Attawapiskat Chief Spence says departmentappointed thirdparty manager booted from community

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence says the outside consultant appointed by Aboriginal Affairs to take over the band’s finances has been kicked out of the community and won’t be allowed back in.Spence, who is currently in Ottawa, met with Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan in his Parliament Hill precinct office for about an hour late Monday afternoon.Spence said she told Duncan the community planned to fight his decision to put a third-party manager in charge of the band’s finances.“I told him I don’t want to see a third-party on my reserve,” said Spence. “He is not coming to the community. He did this morning, we sent him out of there.”Attawapiskat, a community of around 2,000 people, sits on the James Bay coast in northern Ontario.Duncan’s office issued a statement confirming the third-party manager had been asked to leave.“It is extremely worrying that the chief and council are not open to outside assistance,” said the statement. “Our government’s priority is to ensure that residents of Attawapiskat have access to safe, warm and dry shelter. The minister stressed that all parties should put the needs of the people first.”Duncan imposed the third-party manager on the community last week as his government faced increased political fallout over the persistent, slum-like conditions in Attawapiskat where families live in tents and in shacks with no running water or insulation.Jacques Marion, of BDO Canada LLP, was appointed to run the band’s finances. Duncan said in the statement that, “Marion wished to respect the volatile situation and is currently not in the community.”The statement said that Marion, however, is “in full control of funding from Aboriginal Affairs.”The Ontario government is also in the community and is involved in setting up temporary shelter in the community’s healing centre and arena.Duncan has, so far, refused to travel to the community, but did arrange a meeting with Spence Monday in Ottawa. The chief is in the capital city this week for the Assembly of First Nations special chiefs assembly where she is expected to speak.Spence said she found her meeting with Duncan “frustrating.”“It was really frustrating,” said Spence. “The first thing he said is that the third party (manager) is going in no matter what. He said ‘we need to control the situation.’”Spence said she told Duncan her band planned to challenge his decision to appoint the third-party manager in court.“I told him we are going to challenge it,” she said. “He didn’t say much. He said the third party is still on and it is effective immediately.”Spence said the third-party manager will have to work from an outside office because he is not allowed to set foot on the reserve.“It will be six months before he can even understand the financial situation,” she said. “He doesn’t even have a connection to the community.”Spence said she tried to tell Duncan that her community had been trying to improve things. It is one of the few First Nations to post their financial information on-line, including the chief and band councillor salaries.“I told him that as we speak the people are in crisis right now, they need to have action in place and work together and this is why we declared an emergency,” said Spence. “We are accountable. We also advised him that we had been working hard to improve our financials.”Spence also met with Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo and she said he was “very supportive.”last_img read more

First Nations look to make agreements before mining convention

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Association for Mineral Exploration’s annual convention is being held in Vancouver this week.As APTN National News reporter Tina House explains there are positive agreements being made between governments, and some First Nations, in the mining sector.However, a British Columbia organization is issing a warning to industry and governments that more needs to be done.last_img

St Annes Residential School survivors fight for release of documents

first_imgAPTN National NewsA group of residential school survivors were in a Toronto courtroom on Tuesday.Students who attended the St. Anne’s Residential School on the James Bay coast are fighting for the release of documents.They’re from an Ontario Provincial Police investigation in the 1990s.Survivors say those documents confirm their claims of abuse.APTN’s Delaney Windigo has the storylast_img

Small number apply for residential school credit

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe deadline for Indian residential school personal credits is Friday.There are over 80,000 survivors who are eligible for the $3,000 credit, but just a fraction of that have applied.APTN’s Annette Francis met with one survivor who tells us the hoops he had to go through to get his credit.last_img

Trudeau doublesdown on promises to First Nations pledges new Indigenous languages law

