Category: apprmfkk

  • Building Code Amendments Improve Safety

    first_imgNova Scotians will be better protected thanks to amendments to the provincial Building Code Act introduced today, Oct. 20. “Minimum qualifications for building inspection officials, stiffer penalties and a more inclusive Building Advisory Committee are some of the issues we’re addressing in today’s bill,” said Kerry Morash, Minister of Environment and Labour. “The safety of Nova Scotians is a top priority — a priority that is reflected by these important updates.” The most significant amendment requires minimum qualifications for building inspection officials, formerly known as building inspectors. Under the current act, any person may be appointed a building inspector and there are no required minimum qualifications, except those imposed voluntarily by municipalities. “We have worked closely with the municipalities to produce new regulations to increase the qualifications of building inspection officials. They are generally well-trained, but this allows us to make their training a legal requirement, and assures that competent persons are appointed to enforce the law. “I’m pleased to say, this proposed change received strong endorsement from the membership of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities during a consultation session at their spring 2005 conference,” said Mr. Morash. “In fact, most municipalities now have in place building inspection officials who meet these proposed minimum qualifications.” Further protection for Nova Scotians includes implementing stiffer penalties for individuals or companies where an offence is committed knowingly and results in loss of life, serious injury or damage to the health of a person, or has a catastrophic impact on a community. Individuals can be fined up to $150,000 and/or imprisoned for up to two years for each offence. Companies and/or directors of a company can be fined up to $250,000. This brings the Nova Scotia Building Code Act into line with other provincial public safety legislation. The proposed amendments also ensure the Building Advisory Committee is inclusive. The amendments will allow nominations from interested provincial groups, persons involved in the day-to-day design of buildings, persons involved in the design and construction, and the public who use buildings. Other housekeeping changes are also proposed in today’s bill. Interior designers will be recognized as a self-governing profession, similar to architects and engineers. References to courts and names of statutes, and references to the Minister responsible for the Act will also be fixed.last_img read more

  • Public Safety Advisory Issued for Cumberland County

    first_img FOR BROADCAST USE Local officials and the Emergency Management Office are advising residents of Cumberland County to take precautions for possible power outages. Strong winds forecast by Environment Canada, coupled with the ice build-up on trees and power lines from Tuesday’s storm, could result in loss of electricity. Residents needing assistance in the Town of Amherst should call 9-0-2 6-6-7 2-5-1-8. Residents in the remainder of Cumberland County should call 9-0-2 6-6-7 2-1-9-8. Over the next few days, updates will be provided through radio stations in the Cumberland County broadcast area. -30- Local officials and the Emergency Management Office are advising residents of Cumberland County to take precautions for possible power outages. Strong winds forecast by Environment Canada, coupled with the ice build-up on trees and power lines from Tuesday’s storm, could result in loss of electricity. The Cumberland County Emergency Management Office, in conjunction with the Town of Amherst Emergency Office, has taken steps to ensure public safety. Residents are reminded to prepare their homes in the event that power outages occur. Residents needing assistance in the Town of Amherst should call 902-667-2518. Residents in the remainder of the Cumberland County should call 902-667-2198. Over the next few days, updates will be provided through radio stations in the Cumberland County broadcast area. The Emergency Management Office recommends Nova Scotians monitor local weather forecasts, avoid driving during winter storms, and make sure they have emergency supplies in homes, or vehicles if driving. A home emergency kit should include: a battery-operated or crank radio, a flashlight, spare batteries, non-perishable food, a manual can opener, drinking water, adequate supply of medication, first-aid kit, blankets or sleeping bags, extra clothing and footwear. Similar items are recommended for vehicle kits, along with jumper cables, warning flares, a shovel, traction sand or road salt, and a tow rope. For more information on preparing an emergency kit for your home or vehicle, go to the Emergency Management Office website at . More information on road conditions is available by dialling 511 for provincial highway conditions, or 1-888-432-3233 for local road information. In the event of power outage, phone Nova Scotia Power’s outage information line 1-877-428-6004.last_img read more

