Kolkata/ New DelHI: State-owned United Bank of India (UBI) clocked a net profit of Rs 105 crore in the first quarter of current financial year against a loss of Rs 389 crore in the previous similar period. Net interest margin (NIM) of the bank during the first quarter increased to 2.83 per cent as compared to 2.36 per cent in the same period previous fiscal. Net interest income for the quarter rose to Rs 727.47 crore from Rs 545.30 crore year earlier, United Bank of India said in a regulatory filing. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalTotal income in the first quarter rose to Rs 3,003.13 crore from Rs 2,549.71 crore in the year-ago quarter, it said. During the quarter, the bank’s interest income increased to Rs 2,374.39 crore from Rs 2,155.02 crore while income from other sources jumped to Rs 628.74 crore from Rs 394.69 crore in the year-ago quarter. UBI managing director and chief executive officer Ashok Kumar Pradhan said that “the worst is behind us”. He told reporters here on Tuesday that profits would be there in the subsequent quarters and the bank would access the capital markets to raise funds either in Q3 or Q4 of the current financial. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”The board approval had already been taken,” he said. Pradhan said that financial parameters like net interest margin and cost-to-income ratio showed improved performance. “The parameters which determine banking performance would continue to improve and we expect to come out of the RBI-imposed prompt corrective action by September this fiscal”. Total business stood at Rs 2.05 lakh crore with deposits at Rs 1.32 lakh crore and advances Rs 73,249 crore. Pradhan said that bank’s target reduction in gross NPA and net NPA by the end of the current fiscal was eight to nine per cent and four to five per cent respectively. He said in the first quarter, fresh NPAs accrued to the bank was Rs 407 crore as against Rs 547 crore in the same period previous fiscal. The Kolkata-headquartered bank made a net profit of Rs 95 crore in the fourth quarter of 2018-19 after seven quarters of consecutive losses.
Everyone seems to have a story about Jammu and Kashmir. I have none. My only first-hand understanding of the state is through its people—some who were dispossessed of their land, others who still call it home but work or study outside of it. After the decision on Article 370, a slew of J&K experts has surfaced. I can neither boast of being an expert nor can I call it home. But every time I think of that (once) state, I am filled with melancholy. There are very few places in the world like J&K where paradise and hell coexist, where picture-perfect sceneries have been marred by violence and bloodshed. Also Read – A special kind of bondIt is strange for me that of all the states that I have travelled to, J&K remains unchartered. Never have I travelled there for work, not for leisure either. But I have longed to experience the mysterious Dal Lake, the enviable snowy slopes of Gulmarg, the delectable Kashmiri Wazwan, the warmth of kahwa consumed not in Delhi or Kolkata, but in Kashmir. After the disempowerment of Article 370, I frankly can’t tell when it will be safe for tourists to go to the valley. Also Read – Insider threat managementPerhaps it was time for Article 370 and Article 35A to go and it would take an autocratic government to do so, but the manner in which it was done is frightening. In a democracy and with Parliament in session, the move was made without much debate. The worst decision perhaps was to not take the mainstream political leaders into confidence. Most disastrous is the silence that engulfed J&K after the announcement. People unable to reach their families since communication lines are shut down, normal life is thrown out of balance, and an entire population forcibly silenced. While the situation is easing now, the first few days were discomforting. To be under complete shutdown was unimaginable to me. Again, I must clarify, that I believe J&K is an integral part of India, its people are my people, my brothers and sisters. I want J&K to be accessible to the rest of the nation equally as the rest of the nation is accessible to the Kashmiris. The decades of strife and losses that are borne by the common people of Kashmir need to end. We can’t overlook the unfair exodus of Kashmiri Pandits either. But there must be the heralding of a new dawn where the past gives way to a reality where industry and tourism thrive. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown us all that dream in his address to the nation but can he achieve it? We were shown dreams of economic development too but today, we are staring at a domestic slowdown with sluggish growth and massive job cuts. So, I remain guardedly optimistic. What other choice do we have? This bold decision by Modi 2.0 must also ensure that J&K returns to normalcy soon. A suffocating environment kept safe by heavy deployment of troops is not a long-term solution. The PM’s promise that the people will vote in the Assembly elections must happen soon. Allow a democratically-elected government to take the reins and return statehood to J&K in a time-bound manner. The Central government needs to heal the trust deficit that it is creating in the minds of the people in India, especially where there have been demands for statehood. Can the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration be dissolved and Gorkhaland announced as a separate state at the cost of West Bengal? J&K and Ladakh were bifurcated, will other north-eastern states have similar hopes? Historically, BJP has been in favour of smaller states but can it bypass the Constitution and democratic means to bulldoze its agenda? With J&K and Ladakh, it already has. (The writer is an author and media entrepreneur. Views expressed are strictly personal)
New Delhi: The team of Anti-Auto Theft Squad (AATS) of South-East District busted an inter-state gang of autolifters and arrested two persons identified as Haseen (24) , a resident of Meerut, and Aslam (30), a resident of Bulandshahar. From the possession and instance of the accused persons, seven luxury cars have been recovered.A trap was laid near Lajpat Nagar Flyover, Ring Road and the accused Haseen was arrested along with Aslam. On verification, the Brezza car was found stolen from Ramjas Road. The accused Haseen was a car mechanic and he utilised his knowhow with the machines and their locks to steal the car. He also roped in Aslam for the theft. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Accused persons used to target cars parked in the residential areas of Delhi-NCR and disposed them to receivers of Meerut. The gang members used stolen cars to conduct recee in the residential areas and targeted luxury cars. Accused persons break down the lock of the car with the help of screw driver. After that accused persons used to remove the battery connection of the car by opening the bonnet and break the steering lock with the help of battery operated drill machine. Accused persons possess separate set of ECM and Steering Lock Set to operate the ignition switch of the car. Thereafter, with the help of their pre-occupied ECM, accused persons used to start the vehicle,” said DCP South East, Chinmoy Biswal.
