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City opens pre-qualification process for new arena – The North Bay Nugget



General contractors to be screened, shortlisted

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The City of North Bay has begun its pre-qualification process for the construction of a new twin-pad arena at Steve Omischl Sports Field Complex.

A statement released Tuesday afternoon said the city has issued a request for pre-qualification, where general contractors interested in managing and overseeing the construction of the facility can apply.

Respondents would then be shortlisted based on their experience and qualifications, and be eligible to participate in an invitational, second-stage competitive process for the potential construction of the arena.

Documents related to the pre-qualification process have since been posted on the city’s website.

The facility, which is to include two ice pads, a walking track, barrier-free change rooms, some of which can expand, and a multi-purpose room, was approved earlier this month by council as part of the city’s 2021 budget.

The inclusion of the project in the city budget came with a condition that it not move forward until more information is received on the construction tender and issuance of special debt to finance the project.


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City staff have estimated the total cost of the project to be $50 million, which includes the previous design work, construction of the arena, the reconstruction of the Lakeshore Drive and Booth Road intersection, and interest on the proposed loan.

The statement from the city says a pre-qualification stage is commonly used for construction projects of this scale.

The second stage, or tendering, would only take place with council approval.

The deadline for submissions is March 15.

Council, meanwhile, has requested a 20-year business plan for the arena from the city’s chief administrative officer, David Euler.


The city has confirmed it also plans to keep the ice in at Memorial Gardens and Pete Palangio arenas.

A statement from city communications officer Gord Young said the ice will be kept in pending the province’s next update, at which time the city will reevaluate.

Last week, the province announced that the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, as well as Toronto, Peel and York, would remain under the stay-at-home order until at least Feb. 22.

Twenty-seven other public health units, meanwhile, moved into the province’s colour-coded COVID-19 framework Tuesday.

The question of whether to keep the ice in at the city’s arenas was raised previously during a budget meeting in January.

At the time, Euler said services are likely to continue once the province-wide lockdown ends, with interest expressed from organizations that rent ice such as groups that put on specialty training and figure skating.


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Euler added if there is an opportunity to realize those revenues then it’s worth keeping that option open. West Ferris arena has remained closed throughout the pandemic and has no ice.

“We are reviewing it and we will continue to keep council apprised as to what we think is the right approach,” Euler told council previously. “But at this point in time, we believe that keeping the ice in at both facilities is worthwhile at this point.”

Ontario Hockey League commissioner David Branch released a statement last week saying the league has “not yet arrived at an approved return to play framework for the coming season,” but is “anxious to return.”

Typically, the OHL begins its regular season in late September. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league has postponed the start of the season three times. Play was to begin on Feb. 4, but in late December, the league announced another postponement and did not release a planned start date.

North Bay Battalion president Mike Griffin declined to comment on the potential return to play, only saying the team will let the league’s statement “speaks for all of us.”


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Spacex News – Billionaire Japanese Fashion Mogul Invites Artists on SpaceX Trip Around Moon – Fintech Zoom



Spacex News – Billionaire Japanese Fashion Mogul Invites Artists on SpaceX Trip Around Moon

A Japanese billionaire is inviting eight people to join him on a six-day trip around the moon.

Fashion mogul Yusaku Maezawa first floated the idea in 2018 and is now asking people to apply.

The “Dear Moon” mission, as he is calling it, is supposed to happen aboard a massive SpaceX rocket that’s still in early stages of development.

Even then, takeoff is set for 2023.

The billionaire had initially said he wanted artists to join him.

Now he says he’s open to including people from all walks of life as long as they view themselves as artists.

03 04 21 Noon Starlink Satellites Vom2t00 00 16 02still001And SpaceX is sending another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit.

This Falcon 9 first-stage rocket booster supported the blast off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center early Thursday morning.

After separation, the booster is set to land on a drone ship on the Atlantic Ocean, so SpaceX can use it again.

That process failed during a previous launch in February.

Starlink satellites can provide broadband internet to remote locations.

