first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s premier suggests a rejection by the province’s energy regulator for Hydro One’s application to purchase the Orillia Power Distribution Corp. is a win for consumers that demonstrates the system is working.Hydro One had announced a deal to acquire the utility company for $41.3 million in 2016. The figure included the assumption of about $14.9 million in OPDC debt.In its decision, the OEB said it applied a “no harm test” to assess the deal and was not satisfied that the test requirement had been met.Hydro One had said the deal would result in a one per cent reduction in base delivery rates for Orillia Power’s customers in years one to five and rate increases of less than the inflation rate in years six to 10.The utility also said the consolidation would result in ongoing cost savings of approximately $3.9 million per year and reduced capital costs of about $600,000 per year.The OEB said, however, that while it agreed that the deal would “reasonably be expected to result in overall cost savings and operational efficiencies,” they might not necessarily translate to lower rates for customers in the long run.Premier Kathleen Wynne said Friday that the decision shows how Ontario ratepayers are protected.“The OEB deemed that the Hydro One proposal was not going to save ratepayers any money and so it wouldn’t go forward,” she said.I think that demonstrates that the system works, that the Ontario Energy Board has a responsibility to make sure that decisions that are made are in the best interests of the people of the province. … I think that should give people confidence about the way the system works.”Wynne’s comments come a day after Ford said his first act as premier would be to fire CEO Mayo Schmidt and board of directors of the partially privatized utility.The newly minted Progressive Conservative leader said he would dump Schmidt because he presided over the dramatic increase of rates and earned a $6.2 million salary.Both Hydro One and the City of Orillia said late Thursday that they are reviewing the decision before determining their options.Negotiations between the city and Hydro One began in September 2015 and the deal was finalized the following August.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version dropped the word “million” in reference to OPDC’s debt.last_img read more

first_imgCALGARY – Tailings pond management plans for two former Shell Canada oilsands mines in northern Alberta have been approved by the Alberta Energy Regulator, but it said “deficiencies” in the projects must be addressed over the next three or four years.It said an amendment must be submitted by September 2021, by the current owner, Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., to address the Muskeg River mine plan’s shortcomings, and by September 2022 for issues with the Jackpine mine’s plan.“Plans for treating and managing its tailings beyond the next few years do not meet the AER’s requirements and government policy,” said AER spokesman Jordan Fitzgerald in an email.“In its plans, (it) proposed extending the life of Muskeg River by 57 years and Jackpine by 53 years. Neither meets the AER’s existing approvals for each mine and results in its tailings not being ready to reclaim within 10 years after mining has stopped.”Plans submitted for the mines are inadequate in dealing with existing fluid tailings ponds, the proposed reclamation plans are uncertain over the medium- and long-term, and there are concerns about the proposed tailings treatment technology, the regulator said in its decisions.The regulator’s Directive 85, released in late 2015, requires that all oilsands mine producers outline how they will deal with the toxic storage ponds that together cover more than 220 square kilometres and contain almost 1.2 trillion litres of water contaminated with oil, chemicals and fine clay particles.It said fluid tailings must be treated and reclaimed progressively during the life of a project.The Canadian Natural decision is consistent with previous approvals of tailings pond applications despite their failure to meet standards, said Jodi McNeill, an analyst with the Pembina Institute, a clean energy think-tank.“We continue to be very disappointed with the outcomes,” she said, citing AER approvals of plans for Suncor Energy Inc.’s Millennium mine and Canadian Natural Resources’ Horizon mine last year.