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OGVG welcomes $58.6 million federal investment to support agri-farm workers – CTV News Windsor

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WINDSOR, ONT. —
The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) and its members “appreciate” the $58.6 million investment from the federal government to support temporary foreign workers.

In a news release issued Saturday, the OGVG thanked the Canadian government for the funding announced Friday to provide additional support and protection for workers.

“Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers and our members appreciate this new funding to boost protections for temporary foreign workers across Canada,” said Joe Sbrocchi, general manager of OGVG. “These measures will further help our members ensure the safety of workers on farm as well as assisting in further improvements to living quarters needed due to COVID-19.”

Government officials said they are strengthening the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW) by strengthening inspections, assisting employers to help manage costs of temporary housing and other costs incurred to minimize the impacts of outbreaks among workers, increasing funding to enable farmers to improve workplace health and safety on farms, and developing a national approach to employer-provided accommodations.

Officials plan to first consult with provinces and territories, employers, workers and foreign partner countries on a proposal for a national accommodations requirement in the coming months.

“All of our members want to keep their workers safe and healthy and continue growing food for all Canadians,” said George Gilvesy Chair of OGVG. “With this funding our farmers will have access to more resources to ensure that farm workers are healthy are safely housed.”

The additional funding would also support workers through direct outreach, enhancing living conditions, increased PPE supply and other health and safety measures to prevent and respond to COVID-19.

“We need the collective efforts of growers, governments and local health authorities to help farmers keep employees safe and maintain our food supply,” said Justine Taylor science and government relations manager with OGVG.

“Our greenhouse farmers are committed to continuing to work with government and health officials to protect the health and safety of our essential agricultural employees so they can continue to ensure locally grown fruits and vegetables are available year-round.” 

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MetLife Q2 profit slumps 96% on investment declines – BNNBloomberg.ca

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MetLife Inc.’s profit slid to US$68 million in the second quarter, down 96 per cent from a year earlier, on sluggish investment income.

The biggest U.S. life insurer’s adjusted earnings dropped to 83 cents U.S. a share, falling short of the 91-cent average estimate of 11 analysts.

Key Insights

  • Net investment income fell 13 per cent to US$4.09 billion.
  • Profit fell by 29 per cent in both the U.S. and Asian businesses, driven by declines in variable investment income. The company also reported US$710 million in net derivative losses because of stronger equity markets and higher longer-term interest rates.
  • “The decline in our private equity portfolio was squarely within our expectations,” Chief Executive Officer Michel Khalaf said in a statement. “On underwriting, our well-diversified set of businesses provided meaningful offsets to increased claims from COVID-19.”
  • The company’s long-term U.S. interest-rate assumption stands at 3.75 per cent. A 25-basis-point cut to that forecast would reduce net income by US$100 million after taxes, it said in a presentation. On Tuesday, Prudential Financial Inc. posted a second-straight quarterly loss and said it expects low rates will continue to weigh on results.

Market Reaction

  • MetLife shares rose 3.8 per cent to US$38.28 in New York. They’re down 25 per cent this year.

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Alberta government announces $10M investment in emission reduction programs – Global News

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The provincial government announced a burst of funding for three emission reduction projects in Alberta on Wednesday.

A total of $10 million will be handed out to three different groups that are running projects aiming to improve emissions in Alberta, including using artificial intelligence capabilities.

The funding is a part of the government’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) program, which launched earlier this year.

“These programs will help industry identify, track, measure and ultimately reduce emissions,” Environment Minister Jason Nixon said. “They will also ensure we maintain our competitive edge while creating jobs and economic growth for Alberta.”

Read more:
If Wexit were to happen, Alberta would top in greenhouse gas emissions per capita

The projects being funded are below:

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Methane reduction pilot program – Sundre

The Sundre Petroleum Operators Group will receive $3 million to test methane emissions reduction technology. With the funding, the group plans to launch its methane testing pilot program at around 500 different facilities in the Sundre area. The not-for-profit organization includes energy stakeholders from government, industry, and community groups in the central Alberta region.

Artificial intelligence research – Edmonton

The Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute, based in Edmonton, will be slated $5 million to develop artificial intelligence capabilities to help companies with emissions reductions. The Reducing Emissions through Machine Intelligence (REMI) project will see the company working with industry to help them use technology to increase emission reduction capabilities. The institute has been working on AI projects in the province for over 15 years, according to its website.

Applied methane research – Calgary

The Calgary-based Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC) is receiving $2 million to launch 10 new projects focused on methane leak detection, quantification and repair. The PTAC will also be contributing $1 million in non-government funds into the projects. The group is a non-profit organization that aims to work with industry to advance technology in the oil sector.

Read more:
How Alberta’s oil and gas sector is using technology to fight climate change

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The government launched its TIER project in January 2020. The project aims to reduce emissions in large industries like oilsands operations and electricity producers, which, according to the government, account for about 65 per cent of Alberta’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

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

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Southwestern Ontario transit projects receive $12.3M investment – CBC.ca

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Nearly a dozen transit projects across southwestern Ontario, including a $4.6 million fleet of zero emission buses in St. Thomas, are getting a combined $12.3 million investment from the federal and provincial governments. 

The funding, announced Wednesday, also covers new public transit vehicles in Chatham-Kent, Hanover and Leamington and a variety of other infrastructure upgrades. 

There are 11 projects in total:

  • A fleet of 14 zero emission buses in St Thomas. 

  • Five buses and five accessible vans in Chatham-Kent

  • Real time location and new fare technology in Chatham-Kent

  • Upgrades to bus terminal & six solar powered bus shelters in Chatham-Kent

  • Eight vans and three buses in Hanover

  • Ten bike lockers in LaSalle

  • Two new replacement buses in Leamington

  • Resurfacing and installing bike and pedestrian paths in Point Edward

  • Accessible van with wheelchair lift in West Elgin

  • Two new buses, infrastructure upgrades, bus storage facility expansion in Woodstock

  • Bus washing facility in Woodstock

The federal government is contributing 6.7 million toward the initiatives, the province is investing 5.6 million, and municipalities are pitching in 3.9 million. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than Canadians’ personal health, it is also having a profound impact on the economy,” said a statement from the province, issued Wednesday. 

“Ontarians need help getting safely to work and home, getting out to appointments, to shop and conduct business. Strategic investments in sustainable public transportation infrastructure play a key role.”

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