Istanbul has rekindled Turkey’s fight against religious autocracy

first_img More From Our Partners A ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale After its fall to the Turks in 1453, the newly-minted Constantinople became the capital of the Ottoman Empire, from where Sultans dispensed law and justice across a domain that at its peak spanned from the Middle East and North Africa to the gates of Vienna.  Opinion Alan MendozaAlan Mendoza is executive director of the Henry Jackson Society. In a country where the threat of military rule – frequently exercised in the course of Turkey’s tumultuous history – was long deemed by Istanbul’s liberal elite to be the greatest danger to their interests, even Erdogan’s Islamist beliefs were considered a price worth paying in exchange for stability and economic growth.  While Erdogan at first delivered on his early promises of economic development and the defanging of the military, it quickly became apparent that he had a loftier goal: the complete transformation of Turkish society and politics. And he was not going to allow little things like the norms of democracy and rule of law to stand in his way. whatsapp Share And he was a pretty good one. Istanbulis recall a reformer who pared down municipal debt while tackling congestion and air pollution.  The city rewarded its former mayor by providing the political muscle for his transition into national politics, buoyed by the idea that his social conservatism would play second fiddle to his commitment to financial liberalisation and securing EU membership. Or maybe they noticed that even his economic bubble had burst, with the economy nose-diving as the bill for years of debt-fuelled growth came due. While diminished in the post-First World War settlement, Istanbul has retained its economic importance to contemporary Turkey, as well as a romantic hold on the hearts of many beyond its borders.  Secular and cosmopolitan, and straddling the divide between Europe and Asia, such is its political weight that it is said that as Istanbul goes, so ultimately, does Turkey. Either way, in March this year, Istanbul rose to the occasion once more, determined to recapture its role in Turkey’s destiny by electing opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu in its mayoral election by a margin of just 13,000 votes. This was narrow enough for an enraged Erdogan to pressurise the Electoral Commission to declare the vote invalid owing to “irregularities”.  Erdogan has not looked back since, but Istanbul – along with much of the remainder of secular, liberal Turkey – has suffered buyer’s remorse.  Despite this, and the institutional bias against him occasioned by the President’s party having control of all the levers of power and influence, Imamoglu won last weekend’s rerun handsomely with some 54 per cent of the vote. Under Erdogan, Turkey has begun to adopt the trappings of a police state. Press freedom has been crushed, and the country has the highest number of journalists imprisoned per capita in the world.  Opposition political parties are denied fair access to media outlets, and their activists have been harassed and jailed. The judiciary has been compromised, and show trials of military leaders and anyone deemed a threat by Erdogan – particularly after the failed coup d’etat of 2016 – occur on a regular basis. City A.M.’s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M. As Byzantium, it was first the fortress of the eastern Roman Empire and then the bastion of Orthodox Christianity.  Perhaps as they surveyed the wreckage of Turkish civil society occasioned by his period in office, Isanbulis recalled that, while he was their mayor, Erdogan pronounced that “democracy is like a train: you get off when you reach your destination”, and decided that enough was finally enough.  Erdogan’s reputation and rule has been built on the inevitability of his success, with victory after victory reinforcing the idea that there was no alternative. For the first time in many years, Turks now have a new star in the firmament to turn to. It is difficult to see how Erdoganism will long survive this revelation. The resulting showdown has been epic, but decisive. Erdogan threw everything but the kitchen sink at Imamoglu, accusing him of being a terrorist, a coup supporter, an advocate of Egypt’s militant secularist President Sisi, and even secretly a Greek.  Wednesday 26 June 2019 5:14 am Through it all, Turkey’s secular settlement has been comprehensively undermined by a variety of laws ranging from the ending of the headscarf ban in public institutions to the restriction of the sale and advertising of alcohol.  TOPSHOT – Supporters of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu shout anti-government slogans as they take part in a protest against the re-run of Istanbul mayoral election in Istanbul, on May 6, 2019. – Turkey’s top election body ordered a re-run of Istanbul’s mayoral election on May 6 after the party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan complained about its shock defeat in the vote, the state news agency reported. The winner of the election, Ekrem Imamoglu of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said it was a “treacherous decision” and vowed to fight on. (Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP) (Photo credit should read YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images) The path of democracy in Turkey may still resemble Erdogan’s train journey. But while he may have decided to alight some time ago, Istanbul has proven that there is still plenty of track left before the end of the line. One man who understands this implicitly is Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Long before a national political career that has seen him essentially run Turkey as Prime Minister from 2003 and then President from 2014, Erdogan was mayor of Istanbul.  It is difficult to overplay the significance of this incredible result in unlikely circumstances. A quarter of a century of Erdogan’s sway over the city has ended. But it is ultimately the refutation of his methods and direction for all of Turkey that will have the greater resonance. Istanbul has rekindled Turkey’s fight against religious autocracy whatsapp Istanbul is one of the most famous cities in the world, on account of a storied history encompassing myriad great events. last_img read more

