It won’t be all talk Thursday, Sept. 11, when 500 Grade 9students converge on the Akerley Campus of the Nova ScotiaCommunity College (NSCC) in Dartmouth for the Let’s Talk Tradesand Technology event. Not only will the students will get first-hand advice from thepros on careers in trades and technology, they’ll also get somehands-on experience to help them choose possible careers. “One way to fight a future shortage of skilled trades andtechnology workers is to attract more young people to the field,”said Education Minister Jamie Muir. “In Grade 9, students arebeginning to choose their career paths. We’re hoping more willpick trades and technology careers once they learn about excitingoptions, low educational costs and high wages.” From carpentry to computers, plumbing to pilots — informationwill be available to the students to make help them make informeddecisions about their future careers. The event will feature exhibits sponsored by the Department ofEducation, Skills Canada, the Department of National Defence,Techsploration and many more. The Aviation Institute, NSCC will have its flight simulator onhand for those who want to test their skills as a pilot. Potential sailors might want to try the Department of NationalDefence’s marine simulator. The event will conclude with student teams competing in a bigscreen version of Who Wants To Be A Tradesperson Jeopardy. Let’s Talk Trades and Technology begins at 10:30 a.m., at NSCC’sAkerley Campus, 21 Woodlawn Rd., Dartmouth.
Blueprint for building a better Nova Scotia…2005 Progress Report is available on the government website at www.gov.ns.ca/prem . A 30-year low in unemployment rates, an historic offshore royalty deal with Ottawa, help for low-income diabetics, new housing options for people in need, more money for schools, hospitals, roads, and a fourth straight balanced budget are some of the highlights of the second year of minority government. Premier John Hamm today, Sept. 29, released the government’s annual progress report on its Blueprint for building a better Nova Scotia. Just over two years into the four-year plan, 95 per cent of its commitments have been either completed or are well underway. “The achievements of the past year show that it is possible to help people in need, make smart investments in our schools, hospitals and roads, and be fiscally responsible with Nova Scotians’ money,” said Premier Hamm. “I’m confident that these commitments to building a brighter future will continue in the years to come.” Among the commitments underway or completed are: securing 100 per cent of Nova Scotia’s offshore resources, highlighted by an $830-million down payment from Ottawa; lowering class sizes, hiring more teachers and adding more resources to schools; hiring more health-care professionals and doubling the number of publicly funded MRIs; introducing low income drug assistance program for diabetics; updating the five-year-old provincial economic growth strategy, building on the plan that helped Nova Scotia lead the country in job growth in 2004 and have its lowest unemployment rate in 30 years; opening of the new Office of Immigration.
The Coxheath Interchange on Highway 125, near Sydney, will be completed this summer as a result of a tender announcement by the Department of Transportation and Public Works. The tender is for grading, gravelling and paving of the ramps for the interchange which will be Exit 5A on Highway 125 and for the connecting roads to the widened Sydney River bridge. The total distance of the work involved is about 3.5 kilometres. The tender closes on Friday, Mar. 3, and the project is scheduled for completion by the end of August. “Highway 125 provides an important connection between Highway 105 and the Sydney area,” said Transportation and Public Works Minister Ron Russell. “Completion of this work will ease the path of traffic on Highway 125.” The Department of Transportation and Public Works’ highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from district offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro and Sydney.
With most provincially-run parks and trails open, Nova Scotians are reminded that it is illegal, under the Provincial Parks Act, to allow a dog to run off leash in these areas. Off-leash dogs continue to be a problem despite efforts to educate the public through pamphlets, park signs and verbal or written warnings. In order to bring more attention to the law, conservation officers with the Department of Natural Resources will step up patrols June 25-26 at 15 provincial parks in the Halifax Regional Municipality where off-leash dogs have been a concern. “It’s important that people feel safe while enjoying our parks and wildlife,” said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. “The leash law is designed to protect both the public and the dog.” The act states that dogs must be on a leash at all times in Nova Scotia’s provincial parks and complaints are taken seriously. “In recent years, park staff and visitors have been knocked down, intimidated and bitten by off-leash dogs,” said conservation officer Chris MacLean. “We hope our increased presence will help to reduce the number of incidents so everyone can enjoy our parks.” During the increased patrols this weekend, officers will be out in force educating dog owners, issuing warnings and, where warranted, issuing tickets. A first-time offense will result in a fine of $167.71.
