In the news today April 6

first_imgSeven stories in the news for Friday, April 6———PM TRUDEAU VENTURES INTO OILSANDS TODAYPrime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit the Alberta oilsands today, less than 24 hours after protesters in Vancouver called for him to revoke the approval of the Trans Canada pipeline project. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside a Liberal party fundraising dinner to bang pots and chant “Kinder Morgan has got to go.” Trudeau will tour a new Suncor oilsands facility today in Fort McMurray.—LATEST JOBS DATA OUT TODAYStatistics Canada will update the jobs picture for March today. In February, the economy added 15,400 net new jobs to trim the unemployment rate to 5.8 per cent. The February gains were due to a surge in part-time work that offset a decline in full-time positions. The labour force survey also said the gains in February were driven by an increase of 50,300 in public-sector jobs.———N.B. PREMIER SUSPENDS SPEAKER AMID ALLEGATIONSThe Speaker of the New Brunswick legislature has been suspended from the Liberal caucus pending an investigation into allegations of harassment. Premier Brian Gallant announced Chris Collins’ suspension Thursday, saying the allegations against the 55-year-old Speaker were made by a former employee of the legislative assembly.———BUDGET DAY IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLANDThe Prince Edward Island government will table its 2018 budget today amid what one observer says are growing signs of an early provincial election call. Don Desserud, a professor of political science at UPEI, says Premier Wade MacLauchlan may want to call a vote for May or early June while the Island’s economy is relatively strong.———ALBERTA BABY DEATH AND ILLNESS ON FIRST NATION A MYSTERYAn autopsy is scheduled to be performed today on a baby girl who died in a crowded home this week on a First Nation west of Calgary. RCMP are still trying to determine precisely why the child died and 14 other people were taken to hospital from the home. Authorities have said they suffered from influenza-like symptoms. Health Canada also plans to investigate.———EMERGENCY ALERTS COMING TO YOUR CELLPHONEStarting today, Canadians won’t have to be near a television or radio to receive emergency alerts. Life-threatening emergencies will now be broadcast on compatible mobile phones. As of today, the National Public Alerting System — commonly called Alert Ready — will include wireless networks, in addition to traditional broadcast channels. Situations that could prompt an alert include forest fires, terrorist threats or an Amber Alert for a missing child.———SEDIN TWINS BID FAREWELL TO VANCOUVER FANSIt was a storybook ending at Rogers Arena as Daniel and Henrik Sedin said farewell to the hometown crowd. Daniel scored the winning goal in overtime, with an assist from Henrik as the Vancouver Canucks beat Arizona 4-3 last night. It was the Sedins’ final NHL game on home ice. The Swedish twins said Monday they are retiring after playing 17 seasons with the Canucks. Their final game will be Saturday in Edmonton.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland meets with U.S. and Mexican trade representative in Washington, D.C.— New Brunswick Southern Railway to enter pleas on 24 charges stemming from the Lac Megantic disaster.— The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls holds hearings in Richmond, B.C.— A woman appears in a Lethbridge, Alta., court, accused of leaving a child in a freezing vehicle while she went drinking.— The Royal Bank will hold its annual meeting in Toronto.last_img read more

