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Homicide victims sister accuses fugitives dad of failing to take responsibility

first_imgThe sister of an American tourist says the father of one of the British Columbia men named as a suspect in the woman’s death isn’t accepting his share of responsibility for her family’s sorrow.Kennedy Deese, whose sister Chynna Deese was found dead along with her Australian boyfriend Lucas Fowler near a highway in northern B.C. in mid-July, posted a statement to Facebook on Saturday accusing Alan Schmegelsky of playing the victim.Deese also said Schmegelsky isn’t “cut from the same cloth” as her family, and that he doesn’t acknowledge his own hand in his child’s upbringing and ultimate demise.“Your sorrow is for yourself. You cannot relate to us, as we had no doings in the cause of your pain, when you’ve played a part in the cause of our pain,” Deese wrote.“To the murderers and their family, the appropriate action when mistakes are made is taking responsibility. The proper public response would have been a genuine apology. But we still forgive you and have mercy.”RCMP said Wednesday that they believe they found the bodies of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, from Port Alberni, B.C., in dense brush in northern Manitoba following a massive manhunt that lasted close to two weeks.Police have said they’re waiting for the results of an autopsy before confirming the identities.The two men were named as suspects in the deaths of Deese and Fowler, and were charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Leonard Dyck, a university lecturer from Vancouver.Alan Schmegelsky told Australia’s “60 Minutes” TV program late last week that he won’t believe his son is a murderer until he gets facts, saying he knows how the families of the victims feel.“I’m so sorry for what’s happened. Whether it’s my son or whether it’s something else, we don’t know. I have just lost my son. I know exactly how you feel,” Schmegelsky told the program.“It hurts a lot. He was my only child. I’ll never get to hug him again. I’ll never get to tease him again. I’ll never get to spend a minute with him again.”“At least I know where he is. His troubles are over.”When reached via Facebook messenger on Sunday and asked about his response to Deese’s post, Schmegelsky said she could go on “60 Minutes” and that he could arrange it.“I manned up. I have nothing to hide,” he wrote.While police were still hunting for the pair, Schmegelsky sent a 132-page book to reporters about his own life. He described it as a novelization of his son’s troubled life and his numerous encounters with police and courts, and said he wanted to highlight how what he called a “broken system” shaped him and Bryer.Kennedy Deese shot back that her own family suffered challenges, but doesn’t “play the victim of a broken system.”“There is no white flag of surrender for my family. We are not defeated by divorce, mental health, violence, poverty and socioeconomic constraints, domestic disputes, alcohol or drugs, social media and bullying, feelings of loneliness, or disparities,” Deese wrote, noting that her sister rose to become the first generation of her immediate family to go to college.“We have the courage to ask for and offer help. We are strong, and stand strong together right now in the face of all of these adversities that have come upon us.”RCMP Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett told a news conference Wednesday that determining a motive will be “extremely difficult” if the identities are confirmed through autopsies because investigators can’t interview Schmegelsky or McLeod.He did not commit to providing details of the ongoing investigation.The Canadian Presslast_img

Scars of 2017 wildfire still evident in Waterton park as rebuild continues

first_imgWATERTON, Alta. — Deb Watson returned to her family’s trail-riding business after the Waterton wildfire to find little more than a pop machine melted into a bubbly puddle with coins inside fused together.“It wasn’t a good burn-back-the-brush kind of fire,” says Watson, sitting on a picnic bench at the temporary location of Alpine Stables in Waterton Lakes National Park.“It was a devastating fire.”The business has offered horseback riding excursions for about half a century in the southwestern Alberta park known for its stunning Rocky Mountain vistas, plentiful wildlife and glimmering lakes. A fire sparked by a lightning strike in British Columbia and fuelled by dry, windy weather forced everyone out of Waterton on Sept. 8, 2017, and spread into the park three days later. The main townsite, including the historic Prince of Wales Hotel, was unscathed.Nearly 40 per cent of the park burned, including several Parks Canada properties. All of Alpine’s 70 or so horses were taken to safety well before the business on Parks Canada land burned to the ground.Alpine Stables has just over half as many horses this summer as it did before the fire. It’s operating out of a modest shed at a golf course across the road from its longtime location.  Watson is grateful her family has been able to keep the business open, but she’s antsy to return to its old spot, where Parks Canada aims to complete a brand new stable and staff housing this fall.“It’s a beautiful building, but what we’re really going to miss is all the trees, the greenery in the back,” she said. “It’s not what my dad built and what he designed.”Parks Canada has embarked on a multi-year rebuilding plan, helped along by nearly $21 million in federal funding announced in January.Along with Alpine Stables, the park expects to reopen the popular Bear’s Hump hiking trail and scenic Red Rock parkway to motor vehicles this year. Red Rock has been fully open to foot and bike traffic since late June and most hiking trails with access from there are open.The more complex job to restore the Akamina Parkway, the road leading to the popular Cameron Lake day-use area, is expected to be finished in 2021. The fire burned trees so deeply that rocky slopes need to be stabilized to make the road safe. Burned guardrails need replacing and new culverts are needed.The Akamina Parkway has been open to foot and bike traffic off and on since last November, but is to close again Sept. 9 until the end of the year for construction.“We’re taking every opportunity to offer visitors chances to get up to places as the construction allows,” said park superintendent Sal Rasheed.The Crandell Mountain campground, levelled in the fire, won’t reopen until 2022. Where the old visitor’s centre once stood is a field of tall grass. There’s a temporary centre in town by a post office and the new complex is expected to be done in the spring of 2021.“Working in Waterton is an interesting challenge,” said Rasheed. “It gets incredibly windy down here and in southern Alberta it can snow in any month of the year. And so we lost a bit of time early on in the season with snow and wind … But in the grand scheme of things, everything is on schedule.”While the park has had some slow months, Rasheed figures visits are on par with pre-fire levels.Business has been booming at Pat’s Rentals as visitors look to explore the parkways on electric bikes with the perk of not having to dodge cars.Jordan Wammes, whose family owns the business, said it started the spring with six e-bikes and had 20 by August.“It’s starting to bounce back,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of rejuvenation, a lot of revisitation from folks who haven’t been back since the fire.”Lockey Craig, whose company Waymarker Hospitality owns and operates hotels and restaurants in town, said business has been slower, especially in the shoulder season.He believes it has a lot to do with limited backcountry hiking options after the fire. He hopes that will turn around soon.“I’m frustrated with how slow it has been,” he said of the road construction.But he also understands why it’s important to get the work done right.“I guess I’m prepared to be patient.”Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Presslast_img

