Gov’t Signs US$15-Million Loan for Energy Efficiency Programme

first_img Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, explained that the sum is the second portion of a joint loan of US$30 million for the roll-out of the EMEP. Story Highlights The Government of Jamaica has signed a US$15-million loan agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the implementation of the Energy Management and Efficiency Programme (EMEP). “The aim is to bolster the Government’s efforts in the areas of energy efficiency and conservation through the design and implementation of measures targeting key Government facilities, as well as fuel conservation in road transportation to reduce the demand for fuel imports,” Minister Shaw said. The Government of Jamaica has signed a US$15-million loan agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the implementation of the Energy Management and Efficiency Programme (EMEP).Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, explained that the sum is the second portion of a joint loan of US$30 million for the roll-out of the EMEP.He noted that the Government signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the first US$15 million on November 10.He informed that the European Union (EU) is providing US$10 million in grant funding towards the programme, which will be executed over eight years.“The aim is to bolster the Government’s efforts in the areas of energy efficiency and conservation through the design and implementation of measures targeting key Government facilities, as well as fuel conservation in road transportation to reduce the demand for fuel imports,” Minister Shaw said.He was speaking at the signing ceremony held on Thursday (November 23) at the Ministry’s National Heroes Circle offices in Kingston.Senior Vice President, JICA, Shigeru Maeda, in his remarks, said he is pleased with the partnership.“I am very happy to sign the loan agreement… . I believe that this is a good project for energy conservation, which is important for Jamaica. This programme is in accordance with Vision 2030, which is the national development plan of Jamaica and contributes to achieve the outcome in energy security and efficiency. We expect a great synergy effect with this programme,” Mr. Maeda said.EMEP, which is being executed by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) consists of three components.Component one involves retrofitting the Health, Education and Public Agency (HEPA) government facilities. Energy efficiency and conservation measures will be undertaken in 73 HEPAs, including comprehensive retrofitting and installing light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.Under component two, an Urban Traffic Management System (UTMS) will be implemented in Kingston. This involves installation of a central control platform for traffic monitoring, closed-circuit television cameras, and the training of National Works Agency (NWA) staff.Component three will focus on providing the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET) with additional expertise.Training will be undertaken to support the implementation of an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to guide the development of a modern energy sector in Jamaica; technical experts will be contracted in energy efficiency and demand side management; and technical studies undertaken to support the IRP.last_img read more

Chretien ignores lobbyist registrars inquiry on meeting with NS premier

first_imgHALIFAX – Jean Chretien has ignored a letter from Nova Scotia’s lobbyist registrar asking if he lobbied the premier about a port proposal during a recent closed-door session that drew a citizen complaint.The registrar of lobbyists, Hayley Clarke, asked the former prime minister about a March 21 meeting in Halifax with Premier Stephen McNeil and Transport Minister Geoff MacLellan.Chretien is an international adviser to Sydney Harbour Investment Partners, which has been seeking investor support for the Cape Breton container port project. Chretien is not a registered lobbyist in Nova Scotia, and both McNeil and MacLellan denied he lobbied them or discussed the port project.Following a complaint from a retired union activist, Clarke sent Chretien a letter providing information about the province’s lobbying act, and asked for a response by the end of April.“We ask they (Chretien) review their activities to ensure compliance and provide a response advising as to the results of their review within 30 days,” says a March 29 letter to the complainant, John McCracken.No response came, Clarke’s spokesperson told The Canadian Press.“There has been no response to the Nova Scotia’s Registrar of Lobbyists inquiry of the Hon. Jean Chretien following a complaint received from a member of the public,” Marla MacInnis said.The Canadian Press sent written requests to Chretien and to an associate who often arranges media interviews but received no response.Duff Conacher, the co-founder of Democracy Watch, said Chretien needs to clear up the issue before he resumes conversations with politicians in the province.“He should be showing and documenting that he has not crossed the line that the law establishes that requires registration. If he’s not going to show the registrar, then the police should give him a call,” said Conacher.McCracken said Chretien’s lack of response demonstrates that Nova Scotia’s lobbying law is “toothless.”He said his only option now would be to take his complaint about Chretien to the police, a move that he’s contemplating.“It confirms everything I predicted at the time when I got my response from the registrar, which was that they (the registrar) were going to contact him and he (Chretien) was going to laugh in their face,” he said in an interview.The day before the meeting, Chretien had attended a conference in Sydney and told reporters about his role as an international adviser to Sydney Harbour Investment Partners.When a Cape Breton Post reporter asked Chretien how he’d market the Sydney container port to the premier, the former prime minister said he felt the premier would be in favour of a provincewide approach to container ports.“He (McNeil) said, ‘He’s for the development and he wants development in Nova Scotia,’ and he’s the premier of all Nova Scotia. And there always competition between one city and another. But all the cities in Nova Scotia are in Nova Scotia, but he is the premier of Nova Scotia.”The provincial Liberal government has been cautious about the Sydney proposal, as a 2016 study prepared for the province and the federal Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency recommended against public money for a terminal that would compete against the Halifax port.As the interview continued, Chretien was asked if the province should invest money in the container port proposal, and he replied: “I hope so.”When asked about another project along the Strait of Canso trying to develop a port, Chretien replied, “So what? I’m working for Sydney. I’m not working for them.”Clarke has previously made clear there was little she could do to probe what had occurred.“The role of the Registrar of Lobbyists is to administer the Registry of Lobbyists. The Registrar is not an enforcement agent,” MacInnis confirmed in an email to The Canadian Press.A number of other provincial jurisdictions, including Ontario, and the federal commissioner of lobbying can probe citizen complaints and recommend police investigations.Conacher said in an interview that he’d encourage McCracken to bring the media reports regarding Chretien’s actions to the attention of police.“He can say ‘There’s this story, and there’s this law, can you please check into what the (former) prime minister’s been doing,’” he said.Conacher said in most jurisdictions, commissioners do an investigation and bring the matter to police if it’s considered a crime was potentially committed. He said Nova Scotia should set up a similar system.“They often do the front-line investigation that police don’t have time to do,” he said.Nova Scotia legislation provides for a fine of not more than $25,000 for anyone who lobbies without registering first.McCracken said he would have been content had Chretien registered as a lobbyist after his complaint, and agreed to follow the rules of lobbyists going forward.These include requirements such as documenting if he has lobbied provincial politicians or government agencies on behalf of his client.Nova Scotia’s lobbyist registration law says lobbying includes communicating with a public servant “in an attempt to influence” the awarding of a contribution on behalf of government.One of the definitions of a lobbyist under the Nova Scotia law is “an individual paid to lobby on behalf of a client.”A person who does this is required to disclose their name, address and the name of the company they’re lobbying on behalf of, and the “subject matter” of their lobbying and who they’ve contacted.last_img read more