  • Nova Scotia town looking to offload armoured vehicle donated by Peter MacKay

    first_imgNEW GLASGOW, N.S. – Members of the police force in New Glasgow, N.S., were all smiles in 2014 when Peter MacKay, the local MP and then defence minister, arranged for the Canadian military to give them a decommissioned light-armoured vehicle, free of charge.Four years later, the town’s police chief says the imposing, 10-tonne vehicle — complete with a rotating turret — was never really put to good use, and he confirmed that town officials have decided to give it away.“We really have not had any use for that since we’ve had it,” regional police chief Eric MacNeil said in an interview Wednesday. “Could we have done without it? Yes.”The six-wheeled Cougar, first built by General Dynamics in London, Ont., in the late 1970s, was used by the Canadian military until 2005. The fleet has since been retired, and some vehicles were given to other police forces, including those in Edmonton and Windsor.In New Glasgow, the tank-like vehicle was supposed to be used by the police department’s emergency response team, but that unit was recently disbanded after 10 years in operation.“We didn’t really have a call for that as well,” MacNeil said. “We had several calls, but they probably could have been handled without the use of an emergency response team.”For the most part, the vehicle was kept in storage and was taken outside last week for Police Week.The town’s mayor, Nancy Dicks, said there was much public debate about the acquisition four years ago.“Initially, there was that perception that it was over-militarizing our police,” she said. “But I haven’t heard anything to that effect after the first few months.”The police chief stressed that the Cougar was never meant to be used by his officers as any kind of weapon. Before the vehicle was delivered, it was stripped of its weapons, including the gun in its turret.“The perception of having something like at your disposal, well the public thinks your being aggressive,” MacNeil said.“(However), the intended use (for the Cougar) was transporting people in high-risk situations. If we had to move people from a situation where there were firearms involved, or if we had to engage in a confrontation like that, that would be the safest way to transport our officers or the public to get them out of there.”The chief cited the case of Justin Bourque, who on June 4, 2014 used an assault rifle to shoot five Mounties in Moncton, N.B., killing three of them.“It’s an insurance policy,” MacNeil said. “But really, is it practical for a police service of our size?”MacNeil said the town has received inquiries from across Canada, including Halifax Regional Police and the Cape Breton Regional Police. No decisions have been made.Halifax Regional police chief Jean-Michel Blais said he’s asked his staff to prepare a report for him, but he said he has his doubts about the vehicle.“It’s a military vehicle, and my first impression is that it’s definitely not a vehicle suited for policing needs,” he said in an interview. “I’m not too crazy about the idea of having a vehicle that’s probably 30 years old. But I can’t make a decision unless I have the information.”He said police forces, including the RCMP, seem more interested in using so-called tactical armoured vehicle, which look more like heavy-duty, all-terrain trucks with armour plating.— By Michael MacDonald in Halifax.last_img read more

  • Clear and beautiful Edmonton says chemicalfree swimming pool first in Canada

    first_imgEDMONTON – Any neighbourhood swimming pool is typically crowded on a July afternoon when it’s 30 C, but a new naturally filtered pool in Edmonton is so unusual that people are lining up from all over the city for a dip in its emerald-green water.The Borden Natural Swimming Pool — which cost $14.4 million and opened to the public earlier this month — uses plants, zooplankton and granite rather than chlorine or salt to filter its water.City officials say it’s the first of its kind in Canada and only the second in North America.“The water is amazingly clear and beautiful. You can open your eyes under the water and see,” said Meaghan Bouchard, who brought her two kids one day this week and waited for over an hour to get in.Parts of the natural filter, which resembles a swamp, sit in a fenced area and attract curious bathers, in trunks and bikinis, who peer in and marvel that the shallow pond with tall grass is cleaning the water they’ve just been swimming in.Cyndi Schlosser, the facility manager, said the natural pool is an alternative for people who have sensitivities to chemically treated water.“The plants actually absorb a lot of what would be contaminants to humans, but would be nutrients for the plants,” Schlosser said.There are special rules for visitors to the natural pool to keep what’s bad for the plants out.Phosphates, which are in sunscreens and shampoos, have to be washed off with a cleansing head-to-toe shower, and staff watch to make sure you take one before entering the pool. Cotton is banned because it may contain dyes and other contaminants that hurt the plants.The water is also kept on the nippy side. Schlosser said the pool is heated to 23 C and relies on the sun for anything warmer. But if the water temperature increases to 29 C, everyone has to get out because of a greater potential for bacterial growth.So far, people have been following the rules.“It’s a lot of education and just finding out how it’s different, because you’re part of the environment and you’re part of the system,” Schlosser said. “To help keep it open, we need the public’s assistance to ensure we maintain good water quality.”On hot days this week, there have been long lineups by the time the pool opened at noon, and the queue remained long through the afternoon. The pool can handle 400 bathers at one time, but has a limit of 980 a day. When that’s reached, it has to close because the filter wouldn’t be able to keep up.Schlosser said the filtration system is in its infancy and is designed to adjust over time.The pool is so far meeting water quality requirements. But what happens if there’s an incident with fecal matter — something lifeguards refer to as a “Code Brown?”Schlosser said the natural filter can deal with it, but the pool has to be cleared of swimmers until biological testing for bacteria comes up clear.“It could be up to 48 hours.”Shauna Graham, operations supervisor for Edmonton’s leisure centres, said it was challenging to get the pool built because its lack of chemicals means it technically isn’t a pool under Alberta health regulations. And it’s not a lake, either.“It looks like regulations will be written based on the work we’ve done,” Graham said.The kids enjoy the pool, regardless, but the cool water was a bit of a surprise for Gemma Whitford, 11, her sister Lillian, 8, and their neighbour, Jaida Zaparyniuk, who is 9.“It’s freezing cold,” Jaida said. “It’s nice on a hot day, but if it was winter we’d all probably be frozen!”last_img read more

