BC premier receives lukewarm reception at Chamber of Commerce luncheon

first_imgVICTORIA – Premier John Horgan told a group of business leaders in Victoria that he can feel their pain, but his government won’t back away from ending the medical fees charged to B.C. residents.Speaking to a crowd of about 400 at a Victoria Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Horgan said they’re committed to ending the medical services premium, placing the fee on businesses.Horgan said he has been hearing from businesses with concerns the 1.95 per cent employers health tax on firms will increase costs and the government has formed a small business task force to look for ways to reduce that burden.Horgan’s speech also touched on climate change, Indigenous rights issues, and his government’s speculation tax on vacant properties to provide more affordable housing and rental homes.He says the government is continuing to consult with businesses about the employer health tax, but that will be the direction the government is taking.The premier said he realizes there are challenges and the government wants to address them with business, but he was making no promises.“This is what the rest of the country is doing,” Horgan says. “This is not an anomaly. We are catching up.”Allan Cahoon, president and vice-chancellor at Royal Roads University, says the employer tax is a challenge.“What it means is we’re going to have to recalculate our ability to generate revenue and accommodate it,” he said. “It was a surprise to get it. I think we can figure out how to do it.”last_img read more

Imperial Oil going ahead with construction of 26B Aspen oilsands project

first_img(THE CANADIAN PRESS) CALGARY, A.B. – Imperial Oil Ltd. says it will go ahead with its $2.6-billion Aspen oilsands project.Construction will begin this year, with the project expected to start up in 2022.The Aspen project, located about 45 kilometres northeast of Fort McMurray, Alta., is expected to produce about 75,000 barrels of bitumen per day. It will use new oilsands recovery technology designed to lower the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions and water use.Imperial says the technology is estimated to reduce the intensity and water use by up to 25 percent, compared with traditional steam-assisted technology.“We do not take investment decisions lightly, particularly in these challenging times,” Rich Kruger, Imperial chairman, president and chief executive, said in a statement.“This is the right technology at the right time to make a competitive investment. We have made the decision to proceed now because we believe this advanced technology will further the evolution of Imperial’s oilsands business.”Imperial noted the project has the potential for the further development of up to another 75,000 barrels per day of production, depending on a number of factors, including project performance and overall business and market conditions.The Aspen project is expected to create about 700 jobs during peak construction and more than 200 jobs during operations.last_img read more

CM to blame for plight of sanitation workers Tiwari

first_imgNew Delhi: Following a video on social media showing sanitation workers entering sewers without safety equipment, Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari on Friday launched a fresh attack on the AAP-led Delhi government, accusing it of not taking care of them. In a statement, Tiwari blamed the Delhi government for the recent deaths of sanitation workers dying due to lack of appropriate protective gear. He said that despite promising to provide safety equipment for sanitation workers and mechanical sweepers in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal has failed to fulfill them in the last four years.”Kejriwal is responsible for this plight of the sanitation workers. There is no other department of Delhi government except DJB under the Chief Minister but he is not looking after the sanitation workers who are dying due to lack of facilities,” he said. Accusing the Delhi Chief Minister of having double standards, the MP from North-East Delhi accused the AAP of indulging in appeasement politics, while seemingly not caring for the poor sanitation workers who face dangers of toxic inhalation to earn a living. Tiwari claimed that he has been demanding for salary hikes and safety equipment for sanitation workers, but to no avail. “BJP is committed to the security of sanitation workers and for the betterment of their conditions,” he said. Promising a change in working conditions of Delhi’s sanitation workers, Tiwari said that such change can be affected only if the saffron party comes back to power at the Centre.last_img read more