Retaining the old charm Tourists flock back to Queen of Hills to

Retaining the old charm Tourists flock back to Queen of Hills to

first_imgDarjeeling: It might not be the picture post card white Christmas that Darjeeling once upon a time could boast of but the Queen of Hills has reason enough to cheer.Tourists have started flocking back to Darjeeling to enjoy the festivities. Chowrasta, the nerve center of the Hill town, is a bee hive of activity with the return of tourists. “Though Darjeeling has changed a great deal and the Raj effect has worn off considerably it has still its own charm and we love to spend Christmas here,” stated Tanmoy Chakroborty, Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifea tourist from Kolkata. Most of the Hotels in Darjeeling are booked till the first week of January 2019. Noreen Dunne, former teacher of the St. Joseph’s College fondly reminisced: “Back in the days when we were kids, Christmas was all about goodies. But the specialty of our family was that all the Christmas goodies were prepared at home. We used mix the cake in huge containers wearing rubber boots, the container generally being placed in between our legs and we vigorously mixed the ingredients with spatulas. As we didn’t have an oven big enough, Ghuramiya (the oldest confectioner in town) used to bake it for us. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThen, there was home made cold meat to which my father used to add his special seasoning and my mother’s famous short bread. We used to go for Carol singing and the special midnight mass. My sister used to hang long stockings that used to be stuffed with presents.” The true flavour of Darjeeling Christmas is still preserved by Glenary’s — one of the oldest eateries in town. Glenary’s which opened in 1938 was then called Pliva’s after the owners — the Pliva family. After the Plivas left for England, A T Edward, who was the then Manager, bought the confectionery and rechristened it the Glenary’s. Ajoy Edward, the grandson of Late AT Edward, stated: “Christmas means good food and good wine.” From the British days till date, Glenary’s has been laying out a sumptuous buffet on Christmas eve and Christmas.The Christmas spread consists of continental dishes like roasted pork, roasted chicken, gratin, mince pies and plum puddings.The confectionery is packed with Christmas goodies — the Plum Cake with white icing, the Noel Cake, Mince pies and puddings. The fruits used in the Christmas cakes are marinated for two months in liquor. Recipes are still traditional. Christmas decoration, the crackling fireplace and the waiters wearing bright red Christmas hats conjure up the perfect Christmas. “We have carol singing groups and live bands singing Christmas numbers to add to the old world charm” added Ajoy. The Windamere Hotel in Darjeeling is also a seat of traditional Christmas celebrations. The visitors get a treat of overseas entertainers, Carol singers and a great Christmas spread.last_img read more

