of conditions including arthritis, neuropathic pain, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, cancer, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), HIV/AIDS and many others."

CanniMed Ltd. is Canada’s leading supplier of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis as a result of our commitment to exceptional safety, consistency and product reliability. We also deliver unmatched patient support through our on-site pharmacist and customer service team.

CARP members receive a $50 credit upon registration as a new CanniMed patient and 5% off Patient Direct Pricing or current best price offer, on medical cannabis products.”

For more information visit www.CARP.ca and search CanniMed, or visit www.cannimed.ca/pages/CARP or read Moses Znaimer’s article on Page 12 in the November 2015 issue of Zoomer Magazine.

Snowbirds Beware

The federal government will use its planned border exit-tracking system to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in social benefits now going to people who shouldn’t receive them due to absences from Canada.

Memos, newly obtained by the Canadian Press, say the Canada Revenue Agency and Employment and Social Development Canada expect to save between about $194 million and $319 million over five years once the long-anticipated system is fully in place. Federal officials have been working quietly to satisfy privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien’s office that personal information will be properly collected, used and disclosed under the program.

Under the 2011 perimeter security pact, Canada and the United States agreed to set up co-ordinated systems to track entry and exit information from travelers. For the moment, the tracking system involves exchanging entry information collected from people at the land border. In addition, Canada planned to begin collecting information on people leaving by plane — something the United States already does — by requiring airlines to submit passenger manifest data for outbound international flights. Federal officials have said work continues  on the final phases, though no revised dates have been disclosed. The U.S. has legislative authority to proceed, but Canada would need to pass a bill.

A summer 2014 memo, recently released under the Access to Information Act, says savings can be expected through “preventing abuse and eligibility fraud” with respect to the employment insurance, old age security  and child tax benefit programs by ensuring Canadian residency requirements are fulfilled.

It estimates savings over five years of:

  • $48 million by Employment and Social Development Canada for the old age security program;
  • $21 million by Employment and Social Development Canada for the employment insurance program;
  • $125 million to $250 million by the Canada Revenue Agency for the child tax benefit program.

For instance, if a Canadian citizen or permanent resident was out of Canada for more than 183 days, entry-exit information would be shared with the revenue agency to administer the child tax benefit, says an explanatory memo. However, this information alone would “never form the basis” for action against someone, as it is merely intended as a tipsheet. Verification would be needed before a federal agency could crack down on the traveler. It has long been known that information from the entry-exit initiative would also be used to track the movement of suspected fugitives, child sex offenders, smugglers and terrorists, as well as identify people who remain in Canada past visa-expiration dates and help determine when those slated for deportation have voluntarily left.

Legislation to implement the final phases of the entry-exit initiative will spell out exactly how the information may be used and disclosed, and there will be redress procedures under which people can request access to their personal information, ask for corrections if needed and file complaints.

Written by: The Canadian Press, Originally published on Advisor.ca

Bad Medicine

Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Canadians will pay more for pharmaceuticals and see the privacy of their health information compromised.

The TPP locks in high drug prices by increasing copyright protection and allowing corporations to sue governments for lost profits. Worse, the deal prevents governments from being able to store citizens’ health information in their own country.

Patent protection: The agreement extends the patent protection for a class of drugs called “biologics.” Biologics can be composed of sugars, proteins, or nucleic acids or complex combinations of these, or may be living cells or tissues taken from natural sources such as humans, animasl, or microorganisms. These kinds of drugs are often the only treatment to some diseases. Longer copyright stops a drug from being produced by the generic drug industry, which provides the same product for less money.

Corporations can sue: The TPP’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) process allows drug manufacturers and other multinational corporations to take governments to court for any measure that negatively impacts their profits. This TPP mechanism would deter a government from taking actions such as creating a national drug program for fear that it might trigger lawsuits from drug manufacturers and other multinational corporations.

In fact, it’s already happening. Right now, the Government of Canada is being sued by United States pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly for $500 million under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)’s ISDS provisions.

Health privacy: The TPP may also pose risks to Canadian health records and patient privacy under the intellectual property (IP) provisions by preventing governments from storing confidential health information only on local servers.

This means Canadian health records will be available to authorities in other TPP countries. But other governments might have varying and lower privacy protections and restrictions on use. Under the TPP, limitations are placed on government powers to restrict the flow of internet data such as personal information across borders to other countries.

