Police raid Quebec offices of rail firm involved in LacMégantic train explosion

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

Police raided the Canadian offices of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway on Thursday as part of their investigation into a train crash earlier this month that destroyed the center of the small town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, and killed 47 people.“We are executing a search warrant,” Sergeant Benoit Richard of the provincial police, Sûréte du Québec, told Reuters. “We are searching the offices now.”Richard said officers were combing through the railway’s office in Farnham, Quebec, about 65 kms (40 miles) east of Montreal, in search of evidence that could help with their investigation into the July 6 tragedy.Montreal Maine & Atlantic (MMA), a unit of Chicago-based Rail World Inc, operated the train that crashed into Lac-Mégantic.The train, which was hauling 72 tanker cars full of crude oil, and was operated by a single engineer, had been parked for the night on a main line uphill from the lakeside town. After the engineer left, it started rolling downhill, derailed in the center of Lac-Mégantic and exploded into a wall of fire.MMA Chairman Ed Burkhardt was not immediately available for comment on Thursday. In the days after the crash, he publicly questioned whether the engineer had set enough brakes to hold the train in place before he left for the night.Investigators are still searching the center of Lac-Mégantic for clues on the cause of crash. They have said the train’s hand brakes are one focus of their probe.© Thomson Reuters 2013 read more


How to use social media to start flirting and land your dream

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

TORONTO — Chris Abraham may now be a leading social media and digital marketing expert, but his journey toward that job began with a simple blog post.Mr. Abraham was working for a social media firm in the United States and was struggling to move up the corporate ladder when a public relations agency noticed his tongue-in-cheek post about Wal-Mart. In it, he described how the discount retailer’s inventory of inexpensive, Chinese-made goods should be credited with giving middle-class Americans a much higher standard of living than they should reasonably be able to afford.The posts may have been somewhat ironic, but they showcased enough of Mr. Abraham’s skills, savvy and insight that within two weeks he was offered a job on the agency’s social media team on behalf of Wal-Mart.The gig only lasted a few months, but Mr. Abraham went on to found Gerris Digital, a Washington-based digital strategy company based on the same skills that got him noticed in the first place.“You can blog for your dream job,” said Mr. Abraham, who has been tracked as a top online influencer. “[But] you definitely need to focus on what your goal is [and] make a point of trying to develop a voice and show skill and reliability and intelligence.”“You could very easily give the people who are your future employers an opportunity to build a relationship with you well before you ever have an opportunity to work with them.”In an increasingly competitive job market, time spent creating the right online presence can make the difference between landing an in-person interview or being left on the resumé pile. Whether you’re looking to work in communications, with a tech company or at a startup, “it doesn’t hurt to start flirting well in advance of the interview,” Mr. Abraham says.But like with all things social media, simply being online isn’t enough. If you’re going to do it, you have to do it well.“We live in an online world and what you’re putting out online could make or break your chances for career success,” said Eileen Chadnick, a career coach with Big Cheese Coaching in Toronto.That includes showing potential employers you are engaged and productive, even if you haven’t had much paid work experience. For those working in their field, online branding may translate to advancement as they deliberately build their reputation as thought leaders in their area of expertise, Ms. Chadnick said.The interactions can come through platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or a blog, although some people have gone as far as to create a personal web page, a tool Ms. Chadnick said can be particularly useful for young graduates who may not have had many formal employment opportunities.While branding is important, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. What matters is to do it in a deliberate, strategic and proactive way, and to take all the necessary steps to protect your reputation. “You want to be really thoughtful about the boundaries and about how you’re putting yourself out there — you don’t always get to hide behind a disclaimer,” she added.In addition to paying attention to privacy settings in any social media page, you should also be careful with comments you post on other people’s websites or on media sites, as well as posting personal opinions such as reviews or endorsements.“It is important for everybody to take responsibility for their brand; both the proactive deliberate brand, but also a brand they may be creating without realizing it,” Ms. Chadnick said. “It’s not always the deliberate blog post that you put on your site. It’s how ever you’re engaging.”LinkedIn is the top site Accenture uses to find candidates, said Nicholas Greschner, a human resources director with the global management consulting firm in Montreal. “We look at what are people’s interests, what groups do they follow, where are they engaging from a LinkedIn perspective,” he said.“It’s more than just the site where they have their online resumé, we also look at how people network.”Networking on LinkedIn means something different than on Facebook, so Mr. Greschner suggests saving those vacation photos for other social media sites, and keeping your LinkedIn profile professional. “If we looked through LinkedIn and we see a lot of the personal things up there, it’s a distraction on what we’re seeking,” he said.“It’s not to say that you wouldn’t necessarily get the job, but it makes it more difficult for us to figure out exactly what the skills that individual has are because you have to filter through too many things.”It’s all those opportunities job seekers now have to tell their story that Mr. Abraham considers most useful because, if they achieve the right mix, prospective candidates may just find themselves ahead of the pack in ways they never expected. read more


