Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's the economy (Weekend Edition January 30-31, 2010)

The Port of Montreal scales back it's containerization plans, Krugman hails Canada's financials and will Greece be the end of the Euro, some of the items of note from the weekend.

Vancouver Sun-- Chinese companies don’t need Western partners as much as they used to
Vancouver Sun-- Many local employers are unprepared for the impact Games will have on workers
New York Times-- Risky Trading Wasn’t Just on the Fringe at A.I.G.
New York Times-- Good and Boring
New York Times-- China Leading Global Race to Make Clean Energy
USA Today-- Investor fears rise as signs of market correction loom
USA Today-- Exports help U.S. companies climb out of recession
Guardian UK online-- Greek economic crisis worsens with farmers refusing to back down
Guardian UK online-- In banking, the crises may change, but the names remain the same
Guardian UK online-- Commodity funds 'could be next bubble to burst'
Times Online UK-- Greek meltdown shows fragility of the recovery
Times Online UK-- Half of new jobs are created by the state
Telegraph UK online-- Should Germany bail out Club Med or leave the euro altogether?
Telegraph UK online-- A weakening recovery poses the real threat of a double-dip recession
Telegraph UK online-- Bring back Glass-Steagall and let investment banks gamble and fail
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Mixed outlook on profits
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Aussie ramps it up
Brisbane Times-- Signs from Shanghai
Brisbane Times-- Lean times over, fat profits a while off yet
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- Australian charity funds hit in global financial crisis
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- Aussies struggle to foot mortgage bill
People's Daily on line-- BoCom report: China to enter upward growth period in 2010
People's Daily on line-- Massive recall likely to undermine Chinese consumers' trust in Toyota brand
China Daily-- China offers business opportunities for US companies: US expert
China Daily-- China brings breeze of hope to grim world economic landscape
Times of India-- Tata Motors delivers over 17,000 units of Nano
Times of India-- Market rates for fertilizers?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Friday, January 29, 2010)

A look at the concerns of the city's youth, staying the course on fish farm moratoriums and the city's hotel owners are feeling a little price gouged by the City of Prince Rupert, some of the items of note for Friday's news cycle.

Daily News, front page, headline story
HOY SIS TS'AL... STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN UNIQUE PROJECT -- Some background on a multi media art installation project from the combined forces of the city's two high schools. The project known as "Putting on a Face" or "Hoy sis ts'al" was created by 20 local students who examined some of the social issues in the community that were of concern to them. Their finished work is on display at the Pacific coast School on 2nd Avenue West.

There will be no expansion of fish farms in the province, until the Federal Government assesses the state of the fishery on the West coast under its recently expanded mandate of control of the aquaculture industry on the coast. DFO will now be taking control of the regulation of the industry which until recent times was under the direction of the provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. The move to keep on with the moratorium was greeted as good news by Joy Thorkelson, of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union, though she has concerns as to how long that moratorium will remain in place.

An update on the city's missing time capsule outlines that with the clock ticking down to March 10th, the search for the capusle has yet to unearth the mementos of the past, despite the best efforts of a UBC doctorate student who has been on the quest over the last week, a search that even included a tip from a psychic all to no avail..

More previews of the upcoming BC northern winter games, a look at the curling scene and a preview of this weekends basketball showcase at PRSS which will feature the Rainmakers senior squad taking on a team from Ketchikan, Alaska on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, Ketchikan also has a game set with Charles Hays on Monday afternoon at 2 pm.

(Archive for Daily News Articles for January 28, 2010 )

The Northern View
Prince Rupert hoteliers take City to task over cost of doing business -- A number of the city's hotel are expressing their concerns at the city's process for charging sewer rates on their establishments, a cost that the owners suggest is a fair amount more costly than other northwest communities (
see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Power Line Review About to Begin -- A brief synopsis of the move towards the construction of the Northwest Transmission Line, a process now underway as B-C Transmission Corporation formally began the quest for an environmental review on the proposed project.(see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Mixed Emotions about Olympic Flame in Kitimat, says Monaghan -- As the Olympic torch relay makes its way towards the Northwest on Monday, the Mayor of Kitimat outlines the atmosphere in her city as the residents come to terms with the pending closure of the Eurocan pulp mill (see article here)

Queen Charlotte Islands Observer
All native tournament starts Feb. 14 -- Teams from Haida Gwaii are putting in their final practices and working out their travel details as Prince Rupert's All Native Basketball Tournament gets closer to the start date of February 14th (see article here)

CBC News Northern British Columbia, Daybreak North
The return of local content on the CBC website continues to experience delays as technical woes appear to be continuing. The CBC has once again revised their start up date for the new service, advising that the site will launch "shortly".