Murkowski addresses climate change during last day of AFN

first_imgAlaska Native Government & Policy | Climate Change | Environment | North Slope | Southcentral | WesternMurkowski addresses climate change during last day of AFNOctober 23, 2017 by Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media Share:The 51st Alaska Federation of Natives wrapped up Saturday in Anchorage on Saturday.Delegates passed a number of resolutions and heard from all three members of the state’s U.S. congressional delegation.U.S. Rep. Don Young gave an informal and unwritten speech that touched on the history of AFN and some of the social ills confronting Alaska, including social isolation from technology.U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan’s address covered a number of topics, including veterans, the opioid crisis, and Alaska’s relationship with the Trump Administration.But it was U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski who received the warmest welcome of the day.Murkowski’s nearly half-hour long speech started with an introduction delivered in Tlingit, and briefly hit upon the recent senate health care votes. But the vast majority of her remarks focused on climate change and alternative energy in Alaska.“Climate change is real. Climate change is real.”Murkowsi discussed new problems arising for communities she’s visited around the state, including recent flooding in Utqiagvik. But she used the crisis of a changing climate to talk about new energy solutions being tested in small Alaska communities that may drive change for the rest of the country.“And it’s not just village to village that’s looking to one another for ideas, the eyes of the world, my friends, are looking to us. They’re looking to Alaska for some of these solutions.”Murkowski also discussed steps she’s taking to bring more local consultation and traditional knowledge into federal legislative processes.Delegates approved a resolution from residents of Newtok asking for a change in federal disaster declarations that would broaden parameters to include long-term damage from climate change.The body also changed how it will endorse political candidates in statewide elections, putting the matter before delegates instead of the AFN board.(Editor’s note: This story will be updated later with more details.)Share this story:last_img read more

Mark Carney says UK economy is still in need of stimulus

first_img whatsapp Tags: Mark Carney People Share Bank of England governor Mark Carney signalled a dovish tone while speaking to MPs yesterday, despite insisting that the UK’s monetary policy will not be loosened even further.Carney told the Treasury Select Committee that Britain was “still an economy that requires monetary stimulus”, despite an expected growth rate of above three per cent this year. The yield on UK 10-year gilts fell 1.86 per cent during the day, closing near two per cent.However, while acknowledging threats to the UK economy from the Eurozone, Carney dismissed any prospect of the Bank delivering even stronger stimulus in the near future. “The [Bank’s] next move in policy is going to be an increase,” he said.Carney also said he may have to write an open letter to chancellor George Osborne, which the Bank governor is required to do whenever inflation moves above three or below one per cent annually.Fellow monetary policy committee member Kristin Forbes also expressed her belief that inflation would continue to undershoot the Bank’s two per cent target.“Currently measures of domestically generated inflation are also low, and that should continue to keep inflation contained for now,” Forbes said. She added that external factors were playing a significant role in keeping inflation down. However, she said the deflation was unlikely.Forbes’ colleague Sir Jon Cunliffe joined the group of doves. “With interest rates already at their effective lower bound and inflation below target, I am more worried about risk of inflation surprising again on the downside than that of an unexpected emergence of inflationary pressure,” he said. Ian McCafferty departed from the consensus, reiterating the view that has led him to vote for a rate hike in recent meetings. “The current inflation undershoot does not, in my view, negate the need for a modest rise in interest rates,”McCafferty said. Mark Carney says UK economy is still in need of stimulus Julian Harris center_img Show Comments ▼ whatsapp Tuesday 25 November 2014 9:14 pmlast_img read more

