zoom The first shipment of US shale gas has arrived in the UK today aboard the LPG tanker JS Ineos Insight, operated by Swiss-based chemicals giant Ineos.The tanker was heading to Ineos’ Grangemouth plant in Scotland, where it was set to unload 27,500 cubic metres of ethane extracted from beneath western Pennsylvania, US.The shipment is said to be the result of a GBP 1.6 billion (USD 2 billion) investment in eight tankers which would connect the US with the UK and Norway.The cargo aboard the 2015-built vessel arrives in the country a day after the Scottish Labor party called for a ban on fracking, a process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.The Scottish Government announced a memorandum on all planning consents for unconventional oil and gas extraction, including fracking for shale gas, in early 2015.At the beginning of September, another Ineos’ vessel, JS Ineos Intrepid, loaded the first cargo of ethane to be exported from Morgan’s Point, Texas terminal, operated by US-based provider of midstream energy services Enterprise Products Partners L.P.The tanker, carrying some 265,000 barrels of ethane, sailed from Morgan’s Point to the Ineos facility at Rafnes in Norway.NOTE: The original article was amended on October 6, 2016. The original article stated that the LPG tanker Ineos Intrepid and not Ineos Insight delivered the first US shale cargo to the UK.World Maritime News Staff
zoom While tanker demand dictates trade volumes and tanker routes, the volatility of fleet growth on the supply side may have a pronounced impact on freight rates, according to the latest report from McQuilling Services.Ton-mile data for crude/dirty petroleum product tankers (DPP) and clean petroleum product tankers (CPP) shows relatively steady annual demand growth of 1-3% on average, allowing for the ebbs and flows of supply fundamentals to influence the direction of the market.As the market continues to absorb deliveries from robust ordering activity in previous years, freight rates remain under pressure. The low earnings environment for significant parts of this year, combined with financial constraints and banking issues at shipyards, have contributed to a weak contracting year, comparable to 2011 and 2012.Through October 25, McQuilling Services recorded 96 newbuilding orders, including 61 crude carriers and 35 product tankers, which represents a significant drop from 196 orders in 2014 and 339 orders in 2015.Another trend to make note of this year is the significant amount of order cancellations as many of the major shipyards have suffered severe financial losses. In particular is South Korea’s STX Offshore and Shipbuilding (STX) who posted a net loss of over USD 105 million in the first quarter of 2016 and has become insolvent, forcing lenders to effectively “own” the yard using debt-for-equity swaps.Through August, shipbuilding orders at STX were down 72% year-on-year, to USD 1.2 billion in contracts, while some tanker owners, including Frontline and Navig8 Chemical Tankers, canceled orders for VLCCs and MRs recently.“Looking forward to 2017, we are expecting DPP net fleet growth of 5.6% on an average inventory basis. The growth stems from a surge in ordering of 120 vessels in 2014 and 226 in 2015, resulting in a projected 160 additions to the dirty trading fleet in 2017,” McQuilling Services said, adding that, even with the expectation of 51 crude carrier exits next year, rates are likely to be pressured from the oversupply.Beyond 2017, a marked shift in the supply fundamentals could be expected. With 2016 contacting activity of just 96 vessels and the expectation of below average ordering activity in 2017 amid a softer earnings environment, a tightening of supply growth in the years from 2018 to 2020 is projected for both CPP and DPP.
zoom Marsol International has signed a two-year contract with Oman Oil Company Exploration & Production (OOCEP) for the provision and management of the marine and offshore activities related to the tanker loading.The services will be provided via the single point mooring (SPM) offshore marine terminal including maintenance works, vessels, equipment, and manpower.“Following the successful exportation of the first and second crude oil from the Musandam gas plant we are delighted to have been selected to support OOCEP for the next two years. Our tanker operations and our product transfer services ensure safe and efficient mooring and unmooring at the SPM,” Mike Young, Director of Marsol International, commented. The Musandam gas plant, located on the west coast of the Musandam Peninsula, has a processing capacity of up to 20,000 barrels of crude, 45 million cubic feet of gas and 75 tons of LPG per day.Based in Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Marsol focuses on commercial and technical marine service solutions for SPM and offshore terminals.
