Tina HouseAPTN NewsGrand Chief Ed John of the First Nations Summit says the forgiving of loans taken out to negotiate comprehensive claims or treaties will have a huge impact on First Nation communities.“How big a deal is it? Its a $1.4 billion deal and to me, when the loans are forgiven and off the books for First Nations, it provides those communities opportunities to raise revenues for other business opportunities for other development in the communities,” said John, head of the B.C. First Nations Summit.In the federal budget delivered in March, the Liberals announced that the government would be forgiving loans that were taken out by First Nation communities to prepare for negotiations.Many went into debt for millions of dollars.B.C. Treaty Commissioner Mary-Ann Enevoldsen is the former chief of the Homalco First Nation in B.C.She said that forgiving these loans is a step towards reconciliation.“The issue of taking on loans for the protection of our rights title and culture was very devisive, and controversial,” she said. “It was counter productive to advance our treaties on behalf of our nations it gave fuel to people who opposed our efforts and it left a negative cloud over the treaty processes goals.”Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett made the announcement in the backyard of former attorney general and justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.Media stories have reported a rift between the two ministers over the failed Indigenous rights framework agreement.Bennett called the situation unfortunate and that the government is pressing on.“These kinds of conversations discussions about recognition and implementation of rights should be done and paid for by Canada that it is now going forward contribution agreements where we pay for what it will take to be able to reach an agreement and nation to nation re-build the nations,” she said.Bennett said there are a few more steps within government to finalize the details.But letters should be going to affected communities firstname.lastname@example.org@inthehouse7
“Baby H” was taken from parents 90 minutes after being born. (Submitted photo)Melissa RidgenAPTN NewsAn hour and a half after enduring a C-section delivery at a Kamloops hospital, an Indigenous couple was exhausted but elated as they met their baby girl – a first child for both.But their joy was short-lived when an hour and a half after she was born, social workers came in to take Baby H, saying they’d had a report of neglect.“They were shocked,” said the paternal grandfather, who questions how one could be labelled neglectful and have someone issue a birth alert to apprehend in just 90 minutes.“Luckily the (maternal) grandmother was there and she held them off, at least for a while.”APTN News isn’t naming the baby or the family as the child remains in the foster system.Two days later, on June 14, social workers came back, reportedly two hours late for a meeting that had been scheduled with the family.But the mother was asleep from a sedative medical staff had administered.When she awoke she learned her newborn was gone.The apprehension was widely shared as an Amber Alert by anti-CFS activists on social media over the weekend with calls-to-action to contact the agency responsible – Secwépemc Child & Family Services.But Secwepemc CFS responded to the outrage saying they had “refused service on this request” and that it was Kamloops Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) that took the baby.Baby H is now eight days old and has spent six of those essential parental bonding days in foster care.The father’s home community has gotten involved.“There are no grounds to take that child and no need for that child to have gone through this,” said Dr. Rohan Ghatak, health director for Tl’etinqox band, which is fighting to have the child returned.(A mom cuddles her newborn daughter moments before CFS arrived to apprehend the 90 minute-old baby on the grounds of neglect)The baby has been transferred to foster care in Williams Lake, B.C.. where her parents live and have been able to visit her for two hours a day under the watch of CFS.The family has found unexpected allies in two Williams Lake social workers who were wrongly identified on social media as being the agency that apprehended the infant.Ghatak said they are, in fact, assisting to get the child back and supporting the family at a mediation hearing set for June 25.“We’re trying to come to a reasonable understanding so we can get things right,” Ghatak said.If mediation doesn’t end with Baby H being given back to her parents that day, there is a court date set for June 27 to try again.She will be 15 days old then.Thirteen of which the newborn has been without her parents but for short supervised visits.Ghatak says he can’t comment on what put the family on CFS’s radar in the first place.The baby’s paternal grandfather said some of what troubled him was social workers allegedly telling hospital staff that the couple is homeless.“They’re not, they have a two-bedroom apartment. Then the story changed to they live in a group home – not true. They don’t drink or use drugs.“There’s no reason for this.”He says both parents are frustrated and exhausted.“(Agencies) are playing all kinds of games,” said the grandpa. “(The parents) are under a lot of stress. I took my son to a sweat lodge (Wednesday) night to help out but they have a lot of anxiety and stress.”He also believes they were stereotyped.“They saw them as being vulnerable and this being an easy baby to take and when the family stepped up they did everything to keep the family out of it.”The B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development responded to the incident Friday via emailed statement that, in part, said, “We know that children thrive when they are able to be with their families, connected to their communities and their culture; and that the first few days with an infant are critical – not just for bonding, but ensuring that their needs are met, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”But despite knowing this, they apprehended Baby H.The ministry says it can’t discuss specifics but “is focussed on balancing the safety of a child or infant and keeping kids with families or extended family.”Baby H is not with family or extended family. She is in a non-indigenous foster home.As for having any grounds to take the baby, the ministry would only say “by law, the ministry can only remove if the child is in immediate danger and no less disruptive measures are available.”The family says no other measures were ever discussed when social workers came in demanding the 1.5-hr-old baby.Baby H could be home as early as June 25.More to email@example.com