Jaipur: Nearly 30 children of a government middle school in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district complained of vomiting and diarrhoea after having the mid-day meal on Tuesday and were admitted to a hospital, officials said. The kadhi-chawal served to the students in Jhabkariya village was allegedly contaminated, Karoi police station in-charge Mukesh Kumar Verma said. The students were admitted to a government hospital in Gangapur for treatment, he said. Twenty of them are still undergoing treatment at the hospital. All children are out of danger and food sample has been sent to laboratory for tests. Bhilwara Deputy Chief Medical and Health Officer Ghanshyam Chawla said the children had complained of nausea and vomiting after consuming the lunch.
London: By 2020, global 5G wireless network infrastructure revenue would reach $4.2 billion, an 89 per cent increase from 2019 revenue of $2.2 billion, a new report by Gartner Inc. said on Thursday. Gartner forecasts that investments in 5G NR network infrastructure would account for 6 per cent of the total wireless infrastructure revenue of communications service providers (CSPs) in 2019, and that this figure will reach 12 per cent in 2020. “5G wireless network infrastructure revenue will nearly double between 2019 and 2020. For 5G deployments in 2019, CSPs are using non-stand-alone technology. This enables them to introduce 5G services that run more quickly, as 5G New Radio (NR) equipment can be rolled out alongside existing 4G core network infrastructure,” Sylvain Fabre, Senior Research Director at Gartner, said in a statement. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year 5G services would launch in many major cities in 2019 and 2020; services have already begun in the US, South Korea and some European countries, including Switzerland, Finland and the UK. “National 5G coverage will not occur as quickly as with past generations of wireless infrastructure. To maintain average performance standards as 5G is built out, CSPs will need to undertake targeted strategic improvements to their 4G legacy layer, by upgrading 4G infrastructure around 5G areas of coverage. “A less robust 4G legacy layer adjoining 5G cells could lead to real or perceived performance issues as users move from 5G to 4G/LTE Advanced Pro. This issue will be most pronounced from 2019 through 2021, a period when 5G coverage will be focused on hot spots and areas of high population density,” Fabre added.
New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday accused the government of pushing the economy towards bankruptcy and an economic emergency and termed the decision of taking Rs 1.76 lakh crore from the Reserve Bank of India as “catastrophic”. Several Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Anand Sharma, mounted the attack against the move, a day after the RBI approved the transfer of a whopping Rs 1.76 lakh crore dividend and surplus reserves to the government to provide fresh impetus to the economy without widening the fiscal deficit. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details”When you strip the RBI of its reserves you’re leaving the Reserve Bank vulnerable to a series of disasters. The contingency fund is for emergency situations, not to cover up for the government’s economic failures,” the Congress said on its Twitter handle. Rahul Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are “clueless” about solving the “self-created economic disaster” and accused them of “stealing money” from the bank. “Stealing from RBI won’t work — it’s like stealing a Band-Aid from the dispensary and sticking it on a gunshot wound,” he said, using the hashtag “RBILooted”. Sharma demanded a white paper from the government on the state of the Indian economy within a week. Meanwhile, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged that the government had “appropriated” 99 percent of the profits of India’s central banking institution since 2014.
New Delhi: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who returned from Srinagar on Friday after the Supreme Court allowed him to go there, said the situation on the ground was “completely contrary” to what the government was saying.Yechury, who went to Srinagar to meet his ailing party colleague Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami, refused to elaborate, saying he would submit a detailed report to the apex court. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, who had filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court seeking Tarigami to be produced before it, was granted permission to visit the former MLA in Srinagar. The court had, however, said Yechury should not indulge in any kind of political activity during his visit to Srinagar. Tarigami, a four-time former MLA and a Central Committee member of the CPI(M), is under detention in Srinagar since August 5, the day the government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the state into two Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”I visited Tarigami and enquired about his health. I will file an affidavit in court regarding his health condition and also report on what I saw there,” Yechury told reporters here, adding that during the drive from the airport to Tarigami’s house, he saw that the situation on the ground was “completely contrary” to what the BJP-led government was saying. The Left leader said after he landed at the Srinagar airport, he was told by officials that he would have to return the same day, but he convinced them that he could only leave the next day after getting a status report on his colleague’s health condition.
Los Angeles: Jennifer Aniston has broken a new-age celebrity stereotype by remaining a top Hollywood star despite saying no to social media. Her reason for staying away from interactive cyber space is clear. “I know when I’m comfortable with something, and I know when I’m not,” the actress told “InStyle” magazine, in its October issue. Aniston feels the constant pressure to be liked on social media can particularly have “damaging effects” on “young people figuring out their identity”. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “They (the young adult) are doing it through someone else’s lens, which has been filtered and changed… and then, it’s ‘like me’, ‘don’t like me’, ‘did I get liked?’ There’s all this comparing and despairing,” a report in “eonline.com” quoted her as saying. Aniston, who became a household name playing Rachel Green in the popular sitcom “Friends” over 10 seasons, recalled her own days of struggle and growing up while understand how the pressure works. The 50-year-old actress also revealed her secret to aging beautifully. “I am all about living to whatever age I’m supposed to, as long as I’m thriving,” she said.
