Governor General Advocates Zero Tolerance for Praedial Thieves

first_img Businesses that collude with the praedial larcenist must give account for such actions Story Highlights Governor General says praedial larceny “must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.” Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, is encouraging all large scale purchasers of agricultural produce in Jamaica to support the nation’s farmers by refusing to buy products for which vendors have no proof of ownership.“Supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and other institutions must be vigilant in ensuring that they are not used by the individuals who heartlessly rob the farmers of their livelihood,” he said.The Governor-General was speaking during the official ceremony for day two of the 61st Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show at the Denbigh Showground in May Pen, Clarendon on August 5.He said that it was painful for farmers to bring their crops to harvest or bring their livestock to a stage where they are ready for the market and in one night all is lost due to praedial thieves, adding that these individuals would be out of business if they did not have collaborators.“Once vendors or management of businesses and institutions are found to be colluding with the praedial larcenist, which is wreaking havoc on the agricultural sector, they also must give account for such actions. When some of these individuals who are colluding are jailed together with the original thieves of livestock and produce, the message of zero tolerance for praedial larceny will be understood,” he emphasised.The Governor-General said he was passionate about joining with leaders of the agricultural sector – the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and others in their fight against praedial larceny – a crime which he stressed “must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”“We simply cannot continue to frustrate the effort of the farmers. We cannot grow our country when some only want to steal the harvest of what others have planted. In other words ‘to reap where they do not sow’. It is everybody’s business as we seek to fight for truth and integrity in every aspect of our society,” he emphasised.The Governor-General further encouraged all Jamaicans “to keep up the vigilant support to our farmers not merely for the benefit of our economy but also as we strive to adapt healthier life styles as we eat what we grow.” Large scale purchasers of agricultural produce warned to be vigilant against praedial larceny last_img read more

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Budget Address Back to Balance The FourYear Plan

