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Found 8 results

  1. A new era of prosperity RICHARD FOOT, Canwest News Service Published: 8 hours ago Boom times for have-not provinces are redrawing Canada's economic and political map. The remarkable growth is resource-driven: potash and uranium in Saskatchewan, offshore oil in Newfoundland and Labrador To find the front lines of the global commodities boom, drive an hour east from Saskatoon on the Yellowhead Highway to Lanigan, Sask., home of the world's largest potash mine. Two huge, dome-covered warehouses, each about the size of a football field, stand on the mine site, eerily empty except for a few dusty sweepings of potash on the floors. "A decade ago there would have been a mountain of potash in here," said Will Brandsema, general manager of AMEC, whose engineering firm recently completed a $400-million expansion of the mine for the Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan. Potash Corp.'s Lanigan mine in Saskatchewan. The price of the mineral has soared to nearly $1,000 a tonne from about $100.View Larger Image View Today, worldwide demand for the pinkish, chalk-like mineral is so great, Potash Corp. can't keep its warehouses full. In the past four years, the price of potash - the basic ingredient of fertilizer - has soared to nearly $1,000 per tonne from about $100, largely because of rising populations in China and India and their sudden appetite for high-value, fertilizer-grown food. Thanks to a quirk of geologic good fortune, Saskatchewan is filled with potash and now produces more than a quarter of the world's supply. What was for years an unremarkable export has suddenly become one of the most treasured commodities on Earth - pink gold, you might call it - which, alongside surging sales of oil, uranium and even grain, is suddenly making Saskatchewan the economic envy of the nation. About 3,000 kilometres away, another once-poor province accustomed to life on the economic fringes is also reaping a windfall from its natural resources. Skyrocketing oil prices are fuelling an extraordinary economic turnaround in Newfoundland and Labrador, where a fourth offshore oil project will soon be in development. Petrodollars are transforming St. John's from a down-at-the-heels provincial capital into a bustling energy city brimming with stylish restaurants, affluent condo developments and a sense of euphoria not seen there since cod were first discovered on the Grand Banks. "The Newfoundland and Saskatchewan economies have gone from stagnant to stellar," Statistics Canada declared in its May Economic Observer. "These two provinces have moved beyond old stereotypes and stepped into a new era of prosperity." Both provinces led the country last year in growth of exports, in the rate of housing starts and in growth of gross domestic product - the only provinces, along with Alberta, whose per capita GDP was above the national average. In June, a report by the TD Bank Financial Group called Saskatchewan "Canada's commodity superstar" and said if the province were a country, it would rank fifth in the world among member nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, in terms of per capita GDP. It would trail only Luxembourg, Norway, the United States and Ireland. (Alberta would come second if ranked on the same list.) John Crosbie, who announced the cod fishery's shutdown as federal fisheries minister and is now the province's lieutenant-governor, expressed the mood of many Newfoundlanders while reading his government's throne speech in March: "Ours is not the province it was two decades ago," Crosbie said. "We are - for the first time in our history - poised to come off equalization very soon. This is a stunning achievement that will reinforce the bold new attitude of self-confidence that has taken hold among Newfoundlanders and Labradorians." What do such economic shifts mean for the country as a whole, and how will the rise of two weaker provinces, coupled with the manufacturing malaise in Ontario, affect the workings of confederation? First, many economists say it's a mistake to underestimate the resilience and strength of the huge Ontario economy. They also say the surging energy economies of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland face their own challenges, including cyclical commodity prices, the social costs of rapid development and severe labour shortages. Canada is already facing a labour crunch that's only going to worsen with time. In six years, said economist Brian Lee Crowley, president of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, there will be more people leaving the country's labour force than entering