A cautious recovery became apparent in the global shipbuilding industry in 2017, especially over the final months of the year. Also the Dutch maritime cluster sees a positive change. “We can be proud of the many orders that our industry has taken in 2017, despite the many challenges faced,” Bas Ort, chair of the Netherlands Maritime Technology (NMT) trade association, said.Despite the beginnings of a recovery that became apparent in 2017, turnover still decreased by some five per cent during the year, from EUR 7.3 to EUR 6.9 billion for yards and suppliers collectively.The total workforce decreased by a little over three per cent, from nearly 29,000 FTE’s in 2016 to 28,000 FTE’ s in 2017. The decline in both figures now appears to have leveled off.“Over the past year we received one of the few large orders made by the global offshore market plus orders for the most powerful cutter suction dredger built to date, several other dredgers, and the first seagoing cruise vessel to be commissioned in years. Moreover, in 2017 we launched several record-breaking super yachts and dozens of smaller cutter suction dredgers for export, while also starting construction of a fleet of fishing boats. The number of orders for inland vessels has also seen a brisk increase,” Ort added.At the end of 2017, the combined Dutch order book counted 93 vessels with a total tonnage of 437,000 CGT.The cautious recovery in the final months of the year was very welcome after the disappointing figures of 2016. However, even though the new orders made in 2017 accounted for more than twice as large a tonnage as in 2016, this was not nearly enough to provide work for all the world’s yards.As a result, the global orderbooks decreased even more, and a number of yards found themselves in difficulties. The effects were especially visible in China and South Korea, while European shipbuilders were the only ones to experience an increase in the order books.“The only way for the global shipbuilding industry to survive is constant innovation and a focus on fair international competition,” Bas Ort says.“This is why NMT continued its efforts to once again get a subsidy for innovations in new vessels up and running in 2017. We remain committed to a level playing field, both outside and within Europe. Meanwhile, more and more companies are also seeing that the Netherlands is in a position to become one of the international leaders in making shipping more sustainable.”A strong Green Deal between the sector and the national government (as announced in the Dutch coalition agreement in 2017) should help in this context.“The coming years will see all kinds of environmental regulations come into force that affect shipping. Our yards and maritime suppliers have the innovative solutions required to supply vessels, and technologies that meet the most stringent requirements. Public authorities, vessel owners and maritime suppliers will have to work together to fulfil our stated ambition of maintaining a level playing field in this context too.”Netherlands Maritime Technology has published a position paper in which the trade association sum up their recommendations.SuppliersThe turnover of the approximately 800 maritime suppliers in the Netherlands amounted to EUR 3.4 billion in 2017 (EUR 3.8 billion in 2016). Total employment among Dutch maritimesuppliers was 16,413 FTEs in 2017 (16,838 in 2016). Additionally, they employed an average of 1,460 FTE’s of temporary workers during 2017.Seagoing vesselsA total of 58 seagoing vessels were delivered in 2017 (compared to 42 in 2016). 56 new vessels were ordered in 2017 (42 in 2016) with a value of EUR 1,143 million (EUR 642 million in 2016). The export share was 57 per cent (79 per cent in 2016).ShiprepairTurnover in 2017 was EUR 381 million (EUR 442 million in 2016). Total employment was 1,710 FTE’s (2,020 in 2016).Smaller vesselsThere were 155 inland shipping, fisheries and small seagoing vessels delivered in 2017 (116 in 2016). The order book contained 198 vessels on 31 December 2017 (126 in 2016).SuperyachtsTwenty-five superyachts were delivered in 2017 (19 in 2016), with a value of EUR 1.2 billion (EUR 1 billion in 2016) and 18 new commissions were received (17 in 2016) worth almost EUR 1.2 billion (EUR 1.3 billion in 2016). The order portfolio at the end of December contained 57 superyachts (66 in 2016) with a value of almost EUR 4.5 billion (EUR 4.6 billion in 2016).This article was originally published in the fourth edition of Maritime Holland 2018.