WASHINGTON – One question looms as President Donald Trump packs his bags for Switzerland: How will the Diet Coke-loving nationalist fit in with the Champagne-sipping globalists he’ll encounter at the World Economic Forum in Davos?American presidents tend to shun the Davos diplomacy scene, a glitzy annual gathering at a Swiss Alpine resort that for nearly 50 years has drawn politicians, CEOs and celebrities to ponder public policy and global co-operation.Sitting presidents typically pass on the event, as known for its flashy parties and celebrity sightings as its policy powwows and international deal-making.Instead, Trump will be the star attraction at this year’s high-minded, invitation-only summit. A real estate executive turned reality TV star who has embraced nationalism and railed against international trade practices, Trump doesn’t seem like a natural fit. But with a government shutdown averted, Trump is packing up much of his Cabinet and his “America First” message and heading into town.“We’ll be talking about investing in the United States again,” Trump said Tuesday, as he signed new tariffs that could draw criticism from the Davos crowd.The last sitting U.S. president to attend the summit was Bill Clinton in 2000. Barack Obama, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush all opted out. Ronald Reagan appeared via video link.Just how Trump approaches the gathering is the subject of feverish speculation as attendees try to game out what Trump will say in his remarks and who he may meet with on the sidelines. Longtime attendees stressed that he might not find the warmest response among those who favour global trade and have been rattled by his rise to power.“It’s a bit of a puzzle,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist of IHS Markit. “First of all, he’s going into a situation where the audience will not be that friendly.”An administration official said Trump is expected to highlight the booming U.S. economy and his recent tax overhaul while again criticizing trade practices he sees as unfair. The official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about internal plans and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Trump made the decision to go because he thinks he has a positive economic message.Trump decided to make the move after some encouragement from Vice-President Mike Pence and French President Emmanuel Macron, said a White House official, who also wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity.He’s likely get a different response than Clinton did 18 years ago.A champion of global trade, Clinton urged world leaders to consider workers and poorer nations in his 2000 address, saying, “Don’t leave the little guys out.” He has frequented the meeting ever since, receiving a warm reception. His former vice-president, Al Gore, an environmental activist, is scheduled to attend this year.“Clinton is the only president that really was Davos Man,” said Ian Bremmer, a foreign affairs columnist and president of the Eurasia Group, using the nickname for the summit’s globalization focused participants. “Obama doesn’t like contrasts like this. Bush was more folksy, homespun.”Still, top aides have typically attended even when the president did not. Vice-President Joe Biden appeared on behalf of the Obama administration last year, and Vice-President Dick Cheney attended for George W. Bush.And of course, politicians aren’t the only draw at Davos. In recent years, celebrity attendees have become part of the tableau, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Goldie Hawn and Bono among the superstar visitors. In 2006, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt attended panel discussions trailed by packs of photographers.This year, Elton John and Cate Blanchett already have grabbed Davos headlines.Trump has not attended before. Said Bremmer: “This is not Trump’s crowd.”Even though Trump hasn’t been there, his political rise — driven by nationalist rhetoric — has dominated the conversation in recent years.“I remember two years ago, every meeting at Davos, whatever it was about, would end with the theme that Trump could never be elected president,” said Harvard University economist Kenneth Rogoff. “For him, I suspect this is a victory lap.”Last year, Biden appeared at Davos in the final days of the Obama administration and used his remarks to issue a veiled criticism of Trump, calling on Europe and the United States to defend the “liberal” world order, decrying a growing impulse in the West toward isolation and building walls.Also sending a message to Trump last year was Chinese President Xi Jinping, who cast his country as a champion of free trade and stability, saying: “Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you cannot escape from.”Trump may be looking to push back on those messages this year.Last time, the crowd heard from Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci, the financier who briefly served as Trump’s communications director over the summer. Scaramucci — known at Davos for throwing wine-tasting parties — sought to explain Trump’s governing plans to an anxious audience.He insisted the administration “did not want to have a trade war,” predicted that Trump’s inaugural address would be “very Reaganesque,” and said, “Directionally, this is a super compassionate man.”But he also acknowledged the concerns about the incoming president.Scaramucci joked: “This is my 10th year here, but it is my first year here with a food taster.”