From Nazi camps to freedom of the city

first_img whatsapp Tags: NULL Tuesday 20 January 2015 8:25 pm Express KCS whatsapp Holocaust survivors Ben Helf­gott and Sabina Miller yest­er­day received the Freed­om of the City of London. Next Tuesday is Holocaust Memorial Day■ Switzerland’S skies will be chock-a-block with private jets, big and small, as billionaires and world leaders swoop in to attend the annual World Economic Forum in Davos. The 1,700 jets expected are twice as many as usual in the airspace, due to those attending the forum. Bearing the brunt is Zurich airport, where take-off and landing slots are limited and, given the Swiss franc exchange rate, will be very expensive. Good to know that the great and the good – and the as-rich-as-Croesus – will be discussing climate change… Can’t they plane share? Share Show Comments ▼ Read This NextRicky Schroder Calls Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl ‘Ignorant Punk’ forThe Wrap’Drake & Josh’ Star Drake Bell Arrested in Ohio on Attempted ChildThe WrapCNN’s Brian Stelter Draws Criticism for Asking Jen Psaki: ‘What Does theThe WrapDid Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kriss Kross Memes Have AlreadyThe WrapHarvey Weinstein to Be Extradited to California to Face Sexual AssaultThe WrapKatt Williams Explains Why He Believes There ‘Is No Cancel Culture’ inThe WrapPink Floyd’s Roger Waters Denies Zuckerberg’s Request to Use Song in Ad:The Wrap’Black Widow’ First Reactions: ‘This Is Like the MCU’s Bond Movie’The Wrap’The View’: Meghan McCain Calls VP Kamala Harris a ‘Moron’ for BorderThe Wrap From Nazi camps to freedom of the city last_img read more

Watch: How biotech startups become unicorns, explained

first_img By Damian Garde Oct. 11, 2019 Reprints Episode #2: Estimating the value of a private company. Alex Hogan/STAT Damian Garde Log In | Learn More Thanks to a yearslong boom in the world of venture capital, keeping tabs on biotech means constantly reading that some so-called startup is suddenly worth more than $1 billion. But just who is putting the horns on all these unicorns?Welcome back to “The Facts, STAT!”, a not-infrequent STAT video series in which our reporters briefly explain the need-to-know basics of issues in the world of health care and biotech. National Biotech Reporter Damian covers biotech, is a co-writer of The Readout newsletter, and a co-host of “The Readout LOUD” podcast. What is it? Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Biotech GET STARTED Watch: How biotech startups become unicorns, explained STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. What’s included? About the Author Reprints [email protected] Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED The Facts, STAT! Episode #2Volume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsEnabledDisabledPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9SettingsOffcaptionsFont ColorWhiteFont Opacity100%Font Size100%Font FamilyArialCharacter EdgeNoneBackground ColorBlackBackground Opacity50%Window ColorBlackWindow Opacity0%ResetWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyan100%75%25%200%175%150%125%100%75%50%ArialCourierGeorgiaImpactLucida ConsoleTahomaTimes New RomanTrebuchet MSVerdanaNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDrop ShadowWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyan100%75%50%25%0%WhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyan100%75%50%25%0% facebook twitter Email Link EmbedCopiedLive00:0001:1901:19  @damiangarde Tags biotechnologylast_img read more

