first_img Share 22 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share LocalNews Ambassador Aaron invites Dominicans to sample cultures of friendly countries by: – July 22, 2011center_img Share Tweet Ambassador Dr. Philbert Aaron.His Excellency, Ambassador Dr. Philbert Aaron has invited the general public to sample the cultures of the world, particularly those who have established friendly relations with Dominica.Ambassador Aaron was last night addressing the while addressing a concert in honor of the 200th Anniversary of Independence of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela at the Fort Young Hotel.“I invite all Dominicans to come to know the diversity of culture and cultures that we have represented here in Dominica, and the cultures of the world, but especially those of friendly countries that have established embassies in Dominica and I speak of the Embassies of Venezuela, China, Brazil and Cuba. We should get to know those cultures; we should sample what they offer in terms of music, theatre, food, painting, architecture that they have contributed to the world,” he said.Ambassador Aaron, who learnt Spanish through the classes offered at the Institute for Culture and Independence, and delivered his address in Spanish and English, also recognized and thanked the Embassy for making this available to all Dominicans.“I would also like to recognize the effort that the Embassy of Venezuela makes through the Institute for Culture and Independence, a place where anyone can learn free of charge, Spanish and be exposed to other elements of Venezuelan culture. I want to say thank you for that.Meantime, Ambassador Aaron highlighted the tremendous contribution President Hugo Chavez and sent greetings to him on behalf of the Prime Minister, Government and people of Dominica.“We all know that he [President Hugo Chavez] is a great friend and a brother to the Dominican people. And so in the name of the people of the Government of Dominica, Minister for Foreign Relations, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit; I want to send greetings to the President of Venezuela who is at this very moment receiving treatment in the loving environment of the brotherly Republic of Cuba. I also want to say Your Excellency that every day in Dominica we are thinking of and praying for the health of the President,” Ambassador Aaron said.The concert was held under the patronage of His Excellency the President of Dominica, Dr. Nicholas Liverpool and Mrs. Liverpool as well as several members of the Diplomatic Core.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

first_img“The 19th Hole” runs Tuesdays. If you would like to comment on this story, visit DailyTrojan.com or email Joey at [email protected] USC mounted an early 10-0 lead at Washington last Saturday and prevailed to improve its overall record to 5-1 at the midway point of the season.But as the Trojans trotted off a damp CenturyLink Field in Seattle, the overwhelming mood was that of frustration. They didn’t score enough — held without a point in the second half. They committed far too many penalties. And hey, what’s up with Matt Barkley?Smell the roses · Former USC coach Pete Carroll always maintained that his main objective was to win Rose Bowls, not national titles. – Daily Trojan file photoThe tone from fans and others who follow the program suggested something went drastically wrong in the Emerald City, but no, no, the Trojans did pull off the win — their third straight.“This isn’t about anybody’s numbers or Heisman or any of that,” USC coach Lane Kiffin reminded everyone during his post-game news conference. “This is about winning games.”Sure it is. That, of course, is obvious.  But that’s hardly the whole picture.Fans are growing increasingly frustrated each week — even with the winning, and, really, they deserve to be.On one Rivals.com message board: “Does anyone truly think [Lane Kiffin] is a good play caller?”Another added: “This is what I see: an offense that seems to try to move while the hand brake is on, and the hand on the hand brake is the coach.”USC might still be going 60 miles per hour, but these Trojans were supposed to be cruising at 90, right?In the months leading up to the season, we were told by Kiffin this team had the “perfect Trojan” in Barkley under center. This squad had the eventual “best ever” at wide receiver in sophomore Marqise Lee. This wasn’t endless media speculation; these definitive declarations came directly from the mouth of the coach, the head of the program.Internally, the bar was set quite high. The athletic department launched a “We Play” campaign, intended to highlight a number of goals for the upcoming year such as playing for keeps, playing to dominate and playing to finish.USC plopped a billboard with Barkley on it in Westwood, just a couple blocks from the campus of crosstown rival UCLA.Most of all, USC talked about “unfinished business,” using the words uttered by the senior signal caller during his announcement to return to school as a catchphrase for T-shirts, wristbands and other merchandise — anything to make a buck.As much as Kiffin, his coaching staff and his players have referenced “prep, not hype” — a slogan that has been painted on the sidelines at Howard Jones Field since spring practice — the hype around the program