G E Shipping Adds Secondhand Supramax

first_imgzoom Mumbai-based Great Eastern Shipping (G E Shipping) has taken delivery of Jag Radha, a secondhand Supramax dry bulk carrier bought in October 2016.The 58,100 dwt Jag Radha, previously known as Star Manx, was purchased from the Isle of Man-based shipping company LT Ugland Shipping, VesselsValue’s data shows.The dry bulk carrier, which was built by China’s Tsuneishi Zhoushan, was bought for USD 10.7 million, according to VesselsValue.The 32,354 gross ton vessel features a length of 190 meters and a width of 32.3 meters.Including Jag Radha, the company’s current fleet stands at 38 vessels, comprising 24 tankers and 14 dry bulk carriers, with an average age of 8.9 years and an aggregate tonnage of 2.94 million dwt.Additionally, G E Shipping has one newbuilding Kamsarmax on order and expects the delivery of two secondhand Aframaxes.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

TORM Reports Profit Dip

first_imgzoom As a result of the challenging tanker market, Danish shipping company TORM ended the first quarter of this year with a profit of USD 4.6 million, considerably lower from a profit of USD 30.9 million recorded in the same period a year earlier.In addition, EBITDA for the quarter dropped to USD 44 million from USD 70 million posted in 1Q 2016.“I am encouraged that TORM remained profitable in a challenging first quarter of 2017 … The results are attributable both to our strong commercial performance and an attractive cost structure. So far, TORM has remained profitable in the second quarter, where the product tanker market continues to be volatile,” Jacob Meldgaard,  TORM’s Executive Director, commented.During the first quarter of 2017, product tanker freight rates started out at weak levels similar to the fourth quarter of 2016 but strengthened towards the end of the first quarter, according to the company. As disclosed, the freight rate improvement was primarily driven by increased demand for clean petroleum products in the western markets, which resulted in stronger time charter equivalent (TCE) earnings for the first quarter of 2017 compared to the preceding quarter.In 1Q 2017, TORM’s product tanker fleet realized average TCE earnings of USD/day 15,264 for 7,004 earning days compared to USD/day 19,845 for 6,973 earning days seen during the three-month period ended March 31, 2016.As informed earlier, TORM sold one vessel, TORM Anne, and completed sale and leaseback transactions for two vessels, TORM Helene and TORM Mary.Additionally, following the balance sheet date, TORM has sold two vessels, TORM Madison and TORM Trinity and completed a sale and leaseback transaction for one vessel, TORM Vita. The three transactions are treated as financial leases without purchase obligation, the company said.As of 31 March 2017, net interest-bearing debt amounted to USD 596 million. As previously announced, TORM finalized a new term facility of up to USD 130 million in January 2017 which was fully drawn on March 31.Furthermore, TORM had undrawn credit facilities and cash of around USD 405 million at the end of the first quarter of 2017.As of 31 March 2017, TORM had covered 14% of the remaining tanker earning days in 2017 at USD/day 19,873. Up until May 6, the company had covered 27% of the remaining tanker earning days in 2017 at USD/day 16,801.In its outlook for 2017, the company expects that a change in freight rates of USD/day 1,000 will impact the profit before tax by USD 13.2 million, as 13,166 earning days in 2017 are unfixed as of May 5.Currently, the company’s fleet comprises around 80 tankers on the water. In addition, TORM’s orderbook stands at four LR2 newbuildings with expected delivery in 2017 and 2018.last_img read more

Clipper Consolidates Bulk Segment

first_imgzoom Copenhagen-based shipping company Clipper Group revealed plans to consolidate its bulk activities into three hubs.“Clipper will simplify its operational and administrative set-up in its strongest field of business, bulk… We will concentrate our bulk business in three locations: Copenhagen, Houston and Hong Kong,” the company said in a statement.Consequently, Clipper will close its offices in Stamford, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and Beijing.As explained, the company’s offices in Barranquilla, Tokyo and Nassau will remain unchanged.“Fewer but larger hubs will allow us to service our customers and to operate our fleet more efficiently,” according to Clipper.“Within the last year, Clipper has grown its operated bulk fleet from 100 to 150 vessels. We want to make communication more effective and our response time to market changes shorter,” Peter Norborg, Clipper Group CEO, commented.Clipper Group operates a fleet of around 150 Handysize and Supramax vessels. In addition to bulk, the company has complementary businesses in the RoRo and ferry segments.last_img read more