“Every single one of these projects thus far, by the AER’s own admission, has not met the requirements of Directive 85 and, rather than denying the plans based on the fact that they don’t comply with the regulations, they’ve all been given an extra grace period.”Canadian Natural spokeswoman Julie Woo said the company has no comment as it is examining the decisions.In its decisions on Wednesday, the AER took issue with changes to the way Canadian Natural plans to co-ordinate production between the two former Shell mines, noting that it is proposing not to expand bitumen production at Jackpine.In addition, the company said it plans to continue to transport bitumen froth from Jackpine to Muskeg River and its solvent recovery unit tailings will continue to be managed at Muskeg River, inconsistent with Jackpine’s previously approved expansion application, the AER noted.With regard to Muskeg River, the original mine that began production in 2002, the AER it didn’t agree with a Canadian Natural proposal to retire two tailings deposits at the mine by creating a lake with a water cap because that technology is still being assessed.Fitzgerald said the AER has set “thresholds” to ensure tailings management activities at both mines remain on track over the next few years.He said violations could result in Canadian Natural being required to conduct additional surveillance, submit to a third-party tailings audit or pay additional security. Further enforcement tools could include more frequent inspections, orders, financial penalties, prosecution and a shutdown of operations, he said.Last week, the three countries in the North American Free Trade Agreement agreed to vote on whether to investigate if Canada is failing to enforce environmental legislation on tailings ponds.The move was required after the trade treaty’s environmental watchdog concluded there were serious questions about how the federal government enforces the Fisheries Act in relation to the giant ponds.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this article include (TSX:CNQ, TSX:SU)last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Friday paid tribute to Kanshi Ram on his birth anniversary.Paying floral tributes to BSP founder Kanshi Ram, Mayawati said that the biggest tribute to him would be to get “good results” in the Lok Sabha elections. “Different political parties are paying tribute to Kanshi Ram on his birth anniversary despite the model code of conduct,” the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister told reporters. She thanked the other political parties for saluting Kanshi Ram. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!”I also want to tell the people of our party that this time his birth anniversary has fallen at a time when the schedule of the Lok Sabha elections has been announced,” she said. “If the workers of our party across the country work cautiously against the nefarious design of the opposition parties and bring a good result, then it would be the real rich tribute to Kanshi Ramji,” she said. Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, “A tribute to the leader Kanshi Ramji, a great thinker, who raised the political and social consciousness, on his birth anniversary. On this occasion, we shall fulfill his dreams of social justice.” The BSP, the SP and the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal will fight the April-May Lok Sabha elections as allies.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Coal India Ltd has put in place over 5,000 security cameras across 300 mines of its subsidiaries to thwart pilferage attempts and ensure quick response to disasters, a senior company official said. The Rs 50-crore project will provide live feed from the mines to the coal major’s headquarters in Kolkata and other regional offices, prompting swift action in case of emergencies, he said. “CIL hopes to achieve twin purposes with the initiative – live monitoring of the collieries to prevent pilferage and other corrupt practices, especially during dispatch by rail, and increase overall efficiency of the mines with real-time response to crisis situations,” the official said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal The CCTV project, unveiled recently by the Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary, along with CIL Chairman A K Jha, will also help settle allegations and disputes on coal availability. “As a part of the in-house project, 5,100 CCTVs have been installed at strategic points vulnerable to pilferage — the weigh bridges, near coal dumps and the entry and exit points of collieries. “The information technology department of the company is also working on a system to automatically trigger alarms in case of a pilferage attempt from stockyards or mines,” he added.last_img read more

