A picturesque Kings County shoreline graces the cover of the 2004Nova Scotia Doers’ and Dreamers’ travel guide. Photographs of the shoreline in Halls Harbour, Kings Co., and asmaller inset picture of Grand Pre National Historic Site, arefeatured on the front cover of the guide now being distributedthroughout North America and around the world. The guide contains more than 3,200 listings for accommodationsand campgrounds, restaurants, museums and attractions, outdooroperations and adventures, signature festivals and events, andtour operators. “This travel guide is one of the most important parts of ourtourism marketing campaigns with hundreds of thousands of copiesdistributed every year,” said Rodney MacDonald, Minister ofTourism, Culture and Heritage. “Visitors often compliment us onthis publication and refer to it as a must-have resource whenplanning their visit to Nova Scotia.” The front section of the guide features information and pictureson some of the province’s top attractions, events and regions,along with sections on activities for the fall and winterseasons. In the back section is a new listing for regionallibraries as a resource for those looking for public computer andInternet access or for those looking for genealogy information. Throughout the guide are 10 new features entitled Legacies andLegends. These features draw attention to some of the province’stop living-history attractions, where history is recreated andbrought to life by animators dressed in period costume. “The travel guide is a critical part of marketing Nova Scotia asa destination of choice,” said Scott MacAulay, chair of the NovaScotia Tourism Partnership Council. “It encourages people to stayin the province longer and also serves as a great resource forour operators.” With more and more potential visitors now exploring theirvacation options by using the Internet, 650,000 copies of thetravel guide have been produced this year, down from 750,000 lastyear. In March, 100,000 copies of the French version, Novelle Ecosse:Du reve a l’aventure Guide touristique 2004, will be available. Additional publications including maps, a Golf Guide and a Guidefor Nature and Outdoor Lovers will soon be available to helpvisitors plan their vacations. A newly designed Festivals and Events Guide is also beingdistributed to visitor information centres, trade shows andtourism organizations. The guide lists hundreds of community-based activities in an easy to follow layout organized by allfour seasons. One hundred thousand copies of the guide have beenprinted for distribution. “Festivals and events are an integral part of what tourism is allabout in this province,” said Nick Carson, president of theTourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. “They showcase therich culture, heritage and talent we have and they provide ourvisitors with a wide range of choices every month of the year.” Copies of both the travel guide and the guide to festivals andevents are available throughout North America by calling the NovaScotia Information and Reservation Service at 1-800-565-0000 orthrough the province’s official tourism website atwww.NovaScotia.com . Nova Scotia’s billion-dollar tourism industry provides employmentfor more than 35,000 Nova Scotians. Tourism is also a significantexport industry, with more than half of the money generatedcoming from outside the province. TOURISM, CULTURE AND HERITAGE–2004 Tourism Publications NowAvailable
It will soon be easier for people interested in visiting Nova Scotia to make reservations and plan their vacations. Rodney MacDonald, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, announced today, Oct. 12, that the department is calling for proposals for a redesigned system that will bring together the province’s reservation booking service and tourism website. “We want to provide tourists with the best experience possible, even before they arrive in Nova Scotia,” said Mr. MacDonald. “This new system will ensure people have access to the most up-to-date information regardless of how they choose to book their vacation.” The Check In call centre contract is currently held by Corporatel, a division of The CCL Group. The new system will consolidate the Check In database and the novascotia.com database to create a state-of-the-art customer contact system. Once in place, the system will offer a seamless service to visitors and to tourism staff who provide information and assist with reservations. The reservation booking service and tourism website represent important components of the province’s tourism marketing efforts. Improving these services through enhanced technology is one of the recommendations of the Tourism Industry Vision and the long-term marketing plan developed by the Tourism Partnership Council. “This enhanced system will offer some exciting possibilities for Nova Scotia’s tourism industry,” said Mr. MacDonald. “It will allow us to create a more streamlined, interactive service for visitors and tourism operators. It will also reinforce our position as a world-class destination.” The request for proposals will close on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Responses will be reviewed and evaluated in November and the contract is expected to be awarded in early December. Copies of the request for proposals are available at the Public Tenders Office, 6176 Young St., Halifax; by calling 902-424-3333; or by visiting the website at www.gov.ns.ca/tran/tour/ . Tourism is a $1.3-billion industry in Nova Scotia, generating more than 33,000 direct and indirect jobs.
