zoomImage Courtesy: Pxhere under CC0 Creative Commons license The rating of Russia’s Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (NCSP) has been increased to BB with a positive outlook due to a potential support from parent company Transneft, according to ratings agency Standard & Poor’s.The upgrade reflects the agency’s view of the ongoing integration of NCSP into the Russian government-owned Transneft group.“Transneft, in our view, considers these assets’ operational stability as important for its core business of pipeline oil transportation for exports, with NCSP representing a natural extension to this business,” S&P said.“Therefore, we believe that it is in Transneft’s interest to ensure there are no delays or accidents at these terminals.”The agency further noted that the sale of the Novorossiysk Grain Terminal (NGT), in February 2019, revealed a risk that the sale of non-oil businesses could continue, over time leading to reduced scale, cargo diversity, and efficiency of the port.S&P also said the company had not yet officially abandoned plans to invest into the port of Taman, which could potentially result in a meaningful investment of up to USD 500 million.NCSP could be upgraded again in the next 12 months if the new strategy approved by Transneft provides more clarity on leverage, dividends, and expansion capex, the rating agency added.NCSP owns and operates oil terminals in Novorossiysk and Primorsk, which handle about 35% of Russia’s oil exports through ports.
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Australia’s largest live cattle exporter Wellard has received and accepted a proposal to sell the M/V Ocean Swagman for USD 25.2 million to Panama-based Trim Shipping, part of Nova Marine Holdings.The offer from Nova is USD 3.2 million higher than the previously announced proposed sale of the vessel to Heytesbury Holding Company for USD 22 million.“The Nova transaction remains subject to approval of the Nova board, however, Wellard considers that (if approved) it is likely to lead to a superior outcome than the Heytesbury transaction,” the company said in a statement.The 12,892 GT livestock carrier would be delivered to Nova between November 1 and December 13, 2019.As informed, there is no charter or leaseback arrangement under this transaction.What is more, Wellard explained that the Heytesbury transaction remains on substantially the same terms as previously revealed. If the Nova transaction proceeds, the Heytesbury transaction would not complete, and a break fee may be paid.“Wellard is continuing to negotiate a standstill agreement with its noteholders which reflects and supports the sale of the Ocean Swagman to either of Nova or Heytesbury,” Wellard further said.Ocean Swagman has the capacity to transport 7,000 cattle or 26,000 sheep, or a combination of both. It is the sister ship of the 2010-built Ocean Outback which was sold for USD 26 million in 2017.Featuring a length of 130 meters and a width of 21.6 meters, the ship sailed on its maiden voyage back in 2010.
The evaluation also indicates that patients had a high level ofsatisfaction with the navigators’ ability to address theemotional impact of the disease, physical symptoms andcomplications, the challenges of travelling to the cancer centresin Halifax and Sydney and associated financial impacts. “The patient navigator guides our cancer patients to the manyservices and resources that are available both inside and outsideof our district. Bridging this gap has made all the difference tothese patients,” said Kevin MacDonald, chief executive officer,Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority. “The role of the patient navigator is in keeping with ourmission, vision and values as an organization. It is a stepforward in providing integrated, quality health care services tomembers of our community.” Judith Breau, a cancer patient from West Arichat, said beingdiagnosed with cancer was the lowest point of her life. “Myfamily doctor referred me to my navigator, Charlene Porter, whohas supported me since the beginning. She helped me accessreliable, up-to-date information. She also helped me connect withsomeone who has had a similar cancer experience and that wasreally helpful. I’m spreading the word about navigation toeveryone I know.” “Patient Navigation is an immense help to both patients andphysicians,” said Dr. Robert Sers, head of the department ofsurgery, St. Martha’s Regional Hospital. “The cancer system iscomplex and Charlene Porter, our patient navigator, is at thepatient’s side co-ordinating their care to ensure that thenecessary tests are completed and results are available at theright time. She provides education and information and addressesissues including financial concerns and transportation needs.Before Charlene joined our team, I spent a lot of time dealingwith these issues. Now I’m able to focus my time on clinicalcare.” Based on these evaluation findings, Cancer Care Nova Scotia, willcontinue to work with health districts and the Department ofHealth to ensure that all Nova Scotians have access to PatientNavigation in the near future. As a result of preliminaryfindings from the evaluation, South Shore Health and AnnapolisValley Health introduced Patient Navigation in September 2003.Patient Navigation is currently available in five of nine healthdistricts. The evaluation was conducted by Corporate Research Associates,following a competitive bidding process. It incorporated bothqualitative and quantitative research methods. Data was collectedthrough 16 focus groups, 57 one-on-one interviews, 162 patientsurveys and a review of 808 records in the patient navigationdatabase. The evaluation was designed to objectively measure theimpact of Patient Navigation. Patient Navigation is the result of extensive consultation withcancer patients, family members, health professionals, communityorganizations and volunteers in Nova Scotia. Cancer Care Nova Scotia is a program of the Department of Health,created to reduce the burden of cancer on individuals, families,and the health-care system through prevention, screening,education and research. Cancer Patient Navigation — a service which supports cancerpatients, their families and health professionals — has helped improve overall cancer care in the Guysborough-Antigonish-Straitarea, one of the first three Nova Scotia health districts toimplement it, says an evaluation released today, Jan. 23, byCancer Care Nova Scotia. The report says programs in all three districts — GuysboroughAntigonish Strait Health Authority, South West Health and PictouCounty Health Authority — have been well received by healthprofessionals and by patients and their families. It stronglyrecommends that Patient Navigation be implemented in all healthdistricts throughout Nova Scotia. “Nova Scotia’s plan for better health care, Your Health Matters,is all about improving care for patients and their families,”said Premier John Hamm. “All Nova Scotians should be proud of theprogress made in cancer care through Patient Navigation.” Theresa Marie Underhill, chief operating officer, Cancer CareNova Scotia, said the evaluation proves that the program is doingwhat it intended to do — improve community care for NovaScotians. “The navigators, working closely with family doctorsand cancer specialists, improve access to treatment andco-ordination of care, follow-up and support services forpatients and families,” she said. “Nova Scotians can be proud of the work done by Cancer Care NovaScotia,” said Health Minister Angus MacIsaac. “By investing inthis program, Cancer Care Nova Scotia reinforces its commitmentto helping Nova Scotians in their communities deal with cancer.” Findings outlined in the evaluation indicate: CANCER CARE N.S.–Program Improves Guysborough-Antigonish-StraitCancer Care Patients, families, physicians and health professionals are extremely satisfied; Patients are more knowledgeable about their disease and are better prepared for appointments with cancer specialists, which is resulting in better, more efficient care; Through Patient Navigation, patients are often able to access more services in their home community; Patient Navigation is increasing collaboration among health professionals; and Cancer Care Nova Scotia leadership, district commitment and good communication are critical to the success of Patient Navigation.
N.S. FILM DEVELOPMENT CORP.–National Spotlight Shines on LocalTalent Three locally produced films have recently garnered sevennominations from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Televisionfor the 2004 Genie Awards. Among the nominees were three nods for the film Marion Bridge. Produced by Idlewild Films of Halifax, Marion Bridge tells thestory of three estranged sisters who come back together to carefor their ailing mother. Two of the nominations were in theperformance by an actress in a leading role category for RebeccaJenkins and Molly Parker. The third nomination, in the adaptedscreenplay category, recognizes Cape Breton native, DanielMacIvor, for his writing mastery. Marion Bridge is based on hisplay by the same name. Thom Fitzgerald’s The Wild Dogs, produced by imX communications,earned nominations in performance by an actor in a supportingrole (David Hayman), achievement in editing (Michael Weir) andachievement in music – original score (Sandy Moore) categories.The Wild Dogs weaves together a week in the life of severalcharacters living in Bucharest. Olympia Dukakis was nominated in the performance by an actress ina supporting role category for her role as a mother supportingher son’s decision to end his life in a second Thom Fitzgeraldfilm, The Event, produced by Emotion Pictures. “We are fortunate to have many talented filmmakers in NovaScotia. Our directors and writers push the edge regularly withcompelling stories and our producers are among the best in thecountry and internationally in recognizing quality projects anddeveloping innovative ways of completing these projects,” saidAnn MacKenzie, CEO Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation. The Genie Awards recognize excellence in Canadian filmmaking. They are set to air on Saturday, May 1 at 9 p.m. on ASN.
