Finance Ministers Meet in Halifax

Posted On Oct 22 2019 by

first_imgNova Scotians are counting on the federal government to keep itsword on investing more in health care, Finance Minister PeterChristie said today, Jan. 21, after a meeting with federalFinance Minister Ralph Goodale in Halifax. “Nova Scotia is the first province in Canada to guarantee new,increased dollars to our hospitals with multi-year funding,” saidMr. Christie. “Our patients and health-care workers need Ottawato make that same level of commitment to health care.” Last year, the federal government committed an additional $2billion for health care, which still falls short of the fundingrecommended in the federal government’s Romanow report. Mr. Christie also highlighted the need for an enhancedequalization program to help protect priority services likehealth and education. “Nova Scotians deserve the same level ofservices as other Canadians and the way to ensure that happens isto restore fairness to the equalization program.” Mr. Christie also urged Ottawa to pass regulations granting NovaScotia Crown share payments from the offshore. He said that,under the 1986 Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Accord and the 1988Canada Act, Nova Scotia is entitled to these payments.last_img read more


Human Rights Case Settled

Posted On Oct 22 2019 by

first_imgThe Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has paid $20,000 ingeneral damages to an Isle Madame woman who filed a complaint ofsex discrimination. In a decision dated Tuesday, Nov. 16, Chief Justice JosephKennedy decided the Human Rights Commission did not, however,have to pay the legal expenses of the other parties involved withthe complaint. The chief justice instead suggested that theorganizations have further discussions about what costs, if any,should be paid. The complaint involved a woman who alleged that ClearwaterLimited Partnership and the Canadian Automobile Workers Union haddiscriminated against her when she was an employee at theClearwater Plant in Arichat. The union and Clearwater had planned to ask the court to quash aHuman Rights Commission investigation of the case. They continuedwith legal action after the woman’s complaint was settled,petitioning the court for legal costs incurred by the lengthyprocess involved in handling the complaint. In his written decision, Chief Justice Kennedy said he did notfind evidence that would justify “the dramatic imposition” oflegal costs. He said that all of the parties “share in the creation of thecircumstances that led to this unfortunate situation.” The case has a long history and was affected by a settlementreached in earlier complaints arising from the same workplace. In 1994, Clearwater, the union and the Human Rights Commissionhad entered into a settlement agreement with five othercomplainants. As a result of that settlement and otherinformation, the commission understood that it could not accept acomplaint from the woman when she approached the commission laterthat year. She eventually filed a complaint with the Ombudsman’sOffice. In 2002, the assistant ombudsman recommended in a report to thecommission that the complaint be reactivated or a new oneaccepted. The report was critical of the portion of the earliersettlement that prohibited the commission from accepting futurecomplaints alleging sex discrimination against Clearwater and theunion. Upon reviewing that report, the commission accepted the complaintfor processing. Clearwater and the union then took legal actionagainst the commission. Concerned with the unexpected costs ofthose legal actions, the commission entered into a settlementwith the woman. “This was a unique set of circumstances and we needed to act,”said commission CEO Mayann Francis. Ms. Francis said once a costbenefit analysis was completed, the commission was confident thata settlement with the woman was the most prudent decision and useof resources. In his decision this week Chief Justice Kennedy said he did notfind that the commission acted improperly in accepting the newcomplaint. The court decision is available on the commission website athttp://gov.ns.ca/humanrights/decisions/default.htm .last_img read more


Guideressources pour filles Now Available

Posted On Oct 22 2019 by

first_imgA popular guide for teenage girls adapted for French-speaking teens in Nova Scotia will be released Friday, May 25. The Advisory Council on the Status of Women worked with the Fédération des femmes acadiennes de la Nouvelle-Écosse to create Guide-ressources pour filles, based closely on the Guide for Girls published two years ago. “We’re excited about launching the guide and extending our reach to French-speaking girls and women,” Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women Act, said. “We look forward to other plans that help meet the needs of Acadian women.” The guide was adapted by Geneviève Renaud under the supervision of Louise d’Entremont, executive director of the Fédération des femmes acadiennes de la Nouvelle-Écosse. “The Guide-ressources pour filles opens the way to a new conversation between francophone women — mothers and daughters — in Nova Scotia,” said Ms. d’Entremont. “I am proud to have played a role in bringing this project together.” Ms. Renaud met with Acadian teens in communities across Nova Scotia to gain their input for the adaptation. She also researched French-language websites to give girls access to information in their own language. The publication also contains information about celebrating their Acadian heritage. The guide reflects the province’s effort to provide more services in French. Support from the Office of Acadian Affairs and Heritage Canada were essential to its success. The book is being distributed with collaboration from la Fédération des femmes acadiennes de la Nouvelle-Écosse. It is also available online at the advisory council’s new website at women.gov.ns.ca .last_img read more