Watchdog calls for ethics inquiry into allegations involving PMO WilsonRaybould

first_imgFormer Justice Minister and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured here in 2015, are at the centre of an unfolding controversy surrounding allegations of political interference.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsA government watchdog is calling on the federal ethics commissioner to delegate an inquiry into the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) after allegations surfaced Thursday of political interference by the PMO in a matter under the authority of Canada’s former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould.Democracy Watch says the allegations warrant an official investigation.But the Ottawa-based group says Canada’s Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Mario Dion, should not lead the inquiry.The commissioner “should not be ruling on any situations involving Liberals as he was hand-picked by the Trudeau Cabinet through a secretive, very questionable process,” Democracy Watch co-founder and University of Ottawa law professor Duff Conacher said in a statement Friday morning.Instead, Dion should “delegate the investigation to a provincial ethics commissioner,” Conacher wrote.The call comes just 24 hours after the Globe and Mail published allegations by an unnamed source that Wilson-Raybould—of the We Wai Kai Nation and Canada’s first Indigenous justice minister and AG—“blew off the PMO” after Trudeau’s office allegedly pressured Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the Public Prosecution Service of Canada’s handling of Montreal-based engineering giant SNC-Lavalin’s fraud and corruption charges stemming from the company’s work in Libya.“It is a violation for anyone covered by the federal Conflict of Interest Act, including the Prime Minister and PMO staff, to ‘use his or her position as a public office holder to seek to influence a decision of another person so as to… improperly further another person’s private interests,’” the Democracy Watch statement reads, citing Section 9 of the federal Act.“If anyone in the PMO tried to pressure the Attorney General to intervene and stop the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, they violated the federal ethics law, and so a full, independent investigation is needed,” Conacher said in the statement.According to the federal lobbyist registry, SNC-Lavalin representatives have met with MPs and government officials dozens of times on issues related to “justice” and “law enforcement”, including 14 with PMO staff.Democracy Watch is also calling for an investigation into “whether anyone in the PMO used secret information they learned” from the meetings “in an effort to influence the Attorney General, and whether anyone from SNC-Lavalin has a relationship with anyone in the PMO that would cause them to give them preferential treatment by trying to influence the Attorney General.”If either of these were true, they would violate Section 8 and Section 7 of the Conflict of Interest Act, Conacher explained.Conacher told APTN News Friday that Dion “can delegate authority” to a provincial commission, and that the transfer of authority has been done in provinces like Alberta, where that province’s ethics commissioner, Margeurite Trussler, recused herself from investigating a complaint because she personally knew individuals she would have to investigate.Democracy Watch co-founder Duff Conacher says an investigation from the federal ethics commissioner only requires Dion to have “reasonable belief that there’s been a violation based on the evidence presented.” APTN photo.In its letter to Dion, Democracy Watch asked the commissioner to step aside and delegate the inquiry to a provincial authority.“If we disagreed with his ruling and wanted to challenge it in court, it puts us in a better position if we asked him to step aside in advance as opposed to after the fact complaining about him not stepping aside,” Conacher explained.The group has previously argued in court that Dion’s appoint was unethical, “because the Office of the Ethics Commissioner was investigating Trudeau and other cabinet ministers at the time they hand-picked Dion through a secretive process,” Conacher said, explaining Democracy Watch is currently challenging a federal court ruling on the matter.He said in order for Dion to launch or delegate an inquiry into the new allegations against the PMO, the commissioner “has to have a reasonable belief that there’s been a violation based on the evidence presented.”Conacher said though the Globe and Mail’s sources are unnamed, that “doesn’t mean they aren’t real.”On Thursday Trudeau repeatedly denied his office “directed” Wilson-Raybould on the SNC file.But the allegations published by the Globe never specified “direction” from the PMO, only that Wilson-Raybould “came under heavy pressure” from Trudeau’s office.“Trudeau didn’t deny that there was influence, yesterday,” Conacher told APTN.“All you have to do is attempt to influence someone. That’s all you need to violate section 9 [of the Act].Instead of denying the allegations, Wilson-Raybould told the Globe she would not discuss the matter.“That is between me and the government as the government’s previous lawyer,” she said in an interview.Asked by the Globe if she had refused a request from the PMO, she reportedly said, “I cannot comment on that. That is legal advice between me and the government at the time.”Conacher wonders why, if the allegations are false, Wilson-Raybould didn’t just say they were false.He said Wilson-Raybould’s response that she can’t comment because it would constitute sharing “legal advice between me and the government” doesn’t hold up in this instance.“It’s not a situation where it’s solicitor-client privilege,” he said. “This is a situation of whether they called her, not about what advice she gave them.”“There’s nothing preventing her from saying it’s false, no one ever contacted me.”Following her move from the justice and attorney general portfolio to veteran’s affairs last month, Wilson-Raybould penned a lengthy statement on her webpage.In it she said that “the role of the Attorney General of Canada carries with it unique responsibilities to uphold the rule of law and the administration of justice, and as such demands a measure of principled independence.“It is a pillar of our democracy that our system of justice be free from even the perception of political interference and uphold the highest levels of public confidence,” she continued.“As such, it has always been my view that the Attorney General of Canada must be non-partisan, more transparent in the principles that are the basis of decisions, and, in this respect, always willing to speak truth to power. This is how I served throughout my tenure in that role.”APTN requested comment from Dion on Democracy Watch’s call for a delegated inquiry into the allegations but had not received a response by the time of publication.Also on Friday, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer announced his party and the NDP are jointly calling for a committee investigation into the allegations.The opposition parties have “called for an emergency meeting of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to question Trudeau’s PMO and other government officials over their potential interference in an ongoing criminal prosecution,” Scheer said in a written statement.“If the Prime Minister has nothing to hide, then members of his government should have no reason to oppose these officials from testifying. Members of Parliament, and all other relevant authorities, have a responsibility to determine what happened here, and both Trudeau and his officials must be forthcoming. We believe this committee investigation is a necessary first step.”The committee would invite as witnesses Wilson-Raybould, current Justice Minister and AG David Lametti, Trudeau’s Chief of Staff Katie Telford, Director of Public Prosecutions Kathleen Roussel, Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick, Trudeau’s Principle Secretary Gerald Butts, senior PMO advisors Mathieu Bouchard and Elder Marques, and Veteran Affairs Chief of Staff Jessica Prince.The committee would report to the House of Commons “no later than February 28, 2019,” Scheer’s statement said.The NDP are also calling for an investigation by the ethics commissioner.Party leader Jagmeet Singh said in a statement Friday that if Trudeau “truly believes there is no wrongdoing here, he should invite the Ethics Commissioner to investigate his office’s dealings with SNC-Lavalin and whether or not that was a factor in the removal of Ms. Wilson-Raybould from her position as Attorney General.”jbrake@aptn.ca@JustinBrakeNewslast_img read more

Christchurch Test called off after shootings

first_imgNew Delhi: The third Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh in Christchurch was called off on Friday after gunmen opened fire at two mosques in the city, with the police saying that there were “multiple fatalities”. The decision was made after discussions between New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by the shocking situation in Christchurch. A joint decision between NZC and the @BCBtigers has been made to cancel the Hagley Oval Test. Again both teams and support staff groups are safe,” NZC said in a tweet. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together David Richardson, CEO of the International Cricket Council (ICC), also issued a statement on the same. “Our thoughts and sincere condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by this horrendous incident in Christchurch. Both teams, staff and match officials are safe and the ICC fully supports the decision to cancel the Test match.” The Bangladesh team had a narrow escape on Friday morning as they were in the vicinity of one of the two mosques where the shootings took place. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open The players took to social media to inform fans and family that they were safe and also asked them to pray for the cricketers. Senior batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted: “Entire team got saved from active shooters!!! Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers #christchurchMosqueAttack” Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim wrote: “Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque… We r extremely lucky …never want to see this things happen again….pray for us.” The shootings took place at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Masjid. Police Commissioner Mike Bush said they have arrested four arrested so far but refused to give the number of fatalties. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the events as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.last_img read more