  • Chris Young Performs At Boots On The Beach Benefit Event

    first_imgComing off of National Military Appreciation month in May, Sandals Resorts continued its longstanding history of supporting U.S. service members by teaming with Sony Music Nashville to host the Boots on the Beach Vacation over Memorial Day weekend at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Jamaica.A country music celebration to benefit Boot Campaign, the event raised more than $10,000 toward promoting patriotism for America and the military community while providing assistance for the unique challenges service members and their families face during and post-service.“This weekend was a culmination of our ongoing support for U.S. service members and their families. It was our privilege to be part of an event which raised awareness and funds for such a worthy cause. These people have given so much. It’s an honor to do something special for them,” said Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, parent company of Sandals Resorts.“Country music has always had deep ties with the men and women serving our nation,” remarked Paul Barnabee, Sony Music Nashville’s Senior Vice President, Marketing, “and on behalf of our artists and all of us at Sony Music Nashville, we were very proud to partner with Sandals Resorts, Funjet Vacations, Alliance Connection and the Jamaica Tourist Board to present an event whose benefits honor the true spirit of Memorial Day.”Hosted by Katie Cook of Country Music Television’s Hot 20 Countdown, and with appearances by Boot Campaign Ambassador Taya Kyle, widow of American Sniper Chris Kyle and Boot Campaign COO Joey Jones, the weekend kicked off at Sandals Ochi’s Sundowner Bar with an acoustic jam session by up-and-coming artists Logan Mize, Josh Dorr and Cam. Guests were also treated to performances by platinum-selling artists Chris Young, Jerrod Niemann and Tyler Farr. In addition to the star-studded performances, the weekend featured exciting events with the country artists such as the Sandals Beach Olympics, a live performance pool party with American Idol finalist Casey James and a silent auction to benefit Boot Campaign. The holiday weekend also included VIP meet-and-greets and excursions for the military couples, including an Island Routes catamaran cruise, visit to Villa Rio Chico with the Sandals Foundation and a tribute performance at the Jamaican home of country music legend Johnny Cash, where Sony Music honored his musical success at Sony with a plaque commemorating sales of more than 14 million records.As part of the celebration, six deserving military couples were surprised with the vacation of a lifetime to attend Boots on the Beach Vacation courtesy of Funjet Vacations, known for delivering unparalleled travel experiences at an exceptional value. One of the couples, Tatiana & Phillip McGill of San Antonio, Texas, both Marine Corps veterans who met during their tour, were married in 2005 in a justice of the peace ceremony. Never having a traditional wedding or honeymoon, their Sandals Ochi trip was a welcomed addition to their love story and even featured a ‘first dance’ serenaded by Chris Young. In addition to the military couples, 20 sweepstakes winners were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the Funjet Vacations Do Something You’ll Never Forget Meet and Greet VIP Experience, offering one-on-one time with all the artists.Sandals Resorts has a long tradition of honoring those in service, a commitment begun by Stewart following the Gulf War when Sandals donated vacations worth $1 million to returning troops, and then again with Operation Relax, which doubled the offer to troops returning from Iraq. Today, Sandals Resorts offers a 10% savings to all active duty, reserve or retired members of all branches of the U.S. Military and their spouses.Guests, sponsors and musicians also got a sneak peek at the all new Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, Sandals’ largest and Jamaica’s newest resort to-date. The completely renovated resort was rebuilt to offer a dynamic beach experience complete with stylish beach club vibes, chic exclusivity and innovative culinary concepts. Sandals Ochi Beach Resort features a fresh, modern design aesthetic along with seven uniquely new Gourmet Discovery Dining options, a fresh, trendy Ochi Beach Club, reinvented resort entertainment, upgraded luxurious accommodations and more.Boots on the Beach Vacation was produced in association with Sandals Resorts, Sony Music Nashville, Alliance Connection Productions, All Access Experience, Jamaica Tourist Board, Funjet Vacations and of course, Boot Campaign.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