Daily News, front page, headline story
Hoy sis ts’al... students participate in unique project
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Friday, January 29, 2010

In age of social networking programs on the Internet, the power of teenaged relationships has become a subject of much attention.

In Prince Rupert, two local high schools teamed up for a project that delved into the way teens relate to one another and the challenges often associated with growing up. What came out was a mutli-media art installation project called “Putting on a Face” or “Hoy sis ts’al” which is currently on display at Pacific Coast School.

The project was designed by the McCreary Centre Society’s Aboriginal Next Steps. The ANS started in 2008 and was developed as a response to research that suggested that even though there are a number of serious health issues that face Aboriginal youth living in communities throughout B.C. there are many aboriginal young people making healthy choices and taking less health risks than they were a
decade ago.

The initial planning for the project was taken on by a group that included Charles Hays Secondary School teachers, Pacific Coast School and Aboriginal Education. Carla Rourke and Sandra Carlick along with Miguel Borges, worked with Debbie Leighton Stephens, Tanis Calder, Steve Riley, and Sandy Jones and collaborated with Provincial Coordinator Sherry Simon.

Anne Smythe and Tiana Albert worked on the grant proposal under Rourke’s guidance.
In all, 20 students were encouraged to sign up for the program that would run two days. The students chosen were not neccessarily considered “model students” but were considered to be willing to take on a project of this kind.

“Putting on a Face was about people pretending to be something that they are not and exploring the superficial qualities of our society, of friendship and the lack of honesty we sometimes seem to be faced with,” explained Rourke.

“The underpinning of the project was not to dwell on what is happening, but to focus on the change that can happen.”

Working with McCreary facilitators Hari Alluri and Nadia Chaney, the students were engaged in team building exercises as well as idea mapping to decide what they wanted their installation theme to be about.
The students were asked to formalize three themes around relationships they felt were prevalent in Prince Rupert and after some discussion, the students decided upon substance abuse, harassment and bullying as major issues facing teenagers in Prince Rupert.

While the themes may not seem surprising, what impressed Rourke the most was that the kids were able to pick a medium they loved and felt comfortable with and were able to use that to evoke their message on the power of relationships, be they positive or negative.

“I think it is crucial to focus on the positive. We had a lot of exercises on trust and a lot of working on expressing their feelings. It was about moving towards their goals,’ said Rourke.

Because it was a multi-media installation, students were able to choose from photography to literary might or drawings, with students having the option to expand. What came out of it was a media-induced explosion of ideas. In fact, the students found the photography so enticing they shot 400 frames. This was too much for the purposes of the project and students were asked to edit that number down to 100 pics.

The Daily News has provided a couple of poems here, but there were many more written that provided the student’s point of view of how the themes affected them personally or how the themes skewed their perception of Teenaged Prince Rupert.

Eric Ridley’s poem on friendship plays up on the themes that relationships have an important positive relevance to growing up.

“Friendship is good you get to meet new people that
you don’t know or never seen before or someone new
to this place.”

In a different vain, Anne Smyth discovered that there is a magnetic sense between friends that borders on dependency, whether that be seen as a positive or negative.

The ONE > CRB <

The door open`s i see his beautiful face,
that feel`s like i haven`t seen for awhile.
He smiles my favourite smile,give`s me his
heartful hug that i`ve been hurting to feel.
The need of his touch.
He speak`s to me,it make`s my heart
race,my head feels much better.
He keeps that smile on my face.
If he`s gone for a lil bit ,i`ll go insane.
He`s the only one who keeps me sane.

Smythe sees herself at crossroads right now. She’s 19 and about to graduate from CHSS. She is either going to enter culinary school in Terrace or begin training as a youth worker at a college in Nanaimo.

If she goes the latter route, the project will have given her an indication of how she’ll be able to work with youth.

“One thing we learned is that you can’t really force people together and if you don’t agree then at least we could put with one another,” she explained.

Friend and classmate Jade Doolan, 19, is also graduating this June. He said the themes seemed to point friendship and how that eventually plays itself out during the teenage years of 13 to 18.

“When friendship comes into the picture it leads to choices. Those choices seem to be based on peer pressure and the person you are dealing with,” said Doolan.

Both kids said they would recommend the project. Rourke added that any student who was with the original group would be asked to come back in 2010-11 to help facilitate the next group.

Hockey Day in Canada, where the play is the thing

Stratford shakes off its theatrical robes for a day, pulls on a favourite hockey sweater and welcomes another Canadian passion to its stage, the 10th annual edition of what is now known as Tim Horton's Hockey Day in Canada.