Sunday, May 2 is the beginning of National Forest Week in Canada,Natural Resources Minister Richard Hurlburt announced today,April 30. Nova Scotians can celebrate the week by taking part isvarious activities around the province. The theme for the week is Canada’s Forests — A Fine Balance andit focuses on the decline of wildlife habitat and the increase inspecies at risk. “Our forests contribute significantly to a healthy environment,economy and lifestyle for all Nova Scotians,” said Mr. Hurlburt.”In addition, they provide food and shelter for thousands ofwildlife species.” Activities are planned across the province to increase awarenessabout the many living things that call our forests home. Children’s entertainer Jim Dalling will perform his “Ask me ifI’m a Tree” show for school children in grades 3 to 6 throughoutNova Scotia during National Forest Week. The show is aneducational, interactive presentation that brings the message ofresponsible forest use and sustainable forest management. “Mr. Dalling’s presentation will show our children the importanceof our forests to every-day life,” said Mr. Hurlburt. “NationalForest Week is an opportunity for all of us to consider the truevalue of Nova Scotia’s forests.” Other events around the province include school visits byDepartment of Natural Resources staff, who will talk withstudents in grades 4 to 6 classes about the importance of ourforests and will distribute seedlings for them to plant. The Department of Natural Resources will also host mall displaysin Sydney on Friday, May 7 and New Minas on Saturday, May 8. Achildren’s forest planting will take place in Hilden, Colchester,Co., on Wednesday, May 5. In addition, staff at the NaturalResources Education Centre in Middle Musquodoboit will host anopen house on Saturday, May 8 on the McCurdy woodlot to focus onHurricane Juan damage and clean-up activities. National Forest Week is sponsored by the Canadian ForestryAssociation and runs until Saturday, May 8. Information about thedifferent activities is available at www.gov.ns.ca/natr .
The medical officer of health is advising residents who use waterfrom Springfield Lake, in the community of Springfield Lake,Halifax Regional Municipality, that a water advisory issued Dec.12, 2004 is now lifted. Residents are reminded that drawing water for drinking, cooking,or bathing from a surface water source, such as a lake, is notrecommended unless the water is being treated. Untreated lakewater is not a safe drinking water supply. Water should befiltered and treated prior to consumption. -30-
a flashlight with extra batteries; a portable, battery-operated radio with extra batteries; emergency food and bottled water; a first aid kit; an extra supply of any medications; blankets or sleeping bags for warmth; cash and credit cards; a change of clothes and shoes. Medical alert bracelets or tags should be worn at all times soemergency personnel have correct information about any medicalconditions. Persons with a hearing, sight, speech or languagedisability should discuss with their team other ways tocommunicate during emergency situations. Alternate ways tocommunicate could include a writing pad and pencils and using aflashlight to signal a location. Whistles, bells and hanging abrightly coloured sheet outside can also be used as signals. Anyone with a seeing or hearing guide dog should include extrafood, water and supplies for the animal as part of the emergencykit. It’s also valuable to provide a member of the team with ahouse key and have someone check in if the phone lines go down. Family and friends should be aware of any special medicalequipment, how it operates and who to contact if there areproblems. If access to special medical facilities will benecessary, find out about alternate locations and include thisinformation in the kit. Craig MacLaughlan, executive director of the Nova ScotiaEmergency Measures Organization, says a support network ofneighbours is something all Nova Scotians can establish.”Everyone should put together a plan that is easy to follow andensures your basic safety needs are met,” said Mr. MacLaughlan.”Offer assistance to others in your area. They may need help withtransportation to a shelter and may be reluctant to ask for help.Neighbours helping neighbours is what it’s all about.” Prepare Now! Learn How! is the theme of Emergency PreparednessWeek, which takes place across the country May 1-7. For more information on emergency preparedness, visit the NovaScotia Emergency Measures Organization’s website atwww.gov.ns.ca/emo -30- Creating a network of friends, neighbours and family that can becalled upon to help in an emergency is one way people who may bevulnerable can prepare before an emergency strikes. Knowing there are people to rely on can reduce anxiety. Those whomay be in more vulnerable situations should discuss concerns withfriends and co-workers and explain that extra assistance may beneeded during an emergency. It’s important to have a team inplace at both work and home. Joanne Lawlor, manager of community development for the NovaScotia Red Cross, recommends that people who may be vulnerableduring an emergency have a support system they can tap into. “Howcan you help yourself is a question everyone should ask.Depending on the situation, emergency personnel may not beavailable immediately. During an emergency situation, the RedCross appeals to everyone to check on their neighbours,” said Ms.Lawlor. “If you are asked to evacuate, it’s comforting to knowthat someone will be there to help.” There are a number of organizations that become involved in anemergency response. However, many may not able to provide one-on-one assistance immediately. That’s why it’s vital that everyonehave an emergency plan in place and ready to go. The plan should include a kit of emergency supplies, an emergencycontact list including names, addresses and telephone numbers ofdoctors, along with a detailed description of currentmedications. This kit should contain supplies such as:
The province is helping businesses in southwest Nova Scotia sell more to the public sector. Business leaders can meet public sector purchasers at a trade show in Shelburne on Tuesday, Sept. 26, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Nova Scotia Community College, 1575 Lake Rd., Shelburne. Buyers from three levels of government, universities and colleges, school boards and health-care facilities will be available to meet local business operators. “The Supplier Development Program is an important part of helping Nova Scotia’s economy to prosper,” said Richard Hurlburt, Minister of Economic Development. “This trade show is a great opportunity for businesses to learn about public sector procurement and to meet with public sector buyers.” The show will allow business vendors to learn about opportunities for increased sales to the public sector. They can meet public sector buyers to discuss issues face-to-face. Eighty per cent of the $1 billion that the public sector spends annually on goods, services, and construction is purchased from Nova Scotia businesses. The province’s Supplier Development Program is encouraging more Nova Scotia companies to sell to government. The trade show is co-hosted by the Office of Economic Development, South West Shore Development Authority, Shelburne and Area Chamber of Commerce and the area’s Community Business Development Corporation. “The South West Shore Development Authority is pleased to co-sponsor the reverse trade show in Shelburne,” said Frank Anderson, CEO of the South West Shore Development Authority. “This event will promote our local businesses, strengthen government relations, and increase economic development in our area.” Nova Scotia’s Supplier Development Program helps small business operators learn how to bid on government goods and services, and provides outreach services and community workshops on accessing business opportunities with government. For more information on supplier development see the website at www.gov.ns.ca/tenders/supplierdevelopment .
