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Lack of pipelines cost Canada billions in lost revenue

first_imgCanada is leaving billions of dollars on the table due to a lack of pipeline capacity.Those are the findings of a report from the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.The price differential of Western Canadian Select (WCS) relative to West Texas Intermediate (WTI) reflects the lower quality of WCS and transportation costs, but pipeline capacity constraints have dramatically increased the discount to historical levels.Research Associate Kent Fellows said prior to 2013, the WCS/WTI discount generally stayed between nine and 13 per cent of the WTI price but as of February 2, 2018, the differential is at 47 per cent.“The historical differential when we still had some excess capacity was sort of in the range of $10 to $15, maybe a little bit higher than that, but the current one is close to $40 so a pretty big difference,” he said.Fellows explained the larger discount means Alberta is getting lower revenues for each barrel of heavy crude exported, costing the provincial government $6.60 on every barrel of heavy oil exported to the U.S, which is an annual loss of $7.2 billion.Private companies are missing out on $5.3 billion and the federal government is leaving $800 million on the table.Fellows argued this shows why governments need to push for pipelines that are in the public interest.last_img read more

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CP Rail reports lower profits as Teamsters IBEW serve 72hour strike notice

first_imgCALGARY – Severe winter weather that left grain farmers complaining about poor rail service is being blamed for disappointing first-quarter earnings at Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. as it deals with the potential for further disruption amid a possible strike this weekend.The company, which was handed 72-hour strike notices Wednesday by two unions representing about 3,400 of its workers, reported after markets closed that it earned $348 million in the first three months of the year, down from $431 million a year ago, despite a four per cent increase in revenue to $1.66 billion.Reported diluted earnings per share were $2.41, an 18 per cent decrease from $2.93 a year earlier, and short of analyst expectations of $2.64 according to Thomson Reuters.“The results we’ve just issued represent a very challenging quarter on the operating side with extreme cold temperatures and record snowfall,” CEO Keith Creel said on a conference call, adding the issues were compounded by supply chain constraints and increasing demand in some territories.On the labour dispute, Creel said he spoke with federal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu and Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Wednesday morning and said they are hopeful a deal can be worked out to prevent a work stoppage that would hurt Canada’s economy.“I’m remaining open-minded and optimistic as well but I also have to be a realist and we have to plan with our customers to make sure they have contingency plans,” he said.“I hope that we do not have to execute our’s or their’s but certainly we’re taking steps as if we will.”The railroad is seeking a fair and balanced contract with its workers, he said, adding CP Rail won’t sign a “bad short-term deal.”Commodity shippers fear further disruptions in getting their products to market if the strikes go ahead.“A strike would just be another nail in the coffin of another really bad year for shipping,” said Ron Bonnett, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.“All winter, the railways were only delivering about 40 per cent of the cars that were requested for shipping grain so there’s a tremendous backlog of grain in the system right now.”He said some farmers are running short of cash because their crops aren’t being sold, adding the glut from a near-record crop last summer could last until next fall and cause problems with this year’s crop sales.Rail shipping of grain has been better recently, but still not satisfactory, with shippers reporting Canadian National Railway supplied cars for 83 per cent of demand while CP Rail rated 53 per cent in the week of April 2-8, said Greg Northey, director of industry relations with Pulse Canada, a member of the Ag Transport Coalition.A CP Rail work stoppage would also be “extremely detrimental” to the member companies of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada who rely on rail to ship about 80 per cent of their products, CEO Bob Masterson said in an open letter to Hajdu.Hajdu said in a statement Wednesday she is calling on the unions and CP Rail to negotiate in good faith and arrive at an agreement.Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said earlier this week the government is watching the situation because of its implications for grain and other commodity movements, but remains hopeful the bargaining process will result in a solution.Both the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, representing about 3,000 CP Rail engineers and conductors, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, with about 365 signal and communications workers, cite a lack of progress at the bargaining table in issuing the strike notices.Absent a negotiated settlement, the unions say their workers will walk out at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.CP Rail said it presented the Teamsters with new three- and five-year agreement options on Monday and planned to present the IBEW with three- and five-year options on Wednesday.The Teamsters union reached a tentative deal with CN Rail last month for a new contract for about 1,700 workers. CN’s IBEW members ratified an agreement in April 2017.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:CP, TSX:CNR)Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version had inaccurate information about CN Rail’s IBEW contract.last_img read more

