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No Windies player in ICC squads

first_imgDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC): Not a single West Indies player has made it into the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test or one-day international team-of-the-year for 2015. Players from five nations comprise the Test side while those from seven nations make up the one-day side, but no player from the Caribbean has found favour with the selection panel headed by legendary former India spinner, Anil Kumble. West Indies languish at number eight in the ICC Test rankings and number nine in the ODI tables. Significantly also, there are no West Indies players in the top 10 of either the Test or ODI player batting rankings. Discarded veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul is the highest ranked West Indies Test batsman at 14th, while fast bowler Kemar Roach lies 15th in the bowling rankings. In ODIs, West Indies batsmen do not feature inside the top 30, with stroke-maker Marlon Samuels the highest ranked at 33rd. Ironically, off-spinner Sunil Narine tops the ODI bowling rankings, but was on Sunday banned from bowling by the ICC because of an illegal action. Kumble said selecting the 12-man squad had been a difficult task for the panel. “Team selection is one of the toughest jobs, and when you have a large pool of outstanding players to select from in a 12-month period then it becomes even more difficult,” he said. “Testament to the quality of cricket played is the calibre of players to have missed out on selection. While selecting these squads, the selectors considered various combinations and took into account several factors in overall performances.” England’s Alistair Cook leads the Test team that includes teammate and world number one batsman Joe Root, Australia’s David Warner and prolific New Zealander Kane Williamson. Three Pakistanis – batsman Younis Khan, wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed and leg-spinner Yasir Shah – were also included. The one-day line-up, meanwhile, is captained by South Africa’s AB de Villiers, who has made the squad for the fourth time in five years and joins fellow countrymen Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir as the three Proteas players in the side. Bangladesh’s 20-year-old left-arm pace bowler, Mustafizur Rahman, was named in the squad, becoming the first ever player from that country to be selected in an ICC one-day team-of-the-year.last_img read more

Alford to sit 3 UCLA players reportedly involved in shoplifting in China

first_imgOSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson FILE – At left, in a March 10, 2016, file photo, Aransas Pass high school basketball player Jalen Hill is shown during a state semifinal basketball game in San Antonio. At center, in a Jan. 16, 2017, file photo, Sierra Canyon’s Cody Riley is shown during a high school basketball game in Springfield, Mass. At right, in a Nov. 20, 2016, file photo, LiAngelo Ball is shown in Los Angeles. Citing a person close to the situation, the Los Angeles Times reported that UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were involved in a shoplifting incident in China. UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford will sit the three players for Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai. (AP Photo/File)BEIJING — UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford will sit the three players reportedly involved in a shoplifting incident in China for Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai.Alford, however, declined to address the issue further.ADVERTISEMENT Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene MOST READ Halladay was flying plane low, witnesses tell safety board Georgia Tech said its players who were questioned were to rejoin the team and resume their scheduled activities.The teams are playing at Baoshan Arena in the annual Pac-12 China game, in which a conference school plays another American opponent as part of the league’s global initiative.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Scott did not elaborate on what occurred and said the league was directing all inquiries about the specifics of the matter to UCLA.“We are very disappointed by any situation that detracts from the positive student-athlete educational and cultural experience that this week is all about,” Scott said. “Whether in the United States or abroad, we expect our student-athletes to uphold the highest standards. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”UCLA team spokesman Alex Timiraos said the school is aware of the situation and is gathering more information.The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that local police were called to the hotel where both teams were staying in Hangzhou and inspected UCLA’s bus as players waited to depart for practice. Police interviewed players from both teams before clearing three players from Georgia Tech, according to a statement released by the school.The teams were staying at the Hyatt Regency Hangzhou on Tuesday before leaving for Shanghai, where Georgia Tech and No. 21 UCLA are set to open the season.ADVERTISEMENT Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ “The University came out with a statement, so I won’t have any further comment on this other than in answering that question — those individuals won’t play on Saturday,” Alford said Wednesday in Shanghai.Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott issued a statement Tuesday night saying that UCLA basketball players were “involved in a situation” in China, with police being summoned to the team’s hotel to investigate the matter.“UCLA is cooperating fully with local authorities,” Scott said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogCiting a person close to the situation, the Los Angeles Times reported that freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were involved in a shoplifting incident. Ball is the younger brother of Lonzo Ball, the former UCLA star and current Los Angeles Lakers rookie. Their father, LaVar Ball, is also in China and told ESPN that he was “going to wait until I get more intel on what’s going on” before commenting.Police in Hangzhou did not respond to telephone calls from The Associated Press for details. View commentslast_img read more

