Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: CBC Radio One today announced that CBC News correspondent Duncan McCue has been named the new host of CROSS COUNTRY CHECKUP, beginning Sunday, August 7. The popular open-line program airs Sundays at 1 p.m. PT, 2 p.m. MT, 3 p.m. CT, 4 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. AT and 5:30 p.m. NT on CBC Radio One.“Duncan is the perfect choice for Cross Country Checkup,” said Susan Marjetti, executive director of CBC Radio English Services. “He brings a fresh perspective and strong history of award-winning storytelling on CBC to this iconic program, which has proven to be a mainstay in our mandate to connect and reflect Canada to all Canadians.”Celebrating its 51st anniversary this year, CROSS COUNTRY CHECKUP is Canada’s only national open-line radio program. More than half a million listeners tune in every Sunday afternoon to hear a lively exchange of ideas between callers and invited guests, and a broad cross-section of opinions on the topic of the day. On average, 5,000 to 10,000 people attempt to call in during the broadcast to join the discussion.McCue has guest-hosted a number of episodes since Rex Murphy’s retirement as host in September 2015, including a live show from Iqaluit.“I’m honoured to join a program with such a long history,” said Duncan McCue, “Cross Country Checkup is a special place – a couple of hours on national radio where Canadians from all walks of life get to talk and listen to one another.”A reporter for CBC News in Vancouver for over 15 years, McCue’s work has garnered several RTNDA and Jack Webster Awards. He was part of the CBC Aboriginal team’s acclaimed investigation into missing and murdered Indigenous women that has won numerous honours including the Hillman Award for Investigative Journalism and the 2016 Canadian Association of Journalist’s Don McGillivray Award. He’s also an author: his book The Shoe Boy: A Trapline Memoir recounts a season he spent in a hunting camp with a Cree family in northern Quebec as a teenager. Now based in Toronto, his news and current affairs pieces will continue to be featured on CBC’s flagship news show, The National.Canadians can engage with CROSS COUNTRY CHECKUP through a toll-free number (during the broadcast only) at 1-888-416-8333, online live chat at www.cbc.ca/ checkup (during broadcast), and on Twitter @checkupcbc, Facebook at CBCCrossCountryCheckup and by email at email@example.com.-30-About CBC/Radio-CanadaCBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective. Advertisement Advertisement Twitter
TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2018 – Heather Conway, Executive Vice President of CBC, has announced her departure from the public broadcaster to pursue other opportunities. She will remain in her role until December 7, 2018. About CBC/Radio-CanadaCBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement “Heather has been instrumental in spearheading CBC’s digital transformation on all of our platforms and across all genres, helping us meet our goal of doubling our digital reach, two years ahead of schedule,” said Catherine Tait, President and CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada. “She has been passionate about reflecting Canadian diversity in our content, ensuring that it is more distinctly and identifiably Canadian. Twitter “It has been a privilege to serve Canadians and Canadian creators and to lead the incredible public broadcasters who work at CBC. The experience and the CBC will be with me always, as the CBC always has been and should always be for all of us,” said Heather Conway.“I am thinking about next steps in terms of how I will go about filling this very important position. In the meantime I look forward to continuing to work with Heather and her team over the next month to ensure a smooth transition,” concluded Tait. Login/Register With: Advertisement
APTN National NewsBritish Columbia’s Attorney General Bruce Penner has decided to deny all funding to community groups that were supposed to participate in an inquiry into why it took so long for police to get serial killer Robert Pickton.The move comes shortly after the inquiry’s commissioner recommended that they be funded to ensure their participation.Organizations are shocked at the change in plans.APTN National News reporter Wayne Roberts has this story.
APTN National NewsIt’s an ancient ceremony that is being revived and for the first time APTN National News‘ cameras have been allowed on site.APTN National News anchor Michael Hutchinson follows the journey of a group youth who have embarked on a rite of passage.In Part Two of this feature, Hutchinson meets with the young men who have emerged from the bush after spending four days without food or water.
SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Mi’kmaq communities in New Brunswick said Wednesday the Energy East pipeline project must have their consent in order to pass through their territories.Chief George Ginnish, of the Eel Ground First Nation, told National Energy Board hearings in Saint John, N.B., that Mi’kmaq communities remain “deeply concerned” about the effect the proposed pipeline will have on their Aboriginal and treaty rights.Ginnish was speaking on behalf of a group of nine communities in eastern and northern parts of the province.“We have to consider the impact that any projects will have on our next seven generations, it’s our duty to our ancestors,” said Ginnish.He told the three member panel the Mi’kmaq are concerned about the impacts of the pipeline’s construction and the effects of potential oil spills on watersheds and watercrossings as well as on traditional fisheries and species such as Atlantic salmon.He said there are also concerns about increased tanker traffic in the Bay of Fundy. The tankers would be used to export crude oil from Western Canada that would be stored at a proposed marine terminal in Saint John.“Unless all of these concerns can be meaningfully addressed, we cannot and will not consent to the pipeline in our territory,” Ginnish said.The chief said that through a series of peace and friendship Treaties with the Crown the Mi’kmaq have never surrendered their Aboriginal title to their lands.“The Energy East pipeline will cross through our Mi’kmaq traditional lands . . . thus the project will require our consent,” said Ginnish.Bruce McIvor, a solicitor for the Elsipogtog First Nation near Rexton, N.B., said the energy board’s mandate is limited in relation to the project because of the band’s treaty rights. He said Elsipogtog expects a direct relationship with the Crown in dealing with its pipeline concerns.“The board . . . cannot fulfil completely the Crown’s obligations and we think it’s important that’s reflected ultimately in the board’s report,” MacIvor said.Officials with Energy East said they are committed to ongoing consultations with First Nations groups in order to address their concerns.Christian Matossian, manager of Indigenous relations for the Energy East pipeline, said the company respects the legal and constitutional rights of Aboriginal communities.He said the company is operating under current Canadian law with respect to its engagement with Aboriginal people.“Energy East will strive to reach consent with First Nations and also seek to avoid and mitigate any potential effects that the project has on the community,” said Matossian.Mi’kmaq groups were not alone Wednesday in bemoaning a lack of specific consultation on the project.Maria Recchia, of the Fundy North Fishermen’s Association, said her group was upset by the company’s application, which portrayed the fishery in the area nearest to the shipping lanes leading to Saint John harbour as being “insignificant.”Recchia pointed out that according to Department of Fisheries and Oceans data, the lobster fishery in the area is heavy in May and June and remains consistently high through the rest of the year.She said about 75 fishing boats work around the area _ not the 10 or 15 referred to in the company’s assessment.“To say that the fishing industry in this area is insignificant is very problematic for us,” said Recchia.Three days of hearings wrapped up Wednesday. The energy board will hold additional hearings in nine other cities with proceedings to conclude in Kingston, Ont., in December.In his concluding remarks, Energy East president John Soini said he recognized the frustrations expressed by a number of interveners over a lack of information about aspects of the project.Soini cautioned that the project was still in its early stages and that the company is committed to gathering the information it needs.He said if approval is granted, construction won’t begin until 2019 and full emergency response plans will be in place, including for the tank and marine terminal in Saint John.“I can confirm that your views have been heard and will inform how we continue to develop the Energy East project in a safe and environmentally sound matter for the benefit of Canada,” said Soini.