zoom Danish Port of Esbjerg has received a new multiterminal covering 116,000 m2 in East Port area.The facility, which was put into operation by transport and logistics company Blue Water Shipping, will be using the port’s two RoRo ramps completed at the end of 2017.When the terminal is finished in the spring, it will comprise four fully automatic gates and 1,600 m2 of workshops, washing facilities and offices.“RoRo traffic has always been one of the core business areas for the Port of Esbjerg. The new terminal is ideally located in relation to the two new RoRo ramps, which we completed in the autumn, and traffic will have direct access to the E20 motorway from the terminal area,” Ole Ingrisch, Port Director, said.The wind turbine industry has introduced RoRo vessels to its logistics concept and is using the existing ramps. The port is also experiencing increased use by existing RoRo customers.The new terminal has been put into operation earlier than planned because Danish shipping and logistics firm DFDS said that it would be giving up its current areas at the port to use the new terminal instead for its Immingham-Esbjerg route.
zoom Following a seasonal surge in December 2017, the US seaborne export of oil products reached the highest annual level ever, in terms of volume and tonne miles demand. Volumes of US seaborne exports of oil products has increased by 9% in 2017 compared to 2016. This amounts to an additional export of 10.8 million tonnes – equivalent to 80 million barrels. The average seaborne exports of US oil products in 2017 was 2.7 million barrels per day, compared to 2.5 million barrels per day in 2016.The US seaborne exports of oil products saw an annual decrease in tonne mile demand for 2014, 2015 and 2016, as the average sailing distance decreased more than the volumes increased. However, for 2017, the tonne mile demand is up 9% compared to 2016, as both volumes and average sailing distances are increasing.“The recent development in exported oil products from the US provides the oil product tanker shipping industry with steady growth in volumes and yet again growth in tonne miles demand. Overall, we see oil product tankers operating in an improving market in 2018, with better market fundamentals for both demand and supply,” Peter Sand, BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst, said.“Still, the oil product tanker sector may only break-even in 2018, if demand growth is low throughout the year,” Sand added.With 15 out of the top 20 importers based in the Americas, 76% of all oil products exported via the sea are bound for destinations on the American continent, which is underlined by the short average sailing distance of 3,270 nautical miles.According to BIMCO, ports based in Texas and Louisiana on the US Gulf Coast, are responsible for 80% of all seaborne oil products exported in 2017.
zoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: Pxhere under CC 2.0 license Athens-based shipping company Diana Shipping has inked a new time charter contract with Geneva’s Cargill International for one of its Kamsarmax dry bulk vessels, the m/v Medusa.As informed, the gross charter rate for the 82,194 dwt ship is USD 14,000 per day for a period of minimum thirteen to maximum fifteen months.This time the gross charter rate is considerably higher, compared to USD 10,000 per day agreed during the vessel’s previous deployment.The new charter period commenced yesterday, Diana Shipping said.This employment of the 2010-built bulker is anticipated to generate approximately USD 5.46 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the time charter, according to the company.Diana Shipping’s fleet currently comprises 50 dry bulk vessels. As of today, the combined carrying capacity of the company’s fleet is approximately 5.8 million dwt with a weighted average age of 9.03 years.