Oxfam Asks Coldplay Fans To Be A Part Of A Global Campaign

first_imgOxfam is looking for Coldplay fans to take part in a groundbreaking global music project to campaign against one of the world’s greatest human injustices.Coldplay’s music video and film director Mat Whitecross will curate an exclusive crowd sourced video stitching together thousands of pieces of film and photography submitted by fans and supporters to an incredible acoustic version of Coldplay’s famous track ‘In My Place’. The voices shared will become part of a unique music video to help the charity campaign to end the trauma inflicted on thousands of families because of land grabs.Every year Governments, banks or private investors buy huge plots of land in some of the poorest countries in the world for profit. This land is often home to people who rely on it to grow food and feed their families. Thousands of families are being evicted from the land, leaving them homeless and with no means to piece their lives back together. Land grabs are forcing people and their possessions out, forcing them from the place they call home.Mat Whitecross and Oxfam are encouraging dedicated Coldplay fans and friends of the charity to echo this idea of dislocation and displacement in their own way in the form of creative video or photographic content by 20 March 2013. People are being asked to move something favourite, personal or familiar from their home to somewhere it doesn’t belong. Alternatively, they could do something personal, everyday, familiar that they’d usually do at home, in totally the wrong place. For more information click here.Mat Whitecross says: “Having a home is hugely important for people to feel safe and in a place they can thrive, which is at the very heart of the song. I wanted to somehow create this feeling of people being out of place in order to illustrate the suffering that so many people experience because of land grabs.”Oxfam is pioneering the approach of fan-sourcing for this global campaign film which will launch in April as the World Bank convenes its Annual Spring Meetings. The World Bank is in a unique position as an investor in land and an adviser to governments and companies on buying and selling land. With this film Oxfam wants to show world leaders that there is a growing global movement demanding decisive action to stop land grabs.Mat Whitecross continues: “I have worked with Coldplay for a long time so know how dedicated and passionate their fans are. The idea of harnessing this to create an original and powerful crowd sourced campaigning tool is one I’m excited about.”Oxfam’s Campaigns Director Ben Philips said: “The World Bank should be in no doubt that more and more people want to see it take action in the fight against land grabs. Last year Coldplay invited Oxfam on their world tour with the GROW campaign and we were hugely motivated by the overwhelming support of fans all over the world. Campaigning is all about putting yourself in someone else’s place we know that when we unite and stand up against global injustice we can make a real difference. “To submit your content today, click here.Source:Oxfam.org.uklast_img

The Elders Ukraine Clashes Risk A Dangerous Tug Of War

first_imgThe Elders – the collective of independent leaders that includes Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, Mary Robinson and Jimmy Carter – are deeply concerned at the increasingly volatile situation in Ukraine, where violent clashes between militias and Ukrainian forces threaten to escalate the crisis.They deeply regret the loss of life and reiterate calls for the parties to reach a peaceful resolution through dialogue, to avert further tragedy and instability.Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said: “The tug of war in Ukraine is growing ever more dangerous for the people of Ukraine, for regional stability and for the parties who can influence the crisis. We urge Russia, the United States, and the European Union to make common cause and work together to stabilise Ukraine.“Ukraine’s territorial integrity must be preserved. An unstable and fragmented Ukraine is not in the interest of Russia nor the West and certainly not the people of Ukraine.”last_img