To maintain the safety of residents’ homes, the Nova Scotia government has accepted expert environmental advice to establish a surveillance and asbestos management program for 100 public housing units in Sydney. The Department of Community Services released the Phase 2 report, prepared by Pinchin LeBlanc Environmental Limited, a Dartmouth firm with national affiliations, today, Dec. 20. Joan McKeough, director of the Cape Breton Island Housing Authority, informed residents on Tuesday by a letter that said, based on options identified by Pinchin LeBlanc Environmental Limited, the most appropriate method of controlling the asbestos in the Whitney Pier Terrace and Ashby Terrace is to leave it undisturbed and to undertake a surveillance and asbestos management program. If any major renovations are required, the insulation will be removed. “We want to reassure residents that their homes are safe. Sealing off the attics and carrying out the surveillance and management program will ensure the continued safety of residents’ homes,” Ms. McKeough said. An asbestos management program establishes a set of procedures and processes to be followed for the life cycle of a building and to ensure the safety of the tenants, contractors and staff. Air monitoring tests were conducted on all 100 units in the Whitney Pier and Ashby Terraces with only one asbestos fibre detected. Five repeat tests on the same unit detected no traces of asbestos fibres. “Research has indicated that it takes frequent exposure to asbestos at high levels over many years to cause asbestos-related illness,” said Dr. Ann Roberts, regional medical officer of health for the Department of Health Promotion and Protection. In his report, Ron LeBlanc, president of Pinchin LeBlanc Environmental Limited, said, “Our company considers surveillance with a management program to be the more appropriate option for the Whitney Pier and Ashby Terraces.” Mr. LeBlanc said, “The residents are as safe today with a good asbestos management plan, as they would be if the insulation was removed.” He also said that leaving vermiculite insulation with asbestos in place is the standard industry approach. Most jurisdictions in Canada have chosen similar options, as the enclosure and long term management plans are sufficient to meet tenant and worker safety, as well as being the least intrusive. Earlier this year, the Cape Breton Island Housing Authority discovered that the vermiculite attic insulation in the terraces in Whitney Pier and Ashby contained asbestos. The attics were sealed in the spring to prevent the insulation from entering the living space and to prevent access to the attics. Pinchin LeBlanc Environmental Limited was hired by the departments of Community Services and Transportation and Public Works to review initial work carried out in the spring by the Cape Breton Island Housing Authority and to identify options for long term management of the asbestos. The Phase 1 report, released in July, confirmed that the methods, procedures, and materials used for sealing all met or exceeded federal and provincial standards. The Phase 2 report can be found online at www.gov.ns.ca/coms/whatsnew.html . With the implementation of the asbestos management program, the housing authority can safely carry out work to make empty units available for new tenants and help reduce the current waiting list for public housing. Ms. McKeough said the housing authority will consider requests from tenants who wish to move. Transfer decisions are made by the housing authority’s board of directors, based on availability. “The housing authority and our board of directors are committed to working with residents and appreciate the residents continued cooperation with the upcoming surveillance and management program,” Ms. McKeough said. “We will continue to work with our residents to take all the necessary steps to maintain the safety of these homes.”
A rural poultry processing plant that has been supporting the growth of Nova Scotia’s agricultural industry for the past 65 years, will receive an investment from the province of Nova Scotia for working capital. A $3.5-million loan for ACA Co-operative Ltd. in New Minas, through the Department of Economic Development’s Industrial Expansion Fund, will help the company maintain 650 jobs with an annual payroll that exceeds $25 million annually. ACA also creates almost as many spin-off jobs. “This sole poultry processor for Nova Scotia has grown significantly over the years and continues to seek and develop new markets for its quality products,” said Economic Development Minster Angus MacIsaac. “This investment further demonstrates the province’s commitment to supporting economic growth in rural areas of the province and maintaining important jobs.” Since 1943, ACA Co-operative Ltd. has grown to include seven divisions including eggs, feed, hatchery, poultry, retail farm equipment and processing. The company operates a processing poultry meat operation, breeder barns for producing selected genetic broiler chicken crosses, chick hatchery, feed mill, table egg division and grading facility, a retail division for farm furnace and diesel fuel, farm equipment division, and an outlet store. “ACA is an integral part of Nova Scotia’s agricultural industry, which generates about $450 million in the province,” said acting Agriculture Minister, Ron Chisholm. “Along with chicken, it processes nearly all of the turkeys available in Nova Scotia and 25 per cent of our eggs, offering people the opportunity to buy local food products.” The company’s major customers include Sobeys, Co-op Atlantic, Sysco Food Service and commodity markets in Ontario and Quebec. Its annual sales exceed $110 million. “We take great pride in producing top-quality products for our customers and playing an important role in our industry,” said Sue Payne, chief executive officer of ACA Co-operative Ltd. “With this investment, we will continue to contribute to the industry and support our community.” The Industrial Expansion Fund is one method used by the government of Nova Scotia to support economic development in the province. The Industrial Expansion Fund has considerable flexibility in the amount and type of funding it can provide.
