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B.C. making 'significant investment' to create year-round wildfire service – CHEK

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The provincial government will be making a significant investment in 2022 in order to create a year-round BC Wildfire Services, according to Minister of Finance Selina Robinson.

Robinson held a press conference on Monday and announced the news, one day ahead of the release of BC’s Budget 2022.

The finance minister called the investment “significant” and says the province hopes that it can help B.C. take a more proactive approach to fight and prepare for wildfires at all times of the year.

Robinson calls the move a “fundamental change,” outlining that more details will be revealed about the investment on Tuesday.

“It will ensure that BC Wildfire Services will have trained staff able to both prepare for and respond to future wildfires,” said Robinson. “This approach will deliver all pillars of emergency management: prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.”

According to the Minister of Finance, the decision to allocate funds in Budget 2022 towards a year-round service is a result of wildfire season beginning early and lasting later each year.

“It’s an example of the kind of changes we need to make, the kind of changes that we will make to strengthen our defences while we continue to fight against climate change,” said Robinson.

With the investment allowing for more wildfire preparedness, Robinson hopes that it will help protect people, communities and businesses moving forward.

In addition to the year-round wildfire service, Robinson implied that there will be a heavy focus on other climate change-related investments as well.

BC Budget 2022 will be released on Tuesday, February 22.

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Different ways to invest in gold – Economic Times

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Gold as an asset class has always worked as a hedge against inflation and geopolitically turbulent times. Along with investment in equities, it is prudent to have some allocation to gold as it is inversely correlated with equities.

Purchasing physical gold

There are two ways of doing this. The traditional way is purchasing gold jewellery from a trusted gold jewellery shop. However, one needs to be careful about the making charges, purity, safety and quality while buying. Alternatively, one can buy the gold in the form of coins and bars from the jeweller or a bank.

Sovereign gold bonds

Sovereign gold bonds (SGBs) are issued by the RBI in tranches. These bonds are offered in terms of gram at the current rate of gold and offer a fixed rate of interest. The investor receives value of gold at the rate prevalent at maturity. Investment in SGBs can be made through banks, post offices or stock exchanges. This is a long term investment and redemption at maturity is tax-free.

Gold ETFs

Investment in gold through gold ETFs can be made online using the broker platform at very low charges. These ETFs invest in physical gold, SGBs, gold companies and funds.

Digital gold

Digital gold is investment in pure gold in digital form. Here, the seller stores an equivalent quantity of physical gold in a secured vault which is reflected in the digital gold account of the investor. The investor can also take physical delivery of gold.

Points to note

Each of the investment mode has a different tax implication with respect to sale and redemption.

It is best to consult your tax advisor before deciding on the mode of investing in gold.

Content on this page is courtesy Centre for Investment Education and Learning (CIEL).
Contributions by Girija Gadre, Arti Bhargava and Labdhi Mehta.

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Heritage Center designation stripped; Township makes last call for private investment – Cornwall Newswatch – Cornwall Newswatch

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In this March 2021, file photo, a statue of Saint Andrew the Apostle looks on from the front of the Raisin River Heritage Center in St. Andrews West, Ont. South Stormont has removed the heritage destination for the century-old building with hope that the private sector will come forward with a solid business case to renovate the building. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

LONG SAULT – Despite a recommendation from the Conservation Review Board not to do it, South Stormont has stripped the heritage designation of the Raisin River Heritage Center in St. Andrews West.

Council agreed Wednesday to remove the designation under the impetus that removing it would cut red tape and open the door to less restrictive private sector investment.

The building, behind St. Andrews Catholic School, was closed in 2017 after it was considered unsafe. The township has estimated that it would take over $1 million to repair it.

Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Amelotte also explained that if the designation wasn’t removed now, it wouldn’t be able to be removed later because provincial legislation is changing that would make the review board’s decision final.

With the designation removed, the township is also going out for a final public expression of interest to see if someone will buy and renovate the century building that was a Roman Catholic convent and boarding school.

Amelotte said they had meetings with those opposed to removing the designation on Tuesday, before the Wednesday council meeting. “They did have some questions but again I feel they are working hard on their end but don’t have a proper business plan yet or an idea that works along what the board (Catholic school board) is looking for.”

CAO Debi LucasSwitzer says it will have to be a solid business case.

“It has to be a clear business plan. A hope isn’t going to work for us on a go-forward basis. It must be clearly set out in terms of the revenue, in terms of the expenses…and how they propose to be sustainable,” she said.

Amelotte added that they’ve received an idea in “half an email” with a $1 land transfer request but South Stormont has a responsibility to make sure someone doesn’t destroy it and then hand it back to the municipality. The township has had “six to eight” requests in the past from people who are “local within SD&G, as close as Ottawa.”

“We can’t keep asking people to send in emails with an idea. We need an actual business plan that we can review and be comfortable with and the school board endorses and move that forward,” Amelotte added.

The expressions of interest process is expected to take at least six months but any decision won’t happen until after the October municipal election.

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Grey Economic Development, Planning Advisory Committee Endorse Investment Attraction Strategy – Bayshore Broadcasting News Centre

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The Grey County administration building in Owen Sound. (file photo)

Grey County’s Economic Development and Planning Advisory Committee is endorsing an investment attraction strategy.

During a committee meeting on May 5, a report was brought forward by Director of the committee Savanna Myers and Manager of Economic Development and Tourism Steve Furness. The report recommended endorsing the strategy, directing staff to execute its first missions, maintain their relationship with ThinkCOMPASS, and enter into an annual contract to execute a three-year action plan.

The strategy assists the county in reaching economic development related goals in its official plan by identifying investment attraction, which can help the county create and maintain a growing and diverse economy.

“To plan for and provide sustainable growth, Grey County needs to find a balance. Focusing on opportunities that bring economic diversity, will not only support employment and wages, but will also balance assessment ratios and enable community well-being,” says the report.

The report says staff were able to receive funding from CanExport Community Investments Subprogram through Global Affairs Canada, to develop the county’s first investment attraction strategy. ThinkCOMPASS, a consulting and marketing company, was retained to develop the strategy.

The report says the strategy builds on the branding, inventory and labour force work already completed and is being put into action by county and municipal staff.

To further drive investment in the county, the attraction efforts will focus on sectors and foreign markets which generate a high return on investment, along with both provincial and federal government priorities, leveraging local strengths and bringing broad economic benefits to improve sector diversity in the county.

The report says business opportunities that are of particular relevance to the county while narrowing in on these various sectors, include agri-food companies, clean-technology companies like hydrogen and nuclear, knowledge-based companies, and tourism.

The report says the county finds itself in a position to be able to enter the market to actively pursue investment attraction, to better support existing businesses, build the supply chain, and welcome new investment.

Deputy Warden Paul McQueen proposed setting up a forum to draw attention to the county, to display all of its assets.

“We have got to create a buzz here and what we are all about, what we are looking at and where we are going through developing a strategy. I think at some point we need to step up here and create that buzz,” says McQueen.

“Certainly marketing, promotion, community engagement are all really critical success factors to any strategy we put forward,” says CAO Kim Wingrove. “We are going to take that suggestion and recommendation forward as we make the future plans.”

Following the endorsement, the funds received by CanExport to develop and execute a preliminary investment mission based on direction of the investment attraction strategy, will see planning begin.

All actions included in the strategy will be featured in the annual budget for council to consider. In the 2022 budget, the approved economic development budget includes $45,000 for ongoing investment guidance and support, investment training and investment mission.

The mission is also further supported by an additional $16,350 in matching federal funding that was unbudgeted.

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