first_imgAPTN National NewsPrime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday his government would be introducing a federal law to protect and preserve Indigenous languages.Speaking to chiefs gathered for the Assembly of First Nations annual winter gathering, Trudeau said the proposed legislation would be co-developed with Indigenous peoples and aimed at protecting, preserving and revitalizing First Nation, Inuit and Metis languages.“We know all too well how residential schools and other decisions by government were used as a tool to eliminate Indigenous languages and cultures. We must undo the lasting damage that resulted,” said Trudeau. “Today I commit to you our government will enact an Indigenous languages Act.”The announcement was greeted by a standing ovation in the conference hall at the Hilton Lac Leamy Casino, in Gatineau, Que.Trudeau faced an audience that had just basked in a moving ceremony honouring Gord Downie, the lead singer for the Tragically Hip.While there was talk some chiefs planned to turn their backs on the prime minister during the speech over discontent with his government’s decision to approve the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, Trudeau faced no open acts of protest.Instead, the packed hall hung on his every word.Trudeau re-announced his government’s plan to launch a process of “decolonizing” all existing federal policies and laws. He said the joint-process with Indigenous leaders would be led by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.The prime minister also doubled-down on his campaign promise to remove all First Nations across the country from boil water advisories within five years. He said 14 First Nations had been removed from the list to date and half of all communities struggling with boil water advisories would have clean water within three years.Trudeau said his government also made headway over the last year on improving education on reserves. He said over 2,000 students began the school year in new school buildings. Trudeau said 31 schools are currently under construction, 27 are being designed and 27 are in feasibility studies.The Liberal government has also made “progress” on 36 of the 45 calls to actions issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that fall exclusively under federal purview, said Trudeau.He also said the government is committed to implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.“I understand many of you in the room are impatient, many of the people you serve are impatient,” said Trudeau. “That’s okay, I’m impatient too.”Trudeau began his speech by referring to the Journey of Nishiyuu, a 1,600 km trek that began with a group of youth from Quebec’s northernmost Cree community of Whapmagoostui First Nation and ended in Ottawa in March 2013.“The tenacity and determination that fueled these youths inspired a nation and brought the concerns of their community to the forefront and, quite frankly, the indifference on that day of the federal government only served to demonstrate the need of their journey in the first place,” said Trudeau. “Today, we gather in the capital of this nation as many nations, we gather here in this moment to reflect on the first year of this journey to build a new relationship, one based on recognition and respect.”Trudeau said this journey wouldn’t be easy.“No one here fools him or herself the path our country overwhelmingly agreed to take will always be a gentle one or an easy one,” said Trudeau. “We’ve already felt some headwinds and there will be more.”Trudeau was referring to the Trans Mountain approval which led to immediate condemnation last week from some Indigenous leaders, prompting the Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr to suggest the military could be called into deal with resistance. Carr apologized for that comment Tuesday in Ottawa.Trudeau noted Carr’s apology in the speech.The Liberal government has also faced outrage over its approval of the Site C hydro dam project that threatens to wipe out Treaty 8 lands in B.C.AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde said during a press conference after Trudeau’s speech that people should understand the Liberals have only begun to govern.“It’s been one year, we have to keep working in collaboration and partnership, but we have to put the pressure on,” said Bellegarde. “It’s really a journey, it’s not dealt with in one year and I think everyone needs to get that in their head.”Bellegarde also said his office would by the key point of contact with the Prime Minister’s Office in developing the joint Crown-First Nation mechanism on co-developing the review of federal policies and laws along with the development of an Indigenous language law.“We don’t just deal with one department, all Crown ministers should be involved,” said Bellegarde.NDP MP Romeo Saganash, who is a member of the Cree Nation which managed to carve out its own jurisdiction through decades of battles with Quebec and Ottawa, said the AFN needs to be careful about trying to take over the process.“The national chief mentioned twice or three times in his speech this morning that the AFN is not a title holder,” said Saganash. “In working with the PMO, how is he is going to ensure my rights are protected, my rights are defended from the perspective of my people and my organizations, like the Grand Council of the Cree? There might be a problem with that, certainly from the Cree perspective…we need to take that into consideration. If you are going to decide on major issues that have an impact on my people, then you have to involve my people.”Saganash said he was pleased to hear Trudeau commit to introducing a law on Indigenous languages. And, while it sounded good, he said the government needs to be measured on what it actually does.“After a year with this government I’ve learned we need to be cautious with Liberal words because words will be words until there is real action,” said Saganash. “We can’t trust those words anymore, at least not me, I’ve been there for a year now watching them.”news@aptn.ca@APTNNewslast_img read more