Support pours in for CM national leaders claim ECI decision biased

Support pours in for CM national leaders claim ECI decision biased

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday the destruction of Vidyasagar’s bust by the BJP was not an isolated incident as the party had been involved in similar incidents in the past as well.Taking to Twitter, Banerjee said: “Vandalising the statue of Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar may not be viewed as an isolated incident. Incidence of vandalism of statues is not a new phenomenon for BJP.” During her election campaign later in the day, Banerjee pointed out that the BJP leaders pulled down a statue of Lenin in Tripura after they came to power. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”We can have different political ideologies but demolishing a statue is highly condemnable,” Banerjee said during her rally referring to the Tripura incident. Banerjee said the Election Commission of India’s decision to curtail the campaign time for nine Bengal seats that will vote on Sunday was biased. She alleged the step was a direct attack on democracy and taken under the directions of the BJP. She said people would give a befitting reply. The Chief Minister was not only infuriated by the enormity of the incident but was considerably vocal in her protest against the BJP. During a press conference on Wednesday, Banerjee trained her guns at the BJP for its alleged role in influencing the ECI after it curtailed the duration of campaign for the last phase. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBanerjee’s protest against the BJP and her claims about the ECI decision was supported by various national leaders. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter to show her solidarity with the Bengal Chief Minister. She called Banerjee a lioness for speaking to BJP in the “language it understands”. Accusing the Election Commission of being biased, Mufti tweeted: ” Bengal plunged into chaos and violence on Tuesday. Why did it take ECI 2 days to impose a ban on campaigning? Was it to facilitate PM’s rallies? Such brazen bias by a constitutional body proves its subservient to the whims and fancies of BJP. How low will BJP stoop to wrest power?” National Conference leader Omar Abdullah echoing the same views asserted that the TMC chief will emerge victorious after the announcement of results. “The BJP can team up with the EC in Bengal, they can have a tailor-made campaign designed to fragment and polarise the electorate, they can have all their model code violations overlooked. None of it will matter because on the 23rd Mamata Official didi will sweep West Bengal,” Abdullah wrote on Twitter. Various prominent leaders across the country who supported Banerjee were Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and Telugu Desam national president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Banerjee has also conveyed her gratitude to Naidu on her Twitter account. Mayawati said the ECI had been working under the pressure of the Centre. PM Narendra Modi and BJP National President Amit Shah have been targeting Banerjee, she said.last_img read more

Google May Have Violated Wiretap Laws

first_img 3 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. September 27, 2013 In a victory for online privacy advocates but a blow to advertisers, a federal judge in California has ruled Google may have violated wiretapping laws by scanning and reviewing users’ Gmails.Google has long scanned Gmail messages to then target advertising to its users. The company has argued the practice is perfectly within the confines of both federal and state eavesdropping laws because Gmail users give up their privacy as part of Gmail’s Terms of Service contract.U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh disagreed, saying those Terms of Service “did not explicitly notify Plaintiffs that Google would intercept users’ emails for the purposes of creating user profiles or providing targeted advertising.”What’s more, even if Gmail account holders consented to having their emails searched, the people with whom those users are communicating didn’t. Google has claimed that users of, say, Microsoft’s Outlook, should know that Google will view their mail when sent to a Gmail account.Related: Google Looking Beyond ‘Cookies’ to Track People OnlineKoh was unconvinced, saying she “cannot conclude that any party — Gmail users or non-Gmail users — has consented to Google’s reading of email for the purposes of creating user profiles or providing targeted advertising.”The ruling, part of a proposed class action against Google, is a big win for privacy advocates, who have complained that technology companies have too much access to personal information and are not overt enough in explaining how customer information and data are used.The chorus for more protections has only gotten louder since it was revealed that companies like Google shared information with the U.S. government as the National Security Agency spied on American emails, texts and phone calls.Still, companies have long found that there is a potentially high value proposition for advertisers in targeting marketing toward users based on their interests. Google, for instance, has long tied advertising to search results from users. Gmail, it argues, is an extension of that.But Google has found itself more and more in the crosshairs of the privacy-protection crowd. Earlier this month, the company found out its capture of data over open Wi-Fi routers also could violate federal wiretapping laws. Google captured data through cars sent throughout the company to record images for its Google Street View maps. It has said it did so to improve its location-services features, but broader content was captured by the cars.Google is not alone. In theory, Judge Koh’s ruling could affect other companies that mine free email for information to match with advertisers. Yahoo mail, for instance, has a Terms of Service that allows for broader data capture.Court: Facebook Likes Are Protected Speechcenter_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now »last_img read more