first_imgIt is a privilege to present to this House, and to Nova Scotians, the budget for 2010–2011. This budget represents many firsts. It is this government’s first real budget, because last year’s budget was essentially the previous government’s, and was introduced and passed halfway through the fiscal year to ensure continuity and stability. This budget also marks the first steps on the road back to balance. It represents a new course for Nova Scotia. CONSULTATIONS Over the past two months, our government has engaged in the most extensive financial consultation in the province’s history. Nineteen public meetings were held throughout the province. About 1,500 Nova Scotians participated. Another 1,000 Nova Scotians, both individuals and organizations, shared their values and priorities through written submissions. I also held another dozen Back to Balance sessions with economists, chambers of commerce, union leaders, NovaKnowledge, and a wide variety of other organizations. Au cours des derniers mois, j’ai consulté des milliers de Néo-Écossais au sujet du rétablissement de l’équilibre financier. Durant cette consultation historique, j’ai eu l’occasion de mieux comprendre les priorités de la communauté acadienne et francophone de notre province. While there wasn’t always a consensus, there was one common thread from the Legion in Whitney Pier to the Nova Scotia Community College campus in Yarmouth to the elementary school gym in Sheet Harbour to the Lions Club in Amherst, and everywhere in between. Nova Scotians care deeply about their province, and their future. You might say, because of the impressive participation in the Back to Balance process, that this is the first budget built on the collective wisdom of Nova Scotians from one end of the province to the other. The commitment and passion participants brought to the sessions were impressive. To all those who participated, either personally or in writing, I want to take this opportunity to say “thank you”. This budget reflects many of your values and priorities. And so will the fiscal plan this government will implement in the months and years ahead. THE PLAN Our plan stretches well beyond this budget. Our approach will be smart, strategic and steady. As promised, it will ensure that government lives within its means and focuses on the programs and services important to Nova Scotians. Our plan has four key components. First, our government will bring better health care to you and your family. Second, we will create secure jobs and grow the economy. Third, we will make life more affordable. Fourth, we will get Nova Scotia back to balance and ensure that government lives within its means. Acting wisely and making the right decisions now will lay the foundation for lasting prosperity. Like all recessions, this one will come to an end. Our plan will help ensure that, when the recession ends, Nova Scotia will be better positioned than ever to take on the world. The decisions made will be rooted in common sense. While some decisions will be tough, they will always be fair. We wish things were different. We wish the legacy of unsustainable spending we have inherited didn’t exist. But it does. It is our responsibility to deal with it — to clean up the mess — so that Nova Scotia’s future is not compromised. Doing nothing is not an option. That was made clear by the experts on the Economic Advisory Panel who told us that if nothing is done to address the structural deficit, our province will be facing a deficit of $1.4 billion within three years. The reason is quite simple. Expenses were rising faster than revenue. The gap between how much we spend and how much we take in was growing bigger, and would have continued to grow even when the recession ends. This structural deficit left by the previous government means that debt and interest payments are rising. An indebted government cannot deliver critical programs and services in health and education. A government can control its destiny only if it controls its balance sheet. We will control our destiny. As the expert panel pointed out, in order to address the province’s financial challenges, government has three strategies to work with. Spending must be controlled. Revenues must be increased. And the economy must grow. The Expert Advisory Panel said that, because of the size of the challenge, we must do all three. We have listened, and we agree. Today we are taking necessary and decisive action. In this budget, and in our four-year plan, we have found the right balance in using the strategies we have available to us. DEBT AND DEFICIT — GETTING BACK TO BALANCE Despite steep revenue growth from our offshore industry when the economy was booming, lack of fiscal discipline and poor policy choices over the past decade have driven our debt upward. It now stands at the second highest per capita, among the provinces. This province’s debt is too high. The interest on that debt will soon return to $1 billion per year. Nova Scotians are paying dearly for the mistakes of the past. We will not repeat them. The financial path chosen by the previous government was unsustainable. We choose a different path. During the Back to Balance sessions, it became clear that there was a broad consensus that the right time frame for getting back to balance was three to five years. We have listened, and we agree. As a result of the measures taken in this budget, and measures still to be taken, we believe it is reasonable and achievable to forecast a return to balance in the budget for 2013–2014. If results are better than expected, then balance one year earlier is possible. If the economy takes longer than expected to recover, or if other events intervene, then an additional year may be required. This responsible, measured approach will ensure we respect the wishes of Nova Scotians and the needs of the economy, while continuing to deliver the programs and services that Nova Scotians need. In last fall’s budget, the deficit for the fiscal year 2009-2010 was forecast to be $592 million. We now forecast that deficit to be $488 million. Although that’s still a very significant number, it’s $104 million better than we forecast on the last Budget Day, and $37 million better than we forecast in December. In this budget, the deficit we forecast for 2010–2011 is $222 million. That is an improvement over last year, and is one of the lowest deficit-to-GDP ratios in the country. Following the next budget year, the debt-to-GDP ratio — which is an important measure of our ability to repay the money we owe — is forecast to decline, and our commitment is to ensure that it continues to decline thereafter. SPENDING SMARTER In the Back to Balance sessions, we were told, very plainly and consistently, that we cannot turn to Nova Scotians for more revenue unless we commit to using every single existing revenue dollar as wisely and efficiently as possible. We have listened, and we agree. Of the $1.4-billion fiscal gap identified by the Expert Advisory Panel, we will eliminate $1.1 billion through expenditure management and restraint. Of that $1.1 billion, about $250 million will come from ongoing wage restraint in the public sector, and between $150 million and $200 million will come from changes to the public service pension plan which I will discuss later in this speech. The rest will come from spending restraint — better using the dollars we already have. In this budget, we have brought spending growth down, as many Nova Scotians asked us to do in the Back to Balance sessions. There is in fact a decrease in total departmental expenses. This contrasts with spending growth averaging five per cent per year over the past 10 years of the previous government. Over the rest of the four-year planning period, expenditure will be tightly managed. We have set tough but manageable savings targets, adding up to $772 million by 2013. This ambitious plan will take hard work, discipline and determination. We will move forward carefully, looking at how we can improve or transform service delivery, rather than how we can cut or suspend it. Every program and every service will be examined for relevance, effectiveness and affordability. We will find strategic alignments and insist that accountability be a mainstay between government and our third-party agencies. The fact is about 60 per cent of government’s expenditures are payments to third parties like universities, school boards, district health authorities and municipalities. It’s time to review our current structure to ensure the best possible value for the taxpayers’ dollar. The effort will be led through our Expenditure Management Initiative which was established very early in this government’s mandate. Year one savings from the Expenditure Management Initiative will be $54 million. Year two will see savings of $252 million. Year three will see savings just under $500 million, and year four, the balance year, will see cumulative savings of $772 million. We are already seeing some positive results. In this budget, we have achieved our targets for year one. We have achieved this through wage restraint, a one per cent reduction in discretionary spending for departments and reduced reliance on external consulting services. In addition, a directive was sent in early March to all units of government ordering an end to the so-called March Madness. That’s the practice of spending all unspent funds in the last few weeks of the fiscal year. Nova Scotians don’t want to see their money used this way. They want it to stop. Let’s be clear, though, when talking about expenditure restraint, we’re not talking about impacting patient care or student outcomes. We are talking about centralizing services, sharing administrative costs and using technology to not only improve service, but our bottom line as well. Our government will work co-operatively with the third-party agencies to ensure our plan is measured and sustainable. With more efficient service delivery, comes the need for smaller government. We will reduce the civil service by 10 per cent by 2013, relying on attrition through retirements and voluntary departures. We do not expect this will require layoffs. Change won’t happen overnight. It will not be forced, but it will happen. RESTORING TRUST Another message was stated clearly during the Back to Balance sessions — that Nova Scotians expect their elected representatives to spend every dollar wisely, especially when it comes to their own expenses. We have listened, and we agree. That is why this House has taken decisive steps to rein in excessive MLA expenses. MLAs must still be able to serve their constituents, but they must do so within the same bounds of restraint that we expect to apply across government. This government has already introduced legislation that will make the system of MLA expenses among the most accountable and transparent in the country. As a result of changes already approved by the Internal Economy Board, in this budget the Legislative Expenses budget line has been reduced by $1.3 million to reflect the new level of more accountable MLA expenses. PUBLIC SERVICE PENSION PLAN Our government recognizes the value of the men and women who provide the services and programs Nova Scotians rely on every day. But the Public Service Superannuation Plan is seriously underfunded. It’s another example of where change is needed — change that looks at the long term. The pension plan, on which tens of thousands of Nova Scotia families rely or will rely for their retirement income, currently is about 69 per cent funded. Expressed differently, the shortfall is about $1.5 billion and growing. An unfunded pension liability means that promises have been made that cannot be kept. This is a source of considerable anxiety to pensioners, and to civil servants who will one day be pensioners. At the same time, the plan and its unfunded liability have been a millstone around the province’s balance sheet. This situation cannot continue. We must deal with the problem now, because the plan’s health is deteriorating, and delay only makes a solution more expensive and difficult. Today, I am pleased to say that we will make public service pensions more secure, while saving the public purse between $150 and $200 million per year, every year, in pension-related expenses. We will do so by guaranteeing annual pension increases of 1.25 per cent each year for the next five years. Starting in 2016, the amount of the annual increase will be based on the health of the plan. We will also take advantage of historically low interest rates to refinance a portion of the unfunded liability, at considerable savings to taxpayers. Two other changes will apply only to civil servants hired on or after today’s date. These reforms, taken together, are expected to return the public service plan to 100 per cent funding by the end of this year. We are fixing the plan in a way that is scrupulously fair to all past and current members. I want to emphasize that all benefits currently being paid and that have already accrued are safe. With the plan funded at 100 per cent, they are in fact more secure than ever. We are fixing the plan in a way that is fair to taxpayers as well. We will also position the plan for a transfer to joint trusteeship. The changes being made to the public service pension plan will also apply to the pension plan for members of the Legislative Assembly. BETTER HEALT CARE TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY As promised, our government is taking on the hard work to get our finances back to balance because our ability to deliver critical programs and services depends on it. Let’s talk about what our plan and this budget mean for health care, which is consistently identified by Nova Scotians as the most important service offered by their provincial government. Des investissements stratégiques immédiats permettront d’alléger le fardeau sur le système de soins de santé et nous mettra sur une voie plus durable. Notre plan assurera des meilleurs soins de santé pour les Néo-Écossais et leurs familles. En concentrant notre énergie sur la prestation de services de première ligne et de soins de qualité, nous aborderons les problèmes systémiques tels que les fermetures de salles d’urgence, les listes d’attente et la pénurie de médecins. Strategic investments now will take our health-care system off the critical list, and put us on a more sustainable path. To Nova Scotians, I say that our plan will ensure that you and your family receive better health care. By refocusing our energies on front-line delivery and quality care, we will tackle systemic issues such as emergency room closures, wait lists and physician shortages. Using health-care professionals to their full potential is one example. Recently, legislation was introduced to expand the scope of practice for pharmacists. Making more collaborative primary health-care teams available will reduce unnecessary ER visits, and will help Nova Scotians manage their own health needs, as does the Healthlink 811, where advice from a registered nurse is just a phone call away. As promised, our government will invest $1.3 million to set up pre-hab teams to reduce wait times for surgery. In working with patients prior to surgery, the stress on the system, and the patient, is lessened. Plans must be made today to accommodate our growing population of seniors. Nurse practitioners will be placed in nursing homes to improve care, save money and relieve pressure in other areas of the system. For seniors at home, our government will fulfill its promise and implement self-managed care allowances and personal alert assistance programs. Overcrowded emergency rooms hurt the patient, and the taxpayers’ pocketbook. Our government will establish a Rapid Assessment Unit to help patients move faster through the ER to admission, and open hospital beds for patients stuck in over crowded ERs at a cost of $4.8 million. A $3-million ER protection fund will be set aside to implement initiatives identified by the province’s Emergency Care Advisor to improve service and access. Our government knows that when people are faced with a crisis, transition houses can be a lifeline to safety. That’s why I am pleased to announce that we are fulfilling our commitment to provide transition houses and women’s centres an additional $500,000 this year. We are providing the first funding increase they have received in a decade. Young people need positive role models, and alternatives to risky behaviour. We are continuing with our commitment and will invest $240,000 annually in after-school Lighthouse programs to provide recreational, cultural and life-skills programming for youth. GROWING THE ECONOMY In the midst of what was perhaps the toughest recession since the Second World War, a consensus emerged across