APTN NewsThe government of Newfoundland and Labrador will issue its own apology to people who attended residential schools in the province.Premier Dwight Ball, who will be in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on Friday when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issues an apology to survivors of people who went to the schools after 1949 – when the province joined Confederation, issued a statement Thursday.“I wish to advise that the Provincial Government will undertake its own apology to residential school survivors in consultation with the survivors of the former residential school system and the leaders of Indigenous Governments and Organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador,” the statement said.Newfoundland and Labrador will be the fourth province in Canada to apologize for its role in the schools as First Nation, Metis, and Inuit children were taken from their homes and sent to government-run institutions.Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta issued apologies in 2016.Labrador survivors were left out of prime minister Stephen Harper’s 2008 apology because the schools were not run by the federal government at the time.Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said the province is making plans to apologize.More to come …
Justin BrakeAPTN NewsMembers of the Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society are calling land defenders and warriors to British Columbia, where prominent Secwepemc Ktunaxa land defender Kanahus Manuel was arrested Saturday morning while asserting Secwepemc title and rights and resisting the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.At around 10 a.m. Manuel live streamed a visit by RCMP to North Thompson Provincial Park in Secwepemcul’ecu — the unceded Secwepemc territory in what is now interior B.C. — where she and others had reoccupied a former Secwepemc village inside the park.Manuel and her fellow land defenders said their people have never signed a treaty or otherwise collectively given Canada or the province of B.C. permission to settle or use their territory.“Justin Trudeau has left us no choice,” Manuel said in a July 11 press release from the Tiny House Warriors—the name she and other land defenders are using to describe the mobile tiny houses volunteers have built as a feature of their resistance movement.“This pipeline violates our rights and endangers our lands and waters,” she said. “To stop it, we’re reclaiming our ancestral village and bringing our traditions back to life.”Messages for Canada, province, warriorsManuel, a traditional tattoo artist, mother and midwife, led a tattoo gathering at the park last weekend as part of an ongoing effort to celebrate and revive the important tradition. But when the weekend came to a close she and several others stayed.“If Trudeau wants to build this pipeline, he will need to empty this village a second time,” Manuel said in the July 11 statement. “In doing so, he would make continued colonization and cultural genocide part of his legacy of so-called reconciliation.”Watch a video of Kanahus Manual’s arrest here: B.C. Park arrestOn Friday Manuel was served with an eviction notice from B.C. Parks.“How can the province of British Columbia, B.C. provincial parks evict Secwepemc from their own village site,” she said in a Tweet showing the notice, adding “if they choose to remove Secwepemc it would amount to genocide, forceful remove Indigenous Peoples.”The RCMP officers, about an hour after they asked the group to vacate the park Saturday, arrested Kanahus while her sister Mayuk filmed the arrest. Kanahus shouted that the land defenders were already in the process of packing up to leave.Speaking with APTN shortly after her sister’s arrest Saturday, Mayuk said the land defenders, who are part of the Tiny House Warriors movement against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, will move the three tiny houses out of the park and “directly onto the pipeline route.”She also issued a call to warriors across Turtle Island.“I want to let the warriors know that we need their help right now and to make their way to B.C. It’s going to be a hot Indian Summer.”She also addressed federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who she said “has to respect Secwepemc law, and she has to respect Indigenous title and start respecting and acknowledging our Indigenous title.“And to the province,” she continued, “they must change their outdated land policies to reflect [Canada’s] own supreme court rulings that affirm that we have title in our lands, and that our current use and occupation of land is as powerful, and maybe even more powerful, than stones and bones archaeological assessments.”The B.C. NDP won last year’s provincial election on a platform that acknowledged the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2014 Tsilhqot’in decision.“Three years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada set down law on the legal rights of First Nations people in this province,” the platform read. “The message was clear: Aboriginal Title and Rights are a matter of law and justice.“John Horgan’s BC NDP will make reconciliation a cross-government priority.”The province, like Canada, has promised to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, and to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which include the right to self-determination and for Indigenous people to live on their own lands by their own way of life.APTN has reached out to B.C. Premier John Horgan, B.C. Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Scott Fraser, and Wilson-Raybould for comment on the Tiny House Warriors, but none responded by the time of publication.Indigenous resistance in Secwepemcul’ecw and across countryMore than 500 kilometres of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project runs through unceded Secwepemc territory, just the latest industrial project locals say threatens their land and waters, ignores their inherent Aboriginal title to their land and violates their Indigenous rights.While four of the 17 Secwepemc bands established by Canada under the Indian Act have signed agreements to allow the pipeline through their territory, the Secwepemc Women’s Warriors Society and others maintain Kinder Morgan and Canada do not have collective Secwepemc free, prior and informed consent.The Trans Mountain pipeline has faced extreme opposition from the Government of British Columbia and many First Nations whose territories it is scheduled to run through, or whose lands and waters it will impact.If built, the pipeline will transfer up to 890,000 barrels of diluted bitumen from Alberta to Burnaby, three times the amount already flowing from the tar sands to BC’s coast, and lead to a significant increase in tanker traffic in the Salish Sea and coastal waters.Trudeau has staunchly supported the project despite opposition from First Nations in Alberta and B.C., the B.C. government and the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, a coalition of First Nations across the country.“Now is the time to stand beside Indigenous people in support of our timeless struggle to defend Mother Earth,” Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Grand Chief Stewart Phillip has said.The pipeline also faces a number of legal challenges currently making their way through the courts.Facing a host of uncertainties, Kinder Morgan, the Texas oil giant that owns the pipeline, suspended non-essential spending in early April and announced it would give Canada until the end of May to secure an agreement of the province of BC and secure certainty for the project.In a recent interview with APTN, D.T. Cochrane, an economist and researcher with the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, said Canada’s purchase of the pipeline and its hopes of selling to private investors are “untenable” due to the outstanding issue of Aboriginal title on unceded Secwepemc and other First Nations’ lands.Cochrane said that local Indigenous resistance to the pipeline, which is led by grassroots people and Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies in B.C. and across Canada, makes the project’s “unquantifiable risk” the “death for any potential asset.“If you cannot assess the risk of an asset, you cannot price an asset – so how could investors possibly back that asset?” Cochrane said.“The ancestors are with us”Following her arrest Saturday Manuel was held at an RCMP detachment in the nearby town of Clearwater and later released from custody.Late Saturday evening she posted another Facebook live video, and said she was “being held captive as a prisoner of war here in Canada,” but that she was released on conditions she “signed under duress facing this war against us for our lands and our freedom here in Secwepemcul’ecw.“We are on Highway 5, five kilometres south of Clearwater and we’re asking everybody to join us,” she continued.“We are going to be on the move — we’re stopping pipelines. That’s why we’re here. We are pipeline fighters. We’re land defenders. We’re water protectors. We’re the Indigenous women of this land. We are the title holders to this land. We are the mothers. We are your sister. We are your aunties, and we are your Godmothers.“And we are calling for all of our people who care for our water, those that are serious in stopping the pipeline, to join with the Tiny House Warriors as we…shut this pipeline down.”At a May 2 press conference announcing the Chiefs of Ontario, who represent 133 First Nations in that province, were joining the Treaty Alliance, Squamish Nation councillor Khelsilem predicted the Indigenous-led resistance to Trans Mountain would be big.“I think we’re seeing the beginning of what will become the largest civil disobedience in Canadian history,” he said.Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr has indicated that the Trudeau government will not rule out using police or military force to quash resistance to the pipeline.Last month the Edmonton Journal reported former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge said at an event in Edmonton that “we’re going to have some very unpleasant circumstances,” and that “there are some people that are going to die in protesting construction of this pipeline. We have to understand that.“Nevertheless, we have to be willing to enforce the law once it’s there … It’s going to take some fortitude to stand up.”Manuel and many others maintain Canadian laws used to force unwanted development on unceded Indigenous lands, including the use of force to physically remove Indigenous people from defending their lands and waters, do not respect the Supreme Court of Canada’s own rulings or international law.On Sunday night Manuel signed off her Facebook live stream in saying: “The ancestors are with us as we stop this pipeline and defend everything that is sacred to us.”firstname.lastname@example.org@justinbrakenews
