zoom Chinese central government has granted approval for a cruise joint venture between Carnival Corporation, China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and China Investment Capital Corporation (CIC Capital) to officially incorporate in Hong Kong.This news follows a non-binding agreement signed between the joint venture partners and a newly formed China-based shipbuilding joint venture between CSSC and Italy-based Fincantieri S.p.A for the construction of two new Vista-class cruise ships to be built in China, with an option for two additional ships.The cruise joint venture in China will operate the new ships as part of their plans to launch the first multi-ship domestic cruise brand in China.The joint venture in which Carnival Corporation holds a minority interest is expected to initially launch its new domestic Chinese cruise brand using ships that are purchased from Carnival Corporation’s existing fleet and homeported in China.The joint venture would then add new China-built cruise ships starting in 2022 to further accelerate growth in the Chinese cruise market, which is expected to eventually become the largest cruise market in the world.“We are excited about the potential for the first new cruise ships to be built and deployed in China for the enjoyment of Chinese travelers, which will be an important milestone in the development of the Chinese cruise market,” said Alan Buckelew, global chief operations officer for Carnival Corporation. “As we work with our Chinese partners to launch the first domestic Chinese cruise brand in the next few years, being able to offer cruises on China-built cruise ships represents a new opportunity for us to generate excitement and demand for cruising amongst a broader segment of the Chinese vacation market, which is already the largest in the world and continues to see strong growth every year.”
Image Courtesy: Ballast Water CentreAs the entrance into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) approaches, the industry’s sentiment on retrofitting ships with BWM systems seems to shift more to the negative side, based on several industry bodies World Maritime News spoke with.Speaking on the preparedness of shipowners to comply with the new requirements, Yildiz Williams, Senior Marine Consultant, Marine & Offshore, Lloyd’s Register, says that the majority of shipowners are ready in terms of paperwork preparedness – they either already have or are in the process of getting their ballast water management plans ready and approved and getting their internal ballast water management certificates issued.However, in terms of getting ready for the D-2 standard there is generally a lower level of preparedness, but this is because it’s not an immediate requirement after entry into force, following IMO’s decision at MEPC 71 to delay dates for the D-2 standard compliance.Based on LR’s prediction there are about 30,000 vessels that will need to retrofit.“There is a growing number of owners that have fitted systems onboard their vessels and are actively operating their ballast water treatments systems (BWTS) to ensure reliability and crew familiarity,” Thomas Kirk, Director, Environmental Performance, Global Marine, ABS, commented.On the other hand, according to Williams, the biggest concern that the shipowners have is the lack of trust in the technical capability of the ballast water management systems available.This is among the key reasons behind owners’ unwillingness to invest in retrofits, as explained by Williams: “because shipowners don’t see this as a benefit to them.”“However they have to invest to comply with the requirements. If they cannot comply then they cannot operate.”“They want to ensure that the system can operate in different conditions and that it can operate without breaking down. Owners probably do not want to scrap their vessels early so they are willing to invest in retrofits because they want to be compliant,” she added.Speaking from an engineering perspective Kirk says that the engineering involved in retrofitting a BWM system is far from trivial.“Space is a major constraint as are available power and hydraulics. This means that the team must first identify what space and how much power is available, which must be done before determining which systems will be suitable and provide the requisite flow rates. The configuration of ballast tanks is an important factor, especially with respect to the ability to perform treatment or neutralization during discharge.“Owners must consider the impact of treatment during ballasting. Similarly, many systems place constraints on vessels for additional treatment or neutralization during de-ballasting. Owners should also carefully consider the trade and ballast profile of their vessel when determining the best fit from the available technology.”With regard to space-related constraints, Williams said that there are companies that deal with fitting these systems.“But still we encourage our clients to speak to manufacturers and the installation companies early on to understand whether a system is suitable for their technical and operational profile. It is a challenge but it’s not impossible and it can certainly be done and the impact can be reduced if it is well planned in advance. Of course, the ship’s operability will be affected to a certain extent. We also encourage them to speak to us very early on as there are particular class requirements that need to be met as well. LR offers a range of services to the industry on how to select a suitable system and fit it with the least impact,” she added.One of the key issues to be tackled is the training of personnel on how to operate the new equipment, once the BWM systems are installed. “Proper training forms an essential element of a well-implemented ballast water management plan. Some companies have indicated that they are sending their shoreside management as well as their senior officers to vendor-specific training. Others are looking at computer-based and/or video training. Some owners are already in the initial phases of establishing criteria to verify the competency of those trained,” Kirk noted.