Families and youth across the province will participate in programs promoting physical activity and growing communities as part of Duke Awareness Week, Oct. 16-22. Lt.-Gov. Mayann Francis was joined by representatives from the Department of Education and members of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award provincial council to raise the Duke of Edinburgh flag at Province House, today, Oct. 17. “Young Nova Scotians are setting a wonderful example by encouraging people to become volunteers and do what they can to make their communities stronger,” said the lieutenant-governor. “The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program recognizes youth who give selflessly, and help make this province an even better place to be.” More than 2,300 young Nova Scotians, age 14 to 25, participate in duke programs each year to promote community and country development, while learning the life skills that lead to personal growth and achievement. “Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programs offer students learning opportunities that go far beyond what they learn in the classroom,” said Mat Whynott, ministerial assistant responsible for youth. “Along with the physical activity component, the award program is a great way for young Nova Scotians to contribute to their communities and gain valuable leadership skills.” Throughout the week, duke participants, leaders, council members, parents and volunteers will participate in theme days that highlight the great work youth are doing in their communities. Activities will promote the main themes of the program including awareness, gratitude, fitness, environmental appreciation and community involvement. For more information, visit www.dukeofed.org .
Les Néo-Écossais qui désirent aider à changer les choses dans leurs collectivités peuvent présenter leur candidature à l’un des nombreux postes vacants au sein des 165 agences, conseils et commissions de la Province. Le gouvernement provincial a lancé sa campagne de recrutement du printemps, aujourd’hui, le 11 avril, pour inciter plus de gens à se porter candidats et à jouer un rôle actif. « Je félicite les nombreux Néo-Écossais qui mettent bénévolement leur temps et leur expertise au service du bien public, a déclaré la ministre du Secteur bénévole, Kelly Regan. J’invite toute personne intéressée à voir quels sont les postes vacants et à présenter sa candidature. Les agences, les conseils et les commissions offrent un rôle important aux gens qui veulent participer à changer les choses dans la province. » Les agences, les commissions et les conseils juridictionnels ont des rôles et des intérêts différents et leurs fonctions sont quasi-judiciaires. Les membres de ces conseils examinent la preuve, formulent des constatations en fait et en droit, et prennent des décisions qui ont une incidence sur la liberté, la sécurité ou les garanties juridiques d’une personne. Pour prendre leurs décisions, ils doivent appliquer des principes juridiques, professionnels et techniques solides. Parmi les agences, conseils et commissions juridictionnels, il y a le Conseil sur les pratiques agricoles, le Comité d’examen en vertu du Code criminel et le Comité d’appel sur les frais de scolarité. Les agences, les commissions et les conseils non juridictionnels prennent des décisions ou formulent des recommandations pour le gouvernement sur des questions de finances, de réglementation, d’affaires ou de politiques. Leur travail a des répercussions profondes dans de nombreux domaines qui touchent les Néo-Écossais, y compris les services aux jeunes, les régies régionales de la santé et les conseils d’octroi de licences. « J’aime travailler avec les personnes dévouées qui forment le Conseil. Nous traitons de nombreux produits agricoles et nous apprenons continuellement, a déclaré Carol Versteeg, qui est membre du Natural Products Marketing Council. Ensemble, nous visons à ce que l’agriculture soit un facteur de croissance économique fort pour notre province. » Les demandes sont évaluées en fonction des compétences et des qualités des postulants ainsi que des besoins de chaque commission, agence ou conseil. Les demandes pour faire partie des commissions, des agences et des conseils non juridictionnels sont acceptées en tout temps. Elles seront évaluées à compter du 12 mai. La date limite pour présenter une demande pour faire partie des commissions, des agences et des conseils juridictionnels est le 19 mai. « C’est avec plaisir que j’ai accepté l’invitation de servir la population. Les membres de la Commission ont différents domaines d’expertise et traitent de questions complexes en génie et de questions financières stratégiques, de dire William Mills,Commissaire à la Commission des ponts Halifax-Dartmouth. J’aime être actif dans le milieu des affaires et faire ma part pour la collectivité. C’est une expérience stimulante et gratifiante. » Les candidatures reçues seront examinées pour les postes à combler dans l’immédiat et au cours de la prochaine année. L’étude des candidatures peut prendre du temps compte tenu de la grande diversité des postes à combler au sein des conseils, des agences et des commissions et du choix du moment des nominations. Les personnes qui désirent présenter leur candidature peuvent s’adresser au Bureau du Conseil exécutif au 902-424-4877 ou au numéro sans frais 1-866-206-6844 si elles ont des questions au sujet du processus. Le gouvernement provincial a une politique d’équité en matière d’emploi. Il encourage les personnes autochtones, les Afro-Néo-Écossais, les membres d’autres groupes raciaux visibles, les personnes handicapées et les femmes à présenter leur candidature. Il les invitent aussi à signaler leur appartenance à ces groupes dans leur demande, leur lettre de présentation ou leur curriculum vitæ. Pour plus d’informations sur le profil des postes à pourvoir au sein des conseils, des agences et des commissions, sur les postes vacants et sur la façon de présenter une demande, consultez le www.gov.ns.ca/exec_council/abc/current-opportunities.asp (en anglais seulement).