A poet, a retired colonel and community volunteer are among the those who have been recognized and honoured for their contributions to their communities. And it’s time for more deserving Nova Scotians to join the list. People across Nova Scotia are reminded to nominate or renominate, someone who has made a significant contribution to their community for the 2007 Order of Nova Scotia. The nomination deadline is Friday, March 16. “Since 2001, when the Order of Nova Scotia began, there have been 35 very deserving people inducted,” said Len Goucher, Minister responsible for the Order of Nova Scotia Act. “I encourage Nova Scotians to nominate someone they feel has made a significant contribution to their community.” In the past, five recipients were selected each year by the Order of Nova Scotia Advisory Council, which is made up of community representatives from across the province. “Each year the quality of the nominations we receive makes choosing five a difficult task,” said Sharon Oliver, chair of the advisory council. “Their communities are stronger and more vibrant as a result of the hard work of the nominees. We want to remind Nova Scotians they can renominate someone who was nominated in the past — they will be considered again.” Nova Scotians can be nominated for several reasons. They may work to protect human rights or preserve the cultural identity of their communities. They may be teachers, community leaders or inventors. Others might include peacekeepers, communicators or those who work to preserve the environment. Nomination forms can be picked up at Access Nova Scotia centres throughout the province. They are also available at Province House, at the offices of all members of the legislative assembly, Nova Scotia members of parliament and senators, as well as municipal offices. For more information contact the Protocol Office at 902-424-4463, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or see the website at http://www.gov.ns.ca/prot/order.htm .
An internationally renowned expert on Gaelic Cape Breton will give a talk on Nova Scotia Gaelic storytellers Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Highland Village Museum in Iona, Victoria Co. John Shaw will discuss the importance of Cape Breton’s Gaelic storytellers and their repertoires in relation to the oral traditions of peoples speaking Celtic languages. He will examine the historical background of Gaelic storytelling in Cape Breton from the time of Highland settlement and how stories are passed on. Storytellers recorded in the island’s communities will be discussed along with brief histories of selected tales and Cape Breton’s valuable contribution to wider folktale research. Examples of the Cape Breton storytelling tradition will round out the presentation. Mr. Shaw lives in Edinburgh, Scotland where he is a senior lecturer in Scottish ethnography with the school of Scottish studies, University of Edinburgh. A former Glendale, Inverness Co. resident, he is known internationally for his academic work on Gaelic Cape Breton. He has produced three collections of Gaelic stories including the recently published Na Beanntaichean Gorma/The Blue Mountains, a collection of Cape Breton Gaelic tales. Our Nova Scotia Gaelic Storytellers and Their Stories is part of the Seòmbar na Gréineadh/Summer Room Lecture Series. It will begin at 7 p.m. in the Highland Village Tuning Room. Admission is free and all are welcome. For more information, call 902-725-2272 or e-mail email@example.com .
For more information and a detailed list events, visit www.responsiblegamblingns.ca . An interactive community education display at shopping malls in each target community. Visitors will receive takeaway information and can take part in a responsible gambling quiz that will help increase knowledge of ways to gamble responsibly, if they choose to gamble. A two-day Responsible Gambling Conference will be held Monday, Oct. 6 and Tuesday, Oct. 7 in Halifax. The conference will feature expert speakers and leading authorities on gambling issues, innovative presentation formats and discussions about preventing problem gambling and the latest trends and challenges in responsible gambling and corporate social responsibility. The launch of a new, comprehensive, player-focused responsible gambling website on Oct. 6. A talk by Ms. Mullally at a Halifax Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 7 about the province’s gaming industry. Complete with interactive community education displays, a new awareness program and a two-day international conference, the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation is set to launch its seventh annual Responsible Gambling Awareness Week. Events are aimed at increasing public awareness of responsible gambling and corporate social responsibility in Nova Scotia and will be held across the province Oct. 5 to 11. “Responsible Gambling Awareness Week is about education, awareness and preventing problems before they start,” Marie Mullally, president and CEO of the gaming corporation, said today, Oct. 3. “Gaming is a form of entertainment and we want to ensure that if Nova Scotians play, they do so responsibility. That’s why, the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation believes in providing the information that players need to make informed decisions.” Responsible Gambling Awareness Week events are happening across the province, with a will focus on six target communities: Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Halifax Regional Municipality, Municipality of Digby, Municipality of Lunenburg, New Glasgow and Truro. Events and education programs includes:
The Emergency Management Office and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal advise Nova Scotians to take appropriate precautions in view of Environment Canada’s forecast of freezing rain and ice pellets today, Jan. 7. Such weather conditions can make driving treacherous and cause power outages. The departments advise Nova Scotians to monitor local weather forecasts, avoid driving if possible and make sure they have emergency supplies in their homes, or in their vehicles if driving. A home emergency kit should include: a battery operated or crank radio, a flashlight, spare batteries, non-perishable food, a manual can opener, drinking water, adequate supply of medication, first-aid kit, blankets or sleeping bags, extra clothing and footwear. Similar items are recommended for vehicle kits, along with jumper cables, warning flares, a shovel, traction sand or road salt, and a tow rope. For more information on preparing an emergency kit for your home or vehicle, go to the Emergency Management Office website at www.gov.ns.ca/emo . More information on road conditions is available by dialling 511 for provincial highway conditions, or 1-888-432-3233 for local road information. In the event of power outage, people can call Nova Scotia Power’s outage information line at 1-877-428-6004.
Visitors to the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management Web site now have the opportunity to view rare film footage and photographs shot after the 1917 Halifax Explosion, newly re-mastered in a high-resolution format. All of the photographs, films, and archival records in the Halifax Explosion 1917 Online Resources have been re-digitized, so Internet visitors can see, in great detail, the aftermath of the disaster and efforts to rebuild the city. “Dec. 6, 1917 is a day forever etched in the history of this province,” said Bill Estabrooks on behalf of Percy Paris, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “Through these photos and films we see horrific damage and destruction, but also the strength and determination that eventually rebuilt Halifax.” More than 160 images and documents showing the devastated city are featured with a new magnification tool that lets visitors explore each image in minute detail. Photos showing coffins piled up on Argyle Street, a cloud of smoke looming over the harbour, and entire city blocks levelled from the blast, are stark reminders of the chaos that followed the disaster. A highlight of the resource is 13 minutes of silent black-and-white film shot by W.G. MacLaughlan, showing the waste and ruin of a city destroyed. Re-mastered and slowed to actual speed, the films reveal the clearest views and closest details yet seen of the terrible days that followed Dec. 6, 1917. “We are pleased to present Halifax Explosion Online Resources in a high-resolution format for website visitors,” said Lois Yorke, director of public services. “These photos, films, and records are powerful reminders of the turmoil our city once faced.” There are also several personal narratives of those who lived through the disaster, including a Dec. 10, 1917 letter written by a Halifax housewife and the 1985 reminiscences of an elderly woman looking back to when she was six years old at Chebucto School. Another feature of the online resource is the Halifax Explosion Remembrance Book: A List of Those Who Died, a searchable database with information about 1,951 casualties. Information on the Halifax Relief Commission, 1917-1978, is also available. Halifax Explosion 1917 Online Resources is available at www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/explosion/ . Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management acquires, preserves and makes available the province’s documentary heritage.