“As part of a BWM plan all owners and operators must have a training plan in place, this is a mandatory requirement. They have to ensure personnel are trained and that a ballast water management officer is on board – this is not necessarily a person as it is a rank, so if one person leaves then there is a continuity of the BWM officer. It is their responsibility to ensure that the crew onboard are familiar with the requirements of the Convention and if they have a system on board, that they understand how to operate it. LR encourages our clients to speak to the manufacturers early if they are fitting a system so that they are well trained to use it,” Williams cautioned.World Maritime News Staff
zoom French container shipping major CMA CGM has confirmed the order for nine 22,000 TEU containerships while releasing results for the second quarter of 2017.“In order to keep pace with market growth and the group’s needs, the Board of Directors of CMA CGM has approved the order for 9 container ships of 22,000 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU). This order, of which the first ships will come into service from the end of 2019, will further reduce unit transport costs, particularly on the Asia-Europe routes,” the company said.The announcement comes a month after market rumors on the order emerged.The contract is estimated to be worth USD 1.2 bn.To remind, CMA CGM was reported to have signed a letter of intent (LOI) with two Chinese yards on the construction of nine 22,000 TEU megaships, which once completed, will become the world’s largest containerships by TEU capacity.As stipulated in the LOI, CSSC Hudong-Zhonghua would be in charge of constructing five ships from the batch, while Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) would be entrusted with building the remaining four units.However, the company did not provide further details on the ships and their future builders.For the second quarter, CMA CGM saw positive net income of USD 219 million, a major comeback from USD 129 million loss from the corresponding period last year.During the period, volumes carried grew by 33.3% in comparison to Q2 2016, which CMA CGM ascribed to the integration of APL, the launch of Ocean Alliance and the industry dynamism.Furthermore, the increase in freight rates on most of the group’s lines led to a 12.5% increase in average revenues per container in the second quarter of 2017.This led to a rise by +56.8% in consolidated revenues in comparison with Q2 2016, reaching USD 5.55 billion.”Once again, CMA CGM outperforms the industry and demonstrates the excellence of its operational management as well as the relevance of its strategy. During the quarter, we also continued to support the group’s growth with the planned acquisition of Mercosul, opening up the Brazilian domestic market. “The group is also preparing for the future with the order of 9 container ships of 22,000 TEUs which will enable us to continue our development and maintain our competitiveness,” Rodolphe Saadé, the CEO of CMA CGM, said.At the beginning of July, CMA CGM issued a new bond issue for an amount of EUR 650 million, in order to refinance other bonds maturities. On this occasion, the group also concluded an agreement with its core banking partners for a new revolving credit facility of USD 205 million.In terms of the outlook, the container carrier said that given the recent trend in freight rates, and excluding a significant change in fuel prices and exchange rates, it expects to continue to improve its operating results in the second semester.
zoom Manila-based International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) has reached an agreement to buy a 34.83% stake in the Manila North Harbour Port Incorporated (MNHPI).Under the contract, signed on September 21, the company would purchase 10,449,000 shares in the port from the Philippines’ oil refining major Petron Corporation.ICTSI is paying a total consideration of PHP 1.75 billion (USD 34.5 million) in cash for the MNHPI’s outstanding shares. The purchase price would be paid on closing date which is on October 30, 2017.“The transaction will allow ICTSI to contribute its experience, expertise and state-of the-art technology and infrastructure to enhance the operational efficiency of the domestic terminal in the Port of Manila and improve the traffic condition in Metro Manila,” ICTSI said in a stock exchange filing.“This transaction will further improve the returns of ICTSI’s shareholders through this value-accretive acquisition,” the company added.The completion of the sale purchase agreement is subject to several conditions, including approval of the transaction by the Philippine Ports Authority.MNHPI is a Philippine entity engaged in domestic port terminal business at the Manila North Harbour under contract with the Philippine Ports Authority.It operates a 52.5-hectare multi-purpose port terminal used in handling general cargo and passenger accommodation. It services close to 4,000 vessels per year, according to MNHPI’s website.