Council to buy 2 garbage trucks in 2018 – Mayor

first_imgIn 2018, the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) of Georgetown will receive a $200 million subvention from the Communities Ministry and in order to minimise its garbage collection bill, the municipality is planning to utilise the funds to purchase two new garbage trucks.Currently, City Hall pays approximately $90 million per month in garbage collection fees to its two major contractors, Puran Bros Disposal Service and Cevons Waste Management Inc.“In our 2018 budget, the $200 million that was given to us by the Government willGeorgetown Mayor Patricia Chase Greenbe busted to purchase two new garbage trucks. Until those trucks are here, I don’t think we have the capacity to clear effectively the areas that the Council controls and we are still looking at that,” Mayor Patricia Chase Green noted.Puran Brothers Disposal and Cevons Waste Management withdrew their services on July 30, 2017, as City Hall’s debts had risen to the multimillion-dollar range. According to the companies, the issue of non-payment has been a long-standing one, with many debts going as far back as 2015.However, they have since resumed collection after the municipality approached Central Government through the Communities Ministry for a bailout of $475,635, 245 to settle the city’s debt to Puran Brothers, Cevons, and another company after they would have pulled their services owing to non-payment. The bailout was granted, and Central Government decided to pick up the tab until December 31, after which the M&CC would step in.When asked whether the administration has begun engaging the contractors, the Mayor explained that they were preparing for that meeting sometime soon.“We want to be quite clear with them when we meet with them how we move forward in 2018; the Government takes us up to the 31st December … even at the end of 31st of December, the holidays don’t end there because you have 12 nights coming up and the containers go down the streets and there is a triple increase in garbage and so we got to engage them, but we will do it sometime before the year is over, so we will have a smooth transition for 2018,” she further stated.Solid Waste Director Walter Narine had earlier stated that the two contractors would come back with reduced responsibilities. He said that the new arrangement would see each contractor being paid $10 million per month for their services as compared to the previous range of $43 million to $45 million per month.However, Chase Green noted that the Council did not have the capacity to embark on such an undertaking.“I don’t want to say we are going to take back an area and after the first week our truck, tractor-trailer cannot make the pick-up even though it’s once a week and the garbage will have to pile up. We were experiencing that before Cevons came back to work with us through the contract of the Government. So, we are trying to fine-tune all those areas,” she said.On September 1, the M&CC implemented fees for commercial waste collection. Small business operators are required to pay $5000 per month while medium businesses will contend with $8000 per month. However, large business operators across Georgetown are required to pay the most significant figure of $12,000 per month for their waste collection.The Solid Waste Director had told the Council that while the originally approved fees for commercial garbage collection were $5000, $10,000 and $15,000 – the last two were reduced to $8000 and $12,000 after consultations.last_img read more