The recommendations from Dr. John Ross formed the basis of Better Care Sooner — Nova Scotia’s plan to provide consistent, safe, quality care to every Nova Scotian. Better Care Sooner ensures that Nova Scotian’s get the right care when they need it by keeping emergency rooms open, reducing wait times, and making the best use of the skills and expertise of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, and other health professionals. Collaborative Emergency Centres in communities around the province are key to shorter wait times. The province’s first Collaborative Emergency Centre will be announced in the coming days. In the next year, the province will extend the hours of operation for the Cobequid Emergency Room. And to further improve emergency care, the province will work with the Pictou District Health Authority to build a modern, cost-effective, and efficient Emergency Department at the Aberdeen Regional Hospital, taking advantage of the recommendations made by Dr. Ross. Better Care Sooner means other groundbreaking improvements, as well. Our Emergency Health System is an integral part of Better Care Sooner, providing timely and skilled ambulance and paramedic care. Paramedics begin assessing and stabilizing patients the minute they receive a call. They are trained and equipped to offer a wide range of pre-hospital care. Nova Scotia is one of only a few jurisdictions in North America to allow advanced-care paramedics to save lives by administering clot-busting drugs for heart attack victims. Other health-care advice is just a phone call away. The 811 nurse line has seen a 30 per cent increase since December. Thanks to a fulfilled commitment, “pre-hab” clinics in four District Health Authorities give patients the tools and information to prepare for a more successful surgery and recovery. The pre-hab teams will reduce wait times for consultations with orthopedic surgeons. There are shorter waits for admission, and improved patient flow, because additional hospital beds and a rapid assessment unit have opened at the Halifax Infirmary. Dr. Pat Croskerry, an international leader in his field, has agreed to be the first chair of the Quality and Patient Safety Advisory Committee. The committee will work to improve patient safety and health-service quality across the province. Nova Scotia is the first province in Canada to develop emergency room standards. And, as promised, accountability for emergency departments rests with the Minister of Health and Wellness. The second Accountability Report on Emergency Departments will be tabled next month. Using our resources more effectively and ensuring that the right care is available when it’s needed are important pieces of our plan for Better Care Sooner. Controlling costs while protecting patient care is another critically important piece. In the past 10 years, health care costs have doubled. Without change, that trend was destined to continue. My government would not allow that to happen. That’s why we have worked with our partners throughout the health care system to help the province live within its means. We have worked with doctors who agreed to amend their master agreement, saving the province about $45 million over the next two years. Initiatives with District Health Authorities — such as group purchasing for products and services, and more appropriate use of diagnostic testing — will save millions of dollars while protecting patient care. Nova Scotians pay too much for drugs. My government has a plan to change that. Legislation will be introduced this spring to ensure better drug prices for Nova Scotians who rely on Pharmacare, and a better deal for taxpayers. My government is fulfilling its commitment to establish a drug management policy unit. It will focus on the better use of prescription drugs. My government has already been successful in bringing drug costs down. So far this year, savings of $4 million have been achieved for Nova Scotians needing medication for high cholesterol. Annual savings of $6 million are projected. And seniors are receiving care when and where they need it. Last month, my government announced that extended-care paramedics had begun treating seniors in nursing homes, right at their bedsides, avoiding the stress and trauma of unnecessary trips to the hospital. Seniors and their families will also benefit from the new Supportive Care Program and the Caregiver Benefit Program, which help seniors stay in their own homes and communities, and maintain their independence. Good health must also include a focus on prevention and promotion. This year my government will seek your approval of legislation required to implement the new Gaming Strategy. This strategy will focus on research into problem gambling and improve the range of options to address risk and problem gambling. To ensure our children are given a healthy start, a new childhood obesity strategy will promote healthy, active lifestyles and the consumption of healthy foods. A new food policy for day cares will also ensure young children eat nutritious foods that will help them grow strong and healthy. Later this spring, a renewed Tobacco Strategy will be launched. And we will respond in the near future to the recommendations of the Autism Advisory Team. Better Care Sooner is good news for patients. It is making life better for Nova Scotia families. CREATING GOOD JOBS AND GROWING THE ECONOMY As a result of the recent recession, the economy remains fragile. Nova Scotia must continue to focus on creating good jobs and growing the economy. Past economic development strategies have produced dismal results, despite the many millions invested. For the past 20 years, Nova Scotia has consistently had the lowest economic growth in the country. My government has taken a different approach, recognizing that significant change is essential. jobsHere equips Nova Scotia to compete and succeed in the global marketplace. In this age of innovation, Nova Scotia must be prepared to take on the world. jobsHere gives businesses the tools and learning opportunities to succeed. My government has committed $200 million to this strategy. The range of new initiatives is extensive. By refocusing our efforts, and reallocating precious tax dollars, my government has modified dozens of programs and brought in more than 20 new initiatives. The Productivity Investment Program is one example. This $25-million program provides support for investments in employee skills, as well as critical investments in equipment and processing. The program doubles the capacity of the current Workplace Education Initiative so more employees have the chance to improve their education and essential skills, and better contribute to our economy. It also triples the number of co-operative education positions so that more Nova Scotians have relevant work experience as they learn. In short, the Productivity Investment Program helps companies in every region of the province to prepare their workforce for improved productivity, adapt to new business processes, and encourage innovation. My government intends to improve employer investment and employee participation through a new Workforce Strategy. My government is investing $500,000 to improve the apprenticeship system, which will increase flexibility for employers and apprentices. My government will soon launch Nova Scotia’s new Immigration Strategy, a plan to double the number of immigrants who land in Nova Scotia within the next 10 years, and to keep more of those immigrants in the province. My government also respects experience. A $1-million annual investment will identify, assess, and recognize the skills, knowledge, and competencies people acquire through formal and informal learning. This commitment to prior-learning assessment will help fuel the learning agenda and our knowledge economy. My government will also recognize the workforce needs of the non-profit and voluntary sectors, and will provide labour market support for training initiatives and regional capacity development. My government is investing $3.5 million over three years to ensure more African Nova Scotians have the skills they need to enter the labour market. Skills Up will offer opportunities for African Nova Scotians to upgrade their skills and training. A skilled workforce is a magnet for increased investment. But promising investments often require strong partnerships.In the past, emerging companies have suffered from limited access to venture capital, stifling their growth and innovation. A new Regional Venture Capital Fund changes that. My government has stepped up to the plate and made the first contribution to this fund. Other partners will sign on later this year. Exports also matter to Nova Scotia. Last year, exports generated about $3.4 billion in sales revenues. Manufacturers matter. In 2009, they led Nova Scotia’s economic recovery and sold $8.9 billion worth of goods to customers in Canada and more than 130 countries around the world. That’s why my government will launch a new International Commerce Strategy. The strategy will help our companies build international capacity, increase international economic activity, strengthen our access to global markets and networks, and build an integrated approach to international commerce. The changes we are making have a common objective — to create good jobs and grow the economy. That’s why, for the first time since 1992, my government cut the small business corporate tax rate by 10 per cent, leaving more money in the hands of the entrepreneurs who help drive our economy. The rate is being cut again this year, for a small business tax reduction of 20 per cent. jobsHere recognizes that smaller businesses need easier, more streamlined access to the programs and services that can help them grow their businesses. A web portal will provide entrepreneurs and employers with the information they need, all with the click of a mouse. As part of jobsHere, more than $30 million in loans have been approved under the Credit Union Loan Program to support ownership and succession planning for small businesses. Better resources are being provided for employers and entrepreneurs, and the next phase of the Better Regulations program will build on the government’s significant progress in reducing red tape. My government will be relentless in the pursuit of economic opportunities. That’s why we welcome the National Shipbuilding Procurement strategy. Irving Shipbuilding is competing to be one of two Centres of Excellence for construction of combat and non-combat vessels for the federal fleet. This project will provide high-value jobs for up to 4,000 people for 30 years with benefits extending from Sydney to Yarmouth. My government believes that no region of Canada, no shipyard, is better positioned to do this work than Nova Scotia’s Irving Shipbuilding. We will enthusiastically promote and champion this bid, ensuring it’s as competitive as it can be. We will pursue prosperity in every region of the province.The planned Sydney Harbour dredging project has the potential to change the economic direction of industrial Cape Breton, while creating hundreds of jobs for all Nova Scotians. In these times of shared challenges, my government is building the connections that will help build a