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Found 7 results

  1. Brazil’s economy The devil in the deep-sea oil Unless the government restrains itself, an oil boom risks feeding Brazil’s vices Nov 5th 2011 | from the print edition DEEP in the South Atlantic, a vast industrial operation is under way that Brazil’s leaders say will turn their country into an oil power by the end of this decade. If the ambitious plans of Petrobras, the national oil company, come to fruition, by 2020 Brazil will be producing 5m barrels per day, much of it from new offshore fields. That might make Brazil a top-five source of oil (see article). Managed wisely, this boom has the potential to do great good. Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, wants to use the oil money to pay for better education, health and infrastructure. She also wants to use the new fields to create a world-beating oil-services industry. But the bonanza also risks feeding some Brazilian vices: a spendthrift and corrupt political system; an over-mighty state and over-protected domestic market; and neglect of the virtues of saving, investment and training. So it is worrying that there is far more debate in Brazil about how to spend the oil money than about how to develop the fields. If Brazil’s economy is to benefit from oil, rather than be dominated by it, a big chunk of the proceeds should be saved offshore and used to offset future recessions. But the more immediate risks lie in how the oil is extracted. The government has established a complicated legal framework for the fields. It has vested their ownership in Pré-Sal Petróleo, a new state body whose job is merely to collect and spend the oil money. It has granted an operating monopoly to Petrobras (although the company can strike production-sharing agreements with private partners). The rationale was that, since everyone now knows where the oil is, the lion’s share of the profits should go to the nation. But this glides over the complexity in developing fields that lie up to 300km (190 miles) offshore, beneath 2km of water and up to 5km of salt and rock. To develop the new fields, and build onshore facilities including refineries, Petrobras plans to invest $45 billion a year for the next five years, the largest investment programme of any oil firm in the world. That is too much, too soon, both for Petrobras and for Brazil—especially because the government has decreed that a large proportion of the necessary equipment and supplies be produced at home. How to be Norway, not Venezuela By demanding so much local content, the government may in fact be favouring some of the leading foreign oil-service companies. Many would have set up in Brazil anyway; now, with less price competition from abroad, they will find it easier to charge over the odds. Seeking to ramp up production so fast, and relying so heavily on local supplies, also risks starving non-oil businesses of capital and skilled labour (which is in desperately short supply). Oil money is already helping to drive up Brazil’s currency, the real, hurting manufacturers struggling with high taxes and poor infrastructure. When it comes to oil, striking the right balance between the state and the private sector, and between national content and foreign expertise, is notoriously tricky. But it can be done. To kick-start an oil-services industry, Norway calibrated its national-content rules realistically in scope and duration, required foreign suppliers to work closely with local firms and forced Statoil, its national oil company, to bid against rivals to develop fields. Above all, it invested in training the workforce. But Brazilians need only to look at Mexico’s Pemex to see the politicised bloat that can follow an oil boom—or at Venezuela to see how oil can corrupt a country. Petrobras is not Pemex. Thanks to a meritocratic culture, and the discipline of having some of its stock traded, Petrobras is a leader in deep-sea oil. But operating as a monopolist is a poor way to maintain that edge. Happily, too, Brazil is not Venezuela. Its leaders can prove it by changing the rules to be more Norwegian.
  2. CAE wins military training contracts The Gazette Published: 32 minutes ago Montreal flight simulator builder CAE Inc. said today it has won a series of military training contracts worth up to $106 million and including $71 million in firm orders. The contracts are with Canada's Department of National Defence, L-3 Communications of the U.S., the U.S. Navy, Eurofighter Simulation Systems and contractor C2 Technologies. CAE said it sees strong opportunities ahead in the global military market- normally more stable than the civil aviation sector. CAE also said earnings for the first quarter ended June 30 rose 19 per cent to $46.1 million or 18 cents a share from $38.7 million or 15 cents a share a year earlier, because of strong Asian and European civil aircraft training business and rising military orders. Revenue climbed 9.4 per cent to $392 million.