Parrsboro Celebrated as Nova Scotias First Accredited School

Posted On Oct 22 2019 by

first_imgParrsboro Regional Elementary-High School has become the first school in Nova Scotia to be awarded accreditation under a new school-improvement program. The distinction caps five years of work by the small, rural school to set higher standards, increase student achievement and improve the school’s overall performance. “I am extremely proud of staff, students and community members who have put so much effort into meeting their goals,” Education Minister Karen Casey said today, May 28, at a ceremony honouring the school. “This is a school that has successfully pioneered a school-improvement strategy that leads to a model for other schools across Nova Scotia.” Parrsboro was one of eight schools selected in 2002 to pilot the Nova Scotia Accreditation Program, a provincewide school-improvement process identified as a priority in Learning For Life II, the province’s multi-year plan for education. There are now 130 schools working on school-accreditation plans. Every school in the province will be working on accreditation plans by 2010. “Accreditation is all about accountability,” said Ms. Casey. “It is about ensuring every one of our schools is continually improving, offering quality programs and ensuring that the academic needs of all students are being met.” Parrsboro focused its efforts on improving student achievement in mathematics and language arts, and enhancing overall school performance by establishing programs to improve the school learning environment. The school demonstrated progress in raising student achievement in mathematics and literacy, and establishing a more caring and safe learning environment for its 470 students. Grade 6 writing results are above the provincial average and 11 per cent of the school’s students improved reading levels between 2003 and 2006. At the high school level, academic performance improved by 17 per cent. Results for students taking the English 12 and English Communications 12 provincial exams were at, or above, the provincial average. “Our entire school community put a great deal of time and effort into this plan,” said principal Pam Hoar. “We set our sights high for the sake of our students, and we are proud of the growth we have seen. The accreditation program has helped us foster a culture of continuous improvement.” The Nova Scotia Accreditation Program requires schools meet a standard of excellence based on goals that are specific and strategic, measurable, attainable, results-based and timely (SMART). Under the program, schools establish internal review teams to collect and evaluate data to identify both strengths and areas needing improvement. Based on those areas needing improvement, schools develop goals and a five-year school-improvement plan. The plan is examined by an external review team of independent educators and administrators who visit each school before approving it. Schools implement their improvement plan, and provide annual updates to school advisory councils. An accreditation team returns to the school after four years to assess progress. Schools receive accreditation after they show progress toward the goals in their improvement plans.last_img read more


Government Supports Homegrown Success Story

Posted On Oct 22 2019 by

first_imgCape Breton-based Advanced Glazings Ltd. will expand its manufacturing facility and create 50 jobs this year, and up to 320 over the next five years. The innovative, award winning company distributes energy efficient products across North America. The facility expansion is possible through a repayable loan of $2 million from the province’s Industrial Expansion Fund. This investment was announced today, Oct.19, by Richard Hurlburt, Minister of Economic Development. “The products developed by Advanced Glazings are energy efficient, cost-effective, and contribute to environmental sustainability,” said Mr. Hurlburt. “We are pleased to support this homegrown business success story.” The company has developed and marketed innovative products. Solera is a line of translucent, insulated glass units that improve the quality and energy efficiency of interior spaces by drawing daylight further into a room. The expansion of the manufacturing facility includes an in-house glass cutting centre, which will provide cost and delivery benefits, and a new production line for the Solera product. “This investment means our sales and workforce will continue to grow as a result of the expansion of our firm. By increasing our production capacity, we will allow more architects to design sustainable daylighted buildings,” said Douglas Milburn, president, Advanced Glazings. “We are pleased to share a vision for a sustainable Nova Scotia — a province that demonstrates leadership and innovation in the world of green building.” Advanced Glazings expects to see sales increase significantly as a result of the facility expansion. About 90 per cent of the company’s revenues are generated from export sales. The Industrial Expansion Fund is one method by which the government of Nova Scotia supports economic development in the province. This fund has considerable flexibility in the amount and type of funding it can provide. The fund is key to helping industries involved in innovative research and technology while contributing to a prosperous and sustainable business climate for Nova Scotia.last_img read more


New Englishtown Ferry Christened

Posted On Oct 22 2019 by

first_imgA new, larger auto ferry at Englishtown, Victoria Co., was christened the Torquil MacLean today, Sept. 24, in honour of the area’s first ferry operator. The $4-million ferry can carry 15 full-size cars per trip, compared with 12 cars per trip on the previous ferry. It was designed by EYE Marine Consultants of Dartmouth and built by A.F. Theriault and Son Ltd. of Meteghan River. “This is the busiest of our seven provincially operated ferries and sometimes traffic can get backed up,” said Murray Scott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “The new ferry should help ease the congestion for the 250,000 vehicles that cross here every year.” One hundred twenty-five students participated in an essay contest to help name the ferry. Students were asked to discuss if the ferry should maintain the name of the previous ferry, the Angus MacAskill, or go with a proposed new name, the Torquil MacLean. The winning essays were written by Ella Dubinsky, a Grade 11 student at Baddeck Academy, and Bryan Berk, a Grade 5 student at Middle River Consolidated. Both students took part in the christening ceremony. A commemorative bell and the name plate from the previous ferry were presented to the Giant MacAskill Museum in Englishtown as part of the ceremony.last_img read more


