first_imgThe province has chosen a consultant to assist with the tenderingprocess for the mineral rights to the Donkin coal resource inCape Breton, Natural Resources Minister Richard Hurlburtannounced today, April 30. Pincock, Allen and Holt of Lakewood, Colo., was the successfulproponent in the tender, which is valued at $77,000. Fourproposals were received. They were reviewed based on technicalmerit and cost. “Donkin is a significant coal resource that the province mustensure is developed in a responsible manner by a company with thetechnical know-how and the financial capability,” said Mr.Hurlburt. The consultant will help department staff develop a call forproposals for mineral rights to the Donkin coal resource,establish evaluation criteria to assess responses and evaluateproposals. “Pincock, Allen and Holt met our criteria and have extensiveknowledge and experience in the industry,” said Mr. Hurlburt. The Cape Breton Development Corporation surrendered the mininglease for the Sydney coalfield last year after holding thismineral right since 1967. A portion of this former lease areaincludes the Donkin coal resource block, which comprises thelargest remaining offshore coal resource in Nova Scotia.last_img read more

first_imgFamilies will have greater access to child care following theannouncement of $2.4 million in additional funding to increasethe number of full-day child care spaces in the province. Two programs have been created to provide financial assistance tolicensed non-profit and commercial child-care centres that expandand create new full-day child-care spaces. Preference will begiven to centres increasing the number of infant child-carespaces. “Families need accessible, quality care for their children,”Community Services Minister David Morse said today, March 8.”These new programs will help child-care centres create morespaces and offer enhanced services to more children and theirfamilies.” The child care centre expansion grant is available to licensed,non-profit child-care centres to expand existing facilities or tohelp with the costs of constructing a new child-care space.Child-care centres may be eligible for up to 75 per cent of thecosts of expansion or new construction. The child-care centrewill be responsible for funding the remaining 25 per cent throughin-kind services and/or financial contributions. The child care centre expansion loan is available to licensedcommercial child-care centres to expand an existing child-carecentre or to construct a new child-care space. While the purpose of these grants and loans is to increase thenumber of full-day child care spaces, part-day child-care centrescan also apply to expand into a full-day licensed child-carecentre. Non-profit, licensed part-day child-care centres canapply for the expansion grant and commercial, licensed part-daychild-care centres can apply for the expansion loan. Applications must be received by the Department of CommunityServices by Friday, April 29. The funding is being provided under the Multilateral Framework onEarly Learning and Child Care, a joint agreement of thegovernment of Canada and the government of Nova Scotia to improveand expand early childhood development programs and services.last_img read more

