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Dene Nation chief urges Trudeau to pressure candidate into stepping down from

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA—A senior Assembly of First Nations chief has written a letter urging Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to ask one of his candidates to step down from her role as regional chief in British Columbia.The letter from Bill Erasmus, the regional AFN chief for the Northwest Territories, asks Trudeau to pressure Jody Wilson-Raybould into stepping down from her role as AFN regional chief for B.C. so she can focus on her campaign.“This is of great concern to us in the north because she cannot have ‘two masters.’ If she is a Liberal candidate she cannot be a regional chief at the same time,” wrote Erasmus in the Feb. 6 letter. “If she is a Liberal candidate she cannot be a regional chief at the same time. Therefore we request that you approach her and ask for her resignation as the regional chief of British Columbia so she can be a full-time candidate in your party.”Erasmus wrote in the letter he met with Trudeau on Jan. 11 in Yellowknife.“Our brief meeting did not allow me to bring up the issue of (Wilson-Raybould),” wrote Erasmus, who is also national chief for the Dene Nation.Wilson-Raybould has the full support of B.C. chiefs for the time being to keep her regional chief position while holding the Liberal candidacy for Vancouver read more

Ontario First Nation declares state of emergency after radioactive particles found in

first_imgBrandi MorinAPTN National NewsA First Nation in northwestern Ontario has declared a state of emergency after receiving a do not consume water advisory from Health Canada officials February 12.The advisory is step above a boil water advisory and was ordered due to traces of radionuclide found in the local water source and higher than normal lead levels.Northwest Angle #33 First Nation Chief Darlene Comegan said in a statement that her community is tired of being ignored by both provincial and federal governments and is calling on them to take immediate action to help.“In light of the Federal government’s plan to ensure clean drinking water for First Nations … we are living in third world conditions and it is just not acceptable. It is beyond Chief Comegan’s understanding that we can be forgotten by everyone,” the statement read.The chief and other leadership met with a cancer study team in Toronto last week to come up with a plan to address the high cancer rates found in the community and surrounding area believed linked to their water source.“It’s a very scary issue. Our members always knew there was an issue with the water,” said Norma Girard, land manager for Northwest Angle #33. “How many more of our people do we have to see suffer and die from cancer?”Although there are fewer than 50 people living on reserve due to safety concerns around water and road access, Girard said they’re concerned for the elders, young children and new born baby that are living currently there.The First Nation has been supplying bottled water to community members since 2011, which Girard said was funded via “wherever they could find it”.They’ve been utilizing two portable water treatment plants for the last 15 years.“Those were put in place at the time as a temporary solution,” said Girard.The reserve is located in the Kenora district of northwestern Ontario and is only accessible by boat in the summer time and ice road in the winter.Leadership is further concerned about the upcoming spring breakup that will make it more difficult to deliver clean drinking water.The problem extends to a lack of access to electricity that could power a proper water treatment plant.The community sits on the Manitoba/Minnesota border and currently pays high costs for hydro electricity from the U.S. which purchases it from Manitoba and is fed there on a marine cable. They’re in the midst of applying for a direct power line through Manitoba Hydro.“We’ve always been on a capacity issue. We can only do so much with that cable that we have. If we want a water plant we have to have power to push it,” said Girard.The lack of power means no school and limited infrastructure. Most families move to the City of Kenora so that their kids can go to school.It’s the most vulnerable, like elders and younger children that are left being behind, said Girard.She said leadership spoke with Indigenous and Northern Affairs today via telephone who advised they will provide money to continue supplying bottled water.But Girard said they need more than that. Her community is dying out and they want their children back home.“How can we have a community without children? What is home without the sounds of their voices playing nearby?”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to end the water crisis in First Nations communities within 5 years and Girard said they’re trusting him to keep his word.“Based on the Speech from the Throne, Justin Trudeau’s promises…we’re hoping. That’s our hope that the Federal government will do something,” said Girard.bmorin@aptn.calast_img read more