Bad medicine

The TPP’s high prescription drug prices and its low level of protection for Canadians’ health information will have a drastic impact on health care. Every developed country in the world with a universal health care system provides a universal coverage for prescription drugs to its citizens—except for Canada. A universal program would cover all Canadians and will cost less. The TPP makes this almost impossible.

Big Pharma corporations pushed hard for the TPP. Just follow the money: In 2013, Canadians filled 500 million prescriptions for pharmaceutical drugs at a cost of $30 billion. Spending on prescriptions drugs is the fastest growing health care cost in the last 20 years.

Already one in ten Canadians do not take their prescription drugs because they cannot afford to. To take one example: A year’s supply of the brand name drug Lipitor in Canada costs around $811. The generic version costs around $140. In New Zealand, where there is a national public agency that negotiates prescription drug prices, a year’s supply of the brand name Lipitor drug for the year is $15.

We can’t afford the TPP

The TPP is bad medicine. It’s a major hurdle that will make it much more difficult for the federal government to bring down drug prices and establish a national drug program for all Canadians.

This article was taken from the Canadian Labour Congress website.

OPSEU Retiree: Mike Grimaldi

Brother Mike Grimaldi began his career at the Office of the Worker Advisor in the Ontario Public Service in 1991. He came to OPSEU with several years of experience in other Unions and political campaigns.

He held many positions within the Local including Steward, Trustee, and Local President. He was on the Ministry of Labour MERC and also Vice President of the Divisional Executive at the Office of the Worker Advisor.

Mike was on the Flying Squad during the first OPS strike in 1996. This was the first squad in Region 2.  From 2001-2007, he was former OPSEU President Leah Casselman's Executive Assistant. During that time, he assisted in numerous contract negotiations and played a key role in the 2002 OPS strike.  When Leah retired in 2007, Mike was elected to the Executive Board where he held the position for six years, four of which he was Regional Vice-President.

Although Mike retired in May 2013, he has continued to stay active in both the labour movement and political arenas.

Immediately following his retirement, he managed the successful campaign of Peter Kormos when he ran for Niagara Regional Council. Shortly after that, he began working on the by-election where NDP MPP Wayne Gates was elected.

During the 2014 Provincial Election, Mike was a Campaign Coordinator, overseeing 12 NDP campaigns. Always the multi-tasker, while working on these political campaigns, he was simultaneously conducting a review of ONA's WSIB department and making recommendations for improvement.  Once that concluded, OPSEU contracted him to do a similar report on OPSEU’s WSIB unit.

Most recently, Mike was a Volunteer Manager during the federal election, working on NDP MP Malcolm Allan's campaign.

Mike is currently a trustee on the OPTrust plan and acts as Chair.

It's hard to fathom that he has any free time with all of the activities he is involved with, but when he does, Mike enjoys a trip to the wilderness where he will portage, fish and read a novel. And he always manages to spend time with his son Michael, daughter Crystal, and grandson Maddox.

It's interesting to note that his son has plans to become a lawyer and his daughter is a paralegal. Both seem to be following in dad's footsteps and fighting the good fight for workers.

Our union has benefitted immensely from Mike’s extensive knowledge and commitment to the labour movement. The landscape of Region 2 and broader OPSEU is forever changed by the great work of Brother Mike Grimaldi.

In 2014, Mike was given an Honorary Lifetime Membership Award at our Convention. Considering his many accomplishments and contributions over his 40 plus years as an activist, it was well-deserved.

Now, if he would just review the definition of retirement, he might get to spend a bit more time in his canoe!

Recently diagnosed with Cancer?

A cancer diagnosis can affect much more than the physical body. It can also affect emotions and relationships. Your emotions can be very strong, conflicting or disturbing. They may come and go quickly, and they may change often. For many people, life is not the same after a cancer diagnosis.

People respond to a diagnosis in different ways. You may have many questions when you first find out that you have cancer. You may feel shocked, overwhelmed, devastated, numb, afraid or angry, or you may not believe it.

A cancer diagnosis can raise fears. You may worry about death, changes to your body, painful treatments or feeling sick. You may also worry about how your friends and family will react and how to cope with day-to-day tasks, work or finances.

Some people feel alone, even if friends and family are with them. Others feel like they’re watching things happen to someone else. Some people find it hard to understand what the doctor is telling them, and they need to be told the same information many times.

All of these responses are normal. It’s also normal for similar feelings and fears to come up a number of times throughout your cancer journey.

Why is this happening?