first_img -30- Local Area Office: 902-835-2702 Fax: 902-835-1860 GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY: Molasses Harbour Bridge Molasses Harbour Bridge on Route 316 in Port Felix is reduced to one lane for repairs until further notice. Temporary traffic signals are in place. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Bruhm Bridge Bruhm Bridge on Bruhm Road will be closed for repair until Thursday, May 18, at 4 p.m. Detours are available on Cookville Bridge or Wentzell Bridge. KINGS COUNTY: Old Baxters Mill Bridge Open The Old Baxters Mill Bridge, near Baxters Harbour in Kings County is open to one-lane of traffic. Vehicles weighing more than 5,000 kilograms are restricted from using the bridge. Local Area Office: 902-565-6841 Fax: 902-563-2517 Local Area Office: 902-424-6144 Fax: 902-424-7116 Local Area Office: 902-825-4827 Fax: 902-825-3593 Local Area Office: 902-860-5614 Fax: 902-860-5616 Local Area Office: 902-825-4827 Fax: 902-825-3593 LUNENBURG COUNTY: Highway 103 Highway 103, from Northfield Overpass to Exit 10, will have alternating lane closures until Wednesday, May 31, for repaving. A detour is available on Route 325 from Bridgewater to Mahone Bay. Traffic control consists of a pilot vehicle and flashing lights. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. DIGBY COUNTY: Highway 101 Highway 101 at Exit 25, Joggin Bridge, will be reduced to one lane until Friday, June 16, for road work. Hours of operations are from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons. Local Area Office: 902-863-3420 Fax: 902-863-7365 COLCHESTER COUNTY: Lilyvale Bridge Lilyvale Bridge on the Lilyvale Road is closed for repairs until further notice. Traffic control consists of signs. Detours are available on Camden Road and Riversdale Road. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Highway 102 Highway 102 between Exit 13A and Highway 104 will have intermittent lane closures for repaving on both the southbound and northbound lanes until Thursday, Aug. 31. Traffic control consists of signs. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-424-4409 Fax: 902-424-0568 COLCHESTER COUNTY: Intersection, Route 311, Bible Hill The intersection on Route 311, Main Street, Trunk 4, Pictou Road and College Road in Bible Hill will be reduced to one lane for improvements until Friday, June 30. Traffic control will consist of traffic control persons. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-883-9789 Fax: 902-883-8732 Local Area Office: 902-893-5784 Fax: 902-896-2259 Local Area Office: 902-396-8426 Fax: 902-755-7184 Local Area Office: 902-527-5448 Fax: 902-527-5371 CONTINUING WORK Local Area Office: 902-893-5784 Fax: 902-896-2259 Local Area Office: 902-679-4308 Fax: 902-679-6124 ANNAPOLIS COUNTY: Highway 101 Highway 101 through Kings and Annapolis counties will have traffic delays in several areas until Monday, May 22. The delays are due to repairs being made to the following bridges: Cambridge, Brooklyn and Gates Mountain. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. INVERNESS COUNTY: Cabot Trail Cabot Trail (Trunk 30) from 6.2 kilometres south of Margaree Harbour to the new pavement at Margaree Harbour will have a one-lane closure for repaving until Thursday, August 31. Traffic control consists of a traffic control person. Work takes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-893-5797 Fax: 902-896-2259 Local Area Office: 902-568-3378 Fax: 902-563-3379 Local Area Office: 902-638-3150 Fax: 902-638-3356 —PICTOU COUNTY: West River East Side Road The West River East Side Road near Salt Springs is reduced to one lane for repairs until further notice. Traffic control consists of traffic signals. Local Area Office: 902-543-4733 Fax: 902-543-5596 HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Magazine Hill Entrance Bridge The Magazine Hill entrance bridge structure on Trunk 7 will have periodic lane closures for bridge repairs until Wednesday, May 31. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons, jersey barrier and speed reduction signs. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. New Work ANNAPOLIS COUNTY: Highway 101 – Bridgetown Highway 101 will be reduced to one lane for repaving from Exit 21 westerly for 8.5 kilometres. Work is expected to be complete on Friday, June 30. Work will take place from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-625-4200 Fax: 902-625-1946 Local Area Office: 902-485-5254 Fax: 902-485-7047 Local Area Office: 902-755-7060 Fax: 902-755-7049 PICTOU COUNTY: White Hill Road White Hill Road has a one-lane closure varying in length and location during ongoing work until Thursday, Aug. 31. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PICTOU COUNTY: Carmichael Road Toney River Bridge on Carmichael Road is closed until further notice. Traffic control consists of signs. Detours are available on Poplar Hill Road and Meadowville Station Road. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Wyse Road Bridge Wyse Road Bridge in Middle Musquodoboit will be closed to truck traffic while the bridge is being repaired. Trucks will detour via Route 356 and Route 213 until further notice. Traffic control consists of signs. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 125 Exit 5A on Highway 125 will be closed for gravelling and the installation of a guard rail until Wednesday, Aug. 30. Detour signs are posted. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-543-7376 Fax: 902-543-5596 Local Area Office: 902-667-2972 Fax: 902-667-3424 CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Route 327 Route 327 from Highway 125 overpass to Caribou Marsh Road will have a one-lane closure for road repairs until Thursday, Aug. 31. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 118-Wright Avenue Interchange Between the intersection at Highway 111 and the airport, Highway 118 will have intermittent lane closures in both directions for interchange construction. Traffic control consists of cones, barrels and jersey barriers. For information call 902-424-6144 between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Highway 102 Highway 102 southbound will have a one-lane closure between exits 13A and 15 (Highway 104) from Monday, May 6 until Thursday, Aug. 31. Traffic control consists of signs. Commuters are advised to expect delays. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-893-5797 Fax: 902-896-2259 Local Area Office: 902-543-8169 Fax: 902-543-0686 CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Mount Whatley Road Bridge The bridge on Mount Whatley Road at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border will be closed until further notice. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Sperry Bridge No. 2 Sperry Bridge No. 2 on Petite Riviere Road is closed until further notice. Detours are posted. SHELBURNE COUNTY: Port Clyde Bridge Port Clyde Bridge on Route 309 will be closed until Monday, May 15, while a new bridge is being built. Motorists are advised to use the Clyde River Bridge on Highway 103. HANTS COUNTY: Route 224 Route 224, from Cooks Brook easterly to Exhibition Grounds Road will have a one-lane closure for gravelling and paving until Thursday, Aug. 31. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons and a follow me truck. Work takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 103 Highway 103 from Exit 3 to Exit 5 will have on-going construction for gravelling and paving until Saturday, Sept. 30. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. last_img read more

first_imgFour Nova Scotia communities will host kick-off celebrations for the Halifax 2011 Canada Games torch program next week. The torch events will begin in Lunenburg on Monday, May 10, at 1 p.m. at the Atlantic Fisheries Museum parking lot. Premier Darrell Dexter, Mayor of Lunenburg Lawrence Mahwhinney, and chair of the 2011 Games Jean-Paul Deveau, will attend. The torch will arrive aboard the HMCS Glace Bay at 2 p.m. and be carried on a relay through the town. On Wednesday, May 12, Yarmouth will host a torch relay starting at Town Hall at 10 a.m. There will be a celebration at Yarmouth High School at 11 a.m. On Thursday, May 13, Cheticamp will host a torch relay starting at Les Trois Pignons building at 12:30 p.m. A celebration is planned for N.D.A. School at 1:30 p.m. On Friday, May 14, Amherst will host a torch relay starting at the YMCA at 6:30 p.m. A celebration in Victoria Square Park will follow at 7 p.m. -30-last_img read more

