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‘Political hot potato’: residents of Hay River, N.W.T. urge dredging in key waterway

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HAY RIVER, N.W.T. — Aaron Campbell and his brother were boating from Yellowknife to Hay River, N.W.T., earlier this fall when they got stuck on a sandbar in the shallow waters of Great Slave Lake near the mouth of the Hay River.

The two men spent the night on their boat and Campbell said when rescuers tried to drag them off the sandbar, their ropes kept breaking. They were freed the next day by a tug.

“That was pretty intense,” Campbell said. “It was quite the day.”

He isn’t the only one who has got stuck in the Hay River port in recent months.

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The Canadian Coast Guard ship Dumit was removing fairway buoys at the end of the shipping season on Oct. 15, when it became lodged on a sandbar. Cargo from the ship had to be off-loaded onto another one while the tug helped to free the Dumit the following evening.Two barges also became stuck in August and had to be towed back to shore.

Calls have been intensifying to dredge the river’s channels leading into Great Slave Lake to remove built-up sediment and deepen the waterway. It’s a particular problem in the east channel, where shipping companies and most fishers enter and exit the port. Residents, fishers and politicians say if it’s not completed, it could have wide-reaching effects on the fishing industry, marine transport and flooding.

“If we do not address the problem, it will affect every business, every homeowner, every aspect of life in Hay River,” said Jane Groenewegen, who represented Hay River South in the territorial legislature from 1999 to 2015.

Hay River has the one of the largest inland ports in Canada. Groenewegen said marine transport and related industries are its “backbone.”

The port is crucial for fishers and Canadian Coast Guard operations, as well as being home to a Fisheries and Oceans Canada office. It also connects roads and railways from the south to resupply barges that travel to coastal locations along the Mackenzie River and in the western Arctic.

Campbell, who is Yellowknives Dene and lives in Hay River, is looking to enter the territory’s fishing industry. He said he’s concerned about what could happen when he returns to shore with his boat heavy with fish if water levels remain low.

“I’m definitely for dredging,” he said.

Jamie Linington, with the N.W.T. Fisherman’s Federation and Freshwater Fish Harvesters Association Inc., said the low water level is a safety issue, as it worsens waves when boats are coming in and bottoming out could damage boats and affect fishers’ livelihoods.

Linington said the federal government is “grossly ignoring the North” and has underfunded freshwater harbours.

“Our harbour is terrible,” she said. “I think it’s just Canada’s systemic, habitual pattern really on how they view industries and people.”

Linington said having a vibrant fishing industry contributes to the broader Canadian economy, bolsters food security and sovereignty, and benefits tourism with better lake access.

She added the N.W.T.’s commercial fishing industry is largely made up of Indigenous fishers carrying on intergenerational practices that survived colonization.

A new roughly $13-million Canadian Food Inspection Agency-certified fish plant is set to open in Hay River this spring.

Hay River Mayor Kandis Jameson believes dredging the harbour could also help with spring flooding.

The town and nearby K’atl’odeeche First Nation experienced their worst flooding on record in May, resulting in more than $174 million in damage.

“If we have a cork at the entranceway or exit from our river into the harbour … the water needs somewhere to go,” Jameson said, adding when the water is shallow, it freezes to the ground.

Municipal and territorial politicians based in Hay River have called for dredging for more than a decade. Jameson said it’s been a “political hot potato.”

The N.W.T. government has long insisted dredging is a federal responsibility, but the Canadian government no longer has a program or funding for it.

The Coast Guard used to regularly complete dredging in commercial vessel channels, including Hay River. Then the national program was terminated in 1997 and dredging became the responsibility of the private sector and port operators, save for the international waterways of the Great Lakes.

A municipal report says between 1961 and 1996, an average of 21,842 cubic metres of sediment were dredged from Hay River’s east channel and docks every year. Since then, it’s been done occasionally.

The Town of Hay River sold off its aging equipment and doesn’t have the funds to complete full-scale dredging.

Rocky Simpson, legislature member for Hay River South, said the territorial government’s efforts to get federal support for dredging over the years have been insufficient.

“They weren’t real efforts,” he said. “What the feds are going to be looking for … is they’re looking for a business case.”

Simpson said he’s hoping the territorial government will consider dredging off the ice this winter using backhoes. He worries that if port infrastructure isn’t maintained, the town could lose the shipping industry, which would be devastating.

A Canada Transportation Act Review report in February 2016 recommended renewed federal funds for dredging in Hay River.

Wally Schumann, a former infrastructure minister and legislature member for Hay River South, said he’s concerned the lack of dredging will add to shipping costs as barges won’t be able to carry as much fuel or freight.

