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Found 8 results

  1. Corn-based ethanol: The negatives outweigh the positives JEFFREY SIMPSON From Wednesday's Globe and Mail July 30, 2008 at 7:58 AM EDT Canada's governments have done something really stupid in subsidizing corn-based ethanol, and requiring its increased use, but apparently cannot correct their mistake. As a policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, corn-based ethanol is a poor option; as a farm subsidy program, it's also a poor bet. Making matters worse, corn-based ethanol takes corn-for-food out of production, and moves land from other kinds of production into corn, thereby adding to what are already rising food prices. Governments, here and in the U.S., thought they were doing great things for the environment and helping farmers, too. Ethanol policy was, to quote the Harper government, a "win-win." Actually, it was a lose-lose policy for all but corn producers, who, naturally enough, have rallied furiously to protect their good fortune. Many researchers have exposed the follies of subsidizing corn-based ethanol production, the latest being Douglas Auld, in an extremely well-documented paper for the C.D. Howe Institute. Mr. Auld has surveyed the research literature about the putatively beneficial effects of corn-based ethanol on replacing gasoline. The theory is that such ethanol produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline from a vehicle engine. Indeed, it does, but that simple statement ignores what energy is required to produce a litre of ethanol. When the so-called "lifecycle" of ethanol production is counted, Mr. Auld concludes (as have many others) that ethanol doesn't lower GHG outputs. Remember, too, that ethanol delivers less energy per litre than gasoline, so more litres of production are required to move a vehicle a certain distance. Mr. Auld, therefore, correctly concludes, "It is clear from the evidence to date that there is no consensus regarding the efficacy of corn-based ethanol either to reduce GHGs or reduce overall energy demands." But we aren't dealing with "evidence," rather with political optics from governments wanting to look "green" and from a desire to help farmers. And so, the Harper government replaced the previous special tax exemption for ethanol to a producer credit that will cost the country about $1.5-billion. To this sum were added loans, biofuel research grants plus mandatory ethanol content requirements. In other words, the government pushed up the supply of corn-based ethanol through subsidies, then pushed up the demand through regulation. Provinces got in on the act, offering producer credits and mandatory ethanol content requirements. Putting the provincial and federal policies together produced whopping advantages for ethanol of about $400-million a year. For such money, Canadians might expect at least some decline in greenhouse gas emissions. They will be disappointed. There will be few reductions, and Mr. Auld estimates that these might cost $368 a tonne - way, way higher than other per-tonne costs for eliminating carbon dioxide, the main climate-warming gas. By contrast, one part of the Harper government's proposed climate-change policy would see big companies that do not meet their intensity-based reduction targets paying $15 a tonne into a technology fund. World prices for carbon offsetting these days are about $30 a tonne. However, even if this form of ethanol is a climate-change bust, at least it's great for farmers. Not so fast. It's a boon to the corn producers, but to supply all the additional demand for ethanol, up to half the current farmland for corn will be used. As more land is diverted to corn for ethanol, there will be less corn for human and animal consumption. So whereas corn producers will gain, livestock producers will suffer. As their costs rise, so will the price of their products to consumers. It's wrong to blame the rush to ethanol for rising food prices here and abroad. Let's just say the rush contributes to the problem. Mr. Auld estimates that if you take the direct subsidies for ethanol production of $400-million a year, and add the costs of higher food to consumers, the wealth transfer to corn-based farmers could soon be about $800-million. It's the classic case of subsidies distorting markets: One group gains and mobilizes all of its resources to protect its gains, insisting these gains reflect the public good; whereas in reality almost everyone else loses but doesn't complain. So we have a silly policy with hundreds of millions of dollars going down the policy drain, achieving none of the objectives the politicians claimed.