first_img —————————————————————Post secondary education will be more affordable for Nova Scotia students after measures introduced in the provincial budget today, April 5. A total of $42.5 million is being invested this year to improve student assistance. “This budget makes life better for students and provides even more financial support for post-secondary education this year than in the past,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More. Tuition levels will be held below the national average through an ongoing, $30-million investment in student bursaries. This new, provincially funded commitment will provide a tuition reduction of $1,283 for all Nova Scotia students studying in the province and $261 for out-of-province students. Other benefits to students are provided through a $12.5-million investment in the province’s student assistance program. For the first time in the province’s history, a debt cap will place a ceiling on the amount of debt a student can carry. The debt cap is $28,560, a reduction of 36 per cent, or $16,320 in the amount of debt a student can accumulate. The amount of available grants has also increased. Students can now receive up to $612 in additional grants for a typical, 34 week program, through an increase in the grant-to-loan ratio, from 20 to 30 per cent. Other measures to make post-secondary education more affordable include: An average student graduating from a four year undergrad program in 2015 will receive increased grants of $2,448 and increased loan assistance of $1,360 over four years. “Post secondary education provides a tremendous advantage to the individual, their families and the economy and we’re committed to making it accessible,” said Ms. More. “We wanted to improve assistance to as many students as possible and I’m pleased to say that we’ve made considerable progress.” “All of the student assistance measures in this budget are good news for Nova Scotia students,” said Mark Coffin, Executive Director of the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations. “It’s clear that the students with the highest need will be helped the most with this plan.” Premier Darrell Dexter announced that significant improvement in student assistance was a major goal for the province this year, after Tim O’Neil’s report and student representatives highlighted the fact that Nova Scotian students had the largest debt load in Canada. an increase of weekly maximum assistance rates from $150 to $160 per week double the in-study earnings exemption on student loads from $50 to $100 per week a 50 per cent increase in the book allowance, from $1,000 to $1,500 continuation of the Graduate Retention Program, which provides a tax credit of up to $15,000 to university graduates, and $7,500 for community college graduates, over six years LABOUR/ADVANCED EDUCATION–Budget Makes Historic Investment in Student Assistancelast_img read more

first_imgLast week in the House of Assembly, I introduced first contract settlement legislation, An Act to Prevent Unnecessary Labour Disruptions and Protect the Economy. Since then, and in the weeks leading up to its introduction, I’ve heard from many people who support the bill. I’ve also heard from people who have concerns about this legislation. The intent of the bill is simple. It will prevent unnecessary, costly strikes that would hurt businesses, workers and the economy during first-contract collective bargaining. It helps employers and unions deal with the difficult task of negotiating a first collective agreement. In the rare event the union and employer cannot reach a first agreement, the bill allows for a neutral third party to resolve the dispute, avoiding a prolonged lockout or strike. Right now, 85 per cent of workers in Canada are covered by laws that provide a way for unions and employers to resolve first contracts. Having a mechanism in place to deal with first-contract disputes will help protect Nova Scotia’s jobs and productivity by avoiding damaging, prolonged strikes or lockouts. The bill only applies to workplaces that are already unionized, and where there is no collective agreement in place. In the run of a year, there are very few of those in Nova Scotia. The rate of unionization didn’t go up in places after the legislation was introduced. In fact, unionization has been decreasing across Canada. And it has been stable in Nova Scotia for well over a decade. A stable labour environment — people at work, rather than on a picket line — is a key ingredient of productivity. Nova Scotia needs to compete with jurisdictions that use reasonable methods like first-contract settlement to promote good labour relations and continued productivity when workers do decide to unionize. Based on the decades of experience with it in Canada, first-contract legislation is another ingredient of a stronger economy. Almost every other province in Canada is already covered by first-contract legislation, including Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec. First-contract settlement means workers keep getting paid and employers enjoy continued productivity. That’s very attractive to people wanting to invest in, or expand, businesses in Nova Scotia. We enjoy a harmonious labour environment. It’s important to our future prosperity that this continue. Catching up with the rest of the country with first-contract settlement will prove to be another positive step in that direction. -30-last_img read more

first_imgThe province’s Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) has concluded that no charges should be laid against a Halifax Regional Police officer who chased a man trying to escape arrest. On Nov. 7, police responded to a report of shoplifting by a man and woman at the Dartmouth Crossing Wal-Mart. The man had outstanding charges and was arrested by police. As he was taken to the police vehicle, he ran off. A male officer chased him through two parking lots and across two streets. The suspect ran down a bank and jumped from a rock wall, fell and broke his leg. In an interview with SIRT investigators, he acknowledged the police officer was just doing his job. SIRT has concluded the Halifax Regional Police officer was carrying out his duties when he chased the suspect. There are no grounds to consider any charges. The full report is available at . SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian director Ron MacDonald.last_img read more