Current Infrastructure Minister Diane Archie recently sent letters to federal ministers stressing the importance of restoring the harbour. The department previously submitted a proposal to Transport Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan funding proposal in 2020 to remove sediment impeding navigation to the Marine Transportation Services shipping terminal, but that was rejected.

Michael McLeod, the Liberal member of Parliament for the N.W.T., said he has met with several fisheries ministers since 2015, but their response has remained that the federal government does not have a dredging program.

He said he’s hoping the territorial government will develop a business case it can present to the federal government to try and find available funding.

“We need to find a resolution to this.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

 

Emily Blake, The Canadian Press

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Why Investors Are Buying Copper Today for a Green Energy Future

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Many countries have now set ambitious goals for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. The goal was first discussed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015. Several signed the agreement at the conference stating that they would work to reach net-zero emissions.

Now, we have the technologies to make it happen. Electric vehicles, solar power, and wind turbines are all on the rise, and they will only get cheaper and more efficient. It’s important that we make the switch to clean energy sources now before it’s too late.

One big reason investors are buying copper today is that it’s an essential element in many green energy projects. Copper is used to building electric vehicles, power grids, and more. It’s also an important part of solar panels and wind turbines.

However, according to a recent S&P Global report, many authorities including the US government, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have expressed concern as to whether there will be enough minerals to meet the requirements of the emissions targets. The move to a mineral-intensive energy system will set up the current supply shortfalls in metals like copper for further squeezes.

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The industry scrambling to cover those shortfalls, mining, has seen major changes in the past decade. A focus on green energy as well as a tech industry that continues to grow has meant soaring demand for minerals such as copper. It has also meant rising valuations for projects that could contribute to the future of the copper market.

Projects like the Warintza copper project in southeastern Ecuador, owned by Solaris Resources (TSX:SLS) (OTCQB:SLSSF) have received significant interest from investors as it continues to advance its world-class greenfield development project. The company has already defined a 1.5Bt inventory in an open pit with a low strip ratio at the Warintza Central deposit, and within that a high-grade starter pit driving really robust economics. Warintza Central is one of four discoveries made within their porphyry cluster representing multiple times growth potential beyond the initial 1.5 Bt mineral resource.

The Warintza Project is one of many copper projects that investors are buying into today for a greener future. Copper is an essential part of green energy projects, and investors are betting that the demand for copper will continue to grow.

Copper’s historical role has shifted quite a bit. In the past, copper was only used to build things like electrical wires and the infrastructure needed to support green energy projects. Today, copper is an essential part of solar panels and wind turbines. Copper is also an important part of electric vehicles and the power grids that support them.

Infrastructure projects in the United States to build a stronger, bigger electrical grid also require copper. Initiatives to build charging station networks for EVs have begun in many major cities in the United States. Copper is also an essential part of these charging station networks, delivering the electricity needed to power the EVs that continue to grab more market share every year.

Unfortunately, the shortfall of copper and other critical minerals threatens to stall the switch from an emissions-heavy energy system to a more sustainable one. Rising copper prices and valuations for copper mining assets are sure to be part of the future of the industry. For Solaris Resources, continued progress at its flagship Warintza Project is more than just business – it’s a bet on the future of the world’s energy system.

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Canada is a possibility for those looking to work abroad

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Canada is a country with a very good reputation regarding of living standards. It is one of the countries with the best quality of life available. It offers many possibilities for Canadians and foreigners looking to start a life in its territory. It offers many things to those who decide to undertake the adventure of leaving their home country to work abroad.

In Canada, many job opportunities are available thanks to the development in all sectors. In addition, their immigration policy is regarded as one of the best in the world. Showing open arms to welcome for all those who wish to explore labor options in their cities. Their immigration policies are something of which they are very proud of, as shown by the statements of their minister, Sean Fraser. Their work conditions are also very favorable when residing in the country for an undetermined period of time for work. So much so that Canada has welcomed thousands of foreigners over the years, and statistics show that the country expects to welcome 1.4 million migrants over the next three years.

These numbers certify that Canada is a very attractive country for people looking to go abroad to work. For the Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, this is a boon for companies looking for new business employees.

Moreover, there are opportunities in practically all sectors. Although Canada is not as big as the United States, many job opportunities are available. In big cities like Toronto, Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa, you can find work in big, medium-sized and small companies. Also, regardless of whatever sector you are prepared for, whether primary, secondary or tertiary, there is an opportunity waiting for you in Canada. However, this does not mean everything is handed to you on a silver platter: you need to actively look for a job and fight for it.

