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The UPP was established on January 1 as a jointly sponsored pension plan meant to “enhance the long-term sustainability of Ontario university pension plans.” It will replace five pension plans worth approximately $10 billion in assets in place at Queen’s University, the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto, with plans to serve other Ontario universities. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Before taking the job, Zvan was the chief risk officer at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, a position she left in February after almost 25 years with the fund. She was one of four members of a federal expert panel on sustainable finance that was created in 2018. The panel—chaired by Tiff Macklem, now Bank of Canada governor—delivered a final report last summer, urging Canadian businesses to enforce standards for tracking and reporting on how climate change could impact businesses and make routine climate disclosures to investors. According to a UPP spokesperson, there are approximately $25 billion in assets across 32 pension plans up for grabs in the Ontario university sector. UPP still needs to be approved by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario and the Canada Revenue Agency. It expects the fund to be operational by July 1, 2021.

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The suit, which has yet to be certified, claims that some 2,500 third-party couriers are Amazon employees and owed millions in unpaid wages from the e-commerce giant. (Toronto Star)

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Talking point: The proposed class action coincides with an ongoing case before the Ontario Labour Relations Board alleging Amazon blocked subcontracted delivery drivers in the Toronto area from unionizing. In both cases, drivers’ representatives argue that, while couriers are technically employed by independent delivery companies, they rely on Amazon for the bulk of their work and are required to follow the tech giant’s policies and processes. The class action also includes drivers using Amazon’s Flex app, an on-demand delivery service that works something like Uber. Amazon considers these couriers independent, though the suit claims they are misclassified; that they should have employee status including benefits, minimum wage and paid sick leave.

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“LifeLabs exposed British Columbians, along with millions of other Canadians, to potential identity theft, financial loss and reputational harm,” B.C. information and privacy commissioner Michael McEvoy said in a statement regarding a joint investigation into a breach last year at the laboratory-testing company. (CBC News)

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Talking point: LifeLabs revealed last December that hackers had gained access to the personal information of up to 15 million customers in Ontario and B.C. that fall, and that the company was forced to pay a ransom to retrieve and secure the data. The privacy commissioners of both provinces have instructed LifeLabs to strengthen its security policies, finding that it collected more personal information than “reasonably necessary.” The company has reportedly started to do that by hiring a chief privacy officer and chief information officer; it has also hired Deloitte Canada to evaluate its response to the ransomware cyberattack. In their statements, the commissioners said the publication of their full report was being delayed by the company’s claim that the information provided to them for the investigation was confidential. “This investigation also reinforces the need for changes to B.C.’s laws that allow regulators to consider imposing financial penalties on companies that violate people’s privacy rights,” McEvoy said.

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Six companies purchased a 49 per cent combined stake in the state-owned ADNOC Gas Pipeline Assets, which will have lease rights to 38 pipelines. (The Logic)

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Talking point: This is the largest energy infrastructure deal of 2020. It comes as oil prices are starting to rise, with U.S. crude above US$40 for the first time since March. However, both Brookfield and Ontario Teachers’ described this as a long-term investment. “This strategic transaction is attractive to Ontario Teachers’ as it provides us with a stake in a high-quality infrastructure asset with stable long-term cash flows, which will help us deliver on our pension promise,” said the pension’s chief investment officer Ziad Hindo. Shift Action, an environmental group, criticized the move, saying Teachers’ is “putting the hard-earned retirement savings of thousands of working and retired teachers at risk by investing in a massive piece of fossil fuel infrastructure in the midst of a worsening climate crisis and a volatile disruption to global energy markets.”