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), which are going through a massive development phase, are finding their purpose in the shipping industry as well. These systems have proven their ability to speed up deliveries, cutting lead times typically seen on traditional forms of last mile delivery.With a quicker response rate and turnaround time of up to 6 times, drones have the potential to lower shore-to-ship delivery costs by up to 90% in some ports, significantly mitigate risks of personnel accidents and have a reduced carbon footprint.In an interview with World Maritime News, Marius Johansen, VP Commercial, Ships Agency at Wilhelmsen Ships Service, said that shore-to-ship deliveries via UAS bring improved safety, productivity and reactivity by replacing the manual delivery of parcels by agents via launch boat with autonomous drones.He added, however, that development of relevant regulatory and safety framework is slowing the take-up of UAS technology, “but it is necessary and when it comes to safety it is wise to be thorough and pragmatic.”“From a ship owner’s perspective, there are so many potential innovative use cases for a drone onboard a single vessel. The key challenge is that as soon as you use it outside of the vessel, it becomes heavily regulated and this varies from country to country.”Marius Johansen, VP Commercial, Ships Agency at Wilhelmsen Ships ServiceWilhelmsen Ships Service was recently elected to help develop the future UAS regulatory framework for Singapore and will receive dedicated funding for their shore-to-ship delivery project.“The Agency by Air project we are running has several use cases we are evaluating i.e. parcel delivery to vessel, cargo hold inspections, and draft surveys using drone technology,” Johansen explained.“For parcel deliveries from shore to vessel, we are preparing for a 2-week pilot trial with autonomous drones that is scheduled to start in the last week of September. This pilot trial will be a demonstration of a Proof-of-Concept, involving actual deliveries to vessels at anchorage in Singapore. This is the first time in the world where autonomous drone deliveries will take place in real port conditions.”Wilhelmsen Ships Service said that the key to successful implementation of drone technology and the realisation of the potential business, operational and cost benefits will depend on a number of factors. The first factor is technology, as despite the many use cases, the technology does face some challenges, such as limited battery life and difficulty operating in poor weather, according to Johansen. But original equipment manufacturers and major shippers are keen to improve the technology further and extend the reach and scope of what can be done with drones, he added.“The second is the uneven regulatory landscape. Regulations from both the aviation and maritime authorities can potentially be a show-stopping obstacle when it comes to rolling out a global drone delivery service, since the regulations are different in each and every country.”The company’s project development of UAS together with Singapore’s regulatory bodies runs for a period of 22 months starting in Q3 this year. Following the completion of the pilot trial, Wilhelmsen Ships Service’s next step will be the preliminary design plan for UAS type and design for maritime deliveries that includes key technology vessel localization and landing solution, BLOS communication.“We will also be looking at developing an end-to-end design and implementation plan, such as forecasting the number of drones required from a logistical perspective with the volume,” according to Johansen.With the current UAS technology, drones are capable of making last mile deliveries for critical documents, vital medical supplies and lighter weight spare parts of up to 4kg.However, at this stage, traditional launch boats are still needed for crew change and the transport of larger supplies to the vessel through tug boats, Johansen said, adding that, dependent on the correct regulatory and safety framework being in place, drones could replace launch boats for deliveries of small, lightweight time critical deliveries right now.In the shipping industry, drones have typically been used for security, environmental surveillance, emergency response, search and rescue missions, as well as various vessel inspections.The technological potential with drones is immense, Johansen said, adding that “in the future, when the technology allows a greater range and heavier payload, we will likely see an exponential increase of UAS usage.”Interview conducted by Erna Penjic, Editor, World Maritime NewsImage Courtesy: Wilhelmsen Ships Service
Turkish cruise port operator Global Ports Holding has signed a 20-year concession agreement for the operating rights of the Gazenica cruise port in Zadar, Croatia.The deal was signed between the company’s subsidiary Zadar International Port Operations d.o.o. and the Port Authority of Zadar.Under the terms of the contract, starting from the fourth quarter of 2018 GPH will manage all of the cruise port operations at Gazenica port over the life of the concession.The concession includes cruise ship passenger port and terminal services, an international ferry terminal, Ro-Ro services, vehicles and passenger services. It also contains a commercial area of 2,400sqm, with leasable retail and office space.The cruise ports infrastructure includes a maximum draft of 13m and 1170m of total pier length to accommodate big ships.Gazenica cruise port is the second new cruise port GPH has signed in 2018, increasing the number of ports the company operates to 17 ports in 9 countries.
zoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: NGO Shipbreaking Platform Dutch ship owner Holland Maas Scheepvaart Beheer II has paid a price tag of almost EUR 3 million (USD 3.4 million) for having beached a vessel for scrapping in India.According to a report by NGO Shipbreaking Platform, the company has been fined EUR 780.000 and paid a settlement of EUR 2.2 million after it sold the HMS Laurence to a cash buyer in 2013.The vessel ended up in Alang, India, where it was broken under conditions that “cause serious damage to the environment and expose the health of workers and the local population to grave danger,” the association cited the Dutch Public Prosecutor.Following criminal investigations on the illegal export of the vessel from Italy, the Dutch Public Prosecutor agreed to a settlement of EUR 2.2 million, the amount that Holland Maas Scheepvaart Beheer II had earned by selling the ship to the beaching yard.The Prosecutor stated that it had accepted the settlement as the company has announced that it will take measures to avoid scrapping vessels on beaches in the future.In March last year another Dutch shipping company, Seatrade, was convicted for having intended to scrap four vessels in India. Five subsidiaries of the company received fines, as did two of Seatrade’s CEOs, who were also sentenced to professional bans.Under the new legal regime, EU-flagged ships must be recycled only in safe and sound facilities included by the EU in the European List of ship recycling facilities. Beaching yards would not be accepted on the EU list as they fall short of the environmental and safety requirements that the Regulation sets, NGO Shipbreaking Platform noted.
zoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC 2.0 license Shipowner association BIMCO has called for the Fourth International Maritime Organization (IMO) Greenhouse Gas Study based on realistic economic growth.The association proposed that the GHG study does not include unrealistically high gross domestic product (GDP) growth projections to predict future transport demand – and thereby emissions – of the shipping industry.The proposal has been made to the expert workshop preparing for the study, which is meeting in London 12-14 March.“It is imperative that the industry – and the world – base discussions and actions to reduce emissions from shipping on credible and realistic projections. If not, we risk making the wrong decisions and spending resources ineffectively,” Lars Robert Pedersen, BIMCO Deputy Secretary General, said.BIMCO argues that the Fourth IMO GHG Study should avoid scenarios 1 and 5 of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSP), as these scenarios project considerably higher and unrealistic short- to mid-term economic growth than current economic trends and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development projections.“The previous study’s most pessimistic projection of a 250% increase in CO2 emissions from shipping has since proven to be totally unrealistic, given the actual and projected economic development of the world. Unfortunately, the 250% projection has frequently been used as a stick against the shipping industry and to shape regional policy. BIMCO wants to avoid that happening again,” Pedersen added.BIMCO has collaborated with CE Delft, the consultancy that modeled and calculated the Third IMO GHG Study’s projections in 2014 for future GHG emissions from ships. The revised calculation includes the most recent OECD GDP projections.The report highlights, that when using a more realistic GDP growth scenario, the shipping industry is projected to achieve an absolute reduction of 20% versus the target of an absolute emission reduction of 50% by 2050 compared to 2008.“We will need new solutions, in addition to traditional efficiency measures, to reach the 2050 target. But to pick the right solutions, we need realistic projections,” Pedersen says.Lower transport work projections have recently been supported by two other studies: “Energy Transition Outlook 2018: Maritime Forecast to 2050” by DNV-GL and “Transport 2040 – Automation, Technology and Employment – The Future of Work” by the World Maritime University.Both studies have decoupled the correlation between the growth in GDP and transport demand after 2030, and both studies arrive at projections well below the BIMCO/CE Delft recalculation of the Third GHG Study. BIMCO also suggests that the IMO expert workshop take the decoupling of GDP growth and transport work into consideration.