While the adults warm up with a cup of the main sponsor's most famous beverage, a number of Stratford and area's minor hockey participants will be involved in a wide variety of events to help in the celebrations of national game.

Stratford, the host of this years festivities will serve as the main stage for the day, but there are many activities planned across the nation, with the CBC featuring live streaming coverage from such communities as St John's, Newfoundland, Ottawa, Ontario (from the Rideau Canal), Gimli, Manitoba, Auburn Bay, Alberta, Estevan, Saskatchewan and Victoria, BC.

The television proceedings get underway at noon eastern time, 9 am Pacific on the full CBC network. They will check in on all of their venues throughout the day, all part of the triple header of all Canadian action on the ice from Canada's NHL arenas.

The Montreal Candiens take on the Ottawa Senators as the two clubs kick off the NHL action at 2pm ET (11 am PT) from Scotiabank Place in the capital.

The Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs pick up the middle shift on Hockey Day, as the Canucks begin their Olympic games required marathon road trip at the Air Canada Centre at 7 pm ET (4 PM PT).

The Canucks may find one of the features of the day of interest, as Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean offers up some tips for future referees, hosting a clinic in Stratford ( his lesson on interpretive lip reading is apparently quite helpful)

The nightcap for the day takes place at 10 PM ET (7 PM PT) as the Battle of Alberta begins anew as the Oilers take on the Flames at the Saddledome.

You can check out all of the events of the day from the CBC's Hockey Day in Canada website where all of the Hockey Day in Canada happenings are listed and streaming video options are available.
Item above is from the HockeyNation blog

The Olympic torch relay heads down Highway 16, bound for Prince Rupert

The Olympic torch run, now in its homestretch for the Vancouver games began its travels down Highway 16 on Friday, stopping in Prince George with a rendez vous in Prince Rupert set for Monday.
Friday's Olympic torch celebrations took place at the Prince George Exhibition Park grounds with a Prince George High School student and alpine skier taking the final steps prior to the lighting of the cauldron in Prince George, climbing the stairs in front of an estimated 5 to 6,000 residents there to capture the moment...

Prior to the lighting of the cauldron, a variety of community members provided for the evenings entertainment, while a video presentation outlined Prince George's attachment to winter and sports.

Some of the details of the night in Prince George are found below:

Prince George Citizen-- Olympic flame lights up the night

Not everyone however was in attendance to celebrate the Olympics, there were two protests during the evening, as a wide range of topics were addressed by protesters from pending school closures to First Nations land claims, housing concerns and other social issues, those two protests attracted a combined total of about 100 participants.

The torch relay continues on in Prince George on Saturday morning, then makes the trek towards the west, with stops set for Kitimat, Terrace and Prince Rupert on Monday. The Prince Rupert civic celebration is planned for 445 pm downtown at City Hall, with a number of events planned to coincide with the arrival of the torch in the city which is anticipated to be at 6pm.

The route of the Prince Rupert relay will be down McBride from the Civic Centre to 1st Avenue West, past the Museum of Northern BC, up 2nd Street to 2nd Avenue West, along 2nd Avenue West to 7th Street and then eastbound on 3rd Avenue West until the torch reaches City Hall. (click on map above for expanded route description)

Fireworks at City Hall will bring the night to an end at 7 pm.

The torch next appears in Bella Bella bright and early on Tuesday, February 2nd as it continues its journey towards Vancouver and the Opening Ceremonies on February 12th.

More details on the torch relay can be found on the relay site, the City of Prince Rupert website also has information on the planned Civic Celebration for February 1st..

Friday, January 29, 2010

It's the economy (January 29, 2010)

The Presidents job plans, the last picture show at Miramax and an Australian view of the potash scraps, some of the items of note for Friday.