Voici une mise à jour du gouvernement provincial sur les feux de forêt, publiée le mardi 16 août à 10 h. Il n’y aucun changement majeur depuis le bulletin d’hier après-midi, et les quatre feux demeurent entièrement circonscrits. Pendant les prochains jours, la section de la route 8 près de Maitland Bridge, dans le comté d’Annapolis, qui est fermée depuis la semaine dernière sera ouverte pendant la nuit, soit de 20 h à 8 h. Les restrictions sur les déplacements dans les régions boisées demeurent en vigueur à l’échelle de la Nouvelle-Écosse péninsulaire, et on demande aux gens de continuer d’éviter toute activité qui pourrait allumer d’autres feux. Il a été annoncé hier, 15 août, que les restrictions sur les déplacements dans les régions boisées ont été levées au Cap-Breton. Pour des renseignements sur les interdictions de brûlage : http://www.novascotia.ca/burnsafe/fr. Pour des renseignements supplémentaires sur les feux de forêt : “http://www.novascotia.ca/nsfire/fr. À compter du mercredi 17 août, la personne-ressource pour des renseignements sur les feux de forêt sera Bruce Nunn. Ses coordonnées sont ci-dessous. -30-
Premier Stephen McNeil proclaimed today, March 21, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Nova Scotia, as part of the United Nations event for people around the world to take a stand against racism, discrimination, prejudice and intolerance. “Nova Scotia will only be the best province it can be if we work together to ensure all Nova Scotians are treated with dignity, equality and respect while having access to the opportunities our province has to offer,” said Premier McNeil, who is also the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. “From our commitment to the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry to enhanced treaty education, from ensuring more Nova Scotians see themselves reflected in our institutions to making our province a welcoming place for all, we are working to eliminate discrimination.” Tony Ince, Minister of the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, said the addition of $710,000 in this year’s provincial budget is a significant step forward. “I am pleased to say we are taking action to strengthen the office and step up the important and essential work we carry out across the province. There are significant issues facing African Nova Scotians. “This investment represents an increased commitment to ensure we better address those issues and meet the needs of African Nova Scotians, while advancing our work to address systemic racism and discrimination.” New program funding will be invested in communities throughout the province. Two new community outreach officer positions will also be created. These positions will help the office extend its reach, especially in rural areas. They will be located in the Annapolis Valley and Pictou-Antigonish areas. “This funding provides an opportunity to enhance access to the skilled workforce and help build capacity in rural areas with the African Nova Scotian community,” said Rustum Southwell, CEO of the Black Business Initiative. “Building a more diverse and inclusive Nova Scotia is a smart economic strategy.” The two new positions are in addition to the two community navigator and one co-ordinator positions the office had previously created to work solely on land title clarification. Strengthening the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs and addressing systemic racism across government and organizations are Culture Action Plan priorities. This year, Communities, Culture and Heritage will also create a new position to co-ordinate the anti-racism work.
What is remarkable about Narendra Modi’s triumph is that none of the factors which were expected to undermine his position has had any effect on the popular support for him. Neither the hugely disruptive measures like demonetisation and GST, nor the continuing unemployment and agrarian distress limited his appeal. Instead, it appears to have grown and placed him in a virtually invincible position. It isn’t only the economic factors which Modi has been able to brush aside as something of little consequence, even the concern expressed by the intelligentsia about the erosion of institutional autonomy as in the Reserve Bank, the CBI and even the Election Commission does not seem to have bothered the general public. Also Read – A staunch allyMoreover, if the latter had faced any inconvenience, they convinced themselves that only Modi could solve them. The belief apparently was that he deserved another five years. A possible reason for this conviction is the government’s success in ensuring what has been called by a supporter as “delivery” on the ground in the matter of providing cooking gas cylinders or houses with latrines and electricity or the opening of bank accounts or the provision of loans to entrepreneurs. Also Read – Cuban pathosThere is little doubt that these microeconomic programmes have enabled the government to divert attention from its failures on the larger macroeconomic front such as on the creation of jobs which the opposition had tended to emphasize. The opposition’s main disadvantage, of course, was the absence of an inspiring leader. Modi fitted the bill in every aspect in this respect with his rousing oratory and commanding presence. In contrast, Rahul Gandhi and others came through as minor figures who could not be taken seriously. Some of them like Mamata Banerjee and Mayawati were seen as no more than state-level