Canadian grocers expand online services after Amazon acquires Whole Foods chain

first_imgVANCOUVER – Metro Inc. is looking to expand its online grocery offerings to Ontario next year, making it the latest Canadian retailer to ramp up its e-commerce options in the face of potential competition from Amazon.Metro CEO Eric La Fleche said Wednesday the grocer already offers “click and collect” in seven stores in Quebec and home delivery service in Greater Montreal, Quebec City and Gatineau, Que., covering 60 per cent of the population of Quebec.“We are pleased with the way we have set it up so far and we’re going to start the same way in Ontario,” La Fleche said on a conference call to discuss the company’s latest financial results.Canadian grocers have been increasing their e-commerce offerings following Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods which sparked speculation about its ambitions to grow food delivery in Canada.“We’ve seen lots of companies start to say, ‘OK, let’s test the waters,’” said Michael von Massow, an associate professor at the University of Guelph’s food, agriculture and resource economics department.La Fleche said Metro’s plan is to launch its online grocery business in Ontario late in the company’s 2018 financial year, which began Oct. 1, or early in its 2019 financial year.The move followed an announcement last week by Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L) which has partnered with Instacart to launch home delivery in Toronto starting Dec. 6 and Vancouver starting in January. The grocery chain has promised to expand the service next year as well as its click and collect option which is already offered at nearly 200 stores.Walmart will also grow its home delivery service to cover the Greater Toronto Area and nearby markets, said spokesman Alex Roberton in an email, adding pick-up services will be expanded to Montreal-area stores.Canadians have been slower than their American or European counterparts to adopt online shopping, including for food. In August, online sales accounted for 2.3 per cent of total retail trade in the country, according to Statistic Canada’s most recent figures.Von Massow reasoned the low demand indicated it didn’t make sense for Canadian grocers to offer the service. Loblaw previously said it had no plans to begin home delivery services due to lack of customer demand.However, things changed when Amazon acquired Whole Foods, including its 13 Canadian locations, in August. Additional competition has also emerged from an abundance of meal kit services, like Chef’s Plate, which send packages filled with recipes and ingredients to consumers, who then cook the meals at home.There’s also a benefit to being the first retailer a customer shops online with, von Massow said, because it’s unlikely a customer will switch grocers after becoming comfortable with a store’s online platform.However, online sales remain a small component of the grocery business in Canada, at least for now.Loblaw CEO Galen G. Weston called it “a premium service” targeting a niche clientele, while Metro CEO Eric La Fleche acknowledged e-commerce is showing good growth, but “is still small, in relative terms, for the company.”Von Massow said it’s unlikely to lead to the end of physical grocery stores in the near future.“We’re getting a little bit of traction and we will see a little bit of growth,” he said, “and maybe having … both increased and improved options might accelerate that a little bit.”Metro’s announcement came as it reported a fourth-quarter profit of $154.9 million or 66 cents per diluted share, up from $145.0 million or 60 cents per diluted share a year ago.Sales in the quarter ended Sept. 30, which included an extra week compared with a year ago, totalled $3.23 billion, up from $2.93 billion, while same store sales gained 0.4 per cent.Excluding the extra week and $2.5 million before taxes related to its acquisition of Quebec-based pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group Inc. and the modernization of its distribution network in Toronto, Metro says its earnings would have been similar to last year, while diluted net earnings per share would have been up 1.7 per cent.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.last_img read more

Air Canada denies link between Air China joint venture and new label

first_imgMONTREAL – Air Canada’s decision to label Taiwan’s capital as being part of China has nothing to do with the joint venture with a Chinese national carrier that was signed Wednesday, says chief executive Calin Rovinescu.Discussions about closer co-operation have been going on for years, long before Air Canada changed its reference to Taipei on its website after the Chinese government wrote to several airlines and western companies seeking the change.“One’s got nothing to do with the other,” Rovinescu has been quoted telling reporters following the signing ceremony in Beijing.“I’m not getting into Taipei. Today is not a day for discussions on Taipei,” he said.It’s inconceivable that Air Canada’s change of approach to Taiwan has nothing to do with the joint venture to a country that is a key part of the airline’s growth strategy, said Charles Chang, president of the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce of British Columbia.“They can’t withstand the pressure of not making a lot of money because with this deal they’re making a lot of money,” he said from Vancouver.Chang said he’s also not pleased that unlike the U.S. government, Canada hasn’t been unwilling to denounce China’s move, saying instead that it won’t intervene in what it calls a business policy.“I’m very disappointed because I’m a Canadian. Not only am I Taiwanese, I’m also Canadian.”In a letter of protest sent to Air Canada last month, Chang said listing Taipei with a CN country code signifying China is not correct and misleading to travellers.“Although officially Taiwan is the Republic of China, however as a separate political entity it is internationally referring to as TW, TWN or just Taiwan,” he wrote.Chang has said the airline could face a boycott from Taiwanese travellers on a route between Vancouver and Taipei that was started last June.Air Canada’s joint venture with Air China is expected to be phased in over the next six months.It said the agreement deepens a long-standing partnership and provides customers with benefits including range of flights, fare options, flight schedules, joint sales including corporate and marketing programs, aligned frequent flyer privileges and an overall enhanced travel experience.The airlines expanded a code-share agreement in May and implemented an expanded reciprocal lounge agreement for customers in December last year.The new arrangement comes as China is set to become the world’s largest aviation market by 2022.“Having served China for more than 30 years, and as demonstrated by Air Canada’s average annual capacity growth of 12.5 per cent over five years and the $2 billion of aircraft assets currently committed on routes between Canada and China, China is an integral part of our global network,” Rovinescu stated in a news release.Air China said its service to Canada has developed quickly and increased by nearly 18 per cent in 2017.Over the last two years China’s national carrier launched direct flights between Beijing and Montreal, while Air Canada started non-stop flights between Montreal and Shanghai.The two carriers now operate up to a total of 52 trans-Pacific flights per week between Canada and China from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal to and from Beijing and Shanghai.The joint venture solidifies a key alliance over a region of growing importance that has faced the impact of competitive pressures, said Canaccord Genuity analyst Doug Taylor.“We believe this will also serve to better rationalize the capacity between the two regions,” he wrote in a report.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:AC)last_img read more