Canada that governments had a significant role to play in providing stimulus spending to maintain and create jobs. Something that has perhaps gotten lost in some of the recent discussion around the province’s financial challenge is the fact that the previous fiscal year contained the largest capital expenditure program in the province’s history. The federal government offered very significant dollars during a two-year window. We made a commitment to create thousands of jobs by taking advantage of every single federal dollar that was available. We kept that promise. We kept people working. We kept business working. We have and will be building infrastructure that would not have been possible without this stimulus spending, which was always intended as a two-year commitment. And the coming fiscal year is year two. The worst of the recession appears to be behind us, but we’re not out of the woods yet. Our forecast for real GDP growth in the calendar year 2010 is 1.9 per cent. That is better than our recent experience, but still modest. That growth forecast would be quite a bit lower were it not for the effect of stimulus spending. Last year, our government invested $724 million in capital funding in roads, schools, hospitals and housing. Many of these investments brought additional funding from the federal and municipal governments. This year, the capital investment will be less, but only by a little. The total capital investment is forecast to be $710 million. We know this investment is having a positive impact on the economy. In fact, stimulus investments alone are expected to create 7,000 person-years of employment, generating about $300 million in income. And we won’t stop there. Building on last year’s investments, the province will contribute $33 million to support infrastructure projects at our universities and the Nova Scotia Community College. This provincial funding is leveraging $56 million from the federal government and $41 million from other sources under the federal Knowledge Infrastructure Program, for a total of $130 million. Our government is also keeping its commitment and adding $400,000 annually to enhance bridge and truck inspections to improve road safety. Our government’s five-year plan to pave provincial roads will keep people working and communities connected. These are great examples of smart investments. So is the new Manufacturing and Processing Investment Credit, which will put $25 million back into business by boosting innovation and productivity in the province’s manufacturing and processing sectors, particularly in rural Nova Scotia. This government knows that small business plays a big role in growing our economy. That’s why our government is pleased to announce a cut in the small business tax rate. Effective Jan. 1, 2011, the rate will be reduced by 0.5 per cent, which will return about $6 million to small business next year. We are the first government to cut the small business tax rate since 1992. Previous governments had the opportunity, but did not do it. Our government is also taking steps to make it easier for entrepreneurs to raise capital for new ventures. The Equity Tax Credit is expected to provide $1.1 million in new incentives to support Nova Scotia enterprises. We will also invest in our people. Because prosperity requires increased productivity, our government will focus on skills development. Through a combination of more than $5 million in funding from the Labour Market Agreement and the Strategic Training and Transition Fund, we will increase and focus investments in several areas. Our government will invest in training for the jobs Nova Scotians need. We will assist small business in addressing human resources issues. We will invest in a system that recognizes prior learning. We will help Nova Scotians improve their literacy and essential skills. And we will encourage disadvantaged citizens to participate in the labour market. Nova Scotia is indeed Canada’s learning province. As I’ve heard time and again during the Back to Balance sessions, education is a priority for Nova Scotians. It is also a priority for our government. To further underscore that fact, we will create 250 new seats at the Nova Scotia Community College targeted to high-demand trades and professions, so that Nova Scotians will be ready for tomorrow’s jobs. We will provide a tax rebate of up to $15,000 over six years for university graduates and up to $7,500 for college graduates. This rebate is being provided for those who stay and work here at home, returning about $17 million into the hands of Nova Scotia’s best and brightest in 2010–2011. Our government knows that schools are often the heart of any community. That’s why we will invest $2 million to help support and invest in community schools — keeping another important commitment. Along with stimulus dollars, our government will partner with the private sector to attract the investment that will ensure prosperity is shared from Cape Breton to Yarmouth. Our government will focus on increasing productivity, innovation and competitiveness. To ensure Nova Scotia remains one of the most connected jurisdictions in North America, an additional $4.4 million will be spent completing the broadband project, providing high-speed access to all areas of the province. Enhanced efforts on market intelligence and sector development will ensure we strengthen traditional trade links with the United States, and seize emerging opportunities in the Carribean, the European Union, Vietnam and India. Our government will pursue every opportunity to become a strategic gateway to North America, showcasing our critical links to the global transportation system. Notre gouvernement misera sur son travail avec les communautés, les entreprises et les particuliers pour promouvoir le tourisme et les expériences de voyage destinées à un créneau spécifique du marché. Nous appuierons la préparation de la soumission visant à faire inscrire Grand-Pré à la liste des sites du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO, qui inclut déjà le Vieux Lunenburg et les falaises fossilifères de Joggins. Notre industrie culturelle continue de faire rayonner notre province à l’échelle nationale et internationale. Our government will build on its work with communities, business and individuals to promote tourism and niche travel experiences. We will support the preparation of an application to have Grand Pre named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, joining the Old Town of Lunenburg and the fossil cliffs at Joggins. Our cultural industry will continue to shine a spotlight on this province nationally and internationally. Our government is committed to ensuring Nova Scotia’s traditional industries remain strong and competitive. Later this year, our government will release a 10-year strategy designed to help Nova Scotia’s farmers develop new opportunities, manage risk and become more environmentally sustainable. A new aquaculture strategy will also be released, and by the end of this year, a new approach for managing our forests, minerals and parklands will be in place. In the months ahead, Communications Nova Scotia will take on the role of marketing and promoting Nova Scotia’s primary industries in a co-ordinated, innovative and cost-effective manner. Marketing the province as the place to live, work and raise a family will also be a key piece of the Communications Nova Scotia mandate. To ensure government’s efforts are properly targeted, responsive and rooted in reality, our government has established a Premier’s Council on the Economy. The council is made up of prominent members of business, labour and voluntary sectors. This council will provide advice on strategies and actions to grow the economy and will act as a sounding board on government initiatives for labour force development and fiscal management. Nova Scotia will take its rightful place as a leader in the renewable energy sector. Last summer, we announced a target of 25 per cent renewable energy by 2015 — the most aggressive standard of any government in North America. This government knows that going green will grow the economy, and will invest $24 million in energy conservation and programs for energy efficiency. PROTECTING PROGRAMS AND SERVICES As the Economic Advisory Panel pointed out, the size of the financial challenge means that new revenue options have to be considered. As I mentioned previously, of the $1.4-billion gap identified by the Expert Advisory Panel, $1.1 billion will be found through expenditure restraint. About $300 million will be gained through increased revenue. In other words, for every new dollar of revenue, our commitment is to find over three dollars through fiscal discipline. Effective July 1st, the Harmonized Sales Tax will be restored to 15 per cent, returning the HST to the level it was at for nine of the past 13 years. This measure will provide an additional $215 million in revenue this year. During the Back to Balance process, a majority of participants said that they could accept an HST increase only if those with low and modest incomes were protected. We have listened, and we agree. MAKING LIFE AFFORDABLE To fulfill our commitment to make life more affordable, our government will introduce a new Affordable Living Tax Credit. Ce crédit que nous mettons en place est d’une valeur de 70 millions de dollars et il remettra de l’argent dans les poches des Néo-Écossais à revenu faible ou modeste. Cette importante mesure signifie que les foyers dont le revenu est inférieur à 30 000 $ recevront des paiements semestriels, semblables au crédit pour TPS. Le remboursement correspond à environ 240 $ par foyer et 57 $ par enfant à charge chaque année. Les personnes qui gagnent jusqu’à 34 800 $ recevront également une portion du crédit. The credit we are implementing is valued at $70 million and will put that money back into the hands of Nova Scotians living on low or modest incomes. This important measure means that households earning less than $30,000 will receive quarterly payments, similar to the existing GST credit. It will return about $240 per household and $57 per dependent child every year. Those earning up to $34,800 will also receive a portion of the credit. This is the right decision for Nova Scotia families. We will also make a number of vital household items more affordable. By means of a point-of-sale rebate, our government will remove the provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax on children’s clothing and footwear. To be clear, the new point-of-sale rebate means a rebate of all of the provincial tax. We will also remove the provincial portion of the HST on feminine hygiene products and on diapers. These new measures will come into effect July 1, 2010, and will return approximately $11 million to families in every region of the province. This government is also making life more affordable for senior citizens. From the time of my first election campaign in 2001, I have been deeply influenced by the number of seniors who would say to me simply “remember the seniors.” That’s why I was so proud to be part of a caucus, led by the now-premier, that successfully fought to end the injustice of having seniors in long-term care facilities pay for their own health care. We will ensure that any senior who receives the Guaranteed Income Supplement will no longer have to pay any provincial income tax. This means about $12.5 million will be returned to about 18,000 senior citizens across the province. Today, with this new measure, we once again “remember the seniors.” And of course, seniors with low and modest incomes will also be eligible for the Affordable Living Tax Credit. We are taking additional steps to make life more affordable for families in every region of the province. I am pleased today to announce a new Poverty Reduction Credit. This credit will return about $3 million annually to about 15,000 individuals living in poverty, many of whom are disabled. This credit will amount to $200 annually. Our government is providing assistance to those who must travel outside of the province for medical treatment. Patients who need treatment not available here at home may be eligible to receive up to $1,000 for round-trip travel costs and $1,500 for accommodations for up to 12 medical visits a year. I am also pleased to announce today that our government will invest $2.5 million to help low-income homeowners improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce their energy bills over the long term. Let us not forget that this year the provincial government will return almost $84 million to Nova Scotians with the removal of the provincial portion of the HST on basic home energy. That was one of our key commitments when in opposition. In last fall’s budget, we completed that commitment, so that all Nova Scotians now see their savings on every electricity bill. We recognize that access to safe and affordable housing is a necessity for Nova Scotians but remains out of reach for some. That’s why we will invest $128 million on building affordable housing units and upgrading existing ones across the province. CUMBERLAND COUNTY This government is well aware of the cross-border shopping issue in Cumberland County, the only one of our counties sharing a land border with another province. This point was driven home to me during the Back to Balance sessions. As we were reminded last week in the Utility and Review Board decision on gasoline prices, cross-border shopping is connected to factors such as the proximity of Moncton, different criteria for setting retail milk prices, differences in the rate of motive fuel tax, and large differences in the rate of tobacco tax linked to New Brunswick’s attempts to lessen smuggling across its border with Quebec. All of these issues are complex, and existed long before this government came into office. We recognize, however, that the measures announced in this budget may pose an additional challenge for retailers in Cumberland County. I will shortly be travelling to Cumberland County to meet with local municipal and business leaders to discuss how, together, we can address this issue. OTHER REVENUE MEASURES When seeking new revenue, we believe that it is better to focus our revenue efforts on a consumption tax like the HST, with appropriate credits and rebates, rather than on personal or corporate income tax. This was, once again, a message received from the Back to Balance process. We have listened, and we agree. I am therefore pleased to say that there will be no general increase in personal income tax, nor will there be any increase in corporate income tax. Indeed, the basic personal deduction will increase as scheduled. The province is increasing the basic personal amount exempted from income taxes by $250 per year over a four-year period. This represents an increase of $1,000, almost 14 per cent, bringing the basic personal amount to $8,231 in January 2010, representing a small tax saving for all Nova Scotians. The large corporations capital tax will also decrease as scheduled. Only one other measure will be taken on the income tax side. We accept the principle that from those who earn the most, more can reasonably be expected. We will suspend the current surtax and substitute a fifth tax bracket at the rate of 21 per cent. This bracket will only apply to those with taxable income over $150,000. This new bracket will raise a net amount of $31.4 million. The substitution of a new bracket for the surtax is intended solely to assist in the return to balance. When balance is reached, this measure will expire. During the Back to Balance sessions, I also heard strongly and consistently that the government should not turn to the motive fuel tax, also known as the gasoline tax, for more revenue. We have listened, and we agree. There will be no increase in the motive fuel tax. CONCLUSION Getting back to balance is going to take some time and a lot of hard work. We’re ready. Today, we begin that process. We begin the road back to balance. I wish to conclude by once again thanking the Nova Scotians who participated in our Back to Balance sessions. Your values and priorities are central to the measures contained in this budget and in the approach we will take in the months and years ahead to make life better for you and your family. With this plan, and this budget, we will bring better health care to you and your family. We will create secure jobs and grow the economy. We will make life more affordable. We will get Nova Scotia back to balance and ensure that government lives within its means. In the decisions we have made, and those still to come, we will be reasonable and responsible. We will be tough when we have to be. We will be compassionate and we will always be fair. Thank you.last_img read more