Religion most precious guiding light says President Sirisena

The President said Christmas, which is celebrated by all the Christians around the world as a universal festival, embodies loving kindness. Religion is one of the most precious guiding lights of the human civilization, President Maithripala Sirisena said in his Christmas message today.He said religion makes people show compassion and kindness to others and be empathetic towards others. “Jesus Christ, who could reduce power-crazy kings such as Herod to a mere mention in the history was a great messenger of reconciliation and social righteousness to the world. This makes Jesus Christ an eternal savior to people around the world,” he said.The President extended his warmest greetings for a wonderful Christmas to all Christians who nourish the teachings of universal love, peace, happiness and kindness. “Over 2,000 years ago, the Jesus Christ was born into this world in an era when immorality, chaos and cruelty was the order of the day. Since then, the new religious vision that emerged centering a humble dwelling shines eternally as a mark of human greatness,” he said. read more

Report Great Lakes cleanups boost economic development

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A new report says cleaning up some of the Great Lakes region’s most heavily polluted areas has led to billions of dollars’ worth of economic development and brought communities closer together.The study released Tuesday was conducted by the International Association for Great Lakes Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.It reviews efforts to restore harbours, river mouths and other spots that were contaminated with toxic wastes during the industrial boom era.The U.S. and Canada identified 43 such “areas of concern” in the 1980s. Work remains to be done on most of them.The report highlights 10 places where cleanups have spurred development.Among them are the Buffalo River in New York, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, the Detroit River in Michigan and Toronto’s Lake Ontario waterfront area.The Associated Press read more

UNs Sudan envoy to brief International Criminal Court on Darfur

Jan Pronk, head of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), is expected to meet with lead ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, to discuss the situation on the ground in Sudan’s troubled in Darfur, where a two-year conflict between the Khartoum Government, allied militia and rebels in the region has killed at least 180,000 people and displaced nearly 2 million others.Just last week, Mr. Pronk voiced hope that the military leaders of Darfur’s main rebel factions would accept a preliminary agreement between the Government and rebels aimed at ending the conflict. He also travelled to Asmara, Eritrea, and returned to Khartoum convinced that the Eastern Front is prepared to start serious negotiations with the Government with the aim of finding a lasting solution to the problems of Eastern Sudan.Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the new Government of Sudan this month that the peace process between North and South must be made irreversible – which it will not be, unless it takes root in the East and in the West as well.Following his visit to The Hague, Mr. Pronk will then come to New York to brief the Security Council on Darfur and the state of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement’s implementation between the Sudanese Government and southern rebels. read more

BC to bring in a 15 per cent additional real estate tax

by Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 25, 2016 11:49 am MDT Last Updated Jul 26, 2016 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email B.C. to bring in a 15 per cent additional real estate tax on foreign buyers Premier Christy Clark and Finance Minister Michael de Jong, discuss amendments regarding housing issues in Greater Vancouver from the South lawn during a press conference at the Legislature in Victoria, B.C., Monday, July 25, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito VICTORIA – Foreign buyers in Vancouver’s scorching real estate market will soon pay a new tax that Premier Christy Clark says is aimed at making housing more affordable for British Columbia’s middle-class buyers.The government took aim at foreign buyers Monday, highlighting housing data that indicates they spent more than $1 billion on B.C. property in a five-week period starting June 10, with 86 per cent of that spending recorded in the Lower Mainland area.Clark’s Liberals have signalled for months that change was coming for the real estate industry, tackling unscrupulous sales practises and offering tax incentives to first-time home buyers, but it was previously lukewarm to calls to act on foreign investment.Clark said recent housing data played a large part in the government’s decision to levy the additional property transfer tax on foreign buyers.“There is evidence now that suggests very wealthy foreign buyers have raised the overall price of housing for people in B.C.,” she said at a news held in front of a local commercial and residential construction project.“If we are going to put British Columbians first, and that is what we are intending to do, we need to make sure we do everything we can to try and keep housing affordable,” said Clark. “Ultimately, the goal is to affect the demand by making sure it’s maybe a little tougher for foreign buyers to find their way into our market.”Finance Minister Mike de Jong, who flanked Clark at the news conference, said recent housing data helped persuade the government to impose the 15-per-cent tax on property transfers.“We have a better sense of the degree of that today than we did even a month-and-a-half or two months ago,” he said, adding that revenue from the tax would be used to fund housing, rental and support programs.The additional tax for foreign buyers takes effect Aug. 2. It means a foreign buyer would pay an additional $300,000 in tax on a $2-million purchase.All purchasers have to pay a one-per-cent tax on the first $200,000 of their purchase, two per cent on the remaining value up to $2 million, and three per cent on the portion above that.Last month, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said its benchmark price for detached properties in Vancouver had risen above $1.5 million.A financial report last week showed the province collected about $1.5 billion from the property transfer tax in the last fiscal year, up almost $450 million from the previous year.The legislation introduced Monday also enables Vancouver to amend its community charter to levy a vacancy tax, satisfying a request from Mayor Gregor Robertson.“Today’s legislation is a major acknowledgment by the province that they have an important role to play in the housing market and affordability is not simply an issue for municipalities to deal with,” he said in a statement.Opposition NDP Leader John Horgan said the government has waited too long to act.“A day late and a dollar short from premier Clark and her crew,” he said. “Just months ago, they were telling us there was no problem.”The president of the Greater Vancouver real estate board, meanwhile, accused the government of acting too quickly.“Housing affordability concerns all of us who live in the region,” Dan Morrison said in a statement. “Implementing a new real estate tax, however, with just eight days’ notice and no consultation with the professionals who serve home buyers and sellers every day needlessly injects uncertainty into the market.” read more