AMHERST, N.S. – Ottawa says it will study ways to protect the 275-year-old dikes that connect Nova Scotia to the rest of Canada from being washed away by rising sea levels, storm surges and other effects of climate change.The $350,000 study will look at how rising water levels could affect key infrastructure in the Chignecto Isthmus trade corridor, including the Trans-Canada Highway, the Canadian National rail line and electricity transmission lines, Nova Scotia MP Bill Casey said in a statement Monday.The study will involve an engineering assessment of existing infrastructure, consultation and options to protect the corridor, which carries an estimated $50 million worth of trade a day between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.“Trade between our two provinces is the lifeline that keeps our economies growing and our goods moving and this is why we must do all we can to protect the Chignecto Isthmus trade corridor from climate change,” Casey, the MP for Cumberland-Colchester, said in a release.The initiative comes amid increasing calls for something to be done to maintain the land link between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia by raising and reinforcing dikes at the narrow isthmus that joins the provinces and allow goods to travel to and from the busy port of Halifax.The dikes in the Tantramar Marshes were built by Acadian settlers for agricultural purposes in the 1700s. The Chignecto Isthmus was cut off for several days in an 1869 storm, according to a 2008 study by Memorial University geologist Norm Catto.The study said the odds of a recurrence would increase as sea levels rise.Last month, the NDP in Nova Scotia said it would introduce a private member’s bill requiring the province’s agriculture minister to take steps to maintain the low-lying area where the Trans-Canada Highway goes over the Tantramar Marshes. The party said the governing Liberals should spend at least $10 million per year on maintaining the dikes in each of the next five years.Last fall, the mayor of Amherst also raised concerns about the condition of the historic Acadian dikes and their ability to hold back rising sea levels occurring due to climate change.Mayor David Kogon has said sea levels are projected to rise in the Bay of Fundy over the next two decades to the point where the Chignecto Isthmus will flood even when there is no storm surge, leaving Nova Scotia cut off.The area where flooding could occur includes 20 kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway, 20 kilometres of CN Rail, 35 kilometres of electricity lines and 35 kilometres of dikes. The isthmus itself is a narrow, low-lying strip of land that is about 20 kilometres at its narrowest point.At the time, he said he wanted all three levels of government to work together, adding the first step would be an engineering study to determine the scope of the required repairs.The Nova Scotia government has said it is developing new design standards that incorporate sea level rise and storm surge into dike maintenance and construction.The province has also said that in the Amherst area specifically, it has allocated $10 million be spent to replace the Laplanche aboiteau for local farmland.
VICTORIA – A heckler interrupted Premier John Horgan’s news conference on protecting British Columbia’s wild salmon by shouting the province is allowing the aquaculture industry to continue operating while fish stocks are struggling to survive.“You sold us out,” she yelled Friday. “Our salmon are dying.”“If that’s your view you’re welcome to put your name on a ballot any time soon,” Horgan responded.The woman, who identified herself as Tsastilqualus, said she is from the Alert Bay area off northern Vancouver Island but has been living in a tent on Swanson Island near several commercial salmon farms.She said she has also protested outside Horgan’s constituency office and his home in Langford, just west of Victoria.Tsastilqualus said salmon farms should be removed from ocean waters and operated on land in containment facilities.“I want them out of our waters completely,” she said. “We don’t have time to waste. Our salmon is the most important thing to us as Indigenous people. It’s our culture. It’s in our songs, our dances, everything. If there is no salmon, what are we?”Horgan, who announced the formation of a 14-member advisory council to develop plans to restore and protect B.C.’s wild salmon stocks, rejected Tsastilqualus statements that his government was stalling on protecting wild salmon.“It’s a tragedy that we find ourselves in 2018 on the crest of perhaps losing this important species,” he said.Horgan said the council will submit its recommendations to the government this fall. He said bureaucrats recently travelled to Ottawa to consult with federal officials in advance of proposed amendments this year to the federal Fisheries Act, which governs Canada’s oceans and fish.Brian Riddell, a salmon expert who spent 30 years at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and is the current Pacific Salmon Foundation chief executive officer, said Horgan’s appointment of a wild salmon advisory council is the start of a necessary journey to save the species.“It’s not a simple thing to solve,” he said. “It will take time. It takes a lot of collaboration.”Riddell said he expected the future of open-net aquaculture to be one of the major areas the council will examine, especially since some scientific studies are finding links between viruses that impact farmed salmon present risks to wild salmon.“If there is the connection that these viruses that we’re finding can affect Pacific salmon then it makes the argument that there’s a risk to Pacific salmon from open-net pens much stronger,” he said.Horgan said the government will soon have further comment on the future of salmon farm tenures that are due to expire June 20 for many of the aquaculture operations located on the north side of Vancouver Island.The Green party’s Adam Olsen, who was appointed to the council, said bold leadership is needed to tackle the threats facing salmon populations.“We cannot continue to manage salmon runs to zero,” he said. “We are facing a crisis.”
Some of the most active companies traded Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,455.73, up 34.97 points)Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Down nine cents, or 1.30 per cent, to $6.85 on 14.9 million shares.New Gold Inc. (TSX:NGD). Miner. Down 49 cents, or 20.59 per cent, to $1.89 on 9.9 million shares.Crescent Point Energy (TSX:CPG). Oil and gas. Down 44 cents, or 4.55 per cent, to $9.22 on 5.8 million shares.Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX). Miner. Down 97 cents, or 6.29 per cent, to $14.46 on 4.8 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financial Services. Up 21 cents, or 0.88 per cent, to $24.10 on 4.4 million shares.Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G). Miner. Down $1.03, or 5.91 per cent, to $16.40 on 4.1 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM). Loyalty programs. Up five cents, or 1.47 per cent, to $3.44 on 3.4 million shares. The Montreal-based company has rejected an unsolicited US$180-million offer by Mexican airline operator Grupo Aeromexico to buy Aimia’s 48.9 per cent stake in their joint loyalty program Premier Loyalty & Marketing (PLM), which owns the Club Premier frequent flyer program. It would have given Grupo Aeromexico full control.Cameco Corp. (TSX:CCO). Miner. Up 48 cents, or 3.37 per cent, to $14.74 on 3.4 million shares. The Saskatoon-based uranium company had to temporarily lay off 845 employees at its McArthur River and Key Lake processing operations because the market remains oversupplied and prices are too low to restart idled production.Shopify Inc. (TSX:SHOP). E-Commerce. Down $3.70, or 1.63 per cent, to $222.85 on 197,893 shares. The Canadian e-commerce company says it will open its first bricks-and-mortar location in downtown Los Angeles at ROW DTLA, a historic district filled with shops, restaurants and offices.