Options and Opportunities Program Celebrates Annual Showcase

Posted On Oct 22 2019 by

first_imgOptions and Opportunities students (O2) are displaying innovative projects they created for their annual showcase today, May 27, at the Holiday Inn Harbourview in Dartmouth. The O2 program enables high school students to explore careers through hands-on work experience. The program prepares students for the job market, helps them make informed career choices by focusing on career development and supports personal growth. It matches students with qualified employers to give them the opportunity to gain experience in a workplace. They graduate with four co-operative education credits, a certificate in workplace health and safety and a personalized career plan. “O2 students are finding great success inside and outside of the classroom because of this program,” said Education Minister Marilyn More. “Students who were once disengaged have become proud and successful members of their school community. They have improved their grades, attendance, self-esteem and self-confidence. “The government is committed to creating good jobs and O2 is the kind of program that helps prepare students for these jobs, and encourages them to stay and build a life here.” According to teachers and parents, Options and Opportunities has been an overwhelming success. Originally piloted in 27 schools in the fall of 2006,the program has expanded to over 105 classrooms and 46 schools across the province. Teachers say they see significant improvements in student grades and attendance, and fewer discipline problems. Parents say relationships with their children are better and students themselves have higher self-esteem and self-worth. “Before I enrolled in O2, I found it hard to pay attention in class, my grades were very low and I was failing all my classes,” said J.L. Ilsley grade 12 student Jessica Albert, who is preparing to be a chef and is enrolled in the culinary arts fall classes at Nova Scotia Community College. “O2 made a big difference in my education. It helped me succeed and has prepared me well for NSCC.” This year nearly 3,000 employers support O2 students through work placements. “This showcase shows employers and potential employers the exciting projects the students have been working on all year,” said Department of Education consultant Peter Smith. “It’s the perfect venue to show everyone what these students are made of.” The showcase begins at 7 p.m.last_img read more


Students Celebrate Agriculture Literacy Week

Posted On Oct 22 2019 by

first_imgFarmers are heading back to class to help elementary school students learn about agriculture in Nova Scotia during Agricultural Literacy Week, May 2-6. More than 80 volunteers will visit grade 2 and 3 classrooms across the province to read books on a variety of agriculture themes and talk to students about the industry. The books, with suggested activities to help the teachers and students explore the science and culture of farming, will stay in the classroom. “Students need to understand the significant role agriculture plays in our province’s economy and appreciate the wide variety of employment opportunities that exist in this industry,” said John MacDonell, Minister of Agriculture. “Agricultural Literacy Week makes farming more real to our students as they meet and talk to farmers and others who are connected to the industry.” Mr. MacDonell will visit Maple Ridge Elementary School in Lantz, Hants Co., on Monday, May 2, to read from Wild Ones: The Tough Little Delicious Lowbush Blueberry, a book about blueberry production in eastern North America. Wild blueberries are native to Nova Scotia and the top fruit crop in export sales. It won official distinction as the provincial berry in 1995. The Wild Ones book is also shortlisted for the Hackmatack prize for 2011-12 in the English non-fiction category. “Agricultural Literacy Week brings Nova Scotia farmers right into the classroom so that students can learn more about life on the farm,” said Rick Hoeg, agricultural education liaison. “Teachers say students love to see something from the farm. A farm tool that kids might not recognize provides a good way to get questions going.” The discussion that follows the reading offer opportunities to bridge the gap between food and local agriculture. “Every year, Agricultural Literacy Week provides the farm community with a great opportunity to focus on agriculture with teachers and students,” said Beth Densmore, president of Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. “Sharing stories with students about how food is grown and where food comes from is an important lesson for us all.” Agricultural Literacy Day is sponsored by the Department of Agriculture and the Nova Scotia Agricultural Awareness committee.last_img read more


Nova Scotians Can Access New Pension Plan

Posted On Oct 22 2019 by

first_imgNova Scotians will soon have a new option to save for their retirement to help ensure financial security in their later years. Finance and Treasury Board Minister Diana Whalen announced today, Oct. 15, legislative changes to provide Nova Scotians access to Pooled Registered Pension Plans. “All Nova Scotians deserve a pension option that allows them to retire with security and comfort, and Pooled Registered Pension Plans help achieve that,” said Ms. Whalen. “This is an innovative way for small businesses to provide pension options to their employees, filling a need that was not available previously. “These will also be available to employees without a participating employer, and, the self-employed.” Only about 40 per cent of Nova Scotians have a pension and less than 20 per cent of working Nova Scotians contribute to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan. Pooled Registered Pension Plans provide a low-cost, regulated pension option for employers, employees and the self-employed. They can help small businesses attract and retain employees. They have portability features that will help workers take their plan with them or transfer to another Pooled Registered Pension Plan if they switch employers, which helps young, mobile employees get a valuable, early start on a pension. Participation for everyone is voluntary. “This is a flexible, low-cost plan that will make it easier for Nova Scotians to save for their retirement,” said Jennifer English, senior policy analyst for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “Pooled Registered Pension Plans will be an excellent addition to the retirement savings options for small business owners and their employees.” The plans will be administered by qualified, licensed financial institutions, removing the administrative burden for employers and making them affordable for small to medium-sized employers to offer. “Pooled Registered Pension Plans will help bridge the gap in retirement savings for the thousands of Nova Scotians who currently do not have access to a workplace savings program,” said Marc Avaria, vice-president, group small business, Manulife. “Manulife is dedicated to working with government to offer a Manulife Pooled Registered Pension Plan that will save employers time and effort, while providing their employees with a viable way to save for the future.” The federal government passed legislation to enable Pooled Registered Pension Plans for federally-regulated industries in 2012. Federal regulations are now in place, and five insurance companies have been licensed to provide the plans.last_img read more