first_imgThe Department of Health and Wellness has closed Bayswater Beach in Lunenburg County to swimming because of high levels of bacteria. The beach will reopen when water testing shows it is safe. To check on the status of the beach, call the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service Beach Information Line at 902-477-6168 or visit -30-last_img

first_imgThis week, Environment Minister Randy Delorey is encouraging all Nova Scotians to think about their water use and the sources of water. March 17-22 is Canada Water Week, which is focused on the importance of our watersheds. Items that enter Nova Scotia’s lakes and rivers could end up in the Atlantic Ocean, and it can affect water quality and habitats for birds, fish and animals. “Pollution in one water source affects the safety and supply of clean water for all of us,” said Mr. Delorey. “We all have a role to play in protecting and conserving our water resources.” The Department of Environment has a mandate to prevent pollution of our ground and surface water, as well as ensure that drinking water is clean and safe. If you see a spill or other pollution that poses a threat to a water source, please contact your nearest department office. Contact information for the offices is at . For more information on how to protect water and reduce consumption, visit .last_img read more

first_imgPeople can see a 200 million-year-old tooth of a mammal-like reptile this weekend at Fundy Geological Museum in Parrsboro. This is a sneak peak of a new exhibit opening in June featuring the tooth that was discovered on the shores of the Bay of Fundy. “The tiny tooth is from an animal called Oligokyphus, an ancient ancestor of mammals,” said Tim Fedak, museum director and curator. “It is the first time a fossil like this has been discovered in Nova Scotia, although similar finds have been made in Jurassic-aged rocks in Arizona, China and the United Kingdom.” Summer hours at Fundy Geological Museum start this weekend. The museum will be open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, go to .last_img read more

first_imgGovernment will continue to support Celtic Colours to promote, celebrate and develop Cape Breton’s Celtic culture through music, dance, storytelling and more. Pam Eyking, MLA Victoria-The Lakes, on behalf of Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, announced today, March 13, a provincial commitment of $375,000 over the next three years, with an additional $45,000 this year for Canada 150 initiatives. “Celtic Colours, and everything it entails, aligns with Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan,” said Ms. Eyking. “The festival brings our communities together, celebrates creativity, innovation and cultural diversity, all while driving our economy forward.” Celtic Colours is an international festival that hosts performances and exhibitions in venues across Cape Breton Island, drawing tens of thousands of visitors from more than two dozen countries. This year, with support through the Forward 150 Fund, the festival will be able to expand its programming to more communities with a focus on celebrating the province’s rooted population, First Nations, and our own Scottish Gaelic lineage. Celtic Colours will bring in artists from across the country, honour cultural ambassadors, and plant maple trees for every ticket sold for 2017. “Celtic Colours is the perfect opportunity for Nova Scotians and visitors to experience our province’s vibrant culture and celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation,” said Ms. Eyking. The festival runs Oct. 6 to 14. Details are available at Culture contributes $949 million to Nova Scotia’s economy and provides almost 14,000 jobs, representing 2.7 per cent of the provincial gross domestic product and three per cent of all jobs in Nova Scotia. To read Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan, visit read more

first_img reducing barriers for entrepreneurs who want to start new businesses reducing inter-provincial trade barriers formalizing Develop Nova Scotia’s role to drive inclusive economic growth and strategic economic infrastructure a new Traffic Safety Act to replace the outdated Motor Vehicle Act legislation to ensure more stringent regulations and oversight of funeral homes and crematoriums and changes to increase consumer protection legislation to address the delivery of conversion therapies in Nova Scotia Nova Scotian success stories were highlighted today, Sept. 6, as the second session of the 63rd General Assembly of the Nova Scotia legislature got underway. Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc read the speech from the throne, which outlined government’s commitment to inclusive economic growth and the opportunity to seize the moment to sustain Nova Scotia’s momentum. “Thanks to the hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and optimism of Nova Scotians, our province’s future has never looked brighter,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “Our people are getting noticed on the national and international stage. We are at a pivotal moment and we will continue building on this progress to make sure the momentum carries into the future.” Government’s solid, sustainable fiscal plan has allowed investments in foundational programs like pre-primary, the largest income tax cut in the province’s recent history, and once-in-a-generation health infrastructure projects in Cape Breton and Halifax. Work continues to provide Nova Scotians with timely access to primary health care as the system adapts to the changing needs of patients and health-care professionals. Government action includes investing in collaborative family practices across the province, funding training seats for family doctors, specialists and nurse practitioners, and supporting improved mental health and addictions services. “Solutions to challenges in health care are not simple, and many of these difficult issues are not unique to Nova Scotia,” said Premier McNeil. “We are working hard with our partners to address those challenges, while also improving major pieces of health infrastructure.” As the legislature session begins, students across the province are back at school, where they will see more inclusive education supports. Government is following through on its commitment to the objectives of the Commission on Inclusive Education, which issued its report in the spring. Government’s legislative agenda this session, which is subject to change, includes: During the session, government will also release its strategy to make Nova Scotia an accessible province by 2030. It follows the proclamation of Nova Scotia’s first Accessibility Act last year.last_img read more