Houston: Wesley Mathews, the Indian-American foster father of three-year-old Sherin Mathews, has been denied a new trial in the tragic death of the Indian toddler in 2017, in a case that attracted international attention.Mathews, 39, pleaded guilty on June 24 to a lesser charge of injury to a child in Sherin’s death and was sentenced to life imprisonment.He was originally charged with capital murder by authorities in the US state of Texas after they discovered Sherin’s highly decomposed body following a massive search that lasted 15 days. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USMathews will continue to serve his life sentence for the death of Sherin, whose body was found in a culvert in Richardson city in Dallas two weeks after she went missing in October 2017, The Dallas Morning News reported.His defence claimed the jury in the June trial should never have been shown photographs of the child’s dead body, or photos that detailed a history of injuries prior to her death.Mathews’ lawyers argued their client deserved a new trial in part because prosecutors showed a picture of Sherin’s body to the jury. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe defense team filed a motion for a new trial last month, arguing that “photographs of the remains of the decedent, both where her body was discovered and in the autopsy suite” were so prejudicial as to deny Mathews a fair trial.The lawyers also argued prosecutors failed to prove Mathews was responsible for broken bones Sherin suffered in his care, the report said.Based on the above, Mathews’ defence filed a motion for a new trial. That motion was denied Thursday and now his team is expected to file an appeal, another media report said. In June, Mathews avoided a capital murder trial by pleading guilty to a lesser charge of injury to a child by omission.At his trial, he told the jury Sherin died after she choked on milk in the family’s garage and that he wrapped her body in a trash bag because he wanted “to do something nice” for her.Mathews never called 911 or sought help from his wife a registered nurse because he said fear prevented him. He drove to a nearby culvert, where he left Sherin’s body.The child’s body was found two weeks later, so badly decomposed that prosecutors said a true cause of death couldn’t be determined.Sherin’s adoptive mother, Sini Mathews, was also criminally charged after the child’s body was found, but that case was later dismissed after the Dallas County District Attorney said there was not enough evidence to prosecute.Mathews and his wife Sini, both hailing from Kerala, adopted Sherin from an orphanage in Bihar’s Nalanda district in 2016.Police charged Sherin’s foster mother Sini with child abandonment in November 2017, after Mathews told officials that the couple left the toddler alone the night of her death while they went to dinner with their biological daughter.Sini’s case was dismissed in March this year after prosecutors said they could not prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.Sherin’s death attracted the attention of the Indian government and then External Affairs Minister late Sushma Swaraj took keen interest in the case and also instructed the Indian mission in Houston to make sure that the Indian toddler received justice.India revoked the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) immigration status of Wesley and Sini after Sherin’s death.The government further tightened the adoption process after Sherin’s tragic death.
OTTAWA – As the devastating floodwaters recede in Ontario and Quebec, the key to preventing a similar disaster in future is to avoid making the mistakes that led to problems in the first place, says Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.The philosophy of “build back better” will be on the agenda when Goodale next meets his provincial and territorial counterparts, to better ensure cities are protected from what he says is a very real peril in climate change.“I think there will be an appetite to actually grasp this, because the pace at which these issues are arising is clearly accelerating — one of the consequences we believe of the phenomenon of climate change,” Goodale said.He pointed to flooding in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta in the last four years, as well as ice storms in New Brunswick and last year’s wildfire in Fort McMurray.“There’s a pattern here and it behooves us all to take this seriously.”Getting better information is a key to building safer cities, he added.Officials are working on updates to national floodplain maps to help local officials make better decisions about where to build. The work comes almost a year after the federal environment commissioner warned that the maps had not been properly updated in 20 years.The federal government has pledged cash for risk assessments and new infrastructure construction, hoping to nudge cities into making better decisions about what projects they need and how badly they need them done.As well, this year’s federal budget earmarked $2 billion in infrastructure funding over 11 years, most of it to be spent after 2021, to help disaster-proof communities. A further $281 million over 11 years is set aside to help communities adapt to climate change.Federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi wants communities to release any maps or data about flooding concerns in their communities in order to help themselves and residents make better decisions about building in flood-prone areas.Internal government reports show that some municipal leaders have been wary about mapping — and publicizing — flood risks, even going so far as to turn down free mapping tools. Documents obtained by The Canadian Press show the concerns revolve around whether the information, once public, will reduce property values, increase a municipality’s legal liability and lead to a political backlash from voters.Sohi acknowledged that releasing the information is controversial in some municipalities, but it’s the only way homeowners will be able to decide how to protect their properties.“It’s the biggest investment people make and they want to make sure it’s properly protected,” Sohi said Wednesday.“I think withholding information doesn’t help in that situation. I know it’s risky, it’s very controversial.”A spokesman for Sohi later said it is up to individual cities to decide whether to release the information, not the federal government, and doing so won’t be tied to requirements for any government infrastructure programs.Federal infrastructure funds can’t move to cities until provinces sign funding agreements, a process that could take months.The long timeline for spending could be a problem for municipalities that could use the help sooner, said NDP infrastructure critic Matthew Dube.“Communities are — and what we’re seeing now is proof of that and what we will continue to see — in desperate need of having those dollars,” Dube said, referring to flooding in Ontario and Quebec.Conservative MP Tony Clement said the government has to come up with a better policy in regards to flood planning, including how to target infrastructure dollars.“I have yet to see any of that infrastructure money go out, but certainly part of that infrastructure money should go to flood planning so that we can alleviate these situations in the future,” Clement said.— Follow @jpress on Twitter
TORONTO – A man accused of hurling concrete blocks from overpasses onto a major Toronto highway is facing multiple charges in connection with the alleged incidents.Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says in one of the incidents a piece of cinder block went through the roof of a vehicle on Highway 401 and landed in the passenger seat.Schmidt says the cinder block could have easily killed someone.He says there were no injuries in the incidents — one on Sunday and two on Wednesday — but another vehicle also was damaged.Schmidt says a tip from the public led to the arrest.A 32-year-old Pickering, Ont., man is charged with three counts of mischief-endangering life.“This is incredibly dangerous,” Schmidt said Thursday. “When people are throwing, not just bricks, but full cinder block pieces of cement off of an overpass onto traffic below, the results can be absolutely deadly.”