leaders who no one could conceive of leading the nation. In addition, the constant whining of the opposition parties about the reliability of the electronic voting machines showed them up as petulant losers resembling bad workmen who blamed the tools. The whining was also accompanied by their inability to get together in durable alliances. Except in Tamil Nadu, where the DMK-Congress tie-up appeared stable, the other such combines – as in Bihar and Maharashtra between the Congress on one hand and the RJD and the NCP on the other – seemed wobbly. It is also undeniable that at the ground level, BJP could deploy far more foot soldiers than any of the opposition parties not only because it had greater resources at its command, but also because it had a wide network of fraternal outfits affiliated to the RSS to come to its aid. The BJP’s tactics, too, were far superior to those of the opposition with Modi being a past master in turning a narrative in his favour. This was achieved not only by suppressing inconvenient statistics about unemployment and the economic scene, but also by a no-holds-barred attack on the credibility of his opponents, whether dead like the “bhrashtachari (corrupt) No 1” Rajiv Gandhi, or alive like the naamdar (dynast) Rahul Gandhi who was associated with a mahamilawati (adulterated) opposition alliance, which, the BJP proclaimed, would be unable to save India from enemies like Pakistan. It was such an onslaught which derailed the gains which the opposition had made by its 2018 victories in the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh assemblies and in the earlier by-elections in U.P., Bihar and elsewhere. It was those successes which made the opposition believe that it had hit a winning streak. But if it was unable to capitalise on them, the reason was, first, a failure to understand the kind of challenge which the formidable Modi-Amit Shah duo posed with their indefatigable energy and never-say-die attitude. And, secondly, by a lethargic attitude (compounded by internal bickering) which made the victors rest on their laurels, as in Rajasthan, and not conserving and building on the gains that had been made. Nothing underlined this contrast between Congress’s relaxed attitude and the concerted effort made by the BJP president, Amit Shah, in what to most observers would have appeared to be a lost cause, viz., the storming of Mamata Banerjee’s seemingly impregnable bastion of West Bengal. Considering that BJP did not have a sizeable ground-level presence in West Bengal where the local leadership or the rank and file were concerned, most would have thought that the kind of effort which Amit Shah was putting in would be fruitless. But BJP apparently saw the chinks in Mamata Banerjee’s armour in the matter of her overtly pro-minority policies and her failure to bring about the state’s industrial revival. BJP also saw that the fading out of the Left and Congress was creating a vacuum which it could fill. It was the same in Odisha where the weakening of Congress was seen by BJP as the thin end of the wedge which it could exploit. Therefore, whether it is charismatic leadership or a keenness to explore the possibilities of political expansion, BJP does not seem to have a rival at the moment. IPA (The views expressed are strictly personal)
London: Australia vice-captain Pat Cummins said teammate Glen Maxwell will a vital cog in the team as the all-rounder’s performance with the bat and ball would hold the key to their aspirations of winning the sixth World Cup. Australia have won two back-to-back ODI series — in India and against Pakistan — in the run up to World Cup and Maxwell has played an important role, hitting three half-centuries in their 5-0 series win in the UAE. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach Arun A spell at Lancashire has also helped him adapt to the English conditions before the mega event. “I think the way he has turned games around for us in the last couple of months has been impressive with the bat and then he is also an option to bowl ten overs,” Cummins was quoted as saying by ICC media. “He is also able to get run-outs and take catches. You get all three facets out of him and he is always there in tough situations. He is probably our sixth bowler but on a good day he can get through all ten. He’s in good form,” the fast bowler added. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-up The defending champions won both their warm-up matches ahead of the World Cup — against England and Sri Lanka — and are now back as one of the favourites to lift the Cup. “Fans always expect us to do well and we are the same. Luckily, we have had a lot of success in the last 30 or 40 years so we are confident,” said Cummins. The 25-year-old said they have built a special team in the last six months. “We have played consistent cricket for the last few months. It can be hard to go from Test cricket to ODI cricket and adjust and build a settle team. But in the last six months, we have built a special team and everyone has found their roles.” Australia will begin their title defence against Afghanistan on June 1 at Bristol. “If you asked us six or 12 months ago who would be in the side, there would have been far more question marks. “Everyone feels like we are all in a good place, we have played a lot of games now. We are ready to play. We will just go through the usual routines now, nothing specific, just some low-key bits to make sure we are ready,” said Cummins.