Feds lay out plan to boost online defences amid shortfall of cyber

first_imgOTTAWA – The federal government unveiled its plan to bolster Canada’s defences against nefarious online attacks and crime Tuesday, even as it acknowledged a shortage of skilled cyber-warriors to meet the country’s needs.Backstopped by more than $500 million in new funding over the next five years, Ottawa’s newly released cybersecurity strategy lays out a range of initiatives to help Canadians, business and the government better protect against cyberthreats.The strategy was the result of nearly two years of consultations with industry, academics and other experts, and updates the first such plan released by the Harper Conservatives in 2010.It comes as the internet and digital technology play an increasingly important role in every aspect of life, making many functions easier and leading to new economic opportunities — but also opening the country and Canadians up to new risks.And those risks appear to be increasing: The RCMP says that police services across the country received 24,000 reports of cybercrimes in 2016, which represented a 58 per cent increase over the previous two years.There are also growing concerns about the threat posed by foreign states, terrorist groups and others who may try to target the country’s electricity grids, banking services, hospitals and election systems.The new cybersecurity strategy does three things, starting with an increased emphasis on detecting, deterring and prosecuting cybercrime, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told a news conference on Parliament Hill.“We must substantially strengthen Canada’s cybersecurity capabilities to better protect ourselves and our systems against evolving cyberthreats,” he said, “while also enlarging our capacity to combat cybercrime and prosecute offenders.”To that end, the RCMP will add new cyber-investigators and become the main focal point for police across the country to report illegal activity online. It will also liaise with foreign partners to identify potential threats and crack down on criminal networks.The strategy also brings the various cybersecurity efforts underway in different federal departments under a new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, Goodale said, which will be housed at the Communications Security Establishment and open in the fall.And it will attempt to help the private sector, especially small businesses, which officials say were the victims of 71 per cent of data breaches, better protect themselves, including through a voluntary certification program.“They comprise a huge chunk of the Canadian economy,” Goodale said of small businesses.“And they are as interconnected as the rest of us to their suppliers upstream and to their customers downstream, so if they have a cyber problem, that whole network could be infected.”Yet it wasn’t immediately clear how the government intended to address what will be one of the biggest hurdles to successfully implementing the plan’s ambitious goals: a shortage of cybersecurity specialists, both in Canada and around the world.“A shortage of cybersecurity talent makes it difficult for organization — including the federal government — to attract and retain the people they need to improve their cybersecurity or to disrupt cyberthreats,” the new strategy reads.Goodale described the shortage as “a huge challenge and a huge opportunity,” noting that the cybersecurity industry in Canada already supports an estimated 11,000 jobs and generates $1.6 billion in economic activity — numbers the government hopes to grow.“The world will be demanding people with these talents and skills who understand cybersecurity and can deliver the goods for their employers,” Goodale said, “whether they are in the private sector or the public sector.”But while the most recent federal budget set aside $8 million for up to 1,000 student work placements in cybersecurity, the strategy doesn’t include a dedicated focus on skills training or set aside funding to help grow the industry.“It’s disappointing to see a lack of commitment to build Canada’s cyber sector,” said Benjamin Bergen, executive director of the Council of Canadian Innovators, which represents many of Canada’s tech companies.“Cyber is the fastest growing ICT sector in the world and domestic innovators present an opportunity for our government to grow our economy and deploy world-class technology solutions for protecting Canada’s digital borders.”The plan was also largely silent about foreign-owned telecommunications companies such as Huawei, which intelligence chiefs in the U.S. have identified as a national security risk, and made no mention of encrypting personal communications.The latter has been a contentious issue between privacy advocates and law enforcement, who have argued that such encryption poses a barrier to investigations.Goodale acknowledged the debate, saying that while it is obviously important for online banking and other commercial activities, “there are important questions about law enforcement and national security being able to properly conduct investigations.”– Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.last_img read more