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Airbus starts work on A220 assembly line six months after Bombardier sold

first_imgMONTREAL — Airbus SE broke ground Wednesday on the A220 aircraft assembly line at its facility in Mobile, Ala., the first step in a US$300-million construction project paid for by Bombardier Inc.That amount makes up a chunk of the US$925 million the Quebec plane-and-train maker could shell out by the end of 2021 under a partnership that saw Airbus to take control of the C Series — now known as the A220 — last July without paying a penny.The event took place at the Airbus plant in Alabama, where assembly of the popular A320 passenger jet is already underway. The French airplane giant says the new project will create 400 factory jobs.Production of the narrow-body A220 is expected to start in the third quarter, whether or not plant construction is complete, in order to make the first deliveries in 2020.Airbus says the project will generate economic spinoffs for Quebec, forecasting that northern suppliers of the A220 will rake in about $400 million per month once the Mirabel, Que., and Mobile facilities are up and running at full capacity.The company says that the two plants will churn out 10 aircraft and four aircraft, respectively.Companies in this story: (TSX:BBD.B)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Ex-IAF pilot’s wife murder: Police search for car which entered society

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi Police had questioned four to five persons including the family members of former IAF wing commander’s wife who was found dead at her house in Dwarka’s Sector-7 area.Police said that they are trying to trace a car in the case and they also suspect that the deceased might have been made unconscious and then killed. Investigators told Millennium Post that apart from robbery, different angles being probed. “We are tracing a car in the case which had entered the society. The number plate of the vehicle is not clear. Phone records being scanned in the case,” said the Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesinvestigator. “More than three teams closely working in the case. Some new facts came which is being investigated,” he added. Police sources further said that they are investigating whether the deceased Meenu Jain might have been unconscious when the accused killed her. “There are several things which are being checked,” added source. Police are also finding a cell phone which is currently off. A 52-year-old wife of a former IAF wing commander was found dead at her house in Dwarka, police said on Saturday. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarThe deceased has been identified as Neenu Jain. Neenu’s husband is a retired Indian Air Force wing commander and currently working as a commercial pilot with IndiGo. The couple has a son and a daughter. The son, who works in an MNC in Noida, visits his parents on weekends while the daughter is a doctor in Goa, police said. “The investigation is taken up by the team and we have already collected the CCTV from the society,” said a senior Police officer. The father of the deceased called her on Friday evening but she did not receive the phone. Thereafter, her father and brother came to see her at her flat in Air Force Naval officers Enclave in Dwarka Sector-7 but noticed that the gate of the house was locked from outside. Unable to get the door opened and suspecting something amiss, the duo then entered the house from her neighbour’s side. As they entered the house they saw Meenu Jain lying on the floor unconscious. A mobile phone, some cash and jewellery was found missing from the house, following which a case under sections 302 (murder) and 392 (robbery) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered and investigation initiated, police said.last_img read more

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Lessons from Tehri

first_imgSustainable approaches for urban water sanitation have gained firmer voices and more spaces for implementation in recent years. But some issues in our water management systems persist. One of them is the excessive dependence on water supply. Most urban areas have resorted to importing water from further and further away. Many large Indian cities have to source water from long distances, ranging between 50 and 200 kilometres due to exhaustion of remaining sources or pollution in nearby ones. Also Read – A special kind of bondAlong with an increased cost of raw water and losses due to leakage, such methods are ecologically unsustainable. The example of Tehri dam highlights this clearly. Popularised in national imagery as the tallest dam in Asia and as a technological feat, the dam supplies water to Delhi, situated about 300 km away. At 260.5 metres, the structure was built upon the waters of the Bhagirathi and Bhilangana tributaries of the Ganga. The river has been embedded in the cultural cosmology and livelihoods of the local population. Also Read – Insider threat managementThe Tehri jheel (lake), which formed as a result of this dam, submerged nearly 55 square kms of the fertile river valley. In Garhwal, where over 70 per cent population depends on agriculture for livelihood and only 12 per cent land can be used for cultivation, this proved to be calamitous. Even before the dam began functioning in 2006, it had submerged the town of Tehri and affected close to 125 villages. This led to the displacement of over 1 lakh people. But the sequence of such displacements continues due to silting and landslides along the reservoir’s periphery. The region is situated along the highly active Lower Himalayan fault line, where earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.5 or greater are highly probable. A study carried out by the National Geophysical Research Institute in 2012 found smaller earthquakes in a radius of 20 km linked to changes in reservoir levels at the Tehri dam. These added to the already existing menace of landslides which were common in the area due to deforestation and incessant constructions. There are several Tehris in the pipeline. To avoid this we must encourage knowledge which leads away from incessant supply of water. India’s future water needs stand compromised due to overdependence on conventional water supply and consumption frameworks. This demands a renewed focus on an inclusive approach towards urban water management. So, when the water gushes out of our taps next time, let’s be aware of its journey. (Saakshi Joshi is a Senior Research Associate with the Urban Water-Waste Management Unit, CSE. Her current work includes capacity building and policy research for urban water and sanitation management. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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Morocco deploys military units on borders with Algeria