Le gouvernement provincial célèbre une partie importante de l’histoire de la Nouvelle-Écosse en désignant une section du marais de Belleisle comme site protégé. La section protégée contient des artefacts archéologiques importants des premières colonies françaises et acadiennes établies avant la Déportation de 1755. « Le fait de reconnaître l’importance du site du marais de Belleisle contribue à assurer sa préservation et son interprétation pour tous les Néo-Écossais et les visiteurs, affirme Percy Paris, ministre du Tourisme, de la Culture et du Patrimoine. La désignation nous permet également de promouvoir l’appréciation du site tout en assurant sa protection. » Le site protégé est une section de 37 hectares de terres de la Couronne située à environ 15 kilomètres au nord-est d’Annapolis Royal. « Cette désignation est très importante pour la communauté acadienne et francophone parce que le site contient des vestiges des colonies établies avant la Déportation, a dit Graham Steele, ministre des Affaires acadiennes. La désignation du site aidera la communauté à continuer de le préserver et de promouvoir son identité unique. » Le groupe de travail de Belleisle, formé de représentants de la communauté et du gouvernement, élabore actuellement un plan de gestion à long terme pour le site.
HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 107 Closure The Highway 107 extension near Spider Lake Road is closed to all traffic due to a motor vehicle collision. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes. -30-
Families, seniors and other property owners will be protected from sudden increases in property assessments, thanks to the province’s decision to continue the Capped Assessment Program. “A home’s assessed value can easily go up without warning, which can bring an increase in tax bills,” said Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell. “Without this program, hard-working families and seniors could suddenly find themselves unable to afford to stay in their own home. That is simply unfair.” The decision comes after a review of the Capped Assessment Program that included input from many interested groups, including the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, municipal councils and staff, ratepayers’ associations, the Canadian Federation of Taxpayers, and the Property Valuation Services Corporation, which conducts property assessments in Nova Scotia. Most importantly, Nova Scotians were asked to provide their opinions. Of the 1,200 responses received from the public 89 per cent supported keeping the program. Eighty-seven per cent of rate payer associations that completed the online survey supported the program. “The CAP puts an average of $117 a year back into the pockets of those benefitting from the program. The CAP helps families and seniors make ends meet,” said Mr. MacDonell. The Capped Assessment Program was originally implemented in 2005 to protect seniors and families from rapidly increasing property assessments. Since then, it has grown to include 377,000 properties. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have also started similar programs in the last year. “The District of Lunenburg is in a unique situation with many capped properties, higher than average market values and a modest average household income,” said Lunenburg Mayor Don Downe. “Without the protection afforded by the CAP, more of our residents would be hit with a substantial increase in property tax. While our council understands the complexities of the CAP, we do not feel a fair exit strategy has been advanced to date and the CAP should remain.” The Capped Assessment Program ensures that qualifying residential/resource properties’ taxable assessments are limited to the same percentage increase as the province’s consumer price index from the previous year. For example, in 2011 the consumer price index increased 2.9 percentage points from the previous year, which means the CAP was 2.9 per cent. To view a copy of the CAP review, visit www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr.
People interested in volunteering for Titanic commemorative events in Halifax Regional Municipality in April are encouraged to sign up online. “Nova Scotia has a strong tradition of volunteers coming forward to support key events in our communities,” said David Wilson, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “Once again, volunteers will play a large role in helping host commemorative events for Nova Scotians and international visitors.” A new online tool developed by Events Nova Scotia allows people to sign up for events, create a user profile and indicate personal skill sets and available dates and times for volunteering. “The Nova Scotia Volunteer Tool allows us to capitalize on our strong event-driven volunteer community by matching volunteers with events happening throughout the province,” said Grant MacDonald, director, Events Nova Scotia. “Experienced and enthusiastic volunteers are critical to the success of any major event and this tool gives events such as Titanic 100 a unique solution to attract the talent they need.” A limited number of volunteer positions are available to help greet visitors, provide event information and offer operations support. Titanic anniversary events April 14 and 15 include The Gathering, a walking, candle-lit procession from the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to the Grand Parade; Titanic Eve – Night of the Bells, an evening of interpretive presentations and live performances at the Grand Parade; and the Titanic Spiritual Ceremony, an interfaith memorial service at Fairview Lawn Cemetery. Other events will take place the week before the anniversary. “Titanic 100 is delighted to partner with Events Nova Scotia to provide volunteers with an accessible way to sign up for events,” said Jennifer Stewart, volunteer co-ordinator, Titanic 100. “We look forward to welcoming new and veteran volunteers as we continue to prepare for events in April.” People interested in volunteering for morning, afternoon or evening shifts from April 7 to 15 can apply online at the Events Nova Scotia website at www.eventsnovascotia.com/nsvolunteertool .