CAL protests claims of ‘milking’ Guyana to make up for T&T losses

first_imgCaribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) has refuted claims that it has been “milking” Guyana to make up for losses on flights on the domestic air bridge. This comes in light of a study done by the Competition and Consumer Affairs Division which suggested that a State-sponsored airline be commissioned to end the monopoly Caribbean Airlines has over the Georgetown to JFK route.However, in a response to the article on Wednesday, CAL described the article as “inaccurate”, adding that it has done major damage to the airline and Guyanese citizens who frequently fly with them.CAL said it has “loyally served” Guyana “for many decades”, even when competitors pulled out when times got hard.“Caribbean Airlines and its predecessor BWIA International Airways have faithfully served Guyana since 1947. While other providers have come and gone, Caribbean Airlines has maintained its commitment to Guyana regardless of whether times are good or bad,” the Company stated.Some of the competitors that pulled out of the Guyana market are Dynamic Airways after a shaky start in 2014 suspended its operations for four months. It returned and started to offer as many as five flights per week and that frequency climbed in the peak seasons. In July 2017, Dynamic Airways announced that it had filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition with the United States which was likely the result of an unrelated lawsuit.Fly Jamaica started operations in Guyana in 2013. In November 2018, the airline’s fortunes made a sudden change following the emergency landing and crash of its 757 aircraft at Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). Mechanical problems forced the pilots to head back to Guyana and make the emergency landing. Several passengers were injured during the emergency landing. The airline has exited the market following this incident.Addressing the claims of imbalanced ticket pricing, CAL said the statistics quoted in the article bear no relation to the airline’s data or the truths.Further, it said it carefully manages ticket prices in the Guyana market to remain competitive and appealing to its customers.“Caribbean Airlines has and continues to carefully manage ticket prices for the Guyana market. The airline’s pricing policies are done in line with its operational costs and not with a view to exploiting any given market, so the claim of artificially high prices, based on a monopoly is respectfully wrong,” CAL added.The airline said nothing could be further from the truth as after returning to a profit-making business, it is currently looking to reinvest with a new fleet, new routes, and improved services and not subsidising existing routes, which will also benefit Guyana.“This includes for Guyana, where we launched the new service to Havana, Cuba, added additional flights on existing routes including New York, and have further expansions planned over the next few months and years”.“Guyana is the only market outside of Trinidad and Tobago which offers “Caribbean Layaway” which allows customers to use a payment plan to purchase tickets”.CAL warned against using skewed figures and anticipated a major change that would allow the airline to decrease its ticket prices.“May we suggest that in the future, rather than using selective and inaccurate sensationalism, you look, instead, at the wider angle of a major success story that brings enormous benefits to the Guyanese economy, Guyanese employment and connectivity for Guyana across the Caribbean and beyond,” CAL remarked.CAL said pricing can be adjusted but these changes can only be made by officials in Guyana. The airline ended by promising to continue to serve Guyana and the region as a whole.Guyana tourism statistical digest for 2016 indicated that for the years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 the number of visitors to Guyana was 200,060; 205,824; 206,819 and 235, 312 respectively.last_img read more

Private Sector blasts Govt, GPL for blackout woes

first_img…questions Govt’s hydro policy…says manufacturing sector hampered by outagesAs Christmas draws closer, worry about power generation and the performance of the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) has caused the Private Sector Commission (PSC) to unleash it wrath on the power company.The PSC noted in a strongly worded statement issued on Friday that the frequent and sometimes unannounced power outages come without any credible explanation from GPL’s management, Board, or the responsible Minister, in this case Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson.“To add insult to injury, GPL recently, from 2nd September to 5th November 2017, announced a series of scheduled maintenance power cuts, which in Georgetown alone amounted to a total of 149 hours spread between 17 sections of the city.”In addition, power outages averaging about five hours each were scheduled for the Essequibo Coast, Berbice, East and West Bank Demerara, West Coast Demerara, Soesdyke and East Canje.The Commission said the average citizen does not have private generators, which could save any food being stored in freezers.The PSC said judging from GPL’s non-performance; the entity had neither the management nor the capacity to deliver a reliable power supply to the country. It also noted that Government has consistently failed to address this reality.Failed promisesGPL has for some time promised to bring an end to the chronic black outs. In fact, this assurance was given during a press conference in August by GPL Public Relations Officer Shevion Sears.Acknowledging the frequency of the power outages, Sears noted that a number of planned and unplanned maintenance exercises are responsible. She had cited locations which, due to these works, were having an adverse effect on the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS).But even though GPL promised to have these issues fixed, power outages are nowhere near dissipating. According to the PSC, Guyana’s commercial sector cannot continue in this vein.“Guyana’s manufacturing and commercial sectors cannot function in these circumstances and, in this day and age at the exorbitant price, that we are expected to pay for electricity, Guyana’s population should not be subjected to this punishment,” the PSC stated. “It is nothing short of a tragedy that with such immense hydroelectric potential (Guyana) should be made to tolerate this situation.”The Private Sector noted that the previous Government – the People’s Progressive Party – with support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and funding from Norway, negotiated a major American power company to build and operate the Amaila Falls Project. “Our current Government has put the project in cold storage while offering no acceptable alternative. So where do we go from here?” it queried.The Government after winning the 2015 election shut down any hope in resurrecting the Amaila Falls project. The Government of Norway, which has been providing funding over the years to Guyana for projects under the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), had contracted consultancy firm Norconsult to conduct a review of the Amaila Falls project.The Norconsult report had in fact concluded that the Amaila Falls Hydropower project was the only realistic way for Guyana to achieve an emission free electricity sector. Norconsult had noted the merits of the project, such as its completed feasibility study and a higher plant load than the other alternatives.last_img read more

