Antipipeline Freedom Train heads to Toronto

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Freedom Train recently arrived in Winnipeg.The coalition of First Nations groups from British Columbia is travelling across Canada by rail in protest of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project.A group of Manitoba First Nations welcomed the coalition at the Thunderbird House. The Freedom Train members are making their way to Enbridge’s annual shareholders meeting in Toronto set for Wednesday.They hope to spread the message against the Enbridge pipeline to all Canadians along the way.last_img read more

AFN Election By the numbers

first_imgBy Tim FontaineAPTN National NewsTORONTO–Hundreds of chiefs and potentially thousands of people are expected to descend on Toronto this week for the Assembly of First Nations annual assembly that will decide who will lead the organization for the next three years.The AFN has a long history acting as the collective voice of First Nations chiefs. It began as the National Indian Brotherhood which was created in reaction to the 1969 White Paper.Here are some quick facts about the organization which has become, in many cases, the face of First Nations for many Canadians.BC has the most possible votes, with 198 chiefs. Followed by ON (126), SK (70), MB (63), AB (45), QC (39), YT (16), NWT (26), NB (15), NS (13), NL (4) and PEI (2).There have been ten National Chiefs since the formation of the Assembly of First Nations (then called the National Indian Brotherhood).Saskatchewan has produced the most National Chiefs of any province or territory (3). Followed by Manitoba (2), BC (2), Ontario (1), Quebec (1) and Northwest Territories (1).There has never been a National Chief from Alberta, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Nunavut or Yukon.The longest serving National Chief was Phil Fontaine, who held the position for 9 years, a record 3 terms.At the 2009 AFN convention in Calgary, voting for National Chief lasted a record 8 ballots, over 23 hours.Since 1982, 8 women have run for the office of National Chief but none have been elected.In this 2012 election, 4 women are running for the office of National Chief – a record.At age 29, Noel Starblanket became the youngest National Chief in 1976.tfontaine@aptn.catwitter.com/anishinaboylast_img read more

Airbus shakes up industry with majority stake in Bombardier CSeries program

first_imgMONTREAL – European aircraft giant Airbus Group is shaking up the global airline business by buying a majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries program and assembling the plane in the U.S. to avoid import duties.The two aircraft manufacturers announced the partnership Monday evening, weeks after the United States announced 300 per cent preliminary duties on exports of the aircraft following a complaint from Airbus rival Boeing.The partnership is expected to result in significant CSeries production costs savings by leveraging Airbus’s global supply chain expertise, but the company won’t be paying any money for the acquired stake or absorb Bombardier’s (TSX:BBD.B) large debt.Airbus will acquire a 50.01 per cent interest in the CSeries Aircraft Limited Partnership, which manufactures and sells the plane in exchange for access to Airbus’s sales, logistics, procurement and support expertise.Bombardier will own 31 per cent and the Quebec government’s investment agency will hold 19 per cent, down from 49.5 per cent when it invested US$1 billion in the program. That amount was subsequently diluted to 38 per cent.Airbus can buy out Bombardier after 7.5 years and the Quebec government in 2023.Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare said Airbus is the perfect partner.“Combining the CSeries with Airbus’s global scale creates a remarkable business, and together we will take the CSeries program to new heights,” he said in a conference call.He said the partnership should more than double the value of the CSeries program by accelerating sales momentum.“It brings certainty to the future of the program so it increases the level of confidence that the aircraft is there to stay, which means that we will increase volume.”The way the federal government sees it, the Airbus takeover gives the CSeries a real chance at not just surviving, but making it big, said a government source.Although there will be debate over the “symbolism” of a Canadian product now being controlled by a European company, the alternatives were not promising, given Bombardier’s financial and trade challenges.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump spoke by phone Monday about the aerospace spat, the softwood lumber dispute, and their unexpected consequences.Airbus chief executive Tom Enders called the partnership a “win-win for everybody.”“Our partnership will accelerate the commercial success and it will ensure that the program comes into a position to realize its full potential,” he said from Europe.The company is taking out ads in Canadian newspapers on Tuesday that end with “Thank you Canada … for welcoming us to our newest home.”Enders said the partnership will secure industrial operations in Canada, Britain and China, and bring new jobs to the U.S.Unlike when talks between the companies failed a few years ago, Enders said the CSeries is certified and recognized by customers as a great plane that can expand its narrowbody product line. He noted that Airbus hasn’t made an A319 the size of the CSeries for years.With this deal, Canada would become Airbus’s fifth home country and first outside Europe.The CSeries headquarters and main assembly line will remain in the Montreal area, but a second production line for the 100- to 150-seat plane will be set up at Airbus’s facility in Alabama to meet demand from U.S. customers and avoid duties.Airbus has promised to maintain 100 per cent of those employed Mirabel, Que., and to keep production at the Mirabel plant, where production will be ramped up far beyond its current rate.The union representing many Bombardier workers said its too early to celebrate even though Airbus’ stake could strengthen the CSeries.“It is a sad day that a high-tech Canadian treasure is ending up in European control, but we can take some satisfaction that the CSeries is getting some needed stability,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.“The attempt to weaken Bombardier has pushed it to join with one of its competitors, which should not have had needed to happen,” Dias said. “Ultimately, the U.S. actions have created a stronger Bombardier.”Even though talks began in August, months after Boeing challenged government subsidies to Bombardier, Enders said the partnership wasn’t motivated by the trade dispute.“It was motivated by the clear recognition that the stars were kind of all aligned this time,” he said.Bellemare added the companies aren’t circumventing anything by joining forces. He added that Delta Air Lines is prepared to wait for delivery of its planes to avoid duties.“When you produce an aircraft in the U.S. it is not subject to any import duties under the current U.S. rules.”Even though some assembly work will be done in the United States, Bellemare believes more jobs will be created in Quebec because Airbus will help to augment sales.The big losers are Boeing and Brazil’s Embraer, said industry analyst Chris Murray of AltaCorp Capital.“Certainly this makes a much, much stronger program and certainly more competitive against anything Boeing would want to offer,” he said.Boeing described the partnership as a “questionable deal between two heavily state-subsidized competitors to skirt the recent findings of the U.S. government.”“Our position remains that everyone should play by the same rules for free and fair trade to work,” spokesman Dan Curran said in a statement.Quebec economy, science and innovation Minister Dominique Anglade said the strategic partnership will ensure the sustainability of the CSeries and consolidate Quebec’s aerospace cluster.“In the current context, the partnership with Airbus is, for us, the best solution to ensure the maintenance and creation of jobs in this strategic sector of the Quebec economy,” she stated in a news release.Federal Minister Navdeep Bains said the government will review the deal under the Investment Canada Act due to the significant proposed investments in Canada by non-Canadians.“On the surface, Bombardier’s new proposed partnership with Airbus on this aircraft would help position the CSeries for success by combining excellence in innovation with increased market access and an unrivalled global salesforce,” he stated in a separate news release.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. The earlier version failed to mention that Quebec’s investment in the CSeries was subsequently diluted to 38 per cent.last_img read more