America Loves Curling — Until It Forgets About It For Four Years

It’s tough to say for sure, but I’m concerned that our boss, FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver, may have developed a curling addiction these past few weeks: Luge38.750.50+38.25 Curling85.254.57+80.68 Figure skating79.504.97+74.53 Freestyle skiing3.750.45+3.30 Curling’s spike is even sharper in worldwide searches. Across the entire globe, curling-related search-traffic index goes up by 84 points in Olympic months, compared with non-Olympic ones. (By comparison, figure skating is only up 71 points during Olympic months worldwide.) Although gaining a passionate following during the Olympics has been a victory in itself for curling, these kinds of disparities have the sport’s leaders looking for a way to stay on people’s minds after the games end.“The Olympics have definitely driven growth and exposure, but the key for us is not to disappear between Olympics,” Patzke told ESPN. “You can get really popular for 17 days and then go away, you know?”Perhaps the next step will be for curling fanatics like Nate to keep tweeting during bonspiels that aren’t festooned with five interlocking rings everywhere you look. Alpine skiing9.502.28+7.22 (Check the timestamps on those tweets, by the way.)He’s not alone, though. Every four years, there’s a fresh volley of articles about how curling captures the attention of people around the globe — particularly Americans who tune in to the alien sport for the first time during the Olympics and get hooked. By now, writing with surprise about curling’s charms has become one of journalists’ favorite Olympic pastimes. The Cinderella run by the U.S. men’s team to Saturday’s gold-medal game has only intensified the enthusiasm.1The women’s team hasn’t quite had its medal breakthrough yet, finishing eighth in the standings at Pyeongchang.The hard numbers also support the notion of curling as America’s favorite quadrennial sports fling. If you look at nationwide Google Trends search data, you can see a massive spike in traffic related to the sport each February of a Winter Olympic year. Indeed, aside from figure skating — and occasionally other sports when they experience tragedy — curling consistently spikes highest in web searches among the Winter Olympic sports we don’t tend to think about over the rest of the calendar.2Admittedly, this is kind of an arbitrary list, but I included curling alongside sports that don’t draw much attention in the U.S. during non-Olympic years (so figure skating is in, but hockey is out) or ones that tend to rank low on subjective lists of Winter Olympic sports (cough, biathlon). Here are four examples: SportOlympic monthsOther monthsOlympic Spike Bobsled24.251.02+23.23 Ski jumping8.250.56+7.69 Skeleton8.000.05+7.95 Google’s data doesn’t go back further than 2004, but in an interview with ESPN’s Dotun Akintoye, USA Curling CEO Rick Patzke said America’s curling obsession can be traced to the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. “Salt Lake was our coming-out party in America,” he said. “NBC broadcast about 50 hours of curling. In Nagano in ’98, it was like 30 minutes.” Add in the U.S. men’s surprising bronze medal in 2006, and curling was off to the cult-sport races. Who can even say what kind of uptick in popularity the run by the U.S. men this year will bring?But for an Olympic darling like the “roaring game,” the flip side of big popularity during the games is waning interest, or generally no interest, in the 206 weeks in between Olympic sessions. According to the same Google Trends data as above, none of the sports we looked at had a bigger drop-off in its average search traffic index between months with the Winter Olympics and those without them. Biathlon8.250.17+8.08 Nordic combined1.750.00+1.75 Curling has the biggest spike in Olympic popularityDifference in average Google Trends search-traffic index between Olympic and non-Olympic months for selected Winter Olympic sports, 2004-18 Cross-country skiing9.502.38+7.12 Speedskating21.750.93+20.82 Google Trends search-traffic indices measure activity on a 0-100 scale, where the most active single month by any sport we examined is represented by a 100.Source: Google Trends Avg. Google Trends Index during … read more