How the AFNs fiscal agreement with INAC almost fell apart in the

first_imgKenneth Jackson APTN National News NIAGARA FALLS – An agreement that supposedly lifts the two per cent cap on funding to First Nations programs and helps get money flowing into the communities became a source of controversy and heated debate between AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde and Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day behind the scenes at this year’s annual general assembly.Bellegarde signed the fiscal agreement or memorandum of understanding (MOU), with Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett on Tuesday.But two executive chiefs wanted the signing delayed saying more consultation was needed according to a chain of emails leaked to APTN National News.According to the emails, the AFN executive saw the document for the first time on Sunday as part of their “executive kits” which were prepared for the 37th annual general assembly.“Some chiefs concerned about this fiscal relations signing,” wrote Saskatchewan Regional Chief Bobby Cameron in an email to the AFN executive Monday. “Do we as AFN exec proceed and wait for more dialogue from our folks?”Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day said the MOU signing needed a special motion to move forward, writing it was being “rammed through”.“I did not agree to the MOU; we are going to have to address this,” Day wrote addressing Bellegarde. “We did not discuss the MOU specific at the executive table — PERIOD!”That email followed what appeared to be a heated telephone call between Day and Bellegarde earlier that day that ended with Bellegarde hanging up Day.“Your tone and questioning my ‘unity being nothing but bullshit’ – is very unbecoming of our efforts to collaborate,” wrote Day. “You indicated that INAC folks are hyped up and excited about signing this MOU and that ‘I’ (you) are going ahead. Perry, we need to examine closer.”Bellegarde responded that the AFN executive would hold an emergency meeting Monday night to vote on a motion to proceed.“This is about getting rid of the 2 percent cap and reestablishing our Chiefs Committee on fiscal and getting long term sustainable funding for our first Nations,” replied Bellegarde. “We are on solid ground with this and are proceeding with the signing ceremony.”Later that night the AFN executive voted to proceed as Bellegarde said they were going to, but Day abstained from voting in protest.The next day at the opening of the ceremony Bellegarde and Bennett signed the MOU. It’s not clear how the MOU will help with the federal government funding First Nations or what role the AFN will play in doing that. But they did say a working group would be made.Day avoided questions from APTN Tuesday about the tension.Bellegarde held a press conference and APTN asked him about what happened the day before.He said the MOU was the product of chiefs’ mandates and resolutions to get the two per cent cap removed.“Because there was issues and concerns that we didn’t get a formal resolution (for the MOU signing) I called an emergency meeting to clear the air,” said Bellegarde, who named Day as the single member of the executive to abstain.On Wednesday, Day spoke to the assembly about his reservations over the MOU that were first reported Tuesday by APTN.“Not only did the AFN executive not receive time to review this MOU, but many chiefs are still uncertain about the need for an MOU to develop a new fiscal relationship,” said Day before chiefs at the assembly in the main hall.Bennett told the chiefs the two per cent cap had been lifted but Day called for Bennett to provide proof Wednesday.“We also need to be informed that the two per cent cap is in fact gone, which includes a cap on base funding. This is an election commitment that must be realized now not through an MOU,” he said.Immediately after Day was done speaking he and Bellegarde signed a new protocol that will ensure lines of communication are more effective between the AFN and Chiefs of Ontario.Then they posed for pictures.kjackson@aptn.calast_img read more

Qalipu Mikmaq First Nations rally in Ottawa as thousands risk losing band

first_imgLucy Scholey APTN NewsElder Ken “Mutchie” Bennett fears his Mi’kmaq culture will disappear with his generation, as thousands of fellow band members are expected to have their Indian status revoked this spring.Bennett, along with about 40 members and supporters of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation in Newfoundland, were in Ottawa Saturday protesting a controversial federal government agreement.A total of 10,512 founding band members are expected to lose status this spring, after an Order in Council determines the final list of members.Bennett was one of the lucky 13,365 founding members who will keep his status. His wife, children and grandchildren were rejected from band.“It hits home when my daughter calls me up from New Brunswick and says, ‘Dad, our bloodline or our recognition … ends with your generation. It ends with you.’ It was very hurtful,” he said.When Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949, the province’s Indigenous people weren’t recognized under the Indian Act. It wasn’t until 2008 when the Canadian government signed an agreement with the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI), allowing First Nations to apply for founding membership of the Qalipu band.A total of 27,000 applications were received and 23,877 were deemed eligible as founding members. Then, a flood of applications rolled in. By 2012, the government had 104,000 applications to sift through.In 2013, the government and FNI announced a supplemental agreement, clarifying the band enrolment rules. They decided to review all applications, including those already received and accepted. Apart from the original 10,512 founding band members, a further 68,134 applicants were rejected from the pool.It’s a process that has divided families and left many feeling displaced.Those who applied for status had to meet a set of criteria, including whether they lived in Newfoundland, participated in Mi’kmaq cultural events or ceremonies or, if they moved away from province, whether they came home for visits or stayed in touch with band members.Those who moved away from home may no longer qualify for band membership. Bennett said it’s confusing why he, a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces who spent 28 years moving around the country, would be eligible.“How I retained mine, I’m really not sure,” he said. “I’m grateful, but I’m unhappy that any of our brothers and sisters lost their recognition. They didn’t lose their identity. They still are who they were born to be. But they lost their identity as a status Indigenous person in Canada.”Jim DuHart, who organized the Ottawa protest, held up his status card before the crowd. Originally from Corner Brook, he’s one of 13 people in his family.“Three in, everybody out including me,” he said.Chief Brendan Mitchell said it’s unfair for Qalipu identity to be tied to geography. Newfoundland’s high unemployment rate forces many band members to move out of province for work, he said.“Our people all over the country are being impacted by what’s happening,” he said. “They’re upset. They’re hurting. They feel that they’ve been displaced. They feel sadness in their hearts over what happened.”The supplemental agreement was signed pre-Trudeau, but Mitchell said it’s time for the current government to step in. Otherwise, he said, there could be lawsuits following the finalized spring band list.“We talk about truth and reconciliation and the main topics for us include residential schools, for example, missing and murdered women, 60s scoop, sterilization,” he said. “Well, this country’s going to have to add Qalipu First Nation to that situation regarding truth and reconciliation.”A spokesperson from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada said the government has no plans to amend Bill C-25, the act respecting the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Order.“To date, more than 18,000 individuals have been accepted as Founding Members of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation – making it the second largest First Nation by population in Canada.”Qalipu membership by the numbers (from the Government of Canada website):– 13,365 applicants who are on the current Founding Members list will remain eligible for founding membership– 10,512 applicants who are on the current Founding Members list were found by the joint Enrolment Committee to not meet the criteria under the 2013 Supplemental Agreement for Founding Membership (These individuals will retain their membership until the amendment of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Order, expected in the spring of 2018. They are entitled to appeal their decision, the results of which may increase the Founding Members List. Some of those who are no longer eligible for founding membership may still be able to register for membership as a descendant of a Founding Member.)– 4,679 applicants who were not Founding Members will now be eligible for founding membership (They will gain membership once the amendment of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Order is confirmed through an Order in Council in the spring of 2018.)– 68,134 applicants were not Founding Members and will not be eligible for founding membership– 3,984 applicants have invalid applications and are therefore not eligible for founding membershiplscholey@aptn.calast_img read more