for the last 10 months has been unparalleled.And for what? To sell a couple extra tickets?Kiffin’s predecessor, Pete Carroll, who coached the Trojans from 2001-09, excelled in terms of channeling expectations. Even with people around Los Angeles and around the sport fixated on the Trojans, the internal goal always remained: to own the Rose Bowl.Owning the Rose Bowl was twofold. It involved winning the conference title to earn a spot in the Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1 and beating UCLA, which plays its home games in the Rose Bowl stadium. Both were clear and simple objectives, and USC exercised quite a bit of control in achieving them by just winning the contests on the schedule. In fact, Al Davis’ “just win, baby” mantra would have fit the program quite nicely.Instead, USC, in 2012, watched the expectations grow like wildfire. And if anything, it just added fuel.It scripted the narrative of finishing business, implying a grand finale in South Beach by securing a bid to the BCS national championship game at Sun Life Stadium near Miami. It talked about amassing style points.“There is a showtime element,” Kiffin said about playing in Los Angeles on the eve of the season. “There is a style factor to it.”The problem lies in that these standards hardly leave any room for error. Lose once and your national championship hopes suffer rather substantially. Lose again and they’re gone.Win only by a touchdown or two and the reaction becomes: That’s all?Playing for the BCS title game places a team at the mercy of pollsters and computer rankings — it has to pass the eye test or fit a mathematical formula just right. In playing for the Rose Bowl, it needs to be atop the Pac-12 standings. Subjectivity dictates the former. Wins and losses dictate the latter.Of course, a national championship remains the foremost goal, but why add the extra attention? Why make it so obvious?USC, at present, faces a situation in which it’s expected to win each week and win decisively, as if the team is part of some sort of beauty pageant.Heightened expectations, of course, are a part of college football. Carroll’s teams still dealt with them. And any team ranked in the top 10 and any program carrying a pedigree similar to that of USC faces them. But those expectations are usually external. They come from boosters or commentators.In this instance, comparatively, USC set the expectations: finishing its business. And darn it, it was going to look good doing so.The problem is, right now, this team doesn’t look all that good. No wonder everyone around Los Angeles is so grumpy.last_img read more

first_imgThere was success for one Donegal student last week when Christopher Kehoe was awarded a Medallion of Excellence for his skill category of welding at the WorldSkills Kazan 2019 competition. He’s pictured above here with the WorldSkills Ireland expert in welding, and Donegal ETB staff member, Cathal Mc Gee who trained Christopher for twelve weeks in our Letterkenny Training Centre.Christopher, who is originally from Wexford, was up against 38 competitors in his category and we couldn’t be more proud of Christopher and Cathal. It was the 45th WorldSkills competition which saw 1,354 competitors from 63 countries and regions competing in 56 skill areas – with Ireland ranked tenth in the world for skills.Seventeen young Irish craftspeople and apprentices flew out to compete in the major competition.Delight for Donegal student at WorldSkills championships in Russia was last modified: August 30th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgThe global Passive House community is converging on Darmstadt, Germany, this week to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Kranichstein Passive House and the 20th anniversary of the International Passive House Conference.A great deal has changed in the world of building performance since the Kranichstein Passive House was first built. Much of that change we can attribute directly to the influence of this iconic building and the spread of the Passive House standard (which was derived from the efforts of Dr. Wolfgang Feist and others to model and optimize this particular building.) Triple-pane windows are now readily available in both Europe and North America, as are heat-recovery and energy-recovery ventilation units. A growing awareness of the benefits of airtight construction and detailing are also largely attributable to the global spread and influence of the Passive House standard.My motivation for studying the Kranichstein building was largely coincidental. It grew out of my involvement in developing an optimization tool to help Passive House designers and energy modelers. The tool is called PDT-Passivhaus, or Predictive Design Technology for Passivhaus. This led me to dig a little deeper into how the Kranichstein project was designed and modeled.My explorations revealed much about the evolution of the Passive House standard and my hope is that both the development of this optimization tool and information it has uncovered will be both interesting and helpful to others. Why Kranichstein?Quite conveniently, every copy of the PHPP software is supplied with a complete example project file of the Kranichstein Passive House building as the example project. We used this example file to develop the early versions