It’s normal to wonder why you or someone you care for has cancer. No one knows why. Cancer is a complex disease, and it is often impossible to know why things happen the way they do. You may struggle with this throughout your cancer journey.

It might help to remember that knowing “why” will not change the course of the illness. And continuing to wonder may get in the way of your ability to cope. Your valuable energy could be better used to help you and your family deal with the disease. Try to focus on the present and how to best deal with the situation ahead. If you’re having trouble with this, it may help to talk to a counsellor or someone on your healthcare team.

Will there be pain?

Almost everyone worries that cancer or cancer treatment will be painful. While some people do experience pain, they may have pain only once in a while. Some people don’t have any pain at all. There are many ways to control and prevent pain, so living with cancer does not have to mean living with pain. If you are worried about pain, or if you are in pain, tell someone on your healthcare team. They are there to help you.

Feeling anxious or sad can sometimes make you more sensitive to pain or make pain seem worse. Learning to cope with these emotions may help lessen your pain and improve your mood. Finding ways to manage pain may make it easier to cope with your emotions.

Will I die?

When first diagnosed, many people with cancer and their families think about the possibility of dying of cancer. This is a normal reaction. These kinds of thoughts can be overwhelming, especially at first. Over time, as the reality of day-to-day life with the disease settles in, many people begin to think instead about living with cancer. This change of focus can help you find the strength and resources to cope with the challenges of the disease.

Will I have to wait for treatment?

Once you’ve been diagnosed, it’s normal to feel that treatment should start right away. You may worry that extra tests and appointments will take too much time. You may feel like you need to make a decision about treatment right away.

Waiting for treatment to start isn’t easy. Your healthcare team can usually give some idea of how long the tests will take. In most cases, there is time to gather information, talk with your healthcare team and make decisions about which treatment is best for you.

How can I cope?

Each person copes with cancer differently. Time and practice can help you adjust to your new normal.

These tips may help you cope:

  • Learn about the type of cancer you have and how it is treated. Getting involved can help give you a sense of control over what’s happening.
  • Express your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend or family member, keep a journal or blog or express yourself through music, painting or drawing.
  • Take care of yourself. Take time to do something you enjoy every day. This might be as simple as spending time with a special friend, preparing your favourite meal or listening to your favourite music.
  • Exercise if you feel up to it and your doctor agrees that it’s okay.
  • Reach out to others. Friends, family or a support group can help you feel that you’re not alone on your cancer journey.
  • Try to keep a positive attitude. Staying hopeful can improve the quality of your life through your cancer journey. Being positive can be different for different people. It does not mean you have to be happy and cheerful all the time. It is positive to just be aware and accept your feelings, even if you are worried, depressed or angry.

This article was taken from the Canadian Cancer Society website at www.cancer.ca.

Learning about Alzheimer’s

Learning what you can about Alzheimer’s disease and how it progresses may help you adjust to the changes that you are experiencing. The changes are due to the disease; they are not your fault. Some of what you learn may be overwhelming. Learn only as much as you feel you can. Encourage your family members and friends to also learn about Alzheimer’s disease. Your family doctor and the local Alzheimer Society are good sources of information.

Some questions you may have about Alzheimer’s disease

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common of a large group of disorders known as “dementias.” It is a disease of the brain, characterized by deterioration of thinking ability and of memory, caused by the progressive degeneration of brain cells. The disease also affects mood and emotions, behaviour and one’s ability to perform activities of daily living. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease at present nor can its progression be reversed. However, current treatment options and lifestyle choices can often significantly slow the progression of the disease. Other dementias include Vascular dementia, Frontotemporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Lewy body dementia. For more information on other dementias, contact the Alzheimer Society or visit the website www.alzheimer.ca/en.

What causes Alzheimer’s disease?

We do not yet know what causes Alzheimer’s disease but researchers have identified risk factors associated with it. Age: Alzheimer’s disease usually affects people over the age of 65, although people may be diagnosed at an earlier age. The older you are, the greater the risk.  Family history: People with a parent, brother or sister with Alzheimer’s disease may have a slightly greater chance of developing the disease than those with no family history. Other factors: Research is being done on other factors such as existing diseases or conditions that the person may have, infections, toxins in the environment, education level, alcohol and tobacco use, diet and exercise.

Are there treatments for Alzheimer’s disease symptoms?

Several medications are now available to treat some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. These medications seem to slow down the decline in memory, language and thinking abilities. The treatments work for some people. These drugs are not a cure for the disease. They do not stop its progression. Ask your doctor what is available, and if there is a treatment suitable for you.