Some of the most active companies traded Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,416.98, up 101.90 points)Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down three cents, or 0.63 per cent, to $4.73 on 8.05 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Up seven cents, or 1.13 per cent, to $6.25 on 6.16 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financial Services. Up 72 cents, or 3.08 per cent, to $24.12 on 4.95 million shares. The company released results that showed profits up slightly. Adjusted net earnings of 70 cents per share were higher than the 65 cents per share expected by analysts according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.TAG Oil Ltd. (TSX:TAO). Oil and gas. Down three cents, or 7.5 per cent, to 37 cents on 3.97 million shares.Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Healthcare. Up $1.44, or 4.02 per cent, on $37.25 on 3.44 million shares.Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K). Down 10 cents, or 2.32 per cent, to $4.21 on 3.36 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. (TSX:CTC.A). Retailer. Down $14.32, or 7.85 per cent, to $168.08 on 635,000 shares. The company that operates Canadian Tire, Mark’s, Sport Chek and other retailers released second-quarter results that fell below analyst expectations. The company said it had adjusted net income of $170.6 million or $2.61 per share, while analysts had expected adjusted earnings of $3.04 per share according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.
BOSTON – General Electric ousted its CEO, took a $23 billion charge and said it would fall short of profit forecasts this year, further signs that the century-old industrial conglomerate is struggling to turn around its vastly shrunken business.H. Lawrence Culp Jr. will take over immediately as chairman and CEO from John Flannery, who had been on the job for just over a year. Flannery began a restructuring of GE in August 2017, when he replaced Jeffrey Immelt, whose efforts to create a higher-tech version of GE proved unsuccessful.However, in Flannery’s short time, GE’s value has dipped below $100 billion and shares are down more than 35 per cent this year, following a 45 per cent decline in 2017.The company was booted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average this summer and, last month, shares tumbled to a nine-year low after revealing a flaw in its marquee gas turbines, which caused the metal blades to weaken and forced the shutdown of a pair of power plants where they were in use.GE warned Monday that it will miss its profit forecasts this year and it’s taking a $23 billion charge related to its power business.The 55-year-old Culp was CEO and president of Danaher Corp. from 2000 to 2014. During that time, Danaher’s market capitalization and revenues grew five-fold. He’s already a member of GE’s board.It’s a track record that GE appears to need after a series of notable changes under Flannery failed to gain momentum immediately, although some analysts wonder whether Culp’s history of accomplishments will be enough to reverse the direction of the company.The challenges GE faces — including the power sector’s cyclical, structural and operational challenges — are not easily or quickly fixable, but “GE should be commended for selecting a credible, seasoned GE outsider as chairman/CEO who is likely to more candidly and quickly identify how bad things may be and what needs to be done about it,” said Gautam Khanna, an analyst at Cowen Inc., in a note to investors.Investors will want Culp to “clean house, and fast,” said Scott Davis, founding partner of Melius Research, in a research note where he compared GE’s recent history to a slow but fatal train wreck.“If I’m a GE employee today, I’m happy for the turnaround, but expectations are about to get a whole lot higher…GE employees will either step up or will be replaced,” Davis said.Flannery faced a titanic task in redirecting General Electric, which was founded in 1892 in Schenectady, New York.Just six months after taking over as CEO, Flannery said the company would be forced to pay $15 billion to make up for the miscalculations of an insurance subsidiary. While Wall Street was aware of the issues at GE’s North American Life & Health, the size of the hit caught many off guard.Flannery on the same day said that GE might take the radical step of splitting up the main company’s three main components — aviation, health care and power — into separate businesses.In June GE said it would spin off its health-care business and sell its interest in Baker Hughes, a massive oil services company. It’s been selling off assets and trying to sharpen its focus since the recession, when it’s finance division was hammered.“GE still has too much debt and plenty to fix, but at least we have an outsider with an accelerated mandate to fix it,” Davis said.Flannery vowed to give GE more of a high-tech and industrial focus by honing in on aviation, power and renewable energy — businesses with big growth potential. The shift is historic for a company that defined the phrase “household name.”GE traces its roots to Thomas Edison and the invention of the light bulb, and the company grew with the American economy. At the start of the global financial crisis in 2008, it was one of the nation’s biggest lenders, its appliances were sold by the millions to homeowners around the world and it oversaw a multinational media powerhouse including NBC television.But the economic crises revealed how unwieldy General Electric had become, with broad exposure damage during economic downturns.Shares of General Electric Co., based in Boston, surged 11 per cent in midday trading.Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who helped lure GE to Boston from Connecticut in 2016 with incentives like state grants and property tax relief, said he’s not too concerned about GE’s latest travails. He noted that the company is still worth about $100 billion and has what he called a “huge footprint” in Massachusetts in health care, green technology, and renewable energy.He said the state “did not write a big check to GE based on job projections or anything like that.”
LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May has brushed aside questions about whether she will resign if her Brexit deal is rejected by Parliament, saying she’s confident she’ll still have a job after the crucial vote.May is battling to persuade lawmakers to support the divorce agreement between Britain and the European Union in a Dec. 11 vote. Opposition parties say they will vote against it, as do dozens of lawmakers from May’s Conservatives.Defeat could topple the prime minister or her government.May said Monday that “I will still have a job in two weeks’ time.”She told broadcaster ITV that “my job is making sure that we do what the public asked us to: We leave the EU but we do it in a way that is good for them.”The Associated Press
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Liquor company Brown-Forman Corp. reported slightly higher second-quarter net income Wednesday on the strength of its American whiskey and tequila sales, but cautioned that it’s starting to feel the pinch from tariffs slapped on its spirits in key European markets.The Louisville, Kentucky-based company — best known for its Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey brand — said tariff-related inventory reductions shaved an estimated 2 percentage points off its underlying net sales growth in the three-month period.Brown-Forman, like other large spirits companies, stockpiled inventories in bracing for the effects of tariffs imposed in the European Union that targeted American whiskey and other U.S. products in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum. In the first quarter, Brown-Forman estimated stockpiling contributed about two to three points of its underlying net sales growth.“While we are largely absorbing the tariff costs during fiscal 2019, we are confident in the long-term growth potential for our brands as we continue to build awareness with new consumers and increase our global distribution,” said COO Lawson Whiting, the company’s incoming CEO.Brown-Forman maintained its full fiscal-year earnings projection of $1.65 to $1.75 per share on projected underlying net sales growth of 6 per cent to 7 per cent. The earnings prediction assumes tariffs will remain in place the full fiscal year, it said.For the first half of its fiscal year, underlying net sales in developed international markets grew by 5 per cent, driven mainly by volume gains, the company said. But the tariff-related stockpiling momentum from the first quarter largely evaporated in the second quarter.“As anticipated, the developed international markets, and more specifically Europe, experienced substantial giveback during the second quarter associated with the first quarter’s wholesale and retail level tariff-related buy-ins, effectively reversing the incremental benefit from the first quarter,” Brown-Forman said in its earnings release.Foreign markets account for slightly more than half of Brown-Forman’s overall sales. EU countries represent slightly more than one-fourth of total sales.In the U.S., underlying net sales grew by 3 per cent in the first six months of the fiscal year, Brown-Forman said.Its Woodford Reserve bourbon brand was the biggest contributor to U.S. sales growth. Another growing bourbon brand, Old Forester, also posted a strong second-quarter performance, and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey sales in the U.S. also accelerated in the quarter, it said.Emerging overseas markets posted another round of strong growth in underlying net sales, the company said.Brown-Forman reported net income of $249 million, or 52 cents per share, for the quarter ended Oct. 31. That’s compared to $239 million, or 49 cents per share, a year ago. Quarterly net sales were essentially flat at $910 million.Brown-Forman shares have fallen 12 per cent since the beginning of the year. The stock has declined 5 per cent in the last 12 months.Among its brands, the entire Jack Daniel’s lineup had underlying net sales growth of 5 per cent for the first six months of the fiscal year, the company said. It reported 25 per cent underlying net sales growth for Woodford Reserve. Among its tequilas, Herradura was up 15 per cent and el Jimador rose 11 per cent.___A portion of this story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap ) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on BF.A at https://www.zacks.com/ap/BF.ABruce Schreiner, The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown helped his party become dominant in California politics during his eight years leading the nation’s most populous state, and less than a month before leaving office, he is predicting it will be difficult for his successor to control Democrats’ hunger for more spending and rules.The leader of California Democrats has kept lawmakers in check by limiting spending on social programs in favour of saving it to protect against a future economic downtown. He sometimes butted heads with legislative leaders, warning spending too much now could hurt taxpayers or require budget cuts later.Democrats hold all statewide offices and expanded their supermajority in the Legislature last month, allowing them to approve tax hikes and virtually any law without Republican support.“I’d say we’re in for contentious times and for too many rules, too many constricting mandates and probably too much spending,” Brown told the Associated Press in an interview Tuesday.He said Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom may have a hard time keeping fellow Democrats in check because “he’s got to please some of these groups enough of the time to still be viable as a political leader.”In the interview, Brown called for more direct discussions about the danger of wildfires to force officials and residents to act, pushed back against critics who say he’s too friendly to oil companies, and chided world leaders for failing to tackle climate change with urgency.He leaves office Jan. 7 after wrapping up a record four terms, first from 1975 to 1983 and again since 2011.The governor’s comments on Democratic priorities reflect the more frugal attitude he brought to Sacramento. He entered office with a $27 billion deficit and leaves a nearly $15 billion rainy day fund and a surplus.Brown, however, has backed his own expensive plans. He used Democratic majorities to pass a controversial gas tax increase for road maintenance and has steadfastly defended a $77 billion project to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco that’s seen repeated delays and cost overruns.While he warned against overspending, he said he expected dissonant voices among the Democratic majority — a result of what he called the party’s greater diversity of people and ideas. Republicans, he said, hold a “slavish adherence” to a limited agenda and President Donald Trump.Brown is leaving office on the heels of the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century. Flames tore through the town of Paradise last month, killing at least 86 people and destroying more than 12,000 homes. He’s blamed climate change for more destructive blazes in recent years and warned things will worsen.The governor called the need to limit building in areas at high risk for wildfires “obvious” but said it’s “politically painful” to implement when people want to rebuild their homes and developers see opportunities.People who choose to live in high-risk areas need to plan escape routes, build cellars and manage vegetation, he said. And the state must provide more information about the true danger of wildfires, he said.