zoomOPCSA terminal. Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Switzerland-based container shipping major Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and the Port Authority of Las Palmas (APLP) have ratified a massive investment plan for the Port of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.As explained, the objective is to consolidate the port facilities of the Gran Canaria capital as strategically important for maritime traffic with the African West Coast.Representatives of APLP and MSC met in Geneva this week to analyze the commercial relations that both parties have at this moment in the Port of Las Palmas.During the meeting, Diego Aponte, President and CEO of MSC, showed his commitment to the immediate development of the project in the port.What is more, during the meeting, the port authority committed to increasing the competitiveness of the Port of Las Palmas and enhancing its port service offering.Specifically, MSC would invest in the Operaciones Portuarias Canarias S.A. (OPCSA) container terminal which is wholly owned by Terminal Investments Limited (TIL Group), a subsidiary of MSC.Among other enhancements, the rearrangement of the accesses to the terminal is planned, which will allow the facility to provide a greater berthing capacity and, therefore, the extension of the services it offers.Around EUR 9 million (USD 10.05 million) will be allocated for the modernization process which would be implemented over the eight-year span.Last year, OPCSA became the first terminal on the West African coast to implement the new Navis N4 operating system, moving towards the automation of its operations. With the new system in place, OPCSA outlined three main objectives – to improve the efficiency of local operations, initiate the modernization process and increase productivity of the terminal.World Maritime News Staff
Local Area Office: 902-424-5080 Fax: 902-424-0696 -30- HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Bedford Bypass There will be periods of one lane closures on Magazine Hill,Trunk 7, today, Tuesday, Oct. 19, while shouldering work iscarried out. These closures will alternate between eastbound andwestbound lanes. Motorists will still be able to use the Bedford and Sackvilleexits but may experience delays while travelling in the area.
The province released its third annual action plan to meet NovaScotia’s labour market challenges, today, Dec. 21. The Skills Nova Scotia Action Plan outlines activities theprovince is undertaking with partners in business, labour,education, training and communities to create a strong andvibrant economy and labour force. Highlights of the action plan include access to high qualitylabour market information, improved labour market access andsupports, the creation of a career development service for NovaScotia and increased labour market supports to immigrants. “Our partners are key to helping Nova Scotians get the educationand training they need to be successful and meet the needs of thelabour market today and in the future,” said Education MinisterJamie Muir. “Skills Nova Scotia is an investment in our peopleand our province, a plan to build a strong workforce and brightfuture for Nova Scotia.” Provincially, nationally, and globally the labour force is agingand birth rates are decreasing. These realities are contributingto the labour market challenges of today and are predicted tocreate greater challenges for the future. Skills Nova Scotia is a provincial initiative that responds toemerging needs by increasing the opportunities for Nova Scotiansto acquire the skills, training, and education necessary toobtain successful employment. In 2002, the province launched the Skills Nova Scotia Framework.It outlines three goals: meet the skill needs of Nova Scotia’slabour market; provide better labour market access and supportsto Nova Scotians; and strengthen Nova Scotia’s system of lifelonglearning opportunities. The province also produces an annual progress report whichdetails achievements on the strategies, initiatives andactivities that are highlighted in the action plan. Copies of the Skills Nova Scotia Action Plan 2004-05 and the2003-04 Report on Progress are available on the website athttp://skillsnovascotia.ednet.ns.ca or bycalling 902-424-7764.