FactCheck Did Right2Water this week support charging for excessive water use

first_imgFactCheck: Did Right2Water this week support charging for excessive water use? Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen made the claim this week, and the AAA-PBP’s Paul Murphy accused him of “mischief making”. FactCheck steps in. By Dan MacGuill Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article SOR: Are you opposed to charging wasters?BO: I am not opposed.2. David Gibney’s preferred method of penalising excessive water useAt the committee, Barry Cowen then asked Right2Water representatives David Gibney and Steve Fitzpatrick: In terms of environmentalism and conservation, there is no evidence – and it say, again, in the report – there is no evidence that there’s any excessive wastage of water in Ireland.We’re going to set aside the accuracy of Gibney’s figures, because what’s at issue here is whether Right2Water expressed support for an excessive use charge at Tuesday’s hearing.While David Gibney did not explicitly state he was opposed to a charge for excessive water use, he certainly issued a strong criticism of such a charge, albeit based on one particular cost-benefit analysis.Conclusion Source: Oireachtas.iePaul Murphy is right to say that Barry Cowen quoted selectively from Brendan Ogle’s interview in November. The Fianna Fáil TD didn’t include all relevant context, or Ogle’s insistence that Irish households are not wasteful of water, in relative terms.But crucially, Cowen did not misleadingly quote from Ogle’s interview, and accurately recounted the key moment when Ogle said he would not oppose a charge for those who waste water.And the fact remains that at Tuesday’s hearing, Cowen twice asked the Right2Water contingent whether they would oppose, or would be “happy” with a charge for excessive use.On both occasions, a Right2Water representative confirmed that the group would not oppose such a charge, and would be “happy” with it.The other half of the Right2Water contingent at the committee offered a view that was critical, and strongly skeptical of a charge for excessive use, and when asked how he would penalise those who waste water, expressed a preference for implementing provisions of existing law, not a charge.However, he did not explicitly state that Right2Water would oppose such a charge, and did not contradict the confirmations given earlier by his colleague.His criticism was also based on one specific cost-benefit analysis.Cowen’s claim, in his tweet, was that Right2Water had confirmed to him at the committee that they are “in favour of charging households for excessive use of water”.On balance, we rate this claim Mostly TRUE. As our verdicts guide explains, this means: If this committee was in a position to agree a process by which people who use excessive amounts – in the opinion of this committee – were charged, you’re happy with that?The reply to this is inaudible, but appears to have been in the affirmative. In the official transcript of the committee hearing, Fitzpatrick replies “Yes”. Source: Oireachtas.ieFurthermore, Cowen immediately responds to this by saying “Thanks”. If Fitzpatrick’s response had been in the negative, it’s highly unlikely Cowen would have simply thanked Fitzpatrick, and allowed the next member of the committee to begin their questioning.So on two occasions, a Right2Water representative (Steve Fitzpatrick) confirmed to Barry Cowen that Right2Water would not be opposed to, and would be “happy” with a charge for excessive water use.5. Criticism of excessive use charge by David Gibney Seán O’Rourke: …What about charging wasters?Brendan Ogle: …Education – and the report highlights, actually, Alan [Farrell] – is the way to deal with waste. We are not a wasteful country, we are a water-rich country…SOR: Will you deal with the question about charging wasters?BO: Of course I’m opposed to people who waste water.SOR: That’s not the question.(Later) Brendan [Ogle] speaks, like yourself, for the Right2Water movement. He was asked specifically if he was opposed to charging people for excessive use, and he said he is not. Right2Water activists Steve Fitzpatrick (L) and David Gibney (R) Source: Oireachtas.ieReferring back to Brendan Ogle’s interview in November, Cowen then put it to the Right2Water representatives that: TheJournal.ie’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here.For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. Right2Water confirms to me at Oireachtas Committee that they are in favour of charging households for excessive use of water— Barry Cowen (@CowenBarry) February 21, 2017 AN EXCHANGE AT an Oireachtas Committee this week prompted a public row between the AAA-PBP and Fianna Fáil.Barry Cowen, Fianna Fáil’s environment spokesperson, claimed on Twitter that the anti-water charges campaign group Right2Water had confirmed they are “in favour of charging households for excessive use of water”.In response, AAA-PBP TD Paul Murphy said Cowen was “out to create mischief” with his claim, which he said was based on “selective quoting”.And Right2Water itself later said they didn’t believe a charge for excessive use “makes sense”.So who’s right here?(Send your FactCheck requests to factcheck@thejournal.ie, tweet @TJ_FactCheck, or send us a DM).Claim: Right2Water this week expressed support for charging households for excessive water useWhat was said:The claim in question was made by Barry Cowen in this tweet on Tuesday: The claim is close to accurate, but is missing significant details or context. Or, the best available evidence weighs in favour of the claim.This verdict does not mean Right2Water’s definitive position is in support of a charge for excessive water use, or that the group might not in future take a different definitive position.The verdict means only that their remarks at this week’s committee hearing mostly bear out Barry Cowen’s description of them.This is the first time we’ve fact-checked a claim by Barry Cowen. In future, you’ll be able to find his FactCheck File here.You can read the full transcript of Tuesday’s Water Services Committee hearing here.You can watch the hearing in full here. Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube If you were to, say for instance, have an excessive charge [charge for excessive use] of over 150% of domestic usage, that potentially – potentially – could raise between €14 million and €30 million. 72 Comments Feb 25th 2017, 7:30 PM Short URLcenter_img Source: Barry Cowen/Twitter Share111 Tweet Email …The “polluter pays” principle has to be applied to everybody, not just to individual citizens.The “polluter pays” principle is an environmental principle that involves financial disincentives for pollution and waste. In the context of water services, a charge for excessive use is an enactment of the “polluter pays” principle.While his primary motivation may have been to emphasise the waste and pollution caused by agriculture and industry, Steve Fitzpatrick did state that the principle must be “applied to everybody, not just to individual citizens”.By definition, this means it should be applied to individual citizens and domestic household water users – another strong indication of support for an excessive use charge.4. Second confirmation by Steve FitzpatrickCowen further crystallised the position in a follow-up question, asking: Is that not the viewpoint of the Right 2 Water movement, or it is?Steve Fitzpatrick replied: Saturday 25 Feb 2017, 7:30 PM Source: Oireachtas.ieHowever, later on in Tuesday’s committee hearing, and in response to Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon, David Gibney said he did not believe imposing a charge for excessive use would make economic sense. How would you penalise those who use excessive amounts, if and when we have identified what is excessive…?Gibney reiterated the position that Irish households are not wasteful, by European standards, and added: Now to me, economically, it doesn’t make sense that you would try to raise €14 to €30 million chasing down probably 7% of households, if you’re spending €270 million to do that. So spending €270 million for a return of €30 million just makes no economic sense. The FactsYou can watch an excerpt of the exchange at Tuesday’s committee hearing, and part of an interview with Right2Water activist Brendan Ogle, in the video below.This is what’s most relevant:1. Comments of Brendan Ogle Right2Water activist Brendan Ogle. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ieIn the committee, Barry Cowen quoted from an interview by Right2Water activist Brendan Ogle on RTE Radio One’s Today With Seán O’Rourke, after the release of the expert commission’s report on water services, last November.To avoid duplication and confusion, we’re quoting here from that interview, and not Cowen’s paraphrasing of it. In terms of penalising people for excessive use of water, there is provision there already under the 2007 Act, as I’m sure the committee is already aware.Gibney is referring here to the 2007 Water Services Act, which contains a provision whereby local authorities can, essentially, ask an individual to stop wasting water, or make repairs necessary to stop leaks.If the individual persistently refuses to comply, they are open to conviction.Gibney then said that Right2Water would not be opposed to the government introducing a “swimming pool tax”, stated that the overwhelming majority of wasted water comes from leaks, and not excessive usage, and added that it was a “false argument that households are wasteful”.3. First confirmation by Steve Fitzpatrick 18,107 Views Follow TJ_FactCheck on Twitter It is the viewpoint, Deputy Cowen…He went on to emphasise the way industry and agriculture use water and contribute to pollution, but added: http://jrnl.ie/3251913 Find more FactChecks herelast_img read more