Aecon Group joint venture wins Enbridge Line 3 replacement contract

first_imgTORONTO – Aecon Group Inc. says its joint venture with Robert B. Somerville Co. Ltd. has won a $282-million contract for a work on Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 replacement project in Manitoba.The work includes constructing 92.2 kilometres of pipeline in the area of Brandon, Man., and 96.5 km of pipeline near Morden, Man.Construction is expected to start in August and be mostly completed by the end of the year.The joint venture recently completed work on the Line 3 replacement project in Saskatchewan.The replacement project is to restore Line 3’s capacity to 760,000 barrels per day, thus adding 375,000 bpd of export capacity into the United States when it comes on stream in late 2019 or early 2020.Enbridge has estimated the cost of the Canadian segment of the project at $5.3 billion, with an additional $3.8 billion for the U.S. segment.Companies in this story: (TSX:ARE, TSX:ENB)last_img read more

Iron ore production to restart next year in Labrador mining town of

first_imgWABUSH, N.L. — The Labrador mining town of Wabush is in for a much-needed economic boost as one of Canada’s largest iron ore mines restarts production next year.Premier Dwight Ball was in Wabush today to announce the official reopening of the Scully mine, with hiring for 260 new jobs to begin over the next few weeks.Hundreds of people lost their jobs when Cliffs Natural Resources closed the Scully mine in 2014 after almost 50 years in operation. Minnesota-based Tacora Resources Inc. bought the mine and its assets in July 2017.Tacora CEO Larry Lehtinen says production is expected to restart in June 2019.Lehtinen says 100 per cent of the mine’s iron ore product is already sold for the next 15 years, and he estimated an operating life of at least 25 years.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Bulls eye on US Permian Basin as oil prices rise

first_imgALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Some of the largest energy companies in the U.S. have already invested billions of dollars on claims up and down the Texas-New Mexico state line, tapping one of the nation’s richest and most prolific oil and natural gas regions.Now the stakes just got higher, as the U.S. Geological Survey released a new assessment Thursday that shows portions of the Permian Basin could hold even more promise.With the potential to double the nation’s onshore oil and gas resources, the agency estimates more than 46 billion barrels of oil and some 280 trillion cubic feet of gas are within two formations on the southwestern side of the basin. That’s the largest continuous oil and gas resource potential ever assessed.While agency geologists caution that more study would be needed to determine the profitability of going after the resources, industry groups and top officials within the Trump administration are encouraged and say the assessment underscores the activity that’s already happening in the basin.“Before this assessment came down, I was bullish on oil and gas production in the United States,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement. “Now, I know for a fact that American energy dominance is within our grasp as a nation.”The announcement comes as OPEC countries voted Friday to cut oil production beginning next year as a way to force crude oil prices higher despite political pressure from President Donald Trump. The group of oil-producing nations was looking to rein in supply as prices had fallen about 25 per cent because major producers, including the U.S., have been pumping at high rates.Producers throughout the Permian were closely watching Friday’s developments and there were no indications of things slowing down in the oilfields.Stephen Robertson, executive vice-president of the Texas-based Permian Basin Petroleum Association, said the signs for the basin’s potential have been there for a long time.“The fact is that Reeves County, which in the heart of that play, is running more rigs than any other county in the nation and has been doing that for quite a while,” he said. “The people out here know that it’s there and it really is that improvement of the technologies and the increased efficiencies allowing people the ability to actually be able to access it and produce it.”Still, a main factor is price.“If the price drops to a point where it’s not economical, then it doesn’t matter if it’s there. It’s not going to be produced,” Robertson said.New Mexico’s share of the Permian Basin has helped to drive production in the state to record levels in 2017. This year is expected to be another banner year as industry officials say the state is on pace to surpass 200 million barrels.The flurry of activity in southeastern New Mexico has put pressure on everything from housing and schools to highway infrastructure. Concerns also have been raised by state Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn about the environmental impacts as state and federal regulators have had a difficult time keeping up with the pace of development across the region.Dale Janway, mayor of the southeastern New Mexico city of Carlsbad, told The Associated Press that with the news of more resources in the Permian comes greater responsibility.“We know that we need to redouble our efforts to improve and develop infrastructure in the area and to work closely with the county, state and our business partners to best prepare for the future. We’re in it for the long haul,” he said.The boom also has resulted in a significant budget surplus that will give incoming Gov.-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham and the Democrat-led Legislature more options as they hash out spending priorities for everything from education and public safety to infrastructure.Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Italy Club owners investigated over fatal concert stampede