Residents of the Yarmouth area will soon see their health-care services expand with the establishment of a new primary health care clinic at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital. Up to three medical graduates will work at the clinic, helping to serve the community. The approval to develop a clinic was announced today, Aug. 18, by Health Minister Angus MacIsaac, while he visited the South West Nova District Health Authority. The idea was conceived by the district health authority, and is one of many initiatives being worked on by the Department of Health and the authority to address physician recruitment and retention efforts. “This clinic will bring much-needed services to residents who have been short of family doctors for far too long,” said Mr. MacIsaac. “It will improve access and is part of the solution to reduce wait times, by offering the right mix of services in the right location.” The medical practice will be led by a local physician, who will serve as mentor for two to three internationally-trained medical graduates. The doctors will be identified through the Clinical Assessment for Practice Program, launched in the province by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia in May. The program assesses the clinical skills of international medical graduate physicians, and provides successful candidates with a defined licence to practice medicine in Nova Scotia under the guidance of an experienced physician mentor. “The goal of the clinic is to support physicians, trained in other countries, in learning about our health system so that they can set up practice in our communities,” said Blaise MacNeil, CEO of the health authority. “Our intention is to support these doctors while they progress through the program, and then keep them in the community.” “I’m excited that we’ve been able to develop such a unique solution to fill a need in this community,” said Mr. MacIsaac. “This would not have been possible without the department receiving support from the district, local doctors, and the community.” The clinic will be set up at Yarmouth Regional Hospital and is expected to be operational by February 2006. In addition to the new doctors and their mentor, over time the clinic will include other primary health care providers.
The first session of the sixtieth general assembly will resume on Monday, March 19 at 7 p.m. Cecil Clarke, Speaker of the House of Assembly issued the notice to members of the Legislative Assembly today, Feb. 16. -30-
The holiday season is a time to gather with our friends and families to enjoy the blessings in our lives. It is also a time when we reflect on the passing year, look ahead to the future and make goals for ourselves. As premier, when I reflect on the past year I am proud of the progress we have made as a province and I know the challenges we have faced are only stepping stones to a stronger year ahead. I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season and a new year filled with peace and happiness. May the blessings of the season be with you now and always. -30-
VICTORIA COUNTY: Highway 105 Two sections of Highway 105, from Exit 10 west for 4.3 kilometres, and east of Big Harbour Road, for about 1.8 kilometres, will be reduced to one lane for cold planing, patching and repaving from Thursday, July 16, until Monday, Aug. 31. Motorists can expect delays. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. -30- Local Area Office: 902-674-2535 Fax: 902-674-2170 TRANSPORTATION/INFRASTRUCTURE RENEWAL–Traffic Advisory, VictoriaCounty
Il ne reste plus qu’une semaine pour soumettre la candidature d’un élève aux Prix du changement positif, en reconnaissance des jeunes qui font une différence dans leurs écoles et leurs communautés. La date limite pour la soumission des candidatures est le vendredi 22 avril. Jusqu’à 10 prix seront décernés lors d’une cérémonie en juin. Les lauréats recevront une bourse de 2 000 $ pour les études postsecondaires, la formation en apprentissage ou autre possibilité de formation. L’année dernière, des élèves de la 4e à la 12e année ont reçu des prix pour leurs accomplissements, qui incluaient notamment : l’organisation d’une conférence scolaire sur les changements climatiques, l’établissement d’un endroit sûr à l’école où les jeunes peuvent discuter d’enjeux liés à l’orientation sexuelle, la traversée du pays à vélo pour recueillir des fonds et sensibiliser les gens au mouvement Amnistie Internationale, et la collecte de fonds pour les survivants du séisme en Haïti. Les critères et les formulaires de mise en candidature aux Prix du changement positif sont disponibles en ligne à l’adresse www.powerofpositivechange.ca/fr.