Team Canada falls to Belgium 3-0 at FIVB World Grand Prix

first_imgBelgium took the first game by a score of 25-17, and followed that up with scores of 25-20, and 25-19.As for Cranston she was in a substitute role in the game and registered five points which was third highest on the team.The team has two more games this weekend. They’ll play Argentina on Saturday, and the Netherlands on Sunday. The broadcast schedule can be seen by clicking here.- Advertisement –last_img

Organization to receive conference revenue

first_imgA local organization has been chosen as the recipient of the proceeds from the 2010 Energy Conference in Fort St. John.The Child Development Centre has been chosen as the recipient organization for the Legacy Project funding from the conference, says Fort St. John City Councillor Lori Ackerman.- Advertisement -[asset|aid=3241|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=455a954731608fc6793dcad054b0c379-Ackerman Legacy1_1_Pub.mp3] However, Ackerman says the total amount to be given to the Centre won’t be known for a couple of months.In 2008, the Fort St. John Hospital was the recipient of more than $55,000 from the Legacy Project. The funds went towards the purchase of a CT scanner for the hospital.last_img read more

Alan Pardew reveals Crystal Palace legend’s role in FA Cup preparations

first_img1 Steve Coppell led Palace to the 1990 FA Cup final Alan Pardew has revealed the “weight of history” he feels to end Crystal Palace’s 111-year wait for a major trophy.The Eagles take on Manchester United in Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley.Pardew was a player when Palace last made it this far in the competition, losing to United in 1990 in a replay after the first match finished 3-3 after extra-time.Steve Coppell, Palace’s manager at the time and a former United player, has been recruited to help Pardew scout the Red Devils before Saturday’s fixture. He has also turned to Alan Smith, Coppell’s assistant and successor, for advice.“I feel the weight of the history of not winning something,” said Pardew.“We take one final which we lost into the game, so this group of players have an opportunity to put something permanent there – a first major trophy for Crystal Palace.“One or two of these players will never play in a final again and this is an opportunity to get a winner’s medal, which is so hard. Like the Leicester players, winning the FA Cup would mean the same for us.“Steve Coppell was here; I’ve leant on him in a couple of bits. I’ve spoken to Alan Smith, looked at the history of 1990 and of the history since. It’s a club with a certain DNA. It would be good for the club and for our history for us to win something.“(There was a) great camaraderie in that (1990) group. I hope this group has that same ongoing history as we had. We’re all very close friends, it bonded us. It made this club to a degree, that cup final.“Friendships – I’d prefer those friendships to have carried through as winners. That’s the message I’ll give to my players.”Pardew has a fully-fit squad to face United except for Joe Ledley, whose fractured fibula also makes him a doubt for Wales’ Euro 2016 campaign.In a season when United have often appeared lethargic and confused, Palace’s matchwinners – Yohan Cabaye, Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie – give them a fine chance.“Man United are an athletic team who keep the ball very well,” said Pardew.“We will have to be patient. We’ll be the side who have to fight that bit harder to win, but we have got areas of the pitch where we’re slighly superior, and we have to make those areas count.“The pressure is on them all the time. They’re Man United: an historic club, the colour, the history, with names we haven’t got. (Sir Alex) Ferguson, (George) Best, (Bobby) Charlton, (Eric) Cantona… They take a different history into the game.“(We are) street football – players from different roots, from non-league and Paris St Germain. Put those ingredients together and it’s quite an exciting blend and an exciting team.“It’s a special feeling for me and my family, but I’ve tried to distance ourselves from 1990 a bit. We do carry some staff who talk about it all the time.“It’s nothing to do with this era. There’s no revenge of ‘putting it right’. It’s about this team getting to the cup final, and trying to win.”last_img read more