Fortress Paper to sell Quebec mill site to Nexolia for 154 million

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

VANCOUVER — Fortress Paper Ltd. has agreed to sell the assets of an idled pulp mill and saw mill in Quebec for $15.4 million.The buyers are subsidiaries of Nexolia Bioenergy Inc., a private company focused on investing in natural resources, renewable energy and other projects.Nexolia will be acquiring the buildings, equipment and property at the mill site in Lebel-Sur-Quevillon, 620 kilometres northwest of Montreal.Fortress Paper stock bounce caused by more than turmoil in Greece, analyst saysThe transaction is expected to close by July 8.Vancouver-based Fortress says the sale of the LSQ Mill will release the company from a number of future obligations.Fortress says the buyer will assume responsibility for paying property taxes. Fortress will also assign a $7-million secured note it receives to Investissement Quebec. read more


ICE Futures Canada quotes and cash prices

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

WINNIPEG — Grain quotes Friday for tonnes, basis Lakehead:Canola (Vancouver): Open High Low Close ThuJuly ‘ 17 0.00 0.00 0.00 571.10 573.30Nov. 518.00 521.90 514.00 517.30 518.40Jan. ’18 519.70 525.40 518.30 520.80 522.30March 525.00 529.30 523.20 524.20 526.30May 526.00 530.00 523.60 524.90 528.00July 531.50 531.50 528.00 526.00 529.10Nov. 489.50 489.50 487.20 488.40 487.70Jan. ’19 0.00 0.00 0.00 489.10 488.40March 0.00 0.00 0.00 489.10 488.40May 0.00 0.00 0.00 489.10 488.40July 0.00 0.00 0.00 489.10 488.40Barley (Western): Open High Low Close ThuJuly ’17 0.00 0.00 0.00 138.00 138.00Oct. 0.00 0.00 0.00 140.00 140.00Dec. 0.00 0.00 0.00 140.00 140.00March ’18 0.00 0.00 0.00 140.00 140.00May 0.00 0.00 0.00 140.00 140.00July 0.00 0.00 0.00 140.00 140.00Oct. 0.00 0.00 0.00 140.00 140.00Dec. 0.00 0.00 0.00 140.00 140.00March ’19 0.00 0.00 0.00 140.00 140.00May 0.00 0.00 0.00 140.00 140.00July 0.00 0.00 0.00 140.00 140.00ICE Futures Canada cash prices:Feed wheat: Track Thunder Bay CW: $178.00Canola:Thunder Bay No. 1 Canada: $522.30 (November 2017)Vancouver No. 1 Canada: $542.30 (November 2017) read more