London: Actor Priyanka Chopra says she loves that her husband, singer Nick Jonas, does not shy away from accepting that he is a feminist. The 36-year-old Indian star said Jonas has always stood by her side whenever she was criticised or trolled post their wedding. “I married a feminist. He’s not afraid to use the word and I love that,” Chopra told the Sunday Times. She said the American singer also had the her back when a publication labelled her a “global scam artist,” suggesting she convinced him to marry her in a bid to raise her profile and help her career. Also Read – ‘Will be acting till I die'”I didn’t comment on it at the time. But I went up to the hotel room to find Nick, Joe (Jonas), Sophie (Turner) and my mum furiously responding to the article on their phones. They were like, ‘These b*******! How dare they?’ I thought, ‘I’m having a great moment, nothing is going to burst my bubble.'” The ‘Quantico’ actor said criticism of her lovey-dovey Instagram feed following their wedding did not bother her. “If I wasn’t a famous person and I’d just got married, don’t you think my Insta would have photos of me and my husband? Just because I’m famous, don’t I have the ability to be proud of being a newlywed without people saying that I’m using my marriage? I gave up my right to privacy when I became a public person, it’s the deal you make with the devil. But trust me, there are lots of things I still keep personal,” she added. Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas tied the knot in a fairytale-like wedding in Jodhpur. They got married as per Hindu and Christain traditions.
New Delhi: The government expects to complete the sale process of national carrier Air India within the next four to five months, a top finance ministry official said. In an interview to PTI, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Atanu Chakraborty also said the Rs 1.05 lakh crore disinvestment target set for the current fiscal does not include sale proceeds from Air India. The government is likely to offer 100 per cent stake in Air India to potential buyers and a final call on this would be taken by the Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM). Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep “It (Air India) will be sold when the buyer ultimately gives the cheque and there are certain prerequisites before any sale, those also have to be met. I do expect that to be finished in 4-5 months but nevertheless to provide for that exigency, we have not accounted for Air India sale proceeds (in budgeted disinvestment proceeds). “We will try to finish it off by Diwali, if not before,” Chakraborty said. The government in Budget 2019-20 has set a record disinvestment target of Rs 1.05 lakh crore. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “In view of current macro-economic parameters, Government would not only reinitiate the process of strategic disinvestment of Air India, but would offer more CPSEs for strategic participation by the private sector”. Chakraborty said the disinvestment target does not include Air India proceeds because people say the sale is probabilistic. “So in my calculation I’ve kept that out. However, if it comes in, don’t expect me to keep that money out, I’ll bring it in and we want to do it. “But people say it is probabilistic because you may not get a buyer. I have entire control on my sale process, but I have very little control on the buyer side,” he said. Asked if the government’s 100 per cent stake would be put on the block, Chakraborty said, “It will be unfair of me to prejudge the decision by Air India Specific Alternate Mechanism. However, the government once having decided to sell and also made it clear they will certainly sell it, indications should be that.” The AISAM, which is basically a Group of Ministers (GoM) on the Air India disinvestment, will have to be reconstituted as Arun Jaitley and Suresh Prabhu are no longer ministers in the new government. They will be replaced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari is likely to continue in the panel when it is reconstituted. The DIPAM has prepared a fresh proposal for the sale of Air India, incorporating issues like crude oil prices and exchange rate volatility, flagged by EY last year as among the possible reasons for the government failing to attract bidders for the national carrier. The government had last year invited bids to sell 76 per cent stake in Air India, along with transfer of management control. However, it did not attract any bidder. Following that, transaction advisor EY prepared a report citing probable reasons for the failure of the sale process. The reasons cited included the residual 24 per cent government stake and corresponding rights, high debt, volatile crude oil prices, fluctuations in exchange rate, changes in macro environment, profitability track record of bidders and restriction on bidding by individuals. In 2018, AISAM had decided to sell 76 per cent stake in Air India and the buyer was required to take over Rs 24,000 crore debt of the carrier along with over Rs 8,000 crore of liabilities. However, the stake sale failed to attract any bidder when the auction process drew to a close on May 31, 2018. At that time, Air India’s total debt burden stood at Rs 55,000 crore. As a precursor to the strategic disinvestment of Air India, the Cabinet in February approved setting up of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) — Air India Assets Holding Company — to transfer Rs 29,464 crore worth loans of the national carrier and its four subsidiaries.
Birmingham: Australia batsman Usman Khawaja will be available for selection for the first Ashes Test against England beginning Thursday. On Monday, Khawaja went through a series of rigorous fitness test which included a series of 10 twos on the Edgbaston outfield before spending 45 minutes in the nets, taking slips catches from fielding coach Brad Haddin and then returning to the nets for another hit, reports cricket.com.au. Now, the only thing that can prevent Khawaja’s selection for the first Ashes Test is whether the selectors deem the left-hander has had enough match practice since the injury to slot into the starting XI. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh There were doubts over Khawaja’s availability for the Birmingham Test after the 32-year-old had picked up a hamstring injury during Australia’s clash against South Africa in the recently concluded World Cup and was subsequently ruled out of the tournament. Khawaja has been batting at the No.3 spot since the last Ashes series in England four years ago, posting eight centuries and an average of 47.76 in that period. While Khawaja looks all close to be fully fit, there was another injury scare for Australia after David Warner was hit at the nets by paceman Michael Neser. Warner is set to have a nasty bruise above his left knee after copping an inside edge off the bowling of Neser. The Australian opener limped out of the nets area on his way back to the away team dressing room where he iced the damaged area. However, it is believed in the Australian camp that he will be fine for Thursday’s opening day.