On rappelle aux NéoÉcossais de faire attention aux tiques

Posted On Oct 22 2019 by

first_img En enlevant les tiques aussi vite que possible, vous éliminerez ou réduirez le risque d’infection. Pour enlever une tique de façon sécuritaire, prenez-la délicatement avec une pince à épiler, le plus près possible de la peau. Retirez doucement la tique. Ne tirez pas brusquement, ne tournez pas et ne serrez pas. Lavez la morsure avec de l’eau et du savon. Désinfectez avec de l’alcool à friction ou du peroxyde d’hydrogène pour éviter d’autres infections. Les tiques à pattes noires doivent être collées à la peau pendant au moins 36 heures pour transmettre l’infection bactérienne qui cause la maladie de Lyme. La maladie de Lyme se traite par des antibiotiques. Le premier symptôme de la maladie de Lyme, et le plus courant, est l’apparition d’une éruption cutanée circulaire à l’endroit de la morsure, bien que l’éruption cutanée ne soit pas toujours de forme circulaire. D’autres symptômes incluent la fièvre, la fatigue, les douleurs musculaires et les maux de tête. Toute personne qui a fréquenté des endroits où l’on trouve de l’herbe haute, des arbustes et des arbres et qui présente ces symptômes doit obtenir des soins médicaux sans tarder. Pour obtenir plus d’information, consultez le http://novascotia.ca/dhw/cdpc/lyme.asp (en anglais seulement). Portez une chemise à manches longues, un pantalon et des chaussettes de couleur pâle afin de mieux voir les tiques. Portez des chaussures fermées. Rentrez les extrémités de votre pantalon dans vos chaussettes et rentrez votre chemise dans votre pantalon. Vaporisez un insectifuge contenant du DEET ou de l’icaridine sur les vêtements et les parties exposées de la peau. Vérifiez vos vêtements et les parties exposées de votre peau après avoir travaillé ou joué dehors pour vous assurer qu’il n’y a pas de tique. Examinez attentivement vos animaux de compagnie s’ils ont passé du temps à l’extérieur. Si possible, prenez un bain ou une douche dans un délai de deux heures après être rentré. Il sera ainsi plus facile de voir les tiques et de les enlever. Tondez la pelouse régulièrement pour réduire le risque que les tiques s’établissent sur votre terrain. On encourage les Néo-Écossais à profiter des activités de plein air en toute sécurité en apprenant comment éviter les tiques à pattes noires qui peuvent causer la maladie de Lyme. Les tiques à pattes noires se trouvent partout en Nouvelle-Écosse. L’examen des vêtements et de la peau est le moyen le plus important de prévenir la propagation de cette maladie transmise par les tiques. Pour éviter les tiques, prenez les précautions suivantes dans les régions où l’herbe est haute, où il y a des buissons ou en forêt :last_img read more