Scorpio Buying Four More Bulkers

first_imgzoom Monaco-based dry bulk shipping company Scorpio Bulkers has entered into two separate agreements with unnamed parties to acquire one Kamsarmax and three Ultramax dry bulk vessels.As informed, the ships will be bought for USD 90 million, of which USD 77.1 million is payable in cash and the remaining consideration is in the form of approximately 1.592 million common shares of the company to be issued to one of the sellers.All of the Ultramax vessels were built at Chengxi Shipyard in China. Two of them were delivered in 2014 and one in 2015.The Kamsarmax bulk carrier is a resale unit whose construction will be supervised by the company and which will be delivered from Jiangsu New Yangzijiang Shipbuilding in China in the second quarter of 2018, Scorpio Bulkers said.The cash component of the vessel acquisitions will be funded by cash on hand, as well as new debt facilities which are currently under discussion with the company’s lenders.In September, Scorpio Bulkers also entered into agreements with Golden Ocean Group Limited (GOGL) to buy six Ultramax vessels.Following the completion of its recent acquisitions of nine Ultramaxes and one Kamsarmax, the company will own or finance lease 56 vessels. In addition, Scorpio time charters-in one Ultramax.On the back of an improvement in dry bulk rates, Scorpio Bulkers managed to cut its net loss for the period ended September 30. For the third quarter of 2017, the company’s GAAP net loss was USD 10.7 million, compared to a GAAP net loss of USD 21.3 million reported in the same period a year earlier.last_img read more

MOL Mitsui Invest in Modec FPSO Project in Mexico

first_imgzoomThe image is for illustration purposes only and is not related to Eni Mexico Area 1 FPSO. Image Courtesy: MODEC Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), Mitsui and Modec have reached an agreement to jointly provide a floating production, storage, and offloading system (FPSO) in Mexico.The FPSO would have an oil processing capacity of 90,000 barrels per day and a gas processing capacity of 75 million cubic feet per day.Under the deal, the parties would provide the unit, to feature a storage capacity of 900,000 barrels, for use in the Area 1 block offshore Mexico.Construction of the FPSO is planned to be completed in 2021, and the vessel will be deployed for the development of the Area 1 block at water depths of about 32 meters.Mitsui and MOL invested in MV34, a Dutch company established by Modec, which will engage in FPSO leasing, operations and maintenance services. The companies signed a loan agreement for the project on April 12, 2019.In December 2018, MV34 concluded the charter agreement with Eni Mexico, the operator of Area 1 block and a subsidiary of Eni S.p.A. The charter contract initially runs for 15 years, with options for extension every year thereafter up to 5 additional years.The loan agreement on a project finance basis, signed by a number of finance institutions, is the first project finance for the FPSO project in Mexico.The transaction concluded with MOL holding 30 percent of the MV34 stake, while Mitsui and Modec each have a 35 percent share.last_img read more