New Delhi: India’s fastest woman Dutee Chand on Wednesday expressed regret for not being able to travel to Germany to participate in a couple of races in her bid to qualify for the World Athletics Championships due to some “technical problems”. The athlete had last week requested the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to help her get visa so that she could participate in a couple of competitions, and was subsequently granted the same after government intervention. However, on Tuesday, Dutee said despite allhelp from the government, she failed to make it to the races.
Kolkata: Jadavpur University authorities have launched its first-ever census of trees in the campus, a senior varsity official said on Thursday. The exercise, as part of which trees in the 58-acre university campus are being mapped through GPS, videographed and awarded number tags, has been launched in August 7. “The mapping process, aimed at preventing cutting of trees, has begun in the main building area,” he said, adding exact number of trees mapped till now has not yet been calculated. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja He said such an exercise has never been undertaken in the campus. The official said as part of the exercise, authorities have begun videographing the trees after dividing the campus into separate zones. He said no incident of cutting of trees has been reported since commencement of the exercise. The drive began after members of Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) alleged two trees inside the campus were chopped by a group of people. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway The JUTA members had submitted photographs of the two chopped trees to the authorities in mid-July, after which they had promised to conduct a census of the trees in the campus, a spokesperson of the teachers’ body said. “There had been past instances of trees being chopped and surreptitiously transported out of the campus,” he said. Trees in the campus include Mahogany, Mango, Arjun, Siris among others. While supporting the tree census and promising to keep a vigil against cutting of trees, the Arts Faculty Students Union also undertook a plantation drive on Wednesday. “The plantation drive is our initiative to conserve the greenery of the campus,” Titash, a student, said.
New Delhi: A heightened security cover was given on the routes from AIIMS to Arun Jaitley’s residence in Kailash Colony area of South East Delhi. Sources said that as soon as the news of the death of Arun Jaitley broke out, Delhi Police chalked out an action plan related to security. A senior police officer told Millennium Post that the first challenge was to make sure a hassle-free traffic movement in the areas nearby AIIMS.”The police personnel were at the strategic route from where the leaders’ convoys were coming to the hospital,” said the officer. Later the mortal remains of former Union Finance Minister were brought to his residence in Kailash Colony from All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe police officer further said that they conducted anti-sabotage check and rooftop deployment in the areas from where the ambulance carrying the mortal remains of the Arun Jaitley was passing. “We also managed traffic at the small lanes. There was a hassle-free movement of the ambulance,” added officer. On August 9, Arun Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS. Since then, several prominent leaders have been visiting the hospital to inquire about his health condition. Large contingents of security personnel were stationed and the hospital area was heavily barricaded. “We were keeping a strict vigil at AIIMS,” police said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsSources further added that a meeting was held among senior officers of Delhi Police related to the security arrangements for Sunday when Arun Jaitley’s body will be cremated at Delhi’s Nigambodh Ghat. Officers of various security agencies will be on their toes to make sure that no untoward incident took place during the funeral procession. “At various roads, police will control the movement of vehicles,” police said. Deputy Commissioner of Police (central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa told Millennium Post that they will deploy adequate staff for the funeral procession. “Deployment will be done on the basis of anti-terrorist and crowd management point,” said DCP Central. At Nigambodh Ghat, there will be several layers of security to maintain safety. The top brass of Delhi Police will closely monitor the procession.