Funeral details announced for late Fianna Fail Cllr Jerry Lodge

first_img WhatsApp Ten Laois based players named on Leinster rugby U-18 girls squad Council TAGSCllr Jerry Lodge Twitter Facebook Pinterest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Cllr Jerry Lodge getting results with his son RTE sports reporter Pauric Lodge at the Laois General Election count in St. Mary’s Hall in 2016 Funeral details have been announced following the sad passing of Fianna Fail Cllr Jerry Lodge.The death notice is as follows: “Jerry Lodge, ‘Curra Dubh’, Ridge Road, Portlaoise, died peacefully at The Beacon Hospital, Dublin.A member of Laois County Council, beloved husband of Patricia (O’ Keeffe) (Newmarket, Co. Cork).“Deeply and deservedly regretted by his loving wife, sons Damien and Pauric. Sadly missed by his sister Mary Murphy (Dublin), brother Anthony, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, good neighbours and friends.“Reposing in Keegans Funeral Home, Portlaoise, on Friday from 3pm until removal at 5.50pm to SS Peter & Paul’s Church, Portlaoise, for 6pm. Requiem Mass on Saturday at 1pm, with burial after in SS Peter & Paul’s Cemetery.“Donations if desired to the Cardiac Unit, Regional Hospital, Portlaoise. Donation box will be in place in the funeral home and church.”Mr Lodge, who was Fianna Fail’s longest-serving elected representatives in the country, passed away in hospital yesterday after falling ill last week.Aged in his 70s, he was first elected to Portlaoise Town Commission in 1967 and he celebrated 50 years as a public representative last year.After his election to the Town Commission he was elected to the County Council at each of the seven subsequent local elections – in 1979, 1985, 1991, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014.He was also on the Fianna Fail ticket for four General Elections – including the three in an unprecedented 18-month spell in 1981-82. In addition he served as Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council and as Mayor of Portlaoise on different occasions.As well as that he ran in the 1987 General Election when he polled 4,356 first preference votes, his highest tally of his four campaigns. On each occasion he was the fourth Fianna Fail candidate but played a key role in helping the party get three TDs elected to the Dail.He was active on local council work as recently as last week, attending a full meeting of Laois County Council.SEE ALSO – Tributes paid to late Jerry Lodge following sad passing Home News Funeral details announced for late Fianna Fail Cllr Jerry Lodge News Laois County Council team up with top chef for online demonstration on tips for reducing food waste WhatsApp Community Rugby By Alan Hartnett – 4th April 2018 Pinterest Twitter Laois County Council create ‘bigger and better’ disability parking spaces to replace ones occupied for outdoor dining Previous articleHeritage Killenard tee off Easter Sunday morning with Captains Drive inNext articleBREAKING: Two men charged following assault of Laois footballer Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Funeral details announced for late Fianna Fail Cllr Jerry Lodgelast_img read more

Snooker extravaganza in Portlaoise to feature two legends of the game

first_img WhatsApp By James Moore – 27th October 2019 GAA Home Sport Other Sport Snooker extravaganza in Portlaoise to feature two legends of the game SportOther Sport Twitter Snooker extravaganza in Portlaoise to feature two legends of the game Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results Pinterest Previous articleLaois see off Westmeath in first round of the Fr Manning CupNext articleDeaths in Laois – Sunday, October 27, 2019 James Moore RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory Anybody who remembers the 1985 World Snooker Championship final will never forget where they were when they watched Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor battle for the sport’s biggest prize in which Taylor won an historic match on the very last ball in the very last frame.On Thursday January 30 2020, You will get a rare chance to see the two legends in action at the Midlands Park Hotel for a very special evening filled with entertainment, stories, jokes and even some snooker!The night will also feature a special reenactment of that famous black ball frame that many snooker fans fondly remember.Their final visit to the Midlands will see them play at The Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar the following night, Friday January 31.This will be the last time the Snooker legends will feature together in the Midlands so people are advised to book early to avoid missing out on what will be a fun filled night.Anyone who wishes to play a frame with the 2 legends can do so , however places are extremely limited so contact Stephen ASAP on 085-1636969 for more information.Tickets are available from The Midlands Park Hotel 057-8678588 or online via Ticketstop.Standard tickets are €25 while VIP tickets are €40 plus a €2 booking fee.VIP ticket holders are entitled to a pre match finger food reception with meet & greet session, plus front row seats at the event.Please note that VIP Tickets are strictly limited and must be snatched up quickly.This could be the perfect stocking filler with Christmas just around the corner so don’t miss out.SEE ALSO-New addition to Laois senior football management as former Killeshin boss named selector Pinterest TAGSMidlands Park HotelsnookerSnooker extravaganza Facebook WhatsApp GAA Facebook GAA Twitter 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshinlast_img read more