Auto sales rise 49 per cent in July for sixth record month

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

RICHMOND HILL, Ont. — DesRosiers Automotive Consultants says Canadian auto sales hit a record in July in what has been a banner year for the industry.The consulting firm says vehicle sales for the month totalled 181,834, including 58,231 cars and 123,603 light trucks, topping the previous record for the month set in 2015.That result was 4.9 per cent higher than total sales of 173,304 in July last year, including 59,225 cars and 114,079 light trucks.July is the third record-setting month in a row, and sixth for the year, with only April falling short of setting a new high.DesRosiers says it’s a contrast to the United States, where sales figures have declined for five months in a row in year-over-year comparisons.Ford was the top-selling brand at 27,650 vehicles sold, despite a 7.1 per cent sales drop from last year, while General Motors narrowed the leader’s gap thanks to a 21.6 per cent climb in sales to 25,852 autos sold. read more


Last years federal deficit smaller than government predicted analysis

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

OTTAWA — A new report says last year’s federal budgetary shortfall was smaller than the government predicted last spring.The parliamentary budget officer projects Ottawa’s 2016-17 shortfall was $2.1 billion smaller than forecast.The report says the improved deficit figure was due in large part to lower-than-expected expenses booked for the Liberals’ infrastructure investment program.The independent budget office projects the final 2016-17 shortfall at $21.4 billion, although the government’s March prediction was $23.5 billion.A preliminary Finance Department analysis of the federal books in May estimated that, after accounting for year-end adjustments, Ottawa ran a deficit last year of about $23 billion.Looking at this year, the budget watchdog is predicting a shortfall of $24.8 billion — which is essentially in line with the federal 2017-18 deficit forecast of $24.4 billion. read more


Probe on Kalpitiya mass killing of dolphins

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

Fishermen in the Kalpitiya Resort have found the dolphins killed over the past two days and the authorities believe that illegal fishing methods may have resulted in the mass killing. An investigation has been launched into the mass killing of dolphins in Kalpitiya, the Fisheries Ministry said today.Fishermen in Kalpitiya claimed that over 40 dolphins had been massacred by some fishermen. Deputy Minister of Fisheries Sarath Kumara Gunaratne said that the incident had been brought to the notice of the Fisheries Ministry. The Army, Navy and Police have launched a joint investigation into the incident.“We have arrested four suspects since Wednesday and more suspects are going to be taken into custody by next week,” Chairman of the National Aquatic Resource Research and Development Agency, Dr. Sayuru Samarasundara said. (Colombo Gazette)Report By Jamila Najmuddin read more


Father throws child into well

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

Initial investigations revealed that the father was mentally unstable at the time he committed the crime.Further police investigations are underway. A man in Balangoda has been arrested after it was reported that he threw his child into a well.The 4 year old male child died after being thrown into the well, the police media unit said today.


India committed to work with Lanka

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

He was speaking at a ceremony held today at Madhu Road to mark the inauguration of the reconstructed railway track between Medawachchiya and Madhu Road. The High Commissioner also mentioned that train services to Talaimannar as also to Jaffna and Kankesanthurai were expected to start by end-March 2014, well ahead of schedule, after the completion of track laying work, signaling and other necessary infrastructure, and trial runs. The ceremony was attended by Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development, Kumara Welgama, Minister of Transport, Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry & Commerce, Douglas Devananda, Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development, G. A. Chandrasiri, Governor of the Northern Province, Rohana Dissanayake, Deputy Minister of Transport, Duminda Dissanayake, Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs & Skills Development, senior officials from the Ministry of Transport, Presidential Task Force, Sri Lanka Railways, the Northern Province and officials from IRCON International Ltd, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said. As part of India’s effort to provide for the reconstruction of Northern Sri Lanka, the Government of India had pledged a line of credit of US$ 800 million at significantly concessional rates for various aspects of the Northern Railway project, including reconstruction of railway lines, installation of signalling and telecom systems and the procurement of rolling stock.The work on the various segments is progressing as per schedule, and includes tracking laying work in Medawachchiya – Madhu Road, Madhu Road – Talaimannar and Omanthai – Pallai and Pallai – KKS and installation of signaling and telecommunication systems on all these sectors.High Commissioner Kantha termed the occasion as “historic” and noted that regular train service between Medawachchiya and Madhu Road has been restored after a gap of about 25 years. India says it is committed to work with Sri Lanka towards the consolidation of peace, prosperity and development in the country.Ashok K. Kantha, the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, said that the reconstruction of transport-related infrastructure in the North would restore normal life, generate and support livelihood-related activities and also assist in restoring connectivity, not only within the Northern Province, but also with the rest of the country, thus promoting development and reconciliation. As part of the ceremony, the dignitaries undertook a train journey from Anuradhapura to Madhu Road.The 43-km long reconstructed railway track between Medawachchiya and Madhu Road represents the first phase of the project to reconstruct the Northern Railway Line, covering a total length of 252 km.The 43-km segment has been completed on schedule at a cost of about US $ 81 million. He said that a new pier at Talaimannar would also be built, which would pave the way for resumption of ferry service between Talaimannar and Rameswaram, reinforcing old ties and bonds that have existed historically between the two countries. (Colombo Gazette) read more