Spacex News – Billionaire Japanese Fashion Mogul Invites Artists on SpaceX Trip Around Moon

Tags; Spacex News, Spacex launch,

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SpaceX Moon Flight: Follow These Steps To Win a Seat To A Trip to the Moon – MySmartPrice



Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has announced a competition to pick eight co-passengers for his trip to the moon. The trip will occur in two years when fellow billionaire Elon Musk is expected to kick off his moon mission, in SpaceX’s Starship rocket. Maezawa had created history back in 2018 by becoming the first person to pay for the trip. Of course, the mission may be delayed still, but Maezawa seems bullish on its completion. The announcement was made via a video, in which he says humankind will once again head to the Moon in 2023. The mission will have 10 to 12 people in total, but Maeawa is opening 8 of those seats to anyone in the world.

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How to apply to go to the moon

The steps to apply are easy enough, but one must remember that a moon mission isn’t the easiest thing for just anyone to achieve. Here’s what you need to do.

  • Open the dearMoon website, a site that Maezawa has setup to bring new information for the project.
  • The homepage of the website consists of the registration form, which includes your name, country, email address and a picture. You also need to tell them which social platforms you follow Maezawa on. The website also mentions that those who pre-register will receive an email about the selection process.
  • You will also get a certificate signifying that you were a candidate for the crew.

What is the dearMoon project?

Maezawa named his trip the dearMoon project and hasn’t clarified what the mission is meant to achieve. That’s an important note, since mission goals usually determine who will be picked for the mission. As mentioned before, it will take 10 to 12 people up to the Moon on the SpaceX Starship, which the company has been developing since 2012. It’s meant to be one of the first passenger missions to the moon. Elon Musk has also been planning a similar trip to Mars sometime in future. 

Having private flyers is part of the way SpaceX funds its programs and the 2023 mission is expected to be the first time when man sets foot on the Moon since the Apollo 17 mission back in 1972. Maezawa had originally said he wants to take “artists” with him, but added in this video that anyone doing something “creative” would be called an artist.

The common MySmartPrice staff byline for news, features, comparisons, and reviews written by contributing authors.

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Screened out by a computer? What job interviews are like without human beings –



As the coronavirus pandemic continues, job-seekers expect to attend employment interviews online. But increasingly, the employers and recruiters looking to hire are sitting those same interviews out.

Instead of asking candidates questions face-to-face, many hiring managers are now relying on asynchronous video interview (AVI) platforms that have candidates record answers to questions under a countdown timer.

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AVIs, which are also called one-way or on-demand interviews, have been around for years but their use has surged during the pandemic. 

A spokesperson for the American company HireVue, one of the larger companies operating in the market, said the company has seen a 24 per cent increase for its on-demand video interviews during the past year.

VidCruiter’s platform can eliminate the need for logistics such as scheduling interviews, because candidates interview with the automated system at their home on their own timeline. (Submitted by Carlos DaPonte/VidCruiter)

In the same time period, Toronto-based Knockri quadrupled its customers, and Moncton-based VidCruiter doubled its staff.

A representative with VidCruiter told CBC Radio’s The Cost of Living it used to earn 99 per cent of its revenue from clients outside Canada, but that has changed in the past three years. The company said its clients include the CBC, Canadian universities, big corporations — such as Lowe’s — and the federal government. 

Candidates may find one-way interviews uncomfortable, and some experts pose questions over fairness, privacy, bias and the use of artificial intelligence. Despite these concerns, industrial-organizational psychologists predict the one-way job interview format is not going away.

Why hiring managers like the one-way interview

Using AVIs can eliminate having to navigate complicated and conflicting schedules, because candidates complete them on their own time. They can also cut travel costs if candidates are screened out before having to meet a potential employer in person.

One of the reasons why a lot of companies are turning to this technology is because of efficiency.– Edwin Torres, University of Central Florida

Timed questions also force candidates to be more succinct with their answers than they might be in traditional interviews. 

Edwin Torres, a professor in the Rosen College of Hospitality management at the University of Central Florida, has interviewed hiring managers from hospitality companies using AVIs.

“One of the reasons why a lot of companies are turning to this technology is because of efficiency,” he said.

In addition, video recordings mean employers can re-watch interviews and share them with colleagues.

Job-seekers are not as keen on them

Companies claim AVIs can level the playing field by standardizing job interviews, but some candidates have expressed mixed feelings about the format.