Back to the Tumen, where it all began

first_img AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] News North Korea from China’s side of the Tumen River. Image: Daily NK By Daily NK – 2015.11.25 11:17am “I hesitated a lot about this trip,” KimKyeong Ok (23)  said. “I lived in hiding for about three months in Chinaafter I escaped, and I will never be able to forget that sense of unease that Ilived with,” she explained. The story is not much different for Choi MiJin (22). “I still have dreams about it. The memories of living in hiding arestill so fresh,” she said. “It was a difficult decision, but even if it’s likethis, I wanted to get a look of my homeland, so that’s why I’m here.” This debilitating fear that many lived withcontinues on during their resettlement in the South. “The scariest thing in China was thepolice,” one student recalled. “You may not be able to understand it, but evenafter I came here, I would run away from the police without even thinking. I’veeven hidden under a car.” “Now, things are a lot better, but I dotend to avoid the police even though I haven’t done anything wrong,” he said. Members of the group looking at North Korea from a boat. Image: Daily NK Members pose for a photo on the banks of Tumen River against the backdrop of North Korea. Image: Daily NK Back to the Tumen, where it all began RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Ordinary Pyongyang residents have not received government rations since mid-April News center_img News News Young defectors need help in traumatreatment Many young defectors that were on the‘pilgrimage’ spoke of being psychologically scarred, or suffering from PTSD,after having crossed the line of life or death. The emotional toll andpsychological impact still remain deeply embedded. They say the fear that they lived with wasmuch greater in China. What terrified many of them on the trip was going backto that country after having lived there under the constant threat ofrepatriation.  North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China Unlike River Lethe in Greek mythology, theTumen River, which acts as a border between North Korea and China, does notswallow up past memories for young North Korean defectors. Lethe was said toprovide forgetfulness for those who crossed the river, allowing them to movebeyond their past pains and enter a new life. The Tumen, contrary to this,conjures up some of the most painful and fearful moments for defectors, as manyrecall crossing its icy cold water with their lives on the edge to escape theirhomeland. Beyond Tumen, a drink from a kind stranger on the other side Heo Seo Yeong, who took part in the recent unification ‘pilgrimage’, still has fresh memories of the one drink shewas offered by a Chinese man after she crossed the Tumen River. Now 22, Heoremembers being served a shot of Kaoliang (a strong distilled liquor) by theChinese man who aided her in her escape in 2011. “Security was tight at the time around theborders and the Tumen, so I crossed thinking that I would die on the spot if Iwas caught,” Heo said. She recalled the water that enveloped herbody at night, being so different from the Tumen she had encountered whilescouting out the area during the day. “That short span of time that it took tocross felt like forever,” she recalled. The first thing Heo ran into after crossingwas a barbed wire fence (sealing off the Chinese border) and a following senseof defeat she felt in that moment. “I guess I’m done here,” Heo rememberedthinking. Luckily, her Chinese supporter found herand took her to an undisclosed location. “You’ve been through a lot. Everythingis okay now,” he told her while offering her a drink. “Now, looking back on it,I realize it was out of consideration for my body that had been in cold waterfor a long time with the utmost tension,” she said. “Once the strong liquorpassed through, I could feel my body getting warmer and my thoughts clearer.”  Facebook Twitter Hamhung man arrested for corruption while working at a state-run department store SHARE Truck crossing over into North Korea after going through customs in China. Image: Daily NKlast_img read more