Stop killing pipelines and prosperity say Indigenous leaders

first_imgDennis WardAPTN NewsIndigenous leaders who represent more than 130 communities involved in the oil and gas sector were on Parliament Hill Thursday to speak out about two proposed bills they say will leave their “communities in poverty.”Members of Aboriginal Equity Partners and the Indian Resource Council were in Ottawa to express their dissatisfaction with the proposed Oil Tanker Moratorium (Bill C-48) and the proposed Impact Assessment Act (Bill C-69).They say the legislation will prevent communities, who are conducting or trying to conduct “responsible oil production” on their territories, from receiving “the full value of our resources.”“No moratoriums, no killing pipelines, no bills that are guaranteed to lead to endless court challenges,” Bruce Dumont said during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday.Dumont, former president of the B.C. Metis Nation, said the federal government needs to find a balance between the economy and the environment.Former B.C. Metis Nation President Bruce Dumont said efforts to protect the environment are costing Indigenous communities with fossil fuel resources money.He said dozens of oil and gas-producing communities are losing “$200-million each year in royalties, compared to 2012, due to the price deferential and a lack of pipeline access for the products.“That computes to about $18,000 per family, per year.”The leaders, who gathered to speak out about the pending legislation, say the media and politicians are portraying Metis and First Nations as “anti-development.”“I want you to think of the consequences of that,” Dumont said in front of a small group of reporters at the press gallery.“Our neighbours in rural communities of Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. who are rig workers, drillers, truckers, think we are the problem — that we are killing their jobs, their livelihood and their ability to support their families. We also have families to support.”Those speaking against the two bills acknowledge the relationship with the resource sector has not been perfect but argued it has provided “opportunities to exercise self-determination.”Indian Resource Council CEO Stephen Buffalo said he’s concerned about Bill C-69’s proposed expansion of public participation in standing.Buffalo believes only those directly affected by a project should be able to participate.“We don’t want to open the door for big environmental NGOs to delay or disrupt projects in our territories,” he read more

Kanesatake will accept help from army if flood waters rise again

first_imgTom FennarioAPTN NewsThe Grand Chief of the Mohawk Territory of Kanesatake says he will accept help from the army if rising waters are too much for people living along the river are too much to handle.With heavy rainfall forecast for the area, people are bracing for the same kind of flooding that his in 2017.Kanesatake’s relationship with the Canadian army has been strained since the 1990s when soldiers were brought in to break up a blockade in the community.Known as the Oka Crisis, the conflict pitted Mohawk people against Quebec’s police and Canadian read more

