by Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press Posted Dec 3, 2015 7:16 am MDT Last Updated Dec 3, 2015 at 1:29 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Bruce Power plans $13-billion refurbishment of six reactors in Kincardine, Ont. TORONTO – Bruce Power will spend $13 billion to refurbish six of the eight nuclear reactors at its generating station near Kincardine, Ont., and assume all risks for cost overruns.The Liberal government announced Thursday that the agreement with Bruce will delay the start of the 15-year refurbishment project until 2020 from the original 2016 start date to squeeze more life out of the existing reactors.Hydro consumers shouldn’t be concerned about the four-year delay, because Bruce Power found “innovative ways” to extend the life of its nuclear reactors, said president and CEO Duncan Hawthorne.“There is a very positive and immediate price impact for the ratepayer,” he said. “Money spent later is obviously better for the price of power.”The agreement will save $1.7 billion dollars from the government’s original plans, said Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli.“Our updated agreement with Bruce Power secures 6,300 megawatts of emission-free, low-cost electricity supply,” he said.The price of electricity generated by Bruce increases to 6.57 cents a kilowatt hour Jan. 1, 2016, and rises as each reactor is refurbished to 7.7 a kwh cents by the end of the contract, or $77 per megawatt hour.“That’s less than the average price of power in Ontario today at $83 per megawatt hour…30 per cent lower than the residential rate,” said Chiarelli. “So we’re getting a hell of a bargain here in terms of price.”The government says the deal with Bruce will save the average household using 800 kilowatt hours a month of electricity about $66 a year.If the refurbishments come in under budget, Bruce Power, which is owned in part by TransCanada Corp., would get a share of the savings.Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner doubted six reactors could be refurbished for $13 billion because the contract is based on estimates of how much it will cost to do the work years in the future.“We can’t guarantee there will be no cost overruns passed onto ratepayers because we don’t have a final price yet in the contract,” said Schreiner.“The fact that no nuclear project in Ontario’s history has ever been delivered on budget or on time makes me think your pocket book is under threat.”The Progressive Conservatives called the announcement positive news following Wednesday’s scathing auditor general’s report that found Ontarians paid $37 billion more over eight years for the Liberal’s electricity planning decisions.“We’ve been calling for some clarity on nuclear refurbishment for some time,” said PC energy critic John Yakabuski. “I am a little concerned about what’s going to happen with Pickering and the number of reactors that could be out simultaneously.”All units at Ontario Power Generation’s Pickering nuclear station will be retired by 2020, and the province also plans to refurbish some of the reactors at OPG’s Darlington station starting near the end of 2016.Both Hawthorne and Chiarelli said the agreement includes a specific schedule to stagger the work on the reactors to ensure an adequate supply of electricity.The New Democrats want the Ontario Energy Board to review the agreement with Bruce to make sure the power is actually needed.“Anyone who was there for the auditor general’s report yesterday knows that simply leaving it up to the Liberal government to make a decision is not in the best interests of ratepayers,” said NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns.Greenpeace Canada called it foolish and risky to run some of the Bruce nuclear reactors 10 years past their original design life.“The Liberals are delaying rebuilding the Bruce reactors to avoid the wearing the scandalous cost overruns that go with every nuclear project while they’re in power,” said Greenpeace spokesman Shawn-Patrick Stensil.Follow @CPnewsboy on Twitter
Daily Archives: October 3, 2019
People place flowers outside Britain’s parliament in London, Saturday March 25, 2017, for the victims of the Westminster attack on Wednesday. Khalid Masood killed four people and left more than two dozen hospitalized, including some with what have been described as catastrophic injuries. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Tens of thousands in London protest Britain’s EU departure by The Associated Press Posted Mar 25, 2017 10:50 am MDT Last Updated Mar 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LONDON – Tens of thousands protested Saturday under sunny skies in London against plans for Britain to withdraw from the European Union.The Unite for Europe march, which saw many people carrying bright blue EU flags, came just days before Britain is expected to begin its formal separation from the other 27 nations in the EU.The crowds observed a minute of silence at Parliament Square as a tribute to the four victims killed and dozens wounded in an attack Wednesday on Parliament. Many bowed their heads as Big Ben chimed and placed flowers at Parliament’s gate to honour the victims.Police did not provide a crowd estimate. Organizers said more than 25,000 people were present. There was also a smaller anti-Brexit protest march in Edinburgh, Scotland.Organizers considered delaying the long-planned march because of the attack — in part to avoid putting extra strain on British police — but decided to go ahead.Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron told the crowd that “democracy continues” despite the assault.“We stand in defiance of that attack,” he said.Prime Minister Theresa May plans to trigger Article 50 of the EU treaty on Wednesday, setting the Brexit process in motion. Negotiations are expected to take at least two years.Britain voted in a June 23 referendum to leave the EU.