Près de 20 des reptiles de la planète sont menacés dextinction

first_imgPrès de 20% des reptiles de la planète sont menacés d’extinctionSelon une étude publié vendredi matin par l’Union internationale pour la conservation de la nature (UICN), 19% des reptiles de la planète seraient menacés d’extinction.Alors que la liste des espèces en danger s’allonge d’année en année, c’est un triste bilan que vient d’établir l’Union internationale pour la conservation de la nature (UICN). Dans un rapport tout juste dévoilé, elle estime que 19% des reptiles de la planète sont aujourd’hui menacés d’extinction. Basé sur les recherches menées par plus de 200 experts de renommée mondiale, l’étude publiée dans la revue Biological Conservation dresse l’état de lieux de l’état de conservation des serpents, lézards, tortues, crocodiles et autres reptiles. À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Les 1.500 reptiles évalués dans diverses régions du monde et sélectionnés de façon aléatoire représentent 16% des espèces connues, explique l’UICN qui s’est associée à la Société zoologique de Londres pour mener à bien sa recherche. Les reptiles considérés comme menacés sont classés pour 12% d’entre eux en danger critique d’extinction, le degré de menace le plus élevé, pour 41% d’entre eux en danger et pour 47% en vulnérable. Ainsi, pour Philip Bowles, coordinateur de la Liste rouge pour les sauriens et les ophidiens de la Commission de la sauvegarde des espèces de l’UICN, ces “résultats sonnent l’alarme sur l’état de ces espèces et les menaces croissantes auxquelles elles sont confrontées”. Selon le rapport, les reptiles sont surtout menacés dans les régions tropicales, principalement en raison de la conversion d’habitats naturels à des usages agricoles et de l’exploitation forestière. Mais, le rapport montre aussi que la menace varie selon les espèces. Les tortues d’eau douce, par exemple, font partie des 30% des reptiles d’eau douce proches de l’extinction et elles sont bien plus menacées que les reptiles terrestres. “Ce pourcentage atteint 50% pour les tortues, car elles sont aussi touchées par le commerce national et international”, précise l’UICN. Aujourd’hui, trois espèces classées en danger critique pourraient même avoir déjà disparues. Parmi elles, le lézard coureur Ameiva vittata de Bolivie, unique au monde. Le 15 février 2013 à 16:13 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Escaping homelessness no cheap fix