Province Invests in Projects Worth 21 Million

first_img Shared total project cost: $ 3,106,200 ($1,035,400 provincial) The project provides for the design and installation of municipalwater and sewer systems for the Prince’s Lodge area. A one-kilometre extension of services will replace aging on-site sewagedisposal systems and individual wells for 56 households on LodgeDrive, Kent Avenue and Prince’s Walk. The installation of centralservices will enable residential growth in the area. Maplewood on the Lakes Subdivision Water Services, Phase 2Halifax Regional Municipality Shared total project cost: $615,000 ($205,000 provincial) The project will provide for the design and installation of Phase1A of a water distribution and sewage collection system forHerring Cove. The water distribution portion will provide for theinstallation of about 3.3 kilometres of water main to service 120households. It addresses the poor water quality and quantityconcerns with existing on-site wells, and will include meters andfire protection for all customers. Churchill Estates, asubdivision currently served by a well, will also be connected tothe Halifax Regional Water Commission system. The sewage collection system portion of the project will providefor about one kilometre of sewer to service 40 households, andwill replace aging, individual on-site sewage disposal systemsthat have malfunctioned due to poor soil conditions. Prince’s Lodge Water and Sewer ExtensionHalifax Regional Municipality Shared total project cost: $1,620,000 ($540,000 provincial) SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS–Province Invests in ProjectsWorth $21 Million This project will provide for the design and construction of twoartificial turf sports fields in the Spectacle Lake area ofBurnside. The new sports fields (one for soccer, the other forfootball and/or soccer) will be constructed to regulation sizeand will utilize the latest technology in artificial turf. Theproject also includes the construction of bleachers, lighting andparking. This is part of HRM’s Parks and Recreation business planfor the provision of sports fields. Moser River Fire StationHalifax Regional Municipality Shared total project cost: $958,005 ($319,335 provincial) Shared total project cost: $625,000 ($208,333 provincial) Shared total project cost: $365,802 ($121,934 provincial) Shared total project cost: $3,500,000 ($800,000 provincial) Shared total project cost: $2,000,000 ($500,000 provincial)center_img This project will provide for the design and construction ofPhase 1 of a new recreation facility in Clayton Park, which willreplace the outdated Northcliffe Recreation Facility. In additionto a 25-metre, six-lane swimming pool, a leisure pool and a tot’spool, the facility will include a fitness centre, sauna, indoorwalking/jogging track and a community meeting space. Harbour East Artificial FieldsHalifax Regional Municipality Residents of Halifax County, Shelburne, Pictou and Bible Hill cansoon look forward to community improvements through 10 projectsbeing funded by the Nova Scotia government. The projects are mostly water and wastewater improvements, others are recreational and community-based improvements. The projectspromote safer drinking water, effective wastewater management,and healthier, safer communities. “The province will be investing $4.8 million in these projects. These investments will make important contributions to a healthyand safe environment in these communities, as well as encouraginglocal growth,” said Barry Barnet, Minister of Service Nova Scotiaand Municipal Relations. The federal and municipal governments will be funding thebalance. The provincial funding will be through the Canada-NovaScotia Infrastructure Program. Since 2001, the Nova Scotiagovernment has invested more than $64 million in 128 projectsacross the province through the program. Details on the projects announced today are as follows: Herring Cove Water and Wastewater Phase 1AHalifax Regional Municipality This project will provide for the construction of a RegionalMaterials Recovery Facility for the area served by the ShelburneJoint Services Board. This facility will provide for thediversion of construction and demolition debris. The first phasewill establish the construction and demolition waste-weighing,sorting and transfer station in the Town of Shelburne. The second phase includes the development of a full-serviceRegional Materials Recovery Facility, which will accept, process,store as needed, and divert for re-use construction anddemolition waste generated by the Shelburne Joint Services Boardarea. The board represents 3,850 households in the towns ofShelburne and Lockeport and the Municipality of the District ofShelburne. Water Treatment Facility Upgrade – Phase 2Town of Shelburne The project brings municipal water services to a subdivision thatcurrently relies on private wells, and whose 41 householdscurrently experience water-quality and quantity problems. This isthe second phase of a multi-phase program designed to service thearea. Phase 1 was approved under the program in 2001. Mainland Common Recreation FacilityHalifax Regional Municipality This project will provide for the continuation of upgrades to theRodney Lake Water Treatment Plant. The upgrade includes pilottesting for process selection and chemical requirements, as wellas the installation of filtration treatment equipment, chemicalfeed systems, monitoring and control systems, emergency power andon-site wastewater treatment. This upgrade will not only resultin a substantial improvement in water quality but will alsoensure compliance with provincial and federal water qualitystandards such as the reduction of trihalomethanes (THMs). This project will provide for the design, upgrading and expansionof the existing biosolids stabilization system at the East RiverPollution Abatement System’s wastewater treatment plant inTrenton. The existing aerobic digesters do not consistently meetthe regulatory requirements regarding biosolids application onland. The upgrade includes the installation of biosolids handlingand treatment equipment to increase the stabilization of thebiosolids through lime addition and pasteurization of thebiosoliods with supplemental heat. This project will help insure compliance with both current andfuture regulatory requirements through the treatment of biosolidsto the equivalent of USEPA Class A designation. The Trentonfacility serves 25,000 residents in the towns of Westville,Stellarton, New Glasgow and Trenton as well as a number ofurbanized areas within the Pictou County. Water Distribution Loop – Salmon River Crossing Phase 2Village of Bible Hill The project provides for the design and construction of a newfire station for Moser River that will replace the currentcondemned facility. The new two-bay station is necessary tomaintain fire and emergency health response for the community,and will provide new Emergency Measures Organization receptionand pandemic preparation. Biosolids ManagementPictou County District Planning Commission Shared total project cost: $ 8,000,000 ($1,000,000 provincial) Shared total project cost: $256,494 ($85,498 provincial) This project provides for the design and construction of thesecond phase of a water distribution system for Bible Hill,including crossing the Salmon River with a water main. It alsoprovides looping for Phase 1 to allow for alternate emergencydistribution and circulation to maintain proper disinfection. Regional Materials Recovery Facility – Transfer and StationShelburne Joint Serviceslast_img read more