Resounding success of Alberta energy rebates prompts second round

first_imgCALGARY – The Alberta government is launching a second round of discounts on energy efficient products after the initial round proved wildly successful.The instant rebates cover the same range of home products discounted in the first round of the program, including low-flow shower heads, LED lights, dimmer switches and smart power bars.Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said the government decided to add a second round after the first round resulted in a 40,000 per cent surge in low-flow shower head sales and between 8,000 and 14,500 per cent increases in LED-type light sales.Phillips said sales of energy efficient products in the first round totalled 4.3 million, resulting in energy savings of 420,000 gigajoules, which is enough energy to heat about 3,500 homes a year.The government says the program, with each round costing about $14 million, discounts the products by about 25 per cent, with consumers covering the rest.The efficiency program, which runs for four weeks in October, also includes home improvement rebates of up to $3,500 on products like windows, insulation, and tankless hot water heaters, and online rebates of up to $100 on some clothes washers, refrigerators, and smart thermostats.last_img read more

Chinas new Silk Road hits political financial hurdles

first_imgBEIJING, China – China’s plan for a modern Silk Road of railways, ports and other facilities linking Asia with Europe hit a $14 billion pothole in Pakistan.Pakistan’s relations with Beijing are so close that officials call China their “Iron Brother.” Despite that, plans for the Diamer-Bhasha Dam were thrown into turmoil in November when the chairman of Pakistan’s water authority said Beijing wanted an ownership stake in the hydropower project. He rejected that as against Pakistani interests.China issued a denial but the official withdrew the dam from among dozens of projects being jointly developed by the two countries.From Pakistan to Tanzania to Hungary, projects under President Xi Jinping’s signature “Belt and Road Initiative” are being cancelled, renegotiated or delayed due to disputes about costs or complaints host countries get too little out of projects built by Chinese companies and financed by loans from Beijing that must be repaid.In some areas, Beijing is suffering a political backlash due to fears of domination by Asia’s biggest economy.“Pakistan is one of the countries that is in China’s hip pocket, and for Pakistan to stand up and say, ‘I’m not going to do this with you,’ shows it’s not as ‘win-win’ as China says it is,” said Robert Koepp, an analyst in Hong Kong for the Economist Corporate Network, a research firm.“Belt and Road,” announced by Xi in 2013, is a loosely defined umbrella for Chinese-built or -financed projects across 65 countries from the South Pacific through Asia to Africa and Europe.Other governments welcomed the initiative in a region the Asian Development Bank says needs more than $26 trillion of infrastructure investment by 2030 to keep economies growing. Nations including Japan have given or lent billions of dollars for development, but China’s venture is bigger and the only source of money for many projects.Governments from Washington to Moscow to New Delhi are uneasy Beijing is trying to use its “Belt and Road” to develop a China-centred political structure that will erode their influence.Among projects that have been derailed or disrupted, authorities in Nepal cancelled plans in November for Chinese companies to build a $2.5 billion dam after they concluded contracts for the Budhi Gandaki Hydro Electric Project violated rules requiring multiple bidders.Consulting firm BMI Research has compiled a database of $1.8 trillion of infrastructure investments across Asia, Africa and the Middle East that include Chinese money or other involvement.“It’s probably too early to say at this point how much of the overall initiative will actually be implemented,” said Christian Zhang, a BMI analyst.The U.S. and Japanese governments express interest in building contracts or other potential opportunities. But they also are trying to develop alternative initiatives.The stumbles for one of the world’s most ambitious infrastructure ventures could help temper concerns Beijing will increase its strategic influence.Even Pakistan, one of China’s friendliest neighbours, has failed to agree on key projects.The two governments are developing facilities with a total cost of $60 billion including power plants and railways to link China’s far west with the Chinese-built port of Gwadar on the Indian Ocean.A visit by a Chinese assistant foreign minister in November produced no agreement on railway projects in the southern city of Karachi valued at $10 billion and a $260 million airport for Gwadar.The same month, the chairman of the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority announced the Diamer-Bhasha Dam would be withdrawn from joint development.“Chinese conditions for financing the Diamer-Bhasha Dam were not doable and against our interests,” the official, Muzammil Hussain, told legislators, according to Pakistani news reports.The Chinese Cabinet agency overseeing “Belt and Road,” the National Development and Reform Commission, denied in a written statement that it asked for an ownership stake.“Belt and Road” is interwoven with official efforts to export Chinese rail, hydropower and other technology and steel, aluminum and other industrial goods.In Thailand, work on a $15 billion high-speed railway was suspended in 2016 following complaints too little business went to Thai companies. A new plan announced in July gives local contractors a bigger role.___Ahmed reported from Islamabad and Domasa from Dodoma, Tanzania. AP Writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed.last_img read more