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Harvard Expert on Racism and Health to visit Nova Scotia

first_imgDavid Williams, an expert on racism and health from Harvard University, will meet with health professionals and the academic community on Feb. 10 and 11. He will also give a free public lecture on racism and health on Feb. 10. Mr. Williams is internationally recognized for research on understanding how race, racial discrimination, socioeconomic status and religion affect physical and mental health. He is the Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and a professor of Sociology and African and African-American Studies and professor of Sociology at Harvard University. “Nova Scotia is a province rich in culture and diversity,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. “On behalf of the government, and all Nova Scotians, I welcome Dr. Williams to our province. His visit will put a spotlight on the influence of racial discrimination on health, and the role we can all play in addressing this important and timely issue.” The public lecture, Racism and Health – What is the connection?, will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in the presentation theatre of the Nova Scotia Community College, Waterfront Campus, 80 Mawiomi Pl., Dartmouth. It will also be streamed live at www.africancanadianhealth.ca/williams . Government, health and education institutions in Nova Scotia have recognized the impact of racism on the health of members of diverse communities. While many organizations have been working with diverse communities to address racism and other barriers to quality and timely care, more needs to be done. “The collaborative effort in bringing Dr. Williams to Nova Scotia underscores the importance of this issue,” said Dr. David Haase, co-president, Health Association of African Canadians. “The intent of his visit is to raise awareness of this issue and to spark further dialogue and action from the highest levels of government and the health care system to grassroots community members.” The visit is sponsored by the Health Association of African Nova Scotians, Cancer Care Nova Scotia, Capital Health, and Dalhousie University with funding from Diversity and Social Inclusion, Primary Health Care, Department of Health and Wellness.last_img read more