Why did I get Alzheimer’s disease?

There is no easy answer to this question. Researchers do not know the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. They do not know if it is caused by a single factor or a combination of factors.

Will my children get Alzheimer’s disease?

The majority of people with the disease have a common form called sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers are trying to determine what role heredity plays in this form. A very small percentage of people have an inherited form of the disease. This rare form is called Familial autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease. In certain families, it passes directly from one generation to another. Having more than one family member with Alzheimer’s disease does not necessarily mean that your family has the inherited form.

Is there genetic testing for Alzheimer’s disease?

Genetic testing for the disease is not widely available in Canada. It is usually limited to people with a strong family history of the disease who are enrolled in specific research studies. Some testing is also done on referral from a family physician. You cannot request genetic testing on behalf of another family member.

How does Alzheimer’s disease progress?

While the progression of the disease varies from person to person, it usually follows some predictable stages. The average length of the disease is between seven to 10 years, but some people may have it for a longer or shorter time. To learn about how Alzheimer’s disease progresses, please refer to our Progression series.

How do I live with Alzheimer’s disease?

Keeping stimulated, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, living one day at a time, and doing the things that you enjoy are just some of the ways to live well with Alzheimer’s disease.  While abilities will change as the disease progresses, learning to adapt to changes can help to maintain your quality of life for as long as possible. Many people are ready and willing to offer you support – family members, friends and your local Alzheimer Society.

Practical tips for daily living with Alzheimer’s disease

We asked people living with Alzheimer’s disease for some practical tips for daily living. Here are some of their suggestions:

“Do one thing at a time.”
“Write things down.”
“Follow routines.”
“Stay away from large crowds.”
“Avoid overstimulation.”
“If you forget something, don’t dwell on it.”
“If you are having problems with one activity, try something else.”
“Ask someone to help.”
“Use a dispenser for pills.”
“Set the timer when using the stove or oven.”

This article was taken from the Alzheimer’s website at www.alzheimer.ca.

Discharge from Hospital to Long-Term Care: Issues in Ontario1

Jane E. Meadus
Barrister & Solicitor
Institutional Advocate
Advocacy Centre for the Elderly

Updated February 2014

Hospitals in Ontario are overcrowded. Thousands of people are on waiting lists for long-term care homes. As a result, people requiring long-term care (LTC) are confronted with a variety of policies and programs developed to deal with these issues despite the legislation governing placement.

LTC homes in Ontario are publicly funded and governed by the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (LTCHA), which was enacted on July 1, 2010.2  This legislation, while having some changes, substantially continued the rights that applicants for placement into LTC homes had under the previous legislation.3

In 2012, the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE) had over 250 requests for assistance relating to discharge from hospital. In the first six months of 2013, this number skyrocketed to 200 such requests! Patients requiring admission to other care settings or requiring additional care in the home are often told that they must comply with hospital or Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) policies. These policies may require the patient or substitute decision-maker (SDM) to select possible LTC homes from a short list where a bed is or will soon be available. If they do not comply with the policy, the hospital threatens to charge the uninsured daily rate which ranges anywhere from $500.00 to $1,500.00 or more per day.

Hospitals may also require the patient/SDM to sign a contract indicating that they agree with this policy. In fact, no one is required to sign such a contract. More and more frequently, hospitals are blocking LTC home applications and CCAC workers are refusing to take applications from hospital patients, based on their interpretation of hospital policies or Home First/Wait at Home Program requirements.

1This article updates and amalgamates three previous articles prepared by ACE called First Available Bed Policies & Discharge to a Long-Term Care Home from Hospital, The Role of Community Care Access Centres in Admission to Long-Term Care from Hospital and Discharge from Hospital to Long-Term Care: Issues in Ontario.

2S.O. 2007, c. 8.

3Charitable Institutions Act, Homes for the Aged and Rest Homes Act and Nursing Homes Act.

www.advocacycentreelderly.org

Addendum

This issue was brought to our attention by a retired member in Windsor who was put in this situation. However she was aware of her rights under the above act and was able to achieve the resolution she desired.

Most patients and their families are unaware of their rights and end up with an undesirable result. There are many examples of patients ending up in Long-Term Care facilities long distances from family.

Please go to the above website to get the complete information on your rights. There is also contact info if you or someone you know needs their support to help resolve a situation.