Nova Centre, the largest integrated development project in Nova Scotia’s history, will move forward, creating thousands of jobs, attracting thousands of new visitors, and revitalizing downtown Halifax. The province announced today, July 12, with its federal and municipal partners, that work will begin on a new convention centre in the Nova Centre development. As well, the province, with the developer, will hold a series of public engagement sessions about the centre across the province. “The Nova Centre will change the landscape of downtown Halifax, and also help change the economic landscape across the province,” said Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. “The Nova Centre will allow us to work with international business to attract bigger, better partners and organizations to the region; to look more closely at joint ventures.” In just 10 years, the convention centre is expected to generate $85 million in provincial tax revenue, which will support essential priorities like health care and education. “This development will cement our position as the capital of Atlantic Canada,” said Mr. Paris. “Nova Scotia will be home to the first convention centre in the region capable of hosting significant national and international events, events we have not been able to host in the past.” Public input is a key component of new centre’s development. Tim Merry will lead 11 public forums throughout Nova Scotia, on behalf of Rank Inc. and the province, to learn about the vision Nova Scotians have for the Nova Centre, and ensure all will benefit from the economic opportunities the convention centre will provide. Attendees will help to identify ways the new convention centre can attract more visitors to Nova Scotia, and inspire those visitors to travel throughout the province to experience everything it has to offer. “Every new convention Nova Scotia attracts is an opportunity to expose new audiences to our 11 universities, our competitive business climate, local products, diverse research and innovation. Every new visitor is a potential investor or a return visitor,” said Mr. Paris. The convention centre will operate under a Memorandum of Agreement between the province and Halifax regional council. For more information on the public consultation sessions, visit buildyourcentre.ca .
Nova Scotians living in the Pugwash area are already seeing the benefits of same-day or next-day medical appointments and 24/7 access to emergency care thanks to the collaborative emergency centre at the North Cumberland Memorial Hospital. Premier Darrell Dexter joined representatives of the Cumberland Health Authority in Pugwash today, Jan. 9, to officially open the province’s newest CEC. “This government is committed to ensuring families across Nova Scotia have access to the care they need, when and where they need it,” Premier Dexter said. “Collaborative emergency centres are an innovative solution that is helping to deliver on this commitment. In fact the model has proven so successful that other provinces are now jumping on board.” Since the Pugwash facility opened in September, more than 1,100 patients received better care sooner from the team of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and paramedics that staff the centre. Pharmacist Walter McCormack of O’Brien’s Pharmacy in Pugwash said the collaborative centre has improved access to primary care for patients. “People in the community have said there is more flexibility in the new system to see a physician or nurse practitioner,” said Mr. McCormack. “Patients are finding it a little easier to see a provider for prescription renewals and other regular appointments.” The North Cumberland centre serves communities in north-eastern Cumberland County, including Pugwash, Malagash, Wallace, Wentworth and Northport. “We’re also investing in a new building for this CEC,” said Premier Dexter. “I look forward to returning to Pugwash, touring the new facility and seeing the positive change it will bring to the community.” The province is investing more than $2-million to plan and design the facility. Cumberland Health Authority and Department of Health and Wellness staff will work with the community to develop a plan for the new health centre. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2014. The community, led by the North Cumberland Community Health Foundation, will fundraise 25 per cent of the cost for the new building. The Cumberland Health Authority is pleased with the success of the collaborative centre in Pugwash. Board chair Bruce Saunders said the authority is looking forward to a new building. “It is clear that the CEC has enhanced the delivery of health care in this community and being able to offer our dedicated health care professionals and patients a new facility designed specifically to meet their needs will be yet another positive step forward,” Mr. Saunders said. Services at the collaborative emergency centre include: access to primary health care by a team of professionals, including doctors and nurse practitioners, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week same-day or next-day access to medical appointments 24/7 access to emergency care Collaborative emergency centres are now open in Parrsboro, Springhill, Tatamagouche and Annapolis Royal. CECs have are also planned for Musquodoboit Harbour, Lunenburg and New Waterford. Other provinces are following Nova Scotia’s progressive and innovative approach to health care. Saskatchewan announced it will implement a similar model after visiting Parrsboro, and Prince Edward Island is also looking into adopting the model. For more information on the province’s Better Care Sooner plan, visit www.gov.ns.ca/health/bettercaresooner.