first_imgEn collaboration avec la « Nova Scotia Potters Guild », la Résidence du gouverneur accueillera une exposition intitulée « Quaff: To Drink Deeply », qui présentera des œuvres créées par certains des meilleurs artistes céramistes de la Nouvelle-Écosse. « Quaff » est une exposition-concours de nouvelles pièces par des membres de la « Nova Scotia Potters Guild ». Le thème de l’exposition a inspiré une grande variété de pièces allant de services à thé complets à des oiseaux dans un arbre qui attendent de boire. « Nous sommes très chanceux d’avoir dans la province une scène artistique dynamique et de très haut niveau, qui s’étend à de nombreuses disciplines, a déclaré le lieutenant-gouverneur, Arthur J. LeBlanc. C’est aussi vrai pour l’art céramique de grande qualité encouragé par la “Nova Scotia Potters Guild”. “Quaff” nous fournit une excellente occasion de montrer l’incroyable talent qui existe dans le monde de la céramique. Nous sommes heureux que la Résidence du gouverneur accueille cette exposition et nous espérons que le public se déplacera pour venir la voir. » Les œuvres exposées ont été choisies par un jury indépendant composé de trois personnes. Selon la juge Sandra Alfoldy, « Quaff » nous rappelle avec force le talent des céramistes dans la province. « Les œuvres, qui présentent des interprétations novatrices et traditionnelles de “quaff”, qui signifie “boire”, vont de l’utile au sculptural, mais chacune est une forte expression de l’amour que les Néo-Écossais ont pour l’argile. » « Quaff » sera aussi au programme de Nocturne, « Art at Night », à la Résidence du gouverneur, le samedi 13 octobre de 18 h à minuit. L’exposition est gratuite et ouverte au public du 20 septembre au 27 octobre à la Résidence du gouverneur située au 1451 de la rue Barrington à Halifax. Les jours et les heures d’ouverture sont :Le jeudi 20 septembre de 11 h à 20 hLe samedi 22 septembre de 11 h à 16 hLe mardi 25 septembre de 11 h à 16 hLe jeudi 27 septembre de 11 h à 20 hLe samedi 6 octobre de 11 h à 16 hLe dimanche 7 octobre de 11 h à 16 hLe jeudi 11 octobre de 11 h à 20 hLe samedi 13 octobre de 18 h à minuit dans le cadre de NocturneLe mardi 16 octobre de 11 h à 14 h (ouverture écourtée)Le jeudi 18 octobre de 11 h à 20 hLe samedi 20 octobre de 11 h à 16 hLe samedi 27 octobre de 11 h à 16 h Les heures d’ouverture pourraient changer si d’autres activités avaient lieu à la Résidence du gouverneur. Les personnes qui veulent voir l’exposition devraient vérifier les heures d’ouverture sur le site ou celui de la « Nova Scotia Potters Guild » à .last_img read more

first_imgNova Scotia’s Christmas tree growers will benefit from funding to strengthen their industry and help explore new export markets. Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell joined the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia for the announcement today, April 24, in New Ross, Lunenburg Co. The $751,000 in funding comes from the Building Tomorrow Fund, a three-year, $9 million provincial investment in agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture. “Thanks to our popular Boston tree tradition, our Christmas trees are exported all around the world to places like Panama, the United States and the Caribbean,” said Mr. Colwell. “I’m pleased our Christmas tree growers will be able to open even more export markets and become stronger competitors against artificial trees.” The funding will be provided to the council over three years for a research and development plan, field trials, the development of quality standards, market research, an operational efficiency study and the development of a sustainability plan for the council. The funding will also give producers the chance to plant SMART trees on their lots. SMART trees were developed at the Atlantic Christmas Tree Research Centre in Truro and are healthier, longer lasting trees that have been naturally selected to hold their needles for up to three months, making them more attractive to international markets. “Building from the strength of council’s strategic planning over the past year, this support could not have come at a better time,” said Angus Bonnyman, executive director of Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia. “We have strong demand around the world for our famous forest grown balsam firs, and plan to quadruple the value of our exports by focusing on quality and innovation.” Half of the fund this year, $1.5 million, will be allocated to the agriculture sector to support the creation of new products and new market development to further drive export growth.last_img read more

