Council stated they had concerns with the surveys presented as the way the information is gathered is through phone calls. A couple of councillors agreed that phone calls are not a great way to acquire the data needed as people tend to hang up on these calls and do not want to be disturbed at home in this manner.Acting-Mayor Bolin suggested that a successful survey would require everyone working together and that in years previous their most successful surveys and ways to acquire the communities input was not by phone yet rather a hands-on direct approach such as those that happened during the ‘Let’s talk Site C survey and the Survey about Marijuana’ standing out most to him.Bolin says it’s time for a more progressive approach in reaching citizens.“We would miss the entire next generation from the survey if we go that route.”Bolin also expressed that times have changed and what used to work is not working, he explained municipalities and even the Province’s referendum are receiving a low turn out rate.“I would rather see us with i-pads out at events collecting information from our citizens, a, we don’t spend the $40 grand and b, the information is more relevant with community participation than it would be if somebody is doing it as a third party.” Council recommended the City come back with recommendations that were more like the initiatives that took place, such as the Site C Survey and a more grassroots approach rather than getting an outside agency to get the job done. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John wants to implement a scheduled public survey to receive valuable feedback from residents yet traditional surveys might not garner the information the City seeks.The City Staff made a presentation to Council during Monday’s Committee of the Whole Meeting about how receiving regular input from the community, would be used to gauge the City’s strengths and weaknesses.The presentation, titled Citizen Satisfaction Survey, shared three options that feedback could be acquired from the community, 1) by a website, 2) by Third Party and 3) Research Company. These three methods are strongly reliant on phone calls. With a budget of $40,000, each option does come with their own pros and cons as they lack personalization to our region.
“We deeply regret the impacts that these capacity reductions will have on our Mackenzie and Isle Pierre employees, contractors, their families and the local communities,” said Stephen Mackie, Senior Vice President of Canadian Operations, Canfor. “The BC forest industry is continuing to face very significant challenges. None of our temporary or permanent curtailment decisions have been made lightly, nor are they a reflection on the hard work and dedication of our employees.”In combination, these curtailments will reduce Canfor’s annual production output by approximately 400 million board feet, which is in addition to previously announced reductions. MACKENZIE, B.C. – Canfor announced Thursday more capacity reductions in Mackenzie and Prince George.The Mackenzie sawmill will be placed on an indefinite curtailment effective immediately due to the high cost of fibre and poor lumber markets. On top of that, Canfor says challenging operating conditions have made the mill uneconomic under current conditions.The Isle Pierre sawmill in Prince George will be permanently reduced from two shifts to one shift effective September 20, 2019. The capacity reduction, which is due to insufficient timber supply as a result of the mountain pine beetle epidemic and associated decline in the annual allowable cut, will enable the mill to better align its production capacity with the sustainable fibre supply in the region.
Kolkata: The seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha elections in the state were marred by a few instances of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) glitches.Rampant malfunctioning of EVMs was reported from both Kolkata North and Kolkata South, as well as some other constituencies. In some places, voters including elderly citizens were seriously inconvenienced after the EVMs developed technical glitches leading to suspension of the voting process for a while. The Election Commission officials soon addressed the crisis and voting resumed in the affected booths. The voters who queued up at a polling booth in Kolkata South in the morning, complained about poor management by the Election Commission and the malfunctioning voting machines. Senior citizens were found waiting in long queues at multiple booths. An elderly voter standing in the queue outside a polling station under Kolkata South constituency said that he had reached the polling booth at 7 am and had to wait for more than 45 minutes as an EVM developed technical problem. It may be recalled that after taking cue from the previous phases of elections, the Election Commission had earlier assured that there would be alternative arrangements of EVMs in various booths. Senior Trinamool Congress leader and Mayor Firhad Hakim said polling could not be conducted smoothly at various booths of Kolkata South in the morning. In some places, polling was suspended for nearly one and half hour in the morning, Hakim said. While answering media questions on allegations of violence against Trinamool by Opposition parties, Hakim said: “The Opposition parties in the state have lost their footing and hence they are coming up with cooked-up stories. The Central Forces and BJP tried hard but the people of the state are with Trinamool Congress. We will win all the nine constituencies that went to poll on Sunday, with a minimum margin of 2-3 lakh votes. We will win all 42 seats in the state.” Trinamool Congress candidate from Kolkata North Sudip Bandyopadhyay also voiced his protest against the malfunctioning of EVMs. He said that 15 out of 22 EVMs from the polling stations in Chowringhee area had malfunctioned. “I have spoken to some Election officials and they have admitted to the malfunctioning of EVMs,” he added. After the final phase of elections concluded, Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab said: “The number of EVMs malfunctioning was under the permissible limit and they were replaced in all affected places.”