  3. before you all get excited, Swiss is going to put the 777 on YUL next summer for pilot training reasons only! With 62 business class seats, this airplane is not meant for Montreal for our market. Effective Aug 30 2016, it will return to normal year-round A330-300 operations. http://airlineroute.net/2015/07/09/lx-77w-s16update1/
  4. Both governments are currently spending part of my money for stuff that does not interest me as much as say, having put the funds together to have saved the nordiques or expos. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mind they spend some of my $$$ for museums, festivals, etc.. because I strongly believe that as a whole, we all win. However, not having the city of Québec on the NHL map is a disgrace and my heart aches every time spring training rolls around. The government should have done something...
  5. CAE on deck for $500-million defence program By David Pugliese , Canwest News ServiceFebruary 13, 2009 11:02 AM Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be in Montreal Friday where he is expected to announce a new aerospace training facility that will provide work to CAE and other high-tech firms in Canada. The contract to CAE and its partners, which could over time be worth up to $500 million, arrives at a time when the Harper government needs to be seen to provide work and create jobs for Canadians during the recession. Last year, the government selected CAE as the winner of a Defence Department program known as the Operational Training Systems Provider or OTSP. But the actual awarding of the contract was delayed, at first by the election and then by other political developments. OTSP will see the creation of aerospace training facilities to teach Canadian Forces aircrews how to fly new transport planes and helicopters, as well as aircraft to be bought in the future for search and rescue. It is unclear at this point how many new aerospace jobs will be created. Montreal-based CAE, one of the world’s largest aviation simulation firms, had been deemed by the federal government as the only qualified bidder for the program. Defence officials privately say the OTSP program, which will include new training facilities and simulators at different locations in the country, will provide the air force with a common infrastructure for teaching crews on a number of aircraft. The project would run over the next 20 years and include training on new C-130J transport aircraft and other planes that will be purchased in the future. The final value of the deal will depend on how much training for various aircraft fleets will be eventually be included. The initial deal for CAE will focus on the C-130J aircraft and is expected to be worth around $250 million. The CAE team that will work on the project includes Xwave Defence and Aerospace in Ottawa; MacDonald Dettwiler of Richmond, B.C.; NGRAIN of Vancouver; Atlantis Systems International of Brampton, Ont.; Bombardier of St-Laurent, Que., and: Simgraph of Laval, Que. The announcement is seen by the Tories as a good news story as the Harper government has faced criticism from domestic aerospace and defence firms for not spending enough money in Canada. The government has earmarked more than $8 billion for new aircraft purchased from U.S. firms but Canadian companies have complained they have seen little work from those projects. On Thursday, parliamentarians were also calling for stricter oversight on how the Defence Department spends tax dollars after yet another internal audit found a lack of management oversight on a major equipment support project. The Ottawa Citizen reported that Defence Department auditors concluded the government has no idea whether it is getting value for money from a Canadian Forces communications project worth more than $290 million because it is not enforcing the terms of the contract. Defence Minister Peter MacKay found himself answering questions in the Commons from both the NDP and Liberal parties about ongoing problems with military procurement and the growing secrecy over such troubled deals. But according to MacKay the department has strict review policies already in place. “The procurement process is accountable and is transparent,” he noted. But Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre pointed out that previous audits had raised concerns about multi-billion dollar equipment purchases. “Clearly there needs to be big changes made on how this department can be made more accountable and responsible,” added NDP defence critic Dawn Black. “They spend billions and billions of dollars and Canadians have a right to know about what is going on.”