zoomImage by WMN Uncertain market conditions coupled with international sanctions against Russia have delayed yet again the planned initial public offering (IPO) of the country’s largest shipping company Sovcomflot, Reuters reported citing the company’s CEO Sergei Frank.Hence, the company plans to wait out until the shipping market recovers in full in order to list its shares. As explained by Frank, despite signs of market rebound in the fourth quarter of last year, this is far from the historical average the company is waiting for.Russia owns 100% stake in the company and is seeking to sell 25% stake targeting around 24 billion rubles (USD 358 million). Earlier reports suggested that the preferred investors would be small-scale rather than a strategic buyer as Moscow would like to keep control of the company’s management.The privatization process, aimed at collecting fresh funds for the company, have been faced with several delays over the past few years.Sovcomflot managed to return to the black in the third quarter ended September 30, 2018, amid signs of a better balance in the tanker market.Namely, the company reported a net profit of USD 0.3 million for the period, against a loss of USD 22 million seen in the same quarter a year earlier.World Maritime News Staff
zoomIllustration. Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Monaco-based boxship owner and operator Navios Maritime Containers has seen its revenues rise in the first quarter of 2019 due to a larger fleet operating during the period.Revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2019 was USD 31.8 million, as compared to USD 29.9 million reported in the same quarter a year earlier.TCE per day declined to USD 12,217 from USD 15,259 reported in the first quarter of 2018, primarily as a result of the expiration of contracts between the two periods.Net income for the quarter was at USD 0.1 million compared to USD 3 million reported a year earlier. The change was due to a USD 3.7 million decrease in EBITDA, USD 2.2 million increase in interest expense and finance cost, net related to the financing of new vessels; and USD 0.5 million increase in amortization of deferred drydock and special survey costs, in each case, relating to the increase in the size of the fleet.“In a little more than two years, Navios Containers grew its fleet to 30 containerships, acquiring the fleet for a price close to the related scrap value,” Angeliki Frangou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said.“Most recently, Navios Containers acquired two 2011-built 10,000 TEU containerships for USD 105 million, reflecting a 30% discount to newbuild parity. These containerships are on long-term time charters at around USD 27,000 per day that should generate cumulative EBITDA of USD 35.2 million,” Frangou added.
Nova Scotians are being asked to comment on workplace violence prevention codes of practice for three specific workplace sectors. Retail stores, gas outlets, and taxi services all share similar violence risks. The codes were developed by the Department of Environment and Labour’s occupational health and safety division so that these businesses can adopt ready-made guidelines that fulfil their obligation to have a violence prevention plan in place by April 1, 2008. “Employers that are subject to Nova Scotia’s workplace violence prevention regulations have to complete their risk assessments by Oct. 1,” said acting Environment and Labour Minister Brooke Taylor. “Their next step will be to develop a prevention plan, or adopt the applicable Code of Practice — by April.” Mr. Taylor noted that the department has worked to ensure employers are aware of the new regulations since they were passed on April 4. A brochure and sample risk-assessment template was distributed by Canada Post to 28,000 Nova Scotia business addresses in May. “Some employers may not have their assessments ready and I know everyone’s busy,” Mr. Taylor said. “But now is the time to get started. Employers who need more information can call 1-800-9LABOUR (1-800-952-2687) or visit our website.” Employers are not required to submit their assessment, but must have them available for review at the workplace for all staff and for occupational health and safety officer inspections. Employees concerned that their workplace is not in compliance can raise it with their occupational health and safety committee or officer, or call Environment and Labour to ask for assistance. The department hosted a popular series of public information sessions on workplace violence risk assessment this past summer, in partnership with NSCC. More sessions planned for October will focus on the next phase of compliance — development of a prevention plan. Employers looking for more resources or help understanding the issue will find them at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, which offers free e-learning courses about workplace violence awareness and prevention at www.ccohs.ca . Consultation on the new codes of practice will be open until Oct. 26. Comments may be submitted by phone, fax, e-mail or mail. The codes are available at www.gov.ns.ca/enla , or by calling 902-424-8486.
Women who want to try something a little different this winter can participate in a weekend of fishing, hunting and other outdoor experiences. The three-day workshop, called Becoming an Outdoors Woman, will be held at the Nova Scotia Gaelic College of Arts and Crafts in St. Anns, Victoria Co., from Feb. 8 to 10. “This is a great opportunity for women to participate in activities they might not normally have an opportunity to try,” said Ron Chisholm, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Becoming an Outdoors Woman was created in 1991 in response to barriers that may discourage women from participating in some outdoor activities. The program is active in most provinces and states. The February weekend will introduce women to cross country skiing, winter camping, wild edibles, ice fishing, winter tracking and survival. All sessions are at an introductory level and equipment is provided. Program partners are the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Cross Country Ski Nova Scotia, Department of Natural Resources, and Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. For more information contact Becoming an Outdoors Woman at 902-424-5832 or e-mail BOWNS@gov.ns.ca .
