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Britain's Serious Fraud Office opens investigation into Bombardier over suspected bribery and corruption – The Globe and Mail

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Bombardier says it is co-operating with an investigation by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office.

ARND WIEGMANN/Reuters

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office has opened an investigation into Bombardier Inc. over suspected bribery and corruption, adding to the adversity facing the plane maker as it prepares to scale back its business further to adapt to still-shaky market conditions.

The probe is related to contracts and orders from Garuda Indonesia, the flag airline of the Southeast Asian country, the fraud office said in a statement on its website Thursday. It said it would provide no further comment because the investigation is continuing.

Bombardier confirmed the investigation and said it has launched its own review of the matter, conducted by external counsel. No charges have been laid against Bombardier or its employees in connection with the affair, the company said.

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“This is unfortunate,” Bombardier chief executive Éric Martel told reporters on a conference call after the company’s third-quarter earnings report Thursday. He said while probes by authorities so far have centred on sales made to Garuda by Airbus SE and British-based engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC, the fraud office informed the company several weeks ago that it wanted to investigate Bombardier because it also sold aircraft to the Indonesian carrier.

“They reached out to us. We were not aware of any issues internally,” Mr. Martel said. “We’re being very open. We’re co-operating with the investigation. We’ll provide the information they need and we’ll see how this situation progresses.”

The inquiry presents a new wrinkle in Mr. Martel’s effort to reshape Bombardier into a single-business maker of private jets in the months ahead. The company has sold off all its commercial aircraft manufacturing capability to Airbus, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Longview Aviation Capital Corp., and plans to unload its train business to Alstom SA in a crucial transaction scheduled to close next year.

Bombardier shares ended the day up 1.7 per cent in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, closing at 30 cents.

The Indonesia probe is one of a number of legal files outstanding for Bombardier.

The company also faces a continuing police investigation in Sweden and an audit by the World Bank related to a 2013 contract for the supply of rail signalling equipment to Azerbaijan Railways. A Swedish Court acquitted a Bombardier employee three years ago of bribery in relation to that contract, but the case is likely to go to appeal.

The U.S. Department of Justice contacted the company earlier this year requesting documents and information about that contract, Bombardier disclosed in a regulatory filing Thursday. The company said that based on the information it has, there is no evidence to suggest that any criminal activity involving Bombardier took place.

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In the filing, Bombardier also provided some additional context about the Serious Fraud Office probe. It said that in May, 2020, the Indonesian Corruption Court convicted the former chief executive of Garuda Indonesia and his associate of corruption and money laundering in connection with five procurement processes involving different manufacturers, including the 2011-12 acquisition and lease of Bombardier CRJ1000 aircraft by Garuda Indonesia.

Bombardier launched an internal review of the Garuda transactions shortly after that conviction, the company said. It said it understands that the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation involves the same transactions.

Garuda currently operates 18 Bombardier CRJ1000 regional jets among a fleet of 142 planes, according to its website. Bombardier announced a purchase agreement with the airline in February, 2012, during a news briefing at the Singapore air show.

At the time, Garuda agreed to buy six CRJ1000 planes and took an option on another 12 aircraft. The total value of the deal was US$1.32-billion, according to Bombardier’s news release.

The development comes as Mr. Martel readies a new strategic plan for Bombardier in the weeks ahead based on the results of an analysis of its operations and projected finances as a standalone business jet maker. The company needs to make major adjustments to improve profitability as a much smaller company, he said.

“Our cost structure today is much too large for the size of the business that we’ll have,” Mr. Martel told reporters, adding Bombardier factories have become too costly. “This will definitely mean layoffs,” he said. “What I can’t say today is where or when.”

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Bombardier on Thursday reported a net profit of US$192-million in its third quarter, reversing a net loss of US$91-million in the same quarter last year. Revenue totalled about US$3.53-billion, down 5 per cent from a year ago.

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This is only a drill: B.C. to test emergency alert system Wednesday – CBC.ca

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British Columbians can expect their cellphones to sound an alarm Wednesday afternoon as the province tests its emergency alert system. 

On Nov. 25, a test of B.C.’s wireless alerting system will be conducted as part of the national Alert Ready system to improve public safety in the event of an emergency.  

The scheduled alert will be sent to all compatible cellphones and will be broadcast on radio and television stations at 1:55 p.m. PT.

The emergency alert system is tested twice a year to assess whether it’s ready for an actual emergency. A scheduled test in May 2020 was cancelled across Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To receive alerts, mobile phones must be connected to a cellular network, be alert compatible, be within the alert area and have up-to-date cellular software. Alerts will be broadcast automatically at no cost to the user.

The Alert Ready system was launched in B.C. in April 2018, and it’s meant to rapidly warn the public of any “imminent or unfolding hazards to life.”