“I don’t think governments lay out for people the stark warning: You may die in this particular environment,” Brown said.Wildfires offer Brown an opportunity to call for swifter action against climate change, which is making California drier and more prone to flames. He’s urged action beyond California, working with the U.N., creating a global coalition to reduce climate emissions and holding meetings in China and Russia.He’s working on a climate-focused partnership between the University of California system and Tsinghau University in Beijing he can dive in to when he leaves office, he said. His spokesman Evan Westrup declined to provide more details.Critics say Brown has a blind spot when it comes to oil because he keeps allowing drilling permits and new wells. Brown scoffs at the claims, saying the state’s overall oil production has dropped steadily since the 1980s. He says simply stopping it won’t halt demand. He’s pushed to make electric vehicles more accessible and worked to improve public transit.“The problem is burning oil, consuming it,” he said. “The only way you stop that is electric cars, land use so you don’t have to travel so far and other forms of reducing carbon emissions.”He said climate change advocates still must be careful to not overplay their hand. He pointed to a planned fuel tax in France that led to violent protests. French President Emmanuel Macron early this month backed down on the tax, which critics said would hurt the working class.Brown said Macron didn’t add enough rebates or tax credits to cushion the blow for low-income people.“You have to get the right idea, you have to be careful and nuanced and then you have to be very skilful in the execution, and you can fail in many different ways,” Brown said.In a common theme, he ended the interview with a global wake-up call.“The threat of nuclear annihilation and climate change on a permanent basis looms, and therefore it is time for new leaders to rise up and make the case and mobilize the people for what needs to be done,” he said. “What needs to be done is unprecedented, and therein lies the dilemma.”Kathleen Ronayne, The Associated Press
Supporters of an Indigenous camp blocking access to a planned pipeline in northern British Columbia say they are anticipating RCMP action over an injunction filed against them.Jennifer Wickham, a member of the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, says police have gathered in Smithers, B.C., and Houston, B.C., which are the closest towns to the Gidimt’en checkpoint.TransCanada has said it has signed agreements with all First Nations along the pipeline route to LNG Canada’s $40 billion liquefied natural gas project in Kitimat, B.C.But Wickham says the company does not have the authority to build through Wet’suwet’en territory because the house chiefs, who are hereditary chiefs rather than elected band council leaders, have not given consent.On Dec. 14, the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs issued a statement saying they were deeply concerned by the National Energy Board’s decision denying their request to participate in a jurisdictional challenge to the permits issued to TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline project, which would cross Wet’suwet’en territories.The RCMP and TransCanada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The Canadian Press
TORONTO — As the debate over privacy and data collection for a proposed high-tech neighbourhood in Toronto continues, a new report suggests the city’s public library should assume responsibility for data governance in all such projects.The report released Wednesday by the Toronto Region Board of Trade says the library should be tasked with creating a data hub that protects personal privacy and provides opportunities for economic growth, including policies and protocols for the collection and use of data.It recommends that enforcement of the policies, however, be handled by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and include the ability to impose fines, which would require that the province expand the commissioner’s powers.The board’s president and CEO, Jan De Silva, says that while the issue of data governance was thrust into the spotlight by the Quayside waterfront development project, it is part of a much broader conversation about how to ensure the city stays economically competitive and relevant.Waterfront Toronto announced in the fall of 2017 that it had chosen Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs to design a high-tech neighbourhood for the Quayside project.The project, which features environmentally friendly design and innovative infrastructure, has faced questions over how data will be collected, kept, accessed and protected, even after Sidewalk Labs released its privacy proposal.The proposal shows that Sidewalk Labs does not intend to own the data it gathers in public spaces, and plans to establish an independent organization that will set the rules around data use. The document says little about intellectual property, however.The company said Wednesday it welcomed the board’s report and hoped others would follow with their own proposals.“The launch of Sidewalk Toronto has sparked an active and healthy public discussion about privacy, data ownership, and governance in cities,” said spokeswoman Keerthana Rang.“We truly believe that Quayside will set a new standard for responsible data use and our proposal to build an independent Civic Data Trust is just one example of our commitment to this principle.”Waterfront Toronto, meanwhile, said it is doing some work with the MaRS Solutions Lab on civic data trusts and looking at different models, including those involving libraries.Kristina Verner, Waterfront Toronto’s vice-president of innovation, sustainability, and prosperity, said the issue needs to be examined regardless of what happens with the Quayside development.“This report elevates the conversation from simply being focused on the Quayside project to the broader regional conversation that needs to happen around smart cities and the impact the data will be having on the region as we move forward,” she said.The board of trade — one of the largest chambers of commerce in Canada, representing the business interest of 12,000 members — said that while many stakeholders agree that data should be governed outside the Quayside project, its report is the first to make concrete recommendations about who should take on that role.“It quickly became evident that our biggest barrier at the moment in moving from great research and talent that’s leading that research to actual commercialization of that research is the inability to deploy new tech in the city,” Da Silva said. “This is why we stepped in and wanted to open the discussion and propose a way forward.”Ana-Maria Critchley, a spokeswoman for the Toronto Public Library, said the organization would consider the recommendations in the report.“We have long played a role in city building and welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can continue to evolve this role in the civic data realm,” she said. “Given the complexity of the issues and the expertise and consultations that would be required to inform the work, we would require extra resources.”Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press
BEAVERLODGE, AB. – Beaverlodge RCMP are seeking the publics help in identifying a robbery suspect.On March 8th, at roughly 12:53 p.m., a man entered the Beaverlodge Hotel and Tavern and played VLT’s. The suspect then approached an employee and demanded that she open a safe and appeared to have a weapon.The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money. No one was injured. The suspect is described as Caucasian standing 5’5″ tall with light possibly orange facial hair. He was wearing track pants, a sweater and toque which were all black in colour, sunglasses and grey running shoes.Police are requesting that if you have any information about this incident to please call the Beaverlodge RCMP at 780-354-2955 or call your local police detachment. If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or by internet at www.tipsubmit.com.
VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says the B.C. Governments planned review of fracking isn’t going far enough. The CCPA is concerned that the review will not consider the human health impacts of fracking.In November, 17 groups called for a full public inquiry was essential to get at what public policy changes are needed to eliminate the health and environmental risks associated with fracking. The groups also demanded a review of the OGC’s lax oversight of the industry.“In northeast BC, rural communities generally and isolated First Nation communities particularly are directly in harm’s way as the fossil fuel industry further encroaches on our shared lands and waters,” says Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. Minister Mungall said earlier this month; the review will be done to ensure that fracking in B.C. is meeting the highest safety and environmental standards, and will be carried out by a three-member independent panel consisting of a professor of hydrogeology, a geological engineering professor and a geological engineer and geophysicist.“We know from preliminary studies that pregnant Indigenous women in the region have potential carcinogens in their blood that are six times higher than the Canadian average. We need nothing less than a full public inquiry that overtly addresses such harsh realities,” said Grand Chief Phillip.“What the government has done in response to our well-documented concerns is to appoint a far too narrowly focused science panel that very expressly won’t address what public policy and regulatory changes are needed to eliminate the serious health, ecological and climatic risks associated with fracking and all related natural gas infrastructure in this province. This is not a credible process, and we cannot support it,” says Ben Parfitt, a resource policy analyst with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.The Ministry said the panel would report its findings to Mungall before the end of the year.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The United Way of Northern B.C. is hitting the road this month in an RV on its 2018 United Tour of Northern B.C., which is due to wrap up in the Peace Region next month.The United Way says it will be traveling to 20 communities in Northern BC to cultivate compassion, engage residents to overcome social issues and foster a culture of philanthropic giving in our region. The tour will be traveling to host events to raise funds that will stay locally in each community.The tour kicked off on Monday when the RV travelled to Fraser Lake. The tour will be heading to the North Coast before returning to the Central Interior. On June 1st, the tour will be stopping in Mackenzie ahead of stops in Tumbler Ridge, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Hudson’s Hope, and Fort St. John on June 12th. The full tour dates are listed below. April 30, 2018 Fraser LakeMay 1, 2018 HoustonMay 2, 2018 HazeltonMay 3, 2018 KitimatMay 4, 2018 Prince RupertMay 5, 2018 TerraceMay 7, 2018 SmithersMay 8, 2018 Burns LakeMay 9, 2018 VanderhoofMay 10, 2018 Fort St. JamesMay 22, 2018 QuesnelMay 24, 2018 ValemountMay 25, 2018 McBrideJune 1, 2018 MackenzieJune 5, 2018 Tumbler RidgeJune 6, 2018 Dawson CreekJune 7, 2018 ChetwyndJune 8, 2018 Hudson HopeJune 12, 2018 Fort St JohnJune 13-14 2018 TaylorThe tour will wrap up in Taylor on June 13th and 14th, in conjunction with the 8th Annual United Way Golf Tournament at Lone Wolf Golf Club. For more information about the United Tour of Northern B.C., follow the United Way’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/unitedwaynorthernbc/
The letter proposes a solution in which gas producers commit to manage their production on a voluntary basis when needed to balance supply with system capacity, resulting in no net loss to provincial royalty revenues while honouring existing sales commitments.The letter is signed by CEOs of companies producing about two billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, including Jupiter Resources Ltd., Bellatrix Exploration Ltd., Peyto Exploration & Development Corp., Advantage Oil & Gas Ltd., Paramount Resources Ltd. and Bonavista Energy Corp.The new United Conservative Party government created the position of associate minister of natural gas when elected and, in early July, announced a one-time tax relief program for shallow gas wells and pipelines that is expected to deliver about $23 million in support for producers.“It is imperative that the government of Alberta intercedes as the viability of the Alberta natural gas sector is in jeopardy and, on our current trajectory, the consequences will be dire for the many Albertans that rely upon the natural gas sector directly and indirectly to support their communities,” the letter sent late Tuesday reads.The Canadian Press CALGARY — The CEOs of nine Alberta natural gas producers have released an open letter to Premier Jason Kenney asking him to show “bold leadership” in supporting a plan to restrict production to boost low gas prices.The letter warns that the viability of the natural gas sector is in jeopardy and the province faces a high likelihood of corporate failures, job losses and falling investment levels if the situation is allowed to continue.The CEOs say their gas price problems have developed over many years but point specifically to what they call failed federal regulation of TC Energy Corp.’s Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. gas pipeline system in Western Canada.