Nova Scotians will be able to enjoy more sunlight in the evenings when daylight savings time begins on Sunday, March 9. People are reminded to set their clocks and watches ahead one hour at 2 a.m., or Saturday evening before they go to bed. Watches and clocks are not the only items that need adjustment – ovens, microwaves, car clocks, electronic devices, and automatic timer lights need to be turned ahead. It is also a good time to clean dryer vents to prevent fires, and change batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke detectors should be tested monthly and replaced every 10 years.
Events East Group announced today, Aug.16, that Carrie Cussons has been re-appointed president and CEO of the organization for a three-year contract until Nov. 30, 2021. “The organization has continued to thrive under Carrie’s leadership, as proven through the successful transition to the new Halifax Convention Centre this past year,” said Justin McDonough, chair of the board of directors for Events East. “Stability is critical as the organization continues to work through transition and we have full confidence in her vision for the future.” Ms. Cussons was appointed president and CEO of the organization for a two-year contract in 2016. She brings a diverse business background, including over two decades of management experience with a concentration in financial and operational leadership. She joined the organization in 2009 as chief financial officer and oversaw the corporate services group with responsibility for finance, human resources and technology. She quickly became a strategic lead in all areas of the business and was responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s plan to prepare for the transition to the new convention centre. During her tenure as president and CEO, she led the successful opening, operations and event attraction strategy for the Halifax Convention Centre as well as continued operations of Scotiabank Centre and Ticket Atlantic. “I am proud to be leading such a talented, committed team during an exciting time for our organization,” said Ms. Cussons. “Together with our partners and community, we will continue to attract a strong, diverse mix of events to Nova Scotia with a focus on creating memorable event experiences for each and every guest we host.” Events East is a government partnership between the Province of Nova Scotia and the Halifax Regional Municipality. It manages and operates the Halifax Convention Centre, Scotiabank Centre and Ticket Atlantic. To view Ms. Cussons’ full biography, visit, http://eventseast.com/carrie-cussons .
Premier Stephen McNeil will promote economic and investment opportunities in Nova Scotia during meetings in Calgary from Wednesday, Oct. 24 to Friday, Oct. 26. The premier’s agenda includes meetings with WestJet, companies in the energy sector and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. “We are pleased to see WestJet’s success with its new direct routes from Halifax to Paris and London,” said Premier McNeil.“Adding air connections opens up opportunities for economic benefits for our province through tourism, business travel, students and immigration.” Premier McNeil will also participate in a celebration marking WestJet’s 15 years of investment in Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotians living on low incomes will soon have increased access to affordable housing on the Eastern Shore, with an investment of $663,000 from the provincial and federal governments. LMLT Investments Limited is currently building two three-unit rowhouses and one seven-unit rowhouse on Brightside Court in Porters Lake for a total of 13 one bedroom, plus den, affordable housing units. The development will also include four affordable housing rent supplements, which means that Housing Nova Scotia will pay the property owner the difference between the established rent and 30 per cent of the tenant’s monthly income in those units. “We’re always working to help older Nova Scotians and others find safe and affordable homes,” said Eastern Shore MLA Kevin Murphy, on behalf of Kelly Regan, Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia. “These units will provide safe, affordable homes for many seniors, and contribute to a real, positive difference in their lives. These homes are a great addition to the Eastern Shore.” Every new unit will support aging in place, which helps older Nova Scotians stay in their homes longer. All bathrooms will have raised toilets, wall-mounted grab bars, drawered storage, and low-threshold showers with seats and handheld showerheads. The lower kitchen cabinets will also provide roll out drawer storage. Four of the units will be fully barrier-free, while the remaining will be visitable. This means someone using a wheelchair will be able to visit those units, move around, and be able to use the washroom. “Every Canadian should be able to retire in dignity. This is why we are taking action to support seniors including restoring the retirement age from 67 to 65, increasing guaranteed income supplement and old age security,” said MP for Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook Darrell Samson, on behalf of Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. “Our Government is dedicated to helping those in need, which is why we have invested in this project in Porters Lake. These new 13 units are more than just safe and affordable places to live, they are key to a better life for the residents who will call them home.” The investment in the construction of the new units is from the Affordable Housing Social Infrastructure Fund and the Affordable Housing New Rental Program, as well as a seed grant from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. All units are anticipated to be ready for occupancy this spring. Supporting access to appropriate and affordable housing is one of the actions outlined in Shift: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population, which focuses on supporting older adults and their contributions to our province. For more information on Shift, visit novascotia.ca/shift This investment also supports government’s efforts to remove and prevent barriers to accessibility with the aim of achieving an accessible Nova Scotia by 2030.