Drivers on Trunk 14, west of Trunk 2, will soon be travelling on smoother, stronger pavement, thanks to a road-paving tender announced by the province. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal called for tenders to repave Trunk 14 from the intersection of Garden Road, east for 9.3 kilometres to the intersection of Trunk 2. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of this summer. “Trunk 14 is an important route into the Rawdon Hills,” said Murray Scott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “This project will provide improved road connection between Shubenacadie and the Rawdon area.” This project is part of government’s commitment to better roads and infrastructure as outlined in the speech from the throne. The department’s 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.
Two new chief Crown attorneys were named today, Nov. 3, by Martin Herschorn, director of the Public Prosecution Service. Denise Smith was appointed chief Crown attorney, of the Halifax region and Andrew Macdonald was appointed chief Crown attorney of special prosecutions. “Both Ms. Smith and Mr. Macdonald are distinguished lawyers whose experience, abilities and leadership will be an invaluable asset to the Public Prosecution Service in their new roles as chief Crown attorneys,” said Mr. Herschorn. A native of Halifax, Ms. Smith completed her undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University. She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto in 1989 and articled with the law firm of Patterson Kitz. She was admitted to the bar in 1990 and was appointed a Crown attorney in 1991. Ms. Smith has conducted prosecutions and appeals at every level of court in the province and before the Supreme Court of Canada. She was appointed a senior Crown attorney in 1996 and was designated a senior Crown counsel in 2003, a designation recognizing exceptional competence in courtroom skills, trial and appellate practice, and related skills and abilities. Ms. Smith was appointed a regional Crown attorney (administrative) for the Halifax region in 2004. Ms. Smith has presented dozens of papers on a variety of legal topics. She serves on several Public Prosecution Service committees including the education committee. She chairs the sexual assault working group and is co-chair of the employee recognition and wellness committee. Ms. Smith also sits on Department of Justice committees dealing with domestic violence and is an active member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society serving on several bar committees. Mr. Macdonald is a native of Herring Cove. He completed his undergraduate honours degree at Saint Mary’s University in 1984 and graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1988. Mr. Macdonald articled with the Truro law firm of Burchell, MacDougall and Gruchy in 1988 and was called to the bar in 1989. He practiced with that law firm for several years. In 1993 Mr. Macdonald was appointed a Crown attorney. He has appeared in both Provincial and Supreme courts. He was appointed a senior Crown attorney in 1999. As a Crown attorney in special prosecutions, he has prosecuted large, complex cases including commercial fraud and criminal code gaming offences. Mr. Macdonald has made numerous presentations on a variety of legal topics including fraud and regulatory prosecutions. He was a member of the securities fraud enforcement group of the national Heads of Prosecutions Committee and is currently a member of the Heads of Prosecutions Economic Crime Sub-committee. Mr. Macdonald is also a member of the case management software committee with the Public Prosecution Service.