National Energy Board issues new approvals for Trans Mountain pipeline

first_imgCALGARY – The National Energy Board has issued three decisions for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approving the tunnel route through Burnaby, B.C., and allowing construction to begin on a tunnel entrance.The energy board said in a news release it is granting relief for pre-construction conditions on Trans Mountain property at the Westridge Marine Terminal where the Burnaby Mountain tunnel portal will be located.The federal government approved the 1,147-kilometre pipeline between Alberta and the West Coast in November 2016 along a roughly 150-metre wide corridor, but the project continues to face political and public opposition in B.C.The pipeline ends in Burnaby, B.C., where Mayor Derek Corrigan has vowed that the route will never be approved because of the damage and disruption it would cause his city.But in its decisions, the energy board encouraged the city to collaborate with Trans Mountain to resolve concerns with the pipeline’s location.“The Board is of the view that Burnaby and Trans Mountain can achieve more mutually acceptable outcomes by maintaining professional engagement on matters they are both responsible,” says the decision issued Thursday.The construction at the terminal is still subject to federal, provincial and municipal permits, but the board said allowing work to begin now would avoid potential impacts on migratory birds that use the area later in the spring.In its application to the board, Trans Mountain said it would take four to six weeks to conduct tree clearing at the entrance site, and the work would need to be completed before restrictions pertaining to birds came in effect.If the window for construction was missed, Trans Mountain said that would delay work on the next phase of the $7.4 billion project.The board also issued decisions over concerns filed by a resident and the City of Burnaby over the tunnelling of the pipeline through the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area. Both presentations said the tunnel would create disruptive noise and vibration, and would damage the natural environment.Documents from the board said it was satisfied by the mitigating efforts put forward by Trans Mountain to minimize disruption to residents, including a plan to monitor and report vibrations generated by the construction.Trans Mountain has been directed to deliver a specific plan to monitor vibrations at least 30 days before tunnel boring begins.Tunnelling was also determined to be the best method in reducing negative effects on the environment and residents, the board said.The board said that 56 per cent of the pipeline route has been approved so far, but construction won’t be authorized until the remainder of the route is approved and other conditions are met.More decisions are pending and a another set of route hearings in the Lower Mainland will be held in March, a spokesman with the National Energy Board said on Thursday.The existing Trans Mountain pipeline has carried oil from near Edmonton to the marine terminal in Burnaby since 1953, but the additional line would nearly triple oil-shipping capacity.The B.C. New Democrat government said it will limit the expanded shipment of diluted bitumen until environmental concerns can be addressed. The Alberta government responded by cutting off talks for the sale of electricity and halting B.C. wine imports.The federal government has said it stands by its approval of the pipeline and the project will go ahead.B.C.’s Environment Minister George Heyman said Wednesday that talks about the pipeline between federal and provincial bureaucrats have been underway since last week.Companies in this story: (TSX:KML)— By Linda Givetash in Vancouver.last_img read more

United Technologies to break into 3 independent companies

first_imgNEW YORK — Industrial conglomerate United Technologies is planning to break itself into three independent companies now that it has sealed its $23 billion acquisition of aviation electronics maker Rockwell Collins.The company based in Farmington, Connecticut, scheduled a call with investors for Tuesday that it says is to announce its intention to separate into three companies.The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the new companies will house United Technology’s aerospace, building systems operations and Otis, a maker of elevators, escalators and moving walkways. The building systems business includes the Carrier air conditioning and heating brand.On Friday, United Technologies said it received final regulatory approval for its deal for Rockwell Collins, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based maker of flight deck avionics, cabin electronics and cabin interiors.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Saskatchewan introduces law to allow control of oil gas exports

first_img“There is a penalty system in place and again, it’s identical to the Alberta legislation,” Eyre said.“This is really about export permits for truck and for track, anything that would in our case, Saskatchewan’s case, be transporting natural gas, oil, refined products, would be subject to the export permits legislation.”The proposal does not mention British Columbia specifically, but Saskatchewan has said it is supporting Alberta in a dispute with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline.The expansion of the pipeline to the West Coast has been approved by the federal government, but B.C. is fighting it in the courts.Eyre said that $2.6 billion has been lost from the sector in the province along with $200 million in royalties.She acknowledged that there are issues with the bill and current trade agreements, but that Saskatchewan needs to defend its rights. REGINA, S.K. – The Saskatchewan government has introduced legislation that would allow the province to control its oil and gas exports, similar to a bill recently tabled in Alberta.Once passed, the law would establish a permitting process for people or corporations looking to export energy products outside the province.Energy Minister Bronwyn Eyre said the lone difference is that Saskatchewan has a sunset clause in place until Jan. 31, 2019. “The nature of the Canadian constitution is it applies across Canada. We’ll have a look at that legislation and we’ll make that determination about how to protect British Columbians from unconstitutional legislation that targets British Columbians.”Saskatchewan Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili said that his party is still looking over the bill and seeking out opinions regarding the legality of the measure.“We heard some actors like the Canadian Fuels Association posing that this could potentially cause problems for workers in different areas of the economy,” Meili said.“I think any time you’re starting to introduce trade barriers between provinces, however, that is done, there’s potential serious consequences and those need to be explored and understood,”Eyre said the bill is a last resort and will only be used if the pipeline continues to be stalled.“This is not something that we want to do, we don’t want to find ourselves in this position,” she said.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)center_img “There are issues with the constitution in terms of who will step up here to protect the resource sector and constitutionally speaking, again, we trump that because we have that responsibility over our energy sector,” Eyre said.“That’s the law and that’s in the constitution.”B.C. Attorney General David Eby said Monday that the government will review the Saskatchewan law to determine if it discriminates against his province.“We’ve reviewed the Alberta legislation and if it’s based on that legislation it’s as unconstitutional in Saskatchewan as it is in Alberta,” he said.last_img read more