Amethi (UP): On his first visit here after losing the Lok Sabha seat, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Wednesday attributed his defeat to local leaders staying away from the people and assured he will not abandon the constituency, party functionaries said. “I will not leave Amethi. It is my home and family,” former state Youth Congress chief Nadeem Ashraf Jayasi quoted Gandhi as saying at a meeting. “The development of Amethi will not be hampered. I am the MP from Wayanad but my ties with Amethi are three decades old. I will fight for Amethi in Delhi,” Gandhi reportedly told party workers. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day In a stunning poll result, Union minister Smriti Irani defeated Gandhi in his bastion by over 52,000 votes in the recent elections. Before the 2019 defeat, Gandhi had represented Amethi since 1999. District Congress committee member Narendra Mishra said Gandhi appreciated the hard work by party workers. According to him, Gandhi said the workers did a lot during the campaign but local leaders remained away from the people, leading to his defeat. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty Many workers said the Congress was weak in the entire district and the party campaign lacked direction, according to the participants. They alleged that some party men worked with the BJP in the constituency. They also unanimously demanded that Gandhi should withdraw his resignation from the party president’s post. The Congress leader has announced his resignation while taking responsibility for the drubbing the party received in the Lok Sabha elections. In Amethi, Gandhi’s representative Chandrakant Dubey and Congress district president Yogendra Mishra have resigned. The meeting with party workers, including booth presidents from five assembly segments — Salon, Amethi, Gauriganj, Jagdishpur and Tiloi – lasted barely 50 minutes. Gandhi then left for two villages in Chhatoh block on the way to Lucknow, from where he flew back to Delhi. On reaching Amethi, the Congress leader first visited the Gauriganj house of his party’s Tiloi assembly in-charge Mata Prasad Vaish to offer condolences over the death of a relative on June 25. Later, he attended the review meeting with party office-bearers at Nirmala Devi Educational Institute in Gauriganj. Ahead of his visit, a poster appeared outside the party office demanding justice for the death of a man who was allegedly denied treatment by a hospital run by the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Trust. In May, Irani had shared a video on Twitter that showed a man claiming that the hospital refused treatment to his uncle because the family held an Ayushman Bharat card. The hospital had rejected the charge.
Islamabad: At least 23 people were killed and several others are missing after a cloudburst caused flash flood in the Neelum Valley of the Pakistan occupied Kashmir, officials said. A large number of homes in the Laswa area of the Valley were damaged and dozens of people were swept away in the flooding caused by relentless rainfall after the cloudburst over night. “The Laswa area of the valley was badly hit where many house were swept away. There were also reports of landsliding in some areas. A total of 23 people have been killed,” Syed Al-Rehman Qureshi, Director of Operations, State Disaster Management Authority, said. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping He said several people, including women and children, are still missing. Landslides were also reported in the area and officials said many structures in the Laswa’s main market, including two mosques, were completely destroyed. Traffic flow in the area has been severely disrupted, while cell phone and internet services are also affected. Teams including officials from the district administration, disaster management authority and local police are conducting rescue operations in the area. Last week, a flood hit several villages in Golen Gol area of Chitral district after a glacial lake burst its banks overnight, toppling electricity poles and inundating roads and farmlands, the Express Tribune reported. The glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) occurred after the Jam Ashpar glacier a popular tourist destination in Chitral exploded overnight, it said.