zoom The cruises segment was one of the growth drivers for Germany-based TUI Group in 2017, which was another positive year for the group. Despite a challenging market environment, TUI increased its underlying EBITA by 12 percent to EUR* 1.1 billion from EUR 1 billion seen in 2016.In addition, the group delivered turnover growth of 11.7 percent. The turnover rose to EUR 19.2 billion in 2017 from EUR 17.2 billion recorded in 2016.“For the third consecutive year, we have delivered double-digit growth in our operating result. More than half of our earnings are delivered by TUI’s hotel and cruise companies. Our successful strategic realignment is also clearly reflected in our set of results. Thanks to the strong growth of our hotel and cruise brands, TUI now delivers stronger margins and is less seasonal,” Fritz Joussen, TUI CEO, said at the presentation of the results for financial year 2017 – October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017 – in London.“Our business profile is now much more evenly structured across the entire year. The clear focus on investments in high-margin hotels and ships was the core of the strategy for the new TUI following the merger in 2014,” Joussen added.Since the first half of financial year 2017, the cruises segment has comprised the results of all three cruise companies – TUI Cruises, Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. In the period under review, the segment delivered a 33.9 percent growth in underlying EBITDA, which increased to EUR 255.6 million from EUR 190.9 million.In June 2017, Mein Schiff 6 joined TUI Cruises’ fleet and in 2018, the new Mein Schiff 1 will be launched.Additionally, the Marella Cruises’ fleet has continued with its modernization – in the period under review, it launched Marella Discovery 2.As explained, the fleet operated by TUI’s subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will also be expanded and modernized in the medium term. In calendar year 2019, the newbuilds Hanseatic nature and Hanseatic inspiration will join the fleet.* EUR 1 equals USD 1.17 as of December 13.
zoom Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, part of South Korean Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, revealed that it has completed the world’s first very large crude carrier fitted with an exhaust gas cleaning system which meets the IMO’s 2020 Sulfur Cap requirements.The supper large tanker, boasting 310,000 in dwt and a length of 336 meters, features a SOx scrubber, which can reduce sulfur oxide emissions to less than 0.5 pct from the existing 3.5 pct, according to the shipbuilder.The gas cleaning system is 11 meters high and 8.3 meters wide and uses seawater to clean the exhaust gas waste.The VLCC, named Almi Atlas, is also described as highly energy efficient mainly due to the high-tech rudder and propulsion technology installed onboard.Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries hosted a naming ceremony for the green tanker on Tuesday, March 13. It is the first of two ships ordered by Greek shipowner Almi Tankers in August 2016.The shipbuilder believes the gas cleaning technology would enable it to become the preferred builder of green vessels of the future that would need to replace the outdated vessels in order for shipowners to comply with the 2020 Sulfur cap.Estimates from Clarkson Research indicate that about 10 percent of the total of 92,000 of world’s vessels which will be 20-years old in two years would have to be replaced with environmentally-friendly units.World Maritime News Staff
zoom A potential trade war, which could emerge on the back of US’ recently unveiled tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, would be harmful for the global shipping industry, according to BIMCO.Although the impact of US steel and aluminium tariffs, revealed on March 1 and scheduled to enter into force on March 23, 2018, on shipping is still unknown, a major trade action against China is now also likely to come from the US.As steel and aluminium import barriers are set by the US, trading partners like the EU, Japan and China, may set their own import barriers against e.g. agricultural products in general or more politically targeted products hitting Trump’s constituency.“All trade-restrictive measures are in principle bad for shipping,” Peter Sand, BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst, said.“Open economies are all better off from trading, as they make use of their resources in the most optimal way. The result of a trade war is more expensive goods of lower quality and little variety. This goes for all products and commodities,” Sand added.Under the American President’s metals tariff plan the US would put a 25% tariff on imports of steel and a 10% tariff on imports of aluminium.The international atmosphere is full of threats of retaliation and it appears likely that major trading partners with the US, like the EU and China, will hit back to draw a line in the sand for the US Administration and President Trump.Since 2009, implementation of trade-restrictive measures among global trading partners has become more widespread according to World Trade Organisation (WTO).The African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) proved to be the latest of its kind. Leaders of 44 African countries created one of the world’s largest free trade deals on March 21 to remove barriers to trade and allow the free flow of goods and services between the members.“Overall we are seeing more trade-restrictive measures introduced. Some more high profile than others. This is a worrying trend that limits demand for shipping globally.”“Even worse for shipping could be short-sighted political positions that may have lasting consequences for everyone involved in global industries like shipping if a largescale trade war emerges,” Sand concludes.