Residents who experience any issues can participate in a short online survey following the test.

The alert program is a collaborative initiative between the federal, provincial and territorial governments.

To find out if your wireless device is compatible with the Alert Ready system or for more information about the system, visit: www.alertready.ca.

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Wednesday's list of potential COVID-19 exposure locations – HalifaxToday.ca

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NEWS RELEASE
NOVA SCOTIA HEALTH
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Nova Scotia Health Public Health is advising of potential exposure to COVID-19 at various locations across Halifax. Public Health is currently in the process of contacting all businesses listed below.

Anyone who visited the following locations on the specified date and time to immediately visit covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. People who book testing because they were at a site of potential exposure to COVID-19 are required to self-isolate before their test and while waiting for test results. You can also call 811 if you don’t have online access or if you have other symptoms that concern you. 

  • Oxford Taproom (6418 Quinpool Rd, Halifax) on Nov. 17 between 12 noon and 3:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 1.
  • Bearly’s House of Blues & Ribs (1269 Barrington Street, Halifax) Nov. 19 between 9 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 3.
  • The Auction House (1726 Argyle St, Halifax) on Nov. 19 from 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 3.
  • *Corrected time* Mary’s African Cuisine (1701 Barrington St, Halifax) on Nov. 19 between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 3.
  • ROGUE Fitness (6331 Lady Hammonds Rd, Halifax) on Nov. 19 between 6:45 p.m. and 9 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 3.
  • RIO Pilates & Yoga Studio (2470 Maynard St, Halifax) on Nov. 19 between 6:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. and Nov. 20 between 6:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • Uncommon Grounds (1030 South Park St, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • The Roxbury Urban Dive Bar (1743 Grafton St, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 9:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • The Midtown Tavern and Lounge (1744 Grafton Street, Halifax) on Nov 20. between 8:45 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • The Split Crow Pub (1855 Granville Street, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • Mary’s Place Café II (5982 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4. 
  • Chop Steakhouse & Bar – Sutton Place Hotel (1680 Grafton St, Halifax) on Nov. 20 between 8:30 p.m. and 12 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 4.
  • Tony’s Famous Donair & Pizza (2390 Robie St, Halifax) on Nov. 21 between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 5.
  • *Corrected date* Sea Smoke Restaurant and Bar (1477 Lower Water St, Halifax) on Nov. 21 from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 5.
  • *Corrected dates* Hermitage Restaurant (1460 Lower Water St, Halifax) at any time between Nov. 18 and Nov. 21. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 5.
  • Dauphinee Centre, Saint Mary’s University (934 Tower Road, Halifax) at any time between Nov. 18 and Nov. 22. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named dates may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 6.
  • The Stubborn Goat Gastropub (1579 Grafton St, Halifax) on Nov. 22 between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 6.

Please remember:

  • Do not go directly to a COVID-19 assessment centre without being directed to do so.

Currently, anyone travelling to Nova Scotia from outside of the Atlantic Provinces is expected to self-isolate alone for 14 days after arriving. If a person travelling for non-essential reasons enters Nova Scotia from outside Atlantic Canada, then everyone in the home where they are self-isolating will have to self-isolate as well.

When Nova Scotia Health Public Health makes a public notification it is not in any way a reflection on the behaviour or activities of those named in the notification. 

All Nova Scotians are advised to continue monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms and are urged to follow Public Health guidelines on how to access care. Up to date information about COVID-19 is available at novascotia.ca/coronavirus

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Imperial Oil to lay off 200 workers following cost-cutting analysis – CBC.ca

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Calgary-based Imperial Oil Ltd. says it will lay off about 200 of its 6,000 employees as part of a cost-cutting initiative.

The company, which has been reluctant to reduce staff during the current and previous industry downturns, also confirms it has reduced the number of contractors it employs by about 450 since the start of the year.

Imperial committed in March to cut spending by $1 billion, including a $500 million reduction in capital spending plus $500 million in lower operating expenses.

Job cuts at other oil and gas companies

The job cuts are part of a trend by Calgary oil and gas companies who have been reporting reduced earnings on lower commodity prices due to demand destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cenovus Energy Inc. and Husky Energy Inc. have announced they will cut as many as one in four jobs, potentially more than 2,000 workers, if their merger announced in October is closed as expected early next year.

Suncor, meanwhile, has announced it will cut as many as 1,930 jobs over 18 months to reduce total staff by 10 to 15 per cent.

“Throughout the past year, the company responded aggressively to the challenging business environment by reducing capital and operating expenditures and adjusting project pacing,” Imperial said in a posting on its website, adding it has reassessed its current and future business plans.

“We recognize any job losses are difficult for individuals and their families who may be affected. Impacted employees will be provided with company support, including outplacement services.”

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