Agartala: Eighty-eight members of the banned National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), on Tuesday, surrendered to Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, three days after signing a tri-partite agreement in New Delhi with the Centre and the Tripura government. Accompanied by their 125 family members, NLFT members of the SD faction, led by Sabir Kumar Debbarma, also surrendered arms and ammunition at Ambassa in the Dhalai district, 100 km north of Agartala. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The surrendered arms included 3 AK-47 rifles, 6 self-loading rifles, 4 Chinese rifles, 4 carbines, 4 pistols, 1,876 ammunition and other devices, like 16 time devices and 9 wireless sets. Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma was also present at the event. Addressing the event, the Chief Minister urged them to join the development process initiated by the state government with special thrust on education, health and infrastructure. “The rebels understood that they were on a wrong path and have joined the mainstream. We expect all cooperation from them for welfare measures undertaken,” Deb said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K A a tripartite memorandum of settlement (MoS) was signed on August 10 between the Centre, the Tripura government and the NLFT facilitating the surrender. After the signing of MoS, the NLFT representatives also met Home Minister Amit Shah. According to an official release, the MoS was signed by Union Home Ministry’s Joint Secretary (North-East) Satyendra Garg, Tripura government’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Kumar Alok and Sabir Kumar Debbarma and Kajal Debbarma on behalf of the NLFT. “The government told the NLFT leaders that surrendered members would be given benefits as per the Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Scheme, 2018 of the Union Home Ministry,” the release said. The Tripura government would help the surrendered rebels in construction of their houses, recruitment in government jobs and education of their children. According to the official release, the NLFT was banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 1997. The NLFT was involved in 317 violent activities in which 28 security force personnel and 62 civilians were killed in 2005-2015, it said. The peace talks with the NLFT were initiated in 2015 and the group had desisted from any violent activities since 2016. “The NLFT (SD) militants came to Tripura from their Bangladeshi camps earlier this month. They along with their family members are kept in safety in the Dhalai district,” a Tripura Home Department official told IANS. This is the third signing of peace accord with rebels in Tripura in three decades. In 1988, a tripartite agreement was signed with the outlawed Tripura National Volunteers (TNV). In 1993, the state government had signed a bi-partite accord with the All Tripura Tribal Force (ATTF).
Gurugram: Gurugram private metro that was seen as a solution to end the transportation problem of the city is presently at the juncture of being shut if the government does not take over it.The audit by the Haryana government however reveals that thing was not as bad as it seemed in the month of June and July the Gurugram metro had seen a rise in the number of commuters and income. An investigation is now being sought of whether there has been any financial irregularity or not. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe Rapid Metro, which is facing closure on account of financial crisis, recorded an operating profit of Rs 3.81 crore in the last financial quarter, shows a response sent by the operator, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), to the Haryana government which sought an inquiry into the finances of the privately-run service. The letter states that the service’s gross revenue for April, May and June 2019 was Rs 18.49 crore. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe revenue from passenger fare was Rs 8.40 crore, whereas non-fare revenue was Rs 10.09 crore. DLF Phase 3 sees the highest at 11,500 people a day, according to the survey. Rapid Metro has been breaking even on operational costs, which come to about Rs 6 crore per month. The financial liability/debt, they said, arises from additional loans and interest accrued by the service (at least Rs1,800 crore, according to the operator), which nullifies any profits. The mounting losses for Gurugram’s private metro have resulted in the pressure of the Haryana government to take over the Rapid Metro.
EDMONTON – The Alberta government will not appeal a ruling that struck down part of its impaired driving legislation allowing police to suspend the licences of suspected drunk drivers.Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley says the government will instead bring forward new legislation after talking to interested parties.The Alberta Court of Appeal ruled in May that taking away the licences of drivers who have not yet been found guilty in court violates their charter rights and presumption of innocence.An appeal by four individuals had noted that drivers waiting to be tried on impaired charges have had to do without a licence for many months because of a backlog in the courts.“The defendants in the case argued that suspending their licences until the case gets resolved results in innocent people pleading guilty just to get their licence back,” Ganley said Wednesday.“The court decision stated that drivers may be induced to surrender their constitutional right to the presumption of innocence. Our government has decided we will not be appealing this decision.”She said the province will look at models already in place in other provinces such as British Columbia and Saskatchewan.“We are still looking at administrative sanction models because I think the evidence is very good that those are the best at improving traffic safety and preventing collisions and deaths.”The Appeal Court ruling put everything on hold for a year, so police officers are still able to suspend licences until next May.The British Columbia government also faced a challenge to its drunk-driving law after it was brought in. It imposes heavy fines, penalties and immediate roadside suspensions.But the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a pair of judgments in October 2015 that upheld key portions of the law.It ruled for one that the law as it stood in 2010 did not violate an individual’s charter right to the presumption of innocence. However, a majority of the court said the law violated the charter protection against unlawful search and seizure.By the time the Supreme Court made its ruling, B.C. had already amended its law to address that point by allowing drivers who failed a roadside breath test to ask for a second test and to apply for a review of their driving prohibition.Ganley said it made more sense to simply change Alberta’s legislation.