zoomIllustration; Source: PxHere under CC0 Creative Commons license The U.S.-based ship owner and operator Eagle Bulk Shipping has taken delivery of the first of six Ultramax drybulk vessels purchased earlier this year.The 2015-built ship has been renamed the M/V Dublin Eagle. The high specification SDARI-64 Ultramax vessel, fitted with a scrubber, was built at Jiangsu New Hantong Ship Heavy Industry.Four of the six bulkers, acquired through two separate deals, will be delivered with scrubbers. The additions are a part of Eagle Bulk Shipping’s fleet renewal strategy.“Coupled with our existing scrubber initiative, we believe these acquisitions increase our leverage to the opportunities IMO 2020 will present,” Gary Vogel, Eagle Bulk’s CEO, earlier noted.In July 2019, the company said it would offer USD 100 million aggregate principal amount of Convertible Senior Notes due 2024 in a private placement, in a move to secure funds to finance a portion of the total price of the six Ultramaxes.Once it takes delivery of the five remaining units, Eagle Bulk Shipping, one of the world’s largest owner-operators within the Supramax/Ultramax segment, will have a fleet of 50 ships, including 20 Ultramax drybulk vessels acquired over the last 36 months.,Four of the six bulkers, acquired through two separate deals, will be delivered with scrubbers. The additions are a part of Eagle Bulk Shipping’s fleet renewal strategy.“Coupled with our existing scrubber initiative, we believe these acquisitions increase our leverage to the opportunities IMO 2020 will present,” Gary Vogel, Eagle Bulk’s CEO, earlier noted.In July 2019, the company said it would offer USD 100 million aggregate principal amount of Convertible Senior Notes due 2024 in a private placement, in a move to secure funds to finance a portion of the total price of the six Ultramaxes.
The criteria for Queen’s counsel appointments include: Twelve Nova Scotia lawyers were appointed today, Dec. 19, asQueen’s counsel. Justice Minister Michael Baker made personalphone calls to each lawyer to congratulate them for beingrecognized for their contributions to the practice of law. “These individuals have earned the respect of their colleaguesand clients, and have demonstrated leadership in theirprofession,” said Mr. Baker. “They have also been keen supportersof legal scholarship, teaching and continuing legal education. Weappreciate their efforts.” The appointees, their firms and the year they were called to thebar, include: Gerald MacDonald, LeBlanc MacDonald, Port Hawkesbury, 1973; Michael King, Cooper and MacDonald, Halifax, 1973; Ross Haynes, The Haynes Group of Lawyers, Halifax, 1975; Louise Poirier, Nova Scotia Department of Justice, Halifax, 1975; Patrick Burke, Burke and MacDonald, Lunenburg, 1978; Michael Donovan, Department of Justice (Canada), Halifax, 1978; Harvey Morrison, McInnes Cooper, Halifax, 1979; Peter Lederman, Archibald and Lederman, Truro, 1980; Mark David, Baxter Harris Heonakis, Halifax, 1982; Jan McKenzie, Cox Hanson O’Reilly Matheson, Halifax, 1984; Geoffrey Machum, Stewart McKelvey Stirling Scales, Halifax, 1985; Robert Fetterly, Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service, Halifax, 1984. a minimum of 15 years as a member of the bar of Nova Scotia; demonstrated professional integrity, good character and outstanding contributions to the practice of law; consideration of regional, gender and minority representation. Recommendations were made to cabinet by a nine-member advisorycommittee chaired by Justice Walter Goodfellow of the SupremeCourt of Nova Scotia. Members of the committee are RobertBelliveau, Q.C., Jamie Campbell, Q.C., D.A. (Sandy) Fairbanks,Q.C., Craig Garson, Q.C., Guy LaFosse, Q.C., Carman McCormick,Q.C., Valerie Miller, Q.C., Karen Ralph and David Wallace, Q.C.
