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Cost estimate for Coastal GasLink pipeline soars 70 per cent to $11.2-billion – The Globe and Mail

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The estimated cost of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline in northern British Columbia has soared 70 per cent to $11.2-billion, but TC Energy Corp. TRP-T says it’s optimistic about completing construction by the end of 2023.

The project previously carried a price tag of $6.6-billion for the 670-kilometre pipeline, which is designed to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to LNG Canada’s $18-billion export terminal, which is under construction in Kitimat, B.C.

Capital costs have risen from the original estimate because of design changes, the impact of COVID-19, weather and other events, TC Energy said in a statement on Thursday as part of its second-quarter financial results.

“We continue to believe the project remains economically viable,” said the statement from TC Energy, an energy infrastructure company that will operate the pipeline.

TC Energy said it hopes LNG Canada will eventually expand its export capacity because that would improve Coastal GasLink’s financial performance.

For now, TC Energy chief executive officer François Poirier said Coastal GasLink has resolved a dispute over pipeline costs with LNG Canada. “Our revised agreements with LNG Canada establish a better framework for project advancement and one that further strengthens our long-term partnership,” he said during a conference call with industry analysts.

The infrastructure company’s goal is to complete Coastal GasLink by late 2023, start testing the pipeline in 2024 and have Shell PLC-led LNG Canada start shipping liquefied natural gas in 2025 for export on Asia-bound tankers.

TC Energy plans to make a $1.9-billion equity contribution toward the pipeline, starting with its first instalment next month.

Denita McKnight, LNG Canada’s vice-president of corporate relations, welcomed TC Energy’s announcement about resolving their differences.

“LNG Canada and its joint venture participants have reached a commercial resolution with Coastal GasLink (CGL) to address CGL’s cost and schedule performance,” Ms. McKnight said in a statement. “This positive step allows both companies to progress forward with a renewed focus on delivering the pipeline within the revised cost estimate, and to support LNG Canada’s first LNG cargo by the middle of this decade.”

The Coastal GasLink website says the pipeline has hit a milestone that shows 66 per cent overall progress, including engineering and procurement, with 58.5 per cent of construction completed. LNG Canada estimates that its Kitimat project is more than 60 per cent completed.

Calgary-based TC Energy posted an $889-million profit in the second quarter, down 9 per cent from the same period in 2021. Its quarterly revenue climbed 14 per cent year over year to $3.64-billion.

TC Energy concluded the sale of a 65-per-cent stake in the pipeline venture in 2020 to Alberta Investment Management Corp. and KKR & Co. Inc.

TC Energy, which currently owns 35 per cent of Coastal GasLink, announced a deal in March to set aside a 10-per-cent stake for the planned equity sale to as many as 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline route.

Those elected band councils have agreed to support the pipeline. But the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, a non-profit society that represents hereditary chiefs who oppose the pipeline, maintains that elected Indigenous leaders don’t have jurisdiction over the Wet’suwet’en’s traditional, off-reserve territory.

A group of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their supporters have staged protests at Coastal GasLink construction areas near Houston, B.C., over the past four years.

John Ridsdale, a climate activist whose Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief name is Na’Moks, said such opposition to pipeline construction remains steadfast. “No change,” he said in a text message to The Globe and Mail on Thursday.

Nearly 5,000 people are working this month on the pipeline across British Columbia, while LNG Canada entered its busiest building schedule this spring, requiring up to 7,500 workers on rotation.

Costs related to the entire supply chain had been pegged at $40-billion, which includes $18-billion for LNG Canada’s first phase of the Kitimat export terminal and infrastructure that includes the pipeline, as well as drilling for natural gas in northeast British Columbia. But with the extra $4.6-billion now budgeted for pipeline costs, that increases the total to $44.6-billion.

The co-owners of the LNG Canada joint venture are pondering whether to approve Phase 2, which would double the export capacity to 28 million tonnes a year. LNG Canada has not indicated when it will make a final decision.