Press release: Excellence to be rewarded at SA Premier Business Awards

first_imgThe fifth edition of South African Premier Business Awards will not only celebrate business excellence but will also recognise those enterprises that promote the spirit of success and innovation.Despite the lag in the local economy, South African businesses are persevering. The Premier Business Awards recognises these resilient businesses. (Image: Brand South Africa)Johannesburg, 29 January 2018 – Members of the media are invited to attend the awards ceremony of the fifth South African Premier Business Awards where South African business excellence will be recognised and rewarded.The ceremony will be hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), in partnership with Brand South Africa and Proudly South African under the theme Rewarding Business Excellence.Thirty companies will be vying for top honours in 10 categories which include Black Industrialists Award, Manufacturer Award, Play Your Part Award, Proudly South African Member Company Award, SMME Award, Woman Owned Award and Young Entrepreneur Award. The awards are sponsored by Tsogo Sun, Old Mutual, Wits Business School and Johannesburg Stock Exchange.According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, the awards recognise business excellence and celebrate enterprises that promote the spirit of success and innovation as well as job creation, good business ethics, and quality.Journalists who will be covering the event are requested to contact Ntombi Ntanzi on or (011) 712-5071/081 704 1488.More information on the South African Premier Business Awards, visit or call 0861 843 384.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

No. 1 spot, last playoff berth at stake in crucial NCAA stretch

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary The Pirates and the Red Lions clash in the first game on Thursday, with the former aiming for an unprecedented 18-0 sweep, while the latter gunning to avenge their lone loss of the season.Also at stake is the top spot, as a San Beda win ties them with Lyceum at 17-1. But for the former to move up to number one, they have to beat the latter by more than five points.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut if the Pirates triumph on Thursday, that will turn the playoffs into a stepladder semis, with the Intramuros-based crew earning an outright berth in the best-of-3 Finals.Meanwhile, Arellano (9-9), Letran (9-9), and San Sebastian (8-9) are all making their case for the last semifinal ticket, and after Tuesday’s playdate, the Chiefs and the Knights are tied. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LATEST STORIES BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes00:50Trending Articles02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9301:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa However, it can still be a three-way logjam for the fourth spot if San Sebastian topples Perpetual in the final eliminations game on Thursday, giving them identical 9-9 marks.In that scenario, the Golden Stags will have a bye owing to their superior plus-30 quotient over the two, leaving the Knights (minus-9) and the Chiefs (minus-21) facing off in the first playoff on Friday.The winner of that duel will take on San Sebastian next week with the fourth semifinals seat hanging in the balance.One thing’s for sure, all NCAA teams still in the Final Four race will have their eyes firmly locked in on Thursday.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Hong Kong expects Standhardinger to play full season in ABL Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netEvery game matters, especially for the last remaining teams  in the playoff chase of the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament.Lyceum (17-0), San Beda (16-1), and Jose Rizal University (11-7) have all clinched their seats in the Final Four, but of the three, only the Heavy Bombers are locked in at the third spot.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Luis Suarez returns to Uruguay squad after biting ban

first_imgUruguay striker Luis Suarez is set to play his first competitive international later this month since being banned for biting an opponent at the 2014 World Cup after he was called up on Friday for qualifiers against Brazil and Peru.Barcelona’s Suarez was suspended for nine games after biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup in Brazil. He was among 28 players named in Oscar Tabarez’s squad to face Brazil away in Recife on March 25 and Peru in Montevideo four days later, the Uruguayan FA announced on Friday.Uncapped Genoa midfielder Diego Laxalt and Manchester United right back Guillermo Varela were called up for the first time. Uruguay are second in the 10-team South American standings behind Ecuador with three wins in four games.The top four qualify automatically for the 2018 finals in Russia while the fifth-placed team goes into an intercontinental playoff against a team from the Oceania zone.last_img read more