stronger, greener Canada. The Lower Churchill hydroelectricity agreement — signed by Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nalcor Energy, and Emera — will transform the economic landscape of Atlantic Canada and build a more prosperous nation. It will make a major contribution to Nova Scotia’s leadership in renewable energy and Canada’s reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It will create $3.5 billion in labour and business income. By providing stable, reliable hydro power, Lower Churchill will unlock vast renewable energy resources in all of Atlantic Canada, for our domestic markets and for northeastern North America. This project demonstrates that the Atlantic provinces do best when we co-operate to seize the great opportunities of our time. There is no net gain when four smaller provinces compete with each other. Nova Scotia’s proximity to North American markets, excellent communication networks, and our unique position in Atlantic Canada’s gateway, provide all the essentials for success. Recent investments in the Halifax Stanfield International Airport will build on that success. The $28-million runway extension will attract more passengers and cargo. And that will open up new markets for our fisheries and other primary industries. Meanwhile, the province’s first-ever, five-year highway plan is providing a blueprint to build and maintain a highway system that connects communities and boosts our economy. My government was proud to join with governments across Canada to deliver much-needed stimulus spending to reduce the impact of the worldwide recession. In this province, that included delivering the two largest highway improvement budgets in the province’s history. The investment is worth it. But it’s vital that every dollar is spent wisely. In the past, a lack of competition in some areas of the province resulted in high prices for asphalt and chip seal paving. A new in-house chip seal paving operation and asphalt plant will mean that the province can pave more and pay less. The result will be better roads in areas like Shelburne and Inverness counties. From our fields, to the forests, to the sea, our primary industries remain a foundation of the economy. As part of jobsHere, my government has developed a 10-year plan to make our agriculture industry more competitive, innovative, and profitable. Homegrown Success is focused on helping farmers adapt to a changing marketplace and to seize every available market opportunity. My government also fulfilled its commitment to keep soils healthy and productive, with the Soil Amendment Program. A strong fishery means a strong economy. My government is committed to building a strong fishery and supporting our coastal communities. A new Commercial Fisheries Strategy will be developed in consultation with industry. It will include measures to diversify markets, to update the Fishermen’s Organizational Support Act, and to expand access to relevant training. The intergenerational licence transfer program will provide the Fisheries Loan Board support to allow young people joining the industry to buy the licences of retiring fish harvesters at fair market prices. Mining also matters to Nova Scotia. The Donkin coal project in Cape Breton has the potential to double the value of mineral production in the province and provide much-needed jobs for the area. This province is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. My government is in the final stages of developing a new approach to natural resource management that will focus on the shared values identified during an extensive consultation process: sustainability, diversity, collaboration, transparency, and informed decision making. Informed by input from every corner of the province, the upcoming Natural Resources Strategy offers an integrated approach to managing our forests, biodiversity, provincial parks, and geological resources. Nova Scotia’s export-oriented forest industry employs 11,000 people. But changes in the marketplace and strains on our forests put the future of those jobs at risk. New policy direction announced recently, including a 50 per cent reduction in clear-cutting, will help to ensure good jobs in a successful and sustainable industry. The province will work with partners to ensure a wood supply that sustains this viable industry, while meeting public expectations for biodiversity and high environmental standards. Based on consultation with the Mi’kmaq and advice from other forest stakeholders, a plan to achieve the policy direction will be launched in the coming year. The province’s purchase of 140,000 acres of land — much of it with high conservation value — protects jobs in the forestry industry while supporting wilderness protection, heritage conservation, and recreation. Clean energy is the fuel of the future. Nova Scotia was the first province in Canada to institute hard caps on greenhouse gas emissions, and has set the most aggressive renewable-energy standards in the world. We also have the first community-focused feed-in tariffs in the world, giving communities and First Nations across Nova Scotia the opportunity to participate in building a future powered by more renewable electricity. You will be asked to enact the new target that, by 2020, at least 40 per cent of all electricity used in Nova Scotia will come from renewable energy sources. Our Cleaner Energy Strategy will look at new technologies to support cleaner energy sources, sources like tidal power. Nova Scotia is a world leader in the development of tidal energy. An underwater cable will arrive this summer and is the next step in connecting our tidal pilot projects to the grid. We have attracted world-class companies and strong local companies, like Minas Basin, Nova Scotia Power, and the Irving Shipyard, to work on this exciting tidal project. Tourism is another important economic driver for this province. Work will continue to build Nova Scotia as a premier travel destination and attract more visitors to the province. Nova Scotia is steeped in rich, diverse culture. This year my government will work with members of the Arts and Culture sector to implement its recently announced five-point Arts and Culture Plan. By year’s end, Arts Nova Scotia, an independent body for artist funding, will be in place. And in the next few weeks, conversations will begin with the Arts and Culture sector about creating “Status of the Artist” legislation. We must also maintain our focus on excellence in public education. Despite the challenges of declining enrolment, the province is increasing its per-pupil funding of public education, and focusing on excellence in the classroom. Shortly, Dr. Ben Levin, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Education Leadership, will file his report focused on improving the quality of learning and outcomes for students. My government has already begun to make positive changes focused on helping children succeed in school. A new literacy intervention framework is one example. This flexible early-literacy program will continue to help those students in greatest need, while expanding support to more children who need help. My government’s commitment to after-school programs and to broadening the community use of schools will also be fulfilled this year. In and out of the classroom, parents, educators, and students are becoming increasingly concerned about cyber-bullying. Working with these partners, my government will help to ensure that students have the support they need to speak out and stand up to bullies. All students in Nova Scotia should have access to a broad range of learning opportunities, no matter where they live. That’s why distance education continues to grow and evolve in Nova Scotia. This fall, the Nova Scotia Virtual School will expand, opening the door to new opportunities for students in small and rural schools by ensuring access to courses in a rigorous, supportive online learning environment. Access to higher learning is another important commitment. Last fall, Dr. Tim O’Neill said our Student Assistance Program was the weakest in the country. Nova Scotia must do better than that. Soon, students will learn about a new program that will cap the debt load they face upon graduation. Tuition is now below the national average for Nova Scotian students studying at home. By capping tuition increases, we will keep the average tuition below the national average, making this province a more affordable choice for students and their families. Nova Scotia universities are economic drivers in this province, producing some of the best and brightest minds in a variety of disciplines and fields. But over the past 10 years, the cost of publicly supporting universities has increased by 73 per cent. That trend can no longer continue. My government will work with universities to strengthen these institutions, strategically and affordably. The value of working together to develop the best path forward is an approach also taken in considering how best to modernize the electoral system. A modern and efficient electoral system will ensure Nova Scotians continue to exercise their democratic rights. To that end, my government will introduce a new Elections Act to modernize the conduct of elections. It is based on advice from the recognized parties, the Election Commission, and others who were consulted by the Chief Electoral Officer. HELPING PEOPLE MAKE ENDS MEET Making life better for families means making life more affordable. That’s why my government eliminated the provincial tax on essentials like home heating, books, children’s shoes, clothes, feminine hygiene products, and diapers. The Poverty Reduction Tax Credit and Affordable Living Tax Credit are two more examples of how my government is reducing the burden for those most in need. And now, seniors receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement no longer pay provincial tax. Having a safe place to call home is important for us all.For seniors, for families, and for persons with disabilities, more than $128 million has gone to constructing or renovating more than 1,700 homes. For those buying a heritage property, provincial tax rebates are available. A provincial tax rebate is also available for those buying a vehicle for physically challenged people. But we know this is not enough. New steps will be taken to help Nova Scotians make ends meet. Making life better for families means treating people fairly and with respect. This year my government will improve support for Nova Scotian families, provide new incentives for people to break out of the poverty cycle, and address gaps in support for persons with disabilities. My government is making significant changes to improve the Employment, Support and Income Assistance program. For example, people who want to come out of Income Assistance, and who find jobs, will now be able to keep more of the money they make. And parents whose children are attending post-secondary institutions will now continue to receive housing support. Through the creation of a new 211 system, Nova Scotians will be able to access a full range of social services within their local communities, just by picking up the phone. And the loving families who care for foster children will also