An Alzheimer's Poem

Do not ask me to remember.
Don’t try to make me understand.
Let me rest and know you’re with me.
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.

I’m confused beyond your concept.
I am sad and sick and lost.
All I know is that I need you.
To be with me at all cost.

Do not lose your patience with me.
Do not scold or curse or cry.
I can’t help the way I’m acting,
Can’t be different ‘though I try.

Just remember that I need you,
That the best of me is gone.
Please don’t fail to stand beside me,
Love me ‘till my life is done.

Random Facts

  • The longest time between two twins being born is 87 days.
  • In 1923, jockey Frank Hayes won a race at Belmont Park in New York despite being dead ---- he suffered a heart attack mid-race, but his body stayed in the saddle until his horse crossed the line for a 20 – 1 outsider victory.
  • Everyone has a unique tongue print, just like fingerprints.
  • Canada ranks as the world’s 7th most popular destination for international students.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first President whose mother was legally eligible to vote for him.

Know how to recognize a scam

Examples of fraudulent communications             

  • Telephone
  • Letter
  • Emails
  • Text messages
  • Online Refund forms

There are many fraud types, including new ones invented daily.

Taxpayers should be vigilant when they receive, either by telephone, mail, text message or email, a fraudulent communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requesting personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number.

These scams may insist that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or a benefit payment. Cases of fraudulent communication could also involve threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into paying fictitious debt to the CRA. Other communications urge taxpayers to visit a fake CRA website where the taxpayer is then asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. These are scams and taxpayers should never respond to these fraudulent communications or click on any of the links provided.

To identify communications not from the CRA, be aware of these guidelines.

If you receive a call saying you owe money to the CRA, you can call us or check My Account to be sure.

If you have signed up for online mail (available through My Account, My Business Account, and Represent a Client), the CRA will do the following:

  • send a registration confirmation email to the address you provided for online mail service for an individual or a business; and
  • send an email to the address you provided to notify you when new online mail is available to view in the CRA’s secure online services portal.

The CRA will not do the following:

  • send email with a link and ask you to divulge personal or financial information.
  • ask for personal information of any kind by email or text message.
  • request payments by prepaid credit cards.
  • give taxpayer information to another person, unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
  • leave personal information on an answering machine.

Exception:

If you call the CRA to request a form or a link for specific information, a CRA agent will forward the information you are requesting to your email during the telephone call. This is the only circumstance in which the CRA will send an email containing links.

When in doubt, ask yourself the following:

  • Did I sign up to receive online mail through My Account, My Business Account, or Represent a Client?
  • Did I provide my email address on my income tax and benefit return to receive mail online?
  • Am I expecting more money from the CRA?
  • Does this sound too good to be true?
  • Is the requester asking for information I would not provide in my tax return?
  • Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?

If you do have a debt with the CRA and can’t pay in full, take action right away. For more information, go to When you owe money – collections at the CRA.

How to protect yourself from identity theft

  • Never provide personal information through the Internet or by email. The CRA does not ask you to provide personal information by email.
  • Be suspicious if you are ever asked to pay taxes or fees to the CRA on lottery or sweepstakes winnings. You do not have to pay taxes or fees on these types of winnings. These requests are scams.
  • Keep your access codes, user ID, passwords, and PINs secret.
  • Keep your address current with all government departments and agencies.
  • Choose your tax preparer carefully! Make sure you choose someone you trust and check their references. Always review your return, agree with the content before filing, and follow up to make sure you receive your notice of assessment, since it contains important financial and personal information that belongs to you.
  • Before supporting any charity, use the CRA website at www.cra.gc.ca/charities to find out if the charity is registered and get more information on the way it does business.
  • Be careful before you click on links in any email you receive. Some criminals may be using a technique known as phishing to steal your personal information when you click on the link.
  • Protect your social insurance number. Don’t use it as a piece of ID and never reveal it to anyone unless you are certain the person asking for it is legally entitled to that information. If an organization asks for your social insurance number, ask if it is legally required to collect it, and if not, offer other forms of ID.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycle and ask about any missing account statements or suspicious transactions.
  • Shred unwanted documents or store them in a secure place. Make sure that documents with your name and SIN are secure.
  • Immediately report lost or stolen credit or debit cards.
  • Carry only the ID you need.
  • Do not write down any passwords or carry them with you.
  • Ask a trusted neighbour to pick up your mail when you are away or ask that a hold be placed on delivery.

Have you been a victim?