Quest for a repeat

Columbus Crew vs. Real Salt Lake, Game 1Rio Tinto Stadium; Sat. Oct. 31 @ 6 p.m.Columbus Crew vs. Real Salt Lake, Game 2Crew Stadium; Thurs. Nov. 5 @ 8 p.m.Players to watch:Columbus – Chad Marshall. The 2008 Defender of the Year has sat out the last six MLS regular season games recovering from a knee injury. A healthy Marshall could make the difference for a team struggling to regain its mid-season formReal Salt Lake – Robbie Findley. The Real Salt Lake forward leads his team in goals with 12 on the season and was instrumental in securing Real Salt Lake’s spot in the playoffs with a two goal performance against rival Colorado Rapids.Key to the Match:Crew coach Robert Warzycha’s ability to find the right 11 players to begin the playoffs. Like a baseball manager trying to push the right buttons, Warzycha has tweaked his rotation at an almost dizzying pace. Perhaps a more settled lineup in the playoffs will see an increase in goals over the drought suffered toward the end of the regular season. This is a must in a series that is decided by aggregate goal totals. The MLS Cup playoffs are upon us. Following the regular season finale played in Columbus between the Crew and the New England Revolution, the once muddied playoff waters have cleared.The Columbus Crew (13-7-10) will limp into the playoffs, losers of three of their last four. The team is riddled with injuries, and failed to net a single goal in any of the losses.The Crew’s road to repeating their championship win begins Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah against Real Salt Lake (11-12-7) in the first match of their Eastern Conference Semifinal Series. Conference Semifinal series are conducted in a home-and-home, aggregate-goal format. The lower-seeded team, Real Salt Lake, hosts the first game. The winners of the first four series advance to single-game Conference Championships that determine the MLS Cup finalists, according to the MLS rules of competition.By virtue of their victory over Columbus, New England (11-10-9) leapfrogged Real Salt Lake and will face the Chicago Fire (11-7-12) in their own semi-final series.Columbus coach Robert Warzycha addressed his team’s lack of recent scoring after the Crew’s defeat.“We have a week before the game. We have to look at the tape and find out what the best combination [of players] is going to be,” Warzycha said.His propensity to shift lineups is well documented this season. Last year’s coach, Sigi Schmid, attempted to use the same starting 11 down the stretch. Warzycha has not shown the same willingness to do so. He hasn’t always had a choice.“I don’t know who that 11 are going to be,” Warzycha said. “Hopefully, everyone gets a chance in the playoffs but the best thing would be to have one team. Knowing life, it’s not going to be possible.”“We’re not taking the momentum into the playoffs that we’d like to, but we’re capable of beating anyone,” Crew midfielder Adam Moffat said.So with the Supporter’s Shield, given annually to the team with the best regular season record, and home-field advantage throughout the MLS playoffs already in hand, was there a lack of motivation against the Revolution?“It was a game we still wanted,” Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer said. “You want to get into a rhythm.”Regardless of the lack of success at the regular season’s end, the Crew have much to be proud of. They are only the second team in MLS history to record two consecutive Supporter’s Shields, joining D.C. United who accomplished the repeat in 2006-07.“This team is making a statement winning last year and being first this year,” Warzycha said of his club. “This team doesn’t have to prove anything to anybody.”The Crew have played two matches against their first playoff opponent, Real Salt Lake, this season. The two teams split the regular season matchups with one win each.Crew captain Frankie Hejduk spoke about the club’s first round matchup.“We’re the champions,” Hejduk said. “We should be able to beat everyone. We’re going to have to go there prepared for a battle.”Even with so many questions lingering over the Crew concerning their health, their lineup and a sudden loss of scoring punch, there is another old sports adage that the other MLS playoff teams must reckon with: to be the best, you have to beat the best.At least for now, the Crew are the best. read more

Smoke Free Workplace Bill Passes

first_imgIt passed the Senate early this morning. Written within the bill allows local communities to opt out of the proposed law via local elections. The bill sponsored by Senator Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) passed the House 32-7 on Saturday. The measure will ban smoking on buses and in cabs, and in places including office buildings, hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. It also restricts outdoor smoking in certain areas. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska Legislature has passed a statewide smoke-free workplace bill.last_img read more

Some Holes Cannot Be Climbed Out Of

first_imgJust days ago I urged journalism teachers to force students to learn about business and finance. In particular, I want students to understand debt financing, which has put a stranglehold on many publications.My hope is that by understanding the murderously difficult environment in which many publishers operate, students will made better decisions about their career path.To that end, I offer a reading assignment. Reuters has published a lengthy and well-reasoned article showing that it will be damn near impossible for Sam Zell to avoid a default at the Tribune Co., which is groaning beneath $4 billion of debt and some tough-to-meet debt covenants. You can check out the article here. Students who take the CliffNotes approach to study can get everything they need from PaidContent’s take.Those of us in b-to-b should avoid the urge to feel smug about the nightmare that is newspaper finance. In our end of the industry, things are likely just as bad. But since so many of our major players are privately held, we just don’t know how ugly the balance sheets may be.And as I’ve said before, I’m worried.Read more here …last_img read more