first_imgJaipur: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Friday that the country saw an unprecedented development under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and its respect has increased globally. Addressing a ‘Vijay Sankalp’ dialogue here, Swaraj referred to the ‘honour’ India received at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meet after Modi took charge. She said Pakistan’s chair was vacant as the country had boycotted the OIC meet, citing India’s presence at the convention. Swaraj said the demand for declaring Masood Azhar as a global terrorist was going on since 2009. But due to the diplomatic acumen of the prime minister, Azhar was declared a global terrorist on May 1. Referring to the plans and achievements of the central government, the minister said many remarkable works were done in the last five years.last_img read more

After the arrests of several senior FIFA leaders and widespread evidence of graft, bribery and general corruption at the highest levels of the global soccer conglomerate, FIFA’s selection of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup has come under renewed criticism. The indictments allege that vote-buying occurred in past World Cup host selections, and there have been other allegations that millions of dollars were paid to rig the vote for Qatar in 2010.And when you look at all the World Cup hosts since 1978, it’s clear that Qatar is in many ways an outlier.Compared with other World Cup hosts, Qatar is at the extremes on almost every metric I looked at. The data wasn’t perfect — two of the data sets I used weren’t measured annually when it would have been ideal if they were (the United Nations Development Program’s carbon-emissions reading and Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index). Also, the Press Freedom Index did not exist before 2002, so I used the 2002 mark for the World Cups that came before that year. It’s an estimation, but because that measurement is less susceptible to annual change, I felt safe in using it. And one last thing while we’re here: The Elo and GDP numbers for Russia and Qatar aren’t projections but are the most recent data available.Qatar was definitely not selected for its temperate weather in June, the typical time for the FIFA tournament. There has historically been some variation here — Argentina’s average June temperature is in the low 50s (it being in the Southern Hemisphere and all), and Mexico’s is in the mid-70s. But Qatar’s average June temperature is in the 90s.Perhaps Qatar is a real soccer up-and-comer, then? Not quite! I pulled the Elo rating of each men’s national team on the first game they played the year they hosted the cup1The last game of the previous year for Colombia, which resigned from hosting the 1986 cup and did not play soccer that year, and the most recent game for Russia and Qatar. to get the gist of how good the teams were on the world stage. Qatar has the second-lowest score ever.2Might they improve substantially in the next seven years? Sure, it’s possible. But the point is they’re not an unrecognized powerhouse in the sport at this point in time, and the fact that the host nation gets a free bid may mean they don’t have a ton of incentive to drastically improve.And it’s not like Qatar holds a bulk of the world’s population, either. Typically the country that gets the cup has somewhere around 1 percent to 5 percent of the world’s population, but not Qatar. With a projected population of 2.24 million in 2022, it’ll have a whopping 0.03 percent of the global population within its borders in a few years, not counting the spectators. What’s more, that population mostly comprises people who weren’t born in Qatar — as of 2013, according to the U.N., 1.6 million of the country’s 2.2 million people were international migrants.Although Qatar will be a global hub for sports journalists in several years, FIFA apparently did not select the country to highlight its illustrious human-rights record. Qatar has extreme restrictions on press freedoms that put it in league with Russia (the 2018 host) and Brazil (the 2014 one). They have a very high score on the Press Freedom Index, where a low score indicates a great deal of freedom.It’s also not for the nation’s climate record, either, as it’s by far the highest polluter — measured in metric tons of carbon emitted per capita. And that’s on a list that includes America. That was our category to lose!But Qatar does have one metric by which it is off-the-charts outstanding: gross domestic product per capita. Namely, it’s a small country that makes a whole lot of money. In the chart, we’re looking at the ratio of GDP per capita the year each nation hosted the cup to the United States’ GDP per capita that year, to keep it apples to apples.None of this proves vote-rigging, obviously. But when a country lacks many of the competitive advantages of other countries’ bids, some extra scrutiny is probably worthwhile. read more

first_imgSlavisa Jokanovic told the press that his players still need time to work details out, but he believes in them ahead of Saturday’s clashFor Fulham boss Salvisa Jokanovic, Saturday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur would be a great test for his players.The newly promoted club lost 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace on their first game of the season.And now, they want to rebound back to a victory.“We have many new players and will need time. We worked well this week, building our spirit and working on the way we want to play football,” Jokanovic told the press as reported by Sky Sports.“We are returning to Wembley as a Premier League team. An amazing and great challenge is ahead of us, and we will do our best to fight for the points.”Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedSolskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“It’s a great opportunity. We have fought for the opportunity to play against teams like Spurs,” he said.“We have experience playing against them in the FA Cup a year ago and it wasn’t an easy day for us. But they haven’t changed much and we might see a similar starting 11 for Spurs.”[email protected]: “We have many new players and will need time. We worked well this week, building our spirit and working on the way we want to play football.”— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) August 16, 2018last_img read more

first_imgWatford manager Javi Gracia has lauded his team’s effort and believes they deserved all three points after their 2-0 win at West Ham on Saturday.Troy Deeney opened the scoring from the spot in the 30th minute, while Gerard Delofeu sealed the victory for Javi Gracia’s in a tough away game at the London Stadium.West Ham have been in scintillating form, winning their last four Premier League games before the game, while Watford had only managed one win in five.“I think we had a good performance today,” Gracia told the club’s website.“We knew we played against a West Ham team in a good moment and that it would be demanding. It was like we thought.declan rice, england, West ham UnitedReport: England’s Rice gets death threats George Patchias – September 9, 2019 England International Declan Rice has received death threats.Rice a one time Ireland International, switched allegiances only this year. The West Ham United man played for…“We played better in the beginning, dominated the game and we didn’t suffer a lot. The second [half], it’s true.“West Ham played much better, created more chances, but I was never scared about the result. I always had confidence in my players.“We created good chances, we had to kill the game, especially with Carroll and the long balls and second balls. In some moments we have to defend the set-pieces.“It is always difficult with these very tall players. We did really well. We got the deserved victory.”last_img read more

