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Saint John's cruise ship season officially cancelled as feds extend ban – CBC.ca

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Minister of Transport Marc Garneau has extended the cruise ship ban until at least Oct. 31, meaning no cruise ships will be arriving in Saint John this season.

In a press conference Friday, Garneau said cruise ships with overnight accommodations and capacity of over 100 people, including passengers and crew, will be prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until then. The ban was previously set to expire in July.

Port Saint John CEO Jim Quinn said this ban extension means an end to this year’s season for Saint John.

“[It’s] not totally unexpected,” he said. “We respect … the decisions that the government makes because it’s all about protection of our population.”

Port Saint John CEO Jim Quinn said last year was likely the port authority’s most financially successful year. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Quinn said the port was expecting record-setting cruise revenue in 2020, but COVID-19 restrictions nationally and internationally have already cost the city 80,000 visitors. That’s about half of the expected visitors the cruise ships were set to bring.

There were 51 calls still on the schedule between July 31 and Oct. 27.

“The government has said that cruising will not be taking place in Canada before Oct. 31. So I guess… that means there will be no cruise vessels coming into Saint John this season”

In response to a question about what the federal government is planning to help the tourism sector, Garneau said the minister responsible for tourism, Mélanie Joly would be the best person to answer that question.

“I agree with you there will be a serious impact on the tourism industry, especially for cruise ships,” he said. “This is something that is important for some provinces in our country, unfortunately, because we have decided to minimize risk.”

“There will be economic impacts.” 

Quinn said the port is hoping there will be a vaccine by the time next season starts. But it’s still too soon to prepare for a cruise ship season if there is no vaccine by 2021.

“It’s too early for us to contemplate that in terms of doing anything with next season,” he said. “The cruise lines are very focused on doing all of the right things and to ensure that safety procedures and protocols are in place to regain the confidence of of the cruising public and officials and communities that they visit.”

He said next season is a full twelve months away “so a lot of water to go under the bridge between now and then.”

He said there are no scheduled Port Saint John layoffs, but the port won’t be hiring the usual seasonal and temporary workers involved with the cruise ship visits.

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Oil pares weekly gain amid virus fears, signs of tighter supply – BNNBloomberg.ca

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Oil slipped on Friday, paring a weekly gain, as concern of demand erosion from a coronavirus resurgence countered strong U.S. economic data.

Futures fell to about US$40 a barrel in New York as the virus continues to spread unabated across large parts of the U.S., clouding the outlook for energy demand. Crude prices gained 4.2 per cent for the week as data showed a rebound in the U.S. jobs market accelerated in early June and American crude stockpiles shrank by the most this year. A survey showed OPEC oil production dropped last month to the lowest since 1991.

The worsening pandemic may not have been fully captured in the jobs data, which provided a snapshot of hiring in the middle of the month before many states reversed course on their re-openings.

“We have had a sharp recovery in demand for energy products that has occurred from March to end of May,” Daniel Ghali, a TD Securities commodity strategist, said by phone. “Since then the pace of recovery has slowed. There is concern that this stall may be a signal of weakness in demand that’s tied to the rise in coronavirus cases in the U.S.”

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Adding to the murky demand outlook, Chinese oil inventories swelled to a record this week, satellite data show, after the world’s biggest oil importer went on a buying spree last quarter as the economy rebounded. The stockpiles may indicate a slowdown in buying by the East Asian country.

That outlook was balanced by the OPEC+ alliance’s commitment to reducing output, with Russia showing near total compliance with its targets. The group hasn’t made any decision yet on whether to extend its full cutback — which stands at 9.6 million barrels a day — into August, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. Ministers from the coalition next meet on July 15.

West Texas Intermediate for August delivery fell 51 cents US to US$40.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 11:18 a.m. local time, after closing up 2.1 per cent on Thursday. Brent for September settlement declined 49 cents US to US$42.65 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, paring its weekly gain to four per cent. Trading volumes were low as the U.S. took a day off ahead of the July 4 holiday.

The global benchmark crude’s three-month timespread remained in contango — where prompt contracts are cheaper than later-dated ones — but the spread has narrowed in recent days, indicating that concerns about oversupply have eased slightly.

The decline in U.S. oil production continued as working rigs fell for a 16th week to the least since 2009, according to Baker Hughes data released Thursday. Exxon Mobil Corp., meanwhile, reported an unprecedented second straight quarterly loss as almost every facet of the energy giant’s business slumped.

Other oil-market news

-India’s oil market is showing an uneven recovery two months after easing virus-control measures. Provisional fuel sales from the three biggest retailers were at 88 per cent of 2019 levels in June.

-The oil market is “currently perhaps too optimistic” as COVID-19 cases haven’t peaked yet and there’s still a large inventory overhang, FGE said in a note. Prices could fall to US$35 a barrel in the near-term before recovering in the fourth quarter.

-Angola is under intense pressure from other OPEC+ members to speed up its oil output cuts, and the response from the African nation has so far failed to appease the group.