QUEBEC – A well-known left-wing activist suggested Wednesday he can’t be tried fairly in Quebec City because people there are too racist.Jaggi Singh is facing a charge of obstructing justice after his arrest in connection with an Aug. 20 demonstration in the city.He was also charged with impersonation after he jokingly identified himself to police as former NHL star Michel Goulet.Singh asked a judge for his legal proceedings to be conducted outside Quebec City because he was a visible minority and, as such, wouldn’t be tried fairly in the city.He also requested a third-party investigator determine whether any links existed between Quebec City police officers and far-right groups.“I want a third-party investigator to confirm there is no link, either current or past, between these extreme groups and members of the police, or even municipal employees,” he said.“These extremist groups boast of their connection with different police services.”Several hundred people had gathered to oppose a demonstration Aug. 20 planned by La Meute, a far-right group.The counter-protest was organized by anti-fascist and pro-refugee groups after at least two Quebecers were identified participating in a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.Singh is due back in court Nov. 30.
EDMONTON – The health implications of legalized cannabis and ways to combat Canada’s rising opioid problem are on the agenda when health ministers meet this week in the Alberta capital.Provincial and territorial ministers will hold discussions Thursday and will get an update on the marijuana file from federal counterpart Ginette Petipas Taylor on Friday.Manitoba Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen says he wants to know more about the impacts on health and on the health system.“Many studies show that people are affected by the consumption of marijuana up until the age of 25 because there can be long-term effects if the brain is still developing up until that age,” said Goertzen.“We have concerns from a health perspective — what additional costs does that cause to the system and what negative outcomes does it cause to Canadians?”Ottawa has set the minimum legal age for marijuana consumption at 18 when recreational cannabis use becomes legal July 1. The provinces can set the minimum age higher.“We’ve done a great deal in society trying to move people away from smoking. If you suddenly have more people smoking, in this case marijuana, you’re going to have some long-term detriment to people’s health,” said Saskatchewan Health Minister Jim Reiter.“There’s the issue about at what point is it safer for use.”The Canadian Medical Association says 25 is the safe age health-wise but says 21 would be a more realistic number to keep youth from getting cannabis through the black market.A number of provinces already have preliminary plans in place. Ottawa and New Brunswick are looking at a minimum age of 19, while Alberta is proposing 18.The federal government is getting push back on what critics say is too ambitious a plan to have legalized cannabis, along with tougher Criminal Code penalties and sanctions, in place by next summer.In July, premiers and territorial leaders did not call for a delay, but said they might ask for an extension if Ottawa does not help them resolve the issues related to distribution, safety, taxation, justice and public education.Ottawa has said it won’t allow the sale of edible cannabis until it has rules in place around health warnings, serving sizes and packaging.The ministers also plan to compare notes on how various jurisdictions are working to combat the increased use of opioids.Last month, the federal government reported that at least 2,816 Canadians died from opioid-related causes in 2016 — a total that’s expected to surpass 3,000 in 2017.The Canadian Institute for Health Information warns the crisis is hitting the health system. It says 16 Canadians a day are being hospitalized for opioid toxicity in 2016-17, up from 13 a day two years prior — a rise of almost 20 per cent.B.C.’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy said four people are dying daily in the province from drug overdoses.“We’re going to be asking (Ottawa) to remove some of the barriers that are in place now to the rapid approval of safe consumption sites,” Darcy said.Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said they will discuss “some of the specific actions that are happening in different jurisdictions that we would like the federal government potentially to support us with.”Hoffman said they will also be looking at outcomes and impacts from recent overall health cost-sharing deals struck between Ottawa and the provinces.B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Ontario’s Eric Hoskins say they will pursue reforms on prescription drugs.“I plan to work with the other jurisdictions towards a national pharmacare program, and I hope that this meeting will be a good first start,” said Dix in a statement.Hoskins said he will be telling the group about steps Ontario has taken. Starting Jan. 1, the Liberal government’s youth pharmacare plan will cover more than 4,400 prescription medications for Ontarians under 25, with no co-pay or deductible, at an annual cost of $465 million.“Obviously one of the concerns is affordability, so I believe that Ontario can demonstrate that it can be done,” Hoskins said.— with files from Allison Jones in Toronto, Jennifer Graham in Regina, Steve Lambert in Winnipeg and Dirk Meissner in Victoria
VANCOUVER – The president of a company planning a controversial pipeline expansion in Western Canada says the debate about Trans Mountain is over and its time to get on with construction.Ian Anderson of Kinder Morgan Canada says the company’s Trans Mountain pipeline has undergone the most rigorous environmental review process in the country’s history.The $7.4-billion pipeline proposal has prompted fierce opposition from environmentalists, First Nations, and the B.C. New Democrat government, all of whom are fighting the project in federal court.Anderson was in Vancouver addressing the region’s board of trade and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley was scheduled to deliver a keynote address later in the day.Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, head of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, says in a statement that while politicians try to muster support for the project First Nations are planning costly delays that will force the expansion to be cancelled.Vancouver is one of several stops for Notley who is on a pro-pipeline tour across Canada touting the importance of the energy industry for the overall economy.