Jambi (Indonesia): Huge fires are raging across vast swathes of Indonesia’s rainforests — some of the world’s biggest — with toxic smog shutting hundreds of schools in Southeast Asia, officials said Tuesday. Massive jungle areas in Sumatra and Borneo islands are ablaze as thousands of personnel battle to quell the fires, frequently started to clear land for crop plantations. Burning forests to make way for farming is also thought to be behind the enormous fires currently ripping through the Amazon in South America, and experts believe they could have a serious impact on the global climate. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USIn Indonesia the number of hotspots — areas at risk of fires — has soared in parts, including on Borneo which the country shares with Malaysia and Brunei. Air quality has dropped to “unhealthy” levels in and around Kuala Lumpur, according to the government’s air pollutant index, and the skyline has been shrouded in thick smog. The smell of burning foliage filled the air, and residents were suffering respiratory problems and complained of itchy and sore eyes. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”It makes your eyes hurt and causes breathing problems,” Indonesian tourist Indah Sulistia told AFP in Kuala Lumpur. “The haze also creates problems for snapping photos,” she added. Haze also hung over Singapore, while residents in parts of southern Thailand were advised to wear face masks this week. Around 400 schools were closed Tuesday in nine districts of Malaysia’s Sarawak state on Borneo, with more than 150,000 students affected, according to the local education department. In neighbouring Indonesia’s Jambi province, on Sumatra, some kindergartens will be closed until Friday, while elementary and junior high schools are also temporarily shut, according to local authorities, who did not give exact numbers. Jambi mayor Syarif Fasha urged residents to wear face masks while Malaysia’s national disaster management agency said it has secured half a million masks, which will be sent to the Sarawak state disaster committee. “This is really scary,” said Jambi resident Atiah, who goes by one name like many Indonesians. “I’m coughing and keep having trouble breathing — I don’t know what this is going to mean for my respiratory health.”
SPRINGDALE, N.L. – There’s growing support for students who made another pitch to town councillors after they voted down a rainbow crosswalk in Springdale, N.L., unleashing fierce debate.But there was no hint Tuesday if or when the request for a widely embraced symbol of inclusion will be reconsidered.Three teenagers from Indian River High School’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance spoke at Monday night’s council meeting. They hoped to convince local politicians to reverse their decision.Christina Pelley, one of the group’s teacher sponsors, said the three girls discussed everything from statistics on mental health and LGBTQ youth, to what a rainbow crosswalk represents.“They did a fantastic job and whatever happens, it’s a positive for those girls and for the entire group,” she said Tuesday. “There are a lot of conversations that have been started — important conversations that will keep going no matter what the result is, whether we get our rainbow crosswalk or not.”Councillors didn’t vote on the presentation.Lorinda Goudie, administrative assistant for the Town of Springdale, said Tuesday there is no follow-up meeting planned.She said it’s not known if or when there will be another vote on the crosswalk. No one from the council was immediately available to comment.Earlier this month, the council voted four to three against painting the crosswalk — something that has been done across the country as a symbol of welcome and support for the LGBTQ community.Mayor Dave Edison, who cast the deciding vote, told a local Nor’Wester reporter he does not discriminate against anyone.“I am just worried that, while they are asking for this to show inclusion, I think it is actually going to create a division,” he said. “I have had people speak to me already about not wanting to see it there. I don’t want to create that (animosity) in town.”Prominent Newfoundlanders ridiculed the rejection on social media.“If you’re a LGBTQ kid in Springdale, please know that there are a whole lot of people in Newfoundland and Labrador that support you,” tweeted comedian Mark Critch, anchor of CBC’s “This Hour Has 22 Minutes.”“Inclusion never divides. Your mayor is being a tool. You’re awesome.”The crosswalk cause is taking on a life of its own online. A Go Fund Me page dubbed “Paint the Town Gay!” had raised more than double its $500 goal by Tuesday afternoon.“Monies raised will cover the cost of paint supplies so the town doesn’t have to worry about taxpayer dollars,” said Adam Elliott, who created the account Friday. He posted that he’s from rural Newfoundland and Labrador but now lives in Sydney, N.S.Adrian Brett, who grew up in Springdale, has so far collected more than 3,000 signatures on an online petition he launched Friday, urging his hometown to approve the rainbow.“I was really taken aback when I heard about their decision because I don’t feel that reflects the majority of the people who actually live in Springdale.”Brett said the town of about 3,000 people includes a mix of Pentecostal and more “liberal Christian” groups.“Acceptance and tolerance and a willingness to include others was a good thing,” he said of his upbringing. “It was something to be celebrated and encouraged.”Brett said if council is stalling, hoping the issue will go away, it won’t.“They need to realize that they’re now under a bit of a national microscope,” he said from Victoria, B.C., where he works as an urban planner.“It’s time that council wake up and realize it’s 2018, and they have a decision to make. I hope they make the right one.”—By Sue Bailey in St. John’s and Alison Auld in Halifax.Follow @suebailey and @alison_auld on Twitter.