Fez – After months of drilling operations in Morocco, Circle Oil, an international oil and gas exploration company, announced the discovery of substantial natural gas findings in the country’s coastal region.The preliminary findings are the result of the drilling of a well in Sebou Permit, located along the coastline of Morocco onshore near Kenitra. Circle Oil began exploration near Sebou in May and this week reported the discovery of gas reserves at three different underground levels.“”We are delighted to add another successful discovery to our Sebou gas portfolio. This is the first well of a six well program to be drilled with our partner ONHYM in the Sebou permit and is coupled with another six well program in the Lalla Mimouna permit,” Chris Green, CEO of Circle Oil, said in a statement on Wednesday. The well will be sourced and tested to prepare the well for production in the future according to a press release by Circle Oil.Circle Oil is just one of the 34 companies carrying out natural gas and oil exploration operations in Morocco. The discovery of natural gas reserves onshore in Morocco suggests that the country could become a future giant in the field of oil and gas exportation.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
By Bernad Dito,New York- In the world of Olympic sports, there is one rule that cannot be broken without serious ramifications on an athlete’s entire career. That rule is in regards to steroids. Athletes who fail to show up clean on their drug testing, and are found guilty of using these banned performance enhancing substances can face severe penalties. Medals and the prize money they have earned can all be revoked, in addition to being banned from future events. The personal and professional devastation that comes from using steroids can be a thousand times worse when the event involved are the Olympics. Olympian athletes who are disgraced and penalized are not only frowned upon, their actions often besmirch the country that the athlete represents. Despite the regulations, regular testing, and well known negative consequences that can, and often do arise from steroid use, Olympians are still caught “doping up” with anabolic steroids.Liliya Shobukhova is a well known, now infamous Russian Olympian athlete. Anyone who is keen to the marathon circuits is likely familiar with the name Liliya Shobukhova. She holds a record for being the second fastest runner of all time for the Chicago marathon, as well as having placed first each year between 2009 to 2011. In 2012 she won the London marathon and competed in the 2012 Olympics but was unable to place, and only reached fourth in the Chicago marathon that year. Despite her fame on the track, she has come under fire, along with Russia’s Athletic Federation, bringing to light the ongoing issue that officials have with athletes using banned steroids to get ahead in the game.The scandal: Doping, extortion, and conspiracy.According to an in depth investigation by the German television channel ARD, which has also been reported upon the French sports daily L’Equipe, Shobukhova is just the most recent example of corruption and doping. The story according Shobukhova, her husband, and other sources is not an easy one to tell. In 2011 Shobukhova failed to pass a drugs test for anabolic steroids, as reported by Steroidal.com. She was told by a member of the Russian Athletic Federation that the price to keep it under wraps would cost a sum equal to $550,000 USD. For her it was a matter of paying the money or getting banned. She and her husband agreed to and paid the price of the extortion. However, when she did not place in the 2012 London Olympics, the Russian Athletic Federation turned around and banned her for the failed test. They even went a step further by annulling all of her winnings from 2009 and forward. Her husband demanded they return the extorted funds, to which they only complied by returning two-thirds of it. The actual transaction can be traced to the Russian federation’s president, Valentin Balakhnichev. Balakhnichev also happens to the be the treasurer for the IAAF, International Association of Athletics.The fallout out from her being outed as having doped:When it surfaced that Shobukhova had been caught doping up with the banned steroid known as oxandrolone, she was placed under a two year ban. The ban itself is dated from January of 2013, and was set to last to January of 2015. However, beyond being barred from competing, any of the titles earned, as well as money given, were stripped and ordered to be repaid. The winnings from the time period include four major events, whose prizes for her total over $1,000,000 USD. She has also been facing investigation by the IAAF ethics comity, with has been even more encompassing due to the evidence and accusations made by the investigative report from the German channel ARD.Shobukhova’s hidden confession and open admissions.Part of ARD’s report includes Shobukhova on hidden camera admitting to using steroids. In light of the extortion and the public humiliation, as well as financial hardships inflicted, she decided to add some genuine insight into what she has dealt with. According to Shobukhova, all of the trainers and staff involved with the Russian Federation tell their athletes that they cannot have a chance without using steroids. By using psychological brow beating, they push the practice of doping onto athletes of all ages. They then offer to cover up their habit for a percentage of their winnings each year. The extortionist even going so far as to inform them how to cheat the test, such as how to keep a clean urine sample preserved for use when needed. To those that cannot afford to pay the