of our optimization tool. It gave us a deep appreciation for both the complexity of the Passive House Planning Package and the effort that was taken in the design of the Kranichstein project.Figure 1: Multi-variable optimization sample graphThe evolution of our optimization tool led us to develop two functions. The first is the ability to explore a range of options for a number of single variables whilst all other variables remain fixed. We’ve named this “multi-variable optimization.” This option results in a simple graphic output, plotting each variable’s parameters on the X-axis against four Y-axis graphs of Heat Load, Heating Demand, Cooling Demand, and Primary Energy.Figure 2: Full optimization sample graphThe second user option enables the user to select a number of variables, define their individual parameters, and then have these all run simultaneously against each other to calculate the best performing combination of each of these variables against each other. We’ve called this option “full optimize.” The output of this run is a sine wave graph/plot, combined with a downloadable data table, listing their combinations numerically.After looking at the option to allow users to select any cell within the PHPP to explore as a variable, we elected to provide a carefully curated a set of variables that we found to have the largest impact on building performance. These would help our users to quickly and efficiently optimize their designs without wasting time on selecting insignificant and variables that would not make improve building performance. What we found at KranichsteinWhen running the Kranichstein project through our optimization tool, it became immediately apparent that every single one of the variables we selected was perfectly and precisely optimized to the Passive House standard’s heat load target of 10 W/m².It also became apparent that its more widely known certification alternate, the heating demand target of 15 kWh/m²yr, was not as significant. Despite there clearly being a correlation between the 10 W/m² target and the heating demand target of 15 kWh/m²yr, it was clear that heating demand played a minor role in the design and selection of the Kranichstein assemblies and components.All assemblies and components used in the Kranichstein building hewed very closely to the 15 kWh/m²yr target, with the exception of the specific window areas for each elevation. While the sum total window surface area of the building readily tracked both the heat load and heating demand targets, individually the total window areas for the south, north, and west orientations nailed the heat load target, but were clearly well below the 15 kWh/m²yr heating demand metric.Figure 3: Multi-variable outputs for Kranichstein assemblies, areas and components. Alternate design choices in SaskatchewanThe optimization options I found above that hypothetically allow the Blue Heron EcoHaus to meet the Passive House standard are only three of the many available to those who choose to explore their options. It was highly gratifying to discover that the early pioneers of superinsulated homes in Saskatchewan had recommended many of the same choices indicated by the optimization runs of both the Kranichstein Passive House and the Blue Heron EcoHaus.In a paper submitted by Robert S. Dumont, Robert W. Bresant, Grant Jones, and Rod Kyle and presented at the SESCI Conference in 1978 in London, Ontario, just up the road from the Blue Heron EcoHaus, the authors make the following recommendation in their summary: “For conventional light-frame construction using gypsum wallboard as the interior finish, and no additional thermal mass, one should limit the south-facing window area to less than 8% of the floor area of the dwelling. Additional window area will only result in excessive heat gain during the day and too rapid temperature falls at night.”They also offer an alternate to the quad-pane windows I’ve modeled in my hypothetical design above. “Thermal shutters can be of significant value in reducing both the heat loss from dwellings and in moderating the temperature falls at night in well insulated dwellings.” Notably, the Saskatoon project monitored in this study had quadruple-glazed widows of almost the same total 32.5 m² window area as the Blue Heron EcoHaus.A great many lessons and conclusions may be drawn from the study of these three particular buildings. By virtue of the optimization tool that I’ve been able to utilize, I’ve isolated what I believe to be a clear thread of links that connect them:The Saskatchewan Conservation House focused on managing losses rather than maximizing gains. It accomplished this by not over-glazing the house and by adding exterior insulating shutters. This resulted in a building that experienced very even interior temperatures – a hallmark of a well-designed Passive House.When this same concept of managing losses was applied to the Blue Heron EcoHaus, it was able to hypothetically meet the Passive House standard via the 10 W/m² heat load certification metric. In Saskatoon, at this heat load target, the heating demand number fell between 25 and 27 kWh/m²yr, depending on the specific design choices made for the project.The Kranichstein Passive House was clearly optimized and designed around the 10 W/m² heat load target. For that project location