receive more support. Services for Nova Scotians living with disabilities will improve, and we will shorten waiting lists for day programs, a critical consideration for families who wish their loved ones to live at home. My government will continue to bring attention to the importance of safe workplaces, and engage with employers, unions, and others to eliminate workplace accidents and deaths. Approval for stronger penalties for Occupational Health and Safety offences, and further sanctions for impaired driving, will be sought during this session. These bills will propose serious consequences for actions that endanger the lives of others. Domestic violence is another area of great concern for many Nova Scotians. We all saw courage and leadership when the family and friends of Paula Gallant made sure that she was remembered, and that justice was done in her memory. The scourge of domestic violence is persistent, but my government is implementing the Domestic Violence Action Plan to increase support for victims and further support the many who work to stop domestic violence. The province’s first Domestic Violence Court will be established in Sydney as a key part of the plan. Positive, meaningful change is well underway in Nova Scotia.My government is committed to keeping emergency rooms open and delivering better care to Nova Scotians. My government is creating good jobs and growing the economy. My government is helping Nova Scotians make ends meet. And my government is living within its means. The plan is on track. The plan is working. My government is making life better for families. God bless Nova Scotia. God bless Canada. God save the Queen. The following is the speech from the throne read today, March 31, 2011, by Lt.-Gov. Mayann Francis at the opening of the third session of the 61st General Assembly of Nova Scotia: BUILDING ON A PLAN TO MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY: Mr. Speaker, Members of the Legislative Assembly, ladies and gentlemen, the people of Nova Scotia: I am pleased to welcome you to the third session of the 61st General Assembly. I note with pleasure the participation in today’s ceremonies of the Cape Breton Highlanders and the Halifax Rifles. These historic military units have been reactivated, with the support of the province. At home and abroad, Nova Scotians have been putting their best foot forward. We salute the athletes and volunteers responsible for the tremendous success of the Canada Winter Games. The Games set new attendance records. And Nova Scotia was honoured with the Centennial Cup for the most improved team. Digby recently hosted the Canadian senior curling national championships, another success for the warm hospitality and volunteer spirit of Nova Scotians. In the past year, our province welcomed Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh as the International Fleet Review highlighted the Navy Centennial. Memories of these events will last a lifetime. This year, Nova Scotia will host leaders, legislators, and community builders from North America and around the world. At the Eastern Canadian Premiers and New England Governors meeting, premiers and governors will discuss ways to manage fiscal challenges, enhance trade, maximize the region’s energy resources, and protect the environment. The 51st Annual Meeting of the Council of State Governments’ Eastern Regional Conference will be held for the first time in Atlantic Canada this coming year. In June, Nova Scotia will host the Energy Council, which will bring together legislators from jurisdictions throughout North America. And we look forward to hosting the International African Diaspora conference in September, which will bring delegates from many countries. My government is pleased to join with other partners in honouring the past and charting the future. Last August 31, representatives of our First People, our province, and our nation made history by signing the Terms of Reference for a Mi’kmaq–Nova Scotia–Canada Consultation Process. To honour the Acadian heritage and the Acadian presence in Nova Scotia, the province is enthusiastically supporting the designation of Grand Pré as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our magnificent Bay of Fundy, a breathtaking part of this province, is now Canada’s lone finalist in a longstanding bid to become one of the “New7Wonders of Nature.” We encourage all Nova Scotians to vote for Fundy. My government is pleased to join with the federal government in recognizing 2011 as the Year of the Entrepreneur, because of the essential role that small and medium-sized businesses play in Nova Scotia. My government is also pleased to take part in Yarmouth’s 250th anniversary this year. And government will support efforts to aggressively market Southwestern Nova Scotia as a premium tourism destination. We take time now to remember several Nova Scotians who have represented the best this province can be, and who are no longer with us: And we pause in grief and concern as we watch other parts of the world struggle with devastating natural disasters and civil unrest. These events and those closer to home remind us how small our world truly is and how important it is to cherish the qualities that define Nova Scotia — including our people, our programs, and our services. Our services and our people were of vital importance when storms ravaged Meat Cove, Southwest Nova Scotia, and the Annapolis Valley in the past year. Nova Scotians in these communities helped their neighbours and others through a time of great need. They demonstrated the values that make this province strong. Although we have much to be thankful for, we know, too, that our province has hard work ahead. When Nova Scotians went to the polls in June 2009, they gave my government a mandate for change. Change that ends chronic emergency room closures … Change from the worst economic development record in Canada for the last 20 years … Change to keep our deficit from ballooning to $1.4 billion … Change that helps people make ends meet. These changes are well underway. My government’s plan to make life better for families is focused on the priorities of Nova Scotians. The Better Care Sooner plan will keep emergency rooms open and deliver faster, better health care to Nova Scotians. The jobsHere plan will create good jobs and grow a strong economy. And my government will live within its means by building on this province’s unique strengths and opportunities. The plan is on track. The plan is working. BETTER HEALTH CARE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY When my government came to office, it was clear that a very different approach to health care was needed. Nova Scotians were concerned about the care available to them in their communities. There were chronic Emergency Room closures and long waits.Decisive steps have been taken to fundamentally change the way emergency health care is delivered from one end of the province to the other. Better Care Sooner is my government’s plan to improve access to health care professionals make emergency care more streamlined and patient-centred improve care for seniors, people with mental illness, and those with other complex needs, and increase the use of the 811 nurse line and 911 for emergencies. Dr. Sharon Oliver, the first African-Canadian nurse educator, public health nurse, and health executive in Nova Scotia Arnie Patterson, prominent local journalist and a proud Nova Scotian Irving Schwartz, a remarkable businessman, community leader, and philanthropist Former Members of the Legislative Assembly, Scott MacNutt and George Mitchell, both of whom served their constituents and Nova Scotia proudly Sgt. James (Jimmy) McNeil and Petty Officer 2nd Class Craig Blake, both sadly killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan Gerald Yetman, a driving force in Nova Scotia’s labour movement
Nova Scotia’s Christmas Tree for Boston started its journey from Mill Cove, Lunenburg Co., today, Nov. 12, with a planned stopover at Halifax City Hall for a final public send-off, Wednesday morning. “The Halifax Explosion was a dark time in our province’s history, but the people of Boston were there for us, providing much needed support and aid,” said Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill. “This beautiful Nova Scotia Christmas tree is a wonderful symbol of our continued gratitude. “Thank you to the Milligan family for making such a gracious donation.” Mary Lou Milligan donated this year’s tree from her property in Mill Cove. Neighbours, community members, hundreds of young students and a representative from the U.S. Consulate watched as the 15-metre white spruce was cut and lowered to a flatbed truck. Ms. Milligan will travel to Boston with her daughter and two grandsons for the Tree Lighting ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 5. “I can’t wait to see our tree light up the Boston Common,” said Ms. Milligan. “We’re so excited to be a part of this special tradition.” This is the 42nd year of the Boston tree tradition, in thanks for the medical personnel and supplies Bostonians provided after the explosion of Dec. 6, 1917. “The Nova Scotia Christmas tree is a wonderful tradition that perfectly illustrates the strong ties between my two homes — Boston and Halifax,” said Scott Whitmore, Consul from the U.S. Consolate General office in Halifax. “I am honoured to be part of this year’s festivities and hope to see the tree in Boston when I go home for the holidays, just as I did with my family last year.” The special tree-lighting ceremony in Boston will be televised before a crowd of about 30,000 to a TV audience of about 300,000. “We are very grateful to the Milligan family for generously donating this year’s tree, which is Boston’s official Christmas tree,” said Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston. “The beautiful evergreen will brighten the holidays for the public on Boston Common, and we are pleased that the rich gift-giving tradition continues with our friends in Nova Scotia.” “On behalf of Nova Scotians, I’m very proud that we can share this tradition with our friends in Boston and look forward to this year’s ceremonies,” said Andrew Younger, Minister responsible for Communications Nova Scotia. Wednesday’s Grand Parade sendoff celebration in Halifax will begin at 11:30 a.m. The tree will travel down the Bedford Highway to Halifax’s St. Stephen’s Elementary School, at 3669 Highland Ave., for a 30 minute outdoor student rally at 10 a.m., then travel down Novalea to Devonshire, past the Memorial Bell Tower, to Gottingen, down Russell, onto Barrington, to Halifax’s Grand Parade. The Tree for Boston is transported by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal via the Digby ferry, across the Bay of Fundy to Saint John, N.B., then down through Maine and on to Massachusetts. It will arrive at Boston Common under police escort and be erected and decorated with hundreds of LED lights. The ceremony will feature two live performances by the Nova Scotian percussion ensemble Squid, and remarks by Mayor Menino and Mr. Younger. To learn more, go to http://novascotia.ca/TreeforBoston. Follow the tree’s travels on Twitter @treeforBoston and “like” the tree on Facebook at www.facebook.com/treeforboston.