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Certain jobs are modernized and performed remotely. For example, nowadays, the casino sector has increased and can be accessed very easily from the net in the country. These sites offer a great variety of games as well as free spins no deposit Canada. Many online casinos in Canada offer signup promotions in the form of a deposit bonus, a no deposit bonus, free play credits or free spins. Various promotions accumulate funds and increase them. It is also possible to play for free, but only with real money, you can take advantage of these bonuses. In addition, more and more people want to bid live dealers, so you can always apply for this job.

 

But then why are there so many job vacancies if there are workers?

One of the contradictions is that there seem to be jobs available for people who want to work, but unemployment rates are not decreased. According to studies, over one million people cannot find work. However, there are actually more than 900,000 open vacancies. This leads one to think that perhaps the native Canadian population does not meet the requirements set by that companies are looking for newly qualified workers, a possible reason as to why there are so many foreigners. Another reason could be that people do not live in the cities where these vacancies are available and do not want to relocate.

Unlike other countries such as the United States or England, Canada does not control the number of migrants entering the country each year to stay and work. The border is open to anyone who wants to try their luck. This may indicate that companies prefer to hire foreigners because they are willing to sacrifice living in their own countries for job opportunities in Canada.

Finally, some jobs might be more enticing to foreigners. It is clear that Canada has an open-gate policy concerning foreign workers, and they are constantly looking for various new profiles. There is a wide variety of offers for professionals, ranging from the medical sector to construction, entrepreneurs, hoteliers, and tourism. Although the most requested offers come from within the health sector, for example, there is also a gradual increase in jobs requiring software engineers.

If you are looking to work abroad, Canada is a good option. It is a country of primarily western values, although with its own cultural traditions. The weather can be another abrupt change one will have to get used to over time. However, their immigration policy is quite enticing, alongside an outstanding rate of quality of life. It’s a combination of all these that make it an attractive destination. So if you plan to work abroad, consider Canada.

 

 

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King Charles’ three-day visit to Canada cost taxpayers at least $1.4 million

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King Charles’ three-day 2022 Royal Tour of Canada cost Canadian taxpayers at least $1.4 million, according to documents obtained by CTVNews.ca.

The whirlwind May 17 to 19 trip saw the then- Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit Newfoundland, Ontario and Northwest Territories over approximately 57 hours, at a cost of more than $25,000 per hour.

The $1.4 million does not include government, military and police salaries, or normal operational costs, which would make the true bill higher. It also does not include costs covered by local governments and police forces.

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It does include overtime, fleets of vehicles, VIP flights and armed security paid for by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Department of National Defence and Canadian Heritage, the federal department that oversaw the trip and its planning.

The figures are based on a pair of access to information requests filed with Canadian Heritage, as well as data provided by the Department of National Defence, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other government departments and agencies. The Canadian Heritage figures should be considered preliminary, and are very likely to increase when official data is released in March 2023.

“The accounting process for the 2022 Royal Tour is still ongoing,” a Canadian Heritage spokesperson told CTVNews.ca. “For all Royal Tours, costs are shared between federal and provincial/territorial governments, based on the duration and the number of events taking place in each region.”

 

Charles became King and Camilla became Queen Consort following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8, 2022. Their May 2022 visit to Canada was meant to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee, which marked a historic 70 years on the throne.

National Defence footed the bill for Charles and Camilla’s air transportation to, from and within Canada aboard what’s commonly known as Can Force One: the bedroom-equipped VIP Airbus CC-150 Polaris jet that frequently shuttles the prime minister and dignitaries overseas. In total, the trip would have covered over 12,000 kilometres.

According to a National Defence spokesperson, the $568,000 is approximate and includes the costs of flying the plane “and associated support services to transport members of the Royal Family, along with personnel for the Royal Tour as identified by Canadian Heritage.” Approximately 450 Canadian Armed Forces personnel participated, including roughly 100 who supported air transportation and at least 100 for the honour guard at a May 17 welcoming ceremony in St. John’s, N.L.

The RCMP was primarily tasked with security. Outside of salaries, the RCMP spent $172,175 on overtime and $189,156 on travel expenditures like meals, accommodation and transportation for a total of $361,331. An RCMP spokesperson said additional costs may still be processed.

