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BC government providing all distilleries with permission to produce hand sanitizer



Distilleries across British Columbia now have the permission from the provincial government to mass produce alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The new unprecedented temporary regulations are being made through an updated policy directive from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB).

This production capability policy is effective immediately, until further notice.

“We are in unprecedented times and everyone must do their part to fight COVID-19,” said David Eby, the Attorney General of BC, in a statement.

“Distilleries have been approaching us asking how they can help, and this new policy directive will mean they are authorized to manufacture alcohol-based hand sanitizer.”

According to a release, some distillers are already donating excess alcohol from their distilling process to another party to produce hand sanitizer, while others are creating hand sanitizer themselves.

The hand sanitizer products made by distilleries are required to meet federal regulatory requirements, specifically products that contain a sufficient level of alcohol content to kill the coronavirus.

Distilleries can either sell or donate the hand sanitizer they have manufactured.

“The flexibility shown by distillers to create much-needed hand sanitizing products demonstrates the leadership of BC’s agriculture sector and highlights the additional and unforeseen roles that BC’s food and beverage producers can play in an emergency response,” said Lana Popham, BC Minister of Agriculture.

Across the country, a number of distilleries have already announced their plan to produce urgently needed hand sanitizer products. This includes Labatt Breweries’ announcement today of creating 50,000 bottles of hand sanitizer for Food Banks Canada along with front line workers and their partners in the restaurant and bar industry.

While hand sanitizer is highly effective, public health officials are encouraging the public to thoroughly wash their hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Handwashing remains the best way to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

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Global Oil Producers Agree On Joint 10 Million Bpd Output Cut –



Global Oil Producers Agree On Joint 10 Million Bpd Output Cut |

Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.

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    OPEC has succeeded. On Thursday, the OPEC++ group agreed, in principle, to cut 10 million bpd in oil production, according to media. But will it be enough? Today’s oil prices suggest not.

    As oil inventories burst at the seams and threaten oil prices the world over, the oil markets have been riveted by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) actions as it relates to potential production cuts. While many analysts doubted that the group, and various other states who agreed to sit down with OPEC to hash out a new market stabilization plan, would cut as much production as would be necessary to draw down inventories, the group’s actions have never been more crucial to the survival of the entire oil industry.

    So critical, in fact, that the industry is even seeing die-hard free-market cheerleaders rooting for a deal from the oil cartel.

    The global oil market first had OPEC, which tasked itself with balancing the market and controlling prices by manipulating supply. When OPEC’s influence waned as U.S. shale became a bigger and bigger oil-market adversary, OPEC added a few non-OPEC members, including Russia, to form OPEC+. With even more market clout stripped away from the group by the colossal demand destruction thanks to the coronavirus, OPEC has enlisted the help of even more oil-producing countries. This group has been referred to as OPEC++.

    The Terms of the Deal

    The group was thought by some to be discussing a 10 million bpd cut across its members. Other sources suggested the figure was 15 million bpd. Still other sources, as talks were taking place on Thursday morning, said the group was discussing a 20 million bpd cut.

    With global oil demand thought to have taken as much as a 30 million bpd hit, some thought even more barrels would be cut.

    In the end, the OPEC++ group agreed to cut just 10 million bpd. While still a massive production cut the likes of which the world has never seen, it is significantly under what the market will likely require in order to “balance”—and oil prices know it.

    Premium: What Will $15 Oil Mean For Producers?

    As part of the deal, all the specifics of which have not yet been released, Russia has reportedly agreed to 2 million bpd of cuts. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, has agreed to shave 4 million bpd off its record-setting April production levels of 12.3 million bpd – for a cap of 8.3 million bpd. 

    The rest of the members have not yet worked out who will cut what.

    There will be additional G20 discussions about the production cuts on Friday.

    The hiccup in the deal had been the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Russia, and whether the United States would succumb to the international pressures mounted against it to join in the cuts. US President Donald Trump, however, has repeatedly said that the market would naturally force US production down, effectively “cutting” along with OPEC as a matter of course. This issue, too, is expected to come up at Friday’s meeting.


    OPEC + has had a pretty good track record overall when it comes to complying with its production quotas. Prior to the end of the previous production cut deal than expired on April 1, the extended OPEC group reached 112% compliance. Still, many individual OPEC member countries have had a difficult time staying in compliance with production cut quotas throughout the last few years, with some flagged as chronic overproducers. Also, that 112% compliance figure is skewed, with OPEC over complying and the “+” part of the OPEC+ group under complying. In January this year, OPEC’s allies in the production cuts achieved only 55% of their targeted cuts. Meanwhile, OPEC achieved 136% of its promised cuts.