  6. http://toughmudder.com/events/montreal-sat-july-6-sun-july-7-2013/?language=fr Tough Mudder: Fancy an obstacle course on steroids? Tough Mudder brings its bruising brand of insanely popular obstacle-course challenges to Quebec in July By René Bruemmer, THE GAZETTE May 31, 2013 Tough Mudder: Fancy an obstacle course on steroids? Tough Mudder brings its bruising brand of insanely popular obstacle-course challenges to Quebec in July By René Bruemmer, THE GAZETTE May 31, 2013 ason Ostroff ran competitively as a kid. He remembers it being a trying experience, with much training and gasping and worrying about best times. He doesn’t run much anymore, but one childhood activity he does miss is the jump and tumble fun of navigating obstacles, revelling in the elemental joy of getting over, under or through. Which is why he and three longtime friends will be taking part in the Tough Mudder event this summer near Montreal, a child’s obstacle course on steroids designed by military men that bills itself as “probably the toughest event on the planet.” “Honestly, it’s just that I like the idea of running an obstacle course — it’s just fun, and since I was a little kid, I kind of liked the idea of having to get through this stuff,” said Ostroff, a 26-year-old McGill medical student living in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. “It feels like an army boot camp kind of thing. And an opportunity to be a kid again.” In July, about 8,000 people are expected to sign up to test their strength, stamina and perhaps sanity at the first Montreal Tough Mudder event, taking place at the Bromont airport, one hour’s drive east of the city. Participants will navigate an obstacle course 15 to 20 kilometres long and scale 25 challenges designed by British Special Forces, most often with the help of teammates — entrants are encouraged to enter as part of a team, and about 80 per cent do. They will climb wooden walls, jump fire, receive electric shocks, crawl through fields of mud and immerse themselves in freezing water in challenges with names like Arctic Enema, Fire Walker and Ball Shrinker. At the end, they will be handed an ice cold beer, but they will not be told how long it took them to complete the course, because providing a change from timed marathon-type races is at the heart of the Tough Mudder philosophy. It also was a key selling point Ostroff used to coerce his friends. “None of them wanted to do it, until I explained it wasn’t timed,” he said. “They liked the fact we could just take it easy and didn’t have to sprint the entire race.” The Tough Mudder events are part of a growing phenomenon of adventure-type races offered worldwide with names like Muddy Buddy, Spartan Race and Warrior Dash for those seeking a new brand of challenge. In its second year in 2011, Tough Mudder had 140,000 participants at 14 events. By 2012, it had grown to 35 events, bringing in almost 500,000 participants. This year, 53 events are planned worldwide. The Spartan Race, a similar challenge that has a 20-kilometre event this year at Mont Tremblant on June 30, had 300,000 participants globally last year. Of those, most are corporate types joining with colleagues and “70 per cent of our people just came off the couch,” Spartan co-founder Joe DeSena told The Wall Street Journal. (Doing some training, however, is highly recommended.) When Will Dean presented his idea for Tough Mudder as part of a Harvard Business School contest, he was hoping to attract 500 participants to his inaugural event in 2010, drawn mostly through advertising on Facebook and word of mouth through social media, he told The New York Times. His professors considered that optimistic. The first race drew 4,500 participants to Allentown, Pa., and Dean, a former counterterrorism agent from Britain doing his MBA, discovered a new calling at the age of 29. It has grown into a $70-million company based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Modelled largely on events held in Europe, Dean’s premise was to create a challenge that involved more camaraderie and teamwork than standard marathons, and where participants don’t have to train for months. Participants are also allowed to skip obstacles they find too challenging. The organization takes a certain glee in poking fun at marathon-type races (“Fact # 1,” its website reads: “Marathon running is boring. Fact #2 — Mudders do not take themselves too seriously. Triathlons, marathons, and other lame-ass mud runs are more stressful than fun. Not Tough Mudder.”) The organization has also raised more than $5 million for the Wounded Warrior foundation, which supports injured soldiers. That being said, one does have to be a tough mudder to complete the race, which is why only 78 per cent of participants do so. Given the nature of the event, participants have to pay an extra $15 for insurance on top of the $85 to $180 it costs to register, depending on how soon in advance participants sign up. Spartan Race estimates an average of three people are injured in each of their races, and seven per cent will suffer “light” injuries. A 28-year-old died in April at a Tough Mudder event in West Virginia after leaping into a mud pond and failing to resurface, the first fatality in Tough Mudder’s history. The organization notes it is its only fatality in its three years among 750,000 participants, and the West Virginia event was staffed with more than 75 first aid, ambulance and water-rescue technicians. Ostroff trains five to six times a week at the gym, doing cardio and working on upper body strength, which should help, as might his intended specialty of orthopaedics. He hasn’t done any specific training for Tough Mudder — one day a year of climbing ropes and walking slippery planks over ice pits is enough, he said. He trusts his teammates, some of whom he has known for 20 years, although he’s a little concerned about the one who weighs 240 pounds, since he will have to help boost and lift that mass over wooden walls. His greatest concern is the running aspect of the race. “Honestly, I just hope to have a completely awesome day, as injury-free as possible,” Ostroff said. “I just want to have a great memorable event.” [email protected] Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Tough+Mudder+Fancy+obstacle+course+steroids/8460617/story.html#ixzz2UziJ5r3o