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Saskatchewan Ontario premiers say fight against carbon tax building steam

first_imgSASKATOON – The premiers of Saskatchewan and Ontario welcomed another province into their anti-carbon-tax tent on Thursday and said the fight against Ottawa’s plan to put a price on pollution is gaining momentum.Ontario’s Doug Ford and Scott Moe from Saskatchewan said they were pleased at Manitoba’s about-face on its intention to bring in a carbon levy.Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced on Wednesday that his province will not be going ahead with a $25-a-tonne levy that was to come into effect in December. He said the province was pulling out because Ottawa has not backed down from its intention to bring in its own higher rate.“We have common ground in our opposition to the federal government’s attempted imposition of a carbon tax,” Moe said after a meeting with Ford in Saskatoon.“It’s clear that opposition to this ill-advised, destructive policy is growing across the nation.”The federal Conservatives couldn’t contain their delight either at Pallister’s move.MP James Bezan tweeted congratulations for joining “the anti-carbon tax team!”His fellow Manitoba MP, Candice Bergen, said her party had not pressured the province’s Progressive Conservative premier to change his mind but was “pleasantly surprised” when he did so.Moe and Ford met Thursday to talk about their economic ties as well as what Ford called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s job-killing and “nasty, nasty tax.”The two conservative leaders said they will continue to fight the tax together and, to that end, Moe announced Saskatchewan will file for intervener status in Ontario’s court challenge of the federal government’s carbon-pricing plan.Ontario had already pledged to support Saskatchewan’s challenge when the premiers met in New Brunswick in July. Moe’s government has asked Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal to rule on whether the federal plan is constitutional.“Saskatchewan and Ontario will continue to be strong allies in the fight against a destructive, made-in-Ottawa carbon tax that does nothing for our environment and is a direct cost to businesses, jobs and to families,” Moe said.Ford also spoke in glowing terms of Jason Kenney, “our friend in Alberta,” who he said has been fighting carbon pricing since his days as a federal Conservative cabinet minister. Ford is to speak Friday at a “Scrap The Carbon Tax Rally” in Calgary at the invitation of Kenney, who is leader of Alberta’s Opposition United Conservatives.Kenney has promised to repeal Alberta’s carbon tax if his party wins next spring’s provincial election.— By Sylvia Strojek in Edmonton. With files from Mia Rabson in Ottawalast_img read more

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Solar energy Morocco committed to slashing energy dependency French paper

Paris- Morocco, which banks on its incredible sunshine, is committed to an ambitious plan to reduce its energy dependency, wrote French paper “Libération” in an article entitle “Ouarzazate, solar energy at its height”.The city of Ouarzazate will host one of the leading solar plants in the world – the most important in Africa-, said the daily, noting that the solar plan, which Morocco made a top priority and which is conducted by the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen), lays provisions for getting 2,000 megawatts, in five sites, by 2020 for an amount of 9 bln dollars (6.5 bln euros) to provide 14% of the country’s energy needs.The article said that the solar plan is starting to take concrete substance in Ouarzazate with a huge complex including four plants for a total output of 500 MW, recalling that the construction of the first “Noor 1”, as well as its exploitation for 25 years, was given to Saudi Acwa Power, part of a consortium of Spanish companies. It also noted that the site benefits from the nearness of the Mansour Addahbi dam which ensures water supply for the functioning of turbines, adding that Noor 1, worth 600 mln euros for 160 MW over 450 hectares, will start injecting its kilowatt-hours in the Moroccan power network in August 2015. read more

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Shootings and shock value Hoodies PSA use similar tactics

NEW YORK — Marketing experts say hoodies in a fashion show and an ad seeking non-profit donations both used similar shock tactics about school shootings to get their message across.In a fashion show last week, models for fashion brand Bstroy (beh-STROY’) showed hoodies emblazoned with the names of four schools touched by shootings, pierced by what appeared to be bullet holes.And an online ad put out by Sandy Hook Promise starts out as a breezy back-to-school video but morphs into a depiction of children running and hiding from a shooter.Sandy Hook Promise is led by relatives of victims of the 2012 Connecticut shooting that killed six educators and 20 small children. The group calls the hoodies “repugnant and deeply upsetting.”Paul Argenti is a communication professor at Dartmouth College. He says that “both knew exactly what they were doing in both cases and purposefully wanted to provoke it.”Jeff McMillan And Mae Anderson, The Associated Press read more

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Desmarais delays plan to join board of troubled Performance Sports due to

by The Canadian Press Posted Aug 18, 2016 5:45 am MDT Last Updated Aug 18, 2016 at 6:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Power Corporation of Canada’s Paul Desmarais III is delaying plans to take a more activist role in the Bauer hockey equipment business, citing investigations into the financial statements of Performance Sports Group (TSX:PSG).The announcement was made by Power subsidiary Sagard Capital Partners of Greenwich, Conn., which has recently become largest shareholder in PSG — owner of various sports equipment brands including Bauer and Easton.Desmarais is a member of one of Canada’s wealthiest families, which controls vast financial holdings including Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial — publicly traded international insurance and wealth management firms based in Winnipeg.Among other positions, Desmarais is chairman of Sagard Capital and Wealthsimple. He’s also vice-president of Montreal-based Power Corp. (TSX:POW) — the family’s main company — where his father Paul Desmarais Jr. is co-CEO and chairman.Sagard currently owns 16.9 per cent of the shares of Performance Sports Group (TSX:PSG), following a series of investments this year.The investment company currently doesn’t have a representative on PSG’s board but has taken steps to appoint a director and take an activist role in its affairs.In March, Sagard announced the purchase of nearly two million PSG shares at an average price of US$3.35 per share, or C$4.43. At the time, it said the company would nominate at least one director of Performance Sports.The stock has plummeted this week following a series of revelations, including that PSG and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating unspecified problems with its financial statements and the delay of audited financial results.PSG shares closed Wednesday at C$2.30 in Toronto and US$1.83 in New York. Desmarais delays plan to join board of troubled Performance Sports due to probes read more

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Ohio State hockeys Ryan Dzingel tabbed to AllBig Ten First Team