Zac Brown Designs Custom Ram 2500 Commando To Benefit Camp Southern Ground

first_imgGRAMMY Award-winning artist Zac Brown has custom designed a 2015 Ram 2500 Commando to be auctioned by Barrett-Jackson on October 15th in support of his non-profit passion-project, Camp Southern Ground.Rick Hendrick and Zac Brown in front of the Ram 2500 Commando being auctioned off for Camp Southern Ground While Zac took command of the design for the project, he worked closely with his in-house design team, Zac Brown Customs, to bring to life this truly one-of-a-kind truck.The truck was generously donated by Rick Hendrick. This is the third vehicle the auto dealer and NASCAR team owner has donated this year to be redesigned and sold at auction to support Camp Southern Ground. Rick was given an early sneak peek of the truck stating, “If someone wants a rugged, one-of-a-kind piece, this is an incredible opportunity. You won’t ever find a truck like this again. Zac Brown Customs has done an amazing job, and the work is going to benefit a great cause. Zac has created a special place at Camp Southern Ground.”Designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind, the interior of the truck has been outfitted with Mississippi Hornback Alligator skin on the seats, center console and steering wheel. The floor mats and sun visors liners feature Brazilian Bovine hair-on-hide, while also being equipped with knives courtesy of Zac’s metal works shop, Southern Grind. On the outside you’ll notice immediately the rugged off-road accessories generously donated by Greg Adler of 4 Wheel Parts, and the hand-painted Kryptek Camo rear truck bed, which also features a hidden tailgate step. Most notably on this truck is the front grill, which features 33 GranDaddy knives, also from Southern Grind.“It’s very generous of Rick to donate the truck, and I think anyone who truly appreciates something that is totally unique is going to like this a lot. The team at ZB Customs really outdid themselves this time. It’s always amazing to see a project like this come together in support of Camp Southern Ground,” said Zac.Camp Southern Ground is located on over 400 acres in Fayetteville, Georgia. Its focus is on Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), such as Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, ADD/ADHD including Dyslexia, and children with family members serving in the military.To register to bid on the Zac Brown 2015 Ram 2500 when it goes to auction, click here.last_img

Pamela Anderson Writes To Kim Kardashian After Fashion Week

first_imgAfter hanging out together at Vivienne Westwood’s Fashion Week exhibition last week, PETA US Honorary Director Pamela Anderson sent Kim Kardashian — who recently channeled Anderson in a photo shoot for CR Fashion Book — a letter asking her to channel compassion to animals violently killed in the fur trade.“It was lovely seeing you at New York Fashion Week,” wrote Pamela. “I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know you over the years, and I can tell you’re a good person with a big, beautiful heart. I’m writing to ask you to extend your compassion to real fashion victims — the animals who are violently killed in the fur trade — by swearing off fur this winter.“I think you’d be horrified to learn that every single fur farm that PETA has exposed has been beyond cruel: Investigators have witnessed and documented that foxes are electrocuted, dogs are bludgeoned to death, and raccoon dogs are skinned alive. Just last month, video footage from a fur farm in Poland revealed that foxes are being kept inside filthy, cramped, dark cages and that some had missing eyes and rotting jaws. The footage was released on the heels of another investigation showing that foxes are being selectively bred to grow to an enormous—and dangerously unhealthy — size so that their pelts will be larger and fetch more money.“Times are changing, though: Gisele Bündchen made a bold statement against fur on the cover of Vogue Paris earlier this summer, and Austria, Croatia, the Netherlands, Slovenia, the U.K., and other nations have taken a stand against cruelty by abolishing all fur farms. First lady and former fur-wearer Melania Trump recently swore off fur, following in the footsteps of so many fashion icons and first ladies.“You know I love you, and you can be a hero for animals as well as a great example to all your beautiful followers by swearing off fur. Please do the right thing. You’d be praised all over the world, including by my close friends at PETA.”last_img