OTTAWA – A Chinese ban on most foreign recycling material is leaving some Canadian municipalities with stockpiles of papers and plastics, much of which may eventually end up in the dump.The ban is also driving down the revenues cities make off their recyclables because the competition to find a company able to take the materials is stiff.China used to be the main recipient of the world’s recyclable plastics and papers but has now stopped accepting almost all foreign materials, leaving Canadian cities in the lurch.Although the ban didn’t take full effect until Dec. 31, many Chinese companies stopped accepting foreign recycling materials months ago, leaving some cities with stockpiles of flattened cardboard and crushed plastic without anywhere to send it.Matthew Keliher, manager of solid waste for Halifax, said three-quarters of his city’s recyclables used to go to China. He said the city has found new markets for hard plastics and papers but film plastics — grocery bags and food storage bags and wraps — have proved harder to sell. Three hundred tonnes of film plastic amassed in a Halifax warehouse since August is now being sent to the dump.Calgary, which used to send all of its paper recyclables and half of its plastics to China, has amassed 5,000 tonnes of material over the last few months that it can’t find anyone else to take. It hasn’t yet decided what to do with it.While Canada has some domestic recycling companies, Christina Seidel, executive director of the Recycling Council of Alberta, said those are almost exclusively for the high-grade plastics like milk jugs and juice bottles.“That’s a really high-quality material,” she said. “Everyone wants those. There aren’t huge fans of the low grade plastics.”Sixty per cent of recyclables in Quebec used to go to China. No more.Tired of tonnes of recyclables contaminated with unusable garbage arriving in its ports and intent on using up its own domestically-produced recyclables, China slammed the door shut to most foreign materials.Indonesia, Thailand and India are among the countries still accepting foreign recyclables but competition to get them to accept product is stiff.It’s so tight that Keliher said Halifax is afraid to say where it’s now sending its recyclables for fear another city will hear of it and jump in to push the competition for that outlet even higher.“Halifax won’t be disclosing the locations of any of our outlets,” he said.“The recycling market was ruthless before the Chinese ban came in and, now that half that market has dried up and the supply is just overwhelming, it’s even more ruthless to get our material out.”Halifax used to make $2.1 million a year on the sale of recyclables, with $1.6 million of that coming from China.Derek Angove, director of processing and resource management for Toronto’s Solid Waste Management Services, said his city did not directly export to China. But it has now entered into longer-term contracts with Canadian outlets to protect Toronto from being crowded out when cities left in the lurch by the Chinese ban come calling with their products.He said Toronto has already seen the price it gets for paper and plastic-coated materials drop and, unless China can be convinced to re-open its doors to recyclables, he believes the prices are going to keep going down.Seidel said Canada needs to move nationwide to the extended producer responsibility system in place across British Columbia, which puts the onus on the producers of the materials to pay for and ensure the recycling of its products.In B.C., that has led to a larger domestic market for recyclables and less pressure on municipalities to pay for the programs.— follow @mrabson on Twitter.