Province Implements Recommendations for Offhighway Vehicle Use

first_imgThe Department of Natural Resources is creating six new positions for enforcement officers in response to the growing number of off-highway vehicles in Nova Scotia and public concern about their use. These new positions are being created on the recommendation of a recent Voluntary Planning task force on off-highway vehicle use. More than 50,000 off-highway vehicles are estimated to be in use in the province. Their use sometimes conflicts with the interests and activities of other Nova Scotians. “Our role is to ensure that the vehicles are used safely and appropriately,” said Minister of Natural Resources, Richard Hurlburt. The recent provincial budget allocated $800,000 to the Department of Natural Resources to establish six new positions for enforcement officers and to purchase equipment. An additional six positions will be added next year. Like the province’s conservation officers, the new off-highway vehicle enforcement officers will be appointed as special constables under the provincial Police Act. The enforcement officers can lay charges under 15 statutes and regulations, including the Angling Act, the Wilderness Areas Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Wildlife Act, and the Off-Highway Vehicles Act. They will also enforce the Liquor Control Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Criminal Code of Canada. “These newly-appointed enforcement officials will promote compliance with regulations and legislation, with an emphasis on education,” said John Mombourquette, director of the Department of Natural Resources’ enforcement division. “We will also reinforce the effective partnerships that have been established by conservation officers with other municipal, provincial and federal enforcement agencies to address areas of mutual interest.” These agencies include the provincial Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, municipal police departments, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The off-highway unit will be equipped with snowmobiles, all terrain vehicles, street and trail motorcycles, as well as communications, surveillance and global positioning system equipment. The province is reviewing other recommendations of the off-highway vehicle task force.last_img read more

Board Rules Woman Was Discriminated Against

first_imgAn independent human rights board of inquiry has concluded that the owner of a Needs convenience store in New Waterford discriminated by not hiring back an employee following her recovery from an injury. Molly Marchand of New Waterford was unable to return to work following an automobile accident in February 2004 in which she suffered soft tissue injuries. When she approached Judy Burchell, owner at the time of the Needs convenience store where she was employed, about a return to work she was informed that her job had been given to a new employee. In her written decision, board chair Elizabeth Cusack found that Ms. Marchand had a disability as defined in the Human Rights Act and Ms. Burchell had failed to fulfill her duty to accommodate. “I find that the employer did not rebut the prima facie case or establish that accommodation was made to the point of undue hardship,” wrote Ms. Cusack. “In fact, there would have been no hardship whatsoever, other than the awkwardness of dealing with the fresh hire, whose longevity in the workplace was unknown compared with Ms. Marchand’s dependability.” The board chair has ordered Ms. Burchell and her company 3010497 Nova Scotia Limited to pay $7,329.51 in lost wages and $4,500 in general damages plus pre-judgement interest to Ms. Marchand. In her decision, Ms. Cusack raised a concern about the level of human rights knowledge of employers in the province. Ms. Burchell had testified she had a copy of the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Code but not the Human Rights Act. In her decision, Ms. Cusack recommends that employers consider a way of ensuring that all their employees and all managers have copies of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act. A complaint is referred to an independent board of inquiry when the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission believes a prima facie case of discrimination is made after an investigation by a human rights officer. The chief judge of the provincial court selects a board chair from a roster and the commissioners ratify the nomination. The decision on the complaint is then in the hands of the independent board. Evidence collected during investigation of a complaint is presented at the hearing by the commission’s legal counsel. The complainant and respondent can make submissions and question witnesses. The board chair then decides whether discrimination has occurred. All parties have a right to appeal decisions of boards of inquiry to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. A copy of the decision is available on the website at www.gov.ns.ca/humanrights .last_img read more