  • Landslide at Muskrat Falls prompts renewed calls for independent review

    first_img(The above photo was posted to Facebook on Saturday. It was reportedly shared by a worker on the Muskrat Falls site and shows a landslide on the north side of the river.)Justin Brake APTN NewsAnxiety in on the rise in Labrador as land protectors and others living downstream of Muskrat Falls react to images that show a landslide on the banks of the Lower Churchill River at the project site.Residents of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Mud Lake held a motorcade in Happy Valley Monday to protest the Crown energy corporation and Muskrat Falls proponent Nalcor Energy’s response to the event.On Sunday, after the photos were reportedly leaked by a worker on the Muskrat Falls site the previous day, Nalcor issued a statement saying the slide poses “no safety risk in relation to the North Spur or the Muskrat Falls facilities,” and that landslides along the river are “fairly common.”The North Spur is a natural peninsula in the river that Nalcor is using to form a “natural dam” as part of the Muskrat Falls facilities.As far back as the project’s environmental assessment process Innu elders and others with knowledge of the area have expressed concerns with the dam being built in part on land comprised of sand and marine clay, also known as “quick clay”.“We are asking that Nalcor and the [provincial] government show genuine concern and empathy and give us honest and forthright answers,” the Labrador Land Protectors said in a press release issued Monday ahead of the motorcade.“We feel Nalcor’s response is insensitive to the concerns of those who live downstream of this project, who have already seen the wrath of the river in last spring’s flood.”Last spring residents of Mud Lake, a remote community of about 50 that resides in the Muskrat Falls flood zone, were airlifted to Goose Bay in an emergency evacuation after water levels in the Churchill River flooded many homes.Residents say that in Mud Lake’s 200 year history water levels have never risen to the extent they did in May 2017.Many attribute the flooding to the Muskrat Falls facilities and believe the dam, which is reportedly more than two-third complete, altered the behaviour of the river flow and caused an ice jam that backed up water into Mud Lake.An independent review of the flooding concluded that Muskrat Falls was not to blame, though some observers have argued the analysis did not have enough data to render a definitive conclusion.“For Nalcor to simply say there is no danger with this newest landslide shows an offhanded dismissal of the downstream population’s very real fears,” the Labrador Land Protectors’ statement continued.“We have been vocal that residents living in the flood zones, especially Mud Lake and the lower Valley, are under incredible stress and anguish while government and company continue to downplay concerns as trivial and insignificant.”An aerial view of the Muskrat Falls facilities in January 2018, with a view of part of the North Spur on the right. Photo: Nalcor Energy.APTN News requested information on the slide from Nalcor; a spokesperson responded by directing APTN back to the corporation’s three-paragraph statement, which only says the slide occurred on the north side of the river, downstream of the North Spur and outside of the North Spur dam stabilization area.Residents of the area, including Innu and Inuit who were involved in the 2016 protests that led to blockades and an occupation of the Muskrat Falls site, have been calling on the provincial government to order an independent review of Nalcor’s assessment of the North Spur and the corporation’s geotechnical engineering plans to stabilize the area to prevent a dam breach.While the Liberals have ordered a public inquiry into the project as a whole, and more recently a forensic audit of Nalcor, they haven’t alleviated locals’ fears of a dam breach with calls for an inquiry into the North Spur.Independent Newfoundland and Labrador MHA Paul Lane told APTN Monday that residents of the area have told him “they’re in fear of their life,” and that “they can’t sleep at night.”“If Nalcor is confident in the fact that they have a solution [to stabilize the North Spur], then come forward with what exactly it is they’re going to do — and have that open to be scrutinized and have an independent review,” he said.“Because quite frankly people are not willing to take their word for it, and I think that’s what it’s come down to. For them to just simply proclaim, ‘Don’t worry about it guys, everything is ok — we’re confident’ — people are not accepting them face value on their word.”Maurice Adams, a blogger and longtime critic of Muskrat Falls, said his and others’ primary concerns around the North Spur and the dam’s stability once water levels are raised in the reservoir are consequent to Nalcor’s methodology in its assessments of the North Spur.“Once the reservoir is raised up to 39 metres, from what I’ve read the increase in the pressure, horizontally, is exponentially higher in accordance with the increase in the depth in the water. So we don’t really know that that particular area is safe,” he said Monday.Adams referred to the work of Swedish engineers Dr. Stig Bernander and Dr. Lennart Elfgren, who have taken an interest in Muskrat Falls because of the dam’s position atop glacial marine sediments and the unique challenges that poses.They questioned Nalcor’s methodolgy in assessing the probability of landslides around the North Spur once water levels are raised in the Muskrat Falls reservoir, in a report released last year. They fear a dam breach may occur if the proper work is not done to properly assess the risks of landslides, and to adequately stabilize the area prior to flooding.Nalcor has repeatedly maintained it has done the proper work, though critics like Adams and many locals living downstream say Nalcor hasn’t sufficiently addressed the concerns highlighted by Bernander and Elfgren.“An independent assessment into whether or not what Dr. Bernander is saying, and the methodology he says needs to be used to assess what kind of stabilization might be appropriate for the North Spur — that needs to be independently assessed and somebody need to determine whether or not what Nalcor has done there is based on sound engineering methodologies,” said Adams.Roberta Benefiel of Grand Riverkeeper Labrador, another longtime critic of the Muskrat Falls project, said she wants Nalcor to immediately lower the water in the partially flooded reservoir.“We want them to slowly lower the water, now, because we’re worried — Mud Lake is very worried,” she said Monday. “We think that’s the least [Nalcor] can do. Start to lower the water now, and do it at a sensible pace, instead of what they did last year.”In a Facebook live video of the motorcade posted by the Labrador Land Protectors Inuk land protector Marjorie Flowers criticizes Nalcor’s response to the slide.“The audacity is the only word that comes to mind, to only focus on their infrastructure when people have been living in real fear and anxiety for so long. And then this slide happens, and nothing,” Flower says.In their press release the land protectors also took aim at the government, which received a petition days before the May 2017 flooding of Mud Lake from more than a thousand residents, including many from the five communities downstream of Muskrat Falls.The petition asked for an independent review of the North Spur.Land protectors say almost a year later they still have not received a response from Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball, who is also the self-appointed minister responsible for Labrador Affairs and the Intergovernmental and Indigenous Affairs secretariat.APTN requested comment from Ball Monday, but that request was passed on to the Department of Natural Resources. A response was not received by the time of publication.Land protectors said in their press release that an independent inquiry into the North Spur would “finally allow residents to feel supported and that their elected representatives were ensuring their lives and safety.”jbrake@aptn.calast_img read more