Globe and Mail-- Battle to unlock the housing market
Globe and Mail-- Economies on the rebound
Globe and Mail-- Corus closing 2 Montreal AM stations
National Post-- Noise limit could kill Mackenzie pipeline, Imperial says
National Post-- Signs of recovery starting to sway the skeptical
National Post-- Job prospects still more down than up
Vancouver Sun-- BC Hydro customers brace for ‘rate shock’
Vancouver Sun-- Chinese buy a stake in Vancouver Island pulp mill
New York Times-- Obama Outlines Plan to Increase Employment
New York Times-- Economy Grew at Vigorous Pace in Last Quarter
New York Times-- March of the Peacocks
USA Today-- Regulators shut 6 more banks for a total of 15 failures in 2010
USA Today-- Toyota sends new gas pedals to factories
USA Today-- Payback time: Is Toyota being punished by Obama, Congress and Detroit?
Guardian UK online-- Cameron suggests immediate Tory spending cuts would be modest
Guardian UK online-- Darling tells bankers: 'Don't feel sorry for yourselves'
Guardian UK online-- Last reel for Miramax as Disney closes studio
Times Online UK-- Greece berates the speculators for using it as a ‘weak link’ in attack on eurozone
Times Online UK-- Davos: China defends currency against Western sniping
Telegraph UK online-- Capitalism has forgotten to share the wealth
Telegraph UK online-- The year James Cameron helped Davos learn to laugh at itself
Telegraph UK online-- Greece is the word that should strike fear into all those who love the euro
Melbourne Herald Sun-- BHP approves $2b iron ore expansion
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Commonwealth bank of Australia forced to reduce share in insurance venture as government tightens investment controls
Brisbane Times-- BHP's hardball tactics could rebound
Brisbane Times-- Potash plan risky, says competitor
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- World leaders keep up onslaught on bankers at Davos
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- BHP approves $2bn iron ore expansion
People's Daily on line-- Jilin identifies six priorities for continued growth in 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Getting ready to rumble in the potash patch

BHP doesn't walk on water,” -- William Doyle the President and CEO of Canada's Potash Corporation, responding to the pending challenge of Australia's BHP Billiton's arrival on Saskatchewan soil.

Rupertites looking for signs of Canpotex's intentions towards our gateway to Asia may have to wait a fair bit longer, as financial disappointments and competing interests take up a good portion of the potash corporations time these days.

In fact for those seeking more details on the state of the industry these days, a quick trip to the business pages of the nations major papers provides us with a ring side seat for what is shaping up to be a pretty interesting bit of competition in the potash world.

As we outlined on the blog yesterday, BHP Billiton the international mega company has jumped into Saskatchewan with ambitious intentions, seeking to develop a project that could change the dynamic of the potash industry in the nation.

It's a move that today was greeted with a bit of derision by the current leader in potash in Canada the Potash Corporation, of which Canpotex is a major participant.

William Doyle, the President and CEO of Potash Corporation, outlined his thoughts on the arrival of BHP Billiton for the Globe and Mail on Thursday, suggesting that his company isn't feeling threatened, nor pressured by the arrival in it's backyard of the world's largest mining corporation.

Doyle provided the kind of quotes that end up on corporate bulletin boards, as he traced back some of the history of the fertilizer business and the Johnny-come-latelies that arrive on the scene and then depart from it as soon as the going gets tough.

“They ended up losing billions of dollars and they got out of the business just as fast as they got in. A study of this history might be a worthwhile exercise for companies with no fertilizer expertise”

“I am fully confident we will be able to compete against them, or anyone else who decides they might want to enter this space. No one should take us for granted. We can be very tough when we need to be.”

His observations continued on for the National Post, where he was left scratching his head at the sudden burst of economic interest by BHP Billiton, a company that Doyle believes is simply trying to drive down the price of potash in order to buy up rival companies. A theory that has been outlined before with rumours and now instances of a potential Billiton buying spree of major potash producers.

Doyle's tone seems to be setting the stage for a rather vigorous competitive round of development in Saskatchewan, with an impact that could be felt at British Columbia's ports perhaps even in Prince Rupert.

However, before they get to dropping the gloves, Potash Corporation has some internal problems of its own to tend to, the fourth quarter of 2009 provided more disappointing returns for the company, with it's profit down 69 per cent for that quarter.

And while the company earned $987.8-million or $3.25 per share in 2009, which was the third-highest profit in company history, it was still less than one-third the record set in 2008, those halcyon days of potash when there were record profits to be had in the fertilizer business.

How those financial figures, combined with the sudden competition right on the door step factor into the plans of Canpotex could dictate more than anything else what their plans for the Port of Prince Rupert may be in the future.

If BHP Billiton does indeed drive down the price of potash with its production, that could have a major effect on Canpotex's future shipment requirements and financial investment plans. Not to mention leave the Australians looking for a way to move their product out of British Columbia.

Clearly with a new player on the scene in BHP Billiton, there may still be something to talk about around town when it comes to potash and how its going to get to its far off markets of Asia.

Podunk Below the Masthead (Thursday, January 28, 2010)

The car that got away, the All Native basketball tournament seeks a break from the city and the start of the power process for the Northern Transmission Line, some of the items of note for Thursday.

Daily News, Front page, headline story
ACROSS THE ROAD, DOWN THE BANK, AND 'UP THE CREEK' -- The tale of the car that drove off on its own, as a worker at the Canadian Fish Company plant on George Hills Way watched as his car took off, went across the road and into the last stages of Hays Creek. The recovery effort required the use of three Prince Rupert tow trucks to pull the vehicle back up the embankment and out of the creek.