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau defended his government’s decision to remove a tax subsidy for oil and gas companies pursuing early well exploration.“It’s always important to have a balance,” he said at SAIT, noting the Liberals plan to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2024. “We believe that we can focus on the sector, get more efficient on the sector, have positive outcomes helping the economy here and across the country.”Asked about the decision later in the day in front of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Morneau said he reviewed many tax measures as they pursue a fairer tax code.“We didn’t think that it was targeted appropriately and we think there are other things we are doing that are having a very positive impact on the industry, but not through that kind of tax credit approach,” he said.The man who asked him on the second occasion was Chamber President and CEO Adam Legge, who later told reporters that taking that benefit was another challenge for businesses.“The other issue is that it was not applicable to the mining sector, it was only applicable to the oil and gas sector,” he said. “Ultimately, it was probably one of those things that didn’t make a heck of a lot of difference to a federal balance sheet in your income statement, so we were disappointed to see that move take place.”BUDGETLegge asked Morneau about several other subjects including if there’s a path to a balanced budget.The finance minister responded by touting Canada as having the lowest net debt to GDP ratio among G7 countries and that the government doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to make investments at a time when it makes sense.“We’re going to stay down this path, we’re going to do it in a fiscally responsible way,” he said. “As one of the 10 countries in the world that has triple-A credit ratings from all three major credit rating agencies, they are looking at us and saying, you know this is a responsible way for us to make investments in the long term.”SMALL BUSINESSMorneau was also asked if there’s a commitment to reducing the small business tax rate, but repeated what the Liberals have said before regarding tax fairness and loopholes.“We’re much less focused on the rate and more focused on are there some people that have private corporations that are not intended to build their business, but that are being used for other purposes?” he said. “We don’t want to have people that because of a loophole, are finding a way to reduce their tax rate.”Calgary Conservative MP Tom Kmiec was in the audience and said the small business tax promise has clearly been broken.“I have people telling me either by email or by Facebook, I am paying more in taxes because my tax return is so much lower,” he said. “What used to be an $8,000 tax return or $4,000 tax return is $1,000 or $500.“All these tax credits they’ve eliminated over the last little while is a direct impact on middle class Canadians.”TRUMPAs expected, the finance minister was asked about the relationship between Canada and the United States since President Donald Trump took over in the White House.He was specifically asked if the U.S. recognizes trade benefits and if Canada has to continue to show their importance.“Yes to both,” he said. “The Trump Administration has a very clear understanding of the importance of Canada.“I think all of us who have business relationships with United States organizations, who are perhaps part of a U.S. organization have as a responsibility, talking about the mutual benefits of our trading relationship.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email (Lucas Meyer – 660 NEWS) by News Staff Posted Mar 27, 2017 4:33 pm MDT Morneau talks subsidies, budget, small biz and Trump in Calgary Adam Legge|Bill Morneau|Calgary|Tom Kmiec|YYC
by Mike Blanchard Posted Aug 17, 2017 3:05 pm MDT Canada’s cattle producers caution against American protectionism during NAFTA talks AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email The agency representing Canada’s beef producers is urging trade negotiators to resist U.S. protectionism during NAFTA talks.According to John Masswohl, Director of Government and International Relations with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the existing NAFTA deal has worked well for the cattle industry in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. He said producers in all three countries are generally in agreement when it comes to cross border trade.However, Masswohl wants to see negotiators chip away at ‘Buy America’ provisions that restrict access for Canadian producers in some cases.“Anything that has federal funding, like school lunch programs, women-infant children nutrition programs has to all be ‘Buy America,’ ” Masswohl said. “That’s a huge market in the U.S. that we don’t have any access to right now.”In addition to resisting protectionist measures, improving cross-border movement is also an issue.“We can make the border work a little more efficiently so we don’t lose money just by having inefficient borders,” Masswohl said. “When you’re talking about a perishable product in the back of a truck, like a live animal or beef, then you’ve got to have an efficient border so it doesn’t siphon value off.”The U.S. remains Canada’s biggest trading partner when it comes to cattle. In 2016, Canada exported about $3-billion worth of beef south of the border, according to Masswohl. (Pixabay) Canada|cattle|NAFTA