the 62.1 megawatt Glen Du Wind Farm which produces enough power to supply about 18,000 homes and has a signed power purchase agreement with Nova Scotia Power for twenty years. Glen Du is a independent power producer the 51-megawatt Dalhousie Mountain Wind Farm, also an independent power producer, which produces enough power to supply about 20,000 homes Community Feed-in Tariff (COMFIT) projects have been approved for New Glasgow, Barney’s River, Merigomish, Irish Mountain, and Riverton. These projects will generate varying amounts of energy once completed. They are local projects that will benefit local residents and businesses a partnership between Sobeys Atlantic and Efficiency Nova Scotia which enabled Sobeys to undertake waste reduction, sustainable sourcing and reduction of its carbon footprint. The project helped Sobeys achieve energy savings of over 4.9 gigawatt hours, a savings of over $500,000 in annual electrical costs, and reduction of its environmental footprint by over 3,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide Trinity Inspection Services, based in Stellarton, delivers Efficiency Nova Scotia’s direct install, home-energy audit and low-income programs to homeowners in northern mainland Nova Scotia. It sees first-hand how energy efficiency programs improve people’s lives. For instance, an elderly woman was saved the stress of moving because she was able to upgrade her home through an Efficiency Nova Scotia program. As well, through the Direct Install Program, from September to January of last year, there were one million kilowatt hours saved in northern mainland Nova Scotia. Residents of Pictou County heard first-hand from Energy Minister Charlie Parker in Stellarton today, March 18, on what government is doing to ensure Nova Scotians have the lowest, fairest electricity rates over the long term. “We know that rising electricity rates are top of mind for everyone,” said Mr. Parker. “We are not going to sit back and do nothing to address the issue. We are taking action that will make a real difference. “We have already removed the provincial portion of the HST from basic home electricity. This saves families millions of dollars every year, but we did not stop there. We have developed an energy plan to ensure the lowest, fairest rates for Nova Scotians, a plan that can be summed up as local, reliable, green, tax-free and efficient.” Government’s energy plan is already at work in communities across the province. In the Pictou region, the province is working with communities and others that are making innovative and positive change for their future, and the future of Nova Scotia. Energy-related projects taking place in the area include: “In addition, every megawatt of energy produced through COMFIT results in significant economic activity in the local community,” said Mr. Parker. “And when we are using locally manufactured turbines and towers, there are even more jobs created. “So we’re very pleased to be creating the right conditions for these investments. These projects will help stabilize electricity prices in Nova Scotia and benefit the environment.” Brian Cullen, chief administrative officer, Municipality of Pictou County speaks highly of the program. “The province’s COMFIT program has been instrumental to us developing energy projects that will help us to generate our own clean electricity while creating jobs and helping the environment.” Mr. Parker and Department of Energy deputy minister Murray Coolican also provided information and an overview of the Muskrat Falls/Maritime Link project. The project will provide Nova Scotians with a reliable source of clean energy at predictable, stable rates for 35 years. It is the lowest long-term cost option for the province to meet federal environmental requirements, and it will also provide jobs, generate economic activity, and give the province a second connection to the North American electricity grid and therefore more options for purchasing energy in the future.