“There were potential legal risks in terms of whether or not the model would be supported.” she said.“The Supreme Court has supported B.C.’s model which obviously doesn’t go quite as far and specifically doesn’t involve the suspension of the licence … pending trial.”The CEO of MADD Canada, an anti-drunk-driving group, said the Alberta government made the right decision.Andrew Murie pointed out other parts of the province’s legislation were upheld.He also said the province now has the chance to consider adopting the B.C. model.“Rather than punish you, they focus on rehabilitation. They impound your vehicle for 30 days … and you have to take a remedial program. You have to put an interlock on your car. Those are constant reminders of what you’ve done,” Murie said.“They’re immediate. They happen right away.”— By Bill Graveland in Calgary. Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter
QUEBEC CITY, Que. – Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott says Canada’s doctors have a major role to play in improving the health of the country’s most vulnerable populations, including those at risk for a fatal overdose due to rampant opioid use and abuse, a crisis she characterized as a national public health emergency.In a speech Monday to delegates attending the annual meeting of the Canadian Medical Association in Quebec City, Philpott said any approach to the crisis needs to be comprehensive and collaborative.“Doctors have a huge role, including promoting awareness that social inequity and unresolved trauma are often at the root of high-risk drug use. This includes homelessness, poverty, violence and sexual abuse,” she said.“Addiction is not a crime, nor a mark of moral failure. It is a health issue … people who use drugs are people who do not need judgment. They need what all Canadians expect from health systems — that is, compassionate care.”Asked by reporters after her speech if the opioid crisis should be formally declared a national emergency, Philpott said there is no federal public health law that would provide any additional tools to fight the crisis “that we don’t already have.”“It would offer no advantages to us,” she said, noting that one area the Liberal government has been focused on is harm reduction, including the approval of 14 new supervised injection sites, bringing their number to 16 across the country.Outgoing CMA president Dr. Granger Avery said the organization is “entirely congruent with how we need to work” in a collaborative manner with government and other health providers, not only to tackle the opioid crisis, but also to help other vulnerable groups focused on by Philpott, among them Indigenous Canadians and youth with mental health issues.“The whole principle of shared care … the CMA and doctors in general have that way high on the list,” Avery told The Canadian Press in an interview.In a question-and-answer session with delegates following her address, Philpott was questioned about the government’s intention to close tax loopholes for incorporated businesses, which includes many doctors’ medical practices.In July, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau released a policy paper that proposes significant changes to how private corporations are taxed. Doctors and other businesses have been asked to comment on the proposal during a 75-day consultation process that ends Oct. 2.The tax changes have become a hot-button issue for the 85,000-member CMA, which argues that doctors in private practice do not have pensions or receive benefits like most salaried employees, and tax changes would make it more difficult for physicians to save for retirement, cover maternity leave, or work part time while raising a family. Female physicians, in particular, would suffer, the organization says.“We assume the risks of establishing offices and clinics, employing staff and purchasing equipment. Many of us do not have access to paid sick leave benefits or retirement pensions,” said Dr. Gigi Osler of Winnipeg.“What assurance can you give us that the government will take our concerns into serious consideration?” asked Osler to thunderous applause, hooting and table-pounding by fellow delegates.Philpott responded that the concerns expressed by doctors are being taken into serious consideration, but she encouraged CMA members to read the proposals carefully and not to believe hearsay being circulated on social media about what they might mean.“This really is actually about fairness. Does it make sense to create a system where some of you in the room can take advantage of those mechanisms in a way that others can’t?” she asked, referring to such tax deductions as income splitting.“If you are someone who has a spouse that makes significantly less income than you or you have children of a certain age of 18 to 24, then you can take advantage of legitimate rules that currently exist to reduce your personal income tax burden.“But the person sitting beside you or across from you who is single, who has very young children, no children, children who are grown up and making their own income, are going to pay much more tax than you.”Avery said the proposed tax changes could affect how doctors are able to operate their practices and may lead to some people thinking twice about going into the profession.He also said physicians were troubled by the “tone” in Morneau’s paper outlining the potential alterations and the reasons behind them.“I think there’s been implications that doctors — and other small businesses, too — really are in some way tax cheating,” Avery said. “And that is absolutely not true.”Philpott, who formerly had a family medicine practice, was also challenged by reporters after her presentation about her own status as an incorporated physician. Her professional corporation with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario was “revoked” late last week, and she was asked whether there was a link with the pending tax changes.“I can say unequivocally that it has absolutely nothing to do with the recent tax changes,” she replied. “I decided that I would not be practising medicine for at least four years (after being elected) and that it made no sense to keep the corporation open. I took steps to shut down that corporation. It was shut down on Oct. 19, 2016, because I had no use for the corporation anymore.”— By Sheryl Ubelacker in Toronto.