With the release of the 2009 shipping numbers out of the Fairview Container Terminal, many locals are once again wondering if a third vessel call is on the horizon.

The 51st annual All Native Basketball Tournament is set for February 14-20 and tournament organizers appeared in front of City Council on Monday night, seeking a break on the rent at the Civic Centre. With the tournament recording a loss of 49,985.89 in 2009, tournament organizers are looking for ways to bring down their overhead expenses which have increased over the last few years, otherwise they fear that the future of the tournament could be at risk.

The Sports section begins its preview of the upcoming Northern BC Winter Games with a look at such sports as Archery, Badminton, Hockey, Practical Shooting and Wrestling.

(Archive for Daily News Articles for January 28, 2010 )

The Northern View
Power line submitted for approval -- Details of the application made by the B.C. Transmission Corporation to the provincial Environmental Assessment Office, beginning the process for the Northern Transmission Power line (see article here).

CFTK TV 7 News
Former Nisga'a Exec. Pleads Guilty -- A former president of the Terrace Nisga'a Society enters a guilty plea to charges of breach of trust of a public official, as Charles McKay receives a nine month conditional sentence (see article here)

Powerline Review Starts Soon -- More background on the Northern Transmission Power line developments of Thursday (see article here)

CBC News Northern British Columbia, Daybreak North
The return of local content on the CBC website continues to experience delays as technical woes appear to be continuing. The CBC has once again revised their start up date for the new service, advising that the site will launch "shortly".

Daily News, front page, headline story
Across the road, down the bank and ‘up the creek’...
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fred Stewart is counting his lucky blessings today after his Pontiac Grand Am careened into Hays Creek last night.

Stewart was performing a routine gate closing at the Canadian Fish Company plant on George Hills Way when he says his silver sedan began to crawl across the road.

To say the least, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

“It boggles my mind. It was like it had a mind of its own,” commented Stewart.

Stewart explained that the steering wheel is usually locked when it’s in park and so he had come to rely on that as a tell tale sign that his car is safely parked before he shuts the gate for the night.

However, this time was different – with tragic consequences for the car.

“I went to go for the gate and the next thing I know, there it was - moving across George Hills,” explained Stewart.

The road is usually busy with commuters making their way home to the east side of town, so it was good luck that Stewart’s car didn’t smack into one of the passing vehicles. He also normally has his two grandchildren in the car. And so the fact that no one was hurt was something Stewart felt grateful for.

According to Stewart, several of the passing vehicles slowed down to make room for the car as it made its way to the creek.

Stewart said he tried his best to get into the car and hit the brake, but by the time he realized what was going on the car was already going over the bank and toward the water.

After the crash, many cars pulled over and parked to have a better view as a three-vehicle tow truck crew worked on getting it out.

Stewart had owned the car for four years and recently installed a new starter. He said the car rarely gave him much trouble.

Was he angry, disappointed or sad that he lost his car to the creek? Stewart kept it in perspective. “Hey, it’s only a car,” he said.

City Council scoresheet for January 25, 2010

The Wednesday, January 27 edition of the Daily News featured their regular scorecard on city council issues, this one featuring the deliberations and votes from selected items of the January 25 session.
This weeks feature appeared on page three of the Wednesday edition, all members of council were present and accounted for .

Question One: Council approved to give community enhancement grants to nine groups in 2010 that would reflect a 25 percent decrease in the levels they received for 2009. The groups are Civic Pride, Growing Space Society, Halloween Festival, National Aboriginal Day, Navy League of Canada, Prince Rupert Arts Council, Special Event Society - Civic Centre, Special Event Society - Operating Grant and the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre .
How council voted:

Mayor Jack Mussallem-- Yes
Councillor Anna Ashley-- Yes
Councillor Kathy Bedard-- Yes
Councillor Nelson Kinney-- Yes
Councillor Gina Garon-- Yes
Councillor Sheila Gordon-Payne-- No
Councillor Joy Thorkelson-- Yes

Question Two: The City has declared January Alzheimer Awareness Month in the City of Prince Rupert, responding to a request from the Alzheimer Society of B. C.

How council voted:

Mayor Jack Mussallem-- Yes
Councillor Anna Ashley-- Yes
Councillor Kathy Bedard-- Yes
Councillor Nelson Kinney-- Yes
Councillor Gina Garon-- Yes
Councillor Sheila Gordon-Payne-- Yes
Councillor Joy Thorkelson-- Yes

Question Three: The City has declared February as Heart Month in the City of Prince Rupert, responding to a request from the Heart and Stroke Foundation .