Coastal GasLink president Bevin Wirzba said talks with LNG Canada are in a well-advanced stage over the prospect of the Kitimat expansion and any future pipeline upgrades such as new compressor stations that would be required.

“So we’re in active discussions with LNG Canada around Phase 2 and the feasibility, doing the appropriate front-end work to establish what the scope and scale of that project will be,” Mr. Wirzba said. “The combination of Phase 1 and Phase 2 brings us back into a very competitive return scenario for the entire project.”

Ms. McKnight said LNG Canada and its co-owners, also known as joint venture participants (JVPs), are evaluating the timeline and scope for Phase 2. “Any final investment decision will take into account a range of factors, which include competitiveness, affordability, carbon intensity, technologies and individual JVP portfolio considerations,” she said.

LNG Canada is the only LNG export terminal under construction in the country.

Canada currently has no operational LNG export terminals. FortisBC’s Tilbury LNG plant in the Vancouver suburb of Delta is a small-scale operation mainly for domestic storage and has briefly exported only a small amount of LNG in containers.

Proponents of two export proposals on the East Coast, Pieridae Energy Ltd.’s PEA-T Goldboro LNG in Nova Scotia and Repsol SA’s Saint John LNG in New Brunswick, are studying the economics of shipping LNG to Europe, but face pipeline constraints in Central Canada and New England.

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How to Start a Business?

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Market Research

You have to conduct research on the whole market and find out the gap. This gap will be your opportunity. Moreover, this research will give you an idea of how different businesses work and how they fulfill the needs of the people. Businesses work due to the demand for their products and services in the market. So, through this research, you have to collect information about the following things:

 

 

You can use surveys, questionnaires, and focus group interviews to extract information on the above factors.

 

Business Plan

Develop a complete roadmap for your business. This plan should cover all the details from the manufacturing to the sales and pricing.

 

It has a summary of the complete execution of the company, including the mission of the company, product or service of the company, competitors of the company, management, and employees of the company, as well as the location of the company. This plan should be in such a way that everyone can easily understand.

Investment For Business

If you are not self-funded, then you will need investment for your business. There are several ways to find investment, such as the following:

 

●     Venture capital

You can offer the shares of the company in exchange for shares of the company. In the beginning, you have to offer the company ownership to finance your project.

●     Crowdfunding

In this type of investment, a large number of people give funds to the startup. They are not given shares and profits from the company. However, the company provides them with gifts in the future for their finances.

●     Loans

There are many government and private companies that are offering loans for small and large companies. For this loan, you have to prepare a business plan, expense sheet, and expected profits. You can find several companies that are providing loans for businesses, such as Lendforall, Baker Tilly, West Bank Union, etc.

Structure of Business

Before starting a business, you have to select its structure. Traditionally, you will find the following structures of business:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Corporation

 

To select any structure, you must analyze and compare your business with others. You will get an idea of which structure will be the most suitable for your business.

Business Tools

Nowadays, there are several business tools available in the market. These tools have made business management easy to a great extent. However, you have to invest in these tools to compete the market. Here are some important tools for business:

 

 

Many other tools are available in the market that are used for different management purposes.

Registration of Business

You have to register your business with the federal government. Moreover, you should apply for the insurance for your business. There are many other documents, such as tax IDs from federal and state governments, licenses and permits for your business, and applying for a business bank account.

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Show Employers You Can Hit the Ground Running

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Employers are increasingly stating: “We want someone who can hit the ground running.”

Essentially, the message is, “Don’t expect us to explain the basics. We expect you to know your sh*t.” Employers understand you’ll need time to learn their business, applications, software, infrastructure, etc. However, they expect that you’re proficient in Microsoft Office Suite software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), understand file management (creating, saving, and organizing files), and know how to troubleshoot common computer problems, and won’t be learning these basic computer skills as part of your learning curve on their dime.

Employers aren’t in the business of training people. You’re responsible for your career; therefore, you’re responsible for acquiring the skillset you need.