New Zealand parliament passes tougher gun laws

first_imgNew Zealand parliament. AFP File Photo.New Zealand lawmakers have almost unanimously passed sweeping gun reforms, paving the way for a ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons to enter into force as soon as Friday.Lawmakers passed the legislation on final reading, less than a month after a gunman entered two mosques in Christchurch killing 50 people.During the debate Wednesday prime minister Jacinda Ardern told parliamentarians she “vividly” recalled the moment after the massacre when she, without consulting widely, decided the government had to act.Ardern, her voice filled with emotion, said it was during a briefing with the police commissioner when she was told about the “nature of the attack”, the weapons used and how they were notified but had been obtained legally.”I could not fathom how weapons that could cause such destruction, and large-scale death could have been obtained legally in this country. I could not fathom that,” she told lawmakers.She could not, she said, face the public or “the victims that had been left behind from this terror attack and tell them hand-on-heart that our system and our laws allow these guns to be available and that was okay. Because it was not.”The new rules amend permissive 1983 gun laws that had the subject of multiple reform attempts.The sole holdout against the legislation was the ACT Party, which has a single seat in the 120 seat parliament.The new rules are aimed at removing semi-automatic firearms from circulation through a buy-back scheme, prohibition and harsh prison sentences.A hand-in amnesty will be in place until 30 September 2019, but perpetrators will face between two and ten years in jail for breaking the laws.The new laws also prohibit “semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and parts that can be used to assemble prohibited firearms.”The law will now need royal approval, in practice a rubber stamp, which is expected to take place on Thursday, paving the way for the rules to enter into force the next day.The bill was first introduced on 1 April. Its passage in barely ten days has surprised even the most ardent gun control advocates.last_img read more

Conflict Of Interest For USTR Nominee Holding Up Trumps Plan To Reopen

first_img Listen Nicoguaro President Trump has pushed back the start date for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) several times over the past few months, in large part because the Senate has yet to vote on the confirmation of his nominee for U.S. trade representative, attorney Robert Lighthizer. By law, only the U.S. trade representative can notify Congress of the president’s intent to renegotiate a trade agreement.“One of the requirements in terms of what the USTR must satisfy is that he has not worked for any foreign interest involved in a negotiation with the United States government,” says Stephen Lande, president of Manchester Trade, a trade policy advisory firm based in Washington, D.C. “And Bob Lighthizer was involved actually in a fairly minor negotiation with Brazil. So one needs a waiver for that in order for the Senate to be in a position to consider his nomination and, of course, approve his nomination.”Lande says Trump seems to be counting on such a waiver being attached to a must-pass measure to fund the federal government.The Houston area has a big stake in what happens next. “There’s $18 billion traded between Houston alone and Mexico, which is more than many countries trade between each other,” says Kenneth Smith Ramos, who heads the trade and NAFTA office at the Mexican Embassy to the U.S.Once the president notifies Congress of his intent to reopen NAFTA, that will trigger a 90-day countdown. Three-way talks with Mexico and Canada could begin by mid-summer. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:20center_img X Sharelast_img read more