Laggala traffic OIC interdicted over weapons stolen last month

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

A T-56 weapon and five revolvers were stolen from the Laggala police station in Matale last month.An individual had stolen the weapons and fled. The weapons were later found near a Temple in the area. Three policemen attached to the Laggala police station were earlier interdicted over the incident. (Colombo Gazette) The Laggala police traffic OIC has been interdicted over the weapons stolen last month from the Laggala police station.The OIC had allegedly consumed alcohol hours before the weapons had been stolen. read more


FCID grills Namal Rajapaksa over a land related issue

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

The police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) questioned Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa today over a land related issue.


Ranil accuses media of telling lies and misleading public

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today accused the media of telling lies and attempting to mislead the public on moves to draft a new Constitution.The Prime Minister said that several newspapers had today carried a news item with an image of the Chief Prelate of the Malwattu chapter, the most venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thero, saying the Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters had opposed drafting a new Constitution. Wickremesinghe said that he had spoken to the Chief Prelate of the Malwattu chapter and found that he was not in the country and did not attend any talks related to the Constitution while the Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter had also not attended the meeting. Members of the council said that they feel the new Constitution is detrimental as it looks at devolution of powers.However the Prime Minister claims the media had misreported matters related to the meeting by the monks. The Prime Minister questioned if the media do not want the Government to implement the mandate given by the people.He wanted the journalists to telephone their Editors in front of him and ask them why they published misleading stories.The Prime Minister then ended the press conference as the journalists remained silent. (Colombo Gazette) The Joint Sangha Council of the Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters of the Siam Sect reached this decision following a meeting held in Kandy yesterday. read more


UPFA final decision on noconfidence motion tomorrow

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

The United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will take a final decision tomorrow on the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said that the UPFA will meet with President Maithripala Sirisena and a final decision is expected to be announced tomorrow night. He said that the final decision will be taken in the best interest of the public and the country. (Colombo Gazette)