it. The new demand for workers in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, especially in construction and engineering, can only exacerbate the problem. In 2006, for the first time in 23 years, Saskatchewan stopped losing people, on a net basis, to other provinces, thanks to the thousands of workers streaming home from Alberta to new jobs in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and elsewhere. As job opportunities also grow in Newfoundland, and competition for skilled workers intensifies, the availability of labour will decline and the cost of it will increase, putting further pressures on the dollar and on manufacturers. The rampant growth of Canada's resource-rich economies is also expected to force changes to the federal equalization program. In April, the TD Bank forecast that Ontario, a longtime contributor to equalization, could become a recipient as early as 2010 - not because Ontario's economy is falling apart, but because it is slipping relative to the extraordinary growth of commodity-producing provinces. As the resource boom pushes the average level of provincial revenues higher, provinces like Ontario will fall below that average, and the cost of funding equalization will increase. Yet the federal government won't be able to afford the program, because Ottawa has no access to the commodity revenues that are driving up its cost; natural resource royalties flow only to the provinces. "The amount of money required for that program is going to get bigger and bigger," said Wade Locke, an economist at Memorial University in St. John's. As for Newfoundland and Labrador, over the past decade its per capita GDP has risen to $10,000 above the national average from $10,000 below - the fastest 10-year turnaround of any province in Canadian Newfoundland and Saskatchewan both reaped a bonanza last year from commodity royalties. Newfoundland posted a record $1.4-billion budget surplus; Saskatchewan announced a $641-million surplus plus a $1-billion infrastructure spending spree. While those two provinces enjoy their economic rebirth, recession stalks other regions of Canada, in particular the industrial heartland of Ontario. There, many manufacturers are struggling with high energy costs and a strong dollar, and the North American automakers - once Canada's economic engine - are shedding jobs and shutting factories. John Pollock, chairman of Electrohome Ltd. in Kitchener, Ont. - he is winding up the affairs of a once-proud consumer electronics maker forced to the sidelines by overseas competition - predicts Ontario is entering a period of perhaps a decade or more in which it will no longer drive the country's economy. "There's going to be a period of transition that's going to be tough," he said. "Ontario has supported the rest of the country - provinces like Saskatchewan and Newfoundland - for years. Maybe it's time for a shift." Global financier George Soros recently described Canada's economy as a split personality - half beleaguered by a sluggish manufacturing sector, and half enjoying the wonders of the worldwide resource boom. Never before have the fault lines between Central Canada's energy-dependent provinces and the far-flung energy-rich ones been so stark, says Brett Gartner, an economist with the Canada West Foundation, a Calgary think-tank. "Of course, Ontario's not about to fade away. It still accounts for more than 40 per cent of the national economy," Gartner said. "But let's not discount what's happening in the regions. It's quite astounding." In Saskatchewan, for example, Potash Corp., buoyed by a share price that has made it one of the leading companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is spending $3.2 billion to construct new mines and expand existing ones. Much of that work has gone to AMEC, an international engineering firm that recently refurbished a second mill at the Lanigan mine after the facility was closed in the 1980s because of lack of demand. Will Brandsema, who runs AMEC's Saskatoon office, says he can't hire engineers fast enough to fill the jobs created by mine expansions in the potash and uranium industries. Eight years ago, AMEC employed 64 people in Saskatoon; today that number is 325. "You talk about have-not provinces," he said. "Ten years ago, I spent most of my time in the office looking for business. Now I spend most of my time with human resources, looking for people to hire. "It's just amazing the growth here, and not only in potash. Thirty per cent of the world's uranium comes out of this province. And we have other commodities - oil, gas, coal and the whole agricultural side. All of these are going to grow." Saskatchewan left the ranks of equalization-receiving provinces in 2007. Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to become a "have" province this year or next, a startling change considering that the cod fishery - once the foundation of the province's economy - has not substantially reopened since its devastating closure by Ottawa in 1992. "It's currently $13 billion. It's going to be $30 billion in 10 years. The federal government doesn't have the financial wherewithal to fund that program." Yet abolishing or changing equalization, a program required by the constitution, presents huge political problems, particularly in Quebec, which receives the largest equalization payment, although the lowest per capita amount. "You're going to see some serious restructuring of equalization, but not before the next election," Locke said. "The Harper government is not going to do it." Changes to equalization, not to mention a realignment of "have" and "have-not" provinces, could also prompt a new wave of regional beefs and resentments - the bane of confederation. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is already complaining about how much his province's taxpayers contribute to national transfer programs, a system Ontario governments once supported in better economic times. Oil itself could become a flashpoint that divides the country. Public demands in Quebec, Ontario or British Columbia for a national carbon tax would now raise the ire of more than just one oil-producing province. In the meantime, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, which typically wield little weight in national discussions, could use their new economic clout to campaign for a truly effective Senate, with real power to represent regional interests. "There is some realignment of economic power occurring that will influence the national political debate," said former Newfoundland premier Brian Peckford, who now works as a business consultant in British Columbia. "Premiers' meetings, for example, won't be dominated by only a few big provinces. Smaller provinces like Saskatchewan and Newfoundland won't have to shout and demand to be heard. We'll get noticed simply by being there." Still, Peckford - who grew up in a province so poor that he remembers, as a boy, studying his schoolbooks by kerosene lamp - warns Newfoundlanders not to let their budding affluence go to their heads. "I would caution them that as they grow financially, they must also grow emotionally and socially," he said. "The last thing Newfoundland and Labrador should do is get arrogant about this, because one never knows how long it will last. "A lot of Canadians helped us after we joined confederation, so it's our turn now to contribute back." Rags to resources: First of a series Boom times for the "have-nots" are redrawing Canada's economic and political map. Next: Day 2: Flush with commodities cash, Saskatchewan revels in its rebirth. Day 3: From misfit to petro-darling: Newfoundland's remarkable transformation. Day 4: Hard times in the industrial heartland: Ontario's painful transition. Day 5: The ''curse'' of resources: Post-fortune perils. Day 6: Finding new fortunes: Quebec's industrial heartland moves on. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=6fd0d4f0-4e9c-462d-af41-4ae1b93545a0&p=3
  2. Terre-Neuve pourrait poursuivre Québec et Ottawa concernant un projet au Labrador Il y a 35 minutes SAINT-JEAN, T.N.-L. — Le gouvernement de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador pourrait poursuivre en justice les gouvernements du Canada et du Québec relativement au projet hyrdoélectrique Upper Churchill Falls, au Labrador. La ministre provinciale des Ressources naturelles, Kathy Dunderdale, estime que Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador n'a peut-être pas reçu sa juste part des retombées depuis que le projet a commencé à produire de l'électricité il y a 35 ans. Elle a déclaré en entrevue que le projet, depuis le début, a essentiellement profité au "peuple du Québec". Le gouvernement terre-neuvien affirme avoir empoché environ 1 milliard $ pendant cette période, pendant que les coffres du Québec se seraient plutôt engraissés de 19 milliards $. L'entente vient à échéance en 2041. Mme Dunderdale est d'avis qu'Ottawa aurait pu intervenir dans le dossier pour s'assurer que Terre-Neuve recevrait une part équitable des retombées. Elle explique que l'éventualité d'une poursuite judiciaire est plus pertinente que jamais, maintenant que les Innus du Labrador réclament eux-mêmes une compensation relativement à ce projet. Les Innus affirment ne pas avoir été consultés avant le lancement du projet, qui leur aurait fait perdre 6000 kilomètres carrés de territoire.