Stephen Curry signs broad production deal with Sony Pictures

first_imgLAS VEGAS, Nev. – NBA star Stephen Curry is heading to Hollywood in a big way.Sony Pictures Entertainment announced Monday that it has struck a deal with the Golden State Warriors All-Star guard to produce television, film and possibly gaming projects.A press release states Curry and the company he has co-founded, Unanimous Media, will have their production headquarters on the Sony backlot in Culver City, California.The projects developed by Curry’s company will focus on family, faith, and sports themes.No specific projects were announced Monday, but Curry says in a statement he wants to use the deal “to affect the world positively.”Curry and the Warriors have a 3-1 lead in their first round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs.last_img read more

Higher fuel costs prompt BC Ferries to remove fuel rebate and increase

first_imgVICTORIA – The cost of taking a ferry in B.C. is going up as the price of fuel increases on the world market.BC Ferries announced Tuesday that it will remove fuel rebates starting June 27.Rebates and surcharges are used to manage the volatility of fuel prices, and BC Ferries said it doesn’t benefit financially from the mechanisms.Ferries president and CEO Mark Collins said in an interview that over the last 14 years the company has had surcharges, rebates, and periods with neither as the market price of diesel fuel fluctuated.“Ferry users have received rebates as often as they’ve received surcharges, so there’s no net impact on the ferry user over time,” he said.The added costs vary depending on ferry trips, but on major routes an extra 50 cents will be charged for passengers and $1.70 more for a vehicle.Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said in May that she was disappointed BC Ferries planned on removing the rebate and the government was willing to work with the company to avoid an increase.Collins said the company discussed the issue with the government for three weeks, but couldn’t come to an agreement.“We just couldn’t reach a resolution. We didn’t feel they were in the interests of ferry users,” he said.Over the last year the price of fuel has gone up sharply and the rebate should have come off some time ago, Collins said.He acknowledged that affordable travel is important for customers and said the company uses fuel deferral accounts and hedging as tools to help reduce the impact of fluctuating fuel prices.The added fuel cost varies with seasons, he said, noting that it could be $750,000 in the slow season and double that during a busy summer.last_img read more