Motorists are advised there will be a one-lane closure on Highway101 eastbound between Ellershouse and Stillwater from Friday,April 23 to Sunday, April 25. This is to allow road crews tocarry out inspection work on the highway. The closure will be in effect between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m on Fridayand between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Traffic control will consist of signage and motorists are askedto exercise extra caution when driving in this area. -30- TRANSPORTATION/PUBLIC WORKS–Traffic Advisory, Lane Closure onHighway 101
Sasha Irving is the new press secretary, Premier Rodney MacDonald announced today, March 9. Ms. Irving has been a consultant at MT&L Public Relations in Halifax since fall 2003, working extensively on corporate, media and community relations. Before joining MT&L, she served as press secretary to former premier John Hamm during the 2003 provincial election. “Ms. Irving has a proven track record with media and government relations,” said Premier MacDonald. “She has a great reputation as someone who can handle real challenges effectively.” “I’m looking forward to working with her, as our government moves forward with our plans for a more prosperous, optimistic future for Nova Scotia families.” Ms. Irving has also worked as event manager for the Halifax Chamber of Commerce and in the oil and gas industry as director of business operations for the Offshore Onshore Technologies Association of Nova Scotia(OTANS). Ms. Irving has a marketing degree from Mount Allison University.
HANTS COUNTY: Newport Station Overpass, Wentworth Road Extension There will be a one lane closure that will stop traffic for up to 20 minutes on the Newport Station Overpass on the Wentworth Road Extension on Thursday, Nov. 23 for installation of girders. Traffic control consist of traffic control persons. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-798-5957 Fax: 902-798-2927
The province launched a public safety campaign today, Feb. 25, that highlights the critical importance of having a clearly posted civic number in front of every home, service organization and business. Emergency Management Minister David Morse kicked off the Sign up for Safety campaign by providing blue and white civic number signs to six households in the Lawrencetown area of Halifax Regional Municipality. “This is an important public safety initiative — one that will assist first responders in being able to quickly locate those in need of help,” said Mr. Morse. “Posting your civic number can save your life or the life of a loved one.” Television advertisements for the campaign will air in March. Without clearly posted civic numbers to guide them, police, paramedics and firefighters can be challenged in quickly locating the address of a 911 call. “In times of emergency, seconds count,” said Chief Tom Bremner, president of the Fire Service Association of Nova Scotia. “One of the easiest and most effective ways people can ensure that emergency responders can find them quickly in an emergency is by making sure their civic number is easily visible from the road.” For a list of suppliers of blue-and-white civic number signs visit the Emergency Management Office’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/emo . Nova Scotia’s four 911 call centres in Dartmouth, Sydney, Truro and Kentville, employ 165 call-takers, who handle about 170,000 calls per year. The Emergency Management Office is responsible for delivering the provincewide 911 emergency reporting service. FOR BROADCAST USE The province launched a public safety campaign today (February 25th), that highlights the importance of having a clearly posted civic number in front of every home, service organization and business. Emergency Management Minister David Morse kicked off the Sign up for Safety campaign by providing blue and white civic number signs to six households in the Lawrencetown area of Halifax Regional Municipality. Television advertisements for the campaign will air in March. Emergency Management Minister David Morse said this important public safety initiative will assist first responders in being able to quickly locate those in need of help. A list of blue-and-white civic number sign suppliers is available on the Emergency Management Office’s website at W-W-W dot gov dot N-S dot C-A slash E-M-O. -30-
Upper Clements Park is set to expand skyward with an aerial adventure park to draw more visitors and create jobs. The non-profit organization that owns and manages the Annapolis County park plans to enhance the local economy by building the attraction on 187 acres of adjacent Crown lands being purchased from the province. “With this land sale, the province is continuing to deliver on its commitment to support the economy, in this case, by stimulating the tourism industry and helping create jobs in Southwestern Nova Scotia,” said Charlie Parker, Minister of Natural Resources. There are about 75,000 visits to the Upper Clements Park annually. The new aerial park and subsequent phases of the proposed development are expected to attract 35,000 more visits per year and create about 40 new jobs. “The feasibility study on this development supports our vision of the lands and will enhance the parks’ position as an important tourism and