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Premiers China Trade Mission Gets Results

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first_imgNova Scotia and Canada are seeing important results from the premiers’ trade mission to China. Yesterday in Beijing, Premier Darrell Dexter, who is leading the mission, met with the director of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), which oversees ocean technology research and development for the Chinese government. During the meeting, Nova Scotia and SOA agreed to pursue co-operation in three areas: marine coastal management; marine disaster mitigation; and marine energy, including tidal energy. “This is a promising development that could result in tremendous opportunities to advance the province’s knowledge in this area, particularly in tidal energy,” said Premier Dexter. Also in Beijing, the premiers met with Chinese vice-premier Wang Qishan who serves under Premier Wen Jiabao in the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. During the meeting, the premiers discussed their ambitious trade and investment agendas in which Chinese markets play a key role. The premiers also met with Chen Deming, China’s Minister of Commerce, and discussed Canada’s relationship with China, including $65 billion worth of trade in 2010 and $15.4 billion worth of two-way investment. Canada’s provinces and territories play an important role in developing and maintaining this economic relationship. The premiers also discussed numerous opportunities to expand investment, given the conclusion of the Canada-China Foreign Investment and Protection Agreement negotiations. In addition, Premier Dexter and Premier Alison Redford co-led a meeting with Li Fanrong, CEO of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). Discussions focused on CNOOC’s desire to continue investment in Canadian energy projects and the premiers addressed investment opportunities in their provinces and territories. Premier Dexter also discussed the recent $970-million Shell Canada exploration investment in Nova Scotia’s offshore and other offshore opportunities. The premiers also had productive meetings with Huang Danhua, vice-chairwoman of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Committee (SASAC) and Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice-minister and deputy chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). “Simply put, for Canada, trade means jobs,” said Premier Dexter. “What we have found these past few days is a generous host that is keen to develop the same economic ties that we are seeking.” Other business in China includes signing a new trade agreement between Atlantic Canada Resources and Shenzhen LeTianTian Food Company that will ensure the purchase of seafood from Nova Scotia continues. On Saturday, Premier Dexter will attend the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Cape Breton University and China Synfuels that will lead to an agreement to develop a Synfuels research and development laboratory at CBU’s Verschuren Centre. Under the agreement, the two parties will explore joint research programs and collaborate on commercialization of synthetic fuels. The premiers are leading a delegation of 110 business and institutional leaders on the mission. Premiers and delegates will proceed to Shanghai on Saturday and to Hong Kong on Sept. 19. The Council of the Federation mission ends Sept. 20. The Council of the Federation comprises all 13 provincial and territorial premiers. It allows premiers to work collaboratively to strengthen the Canadian federation by fostering a constructive relationship among the provinces and territories and with the federal government. For more information on the mission to China visit novascotia.ca/cof/ .last_img read more

US construction spending rises 11 per cent in October homes and schools

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US construction spending rises 1.1 per cent in October; homes and schools drive gains by Josh Boak, The Associated Press Posted Dec 2, 2014 2:49 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this Oct. 9, 2014 file photo, a man works on the roof of a building under construction in Middlefield, Ohio. The Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in October on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File) WASHINGTON – Newly built homes and schools boosted U.S. construction spending in October to the highest level since May.The Commerce Department said Tuesday that construction spending rose a seasonally adjusted 1.1 per cent in October, after having slipped 0.1 per cent in September.Fueling the gains in October was a 1.8 per cent increase in spending on single-family houses. A similar boost in building schools led to a 2.3 per cent increase in government construction spending. Meanwhile, private construction of power plants and commercial centres slipped in October.Building activity has been slowly improving for much of 2014, although its contribution to broader economic growth has been relatively modest. Homebuilding has crept upward, limited by meagre wage gains that have barely outpaced inflation. That has cut into the amount of money that people have to spend on homes or rent.Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, called the report “welcome news” but cautioned that single-family house construction “remains a shadow of previous levels.”“This is showing up in less construction employment and a smaller acceleration in wages than we would like given the age of this recovery, which in dog years is well into middle age,” Swonk said.October’s solid growth in homebuilding underlines that sector’s weakness.“The October rebound does not undo the damage” caused by the marked slowdown in construction spending since the start of 2014, said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.Over the past 12 months, private residential construction spending has risen just 1.9 per cent to a rate of $353.8 billion. That lags behind total construction spending, which has climbed 3.3 per cent from a year ago to $971 billion.New-home sales have risen only 1 per cent, according to a separate Commerce Department report. Builders are largely targeting wealthier buyers. That can boost profits but often means less construction to fuel economic growth. The median price of a new home has risen 15.4 per cent in the past 12 months to $305,000, a pace that’s more than double the average annual price increase for sales of existing homes tracked by the National Association of Realtors.Still, builders are hiring at a slightly faster clip than last year. Construction companies are adding an average of 14,000 workers a month so far this year, compared with a monthly average of 11,083 in 2013. The challenge is that stronger hiring and economic growth during 2014 has yet to translate into the wage growth that could further propel construction spending and hiring.And because Tuesday’s report contained upward revisions to August and September construction spending, the sector likely fed into faster overall economic growth. The revisions suggest that gross domestic product rose at an annual rate of 4.1 per cent during the July-September quarter, rather than the 3.9 per cent figure recently reported by the Commerce Department, said Daniel Silver, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase.Architectural firms are also reporting greater demand for their services, however, a sign that construction spending should improve in the months ahead.The American Institute of Architects said that its October billings index was 53.7. Any score above 50 indicates that billings increased. A breakdown of the index suggests that municipal governments and nonprofits are spending more on architectural designs, after having kept their spending in check during the more than five-year recovery from the Great Recession. read more