OTTAWA – Donald Trump’s trade adviser is apologizing for saying there’s a “special place in hell” for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau because of his “bad-faith diplomacy” during the G7 summit in Quebec.Peter Navarro says his job was to send a “signal of strength” after Trudeau’s post-G7 news conference sent the U.S. president into a fit of pique that threw the summit into disarray.However, Navarro says he used inappropriate language in trying to convey that message.He made the apology — something that former U.S. ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, among others, was demanding that he do — during a Wall Street Journal event today in Washington.Earlier, Trump elaborated on his abrupt Twitter outburst as he departed the summit Saturday, telling a news conference in Singapore that Trudeau’s assertion that Canada “will not be pushed around” would end up costing Canadians “a lot of money.”Earlier today, Trudeau cheered Trump’s bid to broker a deal to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons, but he stayed mum on the U.S. administration’s persistent trash talk.Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau on the North Korea summit and President Trump’s continued attacks on him #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/1vyM0IyRr1— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) June 12, 2018Navarro, for his part, suggested that he was following orders — but made a poor choice of words in doing so.“My job was to send a signal of strength,” he said. “The problem was that in conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate.“I own that, that was my mistake, those were my words.”Trudeau said the Liberal government looks forward to the details of the agreement that emerged from Monday’s historic meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.“We support the continuing efforts by the president on North Korea, (and) we look forward to looking at the details of the agreement,” Trudeau said.“On (Trump’s) comments, I’m going to stay focused on defending jobs for Canadians and supporting Canadian interests.”Trump took to Twitter aboard Air Force 1 on Saturday to call Trudeau “dishonest” and “weak” after seeing Trudeau’s G7 news conference, when the prime minister said he had pushed back against the Trump administration’s hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum.PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, “US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he “will not be pushed around.” Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018Trump says he watched that news conference on his way to Singapore, and was upset because he thought he and Trudeau had had a positive meeting in Charlevoix.Trump says Trudeau “probably didn’t know that Air Force 1 has about 20 televisions.“I see the television and he’s giving a news conference about how he ‘will not be pushed around’ by the United States. And I say, ‘Push him around? We just shook hands!”’ Trump said.“We finished the (G7) meeting and really everybody was happy.”Trump has consistently railed against what he claims are unfair trade practices by some of America’s biggest trade partners, including Canada — in particular Canada’s supply management system, which levels tariffs of up to 300 per cent on imported dairy products.“It’s very unfair to our farmers, and it’s very unfair to the people of our country,” he said. “t’s very unfair, and it’s very unfair to our workers, and I’m gonna straighten it out. And it won’t even be tough.”On Monday, MPs in the House of Commons approved a motion denouncing Trump’s name-calling tirade and endorsing Trudeau’s decision to stand his ground against U.S. tariffs and tweeted presidential threats.The motion calls on the House to recognize the importance of Canada’s “long-standing, mutually beneficial trading relationship” with the U.S., “strongly oppose” the“illegitimate tariffs” imposed on steel and aluminum, stand “in solidarity” with the Trudeau government’s decision to impose retaliatory tariffs and remain united in support of the supply management system of regulating Canada’s dairy and poultry industry.And it concludes with a direct shot at Trump, calling on the House to “reject disparaging and ad hominem statements by U.S. officials which do a disservice to bilateral relations and work against efforts to resolve this trade dispute.”Former Conservative cabinet minister James Moore, a member of the government’s advisory group on NAFTA, hailed Trudeau’s approach, refusing to react to “the noise, the bluster, the Twitter, the emotional outbursts.”Similarly, former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose, also a member of the NAFTA advisory group, said Trudeau is doing the right thing.Ambrose said the government needs to consider what more it’s willing to put on the NAFTA table, keeping in mind that “what’s at stake is just so much bigger than our pride. This is about our economy and millions and millions of jobs.”As well, she said the government should accelerate work on its Plan B in the event that Trump blows up NAFTA or follows through on threats to impose tariffs on autos and auto parts — a move Ambrose said would be devastating to Canada’s economy. Among other things, she said the government should be preparing to keep pace with corporate tax cuts and tax breaks south of the border.The United States has imposed 25 per cent tariffs on steel from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, and 10 per cent tariffs on aluminum. The Trudeau government has announced it will impose dollar-for-dollar, retaliatory tariffs on metals and a range of other U.S. products by July 1.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh urged the federal government to get serious about drafting a rescue plan for steel and aluminum workers, who are going to feel the brunt of the initial impact of the dispute — and soon.“Sometimes when we think about tariffs, when we think about a trade war, we lose sight of the real impact, and that’s on workers,” Singh told a news conference on Parliament Hill.“We’ve got to look at what supports are available to ensure that if their jobs, their livelihoods are compromised, what can the government do to support these folks.”
VANCOUVER – Wildfires have ravaged 27 structures in Telegraph Creek, representing 30 to 45 per cent of buildings in the small northwestern British Columbia community, officials say.Tahltan Band Chief Rick McLean said in a video posted to Facebook on Tuesday that the town has sustained significant damage, but fortunately no lives have been lost.