first_imgEmployees who purchase unhealthy food at office may indulge in such diet outside work as well, increasing their risk of lifestyle ailments such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, a study suggests. A recently conducted study demonstrated that employees at a large urban hospital who purchased the least healthy food in its cafeteria were more likely to have an unhealthy diet outside of work, be overweight and obese. They also were more likely to have risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, compared to employees who made healthier purchases. Also Read – Pollution makes you more aggressiveThese findings contribute to a better understanding of the relationship of eating behaviours at work with overall diet and health and can help to shape worksite wellness programmes that both improve long-term health outcomes and reduce costs. “Employer-sponsored programmes to promote healthy eating could reach millions of Americans and help to curb obesity, a worsening epidemic that too often leads to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer,” said Anne N Thorndike, from Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School in the US. Also Read – Physical therapy better for low back painPrevious research has shown that obesity contributes to higher absenteeism, lower productivity, and higher healthcare expenses for employers. These findings can lead to more effective strategies to encourage employees to choose healthier foods and reduce their risks for chronic conditions. “Workplace wellness programmes have the potential to promote lifestyle changes among large populations of employees, yet to date there have been challenges to developing effective programs. We hope our findings will help to inform the development of accessible, scalable, and affordable interventions,” noted Jessica L McCurley, from Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School. Participants were 602 Massachusetts General Hospital employees who regularly used the hospital’s cafeterias and were enrolled in a health promotion study. As part of the hospital’s “Choose Well, Eat Well” programme, foods and beverages in the hospital cafeterias have “traffic light” labels to indicate their healthfulness: green is healthy, yellow is less healthy, and red is unhealthy. Food displays have also been modified to put healthier choices in the direct line of sight, while unhealthy foods were made less accessible to reduce impulse purchases. “Simplified labelling strategies provide an opportunity to educate employees without restricting their freedom of choice. In the future, using purchase data to provide personalised nutritional feedback via email or text messaging is another option to explore to encourage healthy eating,” said Thorndike.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: The BJP has managed to puncture opposition’s claims that the party is anti-minority by winning more than 50 per cent of the Lok Sabha seats in 90 ‘minority-concentration’ districts identified in 2008 by the then UPA government. Besides a considerable minority population, these districts have both socio-economic and basic amenities indicators below the national average. Of the 79 such constituencies, the BJP has won the maximum of 41 seats, a gain of seven over 2014. The Congress’s share has almost halved, down from 12 in 2014 to six now. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist An analyst claimed that Muslims did not vote en bloc in favour of one party or candidate this time. On the other hand, 27 Muslim candidates won in the recently-concluded elections. However, none of the six Muslim candidates fielded by the BJP tasted success. The winning MPs are from Trinamool Congress (5); Congress (4); Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), National Conference and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) (3 each); AIMIM (2); LJP, NCP, CPI(M) and AIUDF (one each). Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France The Opposition parties have been accusing the BJP of not doing enough for the minorities and also aiding and abetting attacks on them. Nearly 20 per cent of the country’s 130 crore people are Muslims. In the minority-concentration districts, the BJP gained the most in West Bengal, which has 18 such seats. In Raiganj in Uttar Dinajpur district which has a Muslim population of nearly 49 per cent, BJP’s Debasree Chaudhuri defeated TMC’s Agarwal Kanaialal by 60574 votes. In neighbouring Jalpaiguri seat, BJP candidate Jayanta Kumar Roy defeated sitting TMC MP Bijoy Chandra Barman by 184004 votes. The seat has about 20 per cent Muslim population. In Maldaha North seat in Malda, the party’s Khagen Murmu won defeating TMC’s Mausam Noor by a margin of 84288 votes. The seat has nearly 50 per cent Muslim population. In Coochbehar seat which has a Muslim population of around 30 per cent, BJP’s Nisith Pramanik got the better of his nearest rival TMC’s Paresh Chandra Adhikary by 54231 votes. In Balurghat in North Dinajpur district, BJP candidate Sukanta Majumdar defeated TMC’s Arpita Ghosh by a margin of 33293 votes. The seat has 35 percent Muslim population. In Bishnupur Lok Sabha seat (20 per cent) in Bankura, BJP candidate Saumitra Khan won by 78047 votes defeating his Trinamool Congress rival Shyamal Santra. In Hooghly seat (20 per cent), Locket Chatterjee of the BJP defeated his TMC rival Ratna Dey (Nag) by a margin of 73362 votes while S S Ahluwalia of BJP won the Burdwan-Durgapur seat by a slender margin of 2439 votes defeating his nearest AITC rival Mamtaz Sanghamita. The seat has around 15 per cent Muslim population. The UPA government in 2008 had identified the 90 minority-concentration districts under a development programme that focussed on education, health and skill development in these districts. Rampur, Nagina, Moradabad, Sambhal and Amroha are among the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh where Muslim voters are in a very large number. Though the BJP performed well in the state, ensuring that the SP-BSP-RLD combine does not get a cake walk, the ‘mahagathbandhan’ bagged these five seats. In Rampur, where Muslims account for nearly 50 per cent of the voters, veteran SP leader Azam Khan defeated BJP candidate and actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada by over one lakh votes. The BSP won the Nagina seat when its candidate Girish Chandra defeated sitting BJP MP Yashwant Singh by over 1.66 lakh votes. In Moradabad, ST Hasan of the SP defeated sitting BJP MP Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar by nearly 99,000 votes. Another SP candidate, SR Barq defeated Parmeshwar Lal Saini of BJP in Sambhal seat. In Amroha, Kunwar Danish Ali, who had defected from the Janata Dal (Secular) and had joined the BSP just ahead of the polls, emerged victorious trouncing sitting BJP MP Kunwar Singh Tanwar. The Congress had fielded six Muslim candidates in Uttar Pradesh, but none of them won. In the entire state, Muslims account for nearly 20 per cent of the population. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, not a single Muslim candidate won and the jinx was broken only during Kairana bypoll when the seat was wrested from the BJP by Tabassum Hassan, the joint opposition candidate, who had contested on RLD ticket. In Bihar, there are seven such seats, and in Kishanganj, which has around 65 per cent Muslim population, Congress’s Mohd Javed defeated JD(U)’s Syed Mahmood Ashraf by 34,466 votes. In Araria (45 per cent), BJP’s Pradip Kumar Singh defeated sitting RJD MP Sarfaraz Alam by 1,37,241 votes while in Katihar (40 per cent) Congress’s Tariq Anwar (sitting MP, who won the seat on an NCP ticket) lost to Dulal Chandra Goswami of the JD(U) by 57,203 votes. Darbhanga, having a Muslim population of about 23 per cent, saw BJP’s Gopal Jee Thakur defeating RJD’s Abdul Bari Siddiqui by 2,67,979 votes. In Khagaria (23 per cent), sitting Lok Janshakti Party MP Mehboob Ali Kaisar defeated Mukesh Sahni of VIP by 2,48,570 votes, while in Banka (20 per cent) JD(U)’s Giridhari Yadav prevailed over sitting RJD MP Jai Prakash Narain Yadav by 2,00,532 votes and in Madhubani (19 per cent), BJP’s Ashok Yadav defeated VIP’s Badri Purbe by 4,54,940 votes. In Assam, the Congress won two of the seats where there is a sizeable Muslim population — Abdul Khaleque in Barpeta (over 45 per cent) and Pradyut Bordoloi in Nowgong (over 34 per cent). AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal emerged winner in Dhubri, where the Muslim population is over 65 per cent.last_img read more