first_imgPrimas – les cousines (Primas – Cousins)Director: Laura Bari (Ariel, Antoine)Production: GreenGround ProductionsDistribution: Les films du 3 marsOn her 15th birthday, Rocío marks a rite of passage by sharing the secrets of her diary for the first time. At the age of 10, she was raped, doused in gasoline, set on fire and left to die in a field on the outskirts of the city where she lived, in Argentina. She survived…. Her distant cousin, Aldana, joins Rocío as she embarks on her personal quest. Aldana herself suffered years of sexual abuse at the hands of her own father, and only recently revealed the crime perpetrated against her. Rocío and Aldana meet, share their stories, experiences and outlook, quickly forge a close bond, and, through art, continue together to find their voices, to change their lives, to heal. Sharkwater: ExtinctionWriter-Director: Rob Stewart (Sharkwater, Revolution)Production: Diatribe Pictures, Quarterlife Crisis Productions, Big Screen Entertainment, Sugar Shack ProductionsDistribution: Elevation PicturesA thrilling and inspiring documentary feature film by the late filmmaker and activist Rob Stewart to save the world’s greatest predator: the shark. Blending the epic story of the shark—its evolution, sophistication, intelligence and social life—Sharkwater: Extinction also uncovers the billion-dollar industries behind one of the greatest wildlife massacres ever known. Facebook Advertisement The Grand ExperimentWriter-Director: Nadine Pequeneza (Road to Mercy, 15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story)Production: HitPlay ProductionsThe Grand Experiment is a character-driven, observational film tracking a social innovation that has made strange bedfellows: social workers and Wall Street bankers, the homeless and venture capitalists, conservative and liberal politicians. To pinpoint the revolutionary and ironic nature of this new venture, our vérité style of filming will be adapted to the very different worlds occupied by our casts of characters. Login/Register With: Pipe DreamsDirector: Van Royko (co-director: Let There Be Light, The Vote)Writer: Stacey Tenenbaum (Shiners)Production: H2L ProductionsDistribution: Indiecan Entertainment (Canadian theatrical)Pipe Dreams offers an inside look into the weird and wonderful world of competitive organ playing as it follows six young organists competing in the prestigious Canadian International Organ Competition. We’ll be with the organists in their home towns as they prepare, and follow them throughout each of the three gruelling competition rounds in Montreal. With over $100,000-worth of prize money and recording contracts on the line, tensions run high. Who will be able to master the “king of instruments” to take home the big prize? The Rick Kelly ProjectWriter-Director: Ron Mann (Altman, Grass, Comic Book Confidential)Production: Sphinx ProductionsOnce the centre of New York’s bohemian scene, Greenwich Village is now home to luxe restaurants and buzzer-door clothing stores catering to the nouveaux riches. But one shop in the heart of the Village remains resilient in the face of encroaching gentrification: Carmine Street Guitars. There, custom-guitar maker Rick Kelly builds handcrafted guitars out of reclaimed wood from old hotels and other local buildings. Nothing looks or sounds quite like a Rick Kelly guitar, which is why they are embraced by the likes of Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Jim Jarmusch, to name just a few. Featuring a cast of prominent musicians and artists, The Rick Kelly Project captures a day in the life of Carmine Street Guitars, while examining the history and changes of the colourful and storied neighbourhood of Greenwich Village. Man Machine Poem (working title)Directors: Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes, Watermark), Nick de Pencier (Black Code, Four Wings and a Prayer)Writer: Jennifer BaichwalProduction: The Hip Doc Inc.Distribution: Elevation PicturesThis feature documentary follows The Tragically Hip’s 2016 cross-Canada tour and final concert in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario, after the band’s announcement that lead singer Gord Downie has incurable brain cancer. With their mix of unpretentious grit and heartbreakingly beautiful poetic turns, The Hip maps our national, historical and emotional landscape with unexpected candour and intimacy. We have taken their music and woven it into what it means to be Canadian. This tour is the moment for all of us to stop and reflect on this shared experience and collective love. This film is the vessel that freezes that moment in time. Advertisement Rêveuses de villes (City Dreamers)Director: Joseph Hillel (Ayiti Toma; Regular or Super, Views on Mies van der Rohe, Karsh Is History)Writers: Joseph Hillel, Bruno BaillargeonProduction: Couzin FilmsDistribution: Les Films du 3 marsAfter World War II, many European cities lay in ruins. Just as in North America, cities were overwhelmed by population and traffic growth. They had to be rethought. So read more


first_img“Jagged Little Pill” centres on a picture-perfect suburban family who is forced to face “harsh truths about themselves, their community, and the world around them.”“Juno” scribe Diablo Cody wrote the story while Morissette supplies lyrics and an array of hits from her groundbreaking 1995 debut of the same name, including “You Oughta Know,” “Head Over Feet,” “Hand In My Pocket,” and “Ironic.”Pre-sale access to tickets will be available to members of the Jagged Little Pill fan club from May 6 to 8, while American Express cardholders can pick up tickets from May 8 to 16. Tickets go on sale to the public May 23 at Telecharge.com Advertisement Advertisement Twitter Advertisement Facebookcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Artist Alanis Morissette receives her achievement from the Canadian Music Hall of Fame during the 2015 Juno Awards in Hamilton, Ont., on Sunday, March 15, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette) NEW YORK — The Alanis Morissette musical “Jagged Little Pill” is set to debut on Broadway this fall.The show’s producers say the hit-driven stage show begins preview performances Nov. 3 and will have its opening night Dec. 5.It heads to the Great White Way after an acclaimed 10-week run last year at American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass.last_img

Sen Patrick Brazeau acquitted of charges related to drunk driving

first_imgThe Canadian Press  Sen. Patrick Brazeau has been acquitted of drunk-driving charges that date back to 2014.The news was confirmed by the court clerk at the courthouse in Gatineau in western Quebec.Brazeau is still fighting one more criminal charge, stemming from an April 2016 incident when he allegedly refused to submit to an alcohol test.He has pleaded not guilty to that charge.Brazeau has gone through a long judicial saga that began in 2013 during the Senate expense scandal.He and other Senate colleagues were charged with allegedly making inappropriate housing expenses.The charges against Brazeau were eventually dropped.In 2015, he pleaded guilty to reduced charges related to assault and cocaine possession and received an unconditional discharge.Brazeau was kicked out of the Conservative party caucus after the housing scandal broke but returned to the Senate in 2016 to sit as an Independent.news@aptn.calast_img

Valeant Pharmaceuticals shares trading higher after 930M sale iNova business

first_imgLAVAL, Que. – Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc. are up nearly six per cent after the company announced it has completed the sale of its iNova Pharmaceuticals business for $930 million in cash.The Quebec-based company says it will use net proceeds of about $920 million from the sale to reduce its debt.CEO Joseph Papa said the sale of iNova to Pacific Equity Partners and the Carlyle Group is also part of Valeant’s efforts to simplify its portfolio and focus on its core businesses.The company’s stock (TSX:VRX) was up 96 cents to $18.05, 90 minutes after the start of morning trading.Valeant shares have plunged since questions about its business model first emerged two years ago, when they traded for more than $300 per share.The company has since faced a string of lawsuits, including one from its former chief executive, as well as swelling debt levels, losses of more than US$2.4 billion and scrutiny over its drug pricing practices.Following the anticipated closure of the sale of its Obagi Medical Products business this year, Valeant says it expects it will exceed its August 2016 commitment to pay down $5 billion in debt before February 2018.last_img