  • UN forum examines how to maximize Internets potential to help poor countries

    16 November 2009A United Nations-backed international gathering focusing on how to make the most of the Internet to boost social and economic well-being for the greatest number of people around the world is underway in Egypt. The fourth Internet Governance Forum (IGF) brings together some 1,500 representatives from government, international organizations, academics, the private sector, civil society and the Internet’s technical community to examine development opportunities through the Internet.Participants at this year’s four-day meeting in the coastal resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh are also slated to discuss the extension of the IGF’s initial five-year mandate beyond 2010, as well as the more traditional issues of Internet access, diversity, openness and security.In his remarks to the Forum’s opening on Sunday, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang underscored that African and Arab States lag behind Europe, Asia and the Americas although more people are gaining access to the Internet in developing countries.Mr. Sha said this year’s overarching theme – “Internet Governance: Creating an opportunity for all” – was timely and appropriate, while drawing attention to the “critical decision that we will have to make about the future of the IGF.” He noted that the IGF fully supported efforts critical to the UN agenda, including the promotion of higher standards of living, full employment, and the conditions of economic and social progress and development.The Secretary-General of the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Hamadoun Touré, stressed that the Forum is key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of international agreed targets to combat poverty, deadly diseases and maternal mortality, as well as achieve universal primary education, gender equality and environmental sustainability by 2015. read more

  • US officials briefed on progress of reconciliation process

    “It has been useful for us to hear from different voices that provide perspective on the situation in Sri Lanka today,” Buchwald said.  “We were privileged to travel to a number of places in Sri Lanka and hear first-hand about the progress made and challenges remaining. (Colombo Gazette) Special Coordinator for the US Department of State Office of Global Criminal Justice Todd Buchwald and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Manpreet Anand (DAS) concluded a visit to Sri Lanka, during which they met with Government and political leaders and civil society from across the country to hear their thoughts on the reconciliation process, the US Embassy in Colombo said today.“The United States seeks to support the Sri Lankan people at this critical juncture as they pursue constitutional reform and a peaceful, prosperous, and reconciled future,” U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap said. “Hearing a wide variety of Sri Lankan voices on reconciliation will be critical for these visitors as they help shape U.S. government assistance and policy in Sri Lanka in the coming years.” Buchwald subsequently met opposition leader R. Sampanthan, who provided insights into issues faced by Sri Lankans affected by the war.  The Ambassador, Buchwald, and DAS Anand also met with Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran to discuss challenges to reconciliation and livelihoods in the North. Buchwald also paid a courtesy call on Governor of the Eastern Province Austin Fernando. Buchwald and DAS Anand visited Kandy, where they met with youth and civil society leaders and paid respects at the Temple of the Tooth.  Additionally, Buchwald travelled to Trincomalee and Jaffna to meet with inter-faith groups, local government representatives, students, and civil society organizations and to continue his discussions on reconciliation.  Ambassador Keshap and Buchwald met with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to learn about the progress made on reconciliation issues, as well as with Governor of the Northern Province Reginald Cooray.  read more

  • New report backs up Mulcairs claim Canadas economy suffers from Dutch Disease

    New report backs up Mulcair’s claim Canada’s economy suffers from Dutch Disease AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Steve Rennie, The Canadian Press Posted May 30, 2012 1:43 pm MDT OTTAWA – On the eve of NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s visit to Alberta’s oilsands, a new report backs his claim that Canada’s economy suffers from a form of Dutch Disease.A study released Wednesday by the Pembina Institute says Canada has come down with a unique strain of the phenomenon, dubbed “oilsands fever,” that is producing near-term economic benefits that are often overstated.The report says these benefits are spread unevenly across the country and could be hiding economic turmoil down the road.But another report by a different group says Canada’s oil and gas industry is spreading the wealth by using the money earned from booming exports to buy goods and services from the rest of the country.The two reports were released simultaneously as Mulcair prepares to embark on his first tour of the oilsands.The NDP chief has been lambasted by western premiers and the federal Conservatives for suggesting oil exports raise the value of the Canadian dollar, which in turn hurts the economy in other parts of the country.The phenomenon is dubbed the “Dutch Disease” in reference to the manufacturing decline that occurred in the Netherlands after a boom in natural gas exports in the 1970s.The Pembina study says the Dutch Disease label may be too simplistic.“It seems clear that Canada is undergoing changes, both positive and negative, that are unique to both the nature of its domestic economy and Canada’s role in a shifting global economy,” the report says.“The result appears to be a uniquely Canadian strain of the Dutch Disease that could be called ‘oilsands fever’ — a strain that is beginning to create clear winners and losers in Canada’s economy and could pose a significant risk to Canada’s competitiveness in the emerging, clean energy economy.”The report urges the federal government to create a rainy-day savings fund for oil and gas revenues, get rid of tax breaks for oil and gas companies, convene an expert panel on the oilsands and the economy, study regional competitiveness in an era of a high loonie and work on a national energy strategy.A separate report also released Wednesday by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute came to a different conclusion.The Macdonald-Laurier study found all provinces will enjoy benefits from oil- and gas-rich western provinces that far outweigh any ill-effects from a higher Canadian dollar.“While the so-called ‘Dutch Disease’ mechanism may operate, in practice it is partially (perhaps more than fully) offset by the gains to the overall Canadian economy documented by these studies,” the report says.The two reports came out the day before Mulcair is scheduled to tour Suncor’s oilsands project near Fort McMurray.Alberta Premier Alison Redford has said she won’t meet the NDP leader until he visits the Fort McMurray region to educate himself about the oilsands and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has also weighed in with harsh words.Before departing on his western tour, Mulcair insisted he’s not against development, he’s only advocating sustainable development. And he stressed that applies not just to the oilsands but to natural resource projects all across the country.One of the authors of the Pembina report says Mulcair’s comments have brought an important issue to the forefront.“It’s been productive insofar as it’s raised this issue to a level of both political and public prominence that’s necessary,” Dan Woynillowicz said.“It has triggered, I think, a divisive debate that’s premised more upon rhetoric on both sides, as opposed to really digging into some of the details of what’s happening and what can be done.” read more