How council voted:

Mayor Jack Mussallem-- Yes
Councillor Anna Ashley-- Yes
Councillor Kathy Bedard-- Yes
Councillor Nelson Kinney-- Yes
Councillor Gina Garon-- Yes
Councillor Sheila Gordon-Payne-- Yes
Councillor Joy Thorkelson-- Yes

Question Four: The roadway by the Prince Rupert CN/Via Station is renamed Bill Murray Drive because it is a logical extension of the existing Bill Murray Way.

How council voted:

Mayor Jack Mussallem-- Yes
Councillor Anna Ashley-- Yes
Councillor Kathy Bedard-- Yes
Councillor Nelson Kinney-- Yes
Councillor Gina Garon-- Yes
Councillor Sheila Gordon-Payne-- Yes
Councillor Joy Thorkelson-- Yes

City Hall Tracker January 25, 2010

More community funding issues, Citizenship awards and a request for assistance from the All Native Basketball Tournament highlighted the second meeting for January of City council.

January 25, 2010

Notice of Closed Meeting for January 25
Agenda for the Committee of the whole for January 25
Regular Council Agenda for January 25
Notice of Zoning Bylaw Amendment

City Council session for January 25, 2010:

In Attendance:

Mayor Jack Mussallem
Councillor Kathy Bedard
Councillor Anna Ashley
Councillor Gina Garon
Councillor Sheila Gordon-Payne
Councillor Nelson Kinney
Councillor Joy Thorkelson

Absent from Council:


Minutes for January 25, 2010

It's the economy (January 28, 2010)

Are we ready for a potash rumble? , Bernanke's back but some have hesitations, and will the money flow out of Greece, some of the items of note for Wednesday.

Globe and Mail-- Greece's financial woes threaten EU stability
Globe and Mail-- Potash Corp. profit plunges
Globe and Mail-- Potash Corp. unfazed by BHP threat
National Post-- Toyota finds a fix
National Post-- BHP puts squeeze on rivals: Doyle
National Post-- Terence Corcoran: The loopy Obama-Sarkozy axis of trade
Vancouver Sun-- Western Forest Products puts southern Vancouver Island lands up for sale
Vancouver Sun-- B.C. puts moratorium on finfish aquaculture licences
New York Times-- Senate, Weakly, Backs New Term for Bernanke
New York Times-- Europe Weighs Possibility of Debt Default in Greece
New York Times-- Obama Sets Ambitious Export Goal
USA Today-- Bernanke to remain as Fed chief
USA Today-- Stocks fall sharply on concerns about the economy
USA Today-- Wal-Mart reorganizes U.S. operations to help spur growth
Guardian UK online-- No EU bailout for Greece as PM promises to 'put house in order'
Guardian UK online-- UK banks downgraded by credit rating agency
Guardian UK online-- Ben Bernanke given second term at Federal Reserve
Times Online UK-- ‘Major threat’ of the dollar trade
Times Online UK-- Davos: Greece denies going cap in hand to Europe
Telegraph UK online-- Sarkozy wants to know if the shareholder is the only person who matters in capitalism?
Telegraph UK online-- Davos 2010: George Soros warns gold is now the 'ultimate bubble'
Telegraph UK online-- Funds flee Greece as Germany warns of "fatal" eurozone crisis
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Likely to be 25 points or pause
Melbourne Herald Sun-- MMG claims Henry tax plans could kill mining wealth
Brisbane Times-- Cudeco and the dog are learning to chill
Brisbane Times-- Impetus for takeovers is partly hubris
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- Rolls-Royce wins share of Jetstar aircraft order
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- Plan to boost ASIC's powers over crooks
People's Daily on line-- China's CSG Holding forecasts soaring profits for 2009
People's Daily on line-- ARATS chief vows to maximize cross-Strait economic co-op
China Daily-- Chinese investors remain bullish about property
China Daily-- China lottery ticket sales reach $11b in 2009
Times of India-- Toyota: No impact on India ops
Times of India-- Indian readies Kindle rival

Santa isn't the only one who gets a wish list!

With both the provincial and federal governments working out the final details on their respective budgets, an umbrella group of northern industrial and government leaders have put together their wish list for consideration by the two levels of government.

Nine signatures, including that of Port of Prince Rupert chair Don Krusel were attached to the pre budget submission and Prince Rupert was featured prominently in a couple of the key recommendations in a report issued through the offices of Initiatives Prince George on Wednesday.

While the majority of the points to ponder involve items high on the list of Prince George officials, it's not a surprise that among the requests for funding from the federal and provincial governments, the phase two development of the Port of Prince Rupert was one of the key items on the submission list.