Amid global electriccar buzz Toyota bullish on hydrogen

first_imgTOYOTA, Japan – At a car factory in this city named after Toyota, the usual robots with their swinging arms are missing. Instead, workers intently fit parts into place by hand with craftsmanship-like care.The big moment on the assembly line comes when two bulbous yellow tanks of hydrogen are rolled over and delicately fitted into each car’s underside.While much of the world is going gung-ho for electric vehicles to help get rid of auto emissions and end reliance on fossil fuels, Japan’s top automaker Toyota Motor Corp. is banking on hydrogen.Toyota sells about 10 million vehicles a year around the world. It has sold only about 4,000 Mirai fuel cell vehicles since late 2014, roughly half of them outside Japan.The Mirai, which means “future,” is not cheap at $57,500, but Toyota loses money on each one. Still, the company’s goal is to sell 30,000 fuel-cell vehicles a year by about 2020.Hydrogen fuel cells don’t suffer the EVs’ main drawback of limited range. The Tesla Model S can go about 300 miles (480 kilometres) on a single charge, although that varies depending on driving conditions, and that’s quite a distance for an EV.Other models run out of juice quicker, at about half that, because the longer the range, generally the heavier the batteries. And electric vehicles usually take hours to charge.The Mirai can run for 312 miles (502 kilometres) per fueling, under U.S. EPA conditions, and fuels as quickly as a regular car.Toyota’s chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada, believes hydrogen is an ideal, stable fuel for a future low-carbon society.“In this light, hydrogen holds tremendous potential,” Uchiyamada, known as “the father of the Prius,” the world’s top-selling hybrid car, said during a tour of the factory.“Hydrogen doesn’t exist in the natural world on its own, but you can create hydrogen from various materials,” he said.The Prius turned out to be a good bet for Toyota. The Mirai could be the same. But not everyone shares Uchiyamada’s enthusiasm for hydrogen.A fuel cell mixes hydrogen with the oxygen in the air to generate electricity that can power a motor.Producing the highly flammable gas and getting it into the vehicles requires energy. Ultimately, the idea is to convert energy from renewables like wind and solar power into hydrogen, or even make hydrogen from sewage waste.Unlike a gas-powered internal combustion engine, the only byproducts from a fuel cell are electricity, heat and water. There are no emissions of pollutants that can cause global warming. Yet the energy unleashed is powerful: Hydrogen is the fuel that sends NASA rockets into space.So fuel cells could be used to power cars, trains, buses, trucks and forklifts, and to provide electricity and heat for homes.Detroit-based General Motors Co., Mercedes-Benz of Germany, Japan’s Honda Motor Co. and Hyundai of South Korea have also developed fuel cell vehicles that are on the roads in extremely limited numbers.The global stock of electric vehicles will soon surpass 2 million, according to the International Energy Agency. It’s projected to climb to between 9 million-20 million by 2020. Fuel cell vehicles are scarcely a presence.The Hydrogen Council, made up of 28 companies that are promoting hydrogen fuel, said in a report this week that it expects hydrogen to power about 10 to 15 million cars and 500,000 trucks by 2030. It also forecasts it will be widely used for industries, heating and power and power storage.The group met this week in Bonn, on the sidelines of the COP23 U.N. meeting on the environment.Toyota and other manufacturers pursuing hydrogen fuel cells face some significant hurdles. Japan has an ample 28,000 EV charging stations but only 92 hydrogen fueling stations, and they are costly to build.Hydrogen is viewed as potentially hazardous: the 1937 Hindenberg disaster, when 36 people died when the hydrogen-fueled airship caught fire and crashed, ended an earlier era of hydrogen-powered passenger travel.Hydrogen explosions during the 2011 nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima are a more recent example of such hazards. But proponents of the fuel say hydrogen is no more dangerous than gas or electricity if handled properly.A fill-up with hydrogen takes about as long as at a gas pump, while EV charging takes about 30 minutes using special equipment for quick charging. Regular charging can take hours.“I’m not claiming that hydrogen will replace any form of energy, but it will find its place in the world energy mix,” Benoit Potier, chief executive of French industrial gas company Air Liquide, and a chair of the Hydrogen Council, said in a telephone interview.Air Liquide has been working on producing, storing and distributing hydrogen fuel for more than four decades. Potier says he expects costs for making the gas will fall as its use becomes more widespread.In one step toward widening use of hydrogen, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, an aerospace, motorcycle and ship manufacturer, is developing a technology read more

