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Category Archives: Breaking News

Breaking News

U.S. reduces tariffs on Canadian newsprint

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
August 2, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada, United States

The U.S. Department of Commerce has decreased tariffs against most Canadian newsprint in its final ruling. …the Commerce Department reduced the final tariffs to 20.26 per cent for Richmond, B.C.-based Catalyst Paper Corp. and 9.53 per cent for Montreal-based Kruger Inc. The preliminary duties on uncoated groundwood paper, including newsprint and book-grade paper, totalled 28.25 per cent Catalyst and 32.09 per cent for Kruger. Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products Inc. saw its final duties rise to 9.81 per cent, compared with 4.42 per cent. Other Canadian groundwood producers face paying final tariffs of 8.54 per cent, compared with 28.69 per cent in the preliminary determination earlier this year on shipments into the United States. …The Commerce Department continued to exempt Connecticut-based White Birch Paper Co., which has three Quebec paper mills through its Canadian unit, from paying duties on its groundwood sales into the United States.

 

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Trump calls for Russia to be reinstated to G-7, threatens allies on trade

By Damian Paletta, Anne Gearan and John Wagner
The Washington Post
June 8, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada, United States

Donald Trump

President Trump on Friday said Russia should be readmitted to the Group of Seven leading economies, breaking with other world leaders who have insisted that Moscow remain ostracized following its 2014 annexation of Crimea. “Now, I love our country. I have been Russia’s worst nightmare. . . . But with that being said, Russia should be in this meeting,” Trump said Friday as he left the White House. “It may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run. . . . They should let Russia back in.” Trump’s comments, made just hours before arriving in Canada for the annual G-7 summit, have the potential to further upend talks with other leaders who were already fuming about the U.S. leaders protectionist trade policies. …Trump also… threatening again to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Government receives professional reliance final report

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
June 28, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Province has received the final report on the independent professional reliance review, commissioned by government last fall. The report provides recommendations on two aspects to improve the current professional reliance model. First, the governance of the professional associations that oversee qualified professionals (QPs), including forest professionals, engineers and geoscientists, agrologists, biologists and technicians. Second, consideration of improvements to 28 regulatory regimes that pertain to natural resource management. The report recommends restructuring the governance of the professional associations by creating new legislation and an independent office, which will bring together the five statutes governing the associations.

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Report fails to meet government’s objective to strengthen professional reliance

Council of Forest Industries
June 28, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

Vancouver, BC – BC Council of Forest Industries President & CEO Susan Yurkovich issued the following statement responding to the report by Mark Haddock released today on professional reliance. “We are disappointed with the professional reliance report. Mr. Haddock’s report misses the opportunity to focus on meaningful improvements to the governance of professional associations, drifting well beyond his terms of reference to propose unjustified changes to the forestry regulatory regime unrelated to professional reliance. The intent of this review was to identify and recommend good governance practices that could be applied by the resource professions’ governing bodies. Instead the report recommends a new ‘regulator of regulators’ be established. This would duplicate process, add unnecessary costs and create uncertainty, without any clear indication of how public interest will be served.”

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Professional Foresters respond to government review on professional reliance

By Christine Gelowitz, ABCFP CEO
The Association of BC Forest Professionals
June 28, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Christine Gelowitz

While there are some recommendations we as a profession can support in the name of continuous improvement, others are troubling. The audits conducted as part of the professional reliance review found the ABCFP and the other four regulators in compliance with their legislation. Despite this clean bill of health, the report’s two recommendations aimed at the professional regulators are unnecessarily heavy-handed. They constrain the autonomy and independence of natural resource professional regulators while doing little to address the core public concerns raised around natural resource development and environmental protection. The report’s two professional governance recommendations could have both transformative and costly implications for a non-profit association such as the ABCFP. …These recommendations clearly do not lead to better forest management on the ground, and they fracture the critical relationship required between the professional statutes and results-based regulatory regimes that rely on professionals for their delivery.

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Professional reliance review report is a step forward for B.C.

Evidence for Democracy
June 28, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada, Canada West

…The newly released report points to significant failings in the professional reliance model and makes clear that “regulatory outsourcing” compromises the public interest and the environment. …A coalition of environmental, labour and professional organizations, the Professional Reliance Working Group, formed to be a strong, unified voice urging the government to take back primary responsibility for stewardship of the environment by restoring laws, standards, and compliance systems. …“We want to see recommendations in the report implemented immediately,” said group member Devon Page, the executive director of Ecojustice, Canada’s largest environmental law charity. …“The government needs to reclaim its leadership role in resource and environmental stewardship,” said B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union president Stephanie Smith. “Corporations shouldn’t be allowed to certify their own resource plans or police their own operations. It’s a conflict of interest, pure and simple.”

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Mining Association of B.C. comments on release of BC Professional Reliance Review Report

Mining Association of British Columbia
June 28, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Brian Cox

VANCOUVER – The Mining Association of B.C. (MABC) has significant concerns with the recently released Professional Reliance Review Report. “MABC was hopeful the report would represent the substantive submissions received by important stakeholders like the mining industry and make recommendations focused on good governance and transparency,” said Bryan Cox, President & CEO of MABC. “Instead, the report strays beyond the terms of reference, proposing significant changes to the system without the necessary justification, investigation or reference to British Columbia’s best practices to support them.” …It is the responsibility of professional associations to establish the appropriate criteria to achieve and maintain professional accreditation, adjudicate individuals against these criteria, and discipline members who fail to maintain the established professional standard. 

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Is B.C.’s ‘wild west’ environmental monitoring about to come to an end?