RICHMOND, B.C. – The head of a company that runs a British Columbia casino alleged to have taken in millions that could be proceeds of crime says procedures to ensure compliance with regulations are strictly followed.Rod N. Baker says the Great Canadian Gaming Corp. has a “culture of integrity and transparency” and is committed to preventing illegal activities at all of its locations, including the River Rock Casino in Richmond.“We are proud of our track record, and the positive and open working relationship we have with our regulatory authorities and Crown partners,” he said in a statement released Monday.Last month, the B.C. government announced an independent expert’s review of the province’s policies in the gambling industry after concerns were raised about the possibility of money laundering at River Rock.Attorney General David Eby said he launched the probe after reading a report about the casino accepting $13.5 million in $20 bills in July 2015 that police said could be proceeds of crime involving Asian VIP clients.Baker said Great Canadian initially detected suspicious activity at the casino in 2012 and that its ongoing monitoring and reporting to the B.C. Lottery Corp. was crucial to identifying the individuals allegedly involved.The company provides records about unusual and large cash transactions directly to the lottery corporation, which assesses whether the transactions raise enough concern for further investigation, he added.“Contrary to suggestions in certain media reports, to our knowledge our company is not under investigation in any jurisdiction. Our employees followed all procedures required of them by BCLC and we do not believe our company’s actions would give cause to initiate any investigation,” he said.Baker said the company has contacted Peter German, who was appointed by Eby to conduct a review of the lottery corporation’s policies and practices to prevent money laundering.“Great Canadian is proud of its culture of integrity and positive interaction with our regulators and Crown partners, and will adopt any changes or improvements to the regulatory structure that result from the review.”Eby said he thought a July 2016 report commissioned by the province’s previous Liberal government should have been made public when it was completed. The report done by the accounting and consulting firm MNP compiled documents from B.C.’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.It says single cash buy-ins in excess of $500,000 with no known source of funds were accepted at River Rock.“Law enforcement intelligence has indicated that this currency may be the direct proceeds of crime,” the report says.The report makes more than a dozen recommendations, including implementing policies that casinos refuse unsourced cash deposits exceeding an established dollar amount, that anti-money laundering training programs are evaluated, and that casinos work to support cash-alternatives.A B.C. Lottery Corp. document in response said many recommendations in the report have been addressed though it was awaiting more direction from the Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch on dealing with and refusing large, unsourced cash deposits.The MNP report says its review wasn’t meant to provide an analysis about whether money laundering was actually occurring in B.C.’s casinos.
MONTREAL – Some DavidsTea Inc. shareholders are pushing back against a turnaround plan and new board of directors proposed by a large shareholder group controlled by its co-founder, Herschel Segal.A joint letter to the tea chain’s board from Porchlight Equity Management LLC, TDM Asset Management PTY Ltd. and Edgepoint Wealth Management Inc. says they have “serious concerns” with Rainy Day Investments Ltd.’s proposal.RDI, which says it owns 46 per cent of the chain’s issued and outstanding shares, submitted a slate of director nominees for DavidsTea to consider, including Segal and Lorenzo Salvaggio, another former director.The shareholder group also says it no longer plans to propose an offer to buy out minority shareholders, but believes its proposed board can turn around the struggling retailer.The letter says Segal should not be allowed to reconstitute the board with handpicked nominees without consulting the board or other shareholders.It claims several of Segal’s nominees do not appear to have appropriate qualifications for the job and questions the independence of the proposed slate.The letter also highlights the scarcity of detail around RDI’s turnaround plan.“We are not prepared to simply accept RDI’s nominees and believe that there are a sufficient number of other shareholders that would hold similar views,” reads the letter dated March 28.The group calls on RDI to work with DavidsTea and other significant shareholders to agree on the board nominees, and asks the retailer to communicate their concerns to RDI and offer to start a collaborative process.“This approach will save (DavidsTea) and all other parties from unnecessary expense and disruption.”The company’s annual meeting of shareholders will take place on June 14.