Cenovus CEO says heavy oil price discount taking extraordinary toll on economy

first_imgCALGARY – Higher discounts being paid for Canadian heavy oil versus American crude are having an “extraordinary impact” on the Canadian and Alberta economies, says the CEO of oilsands producer Cenovus Energy Inc.Every U.S. dollar increase in the price difference between Western Canadian Select bitumen blend and New York-traded West Texas Intermediate costs the company $125 million in revenue, Alex Pourbaix said Thursday.He estimated a US$10 improvement in the difference on Alberta’s overall output of 3.2 million barrels per day of heavy oil would result in C$50 million a day spilling back into the provincial economy.“This issue of the spread between Canadian heavy and WTI is having an extraordinary impact on the Canadian economy and the Alberta economy, not just upstream producers,” Pourbaix said, adding the situation amounts to a “transfer of wealth from Alberta and Canada to U.S. refiners and U.S. consumers of refined products.”Cenovus reported fourth-quarter net income of $620 million or 50 cents per share on Thursday, well ahead of $91 million, or 11 cents per share, in the year-earlier period, thanks to better refinery profits, stronger oil prices and production that almost doubled after it bought out its oilsands partner, Houston-based ConocoPhillips, last year.Analysts said the company beat expectations mainly due to the U.S. refining operations of its 50-50 partner, Phillips 66, which contributed $261 million in income in the last three months of 2017, versus $54 million in the same period of 2016.Cenovus’s revenue was $5.1 billion, ahead of analyst predictions of $4.7 billion as reported by Thomson Reuters.The WCS-WTI differential was US$25.68 on Wednesday but hit US$29.40 last Friday, more than double its typical level. The higher discounts over the past two months are blamed by many observers on a shortage of capacity on export pipelines out of Canada.Cenovus said sales volumes in the fourth quarter were about seven per cent lower than oilsands production due to the two-week shutdown and subsequent volume constraints on TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone pipeline following an oil spill in November in South Dakota.Pourbaix said it’s believed the pipeline will be able to return to its 590,000 barrels per day capacity soon and that, along with more crude-by-rail shipments, will help to narrow differentials.He said Cenovus hopes to ramp up volumes at its Edmonton-area rail-loading facility from about 12,000 bpd in the fourth quarter to closer to its capacity of about 75,000 bpd and is in negotiations with both of Canada’s major railroads to provide locomotives.Pourbaix said he appreciates Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s efforts to convince B.C. to allow the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion to proceed but wouldn’t comment on her moves to ban B.C. wine imports and set up a task force on the issue.Since taking over as CEO last fall, Pourbaix has been aggressively cutting costs. The company completed a 15 per cent cut to its workforce in January and February, eliminating between 500 and 700 jobs, as part of its plan to trim $1 billion in cumulative capital, operating and administration costs over two years.On a call with analysts, Pourbaix said the company is looking at selling more assets from its current 1.2 million hectares of Deep Basin exploration rights in northwestern Alberta and northeastern B.C. to pay down debt, in addition to a Deep Basin package it is marketing now.Cenovus reported total production of 555,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the fourth quarter, up from 283,000 boe/d in the same period last year, as oilsands production rose to 361,000 bpd from 164,000 bpd.Follow @HealingSlowly on TwitterCompanies mentioned in this story: (TSX:CVE, TSX:TRP)last_img

Trump vows to lower tariff hammer on steel aluminum Canada braces for

first_imgWASHINGTON – The United States will impose wide-ranging tariffs on steel and aluminum, President Donald Trump declared Thursday, prompting allies to fume, stock markets to fall and analysts to fret about long-term consequences that could rattle the international trading system.After months of suspense, the president released only the barest of details about his plans: a 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum, numbers that in both cases were higher than had been expected.“We’ll be signing it next week,” Trump told a gathering of industry leaders. “And you’ll have protection for a long time.”Several American allies have already said they would retaliate, including the European Union. News of the tariffs sent stock markets plunging, along with the Canadian dollar. One major unknown lingers: whether Canada — the No. 1 supplier of both steel and aluminum to the U.S. — is on the hit list.Trump was known to be weighing a variety of options — massive tariffs on just a few countries believed to ship dumped Chinese steel, a quota limiting imports or a tariff on the entire world, including Canada, around 24 per cent. The penalty he announced Thursday sounded most like the latter.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland described the idea of tariffs on Canada as “absolutely unacceptable.”“Should restrictions be imposed on Canadian … products, Canada will take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers.”The drama started with the Trump administration unsheathing a weapon rarely used in the trade world: a so-called national security exception. American law allows the president to order tariffs if it’s declared a matter of national security.Trump technically has until next month to make a decision. But he had already made clear he was itching to pull the trigger on tariffs. U.S. news reports described a vigorous battle within the White House between the free-traders and the protectionists who share the same impulses as the president.Some of Trump’s political allies were livid.The issue appeared to split the president from prominent Republicans. He drew condemnation not only from the establishment wing of his party, including powerful senator Orrin Hatch, but also from anti-establishment conservatives, like Mark Meadows, who leads the right-wing caucus on Capitol Hill.Meadows tweeted: ”Tariffs on steel and aluminum are a tax hike the American people don’t need and can’t afford.”Trump has received multiple pleas to spare Canada.The Pentagon even published a letter urging him not to target allies. During consultations, witness after witness urged the government to make a special exception for Canada, given the joint auto sector, shared aluminum market and the integrated defence-industrial complex served by the metals.Even the unions supporting tariffs have lobbied for a Canadian exemption. That includes the well-connected United Steelworkers union, which has members in both countries, and a president who is from Canada, Leo Gerard.Gerard has been urging the administration to leave his home and native land out of it.“To put Canada in the same boat as Mexico, or China, or India, or South Korea … doesn’t make sense,” he said in an interview.“Canada should just be excluded — period. We have an integrated economy. And if it gets undone, America will pay a heavy price…. In every opportunity I’ve had, I’ve tried to point out to the key decision-makers that Canada is not the problem when it comes to international trade — and to do something that would sideswipe Canada would disadvantage (the U.S.).”Last year, Canada exported about C$9.3 billion of aluminum and C$5.5 billion of steel to the U.S., where Canadian steel represented just over 15 per cent of overall imports. Indeed, almost 90 per cent of Canada’s exports went directly south.But the issue has significance well beyond North America.Several trade experts have warned that such loose use of a national-security exemption invites others to do the same, and could lead to a domino effect of reprisals. Mexico and Europe are already threatening counter-tariffs.“Trump’s national security protectionism will open Pandora’s box,” blared the headline on a Forbes piece by trade analyst Dan Ikenson.Added Edward Alden of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, on Twitter: “This is the most consequential protectionist action by the U.S. since (Richard) Nixon’s 10 per cent across-the-board tariffs in 1971. And those didn’t last very long.”The Canadian government and its business allies intend to keep lobbying hard for an exemption. In Washington, some hoped Trump might get cold feet — as he’s done on specific policies before, like immigration reform.Getting the attention of Americans might be a challenge, however.Word of the tariffs was being partially lost Thursday in an avalanche of American political news. The news network MSNBC ran a graphic illustrating read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,910.81, up 68.10 points)Spartan Energy Corp. (TSX:SPE). Oil and gas. Up one cent, or 0.15 per cent, to $6.48 on 10.9 million shares.Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K). Miner. Down 61 cents, or 11.42 per cent, to $4.73 on 10.7 million shares. The Canadian gold miner said the government in Mauritania has requested talks regarding its activities in the country. Kinross, which is near completion of its Tasiast mine in Mauritania, said its application to convert its Tasiast Sud exploration permit into an exploitation permit was recently rejected by the government.Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE). Oil and gas. Up 21 cents, or 1.51 per cent, to $14.11 on 9.9 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Oil and gas. Up 22 cents, or 3.75 per cent, to $6.08 on 8.6 million shares.TORC Oil & Gas Ltd. (TSX:TOG). Oil and gas. Up 24 cents, or 3.24 per cent, to $7.64 on 7.9 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Down 24 cents, or 1.38 per cent, to $17.19 on 7.2 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Oil and gas. Up $1.07, or 2.65 per cent, to $41.48 on 3.4 million shares. The company raised $3.2 billion in two non-core asset deals to reduce its heavy debt load and help fund its $22-billion growth program. Enbridge sold Midcoast Operating LP in the U.S. for about $1.44 billion, while the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board signed a $1.75-billion deal to buy 49 per cent stake in most of the pipeline company’s wind and solar power assets.last_img