By Jimmy Thomson
The Narwhal
June 28, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government has released its review of the professional reliance system… The new report makes 121 recommendations on how to improve the system… “It’s really comprehensive,” said Devon Page, director of Ecojustice, calling the report “thoughtful” and “thorough”. Author Mark Haddock describes in detail the failings of professional reliance … — especially in forestry.  “Most problematic are the Forest and Range Practices Act and Riparian Areas Protection Act due to the extent to which they restrict government’s authority,” he wrote. “Given the breadth of professional expertise required for forest management, government should consider whether the current laissez faire approach to the use of professionals is adequate.” Translated from government-safe language, this is a damning assertion: Haddock spends more than 10 pages detailing the ways government has abdicated its own responsibility for managing forests, putting that authority instead in the hands of industry.

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New professional reliance report reaffirms Ombudsperson’s recommendations

The Office of the BC Ombudsperson
June 28, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Victoria – Today’s report commissioned by government that examines the way industry-hired professionals conduct environmental assessments and monitoring underscores the need to increase oversight that has been recommended by the Ombudsperson since 2014. …“These recommendations very clearly align with ones we have made in the past,” said Ombudsperson Jay Chalke. “I am hopeful government will make critical changes that my office and others have been continuing to recommend.” …The Ombudsperson’s 2014 report Striking a Balance examined the challenges of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Operations using a professional reliance model in environmental protection, specifically how professionals have been used in relation to British Columbia’s regulation of riparian areas. …there is no question that there is still significant work ahead to ensure that all British Columbians have trust in environmental decision-making more generally,” said Chalke. “The additional light that this report sheds today is another important step in that direction.”

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AME Responds to BC Professional Reliance Report

By Edie Thome, Association for Mineral Exploration
Global Newswire
June 28, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Edie Thome

The Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) has concerns regarding today’s release of the final report of the review of professional reliance in natural resource decision-making. …“We are concerned that the report released today does not reflect the scope of the review that we felt we were being consulted on,” says Ms. Edie Thome, President & CEO of AME. “In fact, the recommendations are largely focused on broad-sweeping changes to 28 regulatory regimes that go well beyond governance improvements, which we believed to be the focus of the engagement. We are hopeful that the government implements only recommendations that allow for continual improvement in the oversight of qualified professionals and their governing associations, and in a way that does not adversely affect, but builds on the current standards already in practice in British Columbia. 

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Professional Reliance Report Recommendations Target Governance, Regulatory Review

Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia
June 28, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada, Canada West

…The two recommendations concerning professional governance are expected to have a significant impact on Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s role as regulator of the professions. The first suggests that government establish an independent Office of Professional Regulation and Oversight that would oversee the five associations subject to the review, and administer their legislation. …The second proposes that government standardize, through umbrella legislation, 10 elements of professional governance… It is our view that the regulatory improvements included in the report can be achieved through amendments to the Engineers and Geoscientists Act, without creating a new level of potentially costly administration. Furthermore, we are concerned that the one-size-fits-all model …does not account for the varied size and complexity of regulators. For instance, in the case of Engineers and Geoscientists BC, where only 20% of our members work in the natural resource sector, how would such a body regulate the other 80% of our members? 

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A first step towards fixing professional reliance

By Scott McCannell, BC Professional Employees Association
Global Newswire
June 28, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Scott McCannell

“This report represents an important step towards fixing professional reliance in B.C.,” said Scott McCannell, Executive Director of the Professional Employees Association (PEA). “The government’s commitment to moving forward on the two main recommendations of the report are admirable.” A significant recommendation emphasizes the need to identify opportunities to improve ministry staffing levels and resources to enhance government oversight. “Due to staffing level cuts in the past, some ministries aren’t able to meet basic levels of oversight,” said McCannell. “The government needs to improve ministry staffing levels to bring back balance to stewardship and development in B.C.” The report points to significant failings in the professional reliance model and makes clear that professional reliance compromises the public interest and resource development oversight.

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Overhaul of professional reliance model slammed

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
June 28, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Greg D’Avignon

Recommended changes to B.C.’s professional reliance model for resource industries is “a solution looking for a problem” [Greg D’Avignon, BCBC] that could take B.C. back to the days of the Forest Practices Code, which hamstrung forestry companies with red tape. That’s how professional and business associations are reacting to recommendations released Thursday June 28 for overhauling how the provincial government regulates resource industries in BC. …COFI characterizes such an oversight office as “a regulator of regulators” that will add unnecessary layers of red tape. “Mr. Haddock’s proposals would effectively take us back 25 years to a ‘forest practices code’ system, that was ultimately rejected as unworkable due to its highly prescriptive, costly, and gridlocked regulatory scheme,” said COFI president Susan Yurkovich. …The Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) is calling on the NDP government to shelve the report, while Sonia Furstenau, Green MLA for Cowichan Valley, is urging its immediate implementation.

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Ontario PCs romp to comfortable majority as NDP forms the official opposition

By Justin Giovannetti
The Globe and Mail
June 8, 2018
Category: Breaking News
Region: Canada East, Canada

Doug Ford

Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives have swept Ontario… The decisive result was a remarkable feat for Mr. Ford, a brash and unconventional leader who became the head of his party only in March after the resignation of former leader Patrick Brown. Portraying himself as an anti-politician, Mr. Ford promised to slash taxes, reduce waste and look out for “the little guy,” echoing the message he and his late brother Rob brought to their tumultuous time in Toronto municipal politics. The Tories unseated Liberals across the province, winning several Toronto ridings in which the party had not been competitive for decades, and will send 76 MPPs to Queen’s Park. The NDP is expected to send 40 and the Liberals seven, one short of official party status. Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner won his party’s first seat in Guelph.

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