first_imgRabat- Moroccan military helicopters have been reported to comb the border area with neighboring Algeria following the latter’s decision to reinforce its presence along the shared borders by putting more boots on the ground, according to Al Massae daily in its issue of Friday November 1st.Units from the Royal Armed Forces and auxiliary forces had been deployed to the borders after receiving instructions to stay vigilant and alert in dealing with the recent escalation from Algeria. The relation between Morocco and its neighbor deteriorated  after the speech of Algerian president in Abuja on Monday, which contained allegations concerning the situation of human rights in the Sahara. The Algerian President called on the United Nations to expand its mission in the Sahara, known as MINURSO, to monitor the situation of human rights in this disputed territory. Algeria’s President statement was considered by Rabat as “provocative and hostile”.As a result, Morocco announced on Wednesday its decision to recall its ambassador in Algiers for consultation.The Moroccan Army is increasing alertness along the shared borders after it gathered new information that Algeria is conducting joint military exercises with the Polisario front militias using live ammunition and focusing mainly on tactics of guerrilla warfare, according to a source quoted by Al Massae.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

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Kerry hopes for ‘transparent’ Egypt referendum

first_imgKUWAIT CITY – US State Secretary John Kerry said he hopes Egypt’s constitutional referendum, in which voting ends Wednesday, will be a “transparent and accountable” process.If there is strong support for the new charter, that may launch a presidential bid by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.“Our hope is that it will be a process that is transparent and accountable and one that can give confidence to people that they are going down the road that has been promised. But we don’t know yet,” Kerry said in Kuwait, where he attended a Syria donors conference. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said Tuesday that regardless of the outcome of the referendum “it will be important for the interim government to foster a positive environment for civil society.”It must also protect the rights of political activists, she added, as she voiced concerns about outbreaks of deadly violence after the two-day referendum started.Washington froze some of  its aid to Egypt, most of which is military, after the toppling of Morsi. It insisted that the military-installed leadership put the country back on the path to democracy.But Congress is poised to adopt legislation that could give President Barack Obama the authority to re-instate some $1.5 billion (1.1 billion euros) in frozen aid to Egypt.last_img read more

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The miserable working conditions of a Casablanca textile factory