first_imgFirst, there was the good news for Ginger Marcom: her name was pulled from the lottery for a coveted Section 8 housing voucher.Then came the bad news: finding a place would be a lot more difficult than she thought.Marcom, whom The Columbian recently featured in a series on homelessness in Clark County, is the single mother of two young daughters in Vancouver. She says she was evicted without cause from her home over the summer, and she has been struggling to get back on her feet since. She and her girls, 12-year-old Kaylynn and 10-year-old Emily, are staying with her sister while they look for a home.Marcom, who works full-time in Milwaukie, Ore., estimates she’s visited 15 to 20 apartments, townhouses and duplexes a week since she was approved for Section 8 about two months ago. At each place, there was some new reason she didn’t qualify. Some were due to her financial history. She has an eviction on her record and a bankruptcy. Others were due to the landlord’s refusal to take Section 8. One landlord told Marcom she knew “what kind of people” have housing assistance.“I thought a lot more people would have been willing to accept Section 8,” she said. “You can’t make everybody the same.”And late last month, two months after she was approved for Section 8 housing, Marcom was approved for a home — a duplex in her daughters’ school district. Now, Marcom has another hurdle to face: paying for deposits on the two-bedroom duplex which costs $1,449 a month. Marcom adds that she looked at more modest apartments, but this is the only home she was approved for at all.last_img read more

Shoppers launch campaign to keep Whole Foods Market in Vancouver

first_imgLocal residents disappointed by the closure of the Whole Foods Market in east Vancouver have begun campaigning to save the store — but in a new location.Shoppers were informed two weeks ago the Whole Foods Market in the Mill Plain Plaza shopping center — the only Whole Foods in Clark County — is scheduled to close on or around Aug. 18.Several shoppers on social media said they hoped the company could find an alternate location for the store. One took it a step further by creating a Change.org petition urging the company to consider relocating the store to the downtown Vancouver area.The petition had more than 450 signatures as of Wednesday.The campaign taps into a longstanding frustration among downtown residents: the lack of any full grocery store in the core downtown area. The closest options are the Fred Meyer at the Grand Central shopping center and the Safeway on Main Street near 39th Street.The petitioners also lament the lack of healthy food options in Vancouver, and argue that the closure of the Mill Plain Whole Foods will affect shoppers as far away as downtown Vancouver because residents were willing to drive out to the city’s east side to purchase Whole Foods’ healthier products.last_img read more

SDPD still investigating deadly Pacific Beach shooting

first_imgSDPD still investigating deadly Pacific Beach shooting December 29, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom Pacific Beach (KUSI) – Police Saturday arrested two men in connection with the shooting death of a 44-year-old man at a home in the Pacific Beach community of San Diego, a police lieutenant said.Paul Weinberger, 50, and Freddy Sosa, 37, were arrested after investigators followed leads gathered by the initial investigating officers, San Diego police Lt. Matt Dobbs said.“Weinberger lived in the residence where the homicide occurred,” Dobbs said.Officers dispatched at 1:47 a.m. to a home in the 2300 block of Wilbur Avenue regarding a possible shooting found the victim suffering from an apparent gunshot wound, he said. The victim’s name has not been released.Paramedics rushed the man to area hospital, where he died from his injuries at 2:30 a.m., Dobbs said.“We do know there were several other residents and occupants in the residence at the time of the incident,” he said. “The suspects fled the scene in a vehicle belonging to one of them.”The vehicle has not yet been recovered and, as the investigation continues, it is possible more arrests will be made, Dobbs said.The vehicle is described as a white 2015 Lexus RX350 with California plate numbers 7NWK357, he said. “The occupants are considered armed and dangerous,” Dobbs said.The San Diego Police Department’s Homicide Unit asked anyone with information regarding the death to call  (619) 531-2293.  Anyone who sees the car should keep their distance and call 911. center_img Posted: December 29, 2018 Updated: 8:27 AM Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Jewelry stolen from elderly womans LauderdalebytheSea home

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A thief took advantage of an elderly lady, getting away with containers full of jewelry at her Lauderdale-by-the-Sea home.Surveillance video captures the perpetrator breaking into the victim’s house near Commercial Boulevard and Ocean Drive while she was asleep in her bedroom, back in January.He walked away carrying containers full of jewelry.Police believe the robber is behind multiple break-ins in Fort Lauderdale.If you know anything that could help police with these recent burglaries, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Penton Scales Tech Portfolio with iNET Acquisition