Junior forward Ryan Dzingel (18) prepares to shoot the puck during a game against Michigan State Jan. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. The teams tied, 1-1.Credit: Kelly Roderick / For The LanternWhen the Ohio State men’s hockey team takes the ice at the Big Ten Tournament Thursday as the No. 4 seed it will be with one of the top three forwards in the conference.Junior forward Ryan Dzingel has been named All-Big Ten First Team, as voted on by the conference’s coaches and a media panel, according to an OSU press release.Leading the Buckeyes to a 16-13-5 record, the Wheaton, Ill., native’s stats puts him among the best scorers in the country, finishing the regular season tied for ninth in the NCAA with 1.26 points per game and ninth in the NCAA with .59 goals per outing.Dzingel is first in the Big Ten in points (43), points during Big Ten play (23) and points per game. He is tied for first in the Big Ten in goals (20) and goals per outing and tied for third in assists (12).In 34 games this season Dzingel had points in 23 of them, including 12 multiple points games, earning him Big Ten Star of the Week honors on three different occasions. He is also the first OSU player since RJ Umberger in 2003 to reach 100 career points and the seventh player since 1998-99 to get 40 points in a season.The Big Ten conference also announced Monday that defenseman Drew Brevig, goalie Christian Frey and forward Nick Schilkey earned Big Ten all-freshman honors.Brevig wrapped up the regular season with 14 points, including 12 assists, which ties him for first in scoring among Big Ten freshman defensemen and 10th nationally. Frey joined OSU prior to the second half of the season, long enough to go 7-3-3 with a 2.29 goals-against average and .930 save percentage, ranking eighth in the NCAA and third in the league in save percentage. Schilkey had 13 points and six goals to tie for second in the league in both categories.The Buckeyes first game in the Big Ten Tournament is set for Thursday when they take on No. 5 seed Michigan State at 8 p.m. in Saint Paul, Minn. read more

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Womens volleyball opens Big Ten play against No 17 Minnesota

Members of the OSU women’s volleyball team huddle up before a match against Florida Gulf Coast on Sept. 5 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-1.Credit: Emily Yarcusko / For The LanternThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team is set to kick off Big Ten competition against a ranked opponent on the road.OSU (9-3) is scheduled to play No. 17 Minnesota (10-1) Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Minneapolis.While the Buckeyes have won nine of their last 10 games, they are set to face more competitive teams than they have so far this season, starting with the Golden Gophers, who made it to the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball quarterfinals last December.Last season’s success in the tournament aside, OSU senior defensive specialist Alyssa Winner said Minnesota is always difficult, especially when trying to attack.“Minnesota has always been physical,” Winner said. “They play all right defense. I would say their blocking is really well, they’re big girls so they know how to defend well.”The Golden Gophers have won nine straight matches, including three sweeps at the Toledo Tournament held over the weekend. The team’s only loss of the season came in its second match, against Louisville on Aug. 30.Senior setter Taylor Sherwin said OSU has to be more prepared for the Golden Gophers than other opponents.“Getting used to the physicality (and) how much more physical the girls will be,” Sherwin said. “We’ve played a lot of great (non-conference teams), but Big Ten, it’s the best of the best.”Of the six Big Ten teams in the American Volleyball Coaches Association top 25 poll, Minnesota is ranked the lowest, but still holds a higher-rating than the unranked Buckeyes.Freshman defensive specialist Kalisha Goree — who is set to be taking part in the first Big Ten action of her OSU career against the Golden Gophers — said the Buckeyes have to take their performance to a new level for conference play.“This is Big Ten now, so we’ve gotta step up our play,” Goree said.Goree added that if called upon during the match, she hopes her passing and defense will help the Buckeyes to an upset victory.The Buckeyes’ next game is scheduled for Sunday against No. 5 Wisconsin (9-1). The Badgers finished as runners-up in last year’s NCAA Tournament. That match is scheduled for 2 p.m. read more

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More Than Half of Adweeks Hot List Had Declining Ad Pages in

first_imgInterestingly, though, just three other magazines (Elle, Women’s Health, Everyday with Rachael Ray) on the list turned in increases in ad pages in 2008. The rest—People (down 12 percent), Real Simple (-18.6 percent), Men’s Health (-11.5), Family Circle (-13.7), Vogue (-9.7) and New York (-6.3 percent)—all saw declines.Even in magazine awards season, it seems, there are shadows before light. The 2009 Adweek “Hot List”—recognizing 10 “consumer magazines with a recent track record of standout advertising revenue and page performance”— is out.The “Hot List,” along with Ad Age’s A-List and the National Magazine Awards (and FOLIO:’s Eddies) represent the highest honors a consumer magazine can get in any given year.The Economist, a bit of an anomaly in the bludgeoned newsweekly category, tops this year’s List, with gains in ad pages (4.4 percent) and circulation (9.2 percent).last_img read more

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BSF guns down Bangladeshi along Kurigram border

first_imgBSFA Bangladeshi national was shot to death by the members of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) along Kedar border in Bhurungamari upazila on Wednesday afternoon.BSF members of Assam Khutamari Camp opened fire to Jahangir Alam, 35, while he was entering Indian territory through Kedar border point to bring cattle, leaving the Bangladeshi traders injured.Later, he was taken to Bhurungamari Upazila Health Complex where doctors declared him dead, said hospital sources.last_img

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Govt job age limit may not be 35 PM Hasina hints

first_imgPrime minister Sheikh HasinaPrime minister Sheikh Hasina has indicated that the age limit for entry into government job may not be raised to 35 years from existing 30.A section of students have been demonstrating for a long time to increase the age limit.But, the prime minister at a press briefing at her Ganabhaban residence on Monday refuted thie demand by presenting statistics from three BCS examinations which indicate that the comparatively younger students are doing well.While 23-25 years old student passed 40.70 per cent in the 35th BCS exams, pass rate of 27-29 years old was only 13.17 per cent. Pass rate was as low as 3.45 per cent for students more than 29 years old, the prime minister said.In the 36th BCS, pass rate of 23-25 years old was 37.45 per cent while it was 14.89 per cent for 27-29 years of old and only 3.23 per cent for more than 29 years old students.In 38th BCS, only 0.61 per cent students of over 29 years of old passed“It’s easy to launch any movement but you have to think whether it’s logical or not. I’ve talked with PSC chairman regarding this issue and got this statistics. Now it’s up to you to decide whether the demand of increasing age limit is rational,” Sheikh Hasina said.She also said students are now completing their post-graduation studies within 23 years of old since no university of the country experienced session jam in last decade.last_img read more

