Provincial government launches public engagement campaign on cannabis legalization

first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. — The provincial government launched a public engagement campaign, inviting residents to share their views about how B.C. moves forward on cannabis legalization next year.B.C. Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth launched the online public campaign this morning at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in Vancouver.“We want to hear from as many people as possible about how we can best protect our kids, keep our roads safe, and lock criminals out of the non-medical cannabis industry,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. “It’s critical that we work together to ensure the legalization of non-medical cannabis results in safer, healthier communities.”- Advertisement -Until November 1st, residents can share their views about the government’s approach to non-medical cannabis legalization at: Under the federal government’s new laws, provinces and territories will have the power to regulate distribution and retail sales of non-medical cannabis, similar to current rules governing the sale and distribution of alcohol.Today’s announcement also said that the provincial government can also look at upgrading traffic-safety laws to protect people on the roads from cannabis impaired drivers. Speaking with ahead of the UBCM conference, Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman stressed the need for more accurate testing to determine whether or not a person is impaired by consuming marijuana.“The reality is, they need to have some type of testing that will hold up in a court of law to show that the person may have used marijuana two weeks ago, it’s still in their system, but they’re not immediately impaired by it,” said Ackerman.Advertisement At today’s conference, the provincial government invited the UBCM to establish a standing committee on cannabis legalization so that local governments can share their experience, knowledge and concerns as B.C.’s regulatory framework develops.last_img read more

Fenerbahce snubbed chance to sign Riyad Mahrez for £8m – to land Liverpool flop!

first_imgFenerbahce apparently turned down the chance to sign Riyad Mahrez from Leicester last summer – instead opting to take Liverpool flop Lazar Markovic on loan.The Serbian has failed to make an impression for the Istanbul side, having managed just a single goal in 16 appearances for the Turkish club this season, who are are unlikely to make his loan deal permanent.And Fenerbahce fans will be left wondering what might have been after it has now emerged the club ignored the chance to buy Mahrez for £8m.According to Fanatik, Claudio Ranieri was ready to sell the Algerian when he took charge at the King Power last summer but Fenerbahce opted for the cheaper option in Markovic.Mahrez has gone on to score 16 goals for the Premier League leaders this season and has been nominated for the PFA Player of the Year gong. The Algerian is expected to be the subject of a number of bids in the upcoming transfer market, but any club interested in landing the playmaker will have to stump up at least £25m rather than the £8m he was available for last summer. 1 Riyad Mahrez in action for Leicester City last_img read more

Photo of the Week: Bangor Quilt Mural

first_imgBangor Quilt MuralWait, there’s an actual window, a real window, in that mural!My husband and I turned our car around to take a closer look at the Bangor Quilt Mural on the side of the building near the railroad tracks. On my vacations and birdwatching trips, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing many impressive murals in small and large towns in Michigan and Ohio. I have great memories of seeing the Iron Ore Miners Mural in Ishpeming, Michigan, the beautiful Murals in the Market in Detroit, and Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon in Cincinnati, Ohio.But this was the first time I’ve seen an artist incorporate part of the functional part of the building into their mural. About the Bangor Quilt MuralLocated on the west side of the historic Bangor Elevator building in downtown Bangor, Michigan, the mural was created by Bangor native Conrad Kaufman. The window next to the door in the mural is an actual working window; I could see through the glass. Sadly, my research didn’t uncover any details about the faces of the people in quilt in the mural. I could only discover that the mural was one of the MI Amazing Art Tours public art tour, part of the Michigan Council for Arts & Culture Affairs.For my blog readers in Michigan, if you know any background about the mural, I’d love to hear it! And anyone who’s traveling on the west side of Michigan, stop by the small town of Bangor and check out the mural. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedPhoto of the Week: Iron Ore Miners Mural in Ishpeming, MichiganBirdwatching takes me to lots of different places, national forests, wildlife areas, and some of the smallest towns in the Midwest. Which I enjoy, because I love going through towns and discovering the unique architecture of their older buildings, churches, libraries, and courthouses. This month my travels took me to…In “Michigan”Photo of the Week: The Roots of Vision in Mount AdamsAs you walk the steep hills of one-way streets in Mount Adams, an eclectic neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio, you can’t miss the beautiful mural on Gregory Street. Adorning the full side of a two-story building, The Roots of Vision pays tribute to five important figures in Mount Adams history: Nicholas…In “Miscellaneous”Art and Architecture at Ferris State UniversityWe visited Ferris State University this weekend and took a tour of the campus. While I missed the architecture of older buildings and landscaping I’ve seen at Michigan State University, University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I was impressed with the “Of Thought and Reason” mural…In “Miscellaneous”last_img read more