Wanted Near Work Zones Considerate Drivers

first_imgMotorists may notice a great deal of road work taking place across the province this summer. The Department of Transportation and Public Works and the Nova Scotia Road Builders Association begin a construction zone safety campaign today, June 21. Radio, TV and print advertisements will run throughout the summer. “In exchange for better roads, drivers need to be patient over delays and considerate of road workers,” said Angus MacIsaac, Minister of Transportation and Public Works. Orange cones, traffic barrels, and temporary condition signs are usually all that protect highway workers from drivers during road construction. Drivers can get frustrated with delays, triggering dangerous behaviours. Chris Bond knows the consequences. He works for Dexter Construction, where he often has the job at the tail of the paver, controlling the depth of the asphalt. While working on Highway 102 near Halifax, Mr. Bond was walking inside the work zone, when a produce truck hit him. “It could have been the body or the side mirror of the truck. But when I hit the ground, all I knew was that my foot was run over,” Mr. Bond recalled. The traffic was so heavy and so fast that he and his co-workers had been worried. “They saw me get hit and heard the thump of my body against the ground.” Carl Baillie, president of Nova Scotia Road Builders Association, said the least mistake by a driver can lead to vehicles entering the work zone and injuring or killing workers. “There’s a lot of information to process in a work zone,” Mr. Baillie said. “People need to slow down so they can take it all in.” Some things to remember are: Pay attention, especially in the approach to the work area. Slow down when orange barrels, cones and signs are present. Even when work is not underway, there could still be hazards. Do not pass other cars in a work zone or in the transition area. Expect the unexpected. Fewer lanes, new detours, a traffic control person — the roadway may change. Increase space between vehicles, to allow extra reaction time in case of a problem.last_img read more

Annapolis Valley Nursing Home to be Replaced

first_imgMiddleton-area residents will benefit from new nursing home facilities with the replacement and relocation of Northhills Nursing Home Ltd., a 50-bed long-term-care facility, located in Granville Ferry. Health Minister Chris d’Entremont announced the new facility today, Feb. 2, in Middleton. “Nova Scotians want to know that, if they need it, long-term-care facilities that offer a high quality of life and a high quality of care are available close to home,” said Mr. d’Entremont. “Northhills Nursing Home has been home to many people over the years, but it is now time for a new facility in a new location that will be better able to meet the needs of area residents now, and in the days to come.” The replacement of Northhills Nursing Home became necessary, in part, because of its age and demands placed on it by the changing needs of residents, who generally require more complex care. New long-term-care facilities future will reflect more home-like environments for smaller numbers of residents. This will allow them to be located in more communities around the provinces, giving Nova Scotians access to care closer to home. Facility resources will include more social and recreation space, more personal space, and private rooms. Facilities may also include different levels of care, allowing people to remain in the same location even as their health requirements change. The new facility for Middleton is expected to be open by March 2010.last_img read more

H1N1 Human Swine Influenza Update May 7

first_imgNo new cases of H1N1 (human swine influenza) were confirmed in the province today, May 7. Dr. Robert Strang, chief public health officer for Nova Scotia, said this does not mean the outbreak is over or contained. “As we’ve said all along, we still expect to see more cases in more locations,” Dr. Strang said. “The public health system will remain vigilant and continue to monitor the situation across the province.” Individuals are reminded that the best way to stay healthy is to take preventative action. That means washing your hands thoroughly and often, coughing or sneezing into your sleeves, staying away from public areas if you are sick and frequently cleaning and disinfecting common surfaces and items such as doorknobs and counters. It is important for Nova Scotians to understand that it is safe to go to work and school, participate in school activities and to socialize, if they do not have influenza-like symptoms. The total number of cases reported in Nova Scotia since the outbreak began on April 26 remains at 53. All cases are mild and those affected are recovered or recovering. A toll-free information line is operational from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., daily. The number is 1-888-451-4222. For more information on H1N1 (human swine influenza), visit www.gov.ns.ca .last_img read more