in Darmstadt, the heat load target resulted in a heating demand number of 14 kWh/(m²yr), indicating that the heat load target is the preferred target metric for optimization in more varied climates. Bronwyn Barry is a Certified Passive House Designer and the co-president of the North American Passive House Network.center_img Looking at other projectsThis exploration of Kranichstein in isolation wasn’t as interesting until I applied the insight it gave me to the design and optimization of other buildings. I’d always been troubled by the post by the owner of the Blue Heron EcoHaus in Saskatoon, published at Green Building Advisor.In this post, Kent Earle generously shared the specifications and Hot2000 energy model predictions for his project. While it seemed like he may have originally hoped to meet the Passive House standard, his project did not meet the standard’s rigorous target metrics. He conceded that while building to the Passive House standard in Saskatoon may indeed be possible, “you’d be looking at making huge financial investments and sacrificing comfort” to achieve it.From looking at his building design, I wasn’t so convinced. Given the fact that much of the research that undergirds the calculations within the PHPP has been derived from projects (for examples, the Saskatchewan Conservation House) located in right in his back yard and in other climates very similar to Saskatoon, I undertook some exploration of my own.Figure 4: Blue Heron EcoHouse, first PHPP run, before optimization.The first run of the PHPP model I developed for the Blue Heron EcoHaus confirmed similar results to what Mr. Earle had shared from the Hot2000 model run on his building. My first stop to find clues on how this building could have been optimized to meet the Passive House standard took me to the Energy Balance Graph. This gem is carefully hidden on the annual heating sheet of the PHPP. It readily revealed three obvious opportunities to optimize this design.Windows were easily the biggest energy losers in this design, with 23.5 kWh/m²yr literally being thrown out the window. Ventilation losses via envelope leakage and recovery efficiency were next at 14.6 kWh/m²yr, closely followed by losses through the exterior walls to ambient of 14.3 kWh/m²yr.Figure 5: Energy balance graph from Blue Heron EcoHaus PHPPBy running this project through a full optimization run, selecting the individual assemblies, total window surface area, average window U-factor, airtightness benefit, and ventilation recovery efficiency, I was able to quickly determine how to meet the Passive House standard for this project. The results indicated that my best opportunities lay in:Reducing the total window surface area from 30.45 m² to half that amount.Increasing the thermal performance of the windows from 1.24 W/m²K to 0.62 W/m²K.Increasing the airtightness of this building from 0.6 ach50 to 0.2 ach50.These three improvements allowed a reduction in the walls, roof and sub-slab insulation. This reduction in the thickness of the walls would have provided a few additional feet of interior usable space. Most significantly, the reduction in total window area would have halved the window costs on this project – an expense that is typically one of the highest component costs for any high-performance building. In addition, halving the window area would drastically increase the interior comfort of this building, and most importantly remove much of the very real risk of overheating for a project in this location with such a large number of unshaded east and west-facing windows.Figure 6: Blue Heron EcoHaus before and after thermal values, areas, and airtightnessAs with the Kranichstein building, once the three changes listed above were implemented, this project met the Passive House certification criteria via the heat load target metric of 10 W/m². It also hypothetically shared the same airtightness target of 0.2 ach50. (This more stringent airtightness metric makes good sense for buildings in climates with extreme temperature differentials such as Saskatoon, where sub-zero winter temperatures create a massive pressure drive through any holes in the building envelope.)Figure 7: Blue Heron EcoHaus PHPP verification (after optimization). Why optimization?Since beginning my journey into the complexities and nuances underpinning the Passive House standard, it became apparent that the habit of optimization for building design is not common practice. (Optimization is the search for the best combination of components, areas, and assemblies to achieve the comfort and performance criteria of the Passive House standard in an economic manner.)Many projects that have met the Passive House standard have clearly done so by being “shoehorned” into fitting the criteria, often by throwing large sums of money into expensive assemblies and components, rather than by optimizing the design to creatively meet the performance criteria. I, too, am guilty of this. It’s easy to not take the time to review a project more carefully to search for opportunities to improve my designs, particularly in a benign climate like California. Once you’ve managed to make your building comply with the performance metrics of the standard, why explore further options?When approached by a team of software engineers, looking for an opportunity to use their optimization algorithm for building energy modeling, I was intrigued. The PHPP had yet to offer an optimization process or a clear method for easily enabling building designers to quickly and efficiently explore thousands of iterations. The opportunity to help create this was highly appealing. RELATED ARTICLES Passivhaus For BeginnersThe 2015 Passive House Conference in GermanyA Passivhaus Conference in GermanyReport from the Passive House Conference in Maine Highlights from the North American Passive House ConferenceNew Passive Building Standards for North AmericaRedefining PassivhausForgotten Pioneers of Energy EfficiencyPHIUS PHlogginglast_img read more