Tourism is important to Nova Scotia, helping to create good jobs that grow our economy. It employs over 31,000 people and generates revenues of $1.8 billion. Nova Scotia welcomes more than 2 million visitors every year and is the leading tourism destination in Atlantic Canada. For the first seven months of 2010 we are already running three per cent ahead of the pace set in 2009, with the busy fall months still ahead. The tourism industry is a leader. We focus on strategic thinking, practicing innovation and offering the broadest range of high quality experiences in the region. We continue to evolve to match visitor needs and expectations. Our success starts with having a plan: a well-conceived strategy for marketing and product development using leading edge tools and technology at every level. Worldwide, potential visitors are turning to the internet to research and plan their trips. Nova Scotia is a leader in responding to their needs with innovative applications. In April, we redesigned novascotia.com to launch the successful Heroes advertising campaign, incorporating video, photos, blogs, operator listings, and travel deals. Since then, the website has seen a 14 per cent increase in visits. Jim Brody, director of international sales for industry leading website TripAdvisor.com raved: “Nova Scotia’s new website really raises the bar.” Over 25 million people in North America have a family connection to our province. To attract these potential visitors, we have developed Routes to Your Roots, an interactive online tool that helps people trace their history back to Nova Scotia. The application includes a travel planner and mapping function, which allows visitors to plan a trip around their family history. Nova Scotia is proud to play host to the world’s first culinary tourism summit. Visitors craving food and wine adventures are making their way to Nova Scotia and we’ve made it fast and easy for them to do it. They can discover the best of our food, wine and culture with the Adventures in Taste iPhone application. They are exploring the province by region, mapping out their visit, and booking exciting culinary travel packages in the palm of their hand. We continue to attract high-impact international coverage that promotes Nova Scotia as an ideal travel destination. In August, Good Morning America’s Weekend Window aired a segment on Cape Breton, and raved about the island’s natural beauty and scenic drives. Our marketing activities promote Nova Scotia in key markets throughout the year as part of the $7.5 million we spend on direct-to-consumer advertising. England is a key growth market because its visitors spend more per person when they travel to Nova Scotia. Award-winning musician, Joel Plaskett, performed for travel media and was a guest this summer at the iconic Abbey Road Studio in London and toured with the Jools Holland outdoor concert series to reach thousands of potential visitors. We are also taking advantage of unique opportunities and reaching markets around the globe. The makers of the Japanese-produced movie Hanamizuki are promoting their Nova Scotia experience from the film shoot; members of the cast have widely praised the beauty of Nova Scotia in the Japanese media. Japan’s broadcasters, NHK and IVS are working with the department to produce travel documentaries about Nova Scotia. The province is also in discussion with top travel show, Niji Iro Jean. The Bay of Fundy is nominated as one of 28 finalists for the international New7Wonders of Nature campaign. This is an incredible opportunity to generate greater awareness of this tremendous natural attraction and highlight Nova Scotia’s appeal. We are working with local groups, New Brunswick and our national partners to maximize voting and recognize the Bay of Fundy as an international wonder of nature. Nova Scotians can play a part by going to votemyfundy.com and casting their vote. Nova Scotia also works with its regional partners through the Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership. The partnership uses innovative tactics that raise the visibility of our entire region through a focus on important markets, such as the mid-Atlantic United States. Above all, the focus continues to be our visitors and providing them with a range of experiences and services that distinguish Nova Scotia as a premier travel destination. Nova Scotia offers visitors an unparalleled mix of signature experiences, spectacular natural beauty and world-renowned culture and heritage. Together, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage and our industry partners are genuine leaders and make Nova Scotia a leading destination for visitors. -30-
The Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation(NSGC)released its 2010-11 Annual Report today, July 12, outlining its business results by balancing economic and social mandates. Highlights include a $141.6 million payment to the province, $6.6 million spent on research, treatment and education and $4 million in funding for amateur sport through the Support4Sport program. The payment to the province is 2.9 per cent lower than the previous last year but 8.4 per cent higher than budgeted due to the success of the national draw game, Lotto Max. “Despite the slight decline, the year went well,” said acting president and CEO, Stephen MacDonald. “We delivered $11 million more to the province than budgeted.” One-hundred per cent of gaming industry profits are directed back to Nova Scotia communities to support important government programs and services. The gaming industry accounts for about 650 direct jobs in Nova Scotia and supports over 1,400 retail establishments, many of them small businesses in rural Nova Scotia. This year, retailers earned more than $39 million in lottery commissions. “Our network of retailers makes significant economic contributions across the province,” said Mr. MacDonald. “As part of their lottery business, each of these 1,400 businesses also agrees to complete annual responsible gambling retailer training. It is one more step in ensuring we have a socially responsible gaming industry in Nova Scotia.” The Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation’s Annual Report is available at www.nsgc.ca.