first_imgNEW DELHI: Capping a landslide election victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take oath along with a new council of ministers on Thursday for a second term, as suspense mounted on who will get the Big Four berths-Home, Finance, Defence and External Affairs.Top opposition leaders, corporate top honchos, film stars, chief ministers and a galaxy of leaders from BIMSTEC countries will be on hand to watch President Ram Nath Kovind administer the oath of office and secrecy to 68-year-old Modi and his ministerial colleagues at the forecourt of majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twistModi and BJP president Amit Shah held a marathon meeting for the second consecutive day on Wednesday during which they are learnt to have finalised the broad contours of the new ministry that is expected to have some new faces besides retaining most of the senior ministers. Many BJP leaders are of the view that most key members of the previous Cabinet could be retained. Some changes, though, are likely to be made to accommodate allies like Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United and the Akali Dal and also to ensure representation of Bengal, Odisha and the northeast – new zones that have embraced the party. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from FranceNearly 8,000 guests will attend the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday, making it the biggest-ever event held in the historic premises. While the guests attending the event will be treated to high tea, President Ram Nath Kovind will host a private dinner for the leaders from Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) countries as well as Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth – who have all confirmed their presence. The visiting foreign dignitaries will be treated to the choicest vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes that include soup, fish, chicken, vegetables and “Dal Raisina” – a special delicacy of the Rashtrapati Bhavan that takes 48 hours to cook – among other delicacies. The swearing-in will be held in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the same venue as in 2014. The Bimstec leaders attending the event include Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Myanmarese President U Win Myint, Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering. Thailand will be represented by its Special Envoy Grisada Boonrach. The chief ministers of Congress-ruled states, the chief ministers of Odisha, Kerala and Bengal will skip the ceremony. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Telangana CM, YSRCP president Jagan Mohan Reddy are also expected to show up at the grand event. The invitation to opposition leaders is seen as Modi’s move to reach out to them following the fiercely fought election in which the BJP registered a massive victory.last_img read more