  2. Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/iamgold-to-sell-niobec-mine-in-quebec-for-500-million/article20906794/
  3. Montreal gladly reclaims its 'Hollywood North' tag BRENDAN KELLY, The Gazette Published: Thursday, May 10, 2007 It's amazing what a little labour peace can do for the film business. Only two months after a long, bitter dispute between two rival film technicians unions was finally resolved, local movie folks are positively euphoric as they gear up for their busiest period of Hollywood shooting in years. Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt, Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Evangeline Lilly and John Malkovich are all on their way to shoot in Montreal in the coming weeks, and Hans Fraikin - film commissioner at the Quebec Film and Television Council - said Hollywood filming in the city is definitely going to top last year's tally of $150 million. He thinks the total might actually inch toward the $200-million mark and he said the boom is directly tied to the resolution in late February of the feud between the Alliance quebecoise des techniciens de l'image et du son (AQTIS), the local film union, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), an American union. They were fighting over who should represent the province's film workers. Cate Blanchett: with Brad Pitt. "We were close to total industrial implosion at the beginning of the year," Fraikin said. "It was Armageddon. Now it's looking healthier than expected. But we worked hard on resolving the conflict and convincing people that Quebec was open for business again. And it's paying off." Local industry players got news this week that Death Race 3000 will be produced here. This is a remake of the 1975 cult classic Death Race 2000 that starred David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone in a story set in the future about a violent road race that takes place between New York and Los Angeles. The remake will star British actor Jason Statham and is being produced by Tom Cruise and his producing partner Paula Wagner. The other recent addition to the local film-shoot lineup is Get Smart, the big-screen adaptation of the classic 1960s spy-spoof TV series. Carell will star as goofball secret agent Maxwell Smart, Hathaway will play sultry Agent 99, and Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson will play Agent 23, a newly created character. The producers will shoot only a part of the film here, spending around 20 days in town next month. Pitt and Blanchett will be here for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a Paramount production directed by David Fincher and adapted from the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story about a man who begins to age backwards. That film has already wrapped several months of shooting in New Orleans, and the filmmakers will be here for just eight days at the end of month. They will be filming Old Montreal as Paris and Moscow in winter, which will entail importing huge amounts of artificial snow. Far and away the biggest shoot on the way is The Mummy 3. The crew is already in pre-production for the third instalment in the Mummy series, which begins filming here July 27 and is expected to occupy several sound stages at Mel's Cite du Cinema studio right through to the end of the year. It is estimated that the producers will hire between 800 and 900 local technicians to work on the Universal Pictures project. Brendan Fraser - who was here last summer shooting a new version of Journey to the Center of the Earth - reprises his role as adventurer Rick O'Connell, but Rachel Weisz, who played his wife, will not be on board this time. Action star Jet Li will play the mummy, Michelle Yeoh plays a wizard, and 26-year-old Australian thespian Luke Ford will join the series as O'Connell's son. Filming will continue in China after the Montreal shoot. Kate Beckinsale has been here for a few weeks shooting Whiteout, a thriller about a U.S. marshal hunting a killer in Antarctica, and production has been under way here since late March on the U.S.A. Network series The Dead Zone, which stars Anthony Michael Hall. Alberta-born Lost star Lilly and Malkovich are due here in early June for Afterwards, a Canada-France co-production that co-stars Moliere lead Romain Duris. Brian Baker, business agent at the Quebec branch of the Directors Guild of Canada, said that one reason filming is booming is because the Hollywood producers are ramping up production to stockpile films in case of labour unrest in Hollywood next year. There is widespread speculation that both the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America could go on strike in 2008. "But that's not the whole story (behind the Montreal boom) because they're dying in Toronto," Baker said. Fraikin said the shoots are back in our city because the labour issues have been settled. "No producer is going to go anywhere near an unstable industrial environment," Fraikin said. "They can't take the risk." It also helped that two of the bigger hits of the first half of the year, 300 and Blades of Glory, were both shot at least in part here, reminding Hollywood producers that Montreal is a good location. [email protected]
  4. Read more: http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/new-green-tax-to-make-electronics-more-expensive-1.957018#ixzz26druCxzC Things just got more expensive again in this province I wonder what else is left for Quebec to tax us on? Quebec could make life harder for consumers buying stuff at Zara, H&M and others, by having a tax on clothes made in China, Bangladesh and other countries.
  5. (Courtesy of The Financial Post) Plus they forgot, soon to be one of the largest producers of lithium. Thing is the US could get all their "black gold" from the Bakken Formation (part of it is in Canada but the rest is in the US). Here some info on the Bakken: Research
  6. Dans le QDS, sur Bleury http://montreal.eater.com/2015/2/16/8046489/downtown-montreal-new-butcher-sandwich-shop-dans-la-cote-david- From the ex-chef at Le Réservoir. Chef David Aghapekian, late of Plateau craft brewpub Le Réservoir, is about to give Downtown Montreal Boucherie Dans La Côte, a butcher shop with prepared foods and complementary sandwich counter. The makeover of the old La Congolaise at 2123 de Bleury, below Sherbrooke, is almost complete. A source close to Aghapekian tells Eater that the chef spent a month in search of quality, small-scale producers througout Quebec. No word yet on whether Aghapekian's significant other, Chloé Germain-Fredette of Les Chocolats de Chloé fame, will get some counter space. Boucherie Dans La Côte [Official Site] http://www.boucheriedanslacote.com/ sent via Tapatalk