For an employee’s compensation to be justified, an ROI (return on investment) is required. When referring to employment, ROI refers to the value an employee brings to the company relative to their compensation. Employers pay their employees, and employees work for their wages. Employee work value is created when their work directly or indirectly results in profitably selling the company’s goods and services. Your best chance of job security (no guarantee) is to be an employee who undeniably contributes measurable value to your employer’s profitability.

(Employee’s measurable value to the company) – (Employer’s investment in compensation) = (ROI)

Understandably, employers are looking for candidates who can make an immediate impact, individuals who can jump right in, learn and adapt quickly, and start delivering results as soon as possible. Hence, you want to distinguish yourself as being capable and willing to “hit the ground running.”

Here are some tips to help you present yourself as a fast-starting, high-potential hire:

Emphasize relevant experience

Presenting irrelevant information will be perceived as lacking the ability to communicate succinctly, a highly valued skill in the business world. Only share experiences and quantified results (key), results that are pertinent to the position you’re applying for.

When crafting your resume and cover letter, identify the skills, knowledge, and previous responsibilities/quantified results that align with the job you’re aiming for. By demonstrating that you’ve “been there, done that” and brought measurable value to previous employers in a similar scenario, employers will feel confident that you can immediately deliver value.

Showcase transferable skills

Consider the universal soft skills that employers universally value.

  • Analytical
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal
  • Problem-solving
  • Project management
  • Time management

Tell STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) stories—describing a specific situation, the task you were assigned, the actions you took, and the results of your actions—that showcase your soft skills and explain how you can leverage them to succeed in the role you’re applying for. This’ll assure your interviewer you have the fundamental skills to achieve successful outcomes.

“While working at Norback, Jenkins, & St. Clair, I led a team of five architects to redesign a historic downtown Winnipeg landmark according to strict deadlines and complex stakeholder demands. I conducted Monday morning team meetings and used Slack to provide tailored updates to keep the team aligned. As a result of my communication skills, the project was completed on time and under the $7.5 million dollars budget.”

Discuss onboarding insights

A great way to position yourself as someone eager to hit the ground running is to show that you’ve considered what it’ll take to start delivering value.

“Based on my understanding of the typical onboarding timeline for this type of position, I anticipate completing all training and ramp-up activities within my first two weeks, enabling me to begin tackling projects by my first quarter.”

Assuming you’ve researched the company and studied current industry trends, which you should have done, mention the extra steps you’ve taken to prepare for the role. This’ll show your willingness to learn and will require minimal handholding.

Emphasize quick adaptability

Employers value the ability to adapt quickly to new situations and challenges. During your interviews, share examples of your flexibility and agility.

At some point in your career, you’ve likely had to learn something new (e.g., software, operating system) on the fly. Also likely, you’ve had to navigate a major change or disruption. Using STAR stories, explain how you approached these scenarios, your strategies, and the positive outcomes.

By showing resilience, resourcefulness, and adaptability, you demonstrate that you can thrive in ambiguous or rapidly evolving environments.

Propose a transition plan.

Presenting a transition plan is a strategy that wows employers, primarily because it is rare for a candidate to do this. This shows you’re ready to take ownership of your onboarding and deliver results.

Include specifics like:

  • Milestones you aim to accomplish in your first 30, 60, and 90 days.
  • Training activities or learning opportunities you’ll pursue.
  • Initial projects or tasks you’d tackle to demonstrate your capabilities.
  • Ways you’ll quickly build relationships with your new colleagues.

Showing this level of forethought and initiative shows you’re a strategic thinker, able to organize your thoughts, and, most importantly, eager to get started.

By touting your relevant experience, showcasing your transferable skills, discussing your onboarding insights, emphasizing your quick adaptability, and proposing a detailed transition plan, you’ll position yourself as a self-driven professional capable of driving results from the start, differentiating you from your competition.

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers “unsweetened” job search advice. You can send Nick your questions to artoffindingwork@gmail.com.