Clean Air Projects in Central Region Receive More Than 132000

first_imgThe province announced more than $132,000 for five projects in the central and northern regions of the province that will help reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions. MLA Lenore Zann made the announcement on behalf of Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau today, Sept. 15, in Truro. “Our communities play an important role in reducing air emissions,” said Ms. Zann. “I would like to congratulate the groups receiving funding for taking a leadership role in improving air quality in their communities.” The funding, which is part of a $900,000 investment announced by the province last week, is being provided by the ecoNova Scotia Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change. The Town of Truro will receive $10,000 under the fund’s municipal program to conduct an energy inventory and audit of its municipal infrastructure. This will help the town better understand how it is using its energy and the best opportunities to cut emissions and costs. “We are looking at all of the town’s buildings to identify where we are generating greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions,” said Bill Mills, Mayor of Truro. “We want to identify ways in which we can reduce energy use, while saving on operating costs.” Other funding will allow the Town of Antigonish and the Municipality of the County of Victoria to conduct energy inventories and audits. Antigonish will receive $10,000, while Victoria will receive $7,884. The Town of Westville will receive $43,602 for an energy retrofit of its police and fire departments. EcoNova Scotia also provides funding through its environmental technology program to businesses and institutions that adopt or develop innovative environmental technologies. Fairwyn Developments Ltd., will receive $60,963 to design and install a large storage capacity solar hot water system. The ecoNova Scotia Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change is supported by a $42.5-million federal grant for projects that reduce air emissions and create a cleaner, healthier environment. Projects and initiatives under the fund started rolling out in 2007 and applications for funding will be accepted until early 2010. The projects supported by ecoNova Scotia will bring the province closer to meeting its goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, and improve air quality. Including today’s announcement, 66 projects have been announced. Information on programs, deadlines and applications is available at www.gov.ns.ca/econovascotia .last_img read more

Precautions Needed for Fire Hazards

first_imgThe provincial fire marshal is asking Nova Scotians to be extra careful with open flames and other sources of heat while they are without power. The following are tips to help identify potential safety risks: — Candle use: Using candles is not recommended, but if you must use them, make sure they are properly supported — use a non-combustible container that is larger than the candle. Keep materials at least two feet away from candles. Extinguish any candles before leaving the room. — Portable appliances: Put the correct fuel in appliances like Coleman stoves or oil lamps. Substituting fuels is extremely dangerous. Propane and liquid camp stoves are for outdoor use only. Space heaters create carbon monoxide. Ensure they are used in rooms with good ventilation and placed on a flat hard surface to prevent tipping. Do not leave the units unattended. If using a portable, unvented kerosene heater, it is vital to open a window one inch or keep a door ajar to another room to provide safe ventilation, especially if the room is less than 150 sq. ft. — Extension cords: Do not attempt to run extension cords from a house that has electrical power to one that doesn’t. This can place both houses in danger of an electrical fire and is dangerous to repair crews. — Generators: Generators should be operated in well ventilated locations outdoors away from doors, windows and vent openings. They should be placed so that exhaust fumes cannot enter the home through windows, doors or other building openings. Generators must be certified and connected to the electrical system of a house by a construction electrician. They should be used to power equipment such as lights, portable electric heaters and a water pump and other equipment that may be connected directly by plug to the generator. — Smoke detectors: Ensure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and alarms have fresh batteries and are working properly. Remember, electric-powered devices do not work when the power is out. — Check appliances: Check stoves and other heating equipment to make sure that it is turned off. When electrical power is restored, a stove or other heating device can cause a fire if it is not attended. As always, if you have an emergency call 911. -30-last_img read more

Thirteen Community Transit Groups Receive Provincial Funding

first_imgThirteen communities will receive provincial funding to help improve public transit services in their areas. Through the Nova Scotia Transit Research Incentive Program, $340,000 will be invested in projects that include software upgrades and feasibility studies for transit in rural and unserviced urban areas. “We know how important public transit is to communities,” said Ramona Jennex, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “This funding will contribute to a healthier environment for today and a more sustainable tomorrow.” “We would like to thank the provincial government for their commitment to provide safe and accessible transportation to the residents of Nova Scotia,” said Malcolm Beaton, general manager of Strait Area Transit. The program provides up to 75 per cent of eligible costs, to a maximum grant of $50,000, for approved projects. Nova Scotia Transit Research Incentive Program is fully committed this fiscal year. A list of approved projects can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/muns/infr/ns-trip.asplast_img read more

