The 2015 edition of the Global Risks report completes a decade of highlighting the most significant long-term risks worldwide, drawing on the perspectives of experts and global decision-makers.
The written word is devalued no more. Michael Gourley, an in-sider with Ontario’s former Conservative government, received $105,000 from Crown-owned Hydro One in an untendered contract, and the only written record of his work is a one-page e-mail. For that price, you might expect T.S. Eliot. But no, there was no “patient etherized upon a table” in this prosaic message. Not unless you count the taxpayer, from whose helpless form all those dollars were removed.
And many more besides. In all, Hydro One, which owns Ontario’s electrical transmission system, paid a handful of Tory insiders $5.6-million in untendered contracts for advice on how to privatize the public utility. The Globe’s Martin Mittelstaedt has now managed to obtain, through freedom-of-information requests, copies of the work that Hydro received in return. For those who care about how public policy is made, these pages offer a cynic’s tour on the inside.
By 2002, Congress was already questioning the expense of maintaining Plum Island as a “Biosafety Level 3 Laboratory,” but suggestions about upgrading it to Level 4 were rankling North Fork residents who feared the upgrade would endanger them.
An upgraded lab would mean the introduction of pathogens involving diseases for which there are no known cures.
The legislative debate eventually led to a 2008 decision to close the Animal Disease Center and sell Plum Island.
In 2009, Manhattan, Kansas, located near a number of other facilities the government uses for research, was selected for the new facility, but with the floundering economy, money wasn’t available for construction.
By 2013, with plans still on the books to decommission Plum Island, the Southold Town Board implemented zoning restrictions that would affect any future uses, including the possibility of a developer putting large houses there or Donald Trump developing a golf resort on the island. Shelter Islander Bill
Travis Engen to chair World Economic Forum Water Initiative — Montreal, Canada, June 5 /PR Newswire UK/ —
Alcan is a multinational, market-driven company and a global leader in aluminum, packaging, and recycling with 2002 revenues of US$12.5 billion. With world-class operations in primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum as well as flexible and specialty packaging, Alcan is well positioned to meet and exceed its customers’ needs for innovative solutions and service. Alcan employs 53,000 people and has operating facilities in 41 countries.
Since 2009, Premier Brad Wall’s government and Saskatchewan agencies have paid more than $3 million to a U.S. law firm to fund an ambitious lobbying onslaught in Washington, D.C., on the long-stalled Keystone pipeline proposal and other energy and trade issues.
The law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough has helped the premier work the halls of Congress, hobnob with the cream of U.S. policy-makers and introduce himself to the American media-government establishment. In some cases, members of the U.S. Congress who met with Wall received political contributions from Nelson Mullins before or after their contact with the premier, according to U.S. government documents.
Canada: Outrage boils over as B.C. government plans to sell groundwater for $2.25 per million litres – Orrazz
Under the old Water Act, Nestlé, like other groundwater users, didn’t need to pay the government anything for water withdrawals. But under the WSA, Nestlé will start paying for the hundreds of millions of litres of groundwater they withdraw, bottle and sell. That rate of $2.25 per million litres — the highest industrial rate in the new price structure — means Nestlé will pay the government $596.25 a year for 265 million litres.
Under the WSA, Nestlé and other groundwater users also will begin paying permit fees. A Nestlé executive said he expects the annual fee for water-bottling companies to be between $1,000 and $10,000.
Pressing Refresh Notes: Start paying? Seriously? The amount of most people’s water bills have continued to rise and these companies get it for next to nothing. The water main in front of my house busts about 3 or four times a year. Towns need to replace these mains. How about these types of companies foot the bill to do this considering the fortunes they are making off of it.
In attempting to solve general hunger problems in the horn of Africa – are we handicapping the countries “food resources” in their ability to naturally overcome harsh weather conditions? Adaptation for all organisms is critical to overall abilities, function, and survival. If we really go forward with the green revolution – we maybe taking natural abilities away from all food sources in the countries, ultimately creating a larger long term problem.
poorest of poor farmers, who are the most likely to face food shortfalls. A more realistic approach would play down imported seeds and commercial agriculture in favor of enhanced traditional approaches to producing food for families and local markets.
The original US$40 billion campaign to provide a million low-cost homes, entitled “For the Sake of Egypt’s Youth”, was initiated last March by the Dubai-listed firm and then field marshal Abdel Fattah El Sisi in the lead up to Egypt’s presidential elections.
The deal, widely seen as a symbol of this country’s commitment to Cairo’s military-backed government, came as UAE aid flowed into Egypt following the ousting of the president Mohammed Morsi.
But what was hailed early on as one of the region’s most ambitious housing projects has been hampered by issues including confusion over funding sources.
The most recent road bump came after the head of the armed forces eengineering corps, general Kamel El-Wazir, seemed to blame Arabtec for the project’s current temporary suspension by not agreeing to certain “national conditions”.
Pressing Refresh Notes: Promises…promises…right before elections. I guess it doesn’t matter where we live in the world. Same old story.
A note which appears to have been prepared for Costas Menegakis, the parliamentary secretary for immigration, says the party’s base will learn as a result that the government spends close to $1 billion a year on those efforts.
The note says the other risk of undertaking such a study is that the government’s relationship with Quebec may surface as an issue.
Pressing Refresh Notes: I wouldn’t mind as much if we could also spend the same amount on new water mains to replace our crumbling ones. Let’s spend money where it is needed most. Maybe real oversight on spending and progress updates on all projects. Proof and transparency.
In a particularly dangerous development, as Aranda notes, Conabia has been selected as a “reference center” for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). In this role Conabia will “provide technical and scientific advice” to the FAO regarding the “biosafety” of GMOs. So now we have people linked to the leading GMO developer companies, Monsanto, Syngenta, and Dow, telling the world’s major food security organization whether GMOs are safe. Perfect!