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Are there downsides to a low unemployment rate? In Hawaii, which has the United States’ lowest jobless rate at a minuscule 2.1 per cent, the answer is yes.Employers are frustrated by their inability to find workers. And unfilled jobs may be slowing the state’s economic growth.A low unemployment rate is certainly better than a high one. And many employers are responding to the worker shortage by offering higher pay.Still, Hawaii’s experience serves as a cautionary tale for the nation as a whole: Low unemployment can mask underlying problems. Nationwide, the jobless rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 per cent, and economists forecast it could drop another half-point by next year. That would bring the rate to a half-century low.U.S. employers are already complaining about their struggles to find qualified employees. The number of open jobs nationwide reached the highest level on record in January.Like the rest of the country, Hawaii has an aging population, and its unemployment rate has been held down in part by retiring baby boomers.The state also has unique challenges, such as an economy long dominated by tourism. Many of Hawaii’s available jobs are in the service sector and don’t pay enough to cover the state’s high housing costs. And economists say Hawaii’s ongoing economic sluggishness could make it harder for the state to pay its public pension obligations in the future, and fund highways and other expensive infrastructure.U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat, cited the deceptively rosy jobless rate when she launched her campaign challenging a sitting governor from her own party in this year’s election.“We cannot wait as more and more of our young people, discouraged by the future they see for themselves here, leave Hawaii in hopes for better opportunities on the mainland,” Hanabusa said in January. A recent poll conducted for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser gave her a 20-percentage point lead over Gov. David Ige in the August primary.Hanabusa was pointing to a trend reflected in census data: People are moving away from Hawaii even as employers here clamour for workers.Last year, the state suffered a net loss of more than 1,000 people. On Oahu, home to Honolulu and major military installations like Pearl Harbor, the population declined an average of 11 people per day. The median price of an Oahu home tops $770,000.According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 47 per cent of Hawaii’s residents spend more than a third of their monthly income on rent. That’s greater than any other state. About one-quarter of renters put half of their income toward housing.The personnel squeeze is forcing employers to offer incentives to attract workers.Maui Divers Jewelry, a retailer in the old whaling town of Lahaina, offers employees extra money to cover the cost of driving to its stores from Maui’s bigger cities.Star of Honolulu Cruises and Events has raised the hourly wage for servers on its boat cruises to $12 from $10.“They can be picky now, I feel like. The ball is in their court,” Sheridan Andres, the company’s human resources manager, said of job applicants. Star of Honolulu is also advertising for kitchen staff, boat maintenance workers, bus drivers and supervisors.Hawaii Pacific Health, one of the state’s largest health care providers, is pursuing a pilot program to train medical assistants at five public high schools so they’ll be ready to walk into jobs when they graduate. The company has 7,000 employees, along with 44 openings for medical assistants and more than 400 openings overall.The demand for labour is driven by a tourism surge that brought a record 9.4 million visitors to the islands last year. Strong hiring and income gains in the Western U.S. mean more Americans can make the trip. And Japan and Canada, where most of the state’s overseas visitors come from, also are experiencing solid growth.That’s led to an increase in low-paying hotel and restaurant jobs, which accounted for 60 per cent of Hawaii’s job growth in 2017, according to data compiled by Moody’s Analytics. Hotels and restaurants employ about one of every five workers in the state, double the proportion in the rest of the U.S.Adam Kamins, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics, says the state has had little success in luring better-paying tech jobs from western states such as California or Washington, because of high housing and business costs. Tech firms are instead moving to cheaper states such as Utah, Colorado and Idaho.An economy with an unemployment rate as low as Hawaii’s should be growing about 3 per cent a year, said Eugene Tian, the state’s chief economist. Instead, it’s growing at about 1.5 per cent.“We don’t have enough housing. We don’t have enough trained labour. That’s limiting the growth,” Tian said. “They are connected.”Paul Brewbaker, an economist with consulting firm TZ Economics, said Hawaii’s growth rate has lagged the nation’s for the past decade. On average, Hawaii’s economy has grown just 1.6 per cent per year compared with the national average of 2.1 per cent since 2009.On a per-capita basis, gross domestic product in Hawaii was one-third higher than the national average 40 years ago, Brewbaker said. It’s now the same. The trend could have profound consequences for Hawaii in the long term.“Where do we go from here? If we’re on this road, how do we pay for the public employee retirement system? If we’re on this road, will we ever be able to build another freeway, not to mention a mass transit system?” Brewbaker said.___Rugaber reported from Washington.