More effective than a carbon tax Saskatchewan digs in heels on climate

first_imgMOOSE JAW, Sask. – The Saskatchewan government is doubling down on its climate change strategy and continues to defy Ottawa’s demand it put a broad-based price on carbon emissions.Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said Wednesday the province is expanding emission limits based on production for facilities such as potash mines and pulp mills. Those facilities generate 11 per cent of the province’s emissions.“We’ve made it clear that the federal carbon tax is ineffective and will not reduce emissions in Saskatchewan and we’ve made it clear that we do not believe the federal government has constitutional authority to implement a backstop in Saskatchewan,” Duncan said.The federal climate plan calls for taxes of greenhouse gas emissions starting at $10 per tonne this year and rising $10 a year to $50 a tonne in 2022. It leaves it to the provinces to decide how to do that either through a tax, a cap-and-trade system or have a price imposed by Ottawa.Saskatchewan is asking the Court of Appeal to rule on whether that plan is unconstitutional. The province has argued its climate change plan is enough to reduce emissions and a carbon tax would hurt the Saskatchewan economy.Saskatchewan is the lone holdout from the federal climate strategy although has received support from Ontario, which is also challenging the plan in court.A spokesperson for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna referred a request for comment to Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc. In an emailed statement, LeBlanc said Ottawa is pleased Saskatchewan is putting a price on pollution.“While the price applies to a limited number of businesses, it is an acknowledgment from the province that putting a price on pollution is an effective way to tackle climate change while growing the economy at the same time,” the statement said.“We encourage the province to submit this plan for evaluation.”Ottawa set a deadline of Sept. 1 for provinces to submit their climate change plans for assessment to determine if they meet the federal government’s standard. But Duncan said Saskatchewan won’t be submitting its plan because he said the province doesn’t need approval.“This is the right plan for the province of Saskatchewan and more than any of the work done by the federal government, it’s actually tailored to the specifics of Saskatchewan’s economy,” Duncan said.Saskatchewan has already announced emission limits for electricity generation and methane from oil and gas.Duncan said that the province’s new emission standards were developed after consultation with industry, as well as environmental experts. The new standards are expected to reduce emissions by 10 per cent or one million tonnes by 2030.Saskatchewan has applied for more than $200 million in federal funding to fight climate change even though Ottawa has said the province will not be eligible because it has not signed on to the federal carbon tax strategy.The Opposition NDP accused the government of essentially putting a price on carbon while missing out on federal funding.“It’s a little bit rich for the Sask. Party to say they don’t want a carbon tax when they’re allowing the federal government to impose one on the province and now they are looking at what is essentially a carbon pricing plan,” said NDP critic David Forbes.— Follow @RyanBMcKenna on Twitterlast_img read more

Vancouverbased Nevsun agrees to takeover bid by Chinese firm Zijin

first_imgVANCOUVER – Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources Ltd. says it has reached an agreement to be acquired by a Chinese firm for $1.86 billion.In a news release Wednesday morning, Nevsun says Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. will acquire all of its issued and outstanding shares at $6 per share in cash.It says details of the offer will be included in a circular that Zijin will send to Nevsun shareholders in the coming days.The Vancouver company’s board of directors is recommending that shareholders accept the Chinese company’s offer.In August, Nevsun said it had rejected a bid by the Toronto-based Lundin Mining Corp.The company says its board is recommending that shareholders reject that offer, worth $1.4 billion.last_img read more

Regulator MillerCoors can say Miller Lite has more taste

first_imgCHICAGO — Advertising regulators say MillerCoors can claim Miller Lite has “more taste” than Bud Light and Michelob Ultra but recommends the brewer stop commercials that make it appear that the conclusion is based on a survey on taste preference.At issue were vignettes Chicago-based MillerCoors produced showing consumers drinking unnamed beers and saying which had “more taste.”Both sides of the dispute claimed victory Thursday from the National Advertising Division’s conclusion , a self-regulatory agency for the advertising industry.St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Bud Light and Michelob Ultra, said it was encouraged by the finding that Miller Lite “misrepresented itself” and conveyed a taste preference “unsupported by fact.”MillerCoors, meanwhile, said it wasn’t surprised NAD found it “provided a reasonable basis” for claiming its beer had “more taste” because it instructed beer drinkers to focus on each beer’s taste.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Gaza cafe owner offers fish pedicures to improve business

first_imgGAZA, Palestinian Territory — When Mahmoud Othman tried to figure a way to save his cafe business in the beleaguered Gaza Strip, he was amazed by online videos of tourists in Turkey getting fish pedicures.That got him thinking and a unique idea was born.After getting Israeli approval, he recently imported hundreds of Garra rufa fish, a species of small freshwater fish nicknamed “doctor fish,” from Turkey and added a fish spa section to his hookah bar and cafe in Gaza.The fish, which feed off the top layers of the toughened, dead skin of the feet, have been used in spas as a peeling method for years around the world.“We wanted to introduce a new idea and service at the cafe,” Othman said. “Doctor fish has remedial and recreational sides.”Among the benefits, he believes the treatment “helps the body get rid of negative energy.”A 30-minute session costs 30 shekels, about $8, a hefty sum for most of Gaza’s 2 million inhabitants. Gazans in the coastal territory are struggling to get by under an 11-year-old blockade by Israel and Egypt that has devastated the local economy.The Israeli blockade has made it difficult to import many goods into the strip. Othman said it took him three attempts and over a month to get the necessary permits to bring the fish into Gaza.He didn’t know what to expect but business has been surprisingly brisk — despite unemployment soaring over 50 per cent and half of Gaza residents living under the poverty line.Othman said he gets 30 to 40 customers a day. Many of them see the service not only as good for the health, but also as a small luxury and temporary escape from the difficult situation around them.For four years, Mohammed al-Omari, 25, has suffered from warts that made it hard for him to wear shoes. Upon an advice from a friend, he tried the fish treatment and now believes it works for his condition.“The first time I tried it, I had a very beautiful feeling. I came for a second, third and today a fourth time,” he said after drying his feet and putting on socks. “When I find something to relieve the pain and improve my mentality, 30 shekels becomes nothing.”On a recent evening, seven young men sat in a room lit by blue neon lights, pants rolled to the knee and feet dipped into glass tubs. As the tiny fish clustered around their toes, the customers chatted or touched and swiped their smartphones.“It’s a beautiful thing,” said Mahmoud al-Dairi, who came for the leisure factor.Many of those frequenting the cafe are unaware of widespread health warnings over fish pedicures — especially the high possibility of infections. Several U.S. states and Canadian provinces consider the practice unsanitary and some animal rights groups denounce it altogether.But Othman is aware of the pitfalls.He said he has a strict set of procedures to sanitize the 16 tubs by giving the fish a respite of half an hour after every session and obliging the customers to wash their feet twice and apply sterilizers before dunking their feet.Fares Akram, The Associated Presslast_img read more