Weekly Traffic Advisories

Posted On Oct 22 2019 by

first_img LUNENBURG COUNTY: Crescent Beach RoadCrescent Beach Road, from Route 311 to LaHave Islands Road, has alternating lane closures for repaving and upgrading until Friday, Nov. 30. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. YARMOUTH COUNTY: Abrams River Bridge, Trunk 3 Abrams River Bridge on Trunk 3, about one kilometre west of Eel Lake Road, will be closed for replacement until Friday, Nov. 30. Detour signs are in place. -30- CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Nappan Marsh (Rainbow) Bridge, Trunk 2 Nappan Marsh (Rainbow) Bridge over the Nappan River on Trunk 2, outside Amherst, is closed until further notice. A detour is available on Route 302, Southampton Road and Smith Road. Traffic approaching Amherst is being rerouted a short distance on the Nappan and Lower Porter Roads, while traffic leaving Amherst is required to detour on Smith Road. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Battery Point Road Battery Point Road, from Blue Rocks Road, has alternating lane closures for paving until Friday, Nov. 30. Traffic control consists of stop and go traffic. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. QUEENS COUNTY: Eastern Shore Road Eastern Shore Road, from Trunk 3 easterly for about four kilometres, has alternating lane closures for paving until Friday, Nov. 30. Traffic control consists of stop and go traffic. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Lower Branch Road Lower Branch Road, from Tompkin Road to Trunk 10, will have alternating lane closures for paving. Traffic control consists of stop and go traffic. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. QUEENS COUNTY: West Caledonia Road West Caledonia Road, West Caledonia, has alternating lane closures for paving until Friday, Nov. 30. Traffic control consists of stop and go traffic. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. NEW WORK HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 118 Highway 118, northbound between Exit 13 and Exit 14, is reduced to one lane for repaving and widening until Thursday, Nov. 15. DIGBY COUNTY: Cape St. Marys Bridge Cape St. Marys Bridge, located on John Doucette Road, Cape St. Marys, is closed for replacement until Thursday, Nov. 15. Detour signs in place. ANNAPOLIS COUNTY: Highway 101 Highway 101, Exit 19 Lawrencetown to Exit 20 Bridgetown, will be reduced to one lane with stop and go traffic to accommodate roadwork until Friday, Nov. 30. Expect delays. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Trunk 3 Trunk 3, from Trunk 12 to Wake Up Hill Road, will have alternating lane closures for repaving and upgrading until Friday, Nov. 23. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 102/103 – Bicentennial Highway Blasting is taking place on Highway 102 between Exit 2A and Exit 1D and Highway 103 between Exit 2A and Exit 1B. Work is for the new 102/103 interchange. Blasting will take place twice a day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for ten-minute intervals. Work is expected to continue until Saturday, Dec. 1. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Bass River – Edgewood Road Edgewood Road to Trunk 2, Bass River, is reduced to one lane for brush cutting and road patching until Friday, Nov. 30. Traffic control on site. Expect delays. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. CONTINUING WORK HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 103Blasting is taking place twice a day, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Highway 103 between exits 5 and 5A. Traffic will be stopped in both directions while blasting is occurring. Traffic may be stopped for periods of 20 minutes. Expect delays and proceed with caution. Blasting will be ongoing until mid-December. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Route 210 Route 210, from Route 325 (Newcombville) to Waterloo Road, has alternating lane closures until Friday, Nov. 30. Traffic control consists of stop and go traffic. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Barss Corner Road Barss Corner Road, from Trunk 10 to Ramey Road, will have alternating lane closures for drainage improvement and paving. Traffic control consists of stop and go traffic. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. RICHMOND COUNTY: Port Royal Bridge Port Royal Bridge on Port Royal Road on Isle Madame is closed until further notice. Traffic can detour on MacEachern Road. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Conquerall Mills Road Conquerall Mills Road, Conquerall Mills, has alternating lane closures until Friday, Nov. 30. Traffic control consists of stop and go traffic. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. VICTORIA COUNTY: Seal Island Bridge The Seal Island Bridge is undergoing a detailed inspection that requires lane closures and, at times, short-term closures. Motorists should expect delays between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. until the end of November. Traffic control is in place. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 102 Highway 102, northbound from Exit 4C (Bedford) to Exit 5 (Fall River), is reduced to one lane for repaving and widening until Thursday, Nov. 15. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Old Town Bridge, Bridgewater Old Town Bridge, between King Street and Lahave Street, Bridgewater, will be closed for repairs until Friday, Nov. 16. Detour on Veterans’ Memorial Bridge, Victoria Road.last_img read more


A rising star

Posted On Oct 20 2019 by

first_imgSurya Sharma, who recently made his debut with ‘Hostages’ seems to finally have all the reasons to rejoice. A source revealed, Surya who portrays the role of Prince in the show, experienced excruciating back pain while shooting for an intense fight sequence wearing boots that had four inch long heels and during a take it was actor Ronit Roy who came to his rescue when he collapsed on set. On touching base with Surya, he stated, “Thinking about the pain gives me chills even now, but it was all worth it, and I can’t thank Ronit sir enough for taking care of me like his own.”last_img read more


Indias emergence as top scrap importer threatens aluminium industry

Posted On Oct 20 2019 by

first_imgBengaluru: A recent S&P Platts report reveals that India has taken over China as world’s top aluminium scrap importer in the first quarter of the current calendar year. Import of scrap rises by 18.8 per cent year on year to 334,725 million tonnes. In the same period, China’s scrap import fell 32.1 per cent on the back of a restriction imposed by the Chinese Government on environmental concerns. This captures a global trend where a pick-up in the demand of aluminium has encouraged leading economies to protect themselves from import of excess aluminium products with strong policy measures with the intent to boost their respective indigenous industries. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepYet India continues to remain an exception. The economy that enjoys abundant reserves of bauxite and coal – the two key raw materials for aluminium production – continues to depend majorly on aluminium imports. A lax regulation enables nations to divert their excess supplies to India, fueling a glut of cheap, scrap aluminium products in the markets that undermine the potential of the domestic industry. In FY19, aluminium has witnessed the highest ever import of 23 lakh tons, which is 58 per cent of India’s demand, resulting in a forex outgo of Rs. 38,000 crore ($5.5 billion), i.e. 1.1 per cent of total country’s import bill. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsIn this situation, the Aluminium Association of India has reached out to the government to provide relief in the form of increasing the basic custom duty in the upcoming Union Budget on primary aluminium from 7.5 per cent to 10 per cent, reducing basic custom duty and correction of inverted duty structure on critical raw materials. It has also asked the government to increase the basic custom duty on aluminium scrap from 2.5 per cent to 10 per cent to make it at par with primary metal as in the of all other non-ferrous metals like copper, zinc, lead, tin etc., and dissuade the end-users to rely on cheap scrap from USA and other developed economies. Rahul Sharma, Vice President, Aluminium Association of India said, “Aluminium is a metal of strategic importance for the country and plays a vital role in national security and nation building. India’s demand for aluminium is expected to reach 7.2 million tonnes in next five years, and as such the industry has invested over Rs 1.2 lakh crores to enhance capacity to 4 MTPA to cater to increasing demand. The sector is also one of the largest job creators with more than 8 lakh direct and indirect employment and caters to over 4000 SMEs. This data justifies a robust policy support to create a level-playing field for the domestic aluminium industry. “In the current circumstances, Indian aluminium industry requires the government to extend policy measures in line with those extended to steel. Current volatility of aluminium LME prices that saw a steep decline of $550/MT in last one year, and the restrictive measures taken by China, USA and other key markets to protect their indigenous markets from imports are making India more vulnerable as a dumping ground for primary metal, scrap and secondary products, thereby adversely affecting the competitiveness of the domestic industry. Hence, immediate measures like increased import duty on primary aluminium, scrap and downstream aluminium products are required along with rationalization of input costs of critical raw material of aluminium value chain to help domestic industry retain competitiveness.”last_img read more