Diplomats in Colombo hold talks with Commonwealth chief

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

The UK and Kenya have co-hosted a global disability summit.  Commonwealth senior trade officials have met in London to agree how to implement the CHOGM Connectivity Agenda, to boost intra-Commonwealth trade and investment.And new Commonwealth election observation guidelines agreed at CHOGM have been put into practice in Pakistan and Zimbabwe.This is Baroness Scotland’s first visit to Sri Lanka since her appointment as Secretary General in April 2016. (Colombo Gazette) Commonwealth members share the ambition to ensure that the Commonwealth as a whole has a very good story to tell at the next CHOGM, which will take place in Rwanda in 2020. The theme of the Summit was ‘Towards a Common Future’, aimed at revitalising the Commonwealth for current and future generations. British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris hosted visiting Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland and representatives of Commonwealth countries based in Colombo at a roundtable meeting at his residence, today (3 August).The meeting was attended by representatives from the High Commissions of Australia, Canada, Pakistan and South Africa, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka. The UK hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in April 2018 in London and will hold the Chair of the Commonwealth till 2020. The commitments made fall under four strands: fairness, sustainability, prosperity and security.The second, to assist the strengthening and reform of the Commonwealth Secretariat as one of the three pillars of the Commonwealth, along with the member states and the accredited organisations.And the third, to boost the voice of the Commonwealth in international fora as an advocate for the rules-based international system and a champion of the multilateral system. During her comments Baroness Scotland talked about the Commonwealth focus on young people, trade, climate change and other priorities. She commended Sri Lanka’s leadership of its work on mangroves.The UK is planning to spend more than £500 million of programme funding under the fairness, sustainability, prosperity and security headings in Commonwealth countries over the next two years.In addition, a number of Commonwealth countries have taken up the baton on priorities agreed on at the meeting in April in London.  Among initiatives taken, Mozambique has hosted a malaria summit, following the commitment to halve malaria in the Commonwealth by 2023. Introducing the Secretary General, the British High Commissioner reminded colleagues that the UK has three central intentions for its two years as Chair in Office.The first, to ensure fulfilment, as far as possible, of the commitments made at the very successful CHOGM, earlier this year. read more


US hands over high endurance cutter to Sri Lankan Navy

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

For over a month, 110 Sri Lankan sailors have been training with the Sherman’s crew on operating the vessel.  The handover builds on Sri Lanka’s first-ever participation in the U.S. Pacific Fleet exercise “Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018” in July of this year and will increase interoperability between the two navies.The sail-away date for the cutter will be in February 2019.  Overhaul and maintenance, as well as the training of the crew, will continue until then.  The gift of the cutter was first announced by former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon during the U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue in November 2017.  The new ship will join the SLNS Samudura, also a former U.S. Coast guard vessel that was gifted to Sri Lanka in 2004. It measures 115 meters long and when fully staffed carries a crew of 167. The ship will increase Sri Lanka’s ability to patrol its Exclusive Economic Zone, providing additional security for ships from all nations that transit the busy sea lanes of the Indian Ocean. The US Coast Guard has handed over a high endurance cutter, formerly the USCGC Sherman, to the Sri Lankan Navy in a ceremony presided over by Vice Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe, Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy, and Rear Admiral Michael Haycock of the U.S. Coast Guard.The cutter, a gift from the people of the United States, will be the largest ship in the Sri Lankan fleet and strengthens defense cooperation between the United States and Sri Lanka. The United States remains committed to our enduring friendship with Sri Lanka and we will continue to work together to advance prosperity and security for people in both our countries, the region, and beyond. (Colombo Gazette) read more


President says he will take political decision after SC order

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

The President has already said he has no intention of making Ranil Wickremesinghe Prime Minister again no matter what the outcome of the case is. (Colombo Gazette) President Maithripala Sirisena says he will take a political decision after the Supreme Court gives a ruling on the dissolution of Parliament.The Supreme Court, last week, deliberated on petitions filed against the dissolution of Parliament and is expected to deliver a judgement any time soon. “I look forward to the constitutional interpretation of the Supreme Court. Whatever it may be, I will take future political decisions accordingly, to the best interest of our motherland, not to the benefit of any person, group or party,” the President tweeted. read more


Mangala Yapa appointed new BOI chairman

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

Mangala Yapa was today appointed as the new chairman of the Board of Investment (BOI) in Sri Lanka.Yapa received his letter of appointment from President Maithripala Sirisena this morning at the President’s official residence.


Ravi Karunanayake and wife ordered to appear before CID

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake and his wife have been ordered to appear before the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on the 7th of July. over allegations they gave false statements to the Presidential Commission looking into the treasury bond scam.The CID informed court today that investigations into the scam were still ongoing and that they needed to record statements from Minister Karunanayake and his family. Ravi Karunanayake was the Minister of Finance when the alleged scam took place. read more