Nova Scotia’s Minimum Wage Review Committee has recommended staying the course on planned increases for minimum wage earners. The committee of two employer and two employee representatives recommends the annual increase proceed, which would raise minimum wage to $8.60 from $8.10 per hour on April 1. “Steadily increasing the minimum wage is the right thing to do for working families and individuals who are trying to build a career and contribute to society,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. “I am pleased that the committee has reaffirmed its recommendation that the minimum wage be increased.” Mr. Parent asked, in light of current economic conditions, that the committee continue to monitor the minimum wage. He also asked the committee to look at minimum wage increases and tip differential for workers in the restaurant and bar industry. The committee was not able to reach consensus on a tip or gratuity differential, which is a lower minimum wage for servers in licensed establishments. The review committee’s report has been posted on the Labour and Workforce Development website and is open for comment. The committee recommended continuing the following plan of minimum wage increases: May 1, 2008: 6.5 per cent increase to $8.10 per hour April 1, 2009: 6.2 per cent increase to $8.60 per hour April 1, 2010: 6.9 per cent increase to $9.20 per hour. Oct. 1, 2010: 4.8 per cent increase to $9.65 per hour. The plan is to reach the Low Income Cut-off Level by 2010. The committee will continue to meet annually to monitor economic indicators and examine other issues. The public is encouraged to comment on the report by March 2. For an English copy of the report, visit www.gov.ns.ca/lwd . A French copy will be posted by Feb. 16.
The Emergency Management Office is advising residents of the Meat Cove area that there is a telephone service outage. It is not known what has caused the outage, but technicians are on route. “Our first priority is the safety of residents and visitors to the area,” said Ross Landry, acting Minister responsible for Emergency Management. “Local authorities and on-site Emergency Health Services officials have already begun to directly inform local residents. Throughout this response, we have not taken any chances.” Residents without phone service who have a medical emergency are advised to report to the Meat Cove Community Centre where two Emergency Health Service paramedics are ready to assist. Meat Cove community leaders have been informed of the telephone outage and are helping to inform the community. Trunk mobile radio service is in place between the Meat Cove Community Centre and the Bay St. Lawrence Fire Department as well as with EMO. Satellite phone service is also available in the area. Overland routes out of the community are now in place and accessible by 4x4s and ATVs. The EHS 4×4 Gator is in the community should medical transport out of Meat Cove be required. Department of Natural Resources and Department of National Defence helicopters are also available. There have been no medical emergencies to date. Road repairs remain on schedule.
TRANSPORTATION/INFRASTRUCTURE RENEWAL–Traffic Advisory, Yarmouth County YARMOUTH COUNTY: Durkee Bridge Durkee Bridge on Durkee Road will be closed for maintenance on June 22 to 25, from morning to dusk. Local Area Office: 902-742-2416 -30-
The Digby Registry of Motor Vehicles office at the 198 Robinson Weir Rd., Conway, will close at 4:30 p.m. today, Nov. 23. For inquiries, call 1-800-670-4357 or access available online services at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr. -30-
the Municipality of the District of Guysborough Fundy Tidal Inc. Wind4All Communities Chebucto Terence Bay Wind Project Colchester-Cumberland Windfield Watts Wind Scotian Wind Inc. Affinity Renewables the Municipality of the District of Shelburne Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Next steps for applicants include securing financing, completing a grid-impact study and obtaining the required federal and provincial environmental assessments and approvals. “We are very pleased with the collaborative approaches being taken by our applicants,” said Energy Minister Charlie Parker. “Once constructed, these projects will generate and distribute clean, green power close to home, providing economic development opportunities in the communities they serve.” The Community Feed-in Tariff (COMFIT) concept was introduced in the 2010 Renewable Electricity Plan to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide a secure supply of clean energy at stable prices and create jobs. The program began accepting applications in September 2011. Almost 100 locally based proposals have been received from more than 20 community groups for this unique, made-in-Nova Scotia initiative to encourage community participation in renewable energy projects. “The COMFIT program is an innovative way for the province to help communities move away from their dependence on coal-generated electricity,” said Terry Norman, president of the Chebucto Terence Bay Wind Project. “We’re delighted that our project has been approved and we look forward to starting the next phase of the process right away.” The Community Feed-in Tariff allows eligible groups to receive an established price per kilowatt hour (kWh) for projects producing electricity from certain renewable resources. Rates were established by the Utility and Review Board in September. Projects can include wind, biomass, in-stream tidal and run-of-the-river hydroelectric developments. Eligible groups include municipalities, First Nations, co-operatives, universities and not-for-profit groups. The COMFIT program will help the province reach its renewable electricity targets of 25 per cent renewable electricity by 2015 and 40 per cent by 2020. The province expects 100 megawatts of electricity to be produced through the COMFIT program. For more information on the program visit www.nsrenewables.ca. Fourteen communities from across Nova Scotia are closer to enjoying the benefits of clean, green renewable electricity generated in their own backyards as the province announced the next round of approved Community Feed-In Tariff (COMFIT) projects in Guysborough today, April 16. The approvals, granted since March 30, are:
CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Conns Mill Bridge Thomson Road, near Highway 104, will be closed from Hansford Siding Road to Conns Mill Road for repairs to the Conns Mill Bridge from Wednesday, Feb. 12, until Friday, March 7. Detour signs are in place. -30-
Environment Minister Margaret Miller approved the Black Point Quarry project in Guysborough County, today, April 26, in accordance with Environmental Assessment Regulations under the Environment Act. Black Point Aggregates Inc., Birmingham, Alabama, is proposing a 355-hectare granite quarry, with a marine terminal and loading facility alongside in Chedabucto Bay. Ms. Miller said that any adverse or significant environmental effects can be mitigated through terms and conditions for the quarry. Planned activities for the quarry triggered an environmental assessment under both federal and provincial regulations. Under provincial regulations, a quarry larger than four hectares or a project that may disrupt wetlands of two hectares or more requires an environmental assessment. For information on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency assessment, see http://ceaa.gc.ca/050/details-eng.cfm?evaluation=80064. During consultation, there were questions and concerns over the quarry’s effects on water quality and use; wetlands; local fisheries and aquatic habitat; mainland moose; heritage and archaeological resources; noise and dust; and tourism. The project is subject to numerous terms and conditions, including mitigation plans for protecting water and wetlands, managing light, noise and dust, and the need to stop work if archaeological sites or artifacts are unearthed. Requirements include creating a community liaison committee, a complaint resolution plan, and ongoing engagement with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia. The department uses science and fact-based decision making when assessing projects for environmental approval. For more information go to http://novascotia.ca/nse/ea/black-point-quarry.asp .