CALGARY — The Canadian oilfield services sector is expected to continue to suffer as it enters the summer drilling season despite recent developments such as the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and the election of a conservative government in Alberta.In a report that forecasts lower second-quarter revenue for most Canadian operators in the industry, RBC Dominion Securities analysts say they’ve cut their 2019 rig activity and well counts for this year by between six and eight per cent and in 2020 by five to six per cent.They say the reduction reflects a slow start to the third quarter last month due to wet weather in Western Canada, along with lower producer spending due to softer commodity price forecasts and continued oil production curtailments in Alberta. “We’ve seen a considerable loss of talent … whether it’s to the United States through some of our high-spec rigs moving down there or just people moving on to other industries and not coming back to the (oil)patch,” Bayko said.“We haven’t had steady work, whether on the drilling or the services side, for coming on five years here.”Springtime is normally the slowest season for the Canadian drilling sector because the melting landscape makes it difficult to move heavy equipment into backcountry locations.The average western Canadian rig count for the three months ended June 30 was 90, down 23 per cent from the same period in 2018, RBC noted. The downgrade reflects what is being seen throughout the industry these days thanks to a lack of investor confidence in Canadian energy, said John Bayko, vice-president of communications for the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.“I think it has a lot to do with policy,” he said Tuesday, citing Ottawa’s recent approvals of Bill C-69 to revamp the way energy projects are approved and Bill C-48 to ban oil tankers off B.C.’s northern coast.“We just haven’t seen any commitment to this industry in this country that would cause people to think there’s a long-term plan for it.”There were 146 drilling rigs working or moving in Canada on Thursday out of an available fleet of 547 rigs, he said, compared with an average in July 2018 of 264 rigs.At about 135 jobs per rig, that means there are nearly 16,000 fewer people working in the industry now.Many Canadian oilfield workers have left the profession, Bayko said, but some are working in the United States because a total of at least 29 Canadian drilling rigs have been moved there since 2017. It pointed out drilling in Alberta, traditionally the most active province, matched that decline while B.C. was up slightly year-over-year and Saskatchewan was flat.“The divergence potentially highlights the impact of oil production curtailments, which it seems some producers have addressed through natural declines, in our view,” RBC said in its report.Alberta enacted the program to cut oil output starting in January to support crude prices. The cuts have been gradually reduced but Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has said they may need to continue into 2020 if storage levels in the province remain high.Precision Drilling starts the parade of second-quarter results from Canadian oilfield services companies on Thursday.In its first-quarter report, it said it was relying on its U.S. operations for growth as its Canadian branches were generating a historic low of just 36 per cent of overall revenue.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this article: (TSX:PD)Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
San Francisco: Google is rolling out support for the “Continued Conversation” feature on Smart Displays to allow users to a natural back-and-forth conversation with the Google Assistant instead of having to repeat the “Hey Google” command every time. “After you initially trigger the Assistant with a request, the Assistant will stay active for long enough to respond to follow up questions. The feature is part of the Settings menu under Preferences,” Bibo Xu, Product Manager, Google Assistant wrote in a blog-post on Friday. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app The feature was first rolled out for only audio to Google Home, Home Mini and Home Max products. It is currently only available in English across Smart Displays from Google, Lenovo, JBL and LG. Apart from this, the search-engine giant has also made several features available on its Smart Displays including “Interpreter Mode” and single dashboard control to control devices connected via Assistant, Support for managing multi-room audio, sharing photos from Live Albums with Google Photos and playing games has also been added to the Smart Display devices.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Collegium Monday cleared the names of 16 lawyers for appointment as judges of Kerala, Karnataka and Bombay High Courts. The apex court collegium comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde and N V Ramana recommended the names of the advocates to the central government after assessing their merit and suitability. For the Kerala High Court, the Collegium has forwarded the names of Conrad Stansilaus Dias, Mohammed Nias C P and Paul K K. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’For Karnataka High Court, the names of Savanur Vishwajith Shetty, Singapuram Raghavachar Krishna Kumar, Maralur Indrakumar Arun, Mohammed Ghouse Shukure Kamal, Ashok Subhashchandra Kinagi, Govindaraj Suraj, Engalaguppe Seetharamaiah Indiresh and Sachin Shankar Magadum were cleared by the apex court. Advocates Avinash G Gharote, N B Suryawanshi, Madhav Jamdar, Anil Kilor and Milind Narendra Jadhav were given the nod to be appointed as judges of the Bombay High Court. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KIn order to ascertain the suitability of the recommendees, the three-member Collegium have consulted the apex court judges conversant with the affairs of the High Court concerned before recommending their names for the appointment. The Collegium, to which ten names of lawyers were sent for elevation as Bombay HC judges, cleared only five, sent back four names and deferred one to await further details. With regard to elevation of lawyers as judges in the Karnataka High Court, the Collegium accepted recommendations of eight lawyers and remitted one name to the high court collegium for reconsideration.