CES 2019 Family tech gadgets appeal to parental anxiety

first_imgLAS VEGAS — Every year, the CES gadget show brings more devices promising to make life a little bit easier for harried parents.Sure, the kids might love them too: who wouldn’t want a computerized Harry Potter wand that also teaches coding? The Las Vegas show’s growing “family tech” sector encompasses products that range from artificially intelligent toys and baby monitors to internet-connected breast pumps.Their common thread is an appeal to parental anxiety about raising smart kids, occupying their time, tracking their whereabouts and making sure they’re healthy and safe.Some also come with subtle trade-offs. “Technology makes us forget what we know about life,” said psychologist Sherry Turkle, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies people’s relationships with machines. She’s particularly concerned about robots that seek to befriend or babysit young children.NOT-SO-IMAGINARY FRIENDSTake the cute, furry Woobo, meant to be a real-life version of a child’s imaginary friend that can help set tooth-brushing routines, answer complex questions and play educational games. It’s part of a new cottage industry of sociable toys, which includes robots like Cozmo and Sony’s dog-like Aibo.A gentle pull at the ears switches the screen-faced Woobo into listening mode. The $149 toy talks in a child-like voice and makes a game out of boring chores that might otherwise require a parent’s nagging. Its makers say Woobo doesn’t glue kids to its screen because it invites them to go find things in the home, help parents cook dinner or play family games like charades.“Our focus on the content side is not to replace parents,” said Shen Guo, who co-founded Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Woobo after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design. “It’s to enhance family time.”But its appeal for a child’s emotional attachment and nurturing sets off alarm bells for Turkle, who has been warning against what she calls “artificial intimacy” since the Tamagotchi digital pet craze of the 1990s.Research has shown the benefits of children playing out their inner feelings and worries by projecting them onto inert dolls. But Turkle says that doesn’t work when the toys seem real enough to have their own feelings.“Pretend empathy is not a good thing,” Turkle said. “Everything we know about children’s development is that if you read to a child, what’s going on is the relationship, the talking, the connection, the mentoring, the safety, the sense that people love learning. Why do we think this is a good idea to give this to some robot?”IS YOUR BABY BREATHING?Talk to makers of the next generation of baby monitors unveiled at CES and you’d be surprised that generations of children survived infancy without artificial intelligence systems analyzing their every breath.“Babies want to breathe. Babies want to live,” says Colt Seman, co-founder of Los Angeles-based startup Miku, which promises to monitor breathing and heart rate without letting parents get overly worked up about it.Regulators haven’t approved any baby monitors for medical use and instead recommend parents focus on providing a safe sleeping environment. Some doctors worry that such devices create additional stress for parents.Unlike most past offerings, the latest crop of baby monitors that measure vital signs are “contactless” — meaning they don’t work by attaching some electronics to a baby’s sock or chest. Raybaby’s device resembles a one-eyed robot that detects breathing patterns using radar technology. The non-ionizing radiation it emits is at low levels, but might still turn off some parents already concerned about keeping their babies too close to smartphones.Most of the other devices rely on computer vision. A camera by Nanit watches a baby from above and measures sleeping patterns by tracking the slight movements of a specially-designed swaddle. It also uses the data it collects to recommend more consistent sleep times. Nanit’s Aaron Pollack acknowledges that some parents might still check Nanit’s phone app to check breathing data five times a night “out of sheer anxiety.”“We’re not trying to prevent that,” he said. “We’re just trying to give you some piece of mind.”Two others, Miku and Utah-based Smartbeat, each boast of a level of precision and analytical rigour that could eventually help predict when the baby is going to get sick. Both have phone alert systems to report worrisome breathing irregularities. Smartbeat’s analysis is purely image-based, while Miku also uses radar. Miku’s sleeker hardware comes at a cost: It’s $399, well above the $250 Smartbeat.TECH IN THE WOMBOf course, parental anxiety begins even before a child is born — hence Owlet’s new $299 pregnancy band that wraps around a woman’s abdomen to track fetal heartbeats by taking an electrocardiogram. The idea is to put on the stretchy band before going to sleep starting about three to four months before the due date.It sends a morning wellness report to a user’s smartphone app, with details including an expectant mother’s contractions and sleep positions — and warnings if fetal heartbeat or movements fall outside acceptable ranges.An owl-faced medallion above the mother’s belly gives the band the look of a superhero emblem — and why not? Pregnancy is tough.“It’s really just having that extra piece of mind, between doctor’s visits, that everything is OK,” said Owlet spokeswoman Misty Bond.Matt O’Brien, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Several new wildfires burning near Fort St John