New Delhi: In a setback for the Maharashtra government, the Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the state’s decision to introduce 10 per cent quota for academic year 2019-20 in the postgraduate medical courses. The apex court said the state could not apply it after the admission process had already begun in November 2018. At least 25 candidates from the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category would be affected with this decision of the top court. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist The court said the Maharashtra government could not change rule of the game while the game was on. It said the Medical Council of India (MCI) could have created more seats rather than giving away from presently available seats. As such, the court said that EWS is not applicable to the existing seats in medical courses in the state. The court also observed that while passing the order it kept in mind “balance and claim of equity, which may come at later stage”. The counsel for the state cited the ordinance passed by the government, but the court did not entertain it.
New Delhi: Overseas investors pumped in a net amount of Rs 9,031 crore into the Indian capital markets in May on expectations of more business-friendly measures following the BJP’s landslide victory in the general elections. Interestingly, foreign investors were net sellers for the first three weeks of May, but the tide turned just ahead of the announcement of election results. According to the latest depositories data, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) infused a net sum of Rs 7,919.73 crore into equities and Rs 1,111.42 crore in the debt market during May 2-31, taking the cumulative net investment to Rs 9,031.15 crore. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsPrior to this, they had invested a net Rs 16,093 crore in April, Rs 45,981 crore in March and Rs 11,182 crore in February in the capital markets (both equity and debt). Last week, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won over 300 seats on its own out of 542 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. The victory of the Narendra Modi-led coalition will ensure continuation in reform measures initiated during the NDA’s first term, experts said. During May 2-17, foreign investors pulled out a net Rs 6,399 crore from the markets amid pre-election uncertainty. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefHowever, “FPIs started to come back into Indian equities anticipating a return of NDA-led government and the flows intensified when their expectation became reality after the election results were announced on May 23, 2019,” said Himanshu Srivastava, senior research analyst, manager research at Morningstar. Srivastava said, “Now with elections behind, the focus would gradually shift towards government’s policies on economic reforms, its impact on economic growth and corporate earnings, besides global factors.”
London: Feliciano Lopez became the oldest Queen’s singles champion on Sunday when the 37-year-old Spaniard defeated Frenchman Gilles Simon in a thrilling three-set clash, 6-2, 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/2). Lopez, the first wildcard to win the key Wimbledon warm-up event since Pete Sampras in 1999, is also the lowest-ranked player to claim the title at 113 since 108th-ranked Australian Scott Draper in 1998. While Lopez has had an exhausting week — he still has to play the doubles final with Andy Murray — 34-year-old Simon also played inspired tennis despite all his matches going to three sets. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ MedvedevHowever, he just fell short of becoming the first Frenchman to win the title. Lopez was the second 37-year-old to win an ATP tournament on Sunday after Roger Federer claimed his record-extending 10th Halle title. “I don’t know how I did that,” said Lopez after receiving the trophy. “The whole match was very exciting. I took the early set but then he (Simon) got better and better. It was tough for me to find a way to win points. “He was coming up with unbelievable shots and I was a bit desperate. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’ships”I thought the best moment of my career was when I held this trophy in 2017 but it’s not. It’s right now.” Lopez broke Simon in the first game of the match with his second break point — quite some feat by the Spaniard given the Frenchman had come into the match having saved 30 during the week. The Spanish veteran looked to be in complete control as he broke Simon again to go 4-1 up, netting the first break point but clinched the second one with a sublime volley. Lopez took the first set with an ace but Simon was the faster of the two out of the gate in the second set, breaking the Spaniard for a 2-0 lead. Lopez broke back immediately and it stayed with serve before a tie-break which featured a 33-stroke rally. Simon rallied and retrieved a mini-break and then broke again to hold a set point on the Lopez serve which he converted with aplomb. The third set went with serve and despite their respective ages, and the length of time they have spent on court this week, both showed remarkable agility. Lopez hoped to close out the match at 6-5 and had a match point which he dumped into the net. However, he made no mistake in the tie-break.