economic generator for the region and province,” said David Brown, chair of the Hanse Society, which owns the park. “The park already employs 150 people and contributes millions of dollars in spinoffs to nearby communities, so this expansion will bring the region even greater prosperity.” Upper Clements Park won the 2010 Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia’s Innovator award for enhancing the province’s tourism product offering and for leadership, vision and commitment to the industry. “Acquiring this land from the province is the critical first step in developing this multi-phase Adventure Park project,” said Gregg Gaul, park general manager. “This will enable us to open the first phase this fall, the centerpiece aerial park, a network of zip lines and elevated obstacle courses that will thrill our visitors and boost the region’s economy.” Other phases that open next year include cross country BMX-style biking courses, horse back riding trails, and a paint ball arena. Survival camping expeditions and camping in huts, known as yurts, will also be offered. The province will receive $10,030 for the Crown land. Architectural design work for the aerial park phase has begun.
The province is partnering with the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation to better support the early growth and development of children by providing improved access to more resources for young families. Margaret McCain today, July 10, announced the foundation will provide a $500,000 grant to help establish the province’s first early years centres in three communities across the province. Premier Darrell Dexter and Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Ramona Jennex joined Ms. McCain at the Halifax Developmental Centre for Early Learning to welcome the news. “It’s important for families of young children to have a place to go when they have questions and need support,” said Premier Dexter. “These early years centres will ensure parents have access to all the supports they need in one place. “I want to thank Margaret McCain and the foundation for working with the province on this important initiative. Today’s children are the future of Nova Scotia, and together we can make sure that they get the best possible start in life.” The early years centres will provide a variety of resources based on a community’s needs, including early learning programs, regulated child care, before- and after-school programs, parent education and early intervention. Under its Early Childhood Centre Initiative, the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation will provide $100,000 a year, for the next five years, to help establish the centres. “We are pleased to partner with the government of Nova Scotia as it creates the first tier of life-long learning,” said Ms. McCain. “The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has the important task of turning a service patchwork into a comprehensive system for young children and their families, while keeping a link to a powerful asset, public education.” In April, the province announced it would create early years centres across the province to provide support for young children and their families at accessible locations in the community. The centres will build on the highly successful SchoolsPlus model and will help bring seamless access to regulated child care, early learning programs, early intervention and parent education. “I am very thankful for the support of the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation,” said Ms. Jennex. “The first six years of a child’s life are vitally important to development, so it’s crucial that families have access to the best care and programs needed for their child. The early years centres will build on the success of current resources and help create a well-integrated system.” The first three locations will be determined in the coming months. Also announced today was the Provincial Early Years Partnership, a committee of government and non-government representatives from child care, education and health with a shared focus on early childhood development. The committee will work with the new Early Years Branch as it charts a quality system for early childhood development in Nova Scotia. “I’m excited to be working with the Early Years Branch,” said Gerard Kysela, board vice-chair of the Early Intervention Association of Nova Scotia. “Integration of services for children, from before birth to age 6, and their families, is important to optimize the developmental outcome for young children, and provide strong supports for families and communities.” Earlier this year, the province expanded the Department of Education to include an early years branch, creating the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. It will develop a comprehensive plan for checkups with families when a child is 18 months old and again at 36 months. The visits are designed to identify a child’s needs early, to ensure supports are in place when the child starts school. All of these steps are based on feedback in response to the Early Years discussion paper released in May. More than 1,000 Nova Scotians attended focus groups and interested groups sessions and provided written submissions on how to improve supports for children and families.