first_imgAccording to the Wildfire Service website, there are four new wildfires burning along the Cecil Lake Road less than 10 kilometres from the Energetic City in a cluster on the far side of the Beatton River. The largest of the fires is 0.9 hectares in size and is believed to be human-caused.A map showing the locations of four wildfires burning east of Fort St. John. Photo by BC Wildfire Service.The BC Wildfire Service has not confirmed the cause of another large plume of smoke that appeared west of Fort St. John near lunchtime Friday. That fire, which could be a Category 3 controlled burn, appears to have its source near the south end of the 277 Road south of Charlie Lake.This is a developing story, and we’ll have an update once we receive more information. UPDATE #2: Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds said that the two confirmed fires burning near Cecil Lake have been extinguished. Reynolds explained that the other two fires reported in the area were just smoke plumes from the two fires, and that no burning was found. Reynolds added that residents need to ensure they use caution when doing controlled burns.UPDATE: Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds said that the BC Wildfire Service is aware of the fire burning west of Fort St. John, which is a registered Category 3 fire. Reynolds said that crews have been assigned to the group of fires burning near Cecil Lake. She said that none of the confirmed fires are greater than one hectare in size.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The BC Wildfire Service is reporting several new wildfires are burning near Fort St. John.last_img read more

BC climate change plan aims to build economy around renewable energy

first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. – The British Columbia government has introduced a strategy to shift away from fossil fuels and build the provincial economy around reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also leaves portions of the plan to be determined.Premier John Horgan said Wednesday the plan called CleanBC will rely on cutting emissions from buildings, industries, vehicles and organic waste while boosting the carbon tax and the production of clean hydroelectricity.The plan will move the province to a low-carbon future, said Horgan, who introduced the plan with Green Leader Andrew Weaver. “We want to make shifts: shifts in our homes, shifts in our vehicles, shifts in our industry to move away from burning fossil fuels and towards a cleaner, greener approach using British Columbia’s abundant electricity and other abundant opportunities that are now emerging and will emerge into the future,” the premier said.The climate-change plan will require all new buildings to be net-zero energy ready by 2032, meaning they could generate enough on-site energy to power their own functions.The government says new buildings will be 80 percent more efficient by then compared with homes built now.The plan also includes diverting 95 percent of organic waste from landfills and converting it to other products.By 2030, 30 percent of all sales of new light-duty cars and trucks are expected to be zero-emission vehicles, rising to 100 percent by 2040.The plan also includes phasing in more renewable fuels to consumer gas products by ramping up new production of 650 million litres of renewable gasoline and diesel by 2030 and increasing the low carbon fuel standard by 20 percent. That means gas at the pump could include a mix of biofuels and other cleaner fuel products, one official said. Horgan said the challenges of climate change mean people must move away from burning fossil fuels.“Every year, we’re seeing the unprecedented wildfires and floods that hurt so many people, communities and businesses,” he said in a statement. “We need to begin changing how we live, work and commute to put B.C. on a cleaner, more sustainable path.”The cost of the plan will be outlined in next year’s budget, Horgan said, and officials said it will be fully funded.The government has said the climate plan will be designed to meet legislated targets, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030, 60 percent by 2040 and 80 percent by 2050.center_img Overall, the plan aims to reduce the province’s dependency on fossil fuels by more than 20 per cent and increase its dependence on clean energy by 60 per cent by 2050.When LNG Canada said in October it was proceeding with its plan to operate a $40 billion export terminal at Kitimat, Horgan said the government would still meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets.The plan says one of the conditions for liquefied natural gas development is that it fits in the climate commitments, noting that the LNG Canada project could add to 3.45 megatonnes of carbon emissions to the province’s total.“More reductions from LNG’s climate impact will be achieved through investments in electrification of upstream oil and gas production so extraction and processing are powered by electricity, instead of burning fossil fuels,” it says.Weaver’s party has an agreement that supports the province’s minority NDP government and he shared the stage with Horgan in making the announcement.“I look forward to working with government, business and other stakeholders to action this plan, so that British Columbians can count on a bright future where all our communities enjoy a thriving economy and a high quality of life for generations to come,” he said in a news release issued by the provincial government.Horgan’s government already boosted the carbon tax in this year’s budget to $35 per tonne and will increase that by $5 a year until 2021. As the price rises, CleanBC will offer tax reduction incentives to further reduce emissions, and a carbon tax exemption for any company that proves it’s the cleanest in its sector globally.The switch to cleaner energy means increased biofuel consumption and a shift to hydro-generated electricity.The government’s plan says by 2030, its new policies would require an additional 4,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity over the current demand.“This is equivalent to increasing BC Hydro’s current system-wide capacity by about eight per cent, or about the demand of the city of Vancouver,” the plan says.The added demand up to 2030 can be met by existing and planned projects, however, it will require new energy sources that could range from geothermal to wind power beyond that date.Auditor general Carol Bellringer released a report on Wednesday that said Hydro’s generating facilities are running at near capacity and some of them are more than 85 years old. Her audit didn’t cover the $10.7 billion Site C dam project, which is under construction on the Peace River in northeast B.C. and not slated for completion until 2024.How the province will achieve one quarter of its emission reductions is still unclear. The government says the initiatives laid out in the plan combine to reduce the province’s emissions by 18.9 megatonnes, getting it 75 percent of the way toward its 2030 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent of 2007 levels.Strategies for achieving the remaining 6.1 megatonnes in reductions will be identified within the next two years, officials said.Some environmental groups backed parts of the plan but questioned how the future liquefied natural gas industry fits into it.“It’s one of the most important steps we’ve seen in years and yet we believe it doesn’t quite go far enough,” said Caitlyn Vernon, campaigns director with Sierra Club BC.“We’re yet to be convinced how LNG and fracking will fit into this plan, how you square the circle of increasing emissions on one hand while on the other hand working to decrease emissions.”Vernon said she’s looking forward to seeing the complete plan beyond 75 percent. The speed of the plan’s commitments aren’t fast enough to meet what the science says is required to prevent excessive wildfires and other climate change effects, she added.The B.C. Business Council said CleanBC begins to position the province and its businesses as a supplier of choice for international markets seeking lower-carbon intensive energy and commodities.It also said there’s a need for greater understanding of the plan’s cost implications for both employers and individual British Columbians, but the council will work with the government to ensure policy solutions meet economic realities.“By leveraging our low-carbon assets, including renewable hydro electricity, British Columbia can play an outsized role in reducing global climate impacts in high-emission jurisdictions, while building a competitive and innovative economy for British Columbians and reducing emissions here at home,” president and CEO Greg D’Avignon said.last_img read more