MERRITT, B.C. — Arnold Meyer spent 40 years working at the Tolko Industries Ltd. mill in Merritt, B.C., but then he faced the reality of being laid off.The 62-year-old was one of about 200 employees who lost their jobs in 2016, crippling the economy of the small town in British Columbia’s southern Interior and prompting politicians to promise to restore the ailing forestry sector.Two years later, the province’s lumber industry is still facing challenges, but a new sector is revving up. A cannabis company hopes to build a grow facility in Merritt, replacing jobs, including Meyer’s that were lost in the mill closure.“It sounds good to me. They said they want me to be one of the first hires for when the plant opens up,” said Meyer, who held various positions at Tolko, where he mostly drove machinery.Emerald Plants Health Source Inc., or EPHS, purchased a massive chunk of land in the city and plans to build an initial 3,700-square-metre facility before building up to potentially more than 100,000 square metres.The facility would eventually employ more than 200 people in a range of jobs, from low-skill trimmer roles to higher-paid management jobs.Members of the company first learned about Meyer in a Canadian Press story on whether marijuana had the potential to revitalize small towns hit hard by resource job losses. In the 2017 article, Meyer said he hoped a cannabis company would create jobs in the community.“It just resonated with us as a group as we read that article, that this could really change people’s lives in Merritt,” said Jeff Hancock, executive vice-president of Emerald.“I think that’s really what Arnold Meyer symbolizes to us as a company.”Emerald also hopes to contact others formerly employed by Tolko. There are many transferable skills from mill work to cannabis and other skills can be learned, Hancock said, adding the company had good conversations with city staff and plans to put in its formal application soon.It aims to break ground in the second quarter of 2019 and plans to start production in the second or third quarter of the following year, he said.Newly elected Merritt Mayor Linda Brown said some younger Tolko employees left town to work at other mills run by the company or seek other employment, while some older employees found themselves retiring earlier than planned.Brown said she still has questions for Emerald, including whether the jobs will pay well, but she expects to support an application when it’s put forward.“We need industry. We need developments in there. That’s what I got elected on, was that kind of a platform, developing the city,” she said.The mill closure devastated the community and any company that wants to bring in jobs is welcome, said former mayor Neil Menard.“It’s a whole different industry for us. I don’t know much about it. I hope it would pay good wages and good benefits,” he said. “It can’t be anything but good.”Tolko did not return a request for comment but said in 2016 a lack of timber supply forced it to close the mill. The union that represented the employees declined comment.Emerald is a Health Canada-licensed producer that already has a facility in Montreal. Hancock and others with the company have energy industry backgrounds and have developed ways to reduce the energy costs associated with cannabis, he said.Merritt also provided the company with the “unicorn land” it had been seeking, in terms of zoning, size and energy assets, Hancock added.Meyer was skeptical when Emerald first contacted him but now he’s looking forward to meeting company representatives in Merritt soon, he said.Asked how it felt to be part of their inspiration for the project, Meyer laughed.“My chest got big and my head started to swell and I got a bunch more feathers in my hat,” he joked.— By Laura Kane in VancouverThe Canadian Press
NEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):9:35 a.m.Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street as technology companies gain back some of the ground they’ve lost in recent days.Traders were encouraged by news that U.S. and Chinese officials spoke on the phone, raising hopes that trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies may ease.Microsoft rose 2.2 per cent in early trading Tuesday.Banks were also doing better after taking a drubbing over the past week. JPMorgan Chase climbed 1.9 per cent. Bank of New York Mellon rose 2.6 per cent after announcing an increase to its stock buyback program.The S&P 500 index rose 33 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 2,671.The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 343 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 24,771. The Nasdaq composite rose 98 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 7,119.The Associated Press
According to Blades, the cause of the fire is under investigation but is not considered suspicious. He said that the fire is suspected to have started inside the home’s dryer.The Fire Department was able to get home’s tenants set up with Emergency Social Services assistance since they did not have insurance. Blades said that at this point, it’s not clear whether the home’s owner had insurance, but that the fire department will continue to try and contact the owner.The Fire Department was also busy at around 3:15 Thursday afternoon responding to a transformer fire that occurred in the 9600-block of 103rd Ave. That fire cut power to 32 customers between 103rd and 104th Avenues, and between 94th and 96th Streets for roughly two hours. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fire crews in Fort St. John were busy on Wednesday morning extinguishing a fire inside a mobile home.Deputy Fire Chief Darrell Blades said that crews were called out to a report of a fire inside a single-wide mobile home in the Peace Country Mobile Home Park. Upon arrival, crews were able to extinguish the blaze, which had erupted inside the laundry room/washroom area of the home, in a matter of minutes.Blades said that fire damage was contained to the laundry room, while the rest of the mobile home suffered smoke damage and minor water damage. He estimated that value of damage to the home’s contents is estimated at between $15,000 to $20,000.