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, August 29, 2017 – Grand Bahama – Minister of State with responsibility for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson recently toured the ongoing work at the Fishing Hole Road bridge.Accompanied by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Iram Lewis, and officials from the Ministry of Works, Minister Thompson got a firsthand view of the progress of the bridge, which is being constructed by All Bahamas Construction Company Limited (ABC).The tour of the work was led by All Bahamas Construction Company Project Manager Wolfgang Geiger.  Senator Thompson toured the buildings that will be the new Cultural Village; they toured the boat ramp and then moved to where the base of the bridge has been constructed.“We are satisfied with the progress that has been made on this bridge and we are working with the contractor to ensure that the project is completed in the shortest period of time,” he said.Senator Thompson urged members of the public to remember that the area surrounding the Fishing Hole Road is a construction site and therefore must use caution.  He noted that while touring the site he personally observed drivers passing at high speed.“The Ministry of Works, as well as the Grand Bahama Port Authority held a series of meetings about the work taking place on the bridge, and safety concerns was one of the primary issues addressed at the meetings,” said Senator Thompson.“There have been a number of additional measures that have been put in place to address those safety concerns.  Residents will be aware of additional signage and caution cones put in place to remind members of the public that this is indeed a construction zone.”Asked about the expected completion date of the project, he pointed out that once all of the concerns expressed by the contractor have been addressed, the date of completion could be early January 2018.Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works Iram Lewis noted that from the Ministry’s point of view, he wanted to ensure that all of the technical aspects of the project were being carried out effectively.“Working along with the Grand Bahama Port Authority’s technical department and the City of Freeport, we are satisfied that all of those technical requirements have been met,” said Mr. Lewis. “We are here on a regular basis carrying out inspections to ensure that all safety measures are being taken.“I am satisfied that at the end of the day we will have a good project that’s going to make a difference on this island.”Contractor for the Project, Wolfgang Geiger said he was pleased to have the government officials visit the site and assured members of the public that his company was doing all it could to ensure that the new bridge was completed as quickly as possible.The cost of the project is approximately $7 million dollars and Geiger is confident that they will stay on budget, even in the face of a few minor adjustments.“The Cultural Village, which was the first stage of the Project, is completed and the bridge itself, we have completed all of the pre-cast elements for the bridge and so what we’re doing now is assembling those pieces to make a complete bridge,” said Mr. Geiger.He said that the project presently has ten workers on site (because they’re in the assembly phase), but hopes to hire more as the project moves closer to completion.Story by: Andrew Coakley (BIS)BIS Photos/Vandyke HepburnHeader Photo – Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson (second from left), along with Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Hon, Iram Lewis (third from left) gets a rundown on the work being carried out on the construction of the new bridge at the Fishing Hole Road, by Project Manager, Wolfgang Geiger (second from right) of ABC Construction.1st insert – Members of the public are being urged to drive carefully while passing on the temporary road at the construction site of Fishing Hole Road bridge.2nd insert – Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson, along with Mr. Iram Lewis and officials from the Ministry of Works meet with members of the press following a tour of scope of works on the new bridge at Fishing Hole Road. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more

first_img“I promise that myself, and a number of people in the lodging industry will support a campaign for a half a percent sales tax increase in lieu of a bed tax.” Cooper has introduced an ordinance that would increase the sales tax rate, from 3 percent to 3.5 percent, in lieu of the bed tax. “I believe that 6 percent bed tax, which would make our tax here in Homer 13.5 percent, would encourage people to stay outside of Homer.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly vetoed the ‘bed tax’ ordinance going to the voters in the upcoming regular election, in a close vote of 5 to 4, at their bi-weekly assembly meeting last night. Assemblywoman Kelly Cooper: “When we talk about the bed tax not affecting us locally, it darn sure does.” Assemblyman Willy Dunne: “We’ve heard a lot of people testify tonight against the bed tax, and I have also heard a lot of people in favor of it. It’s not an easy issue.” During public testimony the assembly heard from residents and accommodation managers throughout the Kenai Peninsula regarding their stance on either a bed tax or a proposed increase in sales tax. The general response was split 50/50 in support and against each of the proposed taxes. Public testimony comments: “We believe that increasing and actually more than doubling our tax structure for the hotel industry will be detrimental to our industry.” Yes votes were cast by; Dunne, Bagley, Hibbert, and Smalley. Assemblyman Dale Bagley introduced the ordinance last year in hopes of offsetting ‘some’ of the boroughs deficit. A public hearing is set for April 3 on the proposed sales tax increase. Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennfier-on-bed-tax-not-going-to-the-voters.mp3VmJennfier-on-bed-tax-not-going-to-the-voters.mp300:00RPdlast_img read more