WALLACEBURG – A $7.3 million Ontario government grant to construct a new power plant for the hospital here sends a strong signal the healthcare facility will remain open for many years to come.
WALLACEBURG – A $7.3-million Ontario government grant to build a new power plant for the hospital here sends a strong signal the health-care facility will remain open for many years to come.
“This is an investment in not only the care and delivery and services here today, it’s an investment in the future, because this does provide a substantial backbone for a further redevelopment of this site in the future,” said Lori Marshall, president and CEO of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance following the funding announcement Friday.
Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development, who made the funding announcement on behalf of Health Minister Christine Elliott, also indicated more money is coming.
“This will be the first stage of a redevelopment plan,” he said, adding there are plans to move the emergency room and diagnostic imaging to a new location on the north side of the hospital.
Marshall said building a new power plant, estimated to take a year to complete, is a commitment to future expansion.
“If we were just looking at sustaining the current building, we would not have needed the level of infrastructure that is going into this power plant,” she said.
“What the power plant actually does is gives us the level of infrastructure to truly support a new build, new code requirements all those kinds of things.”
Marshall said $7.3 million covers the cost of building the new power plant, along with the 10 per cent local requirement the hospital group had in reserve, so no fundraising will be needed.
She said plans have already been submitted for consideration to the Health Ministry for redeveloping the emergency room, diagnostic imaging and laboratory areas.
However, Marshall noted there is no firm timeline for when this expansion could happen.
Other future plans for upgrading the hospital include expanding ambulatory care, including specialty clinics, along with respiratory therapy, physiotherapy and laboratory services.
Walpole Island Chief Charles Sampson said the First Nations community has a long history with the hospital, noting many people from Walpole Island have worked there.
“The people of Walpole Island are very thankful of the tireless efforts from all the front-line, essential health-care workers in Chatham-Kent,” he added.
McNaughton noted the importance of local health care has only been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While fighting COVID-19 remains a priority, the MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex said the provincial government intends “to invest in things that matter to people in Southwestern Ontario and beyond.”
When built in the 1950s at a cost of approximately $900,000, the Wallaceburg hospital “became a jewel of the community,” Greg Aarssen, the hospital board’s chair, said.
He added renewed focus on the site has seen reinvestment in the emergency department, additional respiratory therapy coverage, capital equipment upgrades and the addition of specialty clinics, as well as a partnership to provide community care nursing clinics.
“All of these set the stage for the reinvestment we are seeing from the Ontario government to ensure that hospital services remain an important part of this community,” Aarssen said.
However, it wasn’t that many years ago the community was fighting to keep the emergency department open and halt plans to have the site become an urgent care centre.
Wallaceburg Coun. Carmen McGregor said her first term on council included walking into a community effort by the citizen group, Save Our Sydenham, to fight to keep the hospital open.
“It was quite an initiation as a councillor to come into,” she said.
McGregor credited being able to work with former Wallaceburg councillor Jeff Wesley and the determination of the community to now see this “great news” for the future.
Noting she and fellow Wallaceburg Coun. Aaron Hall are working on initiatives to revitalize the downtown core, McGregor said, the hospital announcement “solidifies the direction we want to move in and will now encourage people to relocate to our community.”
Hall said Wallaceburg residents not only donated to build the hospital, but the whole community rallied for years to ensure it stayed open and viable.
He said the province isn’t going to invest more than $7 million if the hospital isn’t here to stay.
“It’s great news for Wallaceburg, great news for the future of the hospital,” Hall said.
More China coal investments overseas cancelled than commissioned since 2017
More China-invested overseas coal-fired power capacity was cancelled than commissioned since 2017, research showed on Wednesday, highlighting the obstacles facing the industry as countries work to reduce carbon emissions.
The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) said that the amount of capacity shelved or cancelled since 2017 was 4.5 times higher than the amount that went into construction over the period.
Coal-fired power is one of the biggest sources of climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions, and the wave of cancellations also reflects rising concerns about the sector’s long-term economic competitiveness.