Disgraced Bancroft reveals he almost gave up cricket for yoga

first_imgSydney, Dec 22 (AFP) Disgraced Australian player Cameron Bancroft Saturday said he was a vastly different person to the one caught ball-tampering and revealed he considered walking away from cricket to become a yoga teacher. The opener received a nine-month ban from the international and domestic game for his part in the scandal in South Africa that rocked the sport, in which he used sandpaper to try to alter the ball. Then-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were suspended for a year. A day after Smith re-emerged into public life with a press conference in Sydney, Bancroft has also broken his silence a week ahead of his ban running out. He did so in the form of a long letter addressed to his former self, published in the West Australian newspaper, describing his emotional journey since. In it, Bancroft describes the major influence Australian coach Justin Langer has had on him, along with West Australian mentor Adam Voges. He said a crucial moment was Voges asking him to justify why he should be on a pre-season trip to Brisbane by the Western Warriors Sheffield Shield team. “On your way to present your case to your coach you realise this is the moment when you begin to become OK with the thought of never having cricket as part of your life again,” he wrote in the self-addressed letter. “Until you are able to acknowledge that you are Cameron Bancroft, the person who plays cricket as a profession, and not Cameron Bancroft the cricketer, you will not be able to move forward.advertisement “This will become a defining moment for you.” Yoga became an important part of his life in exile while dealing with an absence of cricket, to the extent that he considered quitting the game to become of a teacher of the discipline. “Maybe cricket isn’t for you, you’ll ask yourself … will you return? Yoga will be such a fulfilling experience,” he wrote. Bancroft ultimately decided to pursue his cricket career and is due to make his comeback in the Big Bash Twenty20 League for the Perth Scorchers on December 30. “While you do not look that different, on the inside you are a vastly different man to the bloke who made that mistake in South Africa,” he added in the letter. “You know you cannot say sorry enough, but actually it is time you allow your cricket to be about what you have learnt and use this opportunity to make a great impact.” (AFP) ATKATKlast_img read more

‘Kane might have to leave Tottenham’

first_imgHarry Kane may have to consider leaving Tottenham in order to fulfil his ambition of landing major silverware, claims Dimitar Berbatov.Back in 2008, one star striker on the books in north London decided that he needed a move in order to compete for the biggest prizes in world football.Berbatov traded life at Spurs for that at Manchester United and went on to become a Premier League title winner. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? He has now suggested that Kane may have to tread a similar path, with Tottenham having so far been unable to deliver tangible success for the England captain.Mauricio Pochettino is doing all he can to end a barren run, with more big-money arrivals expected on transfer deadline day, but exits are also being mooted as experienced figures begin to look for new challenges.Berbatov told The Sun on the future of a prolific frontman: “Someone needs to ask Harry Kane about what he will do if Spurs don’t win a trophy this season.“Coming from that point of view, and I’ve been in those shoes, the moment comes when you play for a team for a while and you don’t win anything.“At the same time you see other colleagues that you are playing with in the national team, and they are winning trophies.Harry Kane, Tottenham, Champions League final“You get jealous, in a good way. You’re like ‘I want to be part of that’.“You start asking all these questions and at one moment nothing changes, you change the environment, you change the club.“It’s a tough decision because fans will be disappointed — and so will the coach.“What is that ambition telling him? Stay here and try to win trophies for my club that I’m captain of. Or find a new challenge where you need to test yourself.“The question is, if he moves, for example to Manchester United, is he going to be playing with better players and scoring more?“I was thinking about that when I moved.“Every player who wants to achieve and develop and grow as a player is thinking about that.“You’re sitting at home, you’re watching a game, big players, big teams are playing and you think ‘what if I was there, am I going to score more goals?’“It’s normal to think like this.“Then you start thinking ‘Well I stay here because I’m in the place that I know, I’m comfortable’.“You need to choose — test yourself or stay in the same place? Trust me, it’s a complicated situation.”Kane is tied to a long-term contract through to 2024 and, after recording 164 goals in just 253 appearances for Spurs, has offered no indication that he is considering a switch elsewhere.last_img read more