New Delhi: Business conglomerate Adani group has made an unsolicited and non-binding bid to acquire Jaypee Infratech and is ready to infuse up to Rs 1,700 crore to expedite the construction of stuck housing projects of the debt-laden realty firm and deliver flats to home buyers, sources said. Adani has promised to infuse another Rs 1,000 crore in two equal tranches of Rs 500 crore each to settle claims of workmen as well as secured and unsecured financial creditors, besides meeting cost for insolvency proceedings. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsIt will also transfer 1,000 acre land to bankers to swap debt with assets. Adani group had participated in the first round of insolvency process but did not bid in the current round within the fixed timeframe. However, the group later expressed interest to bid for Jaypee Infratech, the subsidiary of Jaypee group’s flagship firm Jaiprakash Associates. Now, Adani Infrastructure and Developers Pvt Ltd has submitted an “unsolicited” and “non-binding” resolution plan to Jaypee Infratech’s Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) Anuj Jain, sources said. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefThe IRP has called a meeting of the Committee of Creditors (CoC) Thursday for further discussion on the resolution plan submitted by state-owned NBCC. The consideration of Adani’s bid is not on the agenda of the CoC meet, sources said, but added that lenders and home buyers could decide to take up discussion on the offer during the meeting. In its bid, Adani group has offered to “infuse an amount of up to Rs 1,700 crore for the purpose of expediting the construction of the real estate projects of the company and delivery of the possession of the same to the home buyers”. On penalty/interest for possession delay, Adani has offered to pay 25 per cent of such amount to buyers, as mutually agreed, in respect of penalties/ interest payable to home buyers as accrued on August 9, 2017, the date when Jaypee Infratech went bankrupt. If the Supreme Court and National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) permit, the amount of Rs 750 crore deposited by Jaiprakash Associates Ltd for protection of home buyers could also be utilised for payment of balance penalties/interest, Adani said in its offer. However, Adani said that its proposals are subject to confirmatory due diligence review by the company. After the due diligence, it will specify timelines for the delivery of possession as well as seek reliefs and waivers. In August 2017, Jaypee Infratech went into insolvency process after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) admitted an application by an IDBI Bank-led consortium seeking revival of the realty firm. In the first round of insolvency proceedings conducted last year, the Rs 7,350-crore bid of Lakshdeep, part of Suraksha Group, was rejected by lenders. Later in October 2018, the IRP started the second round of the bidding process to revive Jaypee Infratech on the NCLT’s direction. NBCC and Mumbai-based Suraksha Realty submitted their bids to acquire Jaypee Infratech. Earlier this month, the CoC rejected the bid by Suraksha Realty through a voting process. The panel then decided to put on vote NBCC’s offer even as bankers were opposed to this move citing certain conditions imposed by the public sector firm in its bid. On the bankers’ plea, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had on May 17, annulled voting by home buyers and lenders on NBCC’s bid and allowed renegotiation on the offer by May 30. The voting process on NBCC’s bid could start from May 31.
Darjeeling: On the heels of the arrest of B P Bajgain, spokesperson, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Bimal faction), Trilok Chand Roka was also arrested. One Binod Rasaily was arrested from Jorebungalow on Thursday morning.Roka, who is a lawyer and a GJM (Bimal) leader, was produced at the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Darjeeling, along with Bajgain. While Bajgain has been remanded to two days police custody, Roka was sent to a day of judicial custody. Roka will be produced in court again on Friday. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaBajgain was arrested in connection with a case registered during the Assembly by-elections. The Sadar police station case is related to the forceful entry into government property on May 1. Incidentally on that day, the GNLF, BJP and GJM (Bimal faction) leaders and supporters had entered the old party office of GJM in Singamari on the Lebong Cart Road and put up party flags in the building. The building has been taken over by the government, stating that it had been illegally occupied. A police camp has been housed in the building. The police had initiated a suo moto case naming Niraj Zimba- the BJP candidate, Manoj Dewan- BJP president, B P Bajgain- GJM (Bimal) spokesperson and others in it. 4 persons had been arrested earlier. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers”The FIR had stated that 4 civic volunteers had been injured when the accused had forcefully entered the building. Out of the 4 injured, one Anmol Rai was critically injured. We had prayed for 5 days of police remand for the recovery of arms. The court has granted two days of police remand. He will be produced again on June 1,” stated Pankaj Prasad, assistant public prosecutor, Darjeeling. Bajgain has been charged under different sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act, while Roka has been arrested in connection with the case registered in the Sadar police station, Darjeeling, lodged by Darjeeling Municipality chairperson Prativa Rai Tamang.
GB Nagar/Ghaziabad: With the arrested of 15 persons, a fake call Center was busted in a joint operation carried out by Gautam Buddh Nagar cyber cell police and Ghaziabad police. Police officials said that the gang used to dupe people by offering them lucrative profits on insurance policies, loans and share market exchange.According to police, the fake call center was being operated from past one year from a rented flat in Shakti Khand-2 in Indirapuram area of Ghaziabad. Cops said that the arrested persons were identified as Sonu,Vickey, Rakesh, Prince, Ravi Kumar, Mhd Kasim, Anis Mirza, Suryakant, Siprince, Sohaib, Sanjay and Kapil and three other women Renu Chaudhary, Nisha and Rachna. All the accused persons are residents of Ghazibad and Delhi and worked as telecallers. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarVaibhav Krishna, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Gautam Buddh Nagar said that the matter came to light after an FIR was lodged by a victim in Surajpur police station of Greater Noida, who claimed to have been duped by the gang. “Harjeet Singh, a native of Bhatinda in Punjab, had lodged a complaint against the gang with Gautam Buddh Nagar police. Singh alleged that seven persons of the gang duped him with over Rs 50 lakhs by offering him lucrative profits on LIC policy. Police acted upon the complaint and a trap was laid to nab the accused persons,” said Krishna. Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot Finance”The accused persons were arrested on Saturday night from Indirapuram area from a rented house where they were running an office named ‘NCR Insurance Policy’. Police have recovered 36 mobile phones, 28 debit cards and Rs 6 lakh 30 thousand cash apart from a few other documents,” added Krishna. Aparna Gautam, Circle Officer-III, Ghaziabad said that the gang had duped hundreds of persons from Delhi-NCR regions and other various states. “Upon sustained interrogations, it came to light that the gang would specifically target those persons whose policies would have expired and claim to renew the policies. Police have also come across over 25 hired bank accounts whose owners were given a share in the amount deposited in their accounts. We are also scanning and trying to get details of these bank accounts,” said Gautam.