The submission overview provided some background on the ports efforts and success thus far and then made it's pitch for consideration at budget time:

Plans are underway for the second phase of the port development and the development of a bulk, general cargo, and automobile terminal as well as logistics capabilities. The key to realizing this nearly $3 Billion in private sector development is a $300 million investment in common-user infrastructure to unlock the laden potential of the Port of Prince Rupert and enable this investment. Thus far, the Prince Rupert Port Authority has been unable to subscribe to the same Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor investments that have been made in the Vancouver gateway.
Given the strategic current and future role of the Fairview Container Port at Prince Rupert to the economy of Northern British Columbia, Western Canada, and US Heartland markets, the federal government should provide funding assistance for the private/public Prince Rupert Port expansion in the forthcoming federal budget.

Further fibre optic connectivity also featured a Prince Rupert link, with the port again featured as one of the selling points for increased federal and provincial cooperation and financial assistance.

Investments in redundant fibre optics must be made in Northern BC to provide back-up in the event of a breach in existing fibre lines and to enable high-tech, high-value, and high-wage job creation in Northern British Columbia. The technological requirements of the growing northern transportation corridor, coupled with the potential for additional high-tech economic activity (i.e. high tech data centres) underscores the need for an additional fibre optic loop for the Port of Prince Rupert and the Prince George transportation hub through Northeast British Columbia to Edmonton, Alberta.

The federal government should give priority to working with the Government of British Columbia and private sector telecommunications firms to address the need for fibre redundancy in Northern British Columbia, particularly at the key transportation nodes of Prince George and Prince Rupert.

Some other key items of interest for the North coast included:

That the federal and provincial governments engage in community level consultation to ensure that all current and future infrastructure investments are actively promoting and encouraging realistic and long term Aboriginal participation in the workforce.

That the federal and provincial governments consider targeted investments in educational institutions that have a proven track record of delivering services to Aboriginal individuals and communities.

There was also a request for clean power initiatives and a more innovative approach to NavCanada funding at local airports across Northern BC.

The full submission of the groups requests can be found from the Initiatives Prince George website.
Government officials will have about a month or so to look over the submitted items and do the number crunching to see if they can fit them into the financial overview for 2010. The provincial governments budget will be delivered on March 2nd while the Federal version of the financial blue print comes out on March 4th.

We've come a long way from the etch a sketch

In the past, there have only been two previous tablets of similar nature, that have attracted as much attention as Wednesday's Ipad launch announcement from Apple.

There was the etch a sketch, a sixites pop culture reference that delighted many with endless hours of creativity on a grey scale screen drawing lines and making for much in the way of creativity.

And of course there was a fellow named Moses, who wandered down a mountain once upon a time with ten (fifteen if you believe Mel Brooks) rules for civilization to follow held on two stone tablets.

Yesterday, Steve Jobs provided the trifecta of tablet envy, with the introduction of the latest toy for the technologically curious.


The iPad, which appears at first glance to be a seemingly giant iTouch is already being heralded by the newspaper and magazine industry as its salvation (a testimony more to the trouble those industries are in at the moment than to any technologically advancement), with trend observers suggesting that soon we'll all be huddled around one of the screens seeking our daily input of information and entertainment.

As with any release from Apple, the Internet chat lines and forums quickly filled up with passionate debate as to the merits of the new creation, with quite a few praising such qualities as the speed of the processing to the price point of the initial models.

Others found the integration of the Ipad with other apple features found on the iStore as a definite selling feature.

There were a few complaints as well mind you, the lack of flash media abilities was considered a downside as was the lack of an SD slot for easy transference of photos and video as well as the inability to access more than one application at a time.

Still, the buzz has been building for the week and with its release yesterday the marketing assault will no doubt be set to go. If nothing else, Apple is by far the marketing leader when it comes to creating momentum for their product lines and the development of the culture of I want that.

What remains to be seen is if an Apple user already comfortable with their Mac or the laptops, not to mention the now ubiquitous iTouch or iPhone is going to find a use for the iPad that their current inventory of Apple products can't do.

Considering the success that Apple has in creating markets for its products and turning them into must have items, we imagine it won't be too long before we find that iPads are popping up around us, offering any number of changes to the way we look at information delivery and gathering.

Until it develops a niche market for itself, or one evolves for it, one wonders if for now, the the Ipad much like the etch a sketch of old, isn't more of a novelty than must have addition to your personal technological arsenal.

Some of the feedback from today's launch from both sides of the debate:

San Francisco Chronicle -- Is the iPad a Game Changer?

Podunk Below the Masthead (Wednesday, January 27, 2010)

More background on the Ports latest report, the city cuts back on more community group funding and the latest tales of crime from the files of the RCMP, some of the items of note for Wednesday.