UPPER KINGSCLEAR, N.B. — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is promising to expand a program giving volunteer search and rescue workers and firefighters tax credits for their supplies.He says if elected, he’d lower the number of service hours required to qualify for the program, introduced by a previous Conservative government.Right now, volunteers must work 200 hours a year to access the credit, and the Conservatives are pledging to lower that to 150. Scheer notes that volunteers often pay out-of-pocket for equipment, uniforms, transportation, training, and insurance — costs that run into the thousands of dollars.The promise will leave the amount those volunteers can claim unchanged, and the credit is non-refundable, so those who qualify can use it to reduce their overall tax payments, but don’t get any of that money back.Scheer made the announcement in the town of Upper Kingsclear, N.B., where the entire fire department is run by volunteers.The Canadian Press
Rahul promised justice to the poor and Jaitley criticised the gesture. That is, of course, classic politics with ensuing arguments and counter-arguments being the order of the day. But, what captivates mass interest is the Indian version of the Universal Basic Income (UBI) which Rahul and company have promised to the 20 per cent of poorest families in India. Policymakers, economists, and whoever who can relate to the pros and cons of this Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) or Minimum income guarantee scheme are frenzied over Congress’ novel announcement framed as “final assault on poverty”. While the premise piques curiosity owing to an unprecedented step which has been promised should Congress come to power, the cost, feasibility, scalability, et al, concerns loom large over this ground-breaking idea. Rs 12,000 per month per family to cover nearly 5 crore families and with Jaitley’s courtesy, Team Congress is asserting that Rs 3.6 lakh crore will be the outlay from the exchequer in order to fulfil its crucial electoral promise. One of the many apprehensions is the widening of fiscal deficit which revolves around the inquisitiveness as to where will the money for such a grand scheme come from. The current dispensation has estimated this year’s fiscal deficit at 3.4 per cent. Rough estimations cite that Congress’ NYAY will be three times India’s fiscal deficit and six times its Defence budget. Rahul’s claim that calculations have been done and fiscal repercussions have been analysed to arrive at a conclusion that such a poverty-exclusive scheme is feasible. It means that NYAY would not affect India’s fiscal deficit but the massive outlay, then, must be aptly accommodated to not have any impact on the fiscal deficit. There are only two ways to do that – increase revenues or cut expenditure – and Congress went silent on that, for now. If Congress decides to cut expenditure then which sector would suffer a cut-down and their “expenditure-rationalisation” call requires explicit elaboration. Should the revenue be increased, Congress would require to increase taxes for the top income group in which case we may see inheritance and wealth taxes be implemented. The other way is to strictly provide subsidies to the poor and let the rich pay the market amount. This will neutralise the budget. Also Read – A compounding difficultyHaving accepted Rahul’s assertion that this scheme is feasible, the second apprehension circles around identification of the beneficiary. Poorest 20 per cent sounds ambiguous. Moreover, this bracket is below the controversial poverty line, and hence ignores all those who are above its ambit but still below the poverty line. And, not just those but families that are barely above the line and still fall in need of government for economic support schemes. Income data surveys will be needed and extensive identification process will be required to be undertaken to resolve this and the biggest problem that stands tall like a wall to this identification process is the fact that maximum Indians are involved in the informal sector where the income meanders every day. Peculiarities surround NYAY and only discussions will reveal the actual picture. On the other hand, Congress could have tried employment guarantee scheme again – reinvigorating their previous efforts. Surging new life in MGNREGA could have also answered similar questions that exist under the Modi regime. Unemployment, being a direct issue, would also make it an apt manifesto agenda while tackling the monetary issue with regard to poverty. Also Read – An askew democracy NYAY, a derivative of UBI, does provide financial support but nothing else. This support still leaves the poor without work or informal work with the onus of finding one on the beneficiary alone. An income support scheme in this regard gets eclipsed by an employment guarantee scheme because the latter provides for a job, money while implicitly increasing nation’s workforce or asset (as per economics). There are many questions that remain unanswered as far as NYAY is concerned with uncertainty revolving around exactly what will be the compensation for pulling off this unprecedented scheme for the poor in fiscal terms. The other angle is writing off other schemes which will again be contentious. At this juncture, curiosity hovers whether Congress is serious with its “final assault on poor” or is it just rallying around supposedly utopian methods to pull the voters on its side and register a landslide victory, marking an end to NDA’s era. If the latter turns out to be true then it would not be any better than the previous five years for the poor since NDA or UPA, BJP or Congress, it is the same narrative term after term – the poor remains poor with the rich-poor disparity in wealth widening like an obese person!