Paris: Ashleigh Barty said that she “certainly” did not think the French Open would be her first Grand Slam title, but with the Roland Garros crown sealed, she will head into the next few majors as one of the favourites and targeting her “next goal” of becoming the world number one. The Australian, the first player from her country to win in Paris since Margaret Court in 1973, took a break from tennis in 2014 to play professional cricket. But the 23-year-old has rapidly risen up the rankings since returning without a world ranking, and will be the world number two on Monday. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach ArunHer dominant 6-1, 6-3 final victory on Saturday over Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova will certainly have her earmarked as a player who can consistently compete on the biggest stage. “Certainly not here, that’s for sure. It’s just been an amazing journey that we’ve had over the last few years,” Barty said. “I just tried to tell myself on the court that I may never get this opportunity again, so enjoy it, try and grab it with both hands and go out there and smile. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-up”It’s new territory for me going deep into Slams, that was the goal. One of our goals is to continue to do that.” Now the number-one ranking is well within her reach, with Naomi Osaka only holding a narrow lead at the summit, and Barty has the Japanese star in her sights. “Obviously, that’s the next point, the next goal, the next situation I can see myself in,” she said. “Being number two in the world is incredible and something I never dreamt of as a child and we’ll keep chipping away and try our best to get to number one.” – ‘Body was shot’ after comeback event – Barty played for the Brisbane Heat cricket team in the Women’s Big Bash League four years ago, playing nine matches with a top score of 39. “No, not at all,” she said of her hopes of winning a Grand Slam when she started her comeback with a surprising run to the semi-finals at Eastbourne in 2016. “I was very nervous (at Eastbourne) because I didn’t even know if I would get in the draw,” she said. “I only got in the draw because it wasn’t full in quallies. It was pretty nice to almost flip into tournament mode straight away… “I remember at the end of that week, my body was shot. It wasn’t used to playing matches again. It was incredible. “To know that it was three years ago — it feels like only yesterday that we were there and in the same breath it also feels like it was a lifetime ago.” Barty lost in three Grand Slam doubles finals alongside Casey Dellacqua in 2013, but had only won two singles matches and lost nine at the big four tournaments when she stepped away five years ago. She did not play another Grand Slam singles main-draw tie until 2017, and only reached the second week of a major for the first time at least year’s US Open. Barty does not think she could have seen such an upturn in her fortunes without taking a hiatus. “Absolutely not. I don’t even know if I’d be sitting here talking to you if I was playing tennis (and) if I didn’t step away,” Barty said. “It’s obviously a part of my life that I needed to deal with, and I feel like it was the best decision that I made at the time, and it was an even better one coming back.” She has not totally turned her back on cricket, though, and said she “would have loved” to have been able to attend Australia’s World Cup match against India at The Oval in London on Sunday.
Two years, more than 25 complaints, lives of family members and a fatal accident is what cost the Unnao rape victim in her bold pursuit for justice, abiding by the system and its so-called norms, and still no sign of justice. The recent accident which landed the rape victim and her lawyer on a ventilator stirred the national conscience impinging a unanimous cry for justice. It was not that a new rape case had been brought to light but an old one which had never reached its conclusion but taken adverse steps on victim’s part as her enduring faith in the system was rewarded with incessant hiccups of inconsistency amounting to only injustice. Her plight while striving for justice is evident by losses she had to withstand, as an unmoved system watched. So when the state police could not live up to the victim’s confidence, the only alternative knocking doors of the highest court in the land. While the UP BJP clarified that the accused, MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar has been suspended by the party, there has been no concrete step taken to bring him to justice. As the victim’s uncle alleged in the FIR filed by UP Police, there stands a possibility of Sengar engineering the accident to eliminate the victim based on the information about the victim’s travel plan to Rae Bareilly jail to see her uncle. In fact, the grease on the number plate and the trajectory of the truck which hit the victim’s car on the wrong side at high speed points at conspiracy. However, the Uttar Pradesh Police “prima facie” found the unfortunate incident as nothing more than an accident. Not just this but when the UP Police filed an FIR in this accident matter, the truck driver and owner were not named in the accused list which remains inexplicable. Also Read – A compounding difficultyThe strange revelation of an unread letter written to the Chief Justice of India by the victim’s mother on July 12 stirred matters even further. The CJI clarified how the letter was not placed before him and demanded an immediate report on why the letter reached the court but not him. The letter largely stressed on the threats and danger to the victim and her family’s lives allegedly by the accused persons in the case. There was a transfer petition also filed to this length by the victim’s mother before the Supreme Court in January as she had lost the confidence of a fair trial in UP. Mishaps due to which the letter did not reach CJI in time nearly cost the victim her life, though she lost her two aunts with her lawyer on the ventilator. There is a clear understanding that had the top court taken cognisance of the letter, the near-fatal accident near Rae Bareilly could have been averted. This calls for a thorough investigation in the failure to produce the letter in front of CJI while a petition on the mishandling of Unnao case stands scheduled in the top court today. While the court must take stern action in the matter, the mishandling of the Unnao case opens up darker realities of the state administration and justice machinery. Another very surprising factor that has been revealed is the absence of CBI court no. 4 in Lucknow where the Unnao case was to be heard. It has been reported that the judge presiding over the case–in which the CBI had filed the charge sheet against Senger back in July 2018–was transferred in April 2019. The fact that trial is yet to start gives a shocking blow to the reputation and sanctity of the justice machinery which had taken cognisance of the case. In the light of these developments, the letter written to CJI becomes all the more important as it was the penultimate cry for justice and also a cautionary note that worse could happen–which eventually did–if status quo was held. Also Read – An askew democracyNow that the matter has reached the corridors of the highest court, the nation anticipates firm directives from the Supreme Court to both the state as well as CBI in fast-tracking the probe so that concrete steps to justice can be taken. Such failure of the system only highlights the misery of commoners for whom courts are the sole source of justice. But here, even the judiciary took a back step as no hearing was initiated despite the CBI charge sheet being filed in July last year. In fact, CBI special court number 4 does not even exist much to everyone’s surprise. Questions surface as to where is this court and why has the trial not begun? If there is no court, why isn’t the case assigned to another special court? The delay has only resulted in a much-complicated picture where now the victim battles for her life as the accused remains in judicial custody with no action taken by the party except a mere suspension which the party claims was pronounced last year. CBI has filed an FIR in the matter and investigation is on to probe abetment and conspiracies in the accident. Since the matter now rests in front of the Supreme Court, CBI’s investigation should lead to some form of conclusion because the last time when its investigation was called upon, no conclusive outcome was to be seen as the case was severely mishandled on the judicial front. Today’s proceedings will throw light on future steps as it will bring the glaring errors in the case till now to the surface. It is important for the Supreme Court to come down heavily upon the state judiciary for such negligence. Taking a suo motu cognisance of the letter which sought protection from the threats and intimidation by the accused person through his henchmen is only the first of many steps that the SC at this need of hour is required to take. The letter also states that a video-recording which outlines criminal intimidation has been annexed with the letter that will be of aid in the judicial proceeding hereafter. Unnao rape case brings spine-chilling realities to the forefront. If the threats received by the victim and her family are to be brought into consideration, UP draws a dismal picture of power misuse. Threats from the circle of the accused legislator and his cronies only point towards the atrocities that common people have to endure against those in powerful shoes. Should they be proven true, it will bear a mark on the state government as well as the party that failed to act upon such injustice. SC’s intervention remains the sole way to restore public confidence in the system that has allegedly failed the victim, impinging severe misery. Right from the judicial proceeding that never began in the special court in Lucknow to the letter written by the victim’s mother that never reached the CJI, despite reaching the SC a fortnight ago, there seems to be a chain of events not in favour of the rape victim much to her misery. What the court will now have to find out is whether this chain of events was the work of those who stand accused in the case besides uncovering inconsistencies that have till now marred it and in the process, prevented the victim from getting justice. It should be kept in mind that while pursuing justice for the victim, SC will be plying to restore the dwindling public faith in the system and the judiciary.