fees, they are busted and tossed aside when caught using. For Shobukhova, the pressure of the extortion looming over her head affected her to the point of having a bad year, which only got worse when they turned on her.What does all this mean for Russia?Aside from naming the president of the Russian Athletic Federation, Shobukhova story is only one of many that were discussed in the ARD story. The picture painted is one of nothing less than corruption and greed, with too many conflicts of interest to keep the country’s reputation from being tarnished. The irony of the IAAF assuring its ethics comity will fully investigate Shobukhova’s claims, as well as the others made in the accusation, is not lost by many in the reporting world. Members of the IAAF were named, some even proven on paper, to have participated in shady dealings with extortion and cover ups. A corrupt organization cannot be expected to properly police itself with any sense of credibility.Furthering the attention and press related to the story presented by ARD, other organizations, such as the World Marathon Majors, or WMM have prompted for clear results. The WMM funds a large part of the division responsible for screening participating athletes. They say that they will not abide by people cheating and will look to extend the band on Shobukhova. One of the other issues with policing and addressing of the accusations is that all of the governing organizations, such as the Russian Athletic Federation and its own Anti-Doping Agencies, draw direct funding and reporting to the Russian government itself. This makes the allegations have even heavier implications towards their ability, or inability, to properly regulate and control the abuse of steroids in their country.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.
Rabat – The Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Morocco are against any violation of the UN Security Council resolutions regarding the settlement of the Sahara issue.“The Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Morocco do not support any temptation to accelerate or haste the political process, nor any violation of the parameters defined in the Security Council resolutions” to find a solution to the Sahara issue, said the “Declaration on the deep strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Morocco” issued Tuesday in Moscow on the occasion of the official visit of King Mohammed VI.The statement comes the heightened tension between Morocco and United Nations Secretariat after Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon made statement that have been regarded as biased by the Moroccan government. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for his part, stressed at a press briefing that the UN should “continue to play a constructive role despite recent misunderstandings”. “It’s an old problem, a very serious problem. (…) But we see no other solution than seeking a compromise,” he insisted.During his recent trip to Algiers and the Tindouf camps on March 5-7, the UN chief used the term “occupation” while referring to Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara.In addition to the use if the term “occupation,” the UN chief stressed that the UN Mission in the territory, known by its French acronym as MINURSO, was “ready to conduct a referendum of self-determination if the parties involved” agreed to proceed with it.The Moroccan government saw in this statement a deviation from UN Security Council resolutions adopted since 2007, which call on the parties to strive towards reaching an agreed upon and mutually acceptable political solution.Morocco reacted angrily to Ban’s statement and accused him of bias in favor of the Polisario and of “departing from his neutrality and impartiality and UN chief.”The UN chief comments are “are politically inappropriate, unprecedented, and contrary to Security Council resolutions,” the statement issued by the government last Tuesday said.
Rabat – After months of anticipation, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have finally tied the knot. The prince and the American actress have said their vows in front of an audience of more than 600 guests at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle today. They were married by the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, who made the official proclamation of marriage:“In the presence of God, and before this congregation, Harry and Meghan have given their consent and made their marriage vows to each other. They have declared their marriage by the joining of hands and by the giving and receiving of rings. I therefore proclaim that they are husband and wife.’’ The guests started arriving in the middle of the morning. Among them were British singer Elton John; American tennis player Serena Williams; British lawyer Amal Clooney and her husband George Clooney; English football legend David Beckham; and his wife, ex-Spice Girl and fashion designer, Victoria Beckham. On the other hand, no politician was invited to the wedding.According to The Sun, the 33-year old royal told his bride that she looked amazing before taking her as his wife. Markle indeed looked gorgeous in a Givenchy Haute Couture dress and a dazzling 1932 dazzling Mary Diamond Bandeau tiara, lent to her by the Queen.Kensington Palace announced Saturday morning that Markle and Prince Harry would officially become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. “The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales. His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel,” read the palace statement. “Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, and Ms. Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.”