“That’s the town. We are the community. We are resilient, we’re going to lean on each other, and we’re going try to continue to fight the fight as best we can,” he said.They don’t know yet which structures were destroyed, McLean said in the video recorded at a community hall on Tuesday morning and posted to a Facebook group created to distribute information about the wildfires.Rick Boehm, emergency program co-ordinator at the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, said two large fires in the Telegraph Creek area likely merged on Tuesday afternoon to create a 150-square kilometre blaze.He and McLean both said 27 structures had been lost to the flames.BC Wildfire Service spokeswoman Heather Rice said the two fires in the area were running parallel and she had not received any information that they’d merged as of Tuesday evening.Some of the impacted structures were merely damaged, rather than destroyed, she added.The entire community of Telegraph Creek remains under an evacuation order. Residents living closer to Dease Lake were told on Tuesday to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice, said Boehm.Boehm, who is also chief of the Thornhill Fire Department, said heavy smoke has limited air craft in and out of the fire area. Workers are on the ground protecting what they can while equipment operators are clearing the road to allow firefighting equipment to re-enter, he said.A new evacuation order was issued late Tuesday for several properties west of Topley in the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.The district said the order covers properties primarily at the south end of Sunset Lake. Residents were asked to register at a reception centre at the College of New Caledonia in Burns Lake. The surrounding areas were also placed under an evacuation alert.More than 460 wildfires are burning across the province. About 50 fires are burning in northwestern B.C., including the 78-square kilometre blaze that prompted the evacuation of Telegraph Creek.“Some very high winds in the area, as well as continued dry conditions have been really challenging the efforts there,” said BC Wildfire Service spokeswoman Kyla Fraser.Nearly 80 firefighters, nine helicopters and 15 pieces of heavy equipment are working on that fire alone, she said.Lightning storms have abated after sparking hundreds of new wildfires in B.C. last week, but Fraser warned a renewed hot spell means no relief for firefighters.Environment Canada issued heat warnings and special weather statements for large parts of B.C. on Tuesday, calling for temperatures up to 40 degrees in some areas by mid-week.Conditions were not due to ease until Friday or Saturday, when the weather office said showers and cooling temperatures were likely.The wildfire service currently lists the fire danger rating as high to extreme across much of the province, with most of northwestern B.C. and the inner south coast, including Vancouver Island, ranked as extremely dry.Campfires have already been banned in many regions, and Haida Gwaii will join the list on Wednesday as will Prince George, Mackenzie and Fort St. James the following day.An out-of-control blaze in a rural area of Vancouver Island, southwest of Nanaimo, prompted the Regional District of Nanaimo to declare a state of local emergency Monday night.The nearly 1.5-square kilometre fire in the Nanaimo Lakes area broke out Sunday and grew aggressively Monday, forcing the evacuation of homes on its west flank and evacuation alerts for 77 properties on the east side.With the evacuations on Vancouver Island, fires of concern are now burning in all six of B.C.’s regional fire centres.In southeastern B.C., a 12-square kilometre blaze in Kootenay National Park has caused sporadic closures of Highway 93 and is being managed by Parks Canada and provincial wildfire staff.Crews were making some progress containing a 120-square kilometre fire that forced evacuation of a wilderness lodge south of Princeton last week and the fire was 40 per cent contained on Tuesday, the wildfire service said.Although the weather was not giving weary firefighters a break, Fraser said crews from outside the province were lending assistance.“We have crews from Alberta, Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan that arrived last week. Last night we saw some firefighters from Mexico, as well as firefighters and support staff from New Zealand arriving,” she said.Teams from Australia were expected to arrive in B.C. on Tuesday.Forests Minister Doug Donaldson plans to speak with the finance minister about the annual wildfire budget and whether it needs to be revised, considering the increased number of wildfires the province has experienced in recent years, a spokeswoman said.The budget for the 2018 wildfire season was $63 million, but $131 million has been spent to date.
Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press TORONTO — Expat Canadians with ties to one of three ridings now in the throes of byelections may be eligible to vote no matter how long they’ve been abroad given last week’s Supreme Court of Canada ruling.While the government got ahead of the high court ruling with new legislation passed last month, most provisions of Bill C-76 were only slated to take effect after six months — in good time for October’s general election. However, the Supreme Court decision on Jan. 11 took immediate effect.Elections Canada wasted little time advertising the change after the high court struck down a 1993 law disenfranchising Canadians abroad for more than five years as unconstitutional.“A Canadian elector living abroad who has previously resided in Canada is entitled to vote by special ballot in federal elections regardless of how long they have been living abroad,” Elections Canada said. “Elections Canada is currently updating its online forms and information to reflect the ruling, which came into effect immediately and is therefore applicable in the current three byelections.”On Feb. 25, voters living in Ontario’s York–Simcoe, Burnaby South in British Columbia and Outremont in Quebec get to choose a new member of Parliament. All interested Canadians abroad over the age of 18 with certain ties to one of the ridings are now also eligible to vote by way of a “special ballot.”To receive a ballot, expats are required to register with Elections Canada in Ottawa by 6 p.m. ET on Feb. 19. Among other things, they must show either that they were living in one of the ridings before leaving Canada or that a spouse or relative does.Jamie Duong, one of two Canadians who launched their challenge of the old law eight years ago, said on Friday that he was pleased Elections Canada had updated its registration forms less than a week after the Supreme Court decision.“I’m thrilled that I’ll be able to cast my ballot in the upcoming Outremont byelection,” Duong, 35, of Ithaca, N.Y., said on Friday. “Now that I’ve won back my voting rights, I fully intend to exercise them.”While the Supreme Court decision enfranchised an estimated one million or more Canadian expats, only a relative handful have so far asked to vote in the byelections. Latest Elections Canada figures indicate fewer than 100 Canadians abroad have registered to vote, with about two-thirds of those doing so in Outremont.When Bill C-76 is in full force, non-resident voters will only be able to vote in the riding in which they themselves last lived before leaving Canada.“Once registered at an address in an electoral district, the elector cannot change the address as long as they remain registered on the international register of electors,” said Ghislain Desjardins, a senior adviser with Elections Canada.In a separate opinion, Supreme Court Justice Malcolm Rowe agreed the five-year limit was unconstitutional even if its impact might have been minimal in terms of actual election results.“There is almost no evidence of the impact that long-term non-residents would or could have had either locally or nationally if permitted to vote,” Rowe said. “The evidence that exists suggests that the impact would likely be negligible, since a very small number of Canadians living abroad who are currently eligible to vote choose to exercise that right.”