Nova Scotians Encouraged to Complete National Household Survey

first_imgAs part of Census 2011, one-third of Nova Scotian households are now being asked to provide more detailed information through the National Household Survey. “I’d strongly encourage all Nova Scotians who receive the survey to fill it out,” said Finance Minister Graham Steele. “The information collected in the National Household Survey provides a portrait of our province and helps government plan and deliver vital services like education, roads and housing.” The yellow survey package that one-third of Nova Scotian households will receive contains the questionnaire, a secure access code, and information on how to complete the survey. The National Household Survey can be filled out online using the secure access code or on a paper questionnaire that is returned to Statistics Canada. The National Household Survey includes questions on citizenship and immigration, ethnic origin, Aboriginal identity, language of work, education, labour market activity, child care and support payments, income and housing as well as a question asking for consent to release the personal information collected to Library and Archives Canada after 92 years. For more information or assistance, call 1-877-308-2777. TTY users may call 1-866-753-7083.last_img read more

New Guidebook Outlines What to Do When Someone Dies

first_imgNova Scotians dealing with the death of a loved one can get some help from a new government guidebook. What You Have to do After Someone Passes Away, outlines the affairs that need to be handled and the organizations dealt with when someone dies. “We want to support grieving families at the difficult time of the death of a loved one,” said Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Mark Furey. “It can be confusing for people to figure out what must be done when someone dies. This guide is a good resource for Nova Scotians.” “The booklet gives loved ones information at their own convenience,” said Adam Tipert, president of the Funeral Services Association of Nova Scotia. “It’s useful for funeral directors too as it compiles all the information we need for discussion with families into one place, which helps us help them.” Registering a death also becomes easier and more efficient. A new electronic registration process will improve the accuracy and completeness of information collected by funeral directors and submitted to the Vital Statistics office after a death. The information was previously provided on paper. This is a similar process as electronic birth registration, introduced last year at kiosks in hospitals. What You Have to do After Someone Passes Away is available at funeral homes and on the government website at http://novascotia.ca/snsmr/access/vitalstats/death.asp.last_img read more

Province Protects Hundreds of Islands on Eastern Shore

first_img additions to Cloud Lake Wilderness Area, Annapolis County and Kings County expansion of Eigg Mountain-James River Wilderness Area, Antigonish County the Baleine Nature Reserve, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, on the eastern tip of Cape Breton Island the Sissiboo River Wilderness Area, Digby County the Fossil Coast Nature Reserve, Cumberland County, along the Bay of Fundy shoreline These sites protect old forests, rare and endangered plants and animals, seabird populations and wildlife habitat, and help secure drinking-water supplies, canoes routes and opportunities for outdoor recreation. The lands were selected after consulting with municipalities, the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq, community groups, industry, non-government organizations and hundreds of individuals. The province is also legally designating more land in two provincial parks, protecting them from use for other means. Cape Chignecto Provincial Park will have 4,250 acres of Crown land added, an increase of 40 per cent. Blomidon Provincial Park will have 1,415 acres of Crown land added, an increase of 70 per cent. The plan and interactive maps are available at www.novascotia.ca/parksandprotectedareas/plan/progress . The province has legally protected the Eastern Shore Islands Wilderness Area and 22 other sites as wilderness areas or nature reserves. “The province’s wilderness-area designation of all Eastern Shore Crown islands, with Nature Trust’s progress to date on the private islands, means we are protecting more than 5,000 acres,” said Peter Wright, president of Nova Scotia Nature Trust. “The entire 100 wild islands archipelago is now a significant step closer to being protected, forever.” Environment Minister Randy Delorey said that in addition to conserving nature, Nova Scotia’s parks and protected areas can have a big impact on local economies. “This is very true of the Eastern Shore Islands,” said Mr. Delorey. “The site includes hundreds of Crown islands, from Clam Bay to Liscomb Point, and links to several provincial parks. Protecting these islands means they will continue to be available to support tourism and recreation, such as sea kayaking, sailing, hiking, camping and seabird watching. “Together, we are protecting a globally significant island wilderness, at a scale that neither the province nor the Nature Trust could do on its own.” The province has now legally protected 43 properties from the Parks and Protected Areas Plan. There are 23 properties in this round of designations, including:last_img read more