PRAGUE, Czech Republic — The United States ambassador to Prague says U.S. President Donald Trump has invited Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis to meet him next month in Washington.Ambassador Stephen King wrote about the official invitation on Wednesday on Twitter. King says the meeting, scheduled for March 7, is “a symbol of our strong bilateral relationship.”Also Wednesday, Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek was heading for Washington to meet his U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the first such visit in seven years.Ahead of his trip, Petricek said that warnings against use of Chinese technology will be, among other issues, on the agenda of his talks in Washington.The Associated Press
Rabat – Nasser Bourita, Moroccan foreign affairs minister, has called Guinea a “true and exceptional” friend of Morocco’s, hailing the “unique” and “historical” relations between Rabat and the West African country.Bourita made the comments in the company of Mamadi Toure, Guinea’s foreign affairs minister, who is currently on a working visit to Rabat. Speaking at a joint press conference yesterday, July 23, the Moroccan minister welcomed Guinea’s “constant and clear” support for Morocco’s stance on the Western Sahara territorial dispute. Under the leadership of its president Alpha Conde, who was elected as the chairman of the African Union (AU) as Morocco joined the organization two years ago, the West African country has been one of the loudest continental supporters of Morocco’s return to African club. Guinea has also been one of the African countries to have backed up Rabat’s Autonomy Plan for Western Sahara. Bourita said that Guinea’s support for a host of Morocco-friendly agendas is the culmination of historical bonds which are illustrated in the closeness between successive Guinean governments and the Moroccan monarchy. Recently, however, Bourita stressed, the friendship between the two countries has been particularly helped by King Mohammed’s Africa-centered diplomacy and his commitment to Morocco’s historical allies.“Our relations considerably progressed recently, notably after the King’s two visits [to Conakry], during which we signed agreements to realize concrete projects.” According to Bourita, the host of development projects Morocco is accompanying and supervising in the West African country, as well as the solid friendship between King Mohammed VI and President Conde, have refreshed what was already a strong, “special” bilateral relationship.“Since the King’s visits, our bilateral cooperation has become stronger and multi-dimensional. It includes academic and vocational training, city planning projects in the city of Conakry, and the training of imams,” he said. All these, he elaborated, are “dimensions that reflect the wealth of the historical and unique friendship between Guinea and Morocco.”Bourita’s insistence on the academic and vocational training spoke simultaneously of Morocco’s desire to project itself as a continental hub for academic matters, as well as Guinea’s reliance on its North African partner for training its elite.Read also : Morocco’s Bourita to Lead Delegation to 2nd Western Sahara RoundtableAs one of the primary beneficiaries of the scheme of scholarships and study grants Morocco offers on a yearly basis to a number of African countries, Guinea’s support for Morocco has increased in recent years. Guinean students who spoke to Morocco World News late last year were full of praise for the North African country. “Morocco has one of the best education systems in the world,” one said, as he spoke with enthusiasm about his academic experience in Morocco.But the most striking illustration of Morocco’s appeal among Guinea’s Morocco-trained youth and elite was most visible when Guinea failed to vote for Morocco’s 2026 World Cup bid. Guineans took to social media to lambast what many of them labeled a “shameful betrayal” of a historical ally. Most cited Morocco’s support for the country when it faced the Ebola in 2014-2015.In response to Bourita’s call on Guinea to continue coordinating with Morocco on “all continental and regional issues,” Toure reaffirmed his country’s commitment to upholding the “exceptional friendship” binding it to Morocco. Like Bourita, the Guinean minister lingered over the two nation’s “historical closeness,” expressing gratitude for Morocco’s support in a string of ongoing development projects in guinea.