first_imgBy Keltoum Elhassiah- CasablancaA day in a small textile factory: poor working conditions, low productivity, loss of customersIn a small, 20-year old factory in Sbata, a neighborhood of Casablanca, several women from the area are working. This small factory specializes in making clothes for men, women, and children, such as pants, shirts, and jackets. The factory has not a profitable day in 20 years because of poor working conditions, low productivity, and loss of customers.The factory owner, Bouchaïb Mbarki (or “M. Bouchaïb” as the workers call him) was kind enough to open the factory doors for us. And this is what we found.Happiness Factory… Really?At the factory entrance, there is a well decorated door with the words, “wzine Saada”, the happiness factory, written on it. However, when we enter the factory, we discover another reality.There are ten female workers and some dilapidated machines. Each woman is responsible for her work on a stitcher or sewing machine. The atmosphere is idle and apathetic. “We work every day from 7 :30 AM to 6.30 PM, and we have only one hour of break from 1 to 2 PM for lunch. The day is hard, very hard,” said Yamna, a young female worker who has worked here for six years.“The pace of activity is really hard. We ten women have to produce 400 pieces per day,” she adds. After conversations with other workers, it was apparent that the main cause of the lack of labor is due to the coarseness of Bouchaïb. The workers do not like his rudeness and they leave after one week.Enclaved and isolated, the factory is losing more and more customers, according to the workers. “After 20 years, the factory is able to retain some customers. Unfortunately, we are losing them, but I stay optimistic. With a little luck and a lot of effort by the workers, the factory could reinvent itself and persist,” insists M. Bouchaïb.Miserable SalaryThe main disavantage for the workers is the salary. They are not satisfied with their treatment. Zahira, a worker at the happiness factory, said, “I am married and have three children. My husband doesn’t work and I only receive 250 Dhs per week. It is really hard for me to provide for my entire house.”At 1 PM, it is lunch break and workers take their homemade sandwiches from their bags. “One hour of break is insufficient for us. We pray or lunch or take a nap,” says Yamna. She also mentioned that half of her colleagues go to home to see their children.The End of the DayAfter a long day of work, the women are getting ready to leave the factory. They take off their white coats and wish M. Bouchaïb a good evening. The majority of the workers live near the factory, but some take half an hour to get home. “When the work ends here, there is always more at home. It is really difficult for me because I come home with horrible back pain and a terrible headache due to the constant noise of sewing machines. How do you want us to take care of our homes and our children ?” demands Saâdia, a 38-years-old worker. The women split up and each goes her own way.Translated by Nahla Landolsi. Edited by Katrina Bushko © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

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The Predators Goalie Is Unbeatable — For Now

Last week, the Nashville Predators did something very few experts thought they had a chance of doing — they swept the mighty Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago has been a perennial Stanley Cup contender for the better part of the last decade, winning three of the NHL’s last seven championships. Along with Scotty Bowman’s Detroit Red Wings,1Who won three Stanley Cups in six years between 1997 and 2002. they’re the closest thing to a dynasty the NHL has seen since the days of Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers. Sweeping that kind of team in a playoff series is exceptional. Now, as the Preds attempt to beat the St. Louis Blues and reach the conference finals for the first time in franchise history, it’s natural to wonder how much of that exceptional play they can expect to keep up.A lot of things went right for the Predators in their series against Chicago. Nashville’s offense (never its best asset)2The Preds have only ranked in the top 10 in goals for per game twice since the 2004-05 lockout. took care of business against the Blackhawks, scoring the third-most goals per game of any team in the first round and putting pucks in the net at a better clip than it did during the regular season. Predator centers won the majority of the faceoffs they took against the Blackhawks, and the team as a whole drove possession at the highest rate of any team still alive in the postseason.But even with all those advantages, it was the otherworldly play of goalie Pekka Rinne that really decided the series. The Blackhawks took 126 shots against Nashville’s defense,3Chicago averaged almost one more shot per game during their series with Nashville than they did during the regular season, 31.5 versus 30.6. and Rinne stopped 123 (or a stunning 97.6 percent) of them. No one can sustain a .976 save percentage over long stretches of games — even the best season-long rates are way lower — but could a goalie play this well over the course of an entire postseason?A handful of others have come close. In 2006, Cam Ward sprinted out of the gates and posted a save percentage of .940 for the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the playoffs. Stiffer competition in the second, third and final rounds of the playoffs meant that Ward’s numbers dipped a bit, though he finished with a save percentage of .920. (The regular-season league average that year was .901.) The Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup, and Ward secured the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoff MVP.Then there was Corey Crawford’s run for the Blackhawks in 2013. Crawford posted an impressive .950 save percentage in Chicago’s first-round victory over the Minnesota Wild. He, too, regressed in the next three rounds, but he still finished with an overall save percentage of .932 — not bad for a guy whose regular-season mark that year was .926. And like Ward’s Canes, Crawford’s Blackhawks rode their goalie’s remarkable playoff performance all the way to Stanley Cup victory.These kinds of postseasons don’t always end in championship parades. Chris Osgood got off to a spectacular start for the Red Wings in the spring of 2009. Like the others, he regressed a bit — and like the others, he led his team to the finals. Unlike the others, though, Osgood’s Wings fell one win short of getting their names etched onto Lord Stanley’s shiny silver punch bowl.So although Rinne has been on fire, it can’t last forever. He’s bound to regress to the mean — but his mean is pretty dang good, too. In 52 career playoff games, he has posted a .917 save percentage and a 2.38 goals-against average. Since the 2004-05 lockout, only 12 other goalies have played in as many playoff games as Rinne, and in that group, his save percentage and goals against average rank seventh and sixth, respectively. Rinne has played a lot of playoff games, and he’s played well.That hasn’t always been enough, as the Predators are accustomed to making early postseason exits after struggling to put the puck in the net. Including this season, Nashville has made the playoffs six times since Rinne took over as the team’s starting goalie in 2008-09. In those six postseasons, Rinne’s teammates have only averaged 2.6 goals per game in front of him. It’s worth pointing out that, since the lockout, no team that’s averaged less than 2.76 goals per playoff game has gone on to claim the Stanley Cup.If recent history tells us anything, it’s that the Predators will need to sustain their current scoring pace if they have any hope of advancing past the second round for the first time ever. And if they want a shot at winning the whole thing, it wouldn’t hurt if Rinne could sustain his pace as the postseason’s designated hot goalie. Beating Chicago was a good first step, though, even if there’s plenty of work left for Nashville to do against St. Louis — and beyond.CORRECTION (April 26, 5:20 p.m.): An earlier version of this story misspelled Pekka Rinne’s name in the photo caption. read more