CALGARY – Gerald Scott’s perspective has shifted since he spent 10 days on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota which — until early last year — was the site of months of high-profile protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.Scott, who is from the Swan Lake First Nation in Manitoba, wanted to take a stand against what he saw as trampling of Indigenous rights.“I’m a warrior by nature. I’m a warrior by heart.”Scott has since focused his fight on making pipelines safer. More than a year after Standing Rock, he was one of 60 Indigenous people from Western Canada to complete a three-week pipeline monitoring program at SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary.The course, a pilot project, delved into inspection techniques, pipeline operations and safety — all through an Indigenous lens. With the classroom portion complete, trainees will embark on either a research project with an industry mentor or a work placement. Some students will train this summer with a dog handler to learn how potential leaks can be sniffed out.Armed with his new knowledge, Scott says he can better represent his First Nation’s interests in talks with his employer, Calgary-based pipeline giant Enbridge Inc. The company’s extensive Line 3 project crosses Swan Lake land, and knowing what specific inspections and maintenance work to demand could be helpful.“Now I’m still a warrior, but I just want the best deal for people.”Scott started working for Enbridge as a digger, but has more recently acted as a community liaison. The company encouraged him to take the monitoring course and he’s hoping for a pipeline safety career that will allow him to stay close to home.Fellow trainee Kelsey Jacko from Cold Lake First Nations says he’d like to use his training to work with an Indigenous organization monitoring pipelines.“My dream job is looking after my people, make sure their livelihood is looked after, their health and well-being for the future, for the kids yet to come.”Heavy oil is big business around Cold Lake in eastern Alberta and Jacko is concerned about its effect on the environment, particularly on caribou.He says the industry’s presence is a reality.“We can’t turn back time, but it’s a struggle. Where’s the balance between economics and the environment?” Jacko says. “Our First Nations have to get out of poverty. A lot of our First Nations are living in Third World living conditions.”Engineer Deanna Burgart, a member of the Fond du Lac Denesuline First Nation in Saskatchewan, was a program instructor and helped develop its curriculum.She says it was important that Indigenous students could see themselves reflected in the course material — by drawing on case studies relevant to their experiences, for instance.“I just firmly believe that the improvement of the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and industry and government will happen when we are all more engaged and we’re all more informed and we’re all empowered.”The program was conceived through InnoTech Alberta, a subsidiary of provincial research and development agency Alberta Innovates. Its $566,000 budget came from provincial and federal grants.Shauna-Lee Chai, an InnoTech scientist who managed the pilot, says the course was in high demand with 200 applicants for the 60 available spots.She says she believes Indigenous people are uniquely positioned to watch for problems along pipelines that often cross through remote areas.“The traditional way of life that many Indigenous people still practice have them out on the landscape. They’re living in remote communities. They’re hunting, fishing, trapping, collecting berries and medicines,” Chai says.“They have that vested interest. The lands that they are monitoring are their backyards, and so it’s in their interest to keep it healthy.”
HALIFAX – (NSElxn)Nova Scotia New Democrats are promising to bring in $15-a-day child care beginning next year if they win the May 30 provincial election.Party leader Gary Burrill also said his party would provide free child care to families whose net income is less than $30,000 annually and create 400 new spaces across the province.Burrill says average monthly fees for licenced care currently are in the range of $825 for a toddler and $781 for a pre-schooler, and parents need more assistance.He says the program would lead to the creation of about 800 jobs either as a result of the direct hiring of child care workers or as a result of parents being able to work.(The Canadian Press)—(NSElxn-NDP-Candidate)Inappropriate, sexist and homophobic language left lingering on the Internet is exacting a toll on the list of political hopefuls in Nova Scotia’s election, with a third candidate forced to withdraw Tuesday.The Tories sent out a terse news release noting that its candidate for Dartmouth South, Jad Cmogorac, was being dropped because of her social media postings.Her postings included an off-colour date rape joke.The withdrawal came a day after CTV News published excerpts from the Bullpen website of Dartmouth East candidate Bill McEwen, a youthful prospect for the NDP in a riding that appeared to be a hard-fought contest.(The Canadian Press)—(Tories-Nurses)Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservatives are promising to hire 22 new nurse practitioners.They say the new hires will give 13,000 Nova Scotians access to the highly trained medical professionalsTory Leader Jamie Baillie says the nurse practioners will cost $3 million over four years, and the promise comes on top of the $6 million the Liberals announced for new collaborative care teams.Baillie says he is dedicated to improving access to health care services in the province.(The Canadian Press)—(NSElxn-Bears)The Tory candidate for Inverness is calling on the Department of Natural Resources to protect two orphaned bear cubs from being euthanized.Allan MacMaster says the bear cubs were found Monday trying to hide in a wooded area in Inverness County after the mother bear died.He says in an open letter to the department’s deputy minister that there is overwhelming support to change the province’s current policy on rehabilitation for bears in this type of situation.Later Tuesday, the department said both cubs have been placed in wildlife parks and will not be euthanized.(The Canadian Press)—(N.S. Election Roundup by The Canadian Press)