an increased ability to improve collections and better locate an evasive payor by obtaining information such as a payor’s social insurance number and other identifying information establishing new rules allowing notices to be served via email or by other electronic communication an improved garnishment process making it easier to seize assets of a payor in persistent arrears defining “persistent arrears” as failure to make full payments over three payment periods or accumulated money owed of more than $3,000 language changes and minor housekeeping items. The amendments are being proclaimed and new regulations rolled out in phases. This is the first phase. More amendments will be proclaimed later this year and in 2018. The program is also adding five new positions, including two new enforcement officers and a trainer. For more information on the Maintenance Enforcement Program visit: https://mep.novascotia.ca/en/resources. Amendments passed last fall to strengthen the province’s ability to collect court-ordered child and spousal support are now in effect. “There are more than 15,000 Nova Scotian children who rely on these court-ordered payments,” said Justice Minister Mark Furey. “We are committed to stronger enforcement. We’re working hard to improve this program by providing better customer service and improved communication with families who rely on us.” The key changes give government authority to seize and hold funds beyond what is owed and use those funds for future payments for someone who is repeatedly late with payments. These could include monies on deposit in banks, lottery winnings, inheritance, and surplus sale proceeds. Other changes include:
The province’s upcoming surplus auction will give Nova Scotians a chance to get great deals on vehicles, trucks, lawn tractors, snowmobiles, bob cat, outdoor recreational and landscaping equipment and more. The auction is at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 12, at Auction Advantage, 40 Orion Ct., Woodside Industrial Park, Dartmouth. The items can be viewed on auction day between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Photos are available online at http://www.auctionad.ca which is updated daily until the day of the auction. The auction will be conducted by Auction Advantage. Cash, debit, or credit cards will be accepted. Revenue from the sale of surplus items is used to pay down the province’s debt.
Nova Scotia’s outdated Motor Vehicle Act is being replaced with a new, modern Traffic Safety Act that will help make the province’s roads and highways safer. The new act follows significant stakeholder engagement with 31 groups and 23 partners, and online engagement with Nova Scotians that received 865 comments. “The Motor Vehicle Act has not been rewritten since the early 1920s and has been amended numerous times. As a result, it is unclear and inconsistent,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Lloyd Hines. “The new Traffic Safety Act will enable us to quickly address the more technical and day-to-day issues that arise in the administration of road safety.” Significant initiatives in the new act include: defining vulnerable road users and imposing stiffer fines for drivers who injure vulnerable road users on our highways clarifying the term distracted driving to reflect changes in modern technology managing the advancement of autonomous vehicles enabling municipalities to make bylaws regarding noise, including mufflers Mr. Hines also introduced two amendments to the existing Motor Vehicle Act to address the issues of drug impaired driving and the use of facial recognition technology as part of driver’s licence and photo identification card issuance. Both topics will be addressed in the Traffic Safety Act, however, because it will be more than one year before it is proclaimed, amendments have to be made to the existing Motor Vehicle Act.
New Delhi: The GST Council has set up two sub-groups to look into the policy and technical aspects, such as turnover threshold and mode of generation, for e-invoice generation by businesses. While one sub-group will examine the business process, policy and legal aspects for generation of e-invoice, the other will recommend technical aspects for its roll-out. The sub-group on policy issues would also suggest some “immediate steps” to check fake invoices in case of business-to-business (B2B) supplies with a high threshold turnover and also recommend a carve-out for sectors like banking and telecom. Electronic invoice, or e-invoice, has been envisaged by the revenue department to mainly curb goods and services tax (GST) evasion. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsThe sub-group on policy issues for e-invoice would recommend legal aspects including invoice format, threshold turnover for invoice generation from the portal and immediate steps for ‘B2B’ supplies with a high threshold turnover. It would also suggest optional treatment for some sectors such as banking, telecom, tentative timeline for execution and phase-wise implementation. The sub-group on technical issues would suggest mode of generation, like app-based or mobile or SMS or offline and online, data security and system integration. Depending on the success of the project in the B2B segment, the revenue department would look at extending it to business-to-consumer (B2C) sales, especially in sectors where the probability of tax evasion is high. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefA 13-member officers’ committee, comprising central and state tax officials as well as the GST Network chief executive officer, has been set up to look into the feasibility of introducing e-invoice system to streamline generation of invoices and easing compliance burden. The two sub-groups have been set up under the committee. The proposed e-invoice is part of the exercise to check GST evasion. With almost two years into the GST implementation, the government is now focussing on anti-evasion measures to shore up revenue and increase compliance.