LUNENBURG COUNTY: LaHave Ferry The LaHave Ferry is out of service because of hydraulic problems. Repairs will begin as soon as possible. Check 511 for updates. -30-
Work is underway to restore a key piece of infrastructure for Lunenburg County residents. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has finished preliminary design work to replace the large steel culvert on Bruhm Road, near Bridgewater, that was washed away during a storm in December. Staff have also completed surveys of the site, stabilized the embankment with rock, and removed the steel structure that washed downstream. The replacement is expected to be an open-bottom structure. The department will now be seeking the usual required regulatory approval before tendering the construction. Construction is anticipated to begin this summer and be completed by fall. -30-
RBC, one of Canada’s largest employers in the financial services sector, has signed an incentive agreement with Nova Scotia Business Inc. to expand in Nova Scotia. It will open a new finance-shared services centre to support new digital image cheque processing operations and a number of finance and accounting services. RBC will create 150 new positions this year in cheque processing, accounts payable and fixed asset accounting. The recruitment program was launched today, March 11, and hiring will begin immediately. Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) worked with RBC over the past year in choosing Nova Scotia for its new centre. “Nova Scotia Business Inc. is attracting financial services companies like RBC and the high-value jobs they create,” said Laurel Broten, president and CEO, NSBI. “This sector has demonstrated significant growth in Nova Scotia of 21 per cent between 2003 and 2013.” The agreement signed with RBC estimates the potential for up to 500 new jobs within 10 years. If RBC creates 500 new jobs in the next 10 years, the company would add an estimated $240 million in salaries and benefits to the Nova Scotia economy. The new employees would pay provincial personal income taxes of about $26 million. As a result, the company can earn up to a capped $22 million in payroll rebates through Nova Scotia Business Inc.’s Strategic Investment Funds. “Nova Scotia offers what we are looking for to support our new centre,” said Roger Howard, RBC regional president, Atlantic Provinces. “It provides a skilled workforce, supported by leading post-secondary institutions. It has the real estate, technology and infrastructure of a major Canadian urban centre that can support our future expansion. “We are proud to continue our growth in this region which has always been a critical market for us, dating back to when we began in Halifax in 1864 as the Merchant’s Bank.” RBC in Nova Scotia employs over 900 people who serve more than 410,000 clients, from 63 branches and an Atlantic headquarters. Last year, RBC donated more than $1.8 million to local charities in Nova Scotia and RBC employees volunteer extensively across the region in support of local communities. The bank continues to bring events to the region including the Nova Scotia Open/RBC Canada Cup. The new RBC centre will be located in Bedford. Information regarding career opportunities related to this initiative can be found at www.rbc.com/careers/ .