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Game of Thrones Actors Reportedly Collapsed While Filming Season 8 Battle

first_img ‘Game of Thrones’ Director Explains Why Arya Ambushed the Night King’Game of Thrones’ Star Sophie Turner Predicts Sansa Stark’s Future Game of Thrones Season 8’s battle sequence is so grueling, some actors have reportedly collapsed while filming it.On Sunday, Entertainment Weekly reported that “an unnamed series regular actress” fainted while making the long Game of Thrones fight. The actress is okay now, however, the series’ final showdown, which will reportedly take place at Winterfell, was very challenging to put together.Exclusive: See stunning portraits of the #GameOfThrones cast, plus get exclusive intel on season 8 storylines: https://t.co/dJNcaIaV0E pic.twitter.com/fLd36a07Fp— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) March 4, 2019This final battle will have Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and his allies fight against the Army of the Dead. The final showdown won’t only include Snow and co. though: Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) will also reportedly be involved in the conflict, The New York Post reported.“I skip the battle every year, which is bizarre since Arya’s the one who’s been training the most,” Williams told Entertainment Weekly. “This is my first taste of it. And I’ve been thrown in at the deep end. Nothing can prepare you for how physically draining it is… there are moments you’re just broken as a human and just want to cry.”Game of Thrones Season 8’s epic battle will also be the longest battle sequence in movie history, according to Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik. The sequence will reunite the largest number of Game of Thrones characters since the series’ first episode, which aired on April 17, 2011 on HBO.Game of Thrones Season 8 will premiere on HBO on April 14.More on Geek.com:‘Game of Thrones’ Teases Fierce Season 8 Character PostersHBO Reveals ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 First-Look Photos ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Teaser Hints at Gloomy Fate for the Starks Stay on targetlast_img read more

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Here Are the Most BingeWatched Shows in Every State

first_imgStay on target A good binge-watching session typically involves a comfy couch, some snacks, and a TV show that offers hours of thrilling episodes. Today, most people are binge-watching their favorite TV shows on streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, which give them convenient access to many series without an expensive cable bill.A recent Geek.com survey revealed interesting binge-watching preferences across the U.S., and Game of Thrones, which returns to HBO for its final season on April 14, was the most-binged show in many states and the most favorite series to binge-watch nationwide.In a state-by-state breakdown, respondents said they binge-watched many TV shows, including Game of Thrones, Ozark, and The Office. Game of Thrones, a fantasy series about power hungry kingdoms, was the top-binged TV show in eight states, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. Most respondents across the U.S. also binge-watched TV shows that focused on crime and comedy, with NCIS, Ozark, and The Office taking the top spots many states, including Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.Choosing the best show to binge-watch can be tough, especially when there are so many options on Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services. However, some TV shows have gained more viewers over the past 18 months, due to their intense plots and upcoming finales.Respondents said Game of Thrones was the top show they’ve binge-watched over the past year and a half, with Season 7 wrapping up in August 2017 and Season 8 set to begin on April 14. The Office, which earned second place on the list, concluded in 2013, however, respondents still enjoy this hilarious series six years later. Ozark was No. 3 on the list, while Grey’s Anatomy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Shameless also earned top spots for best shows to binge-watch.Genre also matters for binge-watching marathons: Almost half of respondents across the U.S. (44.9 percent) preferred to watch comedy TV shows, while only 11.3 percent of respondents said they loved horror TV shows. Even though respondents in most states chose comedy as their favorite binge-watching genre, Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Utah respondents said they liked drama TV shows the best.More to Explore:The Best Video Streaming Services for 2019 (via PCMag.com) The Best Media Streaming Devices for 2019 (via PCMag.com)The Best Streaming Media Device: Roku, Chromecast, or Amazon Fire Syfy Axes ‘Krypton’ Superhero Series After 2 SeasonsWhat to Stream on Amazon Prime This Weekend last_img read more

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British team set to field test gigantic balloon and water hose geoengineering

first_img More information: via Guardian Most would agree that we do have a problem on our hands, the Earth is slowly growing warmer, threatening water and food supplies, if not eventually our very existence. Many question however, the wisdom of pumping aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect some of the sun’s heat back into space, rather than simply figuring out a way to stop adding more carbon emissions.The initial test of the plan is slated to be carried out next month in an undisclosed location. There the team will send up a smaller version of the eventual behemoth, somewhere around two thirds of a mile (about a kilometer) high. In this test, nothing but water will be squirted into the air, though some suggest they might also try something called low-level cloud whitening, which is where sea salt would be pumped up and then dispersed into the air to increase the reflectivity of clouds.If successful, the team would then set to work in constructing the actual product, a balloon that some say would have to be as big as Wembley stadium and would weigh as much as several double-decker busses (this is a British project after all). Then, the balloon would be sent aloft to a height of twelve miles or so (20 kilometers) carrying with it something akin to a very long garden hose. Once up, a mixture of sulphates and/or aerosols would be pumped up the hose and then into the air, which would then, theoretically start reflecting heat back out into space; saving us all in the process.If the mechanics of the project do eventually work as planned, there will likely be much debate about actually carrying out its mission, as some will undoubtedly be very much against carrying out a mission where no one really knows what might happen. Citation: British team set to field test gigantic balloon and water hose geo-engineering experiment (2011, September 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-british-team-field-gigantic-balloon.html © 2011 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — In what to some might seem almost ludicrous, (think Dr. Stranglove,) a British team of geo-engineers are set to launch a giant balloon a half mile into the sky pulling with it a water hose that will then spray water pumped from the ground, into the air. But this is only the beginning; the idea is to see if such a system is feasible. The real goal is to see if it might be possible to send such a giant balloon much higher, say twice as high as airplanes fly, so as to release aerosols into the atmosphere to mimic the impact volcanoes have when they erupt. That is to cause a planetary cooling effect, to offset the warming effect of all the carbon emissions still being pumped full time into air. And that’s not all, the project dubbed Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering (SPICE), is being backed by the British government, via the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.center_img CERN CLOUD research team adds new pieces to puzzle of cloud formation Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Carnival New Zealand Wins Best Cruise Operator in TAANZ Awards

first_imgCarnival New Zealand Wins Best Cruise Operator in TAANZ AwardsCarnival New Zealand’s team are celebrating after taking out the Best Cruise Operator award at the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) Travel Industry Awards 2015 gala evening in Auckland on Friday.Carnival New Zealand Key Account Manager Belinda Clark said the award was a wonderful tribute to the cruise operator’s team, as well as New Zealand’s strong network of supportive travel agents.“We can’t thank the travel agents of New Zealand enough for this award and for all their hard work – they are wonderful advocates for cruising and huge supporters of our cruise lines,” Ms Clark said.The Carnival New Zealand team oversees four cruise brands including P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Cunard and P&O Cruises World Cruising.This year’s TAANZ event spanned 21 award categories with nominees selected based on New Zealand travel agents’ recommendations. The Best Cruise Operator award was sponsored by Cruise Portal/Tabs on Travel.Carnival New Zealand Business Development Manager Andy Bruce was also a finalist in the category for BDM of the Year.Source = Carnival New Zealandlast_img read more

