Understanding European Privacy Laws: Impacts on Canadian Business

By Ken Mark, Freelance writer.

On November 16 at the KPMG offices at 333 Bay Street the Belgian Canadian Business Chamber hosted  seminar on the recently announced European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In his opening remarks, Christian Frayssignes, vice-president of the Canadian Belgian Canadian Business Chamber (CBBC)  reported that in the first year of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the 28-member European Union,  Canadian exports increased 3.3 -per cent imports rose 12.5 per cent.

André van der Heyden, CBBC vice-president and COO also reminded  the audience that Brussels is the de facto capital of Europe being the home for several major European Union governing bodies as well as the ideal entry point for goods to reach more than half of the EU’s 510 million consumers

Cristina Onosé, Director Canadian Marketing Association,  explains  that under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Canadian firms must strengthen their IT data security practices and procedures to comply with of the EU’s requirement. As of November 1, 2018, its mandatory data breach notification will  be coming into force in Canada.  

GDPR  requires Canadian firms doing business with the EU to notify the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and all affected individuals if they suffer any type of loss of personal information that causes a real risk of major  harm. If Canadian companies offering goods or services to European Union (EU) residents or monitor the behavior of EU residents within the EU, they will now need to comply with strict new rules around how they collect, handle and secure information.

Says Derek Lackey, Toronto-based Managing Director of Newport Thomson, a data & privacy compliance consulting firm, “ concludes that Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which sets out the privacy obligations that firms must adhere to when they handling  personal information obtained in commercial is no longer adequate. 

He supports GDPR proposed  rules requiring firms to protect the personal and other data of their consumers and clients and formally requesting permission to share the personal data which they have collected. As well, he supports imposing penalties for non-compliance which do not exist under PIPEDA. “Enforcement is the key to protecting Canadians’ personal electronically collected data,“ he says.

Lackey also notes that the so-called FANG group of high-tech titans Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google may soon face huge fines from European and other regulators for their casual approach to sharing and selling their consumer data without informed consent.

In his comments, Donald Johnson, a partner with the law firm Air& Berlis and Honorary Consul General of Belgium in Toronto explained that existing data protection rules are inadequate in the today’s IT world based on involving external cloud computing solutions. He also notes that since 2012, the European Union has moved forward to become the world  leader in consumer data protection laws. He says, “Originally, personal data protection laws were based on principles, not rules.” 

He also mentions that many Canadian firms believe that they do not need to meet the new GDPR rules.  But if they have any business links with European firms, they should check if they need to comply. In fact, at the end of 2017, almost 40 per cent of EU companies were not ready for the new legislation.

In her comments, Sharon Bauer, a partner with the consulting firm KPMG outlined that GDPR requires that forms must inform regulators that their data system has been breached and if there is severe damage to  customer data  its cause and how it was repaired. Failure to  comply may lead to severe fines.

However, Bauer concludes that a positive certificate of assessment becomes  a seal of approval for the firm that increases the comfort level of its customers buying their products or services.

“It assures them ‘You can do business securely with us’.” 

CETA – Canada’s trade with Europe one year later, by Christian Siviere

CETA – Canada’s trade with Europe one year later

It’s a great tool for Canadian businesses to expand their export markets as well as their supplier base

Signed in October 2016, CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union has now been in effect a year, as it was provisionally implemented on September 21st, 2017.

Most of its provisions are in effect since that date, particularly the reduction of tariffs or Customs duties, the opening of government procurement, the mutual recognition of standards and the facilitation of the movement of professionals. It’s a great tool for Canadian businesses to expand their export markets as well as their supplier base, thereby lessening our dependence on the United States.

While its overall impact, particularly on services and investment is hard to measure at this relatively early stage, looking at our statistics on the trade of goods with the EU should tell us how popular CETA is with Canadian exporters. There are different ways to calculate exports but the figures commonly quoted by Global Affairs Canada indicate European exporters have been faster than us, as up to July 2018, Canadian exports to the EU have grown by a mere one per cent while our imports from the EU have increased by a whopping 12 per cent.

Of course, Canadian businesses have their eyes riveted on what’s happening with NAFTA, since so much of our trade is with the U.S. and this explains why they have not yet rushed to the conquest of the European market. Ironically, for European businesses, the Canadian market is small but still has good potential, as we are so close to the huge U.S. market.