TransCanada staunchly supports Keystone XL pipeline despite latest court setback

first_imgCALGARY — TransCanada Corp. says it doesn’t know when it will be able to build its Keystone XL pipeline after a Montana judge stopped it last week but it is confident the project will make money once it is built and in service.It’s too soon to say what the decision by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris last Thursday will mean to the timeline and cost of the pipeline, Paul Miller, liquids pipeline president, said at TransCanada’s investor day in Toronto on Tuesday.The project was proposed in 2008, denied by former president Barack Obama in 2015 (leading to a $2.9-billion non-cash writedown for TransCanada) and resurrected by President Donald Trump in 2017.“It’s important to remember our commercial model on XL has not changed materially,” Miller said.“All historical costs, plus (cost of construction), since 2009 are captured for toll determination. The writedown we took in 2015 does not remove these costs from rate-making purposes. We share capital cost variances equally with our shippers.”He said the pipeline capacity, minus an amount that must be reserved for spot shipments, is now fully committed.Indigenous and environmental groups sued TransCanada and the U.S. State Department after Nebraska authorities approved an alternative route to the one TransCanada had proposed through the state, arguing it hadn’t properly studied it.In his decision, Morris agreed the analysis didn’t fully cover the cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions, the effects of current oil prices on the pipeline’s viability or include updated modelling of potential oil spills.The proposed 1,897-kilometre pipeline would carry as much as 830,000 barrels a day of crude from Hardisty, Alta., to Steel City, Neb., where it would meet up with other pipelines to the U.S. Gulf Coast.TransCanada is examining the deficiencies identified by the judge to determine what affect meeting them will have on the schedule and its last cost estimate of about $10 billion, Miller said.The lack of export pipeline access from Western Canada has been blamed for steep discounts for crude oil compared with New York-traded West Texas Intermediate, prompting some producers to reduce oil production and leading to record levels of crude-by-rail shipping.Oilsands producer Cenovus Energy Inc. has called on the Alberta government to impose production cuts to bring supply in line with takeaway capacity and protect royalties but companies with refineries that benefit from lower prices or contracted export pipeline space oppose the move.“As far as timing around the pipeline, the need for Keystone XL has never been greater,” Miller said at investor day.“When you’re looking at US$40 to $50 differentials on WCS (Western Canadian Select bitumen-blend oil) versus WTI, whether it’s in this administration or the next administration, XL is a project that the industry needs and is a valuable piece of infrastructure for the North American economy.”TransCanada told investors it expects to raise its dividend at an average annual rate of eight to 10 per cent through 2021, an outlook supported by expected growth in earnings and cash flow.The pipeline operator has increased its dividend on common shares in each of the last 18 years.Comparable earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization are expected to grow to about $10 billion in 2021, a 35 per cent increase from the $7.4 billion in 2017, TransCanada said. Dan Healing, The Canadian Press Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.center_img Companies in this story: (TSX:TRP, TSX:CVE)last_img