The province is making sure Nova Scotians are better protected when they purchase a mortgage with new legislation introduced today, April 16. The Mortgage Regulation Act replaces the 1966 Mortgage Brokers’ and Lenders’ Registration Act, which had not changed significantly since 1999. “Buying a mortgage can be confusing, especially with so many options and vendors to choose from,” said Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell. “The new Mortgage Regulation Act ensures the rules around mortgage brokering and lending are up-to-date, reflect current industry practices, and are clear, fair, and consistent throughout the province.” The current mortgage brokering and lending legislation is almost 50 years old. It has not kept up with industry standards, best practices or various mortgage products available to consumers. The new act proactively addresses licensing and insurance requirements for mortgage brokers and lenders. It also brings the province’s mortgage brokering and lending industry in line with other Canadian jurisdictions and ensures Nova Scotia meets its obligations under the Agreement on Internal Trade. Under the new act, Nova Scotians can be assured they are dealing with a trained mortgage broker who will provide them with the best advice possible on what will likely be their biggest debt. According to the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, which has 275 members in Nova Scotia, 30 per cent of Nova Scotia residential mortgage shoppers consult a mortgage broker. “We’re very pleased to support this new legislation. Many consumers are unfamiliar with the complexities of a mortgage and the range of available options, and they tend to rely heavily on service providers to guide them,” said Jim Murphy, president and CEO, Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals. “The new act will raise the bar on education and licensing requirements for mortgage brokering professionals in Nova Scotia, which is good news for consumers, as well as for the industry in Nova Scotia and throughout Canada.” The province consulted extensively with the public, as well as with the mortgage brokering and lending industry in developing the new act.
CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Conns Mill BridgeThomson Road, near Highway 104, will be closed from Hansford Siding Road to Conns Mill Road for repairs to the Conns Mill Bridge until Tuesday, April 8. Detour signs are in place. YARMOUTH COUNTY: Gavelton BridgeGavelton Bridge on Gavel Road is closed for repairs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until early April. When closed, the bridge will be restricted to emergency vehicles and school buses. All other traffic should use the detour route marked on Lake Vaughn Road and Raynardton Road. The bridge will be open on weekends. -30- INVERNESS COUNTY: West Lake Ainslie Road The Hayes River Bridge on West Lake Ainslie Road has a 15-tonne weight restriction. GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY: Melford Brook BridgeThe Melford Brook Bridge, on Route 344 at Middle Melford, is closed. A two-lane detour bridge is in place until a permanent bridge is built. The speed limit is reduced to 60 km/h and warning signs are in place. INVERNESS COUNTY: Crowdis BridgeCrowdis Bridge is closed until further notice for repairs. A detour is available via Crowdis Cross Road, West Big Interval Road and Hatchery Road. CONTINUING WORK HANTS COUNTY: Glen Brook and MacInnis Brook BridgesThe Glen Brook and MacInnis Brook bridges, on Route 202 in West Gore, have a 24-tonne weight restriction until further notice. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Sydney River BridgeThe Sydney River Bridge on Keltic Drive is closed for replacement. While the bridge is closed, the province is providing a free shuttle bus service between Coxheath Arena (305 Keltic Dr.) and Walmart (65 Keltic Dr.). A detour route for drivers has also been marked. The shuttle bus schedule is available at http://novascotia.ca/tran/highways/srb.asp .
More than 400 newly certified journeypersons have joined the ranks of Nova Scotia’s highly respected trades professionals. Trade leaders, training partners, government, and members of the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Board celebrated their achievements this evening, Nov. 7, in Dartmouth. “I want to congratulate all of the newly certified journeypersons,” said Joachim Stroink, MLA for Halifax Chebucto, who attended the event on behalf of Kelly Regan, Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency. “These individuals have earned a demanding and highly regarded credential that will lead to great opportunities here in the province.” Justin Marshall, a truck and transport mechanic from Fall River and Thomas Stenason, an automotive service technician from Halifax, were presented with the Apprentice Award of Excellence for their strong work ethic, skill and professionalism throughout the apprenticeship program. Pricilla Stewart, union president from Aramark Hospital in New Glasgow and Jarrod Brown an instructor from the NSCC Institute of Technology Campus, were also recognized with this year’s Mentor/Coach Award. The apprenticeship celebration is a bi-annual event sponsored by industry, the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency and NSCC. Nova Scotia’s apprenticeship system prepares people for jobs in the skilled trades. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency is focusing on improving the number of apprenticeship opportunities in the province, and helping apprentices complete their journey to certification. More information about apprenticeship is available at www.nsapprenticeship.ca/.