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Volleyball Buckeyes drop fiveset heartbreaker to Wisconsin in NCAA regional semifinal

Sophomore setter Taylor Hughes (6) sets the ball during a match with Wisconsin on Nov. 2 at St. John Arena. She had 45 assists and 11 kills on Friday. Credit: Jenna Leinasars | Assistant News DirectorA 2-1 set lead wasn’t enough for the Ohio State Buckeyes to withstand a comeback from No. 3 Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament Sweet 16. OSU dropped the final two sets to lose 3-2 in the regional semifinal. Wisconsin freshman outside hitter Molly Hagerty and senior setter Lauren Carlini sent the Buckeyes home with their third five-set loss in the Sweet 16 in three consecutive seasons. Hagerty ended with 22 kills and Carlini totaled 62 assists.Junior outside hitter Luisa Schrimer led the Buckeye effort with a double-double, 19 kills and 18 digs. Senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe also posted 13 kills. The momentum was with the Badgers from the first serve of the set. A poor starting performance put the Buckeyes out of system, and the team was quickly down 6-1. OSU found themselves trying to climb out of the hole throughout the opening set. Even after showing signs of life near the set’s conclusion, the Buckeyes were still down by a ten-plus point deficit. OSU ended the set hitting negative-0.026 as a team. The Buckeyes came out in the second set with a much more commanding presence. They held onto a steady lead into the set, forcing Wisconsin to take its first timeout at 13-8 after a sneaky setter dump by sophomore Taylor Hughes. Wisconsin creeped back into contention at 23-21, and the home Badger crowd erupted. Sophomore outside hitter Audra Appold wrangled in a kill for the first Buckeye set point, followed by an error by the Badgers for the OSU set win. The strength of the Big Ten conference was evident to start the third set, as both teams went point-for-point to gain the set advantage. A crucial four-point run by the Buckeyes put them up 14-9 before a Badger stop. Wisconsin’s Tionna Williams guided the team on their own run, and the Badgers quickly took back the lead. The tension in University Fieldhouse grew as the final points of the set dropped. Badger fans were on their feet as the score was tied at 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29. Finally, a Wisconsin service error followed by a block by Hughes ended the set and put the Buckeyes up 2-1. OSU had control of both sides of the ball as they increased an opening fourth-set lead over the Badgers, 12-8. Wisconsin’s composure was tested when two balls that went in OSU’s favor steadily increased the Buckeyes’ lead. The Badgers quickly battled back with a six-point run to seat the Buckeyes on an edge. Wisconsin prevailed and yet another five-set match ensued for OSU. Wisconsin’s Haleigh Nelson gave the Badgers a two-point advantage (5-3) to start the fifth and final set. At the mid-set side change, Wisconsin led OSU by only one point. The Badgers earned the first set point from an OSU service error and Nelson secured the final point for her team to advance to the regional final against the winner of Florida State and No. 6 Stanford. The Buckeyes finished 22-13 on the year. read more

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