Since 2016, the top 10 banks involved in global coal financing were all Chinese, and around 12% of all coal plants operating outside of China can be linked to Chinese banks, utilities, equipment manufacturers and construction firms, CREA said.
But although 80 gigawatts of China-backed capacity is still in the pipeline, many of the projects could face further setbacks as public opposition rises and financing becomes more difficult, it added.
China is currently drawing up policies that it says will allow it to bring greenhouse gas emissions to a peak by 2030 and to become carbon-neutral by 2060.
But it was responsible for more than half the world’s coal-fired power generation last year, and it will not start to cut coal consumption until 2026, President Xi Jinping said in April.
Environmental groups have called on China to stop financing coal-fired power entirely and to use the funds to invest in cleaner forms of energy, and there are already signs that it is cutting back on coal investments both at home and abroad.
Following rule changes implemented by the central bank earlier this year, “clean coal” is no longer eligible for green financing.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s biggest bank by assets and a major source of global coal financing, is also drawing up a “road map” to pull out of the sector, its chief economist Zhou Yueqiu said at the end of May.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
Bank of Montreal CEO sees growth in U.S. share of earnings
Bank of Montreal expects its earnings contribution from the U.S. to keep growing, even without any mergers and acquisitions, driven by a much smaller market share than at home and nearly C$1 trillion ($823.38 billion) of assets, Chief Executive Officer Darryl White said on Monday.
“We do think we have plenty of scale,” and the ability to compete with both banks of similar as well as smaller size, White said at a Morgan Stanley conference, adding that the bank’s U.S. market share is between 1% and 5% based on the business line, versus 10% to 35% in Canada. “And we do it off the scale of our global balance sheet of C$950 billion.”
($1 = 1.2145 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Leslie Adler)
GameStop falls 27% on potential share sale
Shares of GameStop Corp lost more than a quarter of their value on Thursday and other so-called meme stocks also declined in a sell-off that hit a broad range of names favored by retail investors.
The video game retailer’s shares closed down 27.16% at $220.39, their biggest one-day percentage loss in 11 weeks. The drop came a day after GameStop said in a quarterly report that it may sell up to 5 million new shares, sparking concerns of potential dilution for existing shareholders.
“The threat of dilution from the five million-share sale is the dagger in the hearts of GameStop shareholders,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management. “The meme trade is not working today, so logic for at least one day has returned.”
Soaring rallies in the shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings over the past month have helped reinvigorate the meme stock frenzy that began earlier this year and fueled big moves in a fresh crop of names popular with investors on forums such as Reddit’s WallStreetBets.
Many of those names traded lower on Thursday, with shares of Clover Health Investments Corp down 15.2%, burger chain Wendy’s falling 3.1% and prison operator Geo Group Inc, one of the more recently minted meme stocks, down nearly 20% after surging more than 38% on Wednesday. AMC shares were off more than 13%.
Worries that other companies could leverage recent stock price gains by announcing share sales may be rippling out to the broader meme stock universe, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital.
AMC last week took advantage of a 400% surge in its share price since mid-May to announce a pair of stock offerings.
“It appears that other companies, like GameStop, are hoping to follow AMC’s lead by issuing shares and otherwise profit from the meme stocks run-up,” Ablin said. “Investors are taking a dim view of that strategy.”
Wedbush Securities on Thursday raised its price target on GameStop to $50, from $39. GameStop will likely sell all 5 million new shares but that amount only represents a “modest” dilution of 7%, Wedbush analysts wrote.
GameStop on Wednesday reported stronger-than-expected earnings, and named the former head of Amazon.com Inc’s Australian business as its chief executive officer.
GameStop’s shares rallied more than 1,600% in January when a surge of buying forced bearish investors to unwind their bets in a phenomenon known as a short squeeze.
The company on Wednesday said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had requested documents and information related to an investigation into that trading.
In the past two weeks, the so-called “meme stocks” have received $1.27 billion of retail inflows, Vanda Research said on Wednesday, matching their January peak.
(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru and Sinead Carew in New York; Additional reporting by Ira Iosebashvili; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Shounak Dasgupta, Jonathan Oatis and Nick Zieminski)