Daily News, front page, headline story
PRINCE RUPERT PORT REACHES 12-YEAR HIGH CARGO VOLUME IN 2009 -- The Daily joins in on the positive reviews of the Port of Prince Rupert's throughput report for 2009, as we outlined on the blog yesterday, the Port has continued to see growth in shipments through the Fairview terminal while other ports on the North American west coast continue to find reduced numbers due to the ongoing recession.

Local crab association members find some support from Regional District on their wishes when it comes to the implementation of a Pacific North Coast Integrated management Area.

The flash mob event of Saturday put on by members of the Grade Nine/Ten Drama class at PRSS gains more recognition as the Daily recounts the string of performances that took place around the downtown area on Saturday morning. Our Podunkian portal featured details of the event yesterday, including video footage of the event as it traveled through the downtown core.

The regular report on the City Council voting patterns is provided on page three, highlighting a few of the motions tackled by council at their Monday meeting.

The Sports section features a look at Midget A Hockey and keeps readers up to date on the progress of the CIHL playoffs, of which the Prince Rupert Rampage were eliminated from on the weekend.

(Archive for Daily News Articles for January 27, 2010)

The Northern View
City of Prince Rupert cuts grants to community groups by 25 per cent -- More cuts for community groups as the City of Prince Rupert announces a string of budget reductions of 25 per cent for a number of local groups around the city. (see article here)

The Northern View
Man hospitalized after two on one assault -- Details of the weekly crime report from the Prince Rupert detachment of the RCMP (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Lekstrom Insists Power Line a Go -- The signs seem to indicate that the Northern Transmission Line project is but a few weeks away from officially getting a launch, CFTK has a bit of background on where the project is at the moment and how its set to progress (see article here)

CBC News Northern British Columbia, Daybreak North
The return of local content on the CBC website continues to experience delays as technical woes appear to be continuing. The CBC has once again revised their start up date for the new service, advising that the site will launch "shortly".

Daily News, front page, headline story
Prince Rupert port reaches 12-year high cargo volume in 2009
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Prince Rupert’s container terminal continues to show itself as the immovable object against the unstoppable force of economic recession.

In its year-end report, the Prince Rupert Port Authority continued to a see an increase in business in 2009, even when other ports were lagging behind the world export markets.

Maher Terminals, the operators out on the Fairview Container Terminal, moved 265,259 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) in 2009 – which is a 45.9 per cent increase over 2008 - despite the global economic downturn that has resulted in declining container traffic through other North American west coast ports.
PRPA president and CEO Don Krusel was very pleased with the results.

“We are confident that the Port of Prince Rupert and our partners, including CN, Maher Terminals, longshore workers and the shipping lines, have demonstrated the competitive advantages of the Port of Prince Rupert as a gateway for transpacific container trade,” said Krusel in a release.

“Our continued growth reflects the increasing confidence and satisfaction of our customers with the quality of service they are receiving through the Prince Rupert Gateway.”

In what was a topsy-turvy year for Prince Rupert Grain Inc. the company’s volumes increased by 35.1 per cent, to 5,080,834 tonnes - the terminal’s highest throughput since 1994.

The numbers came in after the sudden departure of long time PRG president Jeff Burghardt.

Ridley Terminals Inc. experienced a surge in coal volumes in the second half of 2009, following a weak first half, to push total traffic to 4,159,679 tonnes. This was down 14.2 per cent for the year compared to 2008.

While overall metallurgical and thermal coal volumes declined 30.9 per cent due to weak global demand, this was significantly offset by strong increases in coking coal (110.5 per cent), petroleum coke (46.4 per cent) and wood pellets (108.7 per cent).

The Port of Prince Rupert also experienced increased cargo volumes for logs (79.6 per cent) and wax (30.8 per cent).

In the cruise business, passenger traffic was down 46.8 per cent as a result of the loss of a weekly cruise vessel port of call in 2009. Prince Rupert welcomed 55,097 guests from 31 cruise vessel visits last year, compared to 103,630 on 63 ships in 2008, the port’s best year since becoming an Alaska cruise port of call in 2004.
Despite this decline in cruise ship traffic, Prince Rupert continues to improve its cruise tourism capabilities to support future growth of the sector.

Looking ahead in 2010, Krusel said the port remains focused on growing container volumes and furthering the progress of the Phase 2 expansion of the Fairview Container Terminal.

A second priority is the development of the Ridley Industrial Park to accommodate new terminal and logistic services development to support the expansion of the Port of Prince Rupert.

“We have not only created a new trade corridor for trans-pacific container trade, but also have drawn the attention of the shipping world and opened the door to a multitude of new investment and development opportunities.”