Alberta raises oil quotas for August as rail exports grow storage levels

first_imgThe province says it is setting a production limit in August of 3.74 million bpd, versus the initial January limit of 3.56 million bpd.The limits were imposed after discounts on Western Canadian Select bitumen-blend oil jumped to more than US$50 per barrel compared with New York-traded West Texas Intermediate. The difference is now about US$13.70 per barrel, according to oil brokerage Net Energy Exchange.The first 10,000 bpd a company produces are exempt from production limits, meaning only 29 of more than 300 producers in Alberta are subject to the limits. CALGARY, A.B. – The Alberta government says it will ease its oil production curtailment program by 25,000 barrels per day in August.The province is citing growing crude-by-rail capacity, declining oil inventory levels and improved efficiencies in export pipelines for the move.Last week, the National Energy Board reported crude-by-rail exports in April reached 236,000 bpd, a 40 per cent increase over March, but still down from the record high of 353,800 bpd in December.last_img read more

Pacific Oil Gas Limited closes acquisition of Canbriam Energy Inc

first_imgCanbriam’s President and CEO, Paul Myers, says his company looks forward to the integration and that they will continue to develop the Montney resource to support future natural gas export opportunities in Canada.In connection with the closing of the acquisition of Canbriam, on June 18, PO&G issued a conditional redemption notice to the holders of its Senior Notes, due 2019, to retire the notes. CALGARY, A.B. – Pacific Oil & Gas Limited has announced that it has completed the acquisition of all the issued and outstanding shares of Canbriam Energy Inc.President of PO&G, Ratnesh Bedi, says the intention of this acquisition is to continue to produce natural gas from the Montney region.“We welcome the Canbriam team to Pacific Oil and Gas Limited. Our intention is to continue to produce the cleanest natural gas from the Montney region, and to help reduce global GHG emissions by sharing that resource through international export.”last_img read more

Man involved in illegal deal held with Rs 30 lakh cash

first_imgKolkata: A man has been arrested with cash worth Rs 30 lakh from Burrabazar on Wednesday night. It is suspected that the money was being used for an illegal transaction.According to police, on Saturday afternoon, detective department sleuths got a tip-off that a deal involving huge amount of money was being made around M G Road in Burrabazar. Based on the information, plain-clothed police personnel started patrolling the vicinity. While keeping a strict vigil, one of the police sources identified one person as a suspect. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersThe person was identified as Sunil Sharma of Rabindra Pally in Keshtopur. He was detained on suspicion. Sleuths found Rs 30 lakh in his bag. When asked about the source of money he could not provide a satisfactory answer. Sharma was immediately arrested and taken to Lalbazar. There he claimed that the money belonged to a businessman in Burrabazar. Police got in touch with the businessman. Sources informed even through the businessman claimed that the money belonged to him, he could not produce any supportive document. Later, police seized the money. The businessman was not arrested but sleuths are keeping an eye on him. The information about the seized money has been shared with the Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate for necessary actions from their part. Sleuths suspect a section of people are trying use black money during the ensuing Lok Sabha Elections 2019 and for the reason money is being circulated through hawala.last_img read more