OTTAWA — A government-struck expert panel is calling for new “super-deduction” tax credits as a carrot for Canadians to park their retirement savings in climate-conscious investments.The report this morning to Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the government should let people deduct more than 100 per cent of retirement contributions they put into investments such as bonds that help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.The panel expects the deduction would be an incentive for the many Canadians who don’t max out their retirement-savings allowances and tax-free savings account contributions, and those who do should have extra space for green investments.The ideas are in a broader vision of regulatory changes the panel prescribes for combining Canada’s environmental goals and economic growth.Businesses should be required to disclose more about the financial risks climate changes pose to their bottom lines, the report says, and pension plans to show how climate-related issues are considered in their investments.But the panel says the government must set a plan that extends to the middle of the century, outlining investments that need to be made to hit emission goals and the cost of a carbon tax for years to come so businesses and investors have predictability.The Canadian Press
1 March 2007More than 5,000 additional Timorese have fled to internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps over the past month or so because of the recent violence in the capital Dili, although this is now under control as more United Nations police are patrolling the streets, top UN officials said today. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General Atul Khare, head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), said the security situation in Dili over the past week has “remained stable,” adding there are now more officers in high-risk areas as well as dedicated mobile units watching out for gang-related violence.The head of UN humanitarian assistance in Timor-Leste, and the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Finn Reske-Nielsen, said most of the 5,000 or so people who fled to the IDP camps arrived last week because of the disturbances, adding that four new camps had been set up. “We have…an estimate as of early January that there were approximately somewhere between 25,000-29,000 people in the camps in Dili. And as I mentioned over the past month, we have seen an increase of more than 5,000 and that would be the figure,” he told reporters in the capital.Reiterating that rice shortages were a contributing factor to last week’s violence, Mr. Reske-Nielsen said the Government, supported by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), were continuing the sale of rice that was begun last Friday. Last month, the Security Council extended UNMIT’s mandate for another year until February 2008, while adding up to 140 extra police officers to help counter the increasing violence as the tiny nation gears up for this year’s elections.The Council created UNMIT in August 2006 to help restore order after deadly fighting, attributed to differences between eastern and western regions, broke out in April and May and caused the deaths of at least 37 people and forced about 155,000 others – or 15 per cent of the population – to flee their homes.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes has landed in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, for talks with senior Government officials, UN staffers and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society and donor governments.The stop in Khartoum is the first leg of a two-week mission that will take in Juba in southern Sudan, the Darfur region itself and then the neighbouring countries of Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR).Jan Eliasson, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Darfur, is scheduled to arrive in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, on a separate mission to discuss how to best coordinate Eritrean mediation efforts in Darfur with those of the UN and the AU.The missions are taking place amid rising concern over the failure to agree on the details of the deployment of the hybrid UN-AU force, with Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Affairs Jean-Marie Guéhenno telling journalists earlier this week that there is still “a long way to go” before the UN and Sudan can resolve their differences.Mr. Guéhenno told a Security Council meeting that the latest written response from Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s letter detailing the planned force indicated there may be “fundamental strategic differences” over Darfur.“We still have, unfortunately, a long way to go because there may be some fundamental misunderstandings on what are the expectations of the Government of Sudan and what is on offer,” he told journalists.More than 200,000 people have been killed and at least 2 million others forced from their homes since 2003 in Darfur, an impoverished region on Sudan’s western flank. A peace deal signed last year by some of the parties failed to end the fighting between Government forces, allied Janjaweed militias and rebel groups, and the conflict is starting to spill over into Chad and the CAR. 21 March 2007Two senior United Nations officials are beginning separate missions to address the humanitarian and political aspects of the crisis in the war-torn Sudanese region of Darfur, where efforts to deploy a hybrid UN-African Union (AU) peacekeeping force have stalled over differences with the Sudanese Government.
The Security Council today extended for a further six months the United Nations force that has monitored the ceasefire between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights for over 30 years. In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body renewed the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) until 30 June 2008. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had recommended the extension of the Force in a recent report, noting that while the situation in the Golan Heights has been “generally quiet” recently, the overall region remains tense. Mr. Ban’s report also drew attention to the growing financial shortfall faced by UNDOF, which supervises the disengagement accord between Syrian and Israeli forces after the 1973 war. As of the end of August, some $24 million is owed to the countries that contribute troops to the Force: Austria, Canada, India, Japan, Poland and Slovakia. 14 December 2007The Security Council today extended for a further six months the United Nations force that has monitored the ceasefire between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights for over 30 years.
In recommendations in its report that was made public today, the five-member panel urged that the mission, known as MONUC, should be notified of “all incoming shipments of military supplies in a timely fashion.”The report was written based on six weeks of investigations that the Group carried out in the DRC, as well as neighbouring countries such as Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, late last year.When investigating reported cases of military supplies being delivered to the country between August and November 2007, the Group “was informed that as a sovereign State, the Democratic Republic of the Congo considers it has no obligation to disclose this information.”The experts also advised that the Security Council ask the Government and its international partners to restart an “effective process” to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate members of illegal armed groups.Last August, the 15-member body voted unanimously to maintain the sanctions until this month. 19 February 2008The Group of Experts dealing with illegal arms flows into and around the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has called for the strengthening of the monitoring capacity of the United Nations Mission in the vast African nation.
30 June 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed recent progress on resolving the humanitarian aspects of the Security Council resolution that ended the 2006 conflict between Israel and the Lebanese group Hizbollah. In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban noted the Israeli Government’s recent decision that involves the return of two Israeli soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who had been abducted and a solution to the cases of Lebanese prisoners held in Israel. “He looks forward to the signing and the full implementation of the negotiated agreement in the near future,” the statement said. “He hopes that the envisaged humanitarian moves will encourage further steps on implementing other parts of the resolution  and contribute to further humanitarian moves.”