first_imgROME — Italian prosecutors say eight people are under investigation so far in connection to a stampede at a packed nightclub that killed six people, five of them teenagers.Authorities stressed on Monday that the investigation of the stampede early Saturday was just beginning. They said they want to know about the security measures and capacity of the Blue Lantern disco in the small town of Corinaldo, as well as the panic that sent concertgoers running for the exits.One hypothesis is that would-be thieves used irritant sprays on the crowd to hide thefts, which has been done at other concerts and gatherings in Italy.The seven adults under investigation include the club owners and concert organizers. Prosecutors say a 17-year-old was added to the list because three witnesses “generically” identified him.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Starbucks to expand delivery in US China

first_imgNEW YORK — Starbucks is expanding delivery to more stores in the U.S. and China.The company says it will offer delivery from 2,000 U.S. stores by next summer through a partnership with UberEats. It isn’t yet saying which stores will offer it.In China, delivery will be offered from 2,000 stores in 30 cities by the end of this year, up from 150 stores at the end of September. Starbucks is partnering with delivery service Ele.me in that country.Starbucks made the comments at an investor presentation Thursday in New York.Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson says Starbucks has learned a lot about delivery since launching it in China in September. The company has special spill-proof cups, for example, and is making beverages hotter so they will be the right temperature to drink when they arrive.Dee-Ann Durbin, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Its not too late to save money on 2018 business taxes

first_imgNEW YORK — Small business owners who are uneasy about their 2018 taxes might find they can save some money even though the year is over. Here are three ways you can chip away at your tax bill:ARE THERE SAVINGS TO BE FOUND IN YOUR BOOKS?Owners with sloppy records will not only find it harder to compile their returns, the haphazard books may be costing them money — they may overlook expenses that will lower their tax bills. Tax advisers recommend hiring a bookkeeper or an accounting student to organize everything and be sure all your information is entered correctly into an accounting program. An investment in a bookkeeper is likely to be a lot cheaper than taking time away from your business to sort things out, and far less expensive than asking your accountant to straighten them out for you. Cleaning up your books now also lessens the likelihood of mistakes that could result in an unexpected bill from the IRS down the road, plus late payment penalties and interest.NEED MORE EXPENSES?While companies can no longer buy equipment or prepay bills for 2018, they still can make contributions to employee retirement plans and deduct the money on their 2018 returns. If they obtain a six-month extension, they have until Sept. 16 for partners and S corporations, and Oct. 15 for sole proprietors and C corporations, to make the contributions.The extra time is available to companies with Simplified Employee Pension, or SEP, plans; Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees, or SIMPLE plans; and the more complex plans known as qualified plans. Owners can also set up SEP plans by the September or October due dates and then make contributions. The other types of plans must have been in existence by the end of 2018 for a business to claim the deduction.You can learn more about retirement plans in IRS Publication 560, Retirement Plans for Small Business. You can find it on the IRS website, www.irs.gov .CAR AND HOME OFFICE DEDUCTIONSOwners who run companies out of their homes and use their own cars for business have choices in how they claim deductions for each. Run the numbers under the different methods, and you might find that one gives you a bigger break.The home office deduction can be claimed by determining the percentage of a residence dedicated to exclusive and regular business use. An owner then adds up the actual expenses on the home, such as mortgage or rent, taxes, repairs, insurance and maintenance, and applies the percentage to that sum. That is the deductible amount.Alternatively, the owner multiples the number of square feet dedicated to the business, up to 300 square feet, and multiplies that number by $5. That amount can be deducted, and the owner can also deduct mortgage interest and taxes as usual on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.You can learn more about home office deductions in IRS Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home.Similarly, owners determine how much of a car’s use is for business, and multiply that percentage against actual expenses like gas, insurance, repairs and loan interest or leasing charges. Or an owner may want to use the standard mileage rate of 54.5 cents for 2018 (it’s 58 cents for 2019) and multiply the percentage against that.You can learn more about deducting the use of your car in IRS Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.___For more small business news, insights and inspiration, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here: http://discover.ap.org/ssb_____Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com/search/joyce%20rosenbergJoyce M. Rosenberg, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program awarding residents grants to improve habitats

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program is looking to give residents grants to improve habitat in the North Peace.The FWCP will accept applications from residents with notice of intent to improve the Dinosaur and Williston reservoir areas.The program is partnered with BC Hydro, First Nations, the province and many more with hopes of helping fish and wildlife populations affected by existing hydro dams. Targets for the program include lakes, streams, species of interest, reservoirs and more. The FWCP will host two one-hour information sessions online to talk to residents about the grants. Residents can register for the sessions and apply for grants by emailing fwcp@bchydro.com.The deadline to submit online grant applications is October 26th, at 5:00 p.m.last_img read more