Whatever the reason for the current imbalance, it is interesting to look at what’s happening at the individual country level. Canadian exports to the UK, by far our first European market, were down three per cent, as we exported $15.240 billion worth of goods there from September 2017 to July 2018, compared to $15.789 the year before. Exports to our third European market, France, were down eight per cent from $3.085 billion to $2.827 billion and to Belgium down five per cent from $2.674 billion to $2.537 billion.

On the plus side of the ledger, exports to our second European market, Germany, were up six per cent, from $3.358 billion to $3.556 billion. Exports to the Netherlands were up 23 per cent from $2.420 billion to $2.965 billion, and those to Italy climbed by 19 per cent from $2.120 billion to $2.536 billion.

Canadian exports with notable growth included aluminum, automobile parts, chemicals, cranberries, and maple syrup. Most of these products are exported by ocean and the Port of Montréal, Canada’s gateway to Europe, reported a four per cent growth in its European container traffic from January to August 2018 versus the same period in 2017.

As to CETA’s final implementation, twelve European countries out of 28 have ratified it, the latest one being Austria in June 2018. The process continues, albeit slowly. Its only provisions that are pending final ratification of all EU member parliaments concern investor-state dispute settlement and portfolio investment.

Meantime, trade remains wide open under CETA’s provisional implementation and our exporters should bring Europe closer to the top of their agenda.

Belgian passport – Belgisch paspoort – Passeport belge / Toronto – 07+08/11/2018

BELANGRIJK –  IMPORTANT

Do you need a new passport in the coming months and do you wish to have your biometric data taken in during a visit from the Flying Kit in Toronto on 7 and 8 November 2018? This link will explain you how to proceed.

Hebt u in de volgende maanden een nieuw paspoort nodig en wenst u uw biometrische gegevens te laten opnemen tijdens het bezoek van de Flying Kit  in Toronto op 7 en 8 november 2018? U vindt de procedure in deze link.

Vous avez besoin d’un nouveau passeport dans les mois à venir ? Il vous est possible de faire enregistrer vos données biométriques lors de la visite du « flying kit » à Toronto les 7 et 8 novembre 2018? Toutes les informations sont disponibles dans ce lien.

Francophonie en Fête

Francophonie en Fête unveils its program for our Annual Francophone Music Festival which runs Sept 20-29 2018.
The 13th edition of the Francophonie en Fête Festival is a week-long celebration including two full weekends of the francophone diversity that Toronto enjoys, brought together on stages across Toronto in a series of free and paid concerts. Through the Festival period an in-school educational program will be delivered to French-language schools across Toronto.

Check the website for the performance schedule and details:

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David Goffin in Toronto

David Goffin will be playing in the Rogers Cup alongside the best tennis players in the world.

Great news – David is scheduled to play Canadian, Milos Raonic on Centre Court on Monday night!

This will be a packed house so David will need all the support he can get!
Tennis Canada would like to extend an invitation to the Belgian community in Toronto and area to allow an opportunity to see him play live and fill the stadium for his match via a discounted ticket program.
Click here to get discounted tickets.
PS – Make sure to tell your group to bring their Belgian flags and wave them proudly!!

BRUSSELS FOOD FAIR Salon de l’Alimentation

BRUSSELS FOOD FAIR
Salon de l’Alimentation
The biggest covered market in Belgium

13 – 21 October 2018 ~ https://www.salonalimentation.be

Meet more than 115,000 buyers !