Sneak Peak video of Fort St John Fire Departments new HazmatCommand Vehicle

first_imgFire Chief Fred Burrows shares the new vehicle should be arriving next week.In the video, Chief Fred Burrows introduces the vehicle built by SVI with safetekfiretrucks.ca and Profire Emergency Equipment. Burrow tells viewers the mobile unit will serve well for Fort St. John, which is made up of Oil and Gas Development and Agriculture with lots of hazardous stuff in the community.The Department services 16 square miles for fire protection and over 200 km of highway rescue, shared Burrows.The vehicle was custom designed to be a command vehicle to support service when there is an emergency and in particular hazmat situations.The video does a complete walk around and walkthrough of the command apparatus that shows it was designed to be an asset to emergency personnel. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – SVI has posted a video of the new Hazmat-Command Vehicle the Fort St. John Fire Department will be receiving.The new vehicle was budgeted at $1.004 million by the city of Fort St. John; CLICK HERE  for more information.last_img read more

PostDeMo notes exchanged for commission Congress

first_imgNew Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday cited a ‘sting operation’ to allege exchange of old notes post-demonetisation for hefty commissions by people claiming proximity to the government and the BJP, but the ruling party refuted the allegations and said it would take appropriate legal action.At a press conference here, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal also alleged that currency notes worth thousands of crores were printed abroad and transported into India. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsHe alleged that “a team of government officials drawn from different departments were engaged in the exchange of old notes for new post demonetisation”. He, however, did not authenticate the videos he showed at the conference and said these are in the public domain and the concerned agencies should initiate a probe. Sibal also claimed the Election Commission was not acting on their complaints. Responding to the charges, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in Patna that “Kapil Sibal has made false allegations on our (party) president (Amit Shah) and we will take legal action.” Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday”Demonetisation is the biggest scam in the history of India. Current notes (issued after the old Rs 500/100 notes were demonetised in November 2016) were printed abroad and transported into India, and there can be nothing more anti-national than this,” Sibal told reporters. “Modi started his tenure by fooling us, and he is ending his five-year-tenure by traumatising us. He traumatised the people of this country; he has traumatised the poor of this country; he has traumatised journalists and his political opponents. He has used the agencies to target people who are opposed to him,” he said. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Sibal had exposed the “stench of corruption that has reached the highest echelons of the Modi Government”. “If this is not ‘anti-national’, then what is? Will, the Supreme Court, show the courage to take note and hold the corrupt accountable?” he asked. Referring to the Income-Tax Department action against Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s aides, the Congress leader said the alacrity with which the Enforcement Directorate and I-T have acted; they should also move fast and arrest the people in the video and tell the country what has happened. He said the government should initiate a probe into allegations made in the video. He accused the government agencies of acting against BJP’s political rivals but not against those who are close to the ruling party or the government despite complaints against them.last_img read more