  • The Best Weirdest and Funniest Mastodon Groups

    first_img Elon Musk’s Cheeky ‘Nuke Mars!’ Post Is Taking Over TwitterTwitter Tests Subscribe-to-Replies Feature Twitter sucks. It’s full of horny brands and eggs and Nazis. The verification system is stupid and arbitrary. Boiling down complex ideas to into 140-character posts turns discussions into nonstop Hot Takes. President Obama’s brother uses Twitter to talk about anime. No wonder this ubiquitous social media service is somehow having trouble finding a buyer.But just because Twitter sucks doesn’t the mean the idea of micro-blogging is without merit. Mastodon is an open-source Twitter competitor that’s been picking up a lot of steam lately. Mastodon looks and acts very similarly to Twitter, especially the TweetDeck client. But it has several key differences.You can tweet (or rather, toot, since we’re talking about furry prehistoric elephants instead of birds here) statuses with up to 500-character limits. Mastodon also has superior privacy and moderation tools so you can make sure you only see posts you want to see from people you want to follow. It lets you easily avoid spoilers and upsetting content as well as not get bogged down in harassment.Mastodon’s major departure from Twitter, though, is its federated, decentralized nature. The main Mastodon site at Mastodon.Social has been so slammed recently that the moderators have cut off new sign-ups. The current limit hovers around 42,000 blazing users. However, anyone with a domain name, server space, and a passion for creating their own community can create their own version (or instance) of Mastodon. You can create an instance for anything from Minecraft tips to French pirate party politics. Think subreddits but hopefully not as terrible. You can even create an instance for you and you alone. After all, Twitter is the best proof yet that Hell is other people.It’s not a perfect system. Verification is tricky if anyone can sign up in any instance under any name. However, this setup lets moderators create their own specialized instances for folks with similar interests and enforce moderation rules that make sense for their community. Users can interact across instances, but if one instance is particularly troublesome, other instances can cut off access entirely.Here are just a few of the best, dotcom-free Mastodon instances we’ve stumbled across so far. Things are only going to get better from here. Twitter who?AnimalLiberation.Social– an animal rights group.Gay.Crime.Team– pretty self explanatory.Meow.Social– a Furry community (hopefully without Nazis)DancingBanana.Party– yes, that dancing internet banana from all those years– another Furry group but it’s such a good name, Brent.Rich.GOP– a group where privacy is king.Cute.Group– just cuties being cute together.Rabbit.Zone– the about section for this one just shows a scrolling, vaporwavey pictures of satellites. Checks out.Social.ByteSexual.Net– a social space for a hacker co-op.Anticapitalist.Party– if we want to stop capitalism, we all need to team– a hacking and programming community.Pokemastodon.Net– a group for buying, selling, and trading Pokemon cards.Memetastic.Space– dank memes, finally.Click here and here to discover more magnificent Mastodon instances. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go set up Mac.Tonight, a community for moon man enthusiasts. Stay on targetlast_img read more

  • Seoul believes seismic activity was North Korea nuclear test

    first_imgSEOUL, South Korea — North Korea detonated its fifth atomic device on Friday, South Korean officials said, with Seoul and international monitors detecting unusual seismic activity near the North’s northeastern nuclear test site. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that “artificial seismic waves” from a quake measuring 5.0 were detected near the Punggye-ri test site.The Defense Ministry said it believed the North conducted a nuclear test, while European and U.S. monitoring services also detected similar seismic activity, with the U.S. Geological Survey calling it an “explosion” on its website. A South Korean Defense Ministry official, who refused to be named because of office rules, said that Seoul detected an estimated explosive yield of 10 kilotons and assessed that it was from a nuclear test.After the fourth test, in January, South Korean lawmaker Lee Cheol Woo said Seoul’s National Intelligence Service told him that an estimated explosive yield of six kilotons was detected.last_img read more

  • Carvajal impressed with young Madrid squad

    first_imgReal Madrid defender Dani Carvajal is excited with the club’s youth policy as he praised the long-term future plan.Manager Santiago Solari and defender Dani Ceballos have equally echoed the sentiments of the Spanish footballer suggesting it made team line-ups ‘less predictable’.“The philosophy of the club is to think medium-term and long-term, hence why we have signed so many young players,” explained Carvajal after Saturday’s victory over Valencia, as cited by Football Espana.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“We now have a very young midfielder and can compete against the best teams in the country, you can see Marcos Llorente has now enjoyed great games against Roma and Valencia.“It was an important victory for us because everything came together and the first half was our best 45 minutes display of the season so far.“We managed to finish them off in the second half when they took risks, it was an important win.”last_img read more