 

 

 

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Half of Ontarians support union’s goals in ongoing LCBO strike: poll

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Fewer than one-third of Ontarians say they want the provincial government to intervene to end the 12-day strike at Ontario’s main liquor retailer, while about half are supportive of the striking union’s demands.

That’s according to a new Leger poll that asked if the government should use binding arbitration or legislation to ensure LCBO stores open as soon as possible.

Twenty-nine per cent of respondents supported such a move, while 44 per cent opposed it. The poll also asked if respondents support the union’s stated goals, including wage increases and more permanent positions. Just under half, 49 per cent, answered in the affirmative, while 25 per cent said they were not supportive.

Awareness of the strike in Ontario is high, according to the poll, with 89 per cent saying they knew about it, though only 15 per cent reported being personally affected. The Leger poll of 601 residents, conducted last weekend, can’t be assigned a margin of error because online surveys are not considered truly random samples.

Approximately 10,000 workers at the LCBO walked off the job on July 5 after negotiations broke down.

The union representing the workers said the sides were headed back to the bargaining table Wednesday.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has said the main issue is the province’s alcohol expansion plans that would see ready-to-drink cocktails sold outside LCBO stores — a move it maintains poses an existential threat to the LCBO and could lead to major job losses.

Colleen MacLeod, chair of the union’s LCBO bargaining unit, has said the plan would “mean thousands of lost jobs, fewer hours for the 70 per cent of LCBO retail workers who are casual and struggling to make ends meet, and hundreds of millions in dollars of lost public revenues drained from health care, education and infrastructure.”

The LCBO, a Crown corporation, nets the province $2.5 billion a year.

On Monday, the Ontario government sped up its expansion plan. The 450 stores across Ontario already licensed to sell beer, wine and ciders will be able to start ordering coolers and seltzers on Thursday and sell them as soon as they arrive.

The province has said it does not want to privatize the LCBO, and that the expansion is about giving people more choice and more convenience to buy alcohol.

Stephanie Ross, an associate professor in the school of labour studies at McMaster University, said Premier Doug Ford doesn’t have a great reputation when it comes to labour, given the high-profile disputes in recent years with health-care and education workers. And he’s faced accusations of making policy moves that benefit friends in the private sector, a criticism that’s been levied against him in the LCBO dispute.

“There is a base of support for the union’s message here, both in terms of the working conditions that they’re trying to fight to improve, and in terms of the role that the LCBO plays in funding public services in the province,” she said.

But the public may not be as sympathetic to LCBO workers as it has been to some others, like in the Metro grocery workers’ strike last year, she said — a relatively straightforward fight by low-paid workers struggling to afford food against the industry being partially blamed for food prices.

“And so in the depths of a kind of historic cost-of-living crisis, I think it was easier to feel sympathy for such workers in terms of really having to fight to make up lost ground.”

That means the LCBO union has its work cut out to try and convince the public of its cause, said Ross, especially when consumers are already divided on the liquor privatization issue in the first place. She thinks the union is doing a good job, however, of arguing the case for the LCBO as a public asset that helps fund important public services.

Larry Savage, a professor in the labour studies department at Brock University, said it’s clear both the union and the Ford government “are working hard to win over the public to their respective positions.”

The union has a “potentially powerful strategy” to gain public support, but it’s not a surefire one, he said in an email.

This strategy “requires people to connect the dots between the privatization of the LCBO and the loss of a critical revenue stream that contributes billions to public services like health care and education.”

Meanwhile, the government’s strategy has been to try and leverage consumer frustration over the strike in order to drive more support for increased privatization, said Savage.

“It’s a high-risk strategy because a heavy-handed approach can sometimes backfire and garner greater sympathy for the workers and their cause.”

In the Leger poll, 32 per cent of respondents said they looked for alternative locations to buy alcohol due to the strike, and while 15 per cent said they were concerned the strike could cause them to spend more money on alcohol.

Savage said while many consumers are likely inconvenienced, he also thinks most Ontarians are suspicious of the premier’s intentions when it comes to the LCBO: “It’s a classic case of private profits over the public good.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 17, 2024.

 

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