According to two access to information requests filed by CTVNews.ca, the more than $509,714 spent by Canadian Heritage included at least $221,634 on travel and hospitality costs like flights, accommodation, meals and per diems; more than $11,453 on fleets of rental cars, taxis and buses; more than $11,496 in overtime for just three employees; $6,404 in fees to Ottawa’s historic Lord Elgin Hotel; at least $5,287 for scores of COVID-19 rapid tests; $3,550 for image copyrights; $2,945 for printing services; and other costs like flowers, medical personal protective equipment, “VIP Agency Services” and gifts. Canadian Heritage also footed the hospitality bill for 20 to 30 members of the British delegation, who included staff from Clarence House, which is King Charles’ London residence. A breakdown of the preliminary Canadian Heritage costs can be found at the bottom of this article.

“It is customary for hospitality costs, including those for Clarence House staff, to be assumed by the host country,” an April 2022 memo prepared for Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez states. “As the lead federal department for the planning and delivery of the 2022 Royal Tour, the Department of Canadian Heritage will assume hospitality costs.”

Canadian Heritage also covered $140,685.64 in costs from Services and Procurement Canada, which included overtime for 20 employees, and $35,718.91 from the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, which went towards planning work, accommodation and meals for royal visitors and support staff, and a reception at Rideau Hall, which is home to the Governor General, the monarch’s appointed representative in Canada.

Additional costs were likely absorbed by other departments, police forces and levels of government.

In statements to CTVNews.ca, the Ontario government and the cities of Ottawa, Yellowknife and St. John’s reported incurring no costs due to the 2022 Royal Tour. The governments of Newfoundland and Labrador and Northwest Territories said numbers are not yet finalized. Ottawa Police Service and Royal Newfoundland Constabulary did not respond to requests for comment, and Ontario Provincial Police stated figures would only be released through a freedom of information request. The National Capital Commission, a Crown corporation that oversees federal properties in and around Ottawa, reported spending $283.40 on audio-visual services for an event at Rideau Hall. The $1.4 million also does not include costs covered by British taxpayers.

King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla’s last Royal Tour of Canada, which spanned three days in the summer of 2017, cost Canadian Heritage $487,660. Since 2010, there have been eight official Royal Tours to Canada by members of Royal Family, which have come at a price of more than $7 million to Canadian Heritage alone. The late Queen Elizabeth II’s final nine-day visit to Canada in 2010 was the most expensive of all, costing Canadian Heritage at least $2.79 million.

 

Visits like these represent just a fraction of what Canada’s ties to the throne cost Canadian taxpayers each year.

According to the Monarchist League of Canada, our constitutional monarchy cost the government almost $58.75 million in just the 2019 to 2020 fiscal year, which includes costs associated with operating the Governor General’s Office, their overseas trips, the salaries and expenses of provincial lieutenant governors, and royal tours. That’s approximately $1.55 per Canadian a year – slightly below the nearly $2.10 the Crown costs each citizen of the U.K.

The Monarchist League of Canada believes that represents good value for Canadians.

“The Queen and now the King, together with members of their Family, do not come to Canada to benefit Britain or indeed any of the other Commonwealth Realms,” the league’s dominion chairman, Robert Finch, told CTVNews.ca. “The purpose of these homecomings is to highlight Canadians, their achievements, yes – their challenges and problems being worked on – and to celebrate important events in the life of the nation.”

The Monarchist League of Canada was recently awarded a $187,500 grant from Canadian Heritage to distribute 70,000 educational booklets to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee this year. Finch explains that all Royal Tours come on invitation of the host nation, and that there are also many private visits, such as by members with hospital patronages or honorary military ranks. He describes Canadians’ relationship and attitude to the monarchy as “deep and abiding.”

“Canada’s polity is one of democratic institutions and freedom under the Crown,” Finch said. “To change that polity would demand the unanimous agreement of the ten provincial legislatures and Parliament – and the complexity would not merely centre on why such a change should be made, but what new institution would replace it, and be demonstrably better.”

Tom Freda, director of the Citizens for a Canadian Republic advocacy group, believes that Canadian support the monarchy is “declining,” partially because of the large costs of hosting visiting royals.

“We don’t see much purpose at all, really,” Freda told CTVNews.ca. “Obviously, state visits in general are a necessary part of international relations and diplomacy. As a host country, we cover the costs of all visiting dignitaries.”

The group, which wants to replace the British monarch with a Canadian head of state, has used access to information requests to uncover data on the costs of past Royal Tours.

“Canada does seem to go overboard on royal visits,” Freda said. “Near as we can tell, they’re designed to bolster support for the royals (ironically, it does the opposite by raising attention to their presence and the cost), and to allow political and business elites the opportunity to socialize with royalty.”

Obtained through two access to information requests, the above documents outline costs incurred by Canadian Heritage during King Charles’ 2022 Royal Tour of Canada.

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