Lanka breaks ground for oil refinery with investments from Indian firm Oman

first_imgColombo: Sri Lanka on Sunday began construction of a $3.85 billion oil refinery next to a Chinese-run port as part of a joint venture between India’s Accord Group and Oman’s oil ministry, the island nation’s biggest foreign direct investment ever. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, whose 70th birthday coincided with the ground-breaking ceremony, said that with investments coming from India, China and Oman, Hambantota is set to become a multinational investment zone. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalOman and Sri Lanka have centuries-old relationships, Oman’s Oil and Gas Minister Mohammed Hamad Al Rumhy said at the ceremony. The $3.85 billion project is the single largest foreign direct investment in the island nation’s history. The refinery project, expected to complete in four years, came under criticism last week when a media report claimed that the government of Oman had rejected any knowledge of the project. China has acquired the Hambantota port for a 99-year lease as a debt swap. Beijing on Thursday said that it is “not narrow minded” to oppose the Indian investments in Sri Lanka, as it reacted guardedly to the $3.85 billion joint venture between India’s Accord Group and Oman’s oil ministry. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostChinese investments over the years in Sri Lanka amounted to over $eight billion adding pressure to Colombo’s external debt burden. China’s acquisition of Hambantota port as a debt swap has raised concerns about Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which US has cautioned as debt trap specially for smaller countries. The Belt and Road Initiative is a multi-billion-dollar initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he came to power in 2013. It aims to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea route.last_img read more

Notify ways means to release foreigners kept in detention SC

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday directed the Assam government to inform the court about the “ways and means” of releasing foreigners kept in detention centres for prolonged periods of time.The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, comprising of Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, directed the Assam Chief Secretary to conduct a meeting of all stakeholders and come up with an affidavit with details on releasing over 900 illegal foreigners in several detention centres. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe bench took note of the state government’s plea that its observations can affect the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and deferred the hearing to April 25. Lok Sabha elections in Assam will be held on April 23. Earlier the court had asked the central government to apprise it on several issues including as to how many functional detention centres are there in the state. Activist Harsh Mander filed a PIL on the plight of foreigners in detention centres. The plea alleged that they are kept in indefinite detention just because they are not Indians. The court had on April 1 expressed unhappiness over declared foreign nationals absconding and amalgamating with the local population in Assam and summoned the state’s chief secretary.last_img read more

Poll campaigning ends for Srinagar seat

first_imgSrinagar: The campaigning for prestigious Srinagar Lok Sabha seat here, going to the polls on April 18 in the second phase of elections, came to an end Tuesday. Srinagar Lok Sabha seat comprises three districts of Jammu and Kashmir — Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal. It was relatively a low key campaign here with only National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, who is seeking a fourth term in the lower house of Parliament from here, making his presence felt as a candidate. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Abdullah is pitched against political greenhorns Aga Moshin of the PDP, Irfan Ansari of the People’s Conference and Khalid Jehangir of the BJP. An election official said there were only 46 rallies in Srinagar district, a city of over 12 lakh residents, during the campaign period. “The campaign period remained by and large peaceful,” he added. He said 16 complaints of the violation of model code of conduct were received and the action was taken in nine of them. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The polling on Thursday will be keenly watched within and outside Kashmir as the constituency recorded an all-time low of 7.2 per cent voter turn out in 2017 bye-election, marred by violence on polling day that left nine persons dead and scores of others injured. This will be first major election since a shawl weaver from Utlipora in Budgam district was used as a human shield by an army officer to save his men from a stone-pelting mob on the election day. Stringent security measures have been put in place for the polling as additional security personnel have been deployed across the Srinagar constituency to ensure peaceful and smooth conduct of elections, the official said. As many as 12,90,318 voters are eligible to cast their votes with authorities having set up 1,716 polling stations in the constituency. For migrant voters of the constituency, 26 polling stations have been set up with 21 in Jammu, one in Udhampur and four in New Delhi. Farooq Abdullah is among 10 candidates in the fray and is seen as the front runner to enter the Lok Sabha for the fourth time from Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency.last_img read more