Small business confidence dropping amid wider economic pressures

first_imgdifficult choices of a businessman due to crisis 123RF Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Government to reimburse self-employed workers who repaid CERB Related news IE Staff Keywords Small business,  Economic indicators B.C.’s $500-million investment fund to help small, medium sized businesses Nova Scotia offers extra $12 million to businesses hit by latest Covid-19 lockdown Optimism among small business owners dropped in March, causing the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s (CFIB) Business Barometer index to fall three points.The index fell to 55.9, which is “one of the worst readings we’ve seen in the past three years,” CFIB vice-president and chief economist Ted Mallett said in a Thursday press release. An index level of about 65 suggests a healthy economy. Only about 17% of business owners plan to hire full-time staff, and 15% plan to cut back. Plans to increase wages and prices also dropped in March, the CFIB said.“It’s not typical for hiring intentions to be so low at this time of year, as businesses should be gearing up for the busier spring and summer seasons,” Mallet said in a statement. “But it’s indicative of the low level of optimism that private-sector firms are reporting.”The generally low level of business confidence echoes fears in other parts of the economy, the CFIB said, like lagging consumer demand, rising inventories, trade pressures and an expected slowdown south of the border.Of small business owners, 43% said their business is in “good shape,” but 14% said they’re navigating troubled waters.Nova Scotia and Quebec posted high levels of confidence this month (66.8 and 65.3, respectively) but Ontario and Saskatchewan dropped significantly month-over-month, to 59.5 and 50.8, respectively. Alberta remained the least optimistic province with a reading of 42.1.Natural resource companies dropped in confidence, falling 5.8 points from February to 38.8, the lowest of any sector. The wholesale industry had the most confidence, at a level of 61.0. Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