Karnataka BJP dares CM Kumaraswamy to move trust vote in Assembly

Posted On Oct 20 2019 by

first_imgBengaluru: An upbeat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday dared beleaguered Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to move a confidence motion in the state Assembly on Monday to prove that his shaky coalition government has a majority. “Since Kumaraswamy himself offered to seek a trust vote and no business could be conducted in the House without proving he has a majority, he should request the Speaker to allow him to move it on Monday when the session resumes,” opposition BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa told reporters here. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day To clear the air of uncertainty and end the political crisis gripping the southern state since 16 rebel legislators of the ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S) allies resigned from their Assembly seats, Kumaraswamy on Friday told Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar that he was ready to seek a trust vote or face a no-confidence motion if the BJP moves it against him during the 10-day monsoon session till July 26. “As the Supreme Court on Friday directed the Speaker to maintain status quo on the resignations of 10 rebel lawmakers till Tuesday (July 16) when it resumes hearing in the case, let Kumaraswamy hold the floor test on Monday and prove he has the majority in the House, as the 16 rebels have decided not to attend the session as evident from their absence on Friday,” said Yeddyurappa. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty In the 225-member Assembly, including one nominated without voting rights, the combined strength of the ruling allies is 116, with the support of one BSP legislator, which is three more than the halfway mark of 113 to win the trust vote against 107 of the BJP, including the support of two independents. “If the 16 legislators, including 13 of the Congress and three of the JD-S are not present in the House when the confidence motion is put to vote, the government will be defeated with its strength reduced to 100 (65+34+1), including the BSP but excluding the Speaker as against 107 of ours,” BJP spokesman G. Madhusudana told IANS here. Even as the beleaguered ruling allies wooed the rebels through the day to withdraw their resignations and attend the session, five of them from the Congress filed petitions in the apex court, seeking its direction to the Speaker to accept their resignations too forthwith along with that of 10 other rebels whose joint writs are being heard by it since Thursday. The five Congress rebels are Anand Singh, Munirathna Naidu, R. Roshan Baig, M.T.B Nagaraj and K. Sudhakar who submitted their resignations to the Speaker in the prescribed format. “As the opposition leader, I will advise the Speaker at the Business Advisory Committee meeting on Monday to allow the Chief Minister to move the trust vote and conduct the floor test on the same day to ascertain if he has the majority in the House,” asserted Yeddyurappa.last_img read more


M P Birla Cement launches Perfect Plus construction chemicals in Jaipur

Posted On Oct 18 2019 by

first_imgJAIPUR: Birla Corporation Limited, flagship Company of the MP Birla Group, has launched the Perfect Plus wall putty and construction chemicals at Jaipur and the surrounding regions, to supplement its premium Perfect Plus brand of cement. Birla Corporation is one of India’s top cement makers, with an annual production capacity of 15.5 million tons. In 2018-19, the Company had a turnover of Rs 6,548.73 crore.The introduction of the products by Birla Corporation Limited will create a significant new revenue stream for the Company and all its trade partners, Sandip Ranjan Ghose, Chief Operating Officer, said while launching the products at Jaipur on Sunday. This will also create opportunities for the Company to foster new partnerships with retailers of construction materials, such as hardware and paints, he added. More than 400 cement and paint dealers from across Rajasthan were present at the launching ceremony. With this launch, MP Birla Cement Perfect Plus construction chemicals and wall putty are now available across Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.last_img read more