Bengaluru: Girish Karnad, a Jnanpith winner, multi-lingual scholar, master playwright, screenwriter, actor, director and a colossus in India’s cultural landscape, passed away at his residence here on Monday, an official said. He was 81. “Karnad died at his home at around 8.30 a.m. due to age-related symptoms,” an official in the Karnataka Chief Minister’s office told IANS. The veteran artist is survived by his son Raghu, a writer and a journalist. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist According to a family source, Karnad succumbed to multi-organ failure at his residence on Lavelle Road in the city’s upscale locality near the famous Cubbon Park. The state government declared a day’s holiday on Monday as a mark of respect to Karnad and a three-day mourning will be observed across the state till June 12. “The scheduled state cabinet expansion on Wednesday has also been postponed to a later date,” said the official. “Karnad will be cremated with state honours in the city as per Hindu rites,” the official added. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, former Prime Minister and Janata Dal-Secular supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D.V. Sadananda Gowda have mourned Karnad’s death and offered their condolences to his family members and relatives. “Girish Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums. He also spoke passionately on causes dear to him. His works will continue being popular in the years to come. Saddened by his demise. May his soul rest in peace,” tweeted Modi. In addition to the Jnanpith Award in 1988, he was also honoured with the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan, apart from four National Film Awards and a Sahitya Akademi honour. He was a reputed scholar who raised his voice on socio-political issues. In a career spanning six decades, Karnad acted in Kannada, Hindi and Marathi films, which were both mainstream and parallel cinema. He also featured in television serials, including the famous “Malgudi Days”, based on the works of renowned Indian English author, R.K. Narayan. He also bagged four Filmfare awards, including three for best director of “Vamsha Vriksha” in 1972, “Kaadu” in 1974 and “Ondanondu Kaladalli” in 1978 and one for best screenplay for “Gadhuli” in 1980 along with another noted Kannada film director B.V. Karanth. Karnad, who straddled the worlds of theatre and cinema in various languages, was born on May 19, 1938 in Matheran. He graduated from the Karnataka University, and was a Rhodes Scholar in the University of Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics and economics. He was celebrated internationally for his plays such as the first acclaimed “Yayati” in 1961 while he was at Oxford in Britain, historical “Tughlaq” (1964) and “Agni Mattu Male” and three seminal works “Hayavadana” (1971), “Nagamandala” (1988) and “Taledanda” (1990). “These works link folklore, mythology, and history while tackling the contemporary crisis of the modern man,” a Kannada literary critic said. Karnad used creativity in merging folk and historic references to modernism, capturing changes in India’s cultural, social and economic changes since independence in 1947. His plays were translated into English and various Indian languages. “Samskara”, based on a novel by famous Kannada writer U.R. Ananthamurthy, won the first President’s Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema in 1970. He wrote its screenplay and played the lead role in it. For television audiences, Karnad may be best remembered as Swami’s father in the much-loved “Malgudi Days” or as the presenter of Doordarshan’s science show “Turning Point”, while for Hindi movie audiences, his roles in “Manthan”, “Nishant”, “Pukar”, “Iqbal”, “Dor” and “Ek Tha Tiger” left an impact. Karnad also directed films and wrote scripts for dialogues in Kannada and Hindi films and plays. He was the seventh recipient of the Jnanpith in Karnataka and 34th across the country for rich contribution to Indian literature. Karnad also served as director of the state-run Film and Television Institute of India (1974-1975) at Pune and was Chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi and National Academy of the Performing Arts (1988-93). The multi-faceted author and playwright hosted a weekly science programme on state-run Doordarshan titled “Turning Point”. Featuring Indian scientist Yash Pal, the award-winning show explained complex, modern scientific discoveries in simple language. Even as Karnad aged, he participated in panel discussions and literature festivals to discuss his work.
New Delhi: Five-time Congress MP from West Bengal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, will be the party leader in the Lok Sabha, top party sources said Tuesday. Chowdhury’s name was cleared by the top party leadership after which a letter of his appointment was handed over to the Lok Sabha secretariat, they said. The party, however, remained tight-lipped officially on his appointment. Chaudhary too feigned ignorance about his appointment. Asked about his appointment, he said the issue of who would lead the Congress in the Lower House of Parliament was not discussed in the party leaders’ meeting at Sonia Gandhi’s residence this morning. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France Chowdhury was part of the top Congress leaders’ meeting at Gandhi’s residence. The meeting was also attended by, among others, party leader K Suresh from Kerala, who too is likely to get an important role. The Congress failed to secure the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha as it did not get the requisite 10 per cent seats in the House required for the post. This is for the second time in a row that the Grand Old Party has failed to get the post. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize Chowdhury is a five-time MP from West Bengal and has not lost the Lok Sabha election since 1999. He currently represents the Berhampore Lok Sabha constituency in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. Chowdhury has also been a member of the West Bengal assembly from 1996 to 1999. He has been the chief of the West Bengal Congress, besides also being the minister of state for railways between 2012 and 2014 during the UPA government. Chowdhury’s fighting spirit helped him win the party’s confidence, said sources. Mallikarjun Kharge was the leader of the Congress in the previous Lok Sabha but he lost the election this time, forcing the party to decide on another name.