VANCOUVER – A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled a widower is liable for repaying nearly a quarter million dollars his wife stole from the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority before she died.Court documents show Wanda Moscipan worked as an administer for both the authority and the University of B.C.’s faculty of medicine when she siphoned more than $574,000 from the authority between 2003 and 2011.Justice Leonard Marchand ruled this week that the health authority is entitled to be paid back both by her estate and her husband, who was found to be responsible for the portion of the stolen funds that were used as “a family expense.”In the ruling released online Wednesday, Marchand says her husband, Miroslaw Moscipan, must have had “constructive” knowledge that his wife was receiving funds through fraudulent means.Moscipan told the court he was a stay-at-home parent “who led a frugal life.”He said his wife was secretive with the family finances but he thought she made over $100,000 per year and received money from her father.Marchand’s decision says the family led a “richer lifestyle than a typical family of four or five” owning multiple vehicles and spending about $20,000 a year on transportation alone.The judge says the restitution on the part of her husband “is adequate to send a message to others that they do not stand to benefit from the misdeeds of others when they know or ought to know of ill-gotten gains.”The decision says the woman stole the funds “by having busy physicians sign blank cheque requisitions” that she directed to an account she controlled.The account had been created in 1994 to raise funds related to the death of a colleague within the department, but was otherwise dormant until she began using it for fraudulent purposes in 2003.She then used money in the account to pay herself, her husband and their son as well as write cheques for outstanding Visa balances held in their names.The woman began working at the university in 1974 as a junior assistant and was appointed as senior administrator for the departments of obstetrics and gynecology under both the university and health authority in 1997. She was described as “extremely helpful” and viewed as “an indispensable and central figure” in the department.The health authority was responsible for 80 per cent of Moscipan’s income while the university made up the rest.After her cancer diagnosis in 2010, a new department head, Dr. Geoffrey Cundiff, became suspicious of her activities when she decided to continue working evenings despite having medical benefits. Her actions in the following months continued to raise suspicions.“In one case, he had to hire a locksmith to access human resources and financial records which were in a locked filing cabinet. Ms. Moscipan claimed the key to the cabinet had been lost,” the decision says.An audit was ordered in 2011, and it was discovered that Moscipan was paying herself 80 per cent of a full-time salary from the university when it should have only been 20 per cent.It was also discovered she received a three per cent raise, which Cundiff testified he did not authorize.A meeting was called between both employers and her union.“Ms. Moscipan justified being paid 180 per cent of the salary of a full time employee on the basis that she worked so hard but acknowledged Dr. Cundiff was unaware of the amount she was paid.”She was fired and a separate lawsuit has been filed by the university.
DAWSON CITY, Yn – The Yukon government plans to apply an “ice Band-Aid” to the Yukon River outside Dawson City after the channel failed to freeze sufficiently for the second year in a row, leaving hundreds of residents stranded over the winter.Highways Minister Richard Mostyn said work on an ice bridge to the community of West Dawson will begin January and should take about three weeks to complete.“This has never been tried before in the territory. It’s a situation that I’d prefer not to have to do, but we’ve got conditions in the Klondike these days that are abnormal,” he said.“Last year, the river didn’t freeze. This year, it’s not looking like it’s going to freeze again. So we’re going to take some action.”The Yukon River usually freezes over within a few weeks after the summer ferry stops operating, allowing crossings to be made initially on foot, by snowmobile and eventually in a vehicle.Public works crews usually flood, smooth and widen the route after a few more weeks to create an ice highway.Mostyn had promised West Dawson residents after the river failed to freeze last year that the government would take action if the same thing happened this year.An ice bridge would reconnect about 200 people to the main part of town.An alternate crossing point does exist, but accessing it involves a 10 to 15 kilometre journey south of town on foot, by dog team, on skis or with a snowmobile.Mostyn said the typical recipe for building an ice bridge is to spray ice water over a river to encourage it to freeze.He said he is unsure if the equipment is available for the spraying technique, but the government is also considering other methods, which he described as old fashioned and less efficient.The “manufactured ice formation” project will cost about $100,000 to build and maintain, plus an extra $100,000 for one-time engineering costs, Mostyn said.He said he and his team are “fairly confident” the bridge can be built, though there are no guarantees.“The climate is not what it once was, and so we’re going to have to be innovative,” Mostyn said. “This is one of the projects we’re going to start with.”The strategy is a way of helping the Mother Nature, which he described as a “fickle mistress.”Wayne Potoroka, the mayor of Dawson city, said he was glad to hear news of what he called an “almost surreal” plan.“I think it’s worth a shot,” he added, saying that Yukon is feeling the effects of climate change. “This is what adaptation looks like.”Mostyn ruled out the possibility of a permanent bridge being built in the near future to West Dawson.(Whitehorse Star)