SoftBanks mobile units share price set for Dec 19 IPO

first_imgTOKYO — SoftBank Group Corp. says the price for the initial public offering of its Japanese mobile subsidiary has been set at 1,500 yen ($13) a share.The IPO, set for Dec. 19 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, will likely raise more than 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) and will be one of the world’s biggest IPOs.The company announced the offering price on Monday. It is listing 1.6 billion shares.SoftBank Group’s chief, Masayoshi Son, has drawn attention for his relations with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.About half of SoftBank Group’s $100 billion investment money called Vision Fund, comes from the kingdom. The fund has been investing in solar projects and artificial intelligence.The Associated Presslast_img

Fort St John Walk for ALS happening Sunday

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Families, friends, and a host of others in Fort St. John will be gathering on Sunday to raise money and awareness for area residents living with ALS.Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, which is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a rapidly progressive neuromuscular disease. The disease attacks motor neurons that transmit electrical impulses from the brain to the body’s voluntary muscles. When they fail to receive messages, the muscles lose strength, atrophy and die. ALS can strike anyone at any time, regardless of age, gender, or ethnic origin.The Walk for ALS is the ALS Society’s national signature event that raises awareness and funds for patient services, and ALS research.. Among the 15 Walks happening this year, the Fort St. John Walk will be held on Sunday, June 3rd at the green space at 100th Avenue & 100th Street. Registration will be at 10:30 a.m., and the Walk will start at 11:30 a.m. The opening of the Walk will feature a speech from Peace River North MLA Dan Davies. Participants can also look forward to a BBQ by donation, in addition to live music by Tom Cole and Ridge Rider.“The hard work of our volunteers and staff at ALS BC, along with the funds raised from the WALKs help to support people with ALS in BC tremendously,” said Wendy Toyer, Executive Director of the ALS Society of BC. “Through their efforts, we are able to provide crucial medical equipment, support and other services for people affected by this disease.”Proceeds from the WALK for ALS go to the ALS Society of BC to provide support services for people living with ALS in BC, and to the Canadian ALS Research program to strive toward a world without ALS.last_img

Highway 97 closed south of McLeod Lake

first_imgUPDATE – The Highway is now open to single lane alternating traffic.McLEOD LAKE, B.C. – Highway 97 is closed due to a vehicle incident south of McLeod Lake.Highway 97 is closed in both directions between Poplar Point Road and Homewood Road, approximately 1km south of McLeod Lake. The road is closed in both directions, and there is no detour.  Drivebc.ca says the road could open at 9 p.m.  The next update from Drivebc.ca is expected at 4 p.m.REMINDER – #BCHwy97 CLOSED approx 120 km north of #PrinceGeorgeBC due to a vehicle incident. Assessment in progress Information here: https://t.co/0FBAx2WB51#Chetwynd— DriveBC NE (@DriveBC_NE) March 10, 2019A snowfall warning remains in place for the Pine Pass.  Environment Canada expects that region could see anywhere from 10 to 20 cm of snow starting Sunday evening.last_img

River Forecast Centre issues Level One High Streamflow Advisory for Fort St

first_imgRivers under the High Streamflow Advisory include the Peace River, Beatton River, and Halfway River, along with associated tributaries.Remember to use caution around rivers with a high volume of water and to stay away from fast-moving water as you could be pulled in and drown.For up-to-date river warnings and advisories, you can visit the River Forecast Centre’s website. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With the recent amounts of rain, the British Columbia River Forecast Centre has issued a Level One High Streamflow Advisory for Fort St. John and surrounding area.According to the River Centre, river levels are rising or expected to increase rapidly, but no major flooding is expected.They also say that minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.last_img

RCMP to reduce search efforts for BC homicide suspects

first_imgThe search near Gillam has been underway since July 22, 2019, and to date has not produced any sightings of Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod.The RCMP say they have checked over 500 homes in the Gillam and Fox Lake Cree Nation.  Investigators have now received over 260 tips in the past seven days. None have established that the suspects are outside of the Gillam area.The RCMP are calling a presser in Winnipeg at 1 p.m. CT to give an update on the manhunt for the B.C. homicide suspects. #cbcmb— Austin Grabish (@AustinGrabish) July 31, 2019Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod have been charged in connection with the death of Leonard Dyck near Dease Lake and are suspected of also killing Lucas Folwer and Chynna Deese.  The RCMP have not released details about when the pair will be officially charged in the deaths near the Liard Hot Springs of Folwer and Deese. GILLAM, M.B. – RCMP in Manitoba will hold a press conference at 1 p.m. central time to outline the reduced search for two homicide suspects from B.C.According to reporters in Gillam, the RCMP will outline the reduction of search efforts in Northern Manitoba.  Other reports suggest military aircraft have already left the area and the RCMP are now back to using RCMP aircraft.Police on the ground in Gillam have just confirmed that Canadian Armed Forces have pulled out of the search for Kam Mcleod and Bryer Schmegelsky. They’re now relying on their own plane and private choppers to do more ‘strategic’ flyovers in the area.@9NewsAUS— Alexis Daish (@LexiDaish) July 31, 2019last_img