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#Apple#haters#Microsoft IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Related Posts Matt Asaycenter_img Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now The only thing worse than dealing with haters of your company or product is not having any at all. The product without haters is destined for ignominy and failure. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that your product’s success is positively correlated with the volume of venom directed at it.But first, let’s define a “hater.”There’s valid criticism, and then there’s hate. A hater, according to Urban Dictionary, feasts upon schadenfreude: “A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.” Jealousy factors heavily into a hater’s temperament. Yes, jealousy. After all, no one hates a loser. That company with 1% market share? No one bothers to expend energy trashing it. Not seriously, anyway.No, haters reserve their hate for the winners. It’s Good To Be HatedDon’t believe me? Let’s look at some outsized winners, like Apple.Apple’s market share may be sliding in both smartphones and tablets, in part because the market is growing around it, but Apple still commands profits (and revenues) that every company on the planet envies. It also commands disproportionate attention from haters. Social Mention pegs Apple’s love-to-hate ratio at 2-1. Motherhood and apple pie? 7-1. (You can find similar results using Twendz or Amplicate, whose data indicates that 44% hate Apple and a massive 68% hate the iPhone.All to the tune of $137 billion in the bank. How about Microsoft? Haters have targeted it for years, including me. (Incidentally, I don’t consider myself a hater, but that’s beside the point: “hate” in this definition is what we do, not necessarily who we are. And I’ve written some serious broadsides against Microsoft for its early bullying of open source.) How much is Microsoft hated? Amplicate details a 63% hate rate against Windows, 69% against the company, and a whopping 89% against Internet Explorer. Social Mention (3:1 love-to-hate ratio) and Twendz reveal similar data. And yet Microsoft still manages to earn over $72 billion in revenue, with a “paltry” $68 billion in the bank. The list goes on. MySQL? It was once pilloried as a database that lost data, performed poorly, etc. Now it’s the third-most popular database in the world. Linux? Microsoft system administrators used to ridicule its security, performance, and most everything else. Now it owns 21% of the server market and keeps growing as it is the default OS for cloud, Big Data, and other emerging trends. Facebook was lambasted for not groking mobile, even as mobile has grown in two quarters from 14% to 23% of the company’s billion-dollar quarters.Responding To The HatersI could go on, but you get the point: haters are actually leading indicators of success. The more vociferous your haters, the more likely that you’re doing something right, and it’s driving them insane. Bonus points if you can claim a Twitter spoof account, as Apple once could thanks to @FakeSteveJobs/@RealDanLyons. No one bothers to parody a losing company or product, as no one would get the joke. This is not to suggest that you should ignore valid criticism, but rather to take it in stride and answer with product improvements, as each of the companies noted above has done. Even bile-fueled hate can be instructive, after all, so the key is to learn from it without becoming consumed by it.While it’s hard to resist responding, don’t. Doing so simply legitimizes the hater and amplifies their voice, as you almost certainly have more distribution than they do. I once heard wise counsel about someone criticized in a local newspaper. When they wanted to respond, they were told, “Don’t. Half the people in town don’t get that paper. Half that do won’t have read the article in question. Half of those who read it won’t believe it. And half that read and believe it simply won’t care.” Content on the Internet has an exceptionally short shelf-life. Don’t respond. Let it die. The best response is always by delivering on your product, as PDA CTO Eliot Murphy intimates.The Only Thing Worse Than Having Haters…Again, in our hyper-connected world it’s simply impossible to succeed without accumulating haters along the way. They indicate you’re doing something right, as SpringSource founder Rod Johnson suggests:In other words, it’s far better to have a popular but feverishly hated product than a Milque Toast product that no one can be bothered to criticize, as forum traffic on Oracle (Market cap: $164B), SAP ($94B), and CA ($11B) illustrates.  Powered By BoardReader.COMMore TrendsNone of which is to suggest that everyone criticizes your product is a mindless hater and should be ignored. Far from it. But when haters start congregating around your product, listen to their criticism, evaluate its merits, don’t respond, continually improve your product, and be very, very grateful that you have haters.After all, most companies have few to no haters at all. Pity them.Image courtesy of Shutterstock.last_img read more