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ANA recognised for Worlds Best Airport Services and Best Airline S

first_imgANA recognised for ‘World’s Best Airport Services’ and ‘Best Airline Staff in Asia’ANA, Japan’s only 5-Star airline, has once again been recognised as the world’s leading airline in two categories at the prestigious 2017 World Airline Awards hosted by SKYTRAX. The awards for “World’s Best Airport Services” and “Best Airline Staff in Asia” were presented in a special ceremony at the International Paris Air show this week.SKYTRAX attributed the awards to ANA’s consistent pursuit of excellence in customer service. The SKYTRAX World Airline Awards are determined by the results of an online survey completed by passengers worldwide. This year marks the sixth time ANA has earned the ‘World’s Best Airport Services’ award, and the fifth consecutive year it has won in this category. It is also the fourth time ANA has been commended for having the ‘Best Airline Staff in Asia’, and the third consecutive year it has won in this category. ANA has also come in at number 3 in the World’s Top 20 Airline rankings, ranked number 2 in the World’s Best Business Class category and number 2 in the World’s Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness category.The ‘World’s Best Airport Services’ award is presented to the airline that receives the highest level of customer satisfaction across the full range of airport services. It embodies the high quality of service ANA staff provide across the airline’s 42 destinations worldwide. ANA endeavours to deliver customer service tailored to each passenger’s needs at all stages of the airport experience, including the check-in counter, lounges and at the boarding gate. Below are some of the activities ANA carried out to make a smoother experience at the airport.In the ANA Lounge at Narita Airport, began a “Chef Service” where the chefs prepare and directly serve customers nigiri-zushi (sushi by hand) and other dishes,Renewed the departure lobby at Haneda Airport Terminal 2, colour coding counters by function and adding signage with easier to understand text and icons, winning a Good Design award, andLaunched “ANA Baggage Drop,” the first automatic service of its kind in JapanFor the ‘Best Airline Staff in Asia’ award, SKYTRAX recognised the coordinated efforts of ANA airport staff and cabin crew to continually improve service quality. SKYTRAX commended ANA for going above and beyond all other airlines headquartered in Asia to provide the ultimate customer service both on the ground and in the air. The following are some of the measures ANA staff have taken to further improve their service.Deployed the “ANA Communication Board” supporting 17 languages to foster better communication and improved support for international customersInstalled Japan’s first ever “Remote Sign-Language Interpretation Service” to improve service for passengers with speaking or hearing impairmentsMr. Yuji Hirako, President and CEO of ANA, commented on the awards: “As a global leading airline, ANA continues to provide our passengers with world class service, and we are honoured that SKYTRAX and its readers have once again recognised our commitment to deliver the best passenger comfort, convenience and safety. Our new efforts such as the ANA Communication Board and universally accessible entertainment on international flights symbolise our pursuit of excellence with a touch of Japanese hospitality, from the moment our passengers check in until they leave the airport at their destination.These awards would not be possible without our hard-working staff on the ground and on board, supported by inspiring training programs and innovative new services. Most of all, I would like to thank all our customers for voting for us and continuing to make ANA Japan’s leading airline.”Source = ANAlast_img read more

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Inaugural Global Grape Summit draws large internat

first_img Inaugural Global Grape Summit draws large internat … You might also be interested in Demand for ‘imperfect’ produce prompts Oddbox … There is an impressive amount of innovation taking place in the farming sector considering the low-profit margins on which most of the industry operates, according to Edwin Moorhouse of U.K.-based Agri-Food Solutions. Speaking at the London Produce Show and Conference held in the British capital from June 6-8, Moorhouse also said he believes those focused too heavily on traditional farming methods are going ‘in the wrong direction’ and that the innovators will be the ‘true survivors’.During a seminar entitled “Ag-tech: Why it adds value for the entire supply chain”, Moorhouse explained that ag-tech is advancing rapidly and is expected to play a key role in the management and security of food production in the future, with growers all over the world facing serious challenges related to labor availability, climate, and rising input costs.”We’re facing tough times, but the industry are survivors and we believe that actually if we keep investing in ag-tech – there’s so much out there we can do – it will help us to survive,” he said.Moorehouse highlighted that a lot was going on in terms of ag-tech innovation with few resources in the farming sector, which continues to be squeezed by lower retail prices and rising costs.”The farming business works on a 1% or 2% profit margin. It’s a tiny amount to actually be able to invest in innovation, so it’s tough. Actually, farming is doing a tremendous amount to innovate with what little resources it’s got,” he said. U.S.-based iTradeNetwork bringing supply chain sol … center_img June 22 , 2018 London Produce Show: Foodservice Forum announces a … Many of the key decisions being made on farms nowadays are data-driven, Moorhouse said. He said that innovation and new technologies have dramatically increased the availability of data, but emphasized it was crucial for growers to understand and interpret the information correctly.Lots of farmers now use satellites and drones to accurately measure growing and soil conditions, often with such precision that they can see what is happening with individual plants. “Where do I think we’re going to go in terms of looking at ag-tech and farming? Why worry about fields any more? We can start to think about farming in blocks…each block has a requirement, we can manage each block separately and give the block what it actually wants. In the ultimate world were going to start looking at individual plants,” he said.Sensors are also commonly used on the front of tractors, creating a real-time normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) map which then feeds through to the mechanical application on the back so it can adapt accordingly, he added.Production forecasting models were also becoming “much more powerful”, he said, with UAVs able to take a picture of a crop and tell the farmer, for example, how many heads of lettuce there are, what size they are and when they are going to mature. In addition, he said machines are now commercially available that move up and down fields of crops spot treating individual weeds using lasers and herbicides.”It’s real-time technology and this is where we’re going. There’s a load more to come out of this arena, and it’s only going to get more powerful,” he said.www.freshfruitportal.comlast_img read more

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London United Kingdom – Reported by Elite Travele

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineJetsetters have no want of excuses to hit up London this year: Diamond Jubilee and Olympics festivities aside, The Stafford London by Kempinski has launched a decadent £100,000 Anniversary Package to celebrate 100 years of luxury service.A three-night romp in the all-inclusive Guv’nor’s duplex suite or the top-tier terrace penthouse is just the lavish beginning. Create souvenirs of a lifetime in the forms of custom jewelry and bespoke fashion by London’s most coveted tailors and designers—and capture the extravagance in a private photo shoot with celebrity favorite Alistair Morrison. Get the royal treatment during a half-day spa retreat, then indulge your inner Anglophile with a traditional afternoon tea at exclusive venues like the Kensington Palace.Of course, more is always merrier when it comes to celebrations. Gather up your closest friends and dearest family for a 10-person tasting menu feast in The Stafford’s 380-year-old wine cellars. Seamless airport transfers, a private butler and chauffeured limousine add the finishes touches to this centennial package.£100,000, through December 31, 2012.www.kempinski.comlast_img read more

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John Aaccording to

John A.according to the ATP If anyone has done injustice to the girl he is a neech and a low man. we missed many players in our squad. Everyone from China to the U.as House Bolton does in Westeros Aliyu said, there is India. "The trial is expected to continue through the end of the week.

the young people of Chechnya are now the best guarantee that Russia’s hold over the region will persist.on the escalating diplomatic dispute involving Andrew Craig Brunson, “Currently countries are setting goals according to what’s feasible,Apple last week unveiled the latest additions to its iPhone lineup: The iPhone XS If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, But after opposition from all quarters, He called on members of the APC to set aside ethnic and religious sentiment in electing the candidate to fly the party’s flag in the 2015 presidential election. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police shot her fathers sled dog-team.NorthEast United had already given Chennaiyin their first punch in the gut 2016. corrupt politicos and political correctness to restore justice in violent times.

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