Premiers Mission to England Scotland and Wales

first_imgPremier Stephen McNeil is leading a mission to England, Scotland and Wales to promote trade and investment, Aug. 6-13. “Nova Scotia has a growing economy and it’s important to increase awareness so we can attract investment, create more jobs for young Nova Scotians and develop trade opportunities,” said Premier McNeil. Premier McNeil will meet with various groups and individuals in the energy, insurance and information technology sectors. “It’s important that we build on our good trading relationships with the United Kingdom as it begins the process to determine its future relationship to the European Union,” said Premier McNeil. “Our province has a competitive and growing economy to invest in, and is a wonderful and welcoming place to visit.” England, Scotland and Wales, countries in the United Kingdom, are important trading partners with Nova Scotia. Over the past five years, Nova Scotia has exported over $82 million to the U.K. In 2016 the primary exports were fish and seafood, fruit, wood and wood products, petroleum products and machinery parts.last_img read more

Soft social robot may help teach kids math

first_imgWashington: Scientists have developed a social robot that may help teach math to school children and can be customised with handcrafted materials, such as wood and wool. The team at Cornell University in the US envisioned robots built from warmer, homier materials that could be customised by their owners, so each would be unique. The robot dubbed Blossom is simple, expressive and inexpensive. It could be made from a kit and creatively outfitted with handcrafted materials. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests'”We wanted to empower people to build their own robot, but without sacrificing how expressive it is,” said Guy Hoffman, assistant professor at Cornell University. “Also, it’s nice to have every robot be a little bit different. If you knit your robot, every family would have their own robot that would be unique to them,” said Hoffman. Blossom’s mechanical design is centred on a floating “head” platform using strings and cables for movement, making its gestures more flexible and organic than those of a robot composed of rigid parts. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaPartly because of its simplicity, Blossom has a variety of potential uses, Hoffman said. Human-robot interaction researchers who are not engineers could build their own from a kit to use in studies. Due to the ease of interacting with the robot and the hands-on experience of helping to build it, it could help teach children about robotics. In a case study, children ages 4-8 had a chance to control and make accessories for Blossom at a science fair. Some children created accessories, such as appendages or jewelery, while others controlled the robot so the new items could be attached, illustrating how Blossom could inspire collaboration. Blossom will be used by some schools in Canada to help teach math to fourth-graders, Hoffman said. The team has also been working on an algorithm to make Blossom react to YouTube videos — performing a certain dance in response to a certain song, for instance, building on previous research showing that a robot’s response to listening to songs can influence a human’s reaction. This may be particularly useful in modeling behaviour for children with autism, Hoffman said. “It’s meant to be a flexible kit that is also very low cost. Especially if we can make it out of cardboard, you could make it very inexpensively,” he said. “Because of computation becoming so powerful, it could be a really open-ended way for people to do whatever they want with robotics,” he added.last_img read more

New Lok Sabha has 475 crorepati MPs

first_imgNew Delhi: A total of 475 members of the new Lok Sabha are ‘crorepatis’ with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s son Nakul Nath topping the list, the Association of Democratic Reforms said Sunday.The ADR arrived at the figure of ‘crorepati’ MPs after analysing the affidavits on assets and liabilities of 539 new MPs. The ADR said it was unable to access affidavits of three of the 542 new MPs — two of the BJP and one of the Congress. The BJP won 303 seats in the 17th Lok Sabha and the Congress 52. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCElections were held for 542 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats. The election for Vellore Lok Sabha seat had been cancelled by the Election Commission of India, citing abuse of money power. A fresh date is yet to be announced. Two membvers of the 545-strong House are nominated. Out of the 301 new BJP MPs, whose affidavits were examined, 265 (88 per cent) were found crorepati, while all 18 winners of its NDA partner Shiv Sena had assets exceeding Rs one crore. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsIn the Congress, 43 out of its 51 MPs (totalling 96 per cent) were fund to be ‘crorepati’. Similarly, 22 (96 per cent) out of 23 DMK MPs, 20 (91 per cent) out of 22 of the Trinamool Congress MPs and 19 (86 per cent)out of 22 YSR Congress MPs had assets exceeding Rs one crore. The top three crorepatis MPs are from the Congress, the ADR said. Nath, who won from Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, has declared assets worth Rs 660 crore, followed by Vasanthakumar H from Kanniyakumari, Tamil Nadu (Rs 417 crore) and D K Suresh from Bengaluru Rural, Karnataka (Rs 338 crore). The average of assets per winner in the Lok Sabha elections is Rs 20.93 crore. There are 266 members in the new Lok Sabha whose assets are Rs 5 core or above. The number of crorepati MPs elected in 2009 Lok Sabha elections was 315 (58 per cent) and 443 (82 per cent) in the 2014.last_img read more