McIlroy leads after sizzling 62 at WGC St Jude event

Posted On Oct 18 2019 by

first_imgLos Angeles: Rory McIlroy birdied the last three holes, closing with a dramatic 27-foot putt, to seize a one-stroke lead over top-ranked Brooks Koepka after Saturday’s third round of the WGC St Jude Invitational. The four-time major winner from Northern Ireland fired an eight-under par 62 to stand on 12-under 198 after 54 holes at par-70 TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee. “To birdie the last three holes and take the lead puts me in a really great position going into tomorrow,” McIlroy said on Saturday. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”I’ve holed a lot of putts this week, which is nice.” Third-ranked McIlroy’s second-lowest round of the season, eclipsed only by a 61 in the final round of his Canadian Open triumph last month, comes a week after a disappointing missed cut at the British Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. It also booked the 30-year-old a first-ever Sunday pairing with four-time major winner Koepka in the last group for the final round of the elite World Golf Championship event. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”Rory is playing with some heat,” Koepka said. “I’m just going to have to take it deep.” England’s Matthew Fitzgerald fired a 69 to stand third on 200, one stroke ahead of Spain’s Jon Rahm, Sweden’s Alex Noren and Australian Marc Leishman. McIlroy birdied the last three holes on both the front and back nine. “I had a lot of good numbers where I could make a full committed swing,” McIlroy said. “One of my goals was to hit it pin high and I did that for most of the day.” McIlroy sank a six-foot birdie putt on the opening hole and dropped one that was half as long at the third, then reeled off a 23-foot birdie putt at seven and back-to-back seven-footers for birdies at the par-3 eighth and par-4 ninth. After finding water off the 12th tee and taking his lone bogey of the day, McIlroy answered by dropping his tee shot to five feet at the par-3 14th and sinking the birdie putt. McIlroy then closed with a six-foot birdie at the par-5 16th, a 16-footer at 17 and his dramatic long birdie effort at 18. “I just put it a little outside right and it went in, which is nice,” McIlroy said of his final putt. Koepka, who defended a major title at this year’s PGA Championship, saw his ball cling to a slope on the rough over greenside water at 18 but got up and down for par to close on 64.last_img read more


Rahul says Kashmir internal issue Pak instigating violence in JK

Posted On Oct 18 2019 by

first_imgNew Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said Kashmir is India’s internal issue and slammed Pakistan for instigating and supporting violence in Jammu and Kashmir. His statement came after the Congress hit out at Pakistan for “mischievously” dragging the name of Rahul Gandhi in its alleged petition moved in the United Nations to justify its “lies” and misinformation on Jammu and Kashmir. The opposition leader said that though he disagrees with the government on many issues, he is clear that Kashmir is an internal issue and there is no room for Pakistan to interfere in it. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “I disagree with this Govt. on many issues. But, let me make this absolutely clear: Kashmir is India’s internal issue and there is no room for Pakistan or any other foreign country to interfere in it,” he said on Twitter. “There is violence in Jammu & Kashmir. There is violence because it is instigated and supported by Pakistan which is known to be the prime supporter of terrorism across the world,” he added. Party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the “Congress has noticed reports citing an alleged petition moved by Pakistani Government to United Nations on Jammu & Kashmir, wherein name of Shri Rahul Gandhi has been mischievously dragged to justify the pack of lies and deliberate misinformation being spread by Pakistan.” Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “Let no one in the world be in doubt that Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh were, are and shall always remain an integral part of India. No amount of diabolical deception by Pakistan shall change this irrevocable truth,” Surjewala said in a statement. Rahul Gandhi has been attacking the government over the Kashmir situation and had said last week that the opposition and the press got a taste of the “draconian administration” and “brute force” unleashed on the people there when they tried to visit Srinagar. A delegation of opposition leaders, including Gandhi, which wanted to visit the Valley to take stock of the situation after the withdrawal of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, was not allowed to leave the Srinagar airport on Saturday last by the state administration and had to return to the national capital. The visit was organised a day after the Jammu and Kashmir government issued a statement asking political leaders to not visit the Valley as it would disturb the gradual restoration of peace and normal life.last_img read more


Britain PM Boris loses waferthin majority as MP defects over Brexit

Posted On Oct 18 2019 by

first_imgLondon: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday lost his already wafer-thin working majority of one in Parliament as one of the Conservative Party MPs defected to the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrat party over an ongoing showdown over his strategy for the country’s impending exit from the European Union (EU). Philip Lee defected just minutes before Johnson took to the despatch box at the House of Commons for his first parliamentary confrontation with MPs after a long summer recess. The MP for Bracknell conspicuously took his seat on the Opposition benches as Johnson began addressing the Commons. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”The party I joined in 1992 is not the party I am leaving today,” he said in a statement, accusing his former party of “political manipulation, bullying and lies”. The former justice minister said the government was “pursuing a damaging Brexit in unprincipled ways”, putting lives and livelihoods at risk. In a letter to Johnson, Lee said the Conservative Party “had become a narrow faction in which one’s Conservatism is measured by how recklessly one wants to leave the European Union”. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsAddressing the Commons after days of verbal clashes over his do or die Brexit pledge by the October 31 deadline, Johnson told MPs he wanted a negotiated exit from the EU and insisted there was “real momentum” behind the talks. But he warned that plans by rebel Tory MPs to pass legislation effectively blocking a no-deal exit would “destroy any chance of negotiating a new deal”. “It is Jeremy Corbyn’s surrender bill. It means running up the white flag,” said Johnson, in reference to a motion that is set to be voted on later on Tuesday night. If rebel MPs from his own Tory party and Opposition benches succeed in uniting and seeing the motion through, it would force Johnson’s hand on seeking an extension to the Brexit deadline from the EU at least until January 31, 2020, in the event that no withdrawal agreement is agreed between both sides by the middle of October. However, Downing Street has indicated that Johnson is prepared to go for a motion for a general election around October 14 in retaliation and would rather let the government fold and go back to the voters than seek another extension from the EU. Earlier, the Commons Speaker accepted an application for an emergency debate on the issue of Britain’s exit from the 28-member economic bloc. It will go for on to be debated by MPs before a vote on Tuesday night, which if passed would then be tabled as a bill on Wednesday. The so-called SO24, signed by 18 MPs, states that the Commons has “considered the matter of the need to take all necessary steps to ensure that the United Kingdom does not leave the European Union on October 31 without a withdrawal agreement”. Downing Street branded the rebel motion a “blueprint for legislative purgatory”. “The Prime Minister does not want to hold an election. If, by destroying his negotiating position, MPs force an election, then that would take place before the October European Council [October 17],” Johnson’s official spokesperson said. Brexit is set to dominate proceedings throughout the week in Parliament, with Opposition MPs on overdrive to block Johnson from pushing through what they believe would be a damaging forced divorce from the EU without a deal in place just to meet the October 31 deadline.last_img read more