MONTREAL (NEWS 1130) – The latest incarnation of the Canada Food Guide is now out, and it has some major changes, doing away with those traditional food groups and even portion sizes.The guide is being updated for the first time in a decade, to reflect a new approach by Health Canada aimed at promoting healthier eating and lifestyle choice.It’s a move Dalhousie University’s Dr. Sarah Kirk says is long overdue.“Probably the most unique change, if you’d like, is the more plant-based recommendations in the guide. Yes, it does mean that we would be looking at reducing intakes of animal food products, be they meat or dairy foods, and really recommending the increase in more plant-based foods.”The professor of health promotions says unhealthy food are “very prevalent” in Canadians’ food environment, as well as culture. She hopes this guide will help tackle that.“What I think is going to come out of the Food Guide is this real focus on recognizing the complexity of the food environment in which we’re making decisions, and recognizing ways we can support people to be able to achieve and health the foods that they’re eating.”The new Food Guide has less of an emphasis on red meat, and more on plant-based proteins. It also de-emphasizes the daily-recommended intake of dairy, even subbing water as the drink of choice replacing milk.Kirk says she’s also heartened that Health Canada did not take input from industries when making its recommendations.“Personally speaking… there’s a lot of research that supports what’s coming out in the recommendations, and I’m really pleased to see that the Government of Canada is actually being informed by that evidence,” she explains.The new Food Guide was developed with input from science and health experts, and excluded the input of industry to avoid past concerns about political interference.In response to what the beef and dairy industries may think, Kirk points out the recommendations aren’t necessarily saying to cut these items out of your diet completely.“I think they also have to recognize you can’t eat these things, it’s just saying that the balance that we’re having in our diet needs to shift. We want to reduce chronic diseases — and chronic disease account for approximately a third of the direct health care costs that Canadians face.”She points to rates of obesity, diabetes, and cardiac disease increasing, as well as rates of cancer.“Rates of cancer are increasing, and they’re very strongly related to the food that we eat,” Kirk adds. “So we have to start recognizing these complex factors that are actually making us sick.”‘Food insecurity’ is a concert: KirkHowever, following a healthy diet may not come easy to everyone. Kirk points to “food insecurity” as an obstacle.“Healthier food tends to be more expensive, and it’s less available,” she explains. “I think we have to recognize that there are a number of Canadians who cannot afford to eat according to Canada’s Food Guide — the previous version or the new version.”The new guide also says to cut back on processed foods, saturated fat and sugary drinks, and increase vegetable, fruit and whole grains intake.“Dietary risks are one of the top three leading risk factors for chronic disease burden in Canada, however nutrition science is complex and often results in conflicting messages. This is why Canadians need credible healthy-eating information to guide their food choices,” Hasan Hutchinson director-general of nutritional policy and promotion at Health Canada, says. “These are the reasons for which it was necessary to revise Canada’s Food Guide.”New messages are also included in the new guide that promote healthy behaviours involving food, such as reminding people to be mindful while eating and to eat meals with others.
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As political sparks continue to fly over the SNC-Lavalin scandal, the constituency office of the woman at the centre of it all has been struck by vandals.Graffiti by Jody Wilson-Raybould’s Vancouver office at Broadway and Alder St. seems to support Jody and denounce Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.“Canadians believe Jody” “Flush the Turd 2019” and “Make Canada Great Again” spray painted on the road on Broadway outside @Puglaas’s Vancouver constituency office #bcpoli #cdnpoli #SNCLavalinScandal pic.twitter.com/VxIHFhUAaP— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel1130) April 8, 2019The words, spray-painted in white and red on the road and sidewalk, say things like “Let Jody speak,” “Trudeau for treason,” and “Make Canada great again.”The largest says, “Make B.C. the best coast again.”The office windows were painted but have since been cleaned.RELATED: Do Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott have a future in politics beyond the fall federal election?Vancouver police confirm they were called to a report of mischief at the constituency office early Monday morning. A 37-year-old Vancouver man has been arrested.Officers also seized several cans of spray paint. Charges of mischief may be laid..@VancouverPD says a 37-y-o man is in custody. They say the the messages were not threatening/derogatory and officers have seized several cans of spray paint. The messages on the window have since been removed while the cleanup of the sidewalk is underway. Details on @NEWS1130. https://t.co/fNM8xh4W9S— Sonia Aslam (@SoniaSAslam) April 8, 2019RELATED: Door open for Wilson-Raybould, Philpott to join the Greens: MayWilson-Raybould tweeted about the incident, saying she appreciated people wanting to show support but encouraged them to do so without damaging property.While I appreciate people wanting to show their support and enthusiasm as well as express their views, I would encourage them to do so without damaging private or public property or putting themselves in harm’s way. Thank you. https://t.co/GDW7wkptJN— Jody Wilson-Raybould (@Puglaas) April 8, 2019Penny, who lives in the constituency, agrees. “It’s a weird way to show your support.”“This is horrendous. Whatever point they are trying to make, there are better ways that you can do it. You’re just going to anger the residents of the neighbourhood. It’s the wrong thing to do,” she said.Lydia walked by the graffiti and told NEWS 1130 this is a growing sign of disappointment in the Liberals. “I think this is very impactful. I think it’s a good way of raising awareness.”Last week, Wilson-Raybould and fellow MP Jane Philpott were removed from the Liberal party.Wilson-Raybould stepped down from Trudeau’s cabinet in February after he shuffled her out of the coveted justice portfolio. Philpott followed suit three weeks later, surrendering her role as Indigenous Services minister over what she called a lack of confidence in how the Prime Minister’s Office had handled the SNC-Lavalin controversy. – With files from Sonia Aslam