  • Crack Down on Illegal Street Side Vendors

    first_img Nearly 100 Haitian migrants caught by TCI Police Marine division Related Items:Colin Farquhar, royal turks and caicos police force Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppGrand Turk, 24 Sept 2014 – Police encouraged to crack down on illegal street side vendors by Cabinet yesterday during the regular fortnightly meeting; this following a detailed report from the outgoing TCI Police Commissioner Colin Farquhar. The plan and priorities presentation reportedly included details on providing all the islands with safe and secure communities… a way for the Force to optimise resources and explained and explored the benefits of a reserve police unit; likely to build the manpower of the Police departments. Freeze proposed on new security firms Security firms lodge complain about former Police Commissioner Farquhar new joblast_img read more

  • Google Doodle celebrates International Womens Day 2019

    first_img 2 43 Photos Google Doodle Google Culture Internet Share your voice Tagscenter_img Enlarge ImageAustralian artist Gemma O’Brien illustrated the words of British suffragette Millicent Fawcett. Gemma O’Brien/Google Google is celebrating leaders, artists and inspirational trailblazers from the past 200 years, and Friday, they all happen to be women. To mark International Women’s Day, the Google Doodle for March 8 has illustrated famous quotes from 13 inspirational women. There are those who have gone before us, such as pioneering Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and British suffragette Millicent Fawcett, who campaigned for higher education for girls and the right to vote. The list also includes modern champions who are breaking new ground today. From Indian Olympic boxer Mary Kom, who is the only female boxer to have won a medal in seven world championships, to Chimamanda Adichie, the Nigerian writer whose writing on feminism has been translated into more than 30 languages worldwide. google-doodle-iwd-frida-kahloArgentinian artist Yai Salinas drew inspiration from Frida Kahlo’s work to illustrate this quote from her. Yai Salinas/Google To bring the words of all these notable women to life, Google commissioned 10 female artists and design studios from around the world to illustrate their quotes. US-based Polish designer Zuzanna Rogatty, who illustrated a quote from Adichie, described her process. google-doodle-iwd-chimamanda-adichie Zuzanna Rogatty/Google “Through expressive and rhythmic lettering, I tried to illustrate the energy and power coming from the quote,” she wrote on the Google blog. “I especially highlighted the word ‘equally’ and the last ‘I matter”, which I felt should sound the loudest.”You can read all about the artists and their inspiration on the Google blog, or head to Google Arts and Culture to read about the women who have shaped our world — from the heroes of STEM to the women who turned a hat into a symbol of female power. Google’s focus for this year’s International Women’s Day was “women empowering women” — hence the choice of all female artists for its doodle. While the company has struggled with the issue of gender diversity in the past, along with the rest of Silicon Valley, Google is making inroads, including giving out $9.7 million in 2018 to help address wage inequality. Still, women make up just 30 percent of the workforce in Silicon Valley, according to the Kapor Center, and girls also face several obstacles in pursuing STEM education. On International Women’s Day, some organizations and companies are launching initiatives to change that. If you want to read about more inspiring women in tech, science and entertainment, check out our gallery below.  Originally published March 7.Update, March 8: Adds stat about female workforce in Silicon Valley. Here are the women who inspire us this International Women’s Day Commentslast_img read more

  • Kangana Ranaut offered Rs 24 crore for Jayalalithaa biopic becomes highest paid

    first_imgKangana Ranaut to play J Jayalalithaa in Thalaivi.InstagramFew years ago, female led films were not expected to rake in big numbers at the Box Office. However, actresses like Kangana Ranaut have changed that. From having the highest number of Rs 100 crore films to highest single day collections for a female led film, Kangana clearly leads the pack. And hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise the Ms Ranaut has been reportedly offered Rs 24 crore for Jayalalithaa biopic, highest ever for any Bollywood actor for any South venture.On Kangana’s birthday, it was announced that she has signed the bilingual on the legendary actress turned politician. Tiltled Thalaivi in Tamil and Jaya in Hindi, the film is being helmed by Vijay, who is considered one of the most accomplished directors in South, and written by KV Vijayendra Prasad. According to a source close to the development, “Kangana is being paid to the tune of Rs 24 crore for the bilingual project, which will be made in Hindi and Tamil. The makers are sure that her star power will help reach a pan-India audience. The producers have already signed a contract with her.”Another notable aspect of the project is that whenever Hindi artistes have done South movies, they have always shared screen space with a top star from the region. But, in this case, Kangana will be leading from the front as the movie revolves around her character’s journey. Reportedly, many other accomplished actresses like Vidya Balan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan were also being considered for the role. However, the producers decided to sign Kangana, and she also immediately agreed to be a part of the film as she has closely followed the life of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.Kangana is currently working on Mental Hai Kya and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s Panga, post which, she will start work on the Jayalalithaa biopic.last_img read more