Ensure proper mechanism to manage plastic waste CPCB told

Posted On Oct 18 2019 by

first_imgNEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal has said there is no proper mechanism for plastic waste management in the country and directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to take necessary action in this regard. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said mere issuance of directions by the CPCB is not adequate and compliance needs to be overseen. “There is no proper mechanism for plastic waste management which was being dumped in open or burnt in brick kilns resulting in pollution. Action taken by the CPCB is the issuance of directions… Even with regard to illegal import, CPCB as a statutory regulator can take up the matter with the authorities concerned,” the tribunal said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe tribunal directed the CPCB to take further steps in the matter accordingly and file a report by e-mail before October 16. The CPCB had earlier informed the tribunal that the import of plastic waste must be restricted as the hazardous waste generated in the country is to the extent of 26,000 tons a day and the same is not properly managed. The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, as amended in 2018, prohibit open burning of plastic waste and permit its recycling only if it conforms to Indian Standard: IS 14534:1998, it said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe tribunal was hearing a plea filed by one Amit Jain, who alleged that cheap waste paper and road sweep waste is imported from the US, Europe etc., for burning in brick kilns, causing land and air pollution. “Large plastic waste yards can be seen near recycled paper mills. Import of cheap waste paper is hazardous and is affecting the environment. The import is to the extent of 9,00,000 tons of waste which generates hazardous plastic,” the plea said.last_img read more


Canada 200M tonnes away from meeting international emissions promise

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgOTTAWA – Canada has just 13 years to cut almost 200 million tonnes of yearly carbon emissions if it hopes to meet its 2015 international climate treaty obligations.Such a reduction would be the equivalent of taking 44 million cars off the road — twice the number of passenger vehicles that were registered in Canada two years ago.The latest national emissions inventory report, published in April, shows Canada’s emissions at 722 million tonnes in 2015, down just 0.7 per cent from the previous year.As part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, Canada agreed to a target of 523 million tonnes by 2030 — 30 per cent less than what the country generated in 2005.The target becomes even more daunting if there is any growth in emissions from industries, such as expanded production in the oilsands or new manufacturing.Indeed, the pipeline projects Canada has already approved in principle could add more than 40 million tonnes from additional oil extraction alone.Nonetheless, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is insisting the government’s climate change plan will allow Canada to meet its target.“If you look at the plan it shows how we are going to get to the target,” McKenna said. “We’ve taken very serious measures.”The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change,, signed last fall by Ottawa and 11 of the 13 provinces and territories, aims to take 86 million tonnes of carbon emissions out annually by 2030.That includes the impact of the carbon pricing regime to be phased in at increments of $10 per tonne starting next year, reaching $50 per tonne by 2022.The government anticipates other measures committed to prior to the framework, such as Alberta’s phase-out of coal-powered electricity plants and Saskatchewan’s renewable energy target, will cut emissions by 89 megatonnes a year.The rest of the road to 523 will come from investments in public transit and green infrastructure, clean technology and stored carbon in forests, wetlands and soils.Michael Cleland, chair of the board at the Canadian Energy Research Institute, said he pegs the odds of those cuts materializing by 2030 at “zero.”“I don’t see events or forces in the offing that are likely to change that in the next couple of years,” said Cleland.He said the climate change framework will get Canada closer, but the trajectory of emissions just won’t change fast enough to cut emissions by more than 27 per cent in 13 years.Cutting coal-fired electrical plants, something Ottawa wants done by 2030, will eliminate 61 million tonnes, but three of the four provinces that still generate electricity by burning coal haven’t committed to that yet.Cleland said there will be incremental growth in electric vehicles and more efficient buildings, but both are only happening “bit by bit.”“I don’t see evidence we’re going to see a massive shift in the next 10 years,” said Cleland.He said the government deserves recognition for its carbon price plan and “there is no question in my mind it will have an impact on people’s decisions.”But he said it’s hard to know whether that plan will actually play out given the differences among the provinces, and the current lack of buy-in from at least two: Saskatchewan and Manitoba.Dale Marshall, national program manager at Environmental Defence, is more optimistic.Consumers are going to buy into electric vehicles far faster than either the government or the industry are expecting, said Marshall, who also expects demand for fossil fuels to drop and opposition to pipeline projects to grow.“I think there is a reasonable chance we’re going to hit our 2030 target,” he said. “There is a gap right now, but I think technology will continue to evolve quite quickly.”— Follow @mrabson on Twitterlast_img read more