-Several crude cargoes floating near China have been re-offered or sold to other buyers in Asia as long lines of oil-laden tankers continue to wait for their turn to discharge in Asia’s top importing nation, said traders who asked not to be identified.

–With assistance from James Thornhill.

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The Great Facebook Boycott: Will it make any difference? – Aljazeera.com

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On The Listening Post this week: Big brands are part of an advertising boycott against Facebook over racist content and hate speech. Plus, lockdown TV puts bookshelves in the spotlight.

The Great Facebook Boycott: Will it make any difference?

The two biggest news stories of 2020 – the coronavirus pandemic and the racial inequality protests – have triggered what the United Nations calls a “tsunami” of hate speech – a surge in xenophobia online. The social media platforms involved now find themselves the focus of an advertising boycott – a campaign called “Stop Hate for Profit” – that is designed to get them to clean up their act, by hitting them where it hurts. The primary target has been Facebook. For years, Mark Zuckerberg and company have resisted demands to take a more active approach – a harder line – to moderating hateful content. Ninety-nine percent of Facebook’s revenue – $70bn last year – reportedly comes from advertising. However, given Facebook’s size, the boycott is unlikely to seriously damage its bottom line, at least in the short term.

Contributors:

Shoshana Wodinsky – enterprise reporter, Gizmodo

Nadine Strossen – professor, New York Law School and former president, ACLU

Jessica Gonzalez – Stop Hate for Profit campaign and co-CEO, Free Press

Sarah Roberts – Center for Critical Inquiry, UCLA and author, Behind the Screen

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Johanna Hoes about China’s new national security law for Hong Kong and its implications for the media; plus, the Iranian journalist sentenced to death simply for doing his job.

Framing the self: The rise of the bookshelf aesthetic

With the pandemic forcing so many of us to work from home, all kinds of talking heads – news anchors, interviewees, pundits and politicians – have had to redefine their “natural environments”. So you have been seeing a lot of bookshelves. They are the perfect solution. They provide a little visual texture – they do not distract – and they create the impression, true or not, that the talking head has actually read the books, maybe even written some of them. Creating a backdrop is an exercise in self-branding – it sends a message and speaks to your alleged credibility before you say a word. And this book-flaunting has led to a new genre of media critique: bookshelf analysis. The Listening Post‘s Flo Phillips reports on judging a person by their bookish backdrop.

Contributors:

Tamar Garb – professor of art history, UCL

Bernie Hogan – senior research fellow, Oxford Internet Institute

Hussein Kesvani – culture and technology journalist

Alex Christofi – editorial director, Transworld Books

Source: Al Jazeera

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TSX Composite ends solid week directionless with US markets closed

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TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index wrapped up a solid week on a down note while U.S. markets were closed for the Independence Day holiday.

Crude oil and gold prices were down a little bit but not enough to “really spook” the market so the Toronto Stock Exchange followed the path set in Europe where investors took some profits after recent gains, said Philip Petursson, chief investment strategist at Manulife Investment Management.

“It’s kind of one of those wishy-washy days where when you don’t have the leader, which is the U.S. equity markets, 1/8so 3/8 the market is searching for direction,” he said in an interview.

Petursson said the market is hitting that third phase of exhaustion after the prior two of a bear market and a sharp rebound.

“In this phase what we’re doing is we’re waiting for the results and it’s not necessarily just the economic results, more importantly its the earnings results or anything that leads to a positive earnings outlook in Q4 or into 2021 to really drive the market to that next leg higher.”

Second-quarter earnings, which start mid-month are expected to be very bad, said Petursson.

“No matter what the earnings look like the market is just going to shrug it off,” he said.

Rather than recent performance, investors are going to be looking for signs in company guidance that “baby steps” are being taken back to normal despite the increase in COVID-19 infections in the United States.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 25.65 points at 15,596.75. It ended the week up 2.7 per cent on a rise in oil and gold prices.

The Canadian dollar also appreciated with oil surpassing US$40 a barrel. It traded for 73.72 cents US compared with 73.61 cents US on Thursday.

Petursson expects the loonie will reach 75 to 77 cents as crude rises to US$45 per barrel, gaining to hit about US$60 over some 18 months.

On Friday, the August crude contract was down 33 cents at US$40.32 per barrel and the August natural gas contract was up 1.6 cents at US$1.75 per mmBTU.

Husky Energy Inc. was the weakest performer as its shares dropped 2.6 per cent, followed by Vermilion Energy Inc. at 2.1 per cent and Cenovus Energy Inc. off two per cent.

Nine of the 11 major sectors on the TSX were lower amid low trading because of the U.S. holiday.

Health care, real estate and materials decreased.

The August gold contract was down US$2.70 at US$1,787.30 an ounce and the September copper contract was down 2.75 cents at US$2.72 a pound.

Consumer staples and telecommunications were slightly higher.

The market choppiness should continue, rising one day and then dipping as investors take some profits, Petursson said.

“This is what I expect to happen until the fall where I think we will have a better picture on what the start of 2021 is going to look like, not only with respect to COVID, more importantly to earnings.

Source:- BNN

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