    The figures suggest that OPEC was more motivated to take action to stabilize the market than its OPEC+ counterparts.

    While Saudi Arabia has a great track record for keeping within its quota – or even substantially below it – Russia and Iraq, for example, were chronic overproducers. This has led to much skepticism that the new group, comprised of more than just the traditional members, will be able to stay within the agreed-upon levels.

    To ensure compliance, a draft communique sent to G20 member countries – circulated prior to the Thursday OPEC++ meeting – told members that it would create a special group to monitor this compliance. The group would not only monitor the compliance to the Thursday agreements, but it would also report back to the G20 energy ministers “for further corrective actions if needed,” according to Bloomberg, who saw the draft.

    The draft document didn’t specifically mention “production cuts”. Rather, the document indicated that it would monitor whatever steps the Thursday group agreed on that would stabilize the oil markets.

    With 10 million bpd in the bag, the market will now look to the G-20 meeting to see how the United States will respond to the agreement that OPEC has hashed. In the meantime, oil prices have responded with a lukewarm reception.

    By Julianne Geiger for

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      Calgary’s unemployment rate is highest in Canada as Alberta’s jobless rate spikes – Global News



      Calgary’s unemployment rate is now the highest in the country as residents deal with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      New numbers released by Statistics Canada on Thursday show the jobless rate in the southern Alberta city sat at 8.6 per cent in March, a sharp increase from 7.4 per cent February and the worst among the 33 metropolitan areas surveyed.

      READ MORE:
      Coronavirus: Canada lost 1 million jobs in March

      In Edmonton, the unemployment rate increased ever-so-slightly in March to 7.9 per cent compared with 7.8 per cent the month before.

      According to Statistics Canada, unemployment rose in all provinces, with Alberta seeing unemployment spike to 8.7 per cent in March, up from 7.2 per cent the month before.

      [ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

      Alberta’s jobless rate is one of the highest in Canada. Only New Brunswick (8.8 per cent), Nova Scotia (9.0 per cent), and Newfoundland and Labrador (11.7 per cent) have higher provincial numbers.

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      Some Calgary businesses hiring during economic slowdown

      Some Calgary businesses hiring during economic slowdown

      Nationally, the unemployment rate jumped to 7.8 per cent from 5.6 per cent in February, the largest one-month increase since comparable record-keeping began in 1976. The previous record was the 125,000 jobs lost in January 2009.

      Canada’s March labour market report was the first since the country started feeling a significant impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

      READ MORE:
      1 month after Alberta’s first COVID-19 case, what’s changed?

      Alberta’s first case of COVID-19, a woman in her 50s from the Calgary area, was announced on March 5.

      Two weeks later, on March 19, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced the province had recorded its first COVID-19 death.

      READ MORE:
      Alberta Health Services, grocery stores, delivery companies among those looking to hire

      In the month since the province’s first COVID-19 case was announced, schools across the province have been closed, communities have declared local states of emergency and non-essential businesses have been ordered to shut down.

      © 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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      WestJet rehiring 6,400 workers amid steep decline in air travel – CTV News



      TORONTO —
      WestJet is following Air Canada’s lead and hiring back thousands of laid-off workers now that the government has agreed to pay the majority of their wages.

      In a video posted to social media late Wednesday night, WestJet president and CEO said nearly 6,400 employees will be brought back onto the company’s payroll – although most of them will not be asked to perform any operational duties.

      “There will simply not be enough work there for them, but it will help them make ends meet,” Sims said in the video.

      WestJet announced on March 24 that it would be laying off 6,900 workers, or almost half of its total staff.

      Sims said the about-face is a result of the federal government’s emergency wage subsidy, which allows businesses to keep workers on the payroll with the government paying 75 per cent of their salaries. The government recently loosened its rules around which businesses are eligible for this program, expanding it to any that can show a 15-per-cent decline in revenues during March.

      The 6,400 workers will be rehired once the changes to the wage subsidy program are passed by Parliament, Sims said.

      WestJet’s announcement came hours after rival Air Canada said it plans to rehire all 16,500 workers it laid off in late March because it can now access the same program.

      Acknowledging a “downturn” in business due to the decline in air travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Sims said WestJet service will continue to be reduced but vowed that the airline would not abandon any of the 38 airports it currently serves.

      “We will not be grounding this airline unless specifically instructed to by the governments,” he said.


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