  • Budget 2015 Big Year Ahead For Smartphone Laptop Makers in India

    first_imgLong before comedian John Oliver re-directed America’s attention to the election that was happening in the world’s largest democracy, the BJP was already favourites to sweep the 2014 general elections. And but for a minor (or major?) blip in its path – in the form of AAP taking charge in Delhi – it has gone as expected for the BJP following the big win last year.But with Delhi Assembly elections also out of the way, hopes are pinned on the upcoming Budget to provide incentives to a range of sectors. Among all things, tech aficionados and manufacturers are looking ahead to what’s in store for them, especially in smartphones, laptops and related devices. The initial signs are positive, to say the least.The government, it seems, could come up with incentive packages in the upcoming Budget to promote manufacturing of electronic hardware, including mobile phones and laptops. The push is being seen as part of Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Some announcements in this area are expected when the Budget is presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 28 February. The Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) has suggested a 10-year tax holiday for manufacturing mobile handsets, tablets, laptops, desktops, telecom equipment, solar cells and medical electronics, according to a PTI report.The DeitY has also suggested a 10-year tax holiday for fresh investments in a block of 15 years in special economic zones, domestic tariff area, export oriented units and Electronic Hardware Technology Park.   Apart from tax holiday, it has recommended removal of special additional duty on inputs and components, differential excise duty structure for laptops and desktops and 5 percent interest subsidy for the electronics industry.The demand for interest subsidy is apparently to offset the impact of high interest rate of 14 percent paid by Indian firms, as against 3 to 4 percent by their competitors in other countries.The report, quoting sources said that this would also enable to tap India’s potential in manufacturing electronic hardware and give a fillip to the ‘Make in India’ initiative. This could also help in bringing down India’s import of electronic goods, currently estimated at $35 billion (around Rs. 217,600 crores) every year.Besides, the department also wants the 5 percent ‘Focus Product Scheme’ to be given to hardware industry to increase exports.As things stand, the latest suggestions from the DeitY is to bring Indian smartphone are electronics manufacturers to the top of the market.This is also a welcome move, considering most of the noise in the market is made by the likes of Apple or Samsung – both manufactured outside India. Lastly, for the ones who aren’t aware about it, the ‘Make in India’ initiative was launched last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to support domestic manufacturing and increase its share in the country’s GDP.How do you think this year’s Budget will play on Indian firms manufacturing smartphones and other gadgets. Let us know.last_img read more

  • 2 minor girls found dead

    first_imgProthom Alo IllustrationPolice recovered two bodies of four-year-old girls from ground floor of the seven-storey building along Shahjalal road in Demra, Dhaka on Monday night, reports UNB.The deceased were Nursat, 4, daughter of Palash and Dola Akhter, 4, daughter of Faridul of the area.On information, police recovered the bodies from the ground floor of the building, aid Siddiqur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Demra police station.It is assumed that the girls were tortured and strangled to death as injuries found in different parts of the bodies, the OC added.last_img read more

  • Vevo Partners With Vewd to Bring Music Videos to TiVos Smart TVs

    first_imgVewd may not be as much of a household name among consumers as Roku or Android TV, but the platform has long been key to bringing smart TV apps to a number of TVs and internet-connected devices. Previously known as Opera TV, Vewd’s software has been shipped on close to 350 million smart TVs, set-top-boxes and streaming devices, according to company information.In the past, Vevo used to develop its own set of owned-and operated apps for mobile devices and streaming platforms. However, the company abandoned that strategy last year, shut down its apps, and consolidated its resources to focus on optimizing its presence on YouTube.Since then, Vevo has been taking some steps to once again build out a smart TV distribution strategy, albeit with a very different approach: Instead of developing and maintaining its own apps, the company is primarily focusing on syndicating its videos into existing platforms.That more cost-effective approach fits into Vewd’s distribution model, explained Vewd’s vice president of content partnerships Michael Winneker: “The platform consolidation that happened on mobile hasn’t happened on the TV, so it makes sense to utilize a scaling partner like Vewd to mitigate app management complexity and accelerate distribution through tens of millions of Vewd-enabled devices, all while helping reduce costs and increase monetization” Vevo Hires Scott Anderson as New Engineering and Product Head Tivo Preps Series 7 ‘Tivo Edge’ DVR Made by Arris Related Popular on Variety Major label-owned Vevo has struck a partnership with smart TV operating system provider Vewd to bring music videos to TiVo DVRs as well as smart TVs from manufacturers like Sony, Hisense and Philips.The two companies have struck a global distribution deal, meaning that Vevo content will reach consumers in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Altogether, this should add tens of millions of devices to Vevo’s smart TV footprint. Vevo videos will go live on Vewd-powered devices in late September.“Naming Vewd as a smart TV scaling partner is a key moment for our OTT strategy,” said Vevo’s bizdev executive vice president and general counsel Alex Kisch in a statement. “With the tremendous scale afforded by Vewd’s far reaching network of television partners, Vevo will have the opportunity to tap into important and growing markets, bringing some of the most sought-after content to new audiences and creating value for our artists, songwriters, labels and publishing partners.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more