Six AAP candidates file nominations for LS polls

first_imgNEW DELHI: Six candidates of the Aam Aadmi Party filed their nominations on Monday for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Delhi. The six candidates who filed their papers are Chandni Chowk candidate Pankaj Gupta, East Delhi candidate Atishi, North West Delhi candidate Gugan Singh, South Delhi candidate Raghav Chadha, North East Delhi candidate Dilip Pandey and New Delhi candidate Brajesh Goel.While Chadha carried out a roadshow on Sunday against, what he said was, the “gundaraj” of South Delhi incumbent BJP’s Ramesh Biduri, the other five candidates carried out mega roadshows before filing their papers on Monday morning. Senior party leaders accompanied the candidates. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderAtishi was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, while Gupta was accompanied by senior party leader Satyendar Jain. Singh was partnered by Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and Pandey was seen with senior party leader Gopal Rai. Goyal filed his nomination in the presence of senior leader N D Gupta. The party’s west Delhi candidate Balbir Singh Jakhar filed his nomination papers on Thursday. According to the affidavits, Chadha has movable assets of around Rs 16.4 lakh and does not own any house or motor vehicles. Atishi has movable around of nearly Rs 60 lakh and Dilip Pandey has movable assets of around Rs 2 lakh. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsAmong the candidates, Atishi is an Oxford scholar and is a member of the Political Affairs Committee of Aam Aadmi Party and has played a major role in transforming the government schools of New Delhi. She served as the Advisor to the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, primarily on education, from July 2015 to 17 April 2018, when she was sacked by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Raghav Chadha is a practising chartered accountant Chadha has established himself as not only Aam Aadmi Party’s but one of the country’s most recognisable youth leaders. From joining India Against Corruption movement in 2011 at the age of 23, he has grown with the party. AAP’s Chandni Chowk candidate Pankaj Gupta and North East Delhi candidate Dilip Pandey are from an engineering background. AAP North West Delhi candidate Guggan Singh has been a social worker and New Delhi candidate Brajesh Goel was a prominent traders’ leader. “The upcoming elections will see BJP’s hooliganism pitched against the people of South Delhi. It is the public that’s fighting the election for change, and it is the public that will emerge victoriously. I am nothing but a representative of the people. I am just a common man with very little political experience,” Chadha said while going to file the nominations.last_img read more

HEALTH IS WEALTH

first_imgIs it safe to inject used syringes in dogs? No, it’s not safe to inject used syringes in dogs as it can lead to various infections. Using used syringes in dogs can result in transfer of various infections ranging from skin infections to blood infection. It is essential not only for the protection of dogs but also for the well-being of an individual. Since injected medicines can sometimes affect your pet’s skin, it’s important to follow these simple guidelines when injecting your pet: Also Read – Feel what you fearUse a new needle each time you administer medicine to your pet. Clean the injection site on your pet with warm soap and water. Don’t inject your pet in the same spot repeatedly. You must not put needles or syringes in the waste as it can cause various needle-stick injuries that can transmit blood-borne diseases and pose a danger to everyone. Don’t throw the needle and syringe into the trash until you know if this is permissible. It is usually preferable to take the used needles and syringes to your veterinary clinic or local pharmacy for disposal. Also Read – Homecoming Recently, a dog became famous all over social media for his antics after drinking alcohol. Should I let my pet consume alcohol? Dogs should never have any type of alcohol – or even food that contains alcohol. When you give your dog alcohol, it depresses the central nervous system, affects coordination and changes the blood chemistry, creating excess acid that damages the kidney and liver. The dog will fall into a coma and eventually die. Whiskey and other hard liquor is probably something that a dog (or cat) won’t intentionally drink, but the problem really occurs when it’s combined with sweet mixers like soda or fruit juice, because that will now make the drink appealing. Let’s remember, too, that some of those mixers may just include food items that are toxic to pets. Some of the thing your dog can experience from alcohol poisoning: Behavioural Changes Dogs will suffer from quickly impaired mental faculties, which will result in behavioural changes. Your dog may become aggressive, depressed or try eliminating around the house. Kidney Damage Because alcohol is such a strong chemical poison the dog’s kidney will work hard to filter it, resulting in an over-strained kidney and kidney damage. Respiratory Problems Alcohol depresses the activities of the mind and body. Even small amounts of alcohol can affect your dog’s breathing rate quickly. Heart Problems Alcohol affects the heart of both humans and non-humans. Dogs ingesting even a minor amount of alcohol can experience heart murmurs and even heart attacks. Death It can be sudden and quick death or a slow, painful one. (Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)last_img read more

Kenya steps up diplomatic efforts to resolve the South Sudan crisis

first_imgNAIROBI – Kenya has stepped up diplomatic efforts to resolve the South Sudan crisis even as it continued with evacuation of its nationals from the country. The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday confirmed that a mediation team appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, which include two top peace negotiators who have previously been involved with South Sudan , Ambassador Bethwel Kiplagat and Elija Sumbeiwo, were already in Juba.“Efforts to resolve the crisis through dialogue are in top gear and our mediation team are already in Juba,” Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Dr. Karanja Kibicho, told AA. He also confirmed that evacuation efforts involving the use of military planes was still on, adding that 107 more Kenyans arrived in Nairobi on Monday while another 150 were expected home today.However, 1,600 Kenyans are still stuck in the UN camp in Bor, Jonglei State which is now in the hands of rebels under the command of the former South Sudan Vice President Dr. Rieck Machar.It has been difficult for Kenyan military planes to land in Bor, where even a US military plane on rescue mission of its nationals came under fire from the rebels. The weary Kenyans who arrived Monday evening described harrowing experiences.“We could not take anything. Many people have been shot dead and many others injured. We just ran to the UN camp in Juba with what we could carry and the children,”  Prisca Waithera told AA on arrival.Most of the Kenyans evacuated were involved in doing business and lost a lot of property.“I have lost everything I have worked for the last three years. The soldiers and local people looted all my property. I am not going back there,” said John Kariuki who had a chain of shops in Juba.The government has dispatched more buses to Juba through Uganda after getting guarantees of the safety and protection from the South Sudanese government.“The corridor from Juba through Kampala is safe and we are sending more buses to help with the evacuation,” said Dr. Kibicho.“I am happy to be back home, safe with my family but I don’t know how I will survive with my family as I lost everything and I have been away from home for the last four years,” said Elijah Mulanda from western Kenya.The government has announced that those evacuated will be given some financial aid for survival as they settle.Meanwhile, cargo destined for South Sudan yesterday was piling up at the Mombasa Port following the crisis which has made transportation difficult.Kenya Airport Authority officials said there was a growing pile up of cargo which will affect the port’s storage capacity if the crisis is not resolved quickly to speed up the transportation of the cargo.Reporting by William Oloolast_img read more