Delights of Coorg

first_imgWhen it comes to food having pan India presence, there are quite a few well known cuisines like Mughlai, Kasmhiri, Punjabi, Goan etc. These cuisines have earned their names from the areas they belong to and now have become must have dishes on almost every Indian dining tables. In fact, some of these cuisines also satiate the foodies from all over the world. But is that all India has to offer in term of taste? Of course not, in fact it is an injustice to limit Indian food with these cuisines as every nook and corner of the country offers different taste. There’s a popular saying about India’s diversity; water changes every 3 kms, and the language changes every 12 km. Perhaps, the saying should have included food too, which also varies from place to place. Also Read – Oman – Beauty with an addressIndia has many varieties of culinary delicacies and it becomes difficult to choose a particular cuisine. One such cuisine is the Coorg food, which is not so popular, but can be a tough competition to other cuisines in India or in world. Located in the southern part of India in Karnataka state, Coorg is not a name of a place but a whole region called Kodagu. It consists of three taluks, Madikeri, Virajpet and Somwarpet and its inhabitants are known as Coorgi. Coorg is spread over an area of about 4000 sq kms and was quite inaccessible for centuries. The whole area is full of dense forests surrounded with coffee, bamboo, sandalwood, honey, cardamom and oranges plantations, therefore one could find a lot of influences of these in their food. Also Read – CANADA: A traveller’s delightThe best way to know the food habits of the people is to know about the region and its inhabitants. Coorgis don’t belong to the Dravidians race, and as such they don’t have any similarities with other races in India. Most of the Indian traits are missing from them, and that includes food too. Almost all Coorgis are meat eaters, mainly pork. “Food in Coorg is as delectable as the land. Coorgis love to relish alcohol and non-vegetarian food. The best way to sample their cuisines is at a Kodava wedding which can very well be the ultimate showcase of the region’s cuisine. Unlike any other communities is South India, Coorgis serve alcohol and non-vegetarian food at their weddings. Pondi Curry or pork in spicy and sour gravy made from Kachampuli is the most popular dish in any wedding that you might attend in Coorg,” informed executive Chef Ranjan Samal of The Tamara, Coorg. He added that that this dish was originally prepared with wild boars. Why they have so much love for pork? To know the answer one needs to peep into their background. Coorgis believe themselves to be Kshatriyas, a community of warrior community. Therefore, they would eat whatever is easily available and gives them strength. Perhaps this is the reason they serve and feast on pork during community feasts. Pork is the most sought after food in any traditional Coorgi functions. One also finds abundance of jackfruit, jungle mangoes, kembh leaves to in their food as ingredients. Another important part of their cuisines is rice. Just like any other south Indian state, rice is the staple food in Coorg too. Rice grows in abundance in and around Coorg, hence one finds dishes oriented around rice. Local rice, called Sannakki grows plentifully in the lush, fertile valleys of Coorg and is different from the usual Basmati variety we use elsewhere in India and has a fragrance that unquestionably makes one fall in love with it. “Akki Rotti, a chapatti-like pancake, is made of rice and rice flour. Similarly, another popular dish, Nooputtu, rice threads similar to Idiyappam from Tamil Nadu and Kerala can also be found on their dinner table. Paaputtu, which is a mix of steamed broken rice, coconut and sugar usually consumed at breakfast, is also made of rice. At lunch or dinner Coorgis eat rice along with at least one non-veg dish,” added Ranjan Samal. He added, “Wheat is scarcely eaten by them”. Coorgis also love to eat various chutneys and pickles with their meals. Coconut along with onions and garlic is largely used in chutneys. The most amazing chutney is a non – vegetarian one and is the Crab chutney made with freshwater crabs usually found in the paddy fields during monsoon. Vegetarians travelling to Coorg don’t loose heart; there are plenty of vegetarian options here. Lots of vegetable and shrubs like kembh leaves, edible colocasia and fruits like jungle mangoes are the part of their cuisines. Kachampuli, a thick concentrated juice from a local fruit (Garcinia Gummi Gutta) provides the sauce base for most Coorgi dishes. “Dishes like Kaad Maange curry; made of wild mango, which has a more peppery tart flavour than regular mangoes, Chekke curry, made from raw jackfruit, Kemb curry made from the colocasia plant, the Kumm curry made from wild mushrooms etc. are a few popular veggie delicacies. The bamboo shoot curry is also a favourite during monsoons and is cooked in red chillies, mustard and ground coconut and served with rice,” ended Chef Swaminandan, Madikeri Foods, Madikeri. He added that his favourite dish though is the Kummu Cuury prepared with wild mushrooms available in the area. Homemade Coorg wine also finds a distinctive place in Coorg cuisine. This wine is prepared with variety of locally-grown fruits like orange, grapes, gooseberry, chickoo, orange peel, orange plum or even betel nuts. Depending in the fruit used the wine is available in vibrant shades, from red and green to dark pink. You have to be careful though; the cuisine is a bit too hot for people who are not used to it. Nothing much to worry though, to counter the hotness of their food, they have a dessert called Chikklunde, which is made with puffed rice. These sweet dumplings again are an essential part of a Kodava wedding. The bride normally carries these as part of the traditional goodie hamper when she goes to her in laws home.last_img read more

Moroccans in Algeria Will no Longer Have Permanent Residence Permit

Rabat – Moroccans living in Algeria are no longer entitled to permanent residence permit, which will be replaced by a renewable one. According to Tunisian news website Echorouk, both Moroccans and Tunisians will not be able to stay in Algeria for an unlimited period of time.The Algerian authorities have decided to replace the unlimited term residence permit with a temporary one that will be renewed every three months. The decision is justified by the alleged involvement of citizens of both countries in cases of terrorism and drug trafficking, organized crime and smuggling networks, Echorouk said. The same source added that the decision has already been taken on Monday by the Algerian Ministry of Interior and local communities.Nevertheless, an exception is made for Moroccans who are married to Algerian women or have children with an Algerian national. They will have to renew their residence permit every two years instead of every three months. read more