Did You Know

first_imgStory Links Did you know…?An institution may provide entertainment on an official visit for a prospective student-athlete and up to four family members accompanying the PSA only within a 30-mile radius of the institution’s main campus, this includes our Belknap Campus and Health Sciences Campus (pictured above). It is not permissible to entertain friends (including dates) of a PSA at any time at any site. It is permissible for the institution to provide entertainment expenses to the entire team. See Bylaws 13.6.7.1 and 16.7 below for more information.13.6.7 Entertainment/Tickets on Official Visit. [A]13.6.7.1 General Restrictions. [A] An institution may provide entertainment, pursuant to Bylaw 13.6.7.5, on the official visit for a prospective student-athlete and up to four family members accompanying the prospective student-athlete within a 30-mile radius of the institution’s main campus. Entertainment and contact by representatives of the institution’s athletics interests during the official visit are prohibited. It is not permissible to entertain friends (including dates) of a prospective student-athlete at any time at any site. [R] (Revised: 10/28/97, 11/1/00, 4/23/14, 1/15/16 effective 8/1/16)13.6.7.1.1 Meals and Lodging While in Transit. [A] It is permissible for an institution to pay a prospective student-athlete’s actual costs for reasonable expenses (e.g., meals, lodging) incurred while traveling to and from campus on the official visit. In basketball, an institution may pay the actual costs for meals and lodging for a prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians (expenses for up to two people) that are incurred while traveling to and from campus to accompany the prospective student-athlete on his official visit. (Revised: 10/27/11 effective 8/1/12, 1/19/13 effective 8/1/13, 4/25/18)13.6.7.1.1.1 Meals and Lodging in Transit for Family Members—Bowl Subdivision Football. [FBS] In bowl subdivision football, an institution may pay the actual costs for meals and lodging for a prospective student-athlete’s family members (expenses for up to two people) that are incurred while traveling to and from campus to accompany the prospective student-athlete on his official visit. (Adopted: 4/28/16 effective 8/1/16, Revised: 4/25/18)16.7 Entertainment. [A]An institution, conference or the NCAA may provide reasonable entertainment (but may not provide cash for such entertainment) to student-athletes during the playing season, outside the playing season during the academic year when classes are in session and during the period in which they are required to participate in summer athletic activities pursuant to Bylaw 17.1.7.2.1.5. [R] (Revised: 1/19/13 effective 8/1/13, 8/7/14, 1/20/17 effective 8/1/17)Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Kolkata Police STF busts illegal firearms factory at Ghola in North 24Parganas

first_imgKolkata: The Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police has busted an illegal firearms factory from Ghola area of North 24-Parganas and seized more than 90 firearms.The arms factory had been operating from a house in the area. Three persons, including the owner of the house, were held by the investigating agency for interrogation. The police had specific information that an illegal firearm manufacturing racket was operating from the house.A team of senior police officers raided the house on Wednesday morning and found the illegal factory in a ground floor room, which was used for stocking garments. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe owner of the house Kalachand Pal used to run a garment shop in the ground floor. A few months ago, he rented the floor to one Pappu Khan, who is suspected to be one of the main accused.The ground floor room had remained locked for some time. The police officers broke open the door and found some lathe machines inside the room. Various utensils related to the manufacturing of illegal firearms were also seized from the room.Khan has been absconding since the incident took place. Police are interrogating three persons, including the owner of the house. Raids are being conducted to nab the culprit. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedPolice are trying to know if some other persons were involved in the incident.Police came to know the existence of the firearms factory after interrogating the accused, who were earlier arrested from Jagaddal in the same district in the last month.In the earlier incident, the STF had seized 60 semi-finished improvised firearms from an illegal arms factory in Jagaddal. Six persons were arrested with the semi-finished guns.Fake Indian currency notes (FICN) were also seized from Kolkata’s Maidan area during a raid last month.It may also be mentioned here that an illegal arms factory was busted from Ashokenagar area in North 24-Parganas by the district police and two persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in the racket in January this year.last_img read more

CM to kick off restoration work of Gandhi Bhavan on Oct 2

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be kicking off the restoration work of Gandhi Bhavan and setting up of a museum at Beliaghata on October 2.From the same programme, she will also be laying the foundation stone of Mahatma Gandhi University, which will come up in East Midnapore.It may be recalled that the state government has set up a committee to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the Chief Minister is the chairperson of the 46 member committee. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe first meeting of the committee was held on April 23, when a series of decisions were taken. On the same day, the decision of restoring Gandhi Bhavan at Beliaghata was also taken. It was also decided that the restoration work was carried out maintaining the heritage of the building.Sources said that necessary assessment has been carried out to prepare an outline, based on which the restoration work will be carried out.The state government has also taken the initiative to release a booklet called “Father of the Nation” and it will contain speeches of Gandhiji.last_img read more