first_imgHouston: When Cardinal Daniel DiNardo first met Laura Pontikes in his wood-paneled conference room in December 2016, the leader of the US Catholic Church’s response to its sex abuse scandal said all the right things. He praised her for coming forward to report that his deputy in the Galveston-Houston archdiocese had manipulated her into a sexual relationship and declared her a “victim” of the priest, Pontikes said. Emails and other documents obtained by The Associated Press show the relationship had gone on for years even as the priest heard her confessions, counseled her husband on their marriage and pressed the couple for hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’She said the archdiocese assured her that the priest, Monsignor Frank Rossi, would never be a pastor or counsel women again. Months after that meeting, though, she found out DiNardo had allowed Rossi to take a new job as pastor of a parish two hours away in east Texas. When her husband confronted DiNardo, he said, the cardinal warned that the archdiocese would respond aggressively to any legal challenge and that the fallout would hurt their family and business. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaOn Tuesday, three years after the meeting with DiNardo and after written inquiries by the AP last week, the church temporarily removed Rossi, announcing in a statement from his new bishop that he was being placed on administrative leave. Laura Pontikes, a 55-year-old construction executive in Texas, had been at a low point in her life when she sought spiritual counseling from Rossi, the longtime No. 2 official in the Galveston-Houston archdiocese DiNardo heads. Instead, she said, Rossi preyed on her emotional vulnerability to draw her into a physical relationship that he called blessed by God. “He took a woman that went into a church truly looking for God, and he took me for himself,” she said. Rossi’s sexual relationship with Pontikes is now the subject of a previously undisclosed criminal investigation in Houston. Yet it is DiNardo’s handling of the case that poses far-reaching questions for the church in the #MeToo era, when powerful men and institutions are being called to account over sex abuse. As the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, DiNardo will lead a meeting next week in Baltimore to address the church’s credibility crisis over its failure to fully reckon with sexual abuse, 17 years after it committed to cleaning house. DiNardo is expected to present his brother bishops with new proposals to hold one another accountable for sexual misconduct or negligence in handling abuse cases. But Pontikes’ case lays bare that even leaders in the Catholic hierarchy who have vowed to do right by victims continue to fail them. Pontikes said DiNardo has been negligent by keeping in ministry a priest who, in the words of her therapist to prosecutors, “seduced, betrayed and ultimately sexually victimized” her. The June 11-14 meeting in Baltimore is part of the church’s effort to confront sexual abuse worldwide. In a little more than a year, Pope Francis admitted he made “grave errors” in Chile’s worst case of cover-up, an Australian cardinal was convicted of abuse and a French cardinal was convicted of failing to report a pedophile. In the US, a Pennsylvania grand jury blasted church leaders for following “a playbook for concealing the truth,” and attorneys general in at least 15 states are investigating sex abuse by Catholic clergy and its cover-up. The Galveston-Houston archdiocese acknowledged an inappropriate physical relationship between Rossi and Pontikes, but asserted that it was consensual and didn’t include sexual intercourse. In a statement to AP, it said Rossi was immediately placed on leave and went for counseling after Pontikes reported him. Rossi returned to active ministry, without restrictions, based on recommendations from an out-of-state “renewal” program for clergy he completed, the statement said. After the AP story ran, the archdiocese said a number of comments the Pontikeses attributed to DiNardo were “an absolute fabrication” but didn’t say which ones. It said that DiNardo had acted “swiftly and justly” in the case, and that Laura Pontikes had during an Aug. 1, 2017 meeting demanded 10 million. Pontikes acknowledged she suggested an unspecified amount of money in a spontaneous outburst. But she had been clear from the start that she wasn’t interested in a financial payoff a position articulated in April 2016 emails to the archdiocese and repeated as recently as this April in a letter to the Vatican. The Pontikeses and their lawyer told AP the details of mediation, including any financial negotiations, were confidential. Pontikes filed a police report in August. Under Texas criminal law, a member of the clergy can be charged with sexual assault of an adult if the priest exploited an emotional dependency in a spiritual relationship. Rossi’s attorney, Dan Cogdell, said Rossi is cooperating with the investigation and has met with police. He declined further comment. Pontikes’ allegations against DiNardo add to questions about how he has dealt with abuse in the past.last_img read more

first_imgIndore: Electoral bonds worth Rs 5,851.41 crore were bought by donors to fund political parties between March 2018 and May 2019, of which 80.6 per cent were redeemed in New Delhi, where the headquarters of major parties are located, reply to an RTI query has revealed. Chandrashekhar Goud, an RTI activist based in Madhya Pradesh’s Neemuch, Sunday shared the information furnished by the State Bank of India (SBI) in response to his two queries. Political parties sold electoral bonds worth Rs 874.50 crore in 10 phases in New Delhi to raise funds, but the value of bonds redeemed in the national capital was more than five times at Rs 4,715.58 crore, he said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Electoral bonds worth Rs 1,782.36 crore were purchased in Mumbai, the financial capital of India, but only seven per cent of them worth Rs 121.13 crore were encashed there, Goud said. Bonds worth Rs 1,389 crore were sold in Kolkata, but just 12 per cent of them worth Rs 167.50 crore were redeemed in the West Bengal capital, he added. Electoral bonds worth Rs 195 crore were sold in the Karnataka capital, Bengaluru, but just one per cent of them worth Rs 1.5 crore were redeemed there, Goud said. In Hyderabad, bonds of Rs 806.12 crore value were sold, but worth Rs 512.30 crore were redeemed there, Goud said quoting the RTI reply.last_img read more

first_imgMumbai: Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), which has an outstanding debt of Rs 94,216 crore, said Wednesday the board has taken various steps to address over Rs 20,000 crore of its debt pile over the past nine months. The government had appointed new board headed by veteran banker Uday Kotak last October. “A critical focus of the board has been to maintain a ‘going concern’ status for companies under the group. Towards this, as many as 55 companies were classified as ‘green’ which are servicing all their obligations,” the company said in a statement. The group has 348 subsidiaries and associates. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalIt also said measures have been taken for resolution of debt of three ‘amber’ companies, which are in final stages of implementation and will result in these companies being re-classified as ‘green’. The 55 group businesses that are under asset monetisation process include securities business, renewable energy, domestic road vertical, alternate investment fund management, education and thermal, the company said. Its fund-based outstanding debt was Rs 94,216 crore as of October 8, 2018. The sale process for assets under the education and roads, environment verticals and real estate are at an advanced stage, it added.last_img read more