Beatriz Gascon, a student majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus, struggled during an AVI interview for an internship at genetic sequencing company Illumina, based in the United Kingdom.

Beatriz Gascon was not a fan of her asynchronous interview for an internship. (Submitted by Beatriz Gascon)

Gascon said she appreciated being able to re-record answers on the HireVue platform, but she froze during her second attempt answering a difficult question.

The platform submitted her second attempt, but she did not get the internship.

Gascon said she prefers face-to-face interviews because talking to a person calms her nerves and the format is more forgiving.

“Usually you have time to make small talk or repeat the question back to yourself,” she said but was frustrated that during her timed, one-way interview there was no way to do that, and no time to waste at even going over a question a second time.

Experts find some won’t complete AVIs

According to researchers at the University of Calgary, some candidates are so against one-way interviews in this format, they refuse to complete them.

“There are a number of people who feel very passionately negative,” said Joshua Bourdage, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Calgary.

Companies using AVIs don’t need to bring candidates together like they might have pre-pandemic, as illustrated in this stock photo. (Shutterstock / fizkes)

Bourdage and PhD candidate Eden-Raye Lukacik are researching perceptions of AVIs, including searching and scraping websites for comments about the interview format and then analyzing the emotions conveyed.

Many commenters complained that the AVI process may be more efficient for companies, but the interviews signal an unwillingness to invest time in speaking with applicants.

According to Bourdage, many job-seekers are interpreting this as a signal of what it would be like to work at a company that uses an AVI process.

How are the videos and recordings judged?

Since companies’ algorithms are proprietary and not shared publicly, neither candidates nor academics can fully understand how the recorded videos are evaluated. 

Many companies use AVIs as a screening tool before scheduling face-to-face interviews with short-listed candidates, and some use artificial intelligence to rate what candidates say and how they say it.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, can scan for keywords as well as analyze body language and facial expressions.

AI’s advocates claim it can reduce unconscious bias if trained to ignore things like race and gender but this isn’t universally accepted.

“The problem with that technology is that it has biases built into it,” said Sean Fahey, CEO of VidCruiter.

The company’s own research found speech patterns varied in different regions in the U.S. and Canada. For example, an AI system programmed by someone who lived in one of those regions would automatically have a bias according to Fahey.

VidCruiter decided not to use AI in its product until the technology has been proven not to discriminate.

Researchers agree that artificial intelligence can be biased based on who programs it.

“As long as we train those systems on human ratings, on what the human raters tell us about those interviews, it’s so easy to have biases in this data,” said Markus Langer, a postdoctoral researcher in industrial-organizational psychology at Saarland University in Germany.

Langer, who researches AI and asynchronous interviews, said identifying biases is easier with a large and diverse dataset — something that isn’t always available.

How can candidates prepare?

Though Canadians may be comfortable recording videos in a social context, many are unprepared for AVIs according to Kimberley Black, a researcher who hopes to change that.

“Preparation for asynchronous video interviews needs to be a mandatory part of the curriculum now,” said Black, whose recently-defended masters thesis for Ontario Tech University focused on preparing students for asynchronous and one-way interviews.

Ontario Tech University researcher Kimberley Black wants to see asynchronous interview preparation become a mandatory subject for students. (Submitted by Kimberley Black)

Black had college students complete AVIs and critique their peers’ interviews. According to her, the experience led many to realize how much they could improve.

She recommends candidates wear professional clothing, smile, record in front of a neutral background, use hand gestures, and remember to look straight into the camera lens while speaking.

If struggling with that last tip, Black suggests taping a sticky note with a smiley face by the len.

At the University of Calgary, researcher Eden-Raye Lukacik recommends practicing, either by using the interview platform itself where possible or through a practice tool offered by her lab.

Lukacik also said candidates should also present themselves honestly, and pick a time and space that works best for them as they have an edge.

“You kind of get home-court advantage because you’re in your own house.” 

Written and produced by Madeleine Cummings.
Click “listen” at the top of the page to hear this segment, or 
download the Cost of Living podcast.

The Cost of Living airs every week on CBC Radio One, Sundays at 12:00 p.m. (12:30 NT).

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