ICBC warns Northern BC drivers of challenging road conditions

first_imgConsider using your headlights and taillights whenever weather is poor and visibility is reduced – not only at night – to help you see ahead and be seen by other drivers. Keep in mind that daytime running lights usually don’t activate your taillights. In northern B.C. winter weather presents its own set of challenging road conditions for drivers such as black ice, heavy snowfall and freezing rain. Road conditions change every day due to bad weather, ICBC says, slow down, increase your following distance and allow extra travel time.Top Drive Smart tips: When severe winter weather hits, consider alternatives – carpool with a confident driver whose vehicle is equipped for the conditions, take a taxi, work from home or at least wait until the road crews have cleared major roads. Sometimes the best option is to leave the car at home. Clear off any snow that’s built up on your vehicle before driving including headlights, wheel wells and external sensors if you have a collision warning system. In poor weather, use extreme caution around snow plows. Maintain a safe following distance and don’t pass them – it’s not safe. These vehicles may be equipped with a wing blade on either of its sides which may not be visible due to the snow it sprays. VANCOUVER, B.C.- With the colder temperatures across the region, ICBC warns the weather has led to compact, icy snow on the roads.ICBC shared during the winter months, crashes are at their highest in B.C. 51 casualty crashes occurred in February in the North Central Region due to driving too fast for the conditions or road/weather conditions.*Drivers need to do their part to prevent crashes, urges ICBC, by adjusting their driving and properly equipping their vehicle for the road conditions. For detailed tips on how to drive in winter weather, visit icbc.com or ShiftIntoWinter.ca.*Casualty crashes are crashes where at least one person was injured or killed. Based on police data (five year average from 2013 to 2017). Ice and snow can hit unexpectedly so make sure your tires are rated for the conditions you’ll be driving in. Check your tire pressure regularly – pressure drops in cold weather and overinflated tires can reduce gripping. Focus your full attention on the road and use extra caution when approaching intersections and corners – they may be icy.last_img read more

BJP to complain against CM for misleading people

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi BJP will complain to the Police Commissioner and Election Commission demanding that criminal case should be filed against Arvind Kejriwal for misleading the people and speaking lies.According to Delhi BJP Vice President Rajiv Babbar, the Election Commission has also made it clear that BJP has no rights to get the names deleted and the Election Commission neither deletes nor adds names on the basis of caste or community. Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal’s false claim that names of lakhs of voters have been deleted from the voter list, has been completely exposed and now Delhi’s Patiala House Court after taking cognizance of a case has issued notices to the Aam Aadmi Party leaders including the Chief Minister. Also Read – Gurdwara Bangla Sahib bans single use plasticDelhi BJP Vice President Rajiv Babbar, Delhi BJP Media Co-Incharge Neelkant Bakshi, Media Head Ashok Goel Devraha, Senior Advocate Ajay Digpaul and S N Verma addressed a Press conference in this connection and claimed that they have proved that Arvind Kejriwal has been lying in this case. Addressing the media persons, Rajiv Babbar said that Arvind Kejriwal has been misleading the people of Delhi for the last several months. He is speaking lies on social media, print media, electronic media and also misleading the people of Delhi that their names have been deleted. Today the court made it clear that Kejriwal its speaking lies and his political conspiracy stands exposed. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderMeanwhile, Leader of the opposition (LOP) Vijender Gupta slammed AAP leaders for misleading people of Delhi and violating the Model Code of Conduct. “CEO of Delhi should take cognizance of the violation of the Model Code of Conduct in GNCTD and take immediate action against AAP,” Gupta said. On Friday, a delegation of BJP led by Gupta met the Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi at his office. He slammed the Delhi CM and his leaders for misleading the people of Delhi on deletion of Names in Electoral List. He said that despite directions of the Electoral and Police officials the call centres are being run by AAP misusing the illegally collected data from government school students, electricity, water and other utility bill. Gupta asked the Election Commission of Delhi to take the cognizance of the violation of the Model Code of Conduct prevailing in GNCTD and take immediate appropriate action by ensuring that the data illegally collected by AAP is seized without any further delay. “We have urged the EC to also take cognizance of the advertisements being run by AAP on DTC Buses, Schools, Mohalla Clinics and other govt institutions violating the model code of conduct. CEC must take immediate action on Delhi CM for using derogatory language against PM and Delhi BJP President,” he said.last_img read more