first_imgTennessee fans cheer in support during a game.KNOXVILLE, TN – SEPTEMBER 16: Fans have painted their bodies in support of the University of Tennessee Volunteers during the game against the University of Florida Gators on September 16, 2006 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Gators won 21-20. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)You don’t have to worry about Kahlil McKenzie Jr. flipping to another school on National Signing Day, Tennessee fans. The five-star defensive tackle basically bleeds orange and white at this point. McKenzie, a 6-foot-3, 354-pound defensive lineman ranked the No. 6 player in the country by 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings, is as passionate a commit as we’ve seen. He’s talked trash about Tennessee’s rival schools. He’s helped recruit other top prospects to Knoxville. And he’s a very big fan of the song, Rocky Top.Here’s the elite recruit blasting Tennessee’s unofficial fight song in his car Tuesday morning. I will be blasting Rocky Top for the rest of the day #VolNation  pic.twitter.com/zeY13auBbm— Kahlil McKenzie Jr (@KM1_Era) February 3, 2015You’ve got a good one in McKenzie, Tennessee fans. The Volunteers’ 2015 class is ranked No. 4 in the country by 247 Sports’ Team Rankings.last_img read more

first_imgBraxton Miller works out in Bane-style mask.Ohio State’s men’s basketball team’s season came to an end Saturday evening, as the No. 10-seeded Buckeyes fell to No. 2 seed Arizona in the NCAA Tournament’s Third Round. Don’t fret, though, OSU fans. You still cheer for what is perhaps the best college football program in the country. One of the people who will attempt to help lead the Buckeyes to another national championship on the gridiron was in the gym today, working out like Bane. Will Miller be Ohio State’s starter in 2015? The Buckeyes open their campaign Sept. 7 against Virginia Tech.last_img read more

first_imgAlberta’s government and film industry is hoping a revamp of a grant program will lead to bigger productions and Netflix programs being shot in the province.On Tuesday, Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda announced the $45 million Screen-Based Production Program in annual spending would replace the previous Alberta Production Grant, brought in by the PCs in 1998.Jurisdictions often offer grants to studios as incentives to offset some costs and the previous limit for an individual project was $5 million.The NDP is raising that cap to $7.5 million and each application will be examined for maximum economic impact and job creation, as opposed to what Miranda described as a poor first-come, first-serve basis.“What we inherited was a grant system that was a bottomless pit and it left us scrambling for the money that we needed,” Miranda said.The grant will also offer incentives for local productions, including up to 30 per cent of eligible production expenditures.According to Calgary Economic Development, the industry contributes about $165 million to the provincial GDP, but CEO Mary Moran wants to see that grow significantly.“As we start to attract larger productions, mid-sized productions that we hope to create a pipeline of that type of business, allowing us to grow over the years to five times what it is today,” she said.Alberta is no stranger to film and TV crews; recent productions include The Revenant, FX’s Fargo and Canada’s longest-running drama, Heartland.But Moran said the goal now is to entice more seasonal productions, specifically Netflix shows, to come to Alberta.Alberta’s Commissioner of Film, Television and Creative Industries Luke Azevedo agrees and said being able to compete with other jurisdictions offering higher grants has been a challenge.“We have the mountains, the badlands, the prairies and two municipalities over a million people all within a three-hour radius,” he said. “But when we started to talk about those larger budgets, it was very difficult for us to compete.“We never lose a project because of our personnel or because of the locations, it was the money-based application.”The program means Azevedo is hitting the road, going to Los Angeles, New York, and Europe to inform studios about the changes.“We have a much more robust capacity,” he said.last_img read more