King Mohammed VI Launches Youth Women Projects in Tangier

first_imgTangier – King Mohammed VI launched on Saturday in Tangier a number of projects aimed a supporting the growth and the development skills of the population, promote the education of young people, and create income-generating activities.These projects, which will be carried out as part of the large-scale anti-poverty program the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) for a total sum of 59 million dirhams, include the creation of seven youth training centers, six women training and capacity building centers, and a center for the promotion of income-generating activities.Part of the Metropolitan Tangier program, these community projects reflect the interest of the Sovereign in human development, and his will to give people from all social strata the means to social and economic integration, and to enable them to participate in the development of their country. The seven youth training and capacity building centers, to benefit the people of the districts of El Mers, Lahjer Lasfer, Bir Aherchoun, Hassani, Mesnana, Errehrah, Branes, are expected to play an important role in encouraging young people to pursue their studies, reach their sports, artistic and intellectual potential.Each of the seven centers will host several workshops (music, theater, drawing, computer, dance), tutoring and foreign languages classes, a multipurpose room, sports fields, and a cafeteria.The women training and capacity building centers will be created in the neighborhoods of Mghogha, Dhar El Kenfoud, Achennad, Tanjah El Balia, Errehrah and Dradeb.They aim to support women from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing them with various skills (cooking, baking, dressmaking, hairdressing, aesthetics, embroidery, and traditional weaving), and by allowing them to have a stable income.These centers will also provide functional literacy training of women, and schooling for their children under five, and improve their socio-economic conditions.The center for the promotion of income-generating activities, created in the neighborhood of El Mers, aims to provide training in the creation and management of cooperatives, and marketing techniques. It includes classrooms, a computer room, counseling services, an exhibit room, and a cafeteria.last_img read more

Morocco an investment and finance hub in Africa chairman of US

Washington – Morocco is poised to becoming a hub for investment and finance in the African continent and beyond thanks to an integrated and anticipatory policy and an infrastructure that meet international standards, said, Tuesday in Washington, chairman of the US trade chamber in the Kingdom Walter Siouffi. Thanks to a reforming dynamic tailored to the needs of foreign investors and cutting edge infrastructure, in addition to a very skilled labor, Morocco is becoming a key business platform in the region, said Siouffi who was speaking at a conference held at the headquarters of the US trade chamber under the theme “Morocco, gateway to three continents,” in the presence of Morocco’s ambassador to the USA Rachad Bouhlal and prominent figures from the business sphere.He recalled the growing number of international companies operating in important sectors as the aeronautics and finances which chose Morocco to broaden the scope of their activities, noting that these multinationals are encouraged by infrastructure made available for them such as the Casablanca aeronautics free zone “Midparc” and the “Casablanca Finance City”. Siouffi, also CEO of the Citibank Maghreb, underlined that Morocco adopted concrete measures to boost and protect investment, adding that this approach favored an openness on the world and a modern institutional reorganization.He noted that Morocco, which boasts economic assets and a strategic geographical location, is an attractive platform for US businesses wishing to explore the African and European markets. read more

Residents in Agadir Mistakenly Break Ramadan Fast Before Prescribed Time

Rabat – Residents in the outskirts of Agadir, southern Morocco, broke their fast seven minutes earlier because Adhan (call to prayers) was called before the prayer’s prescribed time had started, reports say. The Muezzin called for the Maghreb prayers, which marks the end of a day of fasting, at 19h40 while Adhan should have been called at 19h47 according to the local prayers timing charts.The incident which occurred during the first days of the holy month of Ramadan left many residents asking whether their day of fasting was valid or not. Observers of Ramadan may listen to the Adhan of Maghreb in the area they reside before they break their fast, but what counts most in Islam is the setting of the Sun.According to the Islamic teachings, Muslims should ensure the sun has completely set before they break their fast, because the prophet Mohammed said:“When the night comes from here and the day departs from here and the Sun has set, then it is time for the fasting person to break his fast,” narrated by al-Bukhari.However, some people prefer to wait for the Adhan to be called in order to be sure that the Sun has set.People who accidently break the fast before the sun has set but had no intention of doing so because of confusion in time may still continue fasting, according to the consensus of Muslim scholars.It is only when a person is aware that the time for breaking the fasting has not yet begun that the fast is considered invalid. read more