Over 90 firsttime voters to cast ballot Twitter India

first_imgNew Delhi: Over 90 per cent of first-time eligible voters are expected to vote in the upcoming elections, a Twitter India survey revealed on Wednesday. According to the Election Commission, nearly 1.5 crore first-time voters will exercise their franchise in the seven-phase election starting April 11. Twitter India said that seven in 10 first-time eligible voters in India believe that they are contributing to the public debate by posting on Twitter. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year Nearly half (46 per cent) would actively engage with and raise concerns to the government on issues that affect them or their community, versus one-third (36 per cent) of those not on the platform. The survey was conducted as part of Twitter’s youth engagement initiative #PowerOf18. Nearly 54.6 per cent of those surveyed said they will use Twitter to gather support for a cause or movement, and 54.4 per cent will use the platform to express their opinion to be heard. Over 80 per cent said they will turn to social media to find out what’s happening in India and around the world. The study surveyed 1,602 youth aged 18-22 years old, comprising Twitter and non-Twitter users.last_img read more

Over 1000 Jet Airways pilots to go ahead with no flying call

first_imgMumbai: Over 1,000 pilots of the struggling private carrier Jet Airways have decided to go ahead with their “no flying” call from April 1 following the airline failing to receive funds from the banks Friday, its pilots guild has said. The airline said in a statement that every effort was being made to restore normalcy of operations. The National Aviators Guild (NAG), the body claiming representation of some 1,100 pilots at Jet Airways, had last week announced its decision not to fly from April 1 if their pending salaries were not cleared and clarity on the revival plan not provided by March 31. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Days after that, the airline’s ownership went into the hands of SBI-led consortium of banks under a debt-recast plan. “A part of the expected interim funding from SBI was supposed to be actioned on March 29. Unfortunately, the fund transfer has not taken place, and there is also no update on salary payment from the management. The collective decision of pilots taken at Mumbai and Delhi open house effective 1 April prevails,” NAG president Karan Chopra said in a late evening communication to his members. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Jet Airways pilots along with engineers and senior management have not been paid for about four months now. “As announced earlier this week, the airline’s lenders and its management team would like to reiterate that every effort is being made to inject adequate liquidity into the company, to quickly restore normalcy of operations, ensuring due compliance with all appropriate legal processes/ formalities at the same time,” a Jet Aiways spokesperson said in a statement. “While acknowledging the support of each and every member of its family, Jet Airways especially recognises the contribution of its pilots, AMEs and members of its senior management, who have sacrificed personal interests and have gone beyond their call of duty in order to ensure safe and reliable operations for the airlines guests,” it said. Earlier on Friday, a source said that around 200 pilots had written individually to Jet CEO Vinay Dube, threatening to go on “leave of absence”, and they were also planning to take legal recourse over non-payment of salary. A source in the pilots’ community said around 200 pilots have written to the CEO flagging concerns about non-payment of salaries. The pilots are also members of the NAG, the source added.last_img read more

Ask Centre to supervise water supply from Hry to Delhi DJB to

first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has urged the Delhi high court here that the Centre be asked to supervise water supply from Haryana to the national Capital, saying any reduction in Wazirabad reservoir water level would hit important areas where residences of President, Prime Minister and judges are located. Citing the coming lean season, the DJB has contended that “an imminent water crisis is likely to hit the New Delhi area in the next few weeks owing to the failure of state of Haryana to supply water as required pursuant to orders of the Supreme Court”. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe Board has contended the issue of water supply assumes importance in the 100 days long lean season till the arrival of monsoon and Haryana sought to strictly comply with the Supreme Court’s direction to keep the Wazirabad reservoir full during this period. In its affidavit placed on record before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani, the DJB has contended that the neighbouring state was “showing reluctance” in supplying the minimum required 120 Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingscusec of water to keep the Wazirabad reservoir full at all times, which amounts to disobedience of judicial orders. “As an interim measure, at least for the coming lean season of about 100 days, central government supervision be requested in the matter,” it has said in the affidavit. The DJB has claimed that Haryana has about 22,000 cusecs of water available to it from all sources, but still it was reluctant to supply the 120 cusecs required to keep the Wazirabad reservoir full at all times during the lean season till the end of June or till monsoon arrives. A cusec is a unit of flow of water equal to one cubic foot per second. The board has claimed that any reduction in the Wazirabad reservoir’s water level would hit the supply to the capital’s most important and sensitive areas where residences of the President,Prime Minister and judges as well as various government departments are located. It has urged the court to ask the central government to intervene and ensure that Haryana keeps up the water supply as ordered by the apex court.last_img read more