Oil and gas land sale rights down in Saskatchewan as industry struggles

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REGINA – Sales of petroleum and natural gas rights in Saskatchewan are down as investment in the sector plunges.The province says the April sale raised $3.1 million, bringing the year’s total so far to $8.1 million.That’s almost two-thirds less than the $22.8 million brought in over the same period last year and far below the $98.6 million raised over the same dates in 2014.Economy Minister Bill Boyd says there’s no question that when the price of oil drops significantly, the markets react and raising investment capital is more difficult for industry.The province says there is an upside and points out that the industry continues to pay premium prices in Saskatchewan.It says sales in Saskatchewan averaged $404 per hectare, whereas Alberta has averaged $114 and British Columbia $243. by The Canadian Press Posted Apr 14, 2016 12:58 pm MDT Last Updated Apr 14, 2016 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Oil and gas land sale rights down in Saskatchewan as industry struggles read more

Brock recognizes profs for creative research and teaching at Fall Convocation

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Brock will honour two faculty members for their notable contributions to research and teaching at Fall Convocation on Saturday, Oct. 18.Tony Bogaert, a professor in the Departments of Health Sciences and Psychology, will receive the Brock University Award for Distinguished Research and Creative Activity. This award recognizes faculty members who demonstrate outstanding research achievements, contributions toward the training of future researchers, and consistency in scholarly or creative performance.Marilyn Cottrell, a professor and lecturer in the Department of Economics, will receive the Brock University Award for Distinguished Teaching. The award recognizes a faculty member who has made a significant commitment to providing and developing quality learning experiences for students, in addition to making valuable contributions in curriculum development and the mentoring of colleagues.Bogaert will receive his award at Saturday’s 10 a.m. ceremony. And Cottrell will receive her award at the day’s 2 p.m. ceremony.More than 850 students are expected to graduate at Fall Convocation. All ceremonies will be held in the Ian D. Beddis Gymnasium and a reception for graduates, family members and other special guests will be held after each ceremony.—Brock University Award for Distinguished Research and Creative Activity: Professor Tony Bogaert Department of Health Sciences/Psychology, Faculty of Applied Health SciencesTony BogaertProfessor Tony Bogaert is a world-renowned scholar specializing in the field of sexual orientation. His research investigates the origins of sexual orientation, asexuality, sexual offending, high-risk sexual behaviour, and a new model of women’s sexual desire and arousal. His contributions to his academic field have influenced popular ideas about sexuality in both the scientific and layperson communities.He is author of 65 publications in top-ranked journals, such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience and the Review of General Psychology. He has also written eight book chapters and has published a new book, entitled Understanding Asexuality. In its review, Booklist called this book “…an unusually intriguing and enlightening inquiry.”In 2003, Professor Bogaert was awarded the Chancellor’s Chair for Research Excellence at Brock. Following this recognition, he published his groundbreaking research on the fraternal birth order effect in gay men, which was recognized worldwide as one of the top 100 science stories of 2006. His research found that gay men, have on average, a greater number of older brothers than heterosexual men. It also showed that sexual orientation development in men is, at least partly, prenatally based.In 2004, he was the first researcher to publish a large-scale study on asexuality, which he classifies as a fourth category of sexual orientation. He is a much sought after media commentator on issues like sexual offenders, pornography, sexual anatomy, high risk sexual behavior and sexual orientation. He has also served as an expert witness in a US Supreme Court case involving sexual orientation discrimination.Throughout his career, Professor Bogaert has received more than $7.8-million dollars in funding for his work from notable funding agencies such as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Furthermore, he has presented his research at more than 60 national and international conferences.He also invests significant time in facilitating research projects with undergraduate and graduate students at Brock in the Departments of Health Sciences, Psychology, and Education at Brock.—Brock University Award for Distinguished Teaching: Professor Marilyn Cottrell Department of Economics, Faculty of Social SciencesMarilyn CottrellProfessor Marilyn Cottrell’s enthusiasm for economics is contagious. Due to her stimulating approach to teaching, many students become fascinated with economics.Students report that she has a “unique, effective and interactive way of getting through to students.”Professor Cottrell’s attention to detail ensures that students arrive in upper year courses ready to succeed. She generously makes herself available to answer student questions about her courses, and her openness and patience with students is remarkable. She not only attempts to ensure that every student has the opportunity to excel in her courses, but also mentors students regarding careers in economics.Professor Cottrell was recognized by the Council of Ontario Universities for developing a Learning Object for principles of macroeconomics. Her work on this initiative also received much acclaim in the United States. She was chosen by a juried panel to present the details of her work at successive meetings of the American Economic Association.This quote from a student captures the sentiment of many: “I believe that Marilyn’s motivation, enthusiasm, and devotion to teaching and to the well-being of her students is exceptional. My Brock experience was enhanced by the opportunities afforded to me by Marilyn’s involvement.”Professor Cottrell has received the Award for Part-time Instructors and Teaching Assistants (1998), the “Making a Difference” Award (2003), the Council of Ontario Universities Award for Excellence in Teaching with Technology (2006), the Brock University Students’ Union Teaching Award (2007), the Don Ursino Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Large Classes (2009) and the Faculty of Social Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching (2013). She was also named a member of the advisory panel to the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank on FRED in 2011. read more