first_img See Also: Penton Rebrands Itself as Information Services Business Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the 13-year-old iNET reported $14 million in revenues for 2014, up from $5.3 million in 2010, for its Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies profile. Included in the deal are about 2 events, 10 websites and an association, AFCOM, which has 40 chapters and 4,500 members. iNET’s media platforms—discussion forums, events, online publications and digital resources—target the data center, cloud infrastructure, performance marketing and consumer tech markets. iNET’s 50 employees will continue to operate out of the company’s West Chester headquarters. CEO Troy Augustine and vice president of corporate development Mark Sancrant will be leaving iNET following the deal.center_img While Penton already has some technology properties, including MSP Mentor, The VAR Guy and IT Connections, this deal instantly scales the company’s position. “A core element of Penton’s strategy is creating scaled positions in advantaged sectors,” says Kieselstein. “The acquisition of iNET allows us to take immediate advantage of the rapid growth being experienced in the cloud, hosting and data center segments.” Penton acquired West Chester, Ohio-based iNET Interactive last week in a deal that, according to Penton CEO David Kieselstein, doubles its presence in the tech sector. iNet’s product portfolio is primarily digital properties and events—a mix that mirrors Penton’s go-forward product strategy.   Penton expects 70 percent of revenues and 80 percent of EBITDA to come from digital, events and marketing services in 2015.last_img read more

YSRCP government to present its first Budget worth Rs 2 lakh

first_imgNew Delhi: The first Budget of the YSRCP government to be presented in two weeks will be, approximately, of around Rs 2 lakh crore. It would be a responsible, honest and as far as possible, frugal too while incorporating the promises of the YSRCP manifesto. Disclosing this to the media here on Friday, Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy asserted that there need be no apprehensions in any quarter regarding the implementation of the promises made during election campaign by the party chief Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, including the one regarding prohibition. Also Read – Bharat Gourav award to Margani Bharat Ram Advertise With Us The Minister said none of these promises had been made or incorporated in the manifesto without a careful study of the financial implications. “They are not impossible to implement for us. Some of the promises of the previous government would pave way to the new ones. If there is a deficit in the excise revenue due to prohibition, it also means that households are saving money to that extent and hence, their spending capacity goes up, which further boosts the revenue,” he added. Also Read – Women docs appointed in key posts in Tirupati Advertise With Us He also dismissed the previous government’s claim that the residual State of AP started off with Rs 16,000 crore revenue deficit terming it a myth “for reasons best known to them.” The Minister who attended the pre-Budget meet called for by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman here on Friday said he urged the Centre to release the revenue deficit at the earliest as promised. The TDP government could manage only Rs 4,000 crore out of the deficit during its regime. Advertise With Us He said he also sought higher allocation for pensions and all other pending funds. He said the Centre also should bear the amounts of calamity relief, farmers’ insurance amount and interest subvention amount fully without burdening the State. Likewise, the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana should give a higher amount to the farmers, he said while seeking removal of cap of one MSEME only per district. The Minister also attended the GST meet on Friday.last_img read more

Suspected drug smuggler arrested in Venezuela

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuela’s top security official says authorities have caught an alleged drug trafficker wanted in neighboring Colombia on drug smuggling, kidnapping and extortion charges.Justice Minister Nestor Reverol says soldiers and officials from Venezuela’s National Anti-Drug Office detained Rigoberto Castellon on Sunday in the western state of Falcon.Colombian and U.S. officials say the majority of cocaine smuggling flights bound for Mexico and Central America pass through Venezuela. 0 Comments   Share   Four benefits of having a wireless security system Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Reverol has repeatedly said Venezuelan authorities are doing everything possible to stem the flow of cocaine through the country.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Top holiday drink recipes Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories last_img read more

UN calls for urgent Iraq aid as humanitarian efforts falter

first_img Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Civilians watch the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, June 2, 2015. Police officials said the car went off inside the parking lot of a Qadouri restaurant in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday afternoon, killing several people. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) BRUSSELS (AP) — The United Nations is appealing for almost half a billion dollars in urgent aid to provide humanitarian assistance for more than 8 million people in Iraq.Lise Grande, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, said Thursday that “more than 50 percent of the operation will be shut down or cut back if money is not received immediately.”In an appeal in Brussels, the U.N. and its partners asked for $497 million to cover the costs of shelter, food, water and other aid over the next six months. ErrorOK… ErrorOK Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The conflict has forced some 3 million people from their homes and scattered them, hampering aid efforts.The U.N. estimates that 10 million Iraqis could need aid by the end of the year.___This corrects wording of first paragraph in earlier version.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019center_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Four benefits of having a wireless security system Comments   Share   4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Rolls Royce clears Qantas A380 to LA

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Qantas has received permission from engine maker Rolls Royce to operate its A380s on the Los Angeles route at full load. Thrust limitations put in place by the Rolls Royce last year prevented the Australian flag carrier from resuming flights to the US because it would mean flying fewer passengers and lighter cargo, The Australian reported. The engine maker has since removed the thrust limitations and is confident it has resolved the manufacturing error which caused an A380 engine to disintegrate over Singapore last year. “We have got advice from Rolls-Royce that they are comfortable to have the A380 operating to Los Angeles given the checks and technical analysis they’ve done on the engine,” Qantas spokesperson Olivia Wirth said. Qantas said it expects to resume its A380 services to LA on 17 January but despite obtaining the go-ahead, the Australian flag carrier will need to receive permission to fly from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).According to the source the airline has organised a meeting with CASA for later this week.last_img read more