What to make of the CSA’s revised client-focused reforms

first_imgJason Pereira, partner and senior financial consultant at Woodgate Financial in Toronto, says the CFRs don’t go far enough and are instead evidence that the industry in Canada is falling behind its global peers.“Look around the world and compare where we stand,” Pereira says, referring to extensive reforms in Australia and the U.K.In Canada, “we’re not even talking about the banning of embedded compensation,” Pereira says.Last year, Canadian regulators proposed banning deferred sales charges, not embedded compensation, but the Ontario government didn’t support the proposal, which is now on hold.The CFRs are subject to ministerial approval before coming into force at the end of this year. When asked whether the Ontario government would support the reforms, a spokesperson for Minister of Finance Rod Phillips said in an emailed statement that the ministry is in the process of its 60-day review.In contrast to the Canadian approach to embedded commissions, some stateside governments are taking the SEC to task for failing to implement a fiduciary duty for brokers.With a regulatory track record that includes the CRM2 requirement to disclose trailing commissions, not total costs, and a failure to introduce a fiduciary standard, Canada’s industry regulation is “shamefully behind,” Pereira says, and doesn’t truly put clients first.In response to a majority of comments on the proposals, the CSA added a “materiality” threshold regarding conflicts of interest, so that only material conflicts must be identified and addressed.“The commenters argued that having to identify and address non-material conflicts would impose a significant burden on registrants without providing corresponding investor protection or benefits,” CSA says in its notice of the amendments.Materiality adds a tangible aspect in identifying conflicts, says Christina Mackinnon, an associate at Torys in Toronto. Material conflicts potentially involve a power imbalance, informational asymmetry, or an investment decision that disadvantages a client, she says, and material conflicts could differ among firms depending on firm structure.One material conflict cited by the CSA in its notice is receiving embedded commissions. Still, the regulators say advisors and firms can offer funds with embedded commissions if they can demonstrate that the recommendation is based on the security’s quality without influence from any third-party compensation.Recommending products with embedded commissions is “possible but not advisable,” Mackinnon says. Advisors would have to show how the recommendation puts the client’s interest first, which might be challenging when there are other comparable products that could be recommended. “It makes the advisor’s life more difficult,” she says.Senior advocacy group CARP (Canadian Association for Retired Persons) says it continues to advocate for the elimination of embedded commissions. “Canadians pay among the highest mutual fund fees in the world and often investors are unaware of the fees they pay on those investments,” says Marissa Lennox, chief policy officer at CARP in Toronto.While the CFRs don’t break fresh regulatory ground, Mackinnon says they serve a purpose. The regulators are providing clarity about standards and registrant obligations, and regulatory expectations now match guidance, she says.Investor advocate FAIR Canada says that while the reforms don’t as far as they had hoped, the changes “represent material improvements in the protection of investors.”In an emailed statement, executive director Ermanno Pascutto commended the CSA for requiring that conflicts be addressed in clients’ best interests.“Among other things, this will require that registrants change sales compensation incentives which lead to advice that is in the best interest of the firm rather than the client,” he said.Dropped proposalsSeveral requirements floated in the CSA’s proposals have been dropped.For referral arrangements, the CFRs originally proposed a fee and duration limit, which could have negatively affected advisors and portfolio managers working in tandem.Jason Ayres, CEO at Croft Financial Group in Toronto, says he appreciates the regulators’ awareness of business models, which function effectively and add value in most cases.Still, Pereira says “there’s need for correction” concerning referral arrangements, such as when advisors collect fees but don’t service the client. “That’s wrong and needs to stop,” he says.In NI 31-103’s companion policy, the CSA provides guidance on addressing the conflict arising from referral arrangements, outlining expectations related to disclosure, supervision and assessment of referrals’ qualifications and registration if applicable. Also, CSA says it may develop and propose for comment additional reforms related to referral arrangements.“Transparency and disclosure […] is a good start,” but a minimum standard of service is missing from the regulation, Pereira says.Despite the lack of a codified standard, Ayres says a recent OSC audit at his firm made clear that “there were certain expectations […] with respect to conflicts of interest, fee disclosure and client understanding of roles and responsibilities within the relationship” of a referral arrangement.He says a positive is that the CFRs’ enhanced standards for conflicts related to referral arrangements motivate firms in aggregate to revisit their documentation and legacy relationships, thereby overcoming complacency.Further, as regulators continue to review referral arrangements, they might push forward with standards, such as a cap on referral payments, which would help harmonize the arrangements and create consistency, Mackinnon says.Another dropped proposal — the requirement for firms to make information publicly available that a reasonable investor would consider important in deciding to become a client — was overly broad, Mackinnon says, and put firms in a difficult position in instances where they provide tailored services, for example, or negotiate charges. What investors typically want to know is found in relationship disclosure information, the rules for which are clear, she says.Implementing the changesThe amendments introduce a new section — misleading communications — which prohibit advisors from presenting themselves in ways that might deceive clients. For example, client-facing advisors can’t use corporate officer titles (e.g., “vice-president” to denote seniority), or titles or recognition based on revenue (e.g., “President’s Club” on a LinkedIn profile).“Clients can be too trusting when confronted with such titles, leaving investors ill-prepared to ask questions and make fully informed decisions,” Lennox says.Firms must be onside with that amendment, as well as the many others, which could mean greater costs and time commitments. Mackinnon says considerations for firms include implementing KYP requirements, updating KYC documents and relationship disclosure information, and redrafting compliance manuals so that policies and procedures are robust, especially for conflicts of interest. In an audit, the first thing regulators will look at is whether the firm is onside with the conflict of interest amendments, she says.Firms should also self-audit their record-keeping systems for compliance and comprehensiveness, she says. For example, suitability determinations must now be documented.“If an advisor’s challenged on why they recommended a proprietary product, they have to have that [suitability determination] in writing,” Mackinnon says. Record-keeping will be all the more important with the CFRs’ client-first standard and with the onus on advisors to justify their recommendations, she says. Merger of B.C. financial services, real estate regulators nears completion Title protection in Ontario on track for 2022 Michelle Schriver Keywords Client-focused reforms,  RegulationCompanies Canadian Securities Administrators Related news smiling young couple shaking hands with investment advisor javiindy/123RF Share this article and your comments with peers on social media The Canadian Securities Administrators’ revised client-focused reforms provide welcome relief for the industry on referral arrangements and clarity on conflicts, while some advisors say the reforms don’t go far enough to protect investors and keep up with regulation in other countries.Last week, the Canadian Securities Administrators published the client-focused reforms (CFRs), which consist of amendments to National Instrument 31-103 and require advisors and firms to address material conflicts in the best interests of clients and put clients’ interests first when making suitability determinations. The amendments are supported by new know-your-product (KYP) requirements and enhancements to know-your-client (KYC), suitability, conflicts of interest and relationship disclosure. FSRA updates title reg proposal Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more