 The 89th edition of the « Salon de l’Alimentation » is a big covered
market with restaurants, where small craftsmen’s work meets
products entertainment !
 Salon de l’Alimentation is a large exhibition representing multiple
sectors:
 Gastronomy (restaurants, bars, food trucks, traditional booths,…)
 Fashion, jewelry, beauty products,…
 Home decoration and living
 Craftsmen’s from all over the world (Senegal, Japan, Morocco, Vietnam,…)
 Demonstration (championship of apprentice bakers, cooking shows,…)
 9 days including 2 weekends – no conflict with the school holidays
 National Fair with a strong media plan: radio, daily press, free
press,…

Salon de l’Alimentation > facts :

 This popular national event held in Brussels welcomed:

 115,000 visitors in 9 days (2017)
 280 Belgian and foreign exhibitors

 35,000 sqm of exhibition space – 4 halls
 Average purchase of 80€/visitor
 Target group: (shoppers who want to discover and test new artisanal products)

 Couples and groups of 50+ weekdays
 Families on the weekends
 58% Women

 

Ontario Teachers’ CEO Ron Mock honoured by the Kingdom of Belgium

PRESS RELEASE
Ontario Teachers’ CEO Ron Mock honoured by the Kingdom of Belgium June 14, 2018

(L to R): Belgian Ambassador Raoul Delcorde and Ontario Teachers’ CEO, Ron Mock

TORONTO – We are pleased to announce that Ron Mock, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’), was today presented with Belgium’s Commander of the Order of the Crown, one of the highest distinctions in the national orders of the Kingdom of Belgium.

The award, an honorary order of knighthood, was conferred by Belgian Ambassador Raoul Delcorde at a ceremony in Toronto in recognition of meritorious service to the Belgian state.

“This prestigious decoration is bestowed on behalf of His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium,” said Ambassador Delcorde. “We are pleased to be able to recognize Mr. Mock for his friendship and contributions to the wellbeing of the Belgian people, reflecting the enduring connections that Ontario has with Belgium in the important sectors of education, commerce and culture.”

The ceremony occurred at Ontario Teachers’ Toronto headquarters, where Ambassador Delcorde was joined by Honorary Consul of Belgium for Ontario, Donald B. Johnston.

As of December 2017, Ontario Teachers’ had more than $1.7 billion invested in Belgium, including ownership of 39 per cent of the Brussels Airport. The Brussels Airport is the country’s second-largest economic driver, and one of its largest employers. With 20,000 direct and 40,000 indirect jobs, the airport is the largest private employer of Brussels residents.

“I am so proud to receive this honour,” said Mr. Mock. “I can think of no greater recognition of our strong and enduring partnership with the country of Belgium, its government, and His Majesty the King.”

The Order of the Crown is awarded for service to the Belgian state, including distinguished artistic, literary or scientific achievements or important contributions to the development of industry and trade. It is the second-highest Belgian Order of Knighthood.

About Ontario Teachers’

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’) is Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, with $189.5 billion in net assets at December 31, 2017. It holds a diverse global portfolio of assets, approximately 80% of which is managed in-house, and has earned an average annualized rate of return of 9.9% since the plan’s founding in 1990. Ontario Teachers’ is an independent organization headquartered in Toronto. Its Asia-Pacific region office is located in Hong Kong and its Europe, Middle East & Africa region office is in London. The defined-benefit plan, which is fully funded, invests and administers the pensions of the province of Ontario’s 323,000 active and retired teachers. For more information, visit otpp.com and follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.

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Belgium vs France

“Two of the world’s premier teams face off on Tuesday in the 2018 World Cup semifinals as Belgium and France meet at 2 p.m. ET. It’s just the third time these two squads have met in a World Cup. France won a 1986 meeting on penalty kicks and cruised 3-1 way back in 1938. Belgium won a 4-3 friendly in 2015, the last time these nations met on the pitch. The winner heads to the 2018 World Cup final on July 15. France is the 2018 World Cup favorite to win it all at 2-1 odds, while Belgium is the second-biggest favorite at 5-2.”

But we know who’s going to win, right?

Join us on Tuesday July 10th at 2 pm at Le Petit Dejeuner (191 King Street East, Toronto, ON)

Go Red Devils Go!!!!

Business with Belgium ~ It’s all about CETA

The Belgian Canadian Business Chamber together with the Canadian International Council (CIC) and the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) brought together numerous experts to for a session on “It’s all about CETA” on May 18th, 2018

Pasquale Madonna, senior consultant, Trade & Customs practice KPMG led off with an update on increased second -generation, public-sector contract deals under CETA. In the past, sales of goods, projects and services to all three levels of government were subject to local content rules that discouraged or excluded foreign bidders. CETA has eliminated most of those barriers.  Smaller contracts are still set aside for local suppliers.

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