TravelManagers Sowing Seeds of Success

first_imgSource = TravelManagers TravelManagers Sowing Seeds of Success A little brain food is a popular way to remain focused during the course of an intensive TravelManagers workshop – (L-R) Trish Clowes, Cath Graham and Carolyn AhearneTravelManagers Sowing Seeds of SuccessTravelManagers has just completed a round of Business Planning Workshops rolled out to personal travel managers (PTMs) around the country – a series of one-day sessions that were held in six locations and aimed to provide guidance to participants in creating and sustaining success within their businesses.“The workshops were organised and run by our seven state-based Business Partnership Managers (BPMs),” Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal explains, “and were designed to work through six key business disciplines, ranging from product and service offering to financial forecasting.”In total, 90 PTMs attended the sessions in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and northern New South Wales, with a mixture of new and more experienced PTMs in attendance.“The content of the sessions has been developed by our team of BPMs, in collaboration with our Marketing team,” Gazal explains. “We spend a lot of time listening to our PTMs and identifying where they might require support – that feedback, which arises from one-on-one and small-group conversations between BPMs and PTMs throughout the year, has been invaluable in fine-tuning the content of the workshops.”According to Gazal, the effort required to design and deliver these workshops seem to be paying off, with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from participating PTMs, including Jodie McConnell, who is representative for Fremantle, WA.“My focus for this year is to work on the operational side of my business,” she explains, “so that I am able to work smarter, not harder – the business planning workshop have helped me to identify small changes that I can make in order to achieve this goal.”McConnell says she benefited not just from the formal guidance provided at the workshops, but also from the discussions generated by her colleagues.“Working from home can be quite isolating, so it’s extremely valuable to be able to connect with other PTMs and share ideas – it gives me both inspiration and a little push to keep going with some aspects of my business and identify where I might be able to change things up a bit.”According to Gazal, one of the strengths of the business planning workshops is the collaborative environment in which they take place.“A lot of our newer PTMs attended the sessions, but we also have plenty of more experienced PTMs taking part – which results in a real mixture of different levels of industry and particularly home-based, experience working together.”Tanya Whitehurst, who is representative for Hilbert, WA, is relatively new to TravelManagers but has worked in the travel industry for more than twenty years.“I always enjoy an opportunity to get together with other, more experienced PTM’s and get their tips on how they have built their businesses up,” she says. “The day was both helpful and interesting, and has certainly given me some food for thought on certain areas of my business.”Belinda Le Bretton, representative for Leura, NSW, was one of the 14 attendees at the workshop held in Sydney.“I always love spending a day with my TravelManagers colleagues – it always reassures me that I made such a good decision in joining the company,” she says. “The planning workshop was no exception – it made things clearer and served to remind me that with so many of us sharing similar thinking, there is always plenty of back-up and support available should you need it.”Despite the excellent attendance numbers at all six locations around Australia, Gazal says there are many more PTMs who were unable to attend but would still like to benefit from the guidance offered. For this reason, the BPMs have worked hard to refine many elements of the workshops’ content to create a series of four webinars that will be able to be accessed remotely.“We have more than 560 PTMs dotted around the country in every state and territory,” he explains, “and it’s an important feature of our business model that all of our PTMs have access to the same quality of training and mentoring, regardless of the remoteness of their location.”With this year’s workshops now complete, PTMs such as Kathy Watson, representative for Bangalow NSW, say they are ready to apply what they’ve learned to their businesses.“I came home feeling inspired and excited about entering the next stage in my business, and applying the ideas that were presented to assist in taking it to a new level.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.About TravelManagersTravelManagers is Australia’s market leader and biggest home-based travel business operating in all States & Territories. A wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $2 billion for 2019, TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel. TravelManagers is solely dedicated to providing the best possible support to its network of more than 560 personal travel managers throughout Australia, through a dedicated team at the company’s National Partnership Office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer funds in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are secure and only used for client purchases. This is supported by a Trust Account Fidelity Risk insurance policy to protect all clients’ funds in the unlikely event they are missing from, or not paid into the Insured Trust Account.last_img read more

Sustainable hideaway in Maldives

first_imgOne of six Constance Hotels and Resorts properties, Constance Halaveli Maldives was recently re-certified by Green Globe, and achieved a notable compliance score of 84% against the accredited criteria.Takako Fujii, Quality Manager at Constance Halaveli Maldives said, “The team motto for our resort is simple – Each action matters. Each kindness saves.”Management and staff worked closely together on resource management strategies, community development and environmental programs. The resort devised an informative hour-long program to increase awareness about the importance of sustainability. The course, conducted a couple of months back, was attended by 237 team members (82% of total staff) as well as 15 staff from the Dive Centre, a partner company. Topics covered included energy and water conservation, the benefits of a clean environment and discussing the personal attitudes of staff toward the current environmental situation in the Maldives and globally.“The course will also form part of the orientation induction program for new staff to enhance the culture of sustainability from the beginning of their career in the company,” added Fujii.In keeping with its environmental objectives, the energy usage of each section of the property is monitored daily by a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system. It is then the duty of each respective department head to analyse any increment or decrement in energy consumption and share this information with other management staff.The resort produces its own energy on site with the use of generators and also has its own water treatment plant which desalinates seawater. To ensure energy and water reduction targets are met, it is vital that all staff actively engage in the resort’s prevention maintenance program. Team members responsibly switch off any light or air conditioning unit that has been left on, turn off any running water taps and make immediate reports to the Maintenance team if repairs are required.Green activities keep the natural environment in this delicate atoll in pristine condition. Environmental initiatives are organised on a regular basis for staff, which include coral planting, lagoon cleaning and dive clean ups.last_img read more