Industrial policy plan reaps benefits

first_imgDavies said with demand and growth in Western developed countries likely to remain constrained in the foreseeable future, South Africa would focus on the Brics countries, high growth markets in Africa, Middle East, Asia and other emerging economies such as Turkey, Indonesia, Chile, Vietnam and Thailand. The department, Davies said, had learnt that the way forward for manufacturing was to invest and raise competitiveness and not wait in the hope that the global environment would improve. A total of R14.4-million disbursed to 106 companies, combined with the R310 million disbursed under the production incentive scheme, had supported 48 384 direct and indirect jobs, he said. He said the Cooperatives Amendment Bill has been submitted for certification to the State Law Advisors and was due for submission to Cabinet for approval. “In an effort to increase market access for co-operatives, through the Brics mechanism, South Africa and China have agreed to enter into business contracts – “cooperatives to cooperatives” – on the following three commodities: maize, wine and aquaculture,” he said. Davies said in spite of being introduced in 2009 during the global economic crisis, the Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Improvement Programme had not only stalled employment losses in 2010 but led to a modest increase in employment in 2011. The department had assisted in supporting 220 small scale co-operatives to set up and had trained 175 co-operatives and provided 115 with market access covering both local and international markets during the past year. He said the department had borrowed on the lessons of the clothing and textile production incentive, in launching the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP). 21 May 2012 He said incubators, through Seda’s incubator programme, had last year by the end of December 2011 created 189 new small enterprises and 931 jobs. This would address cash flow challenges faced by these enterprises, he said. Since it was introduced over two years ago, the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP2) has stabilised the clothing sector, turned around the automotive sector, added jobs in the business process services sector and had introduced procurement designation to boost local production, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says. Boosting internal capacity The MCEP, which was launched last week and would supplement the 12i tax incentive, would be deployed towards upgrading the competitiveness of relatively labour-intensive and value-adding manufacturing sectors negatively impacted by the value of the rand, the global economic crisis and necessary increases in the cost of electricity. The Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP) had supported investment commitments of over R15-billion investment commitments from both assemblers and component suppliers.center_img Opposition members lauded the developments, but pointed out that the department still had a significant amount of work still to do in improving economic support, particularly when it came to boosting support to small businesses and improving export assistance. The government is also acting to speed up payments to small businesses. Over 500 jobs were added in the sector in the last quarter, and Davies said a further set of approved projects would create about 11 000 jobs over the next three years. However, he added that the department would structure South Africa’s economic relations with countries of the South in ways that foster complementarily and mutual benefit, while avoiding destructive competition. The transition from the MIDP to the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) by 2013 had largely been completed, he said, adding that this had helped give policy certainty even amid global economic stagnation. Davies said the department was boosting its internal capacity to focus more on the informal, townships and peri-urban enterprises and would also be developing a informal sector strategy, including the micro finance programme. Modest increase in employment The department, through the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), would improve entrepreneurial capacity by rolling out more business incubators in partnership with incubator organisations. Presenting his Budget Vote in Parliament in Cape Town last week, Davies detailed progress made in the IPAP2 which was launched in February 2010 and which now falls under the New Growth Path. Raising competitiveness While Seda had set up an SMME hotline in 2009, the National Treasury had recently issued practice notes to all national and provincial departments including state-owned enterprises to pay businesses within 30 days on receipt of invoice in accordance with Treasury regulations. Davies said the introduction of the New Companies Act had also changed the manner in which business is undertaken in South Africa and as a result, South Africa has improved significantly in the Africa Competitiveness Report’s index for ease of starting a business. 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R. Vinay Kumar replaces Varun Aaron in Test squad for Australia

first_imgTwenty-seven is generally not an age when a sub-continental fast bowler gets called up to the national squad for the first time. In India, especially, youth is the mantra, but Ranganath Vinay Kumar has defied the odds and made it to the Indian Test squad for the upcoming tour to Australia.The Karnataka medium-pacer replaces Jharkhand speedster Varun Aaron, who has been ruled out of the Test series due to a stress reaction on his back, sustained during the ongoing One-Day International series against West Indies.Vinay is the second change to the original squad, after his junior state-mate Abhimanyu Mithun replaced Praveen Kumar.An elated Vinay told Mail Today that his hard work over the years for his state and South Zone had paid off. “I have dreamt of playing Tests for India since I first picked up a ball, and my dream has finally come true. This is my eighth season in first-class cricket and my hard work has finally been rewarded,” he said.In 15 ODIs so far, Vinay has picked up 16 wickets, though his average and economy rate have been on the higher side at 36.31 and 5.76 respectively. His best performance came against England in New Delhi, where he took four for 30. His first-class record is excellent, with 241 wickets in 66 matches at an average of 24.29, including 11 five-wicket hauls and two match- hauls of 10 or more wickets. In 2007- 08 and 2009- 10, he was the second- highest wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy.Vinay’s bowling is reminiscent of another Karnataka paceman, Ventakesh Prasad, in that his forte is outswing and leg-cutters rather than pace and bounce. This has perhaps what has kept him away from the Test side in the past, since faster bowlers are available in the country.advertisementBut according to Vinay, legends like Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid have always believed in his abilities as an international bowler. “Whenever I felt disappointed at being ignored despite my consistent performances, I used to speak to my coach MM Prakash or even to seniors like Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid. All of them used to advise me to keep working hard, and said I was a good bowler. My coach told me never to worry about selection, and thanks to that, I’ve always looked to give my best shot in any match I play,” he said.The Indian fast bowling contingent for the four-Test series that begins in Melbourne on December 26 now comprises of a skilled veteran in Zaheer Khan, if he is match fit, two fast bowlers in Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav, and two controlled seamers in Vinay and Mithun. Asked if the pitches in Australia would be a challenge for him, Vinay cited his previous tours there and said the experience will help. Interestingly, at one time in the middle of the last decade, Vinay and South Africa’s newest sensation Vernon Philander – who ripped the heart out of Australia’s line- up in their recent Test series despite bowling at 130- 135 kmph range – had played simultaneously Down Under.”I have been there a few times – for an Emerging Players tournament, once for India A and with the Karnataka team – and I have done well each time. Philander and I won the best player award in the Emerging tournament in back-to-back years. We are similar bowlers, and I always believe that if you swing the ball, even at a medium pace, it is still a challenge for any batsman,” Vinay said.V inay has done decently in the home one- dayers against England and West Indies, and is confident of translating that into Test success too, if given a chance. “I haven’t done too badly in the ODIs, I’ve taken a few wickets with my natural deliveries and the economy rate has been good. If you are going for about 4.5 runs per over on Indian soil, you’re doing alright, and my mindset is really good. I will just bowl to my strengths,” he said.last_img read more