If the CRA has confirmed that a taxpayer's information has been compromised, the Agency will act to prevent the fraudulent use of the information involving systems and processes for which the CRA is responsible.

If your social insurance number (SIN) has been stolen, you should contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218. For more information, see Social Insurance Number (Service Canada website).

You can ask the CRA to disable online access to your information on the CRA login services by calling the e-Services Helpdesk. After access to your information is disabled, you may change your mind and want access again. If so, you can call the e-Services Helpdesk and ask that your access be re-activated.

If you think your CRA user ID or the password you use in personal dealings with the CRA has been compromised, contact the e-Services Helpdesk.

Larry's kindergarten class was on a field trip to their local police station where they saw pictures tacked to a bulletin board of the 10 most wanted criminals. One of the youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person. “Yes,” said the policeman. “The detectives want very badly to capture him.” Larry asked, "Why didn't you keep him when you took his picture?"

Mail or Newspaper Marketing Fraud

Mail fraud and misleading advertisements in newspapers are also common forms of fraud. It is important not to be confused or misled by the many companies that sell products by mail and use contests or sweepstakes to catch your attention. Many are “too good to be true!” Here are some examples:

1. Official Looking Prize Notices

This notice comes in the mail and claims that you have won a lottery or huge prize. You are usually asked to either purchase a product, pay a processing fee or taxes. You are given very little time to respond to send money. You may also be asked to provide additional personal information and your credit card number.

2. Scratch ‘N’ Win Cards

There is a high probability that at some point you will receive one of those cards in the mail and it will more than likely indicate that you are a winner. You will be instructed to call a 1-900 number to claim you prize that will result in a significant phone bill, as 1-900 numbers have attached user fees.

3. Work at Home Scam

An advertisement is placed in a local newspaper stating that you can earn extra money while working at home. The work may involve stuffing envelopes, making phone calls or other tasks. “Up front” money or a “registration fee” is required. Sometimes you are even asked to resubmit your registration and fee. Unfortunately, you never hear from the promoter again.

4. E-mails

You receive an e-mail offering an item or service for free. By responding, it verifies your e-mail address thus causing you to receive spam or junk mail. As well, a trojan or a keylogger maybe activated which may collect and/or use personal and private information from your computer. This is commonly known as “Phishing”. You should DELETE all e-mails from senders that you are not familiar with.

Take Extra Care …

See these advertisements for the cons that they are. No matter how appealing these offers may sound, trust your good judgement, use your common sense and let these “opportunities” slip into the garbage. (Never give out your personal information or credit card number to unsolicited callers.)

This article came from the Hamilton Police website “Be Aware Take Care” booklet.

Thefts by Deception

Door to door deceptions

There are two men at your door claiming to work for one of the public utility companies. They may state that they are doing routine inspections and would like to see your meter, furnace or fuse box. While they are both inside your home, one will accompany you to the meter that is usually in the basement. The other man, when left alone, will search your house for valuables, medication or information about you. Remember, never leave anyone you don’t know alone inside your home.

Another version

Someone may attend your home asking for directions, a glass of water or change a $50.00 or $100.00 dollar bill into smaller cash denominations. Their goal is to enter your home, while you are distracted, to steal your purse, wallet or other valuables.

And another

A person presents him/herself at your door and says that they are out looking to purchase “antiques or collectibles” for their business. They know that some seniors may be thinking about downsizing and may wish to part with a few items. Unfortunately, it seldom stops with a few items. Before you know it, they have gone throughout your home, selected items they know to be valuable and then offer you a lot of pressure and just a little money for your treasures. It isn’t until after they are gone that you realize that you didn’t really want to part with these things but “it all happened so fast.” Don’t let strangers into your home!

Grocery store distractions

Someone approaches you and asks you for help in either reading a label on a product or asks what ingredients you would recommend in a certain recipe. While conversing with this person, another individual takes your purse from your shopping buggy. Be extra cautious when approached by strangers.

Take extra care …

  • Always keep all house or apartment doors locked, even when you are home.
  • If someone is at your door and is requesting access, as in a public utilities inspector, ask to see their credentials and then call the company to confirm their identity. Get the phone number from your directory.
  • Utility companies usually give you notice when an inspection is due.
  • Always be alert and cautious when dealing with strangers, either at home or in public.
  • If you ever have any concerns, call the police.

This article was taken from the Hamilton Police website "Be aware Take Care" booklet.

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Publication Date: 

Monday, January 18, 2016 - 3:15pm