  3. GDS

    Tuition 2008

    2007/2008 2008/2009 Canada $4,558 $4,724 Newfoundland and Labrador $2,632 $2,632 Prince Edward Island $4,440 $4,530 Nova Scotia $6,110 $5,932 New Brunswick $5,590 $5,590 Quebec $2,056 $2,167 Ontario $5,388 $5,643 Manitoba $3,271 $3,276 Saskatchewan $5,015 $5,015 Alberta $5,122 $5,361 British Columbia $4,922 $5,040 Undergrad tuition rises to average of $4,724 a year: StatsCan CBC News Full-time Canadian undergraduate students paid an average of $4,724 in tuition for the 2008/2009 academic year, an increase of 3.6 per cent over the previous year, Statistics Canada said Thursday. The rise, which follows on the heels of a 2.8 per cent increase in the 2007/2008 academic year, was especially prominent in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. Fees held steady in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and dropped in Nova Scotia. Despite the drop in Nova Scotia — the result of the implementation of the Nova Scotia University Student Bursary Trust in March 2008 — students paid the highest fees anywhere in Canada: $5,932. Quebec ($2,167) and Newfoundland and Labrador ($2,632) had the lowest tuition fees. Statistics Canada analysts were at pains to point out that the average annual increase over the last decade has outpaced the consumer price index. The CPI is a way of measuring the cost of items purchased by a typical Canadian in any given month, and includes shelter, food, entertainment, fuel and transportation. In the last 10 years, tuition has increased annually an average of 4.4 per cent — it was $3,064 in 1998/1999. In contrast, the CPI rose at an annual average rate of 2.3 per cent. Meanwhile, tuition fees for full-time undergraduate international students increased 3.9 per cent on average to $14,495 compared to the previous year. Canadian graduate students paid 3.3 per cent more for tuition than a year earlier, with an average of $5,777 in fees this fall. Tuition fees don't include additional compulsory fees, such as those for athletics, student health services and student associations, which increased 3.3 per cent from a year earlier. On average, Canadian undergraduate students paid $695 in additional compulsory fees in 2008/2009, up from $673 a year earlier.
  4. Boom économique à Fermont Les projets miniers génèrent un véritable boom économique dans les villes nordiques de Labrador City et de Fermont. Les nouveaux projets d'exploitation de Consolidated Thompson, les travaux de modernisation d'IOC et de ceux d'ArcelorMittal Mines Canada (anciennement Québec-Cartier) entraîneront des investissements totaux de près de 1 milliard de dollars dans la région. Les travaux amènent aussi de nouveaux travailleurs qu'il faut nourrir et loger. Michel Fillion, porte-parole d'IOC, qui se prépare à investir 500 millions pour augmenter sa production, indique que 150 à 200 travailleurs sont attendus cet été, ce qui fera grimper le nombre de travailleurs à près de 500. « Plusieurs vont déjà utiliser le camp de construction que nous prévoyons pour l'expansion. Je dois vous dire aussi que l'on va utiliser toutes les chambres d'hôtel disponibles à Labrador Ouest », ajoute M. Fillion. Le scénario est similaire pour la nouvelle venue dans la région, la minière Consolidated Thompson qui lance un chantier de 400 millions de dollars. Le secteur de la construction est en pleine effervescence. La directrice du CLD, Louisette Champagne, qui habite la région depuis 31 ans, admet qu'elle n'a jamais vu une telle situation. « Ça fait longtemps qu'il n'y a plus personne à embaucher à Fermont et qu'il n'y a plus aucun endroit pour se loger », observe-t-elle. Les commerces ne parviennent pas à répondre à la demande, faute de personnel. La coopérative d'achat de Fermont manque de relève. Le second restaurant de la ville semble impossible à rouvrir pour le moment. La Chambre de commerce de Labrador City a lancé le mot d'ordre aux hôtels, épiceries et restaurants pour qu'ils stockent davantage de denrées. La semaine passée, la ville a manqué d'oeufs. http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/est-quebec/2008/06/06/007-fermont-boom.asp?ref=rss
  5. La moitié des 600travailleurs des installations de Sept-Îles et du Ladrador seront sans travail à la mi-février. Pour en lire plus...
  6. La direction des mines Wabush, au Labrador, prépare le terrain au licenciement de travailleurs, car elle craint devoir réduire la production en 2009. Pour en lire plus...
  7. Une entreprise indienne, Tata Steel, achète 20% des actions de New Millenium, une entreprise d'exploration et d'exploitation minière opérant dans le nord du Québec et au Labrador. Pour en lire plus...