Five-thousand more households in the province will be able to receive help with home heating costs this season through an enhanced Heating Assistance Rebate Program (HARP). The rebate provides up to $200 to help Nova Scotians heat their homes. The application process opens today, Oct. 16. This year, income thresholds have increased from $27,000 to $29,000 for single households and from $42,000 to $44,000 for family households. “The heating assistance rebate program already provides help to more than 40,000 households across the province and I am pleased to be able to extend that support to even more families this year,” said Service Nova Scotia Minister Geoff MacLellan. “I encourage all eligible Nova Scotians who can benefit from this program to apply.” Applying online or on your mobile phone is the fastest way to receive the rebate. Those who apply online can also check the status of their application using the online system. People registered for direct deposit with the Canada Revenue Agency will have their rebate deposited directly to their bank account. “We are pleased that the Heating Assistance Rebate Program is being improved to make it easier for people to apply,” said Kevin McKay, operations manager at Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank in Halifax. “Parker Street provides assistance to the community, but the need that we see is so much more than the help that we can give. “Anything that continues to assist the community where our ability falls short is something we are happy to promote.” Paper applications are still available at Access Nova Scotia Centres, Community Services’ offices, MLA offices and at more than 70 community groups and other locations across the province. For more information, to apply online, or to print a paper application form, visit http://www.novascotia.ca/heatinghelp.
New Delhi: Commercial flights are likely to start operations from the Hindon airport near Delhi by the end of June as the Ministry of Defence has given all requisite approvals, said a senior official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Hindon airport, which is around 40 kms from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, belongs to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the AAI has developed the civil enclave there. “The Ministry of Defence has approved the proposal of Ghodawat Enterprises for operation of RCS (regional air connectivity scheme) flights from Hindon airport….These RCS flights are likely to commence by end of June this year,” the AAI official said. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twistGhodawat Enterprises run the airline brand Star Air that is headquartered in Bengaluru. Under the Civil Aviation Ministry’s regional air connectivity scheme — UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) –many airline operators including IndiGo have bagged routes connecting from Hindon. “However, the Ministry of Defence has approved the proposal of Ghodawat Enterprises, which runs Star Air, only as yet,” said another AAI official. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 8 had inaugurated the new civil enclave at Hindon airport from where commercial flights would be operated. The civil enclave, which cost around Rs 40 crore, can handle 300 passengers during peak hours. The airport infrastructure was developed by the AAI while the approach road to the airport was constructed by the Uttar Pradesh government.
It was indeed shocking news that “a retired Army Subedar was detained on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, to be lodged in a detention centre for illegal foreigners…… after a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) declared him a foreigner”. Having retired as Subedar with the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) of the Indian Army in August 2017, the detained retired official is reported to have served in insurgency-affected areas of Jammu & Kashmir and the North-east. Also Read – A staunch allyExpectedly, the 18-year-old son of the “foreigner” soldier of the Indian Army, reacted: “How can someone who has served the country for so long be treated as a ‘foreigner’ and taken to a detention centre like this?” This author is neither the son, nor a relative, nor an acquaintance of the detained soldier; yet one today feels like asking the same question, in the same language, what the anguished son of the retired Subedar soldier of the state is asking. Reportedly, the “errant” retired soldier’s three children, too, are suffering because “they are descendants of a person who – as of now – is a ‘declared’ foreigner.” Also Read – Cuban pathosOne today wonders: a soldier comes home after serving long years in various fronts of the nation. Does he really deserve such action? Humiliation? Dishonour? Should not his former and present senior commanders look into the matter to help the authorities to find an honourable solution to/of a dishonoured colleague? Be that as it may, today this author’s thoughts go back and forth to some of the salient features which went on to shape the history, glory, tradition, and growth of the regiments of the Indian Army which sovereign India inherited from her