first_imgVICTORIA – Finance Minister Carole James has received a task force report that recommends eliminating British Columbia’s homeowner grant, taxing non-alcoholic drinks and introducing a value-added tax similar to the rejected harmonized sales tax.James was not available for comment Thursday, but her ministry issued a background statement saying the return of the HST is not under consideration and neither is changing homeowner grants, the discount on property taxes for those who live in their home.The ministry statement says it regularly receives reports from experts on public policy, but makes no mention of accepting the report’s recommendations, other than thanking the task force members.Former B.C. New Democrat finance minister Paul Ramsey; Prof. Lindsay Tedds, at the University of Calgary School of Public Policy; and Prof. David Duff, a tax law expert at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at University of B.C., produced the report.James formed the task force last fall to provide advice on how to eliminate medical services premiums in B.C. and replace the estimated $2 billion loss in annual revenues, but before receiving the report she introduced MSP reforms, including an employers health tax.The task force report also recommends taxes on sugary drinks and increasing the income tax credit to ensure low-wage earners don’t end up losing the benefits of a boost to the minimum wage.The report says moving towards a value-added tax in B.C. could be difficult, but tax credits and other initiatives could gain public acceptance.“We recognize the difficulty with introducing a value-added tax in B.C. or undertaking any significant PST reform that is similar to a value-added tax, after the HST was rejected by the public in 2011,” the report says. “However, with appropriate low-income tax credit increases and base-broadening, we feel that the tax system could be made more progressive and fair in the context of changes that enhance business competitiveness.”last_img read more

first_imgA person who has always work in the background of strengthening the AAP, Delhi’s Chandni Chowk constituency candidate of the party Pankaj Gupta talks exclusively to Sayantan Ghosh on the issues related to roads, congestions, slum developments and the fight against BJP heavyweight Dr Harsh Vardhan. Excerpts: What are the issues you are focusing on in Chandni Chowk constituency, which is one of the oldest in Delhi? I have categorized the issue in two ways one is a larger issue and the other one is micro issues specific to this constituency. The larger issues are mostly connected with our key demand of the full statehood. People here are facing problems with unemployment, women safety and higher education among many others. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesBut this is a larger picture throughout Delhi. Now if we talk about the constituency here the numbers of trader communities are high and they are facing huge problem due to sealing. On the other hand, the youth has become disoriented due to lack of job which is giving rise to antisocial activities. This also has many slums and unauthorized colonies where beautification should be done. Lastly, the traffic congestion in the areas of the market is so bad that people face many problems to commute. I will work on each and every issue but beautification of slums, roads and markets would be a priority. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: Javadekar This constituency has areas like Matia Mahal which is Muslim Dominated and also a large section of caste minorities are there, do you think this is an advantage for AAP? I want to clarify that our party never believed in religion and caste centric politics neither we will ever do such politics. The work of the Delhi government has always been for every section of people and poor people have always been our key focus irrespective of their religious and caste identities. The advantage which I really have is the work done by the AAP government and people acknowledge our work across the spectrum. After we win this election we will continue such works in Delhi. Till the last week the AAP-Congress alliance talks were going on and this seat was one of the seats which Congress asked for. Were you ready to give up the seat and how did this affect your campaign? I must agree that there was a lot of anxiety within me. But, firstly the party chose me to fight this election and I am always ready to follow the decision of our leadership because the alliance had a larger point of view which we all agreed to, hence, I never had any problem. When the alliance talks were on my prime target was to continue with the campaign and I never allowed any demotivation to the workers. We kept doing our work in full swing and that is why today also the campaign here is going as expected and there is nothing less we have done because of the alliance talks. In this election, you fighting against BJP’s Dr Harsh Vardhan who is a sitting Cabinet minister and also Congress party’s JP Agarwal is a veteran politician so how tough is your fight because you have never been a very vocal politician? Yes, my work at the party was mostly in management from the background. I have also handled three states like Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. In Goa party also did well in the election. In Chandni Chowk Harsh Vardhan is big name so as JP Agarwal. But here the fight is between big names and good works so I am confident. The BJP did nothing in the last five years. You are one of the richest candidates of the party, how is that benefitting you? We are not fighting this election in our own money but the money assigned by the party. The party has always gathered money from donations and good will of people. My own money can be an added advantage but I am fighting just the way any other candidates are fighting.last_img read more