foreign white Christian lords of London. It’s been a saga of glory and sacrifice. Duty and devotion. Loyalty and discipline. Unity of men and the sacrificing lives for their own nation as well as foreign nation; in a foreign land. Incredible? Fiction? No, not at all. All facts of history. Credible. Verifiable. The soldiers of the Indian soil were recruited, retained and retired by the British rulers in their domain; British India. Initially, (and also later) they required trained men to protect their commercial and economic assets and interests in alien land, India and beyond. And virtually, after every war between the British and Indian monarch, ruler, prince, maharaja, or the Confederacy of the Marathas was born a new Indian infantry regiment: based on caste, race, language or ethnicity. Thus, today the state of India has an army consisting of more than 20 infantry regiments: Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry; Jammu & Kashmir Rifles; Punjab Regiment; Sikh Light Infantry; Sikh Regiment; Dogra Regiment; Kumaon Regiment; Garhwal Rifles; Rajput Regiment; Rajputana Rifles; Gorkha Rifles; Jat Regiment; Mahar Regiment; Bihar Regiment; Assam Regiment; Madras Regiment; Maratha Light Infantry; Guards; Grenadiers; Ladakh Scouts; Kumaon Scouts and Arunachal Scouts. The most notable feature of these regiments is that the cohesive and united Indian Army was born after years of fighting against their own countrymen owing to the presence of foreign Britishers who skilfully managed to command, control and communicate with the native soldiers of the east. It would, therefore, might not be incorrect to suggest that it was the British self-interest in the east of the Suez that gave birth to the splendid Indian Army as we see today in its present shape, size, form and action. Thus, despite mental reservation, the soldiers of India were deployed across the continent. They were taken by the British to China to loot the summer palace of the Chinese monarch in 1860. The story of the First and the Second World War pertaining to bravery, valour, and sacrifice of Indian soldiers in Europe, North Africa, Mesopotamia, South-east Asia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Burma are too well known to be repeated. In a way, therefore, although the evolution of the history of the Indian Army may or might not have been to the liking of some public figures of India, the fact nevertheless remains that the professional and apolitical soldiers and their superiors are the biggest assets to sovereign India’s polity, economy and society. It’s an astonishing story which continues to astonish every Indian every day. A soldier, across India, still inspires the desired level of confidence. In an urban as well rural area. I have seen it; I still see it. Seeing is believing. Coming back to the story of the detained ex-soldier of the state army of India, one needs to remember that every soldier, serving or retired, is a member of the “extended family” of the army of India. And, it would be a great tragedy if the top brass of the forces fails to appreciate this point. If a soldier is detained for being a “foreigner” after 30 years of service to the state, then a question could crop up in future too. What about the Gorkha soldiers who are recruited from interior Nepal? No doubt the Gorkha Regiment stands on a solid foundation of/on Anglo-Indo-Nepal history, tradition, custom and law. Yet in an era of uncertainty, all round turmoil and population growth across South Asia, and with China and Pakistan looming large as a grave external security threat, India has to try to reduce the problems pertaining to internal issues first. There are too many legacy issues. There are growing non-legacy issues too. They need resolution through patience, perseverance and peaceful overtures. Not through prism of “black and white.” In India, grey areas far outstrip the “black and white” issues owing to several lingering fault lines. Before ending, let it be clarified that it gave this author no pleasure to write the piece. The turmoil pertaining to the present case is taking place at a highly vulnerable and volatile area notwithstanding the natural beauty of the terrain, the charm and hospitality, simplicity and warmth of the people thereof. Rightly or wrongly, the east and north-east traditionally have been in the media headlines for all wrong reasons. Delhi being, “far off”, must be seen to come closer to the area rather than the east and north-east going to the capital. The worst of the “foreign” problems, originating from across the borders of China and erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) has created enormous political turmoil. But India has to remember that partition of India was not the making of the people of the east and north-east but the politicians like Gandhi, Jinnah and Nehru. Consequently, a dangerous internal threat today has cropped up for India. The human problem cannot be dealt with in an inhuman way. The bloodshed of 1947 must not be forgotten. Else it’s a sure way for China and Pakistan. (Abhijit Bhattacharyya is an alumnus of National Defence College and author of China in India. The views expressed are strictly personal)