Kirk Herbstreit Reacts To LSU’s Big Win At Texas

first_img “Wowwww!!! Holy OFFENSE!!” he tweeted.Hey @LSUfootball…I am a FAN!!Wowwww!!!Holy OFFENSE!!— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) September 8, 2019Alabama is seen as the favorite in the SEC West, though Herbstreit thinks LSU could spoil the Crimson Tide’s championship hopes this year.Just got back from the booth calling the LSU-Texas game! Watch out for @LSUfootball in the SEC West!!!— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) September 8, 2019LSU, 2-0, is set to host Northwestern State at home next weekend. The Tigers then play at Vanderbilt and at home against Utah State before hosting Florida in Death Valley. ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 23: GameDay host Kirk Herbstreit is seen during ESPN’s College GameDay show at Times Square on September 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit was on the call for LSU’s big win at Texas on Saturday night. He was a major fan of what he witnessed from the Tigers.LSU got a massive road win at Texas, as the No. 6 Tigers beat the No. 9 Longhorns, 45-38, in Austin.Joe Burrow led the way for LSU, throwing for 471 yards and four touchdowns. He overcame an early interception to have one of the best games of the year.Herbstreit was really impressed with LSU’s offense.last_img read more

Genco Seeks Relief in Chapter 11 amid USD 1.2 Bln Debt

first_imgThe cancellation of all equity interests in the company, with such equity interests receiving seven year warrants for 6.0% of the New Genco Equity struck at a $1.295 billion equity valuation from the consideration that would otherwise be provided to the holders of Prepetition 2007 Facility Claims and Convertible Note Claims (each as defined in the Prepack Plan) in exchange for the cancellation or surrender of such equity interests; andGenco will conduct a $100 million rights offering for 8.7% of the pro forma equity of the reorganized company. The 2007 Facility Lenders will have the right to participate in up to 80% of the rights offering, which portion will be backstopped by certain of the 2007 Facility Lenders, and eligible holders of Convertible Notes will have the right to participate in up to 20% of the rights offering, which portion will be backstopped by certain of the Convertible Noteholders.“Genco expects that cash on hand, cash from operating activities, and cash expected to be made available under a cash collateral order will be sufficient to fund its projected cash needs during its financial restructuring, and therefore does not intend to seek debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing,” the company said.Genco is waiting for court approval to proceed with its restructuring plan.Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP is serving as legal advisor and Blackstone Advisory Partners LP is serving as financial advisor to the company.Press Release, April 22, 2014, Image: Shispotting zoom Genco Shipping & Trading Limited, an operator of dry-bulk cargo ships, together with certain of its subsidiaries, has filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions to implement a prepackaged financial restructuring that is expected to reduce the company’s total debt by approximately $1.2 billion and enhance its financial flexibility.GENCO AUGUSTUSUnder the Chapter of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, a debtor is provided (generally) for reorganization, usually involving a corporation or partnership. A chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time.The decision is consistent with its previously disclosed Restructuring Support Agreement with certain of the lenders under the company’s $1.1 billion secured credit facility entered into in 2007, its $253 million secured credit facility, and its $100 million secured credit facility, as well as certain holders of the company’s 5.00% Convertible Senior Notes due August 15, 2015.All operating entities are expected to continue normal operations during the pendency of the financial restructuring, according to the company. Baltic Trading and its direct and indirect subsidiaries are not included in the court-supervised restructuring, Genco said adding that Baltic Trading is a separate public company from Genco, with an independent Board of Directors and separate financing. Baltic Trading is expected to continue operating in the normal course. “Today, with the strong support of our lenders and noteholders, we are moving forward with our previously announced restructuring plan,” said John C. Wobensmith, Chief Financial Officer. “We believe the financial restructuring will provide an expedited path to significantly strengthen Genco’s balance sheet and improve the Company’s financial flexibility. Our operations are strong, and once our restructuring is completed, we believe we will be well-positioned for continued growth and success. We continue to leverage our efficient cost structure and opportunistic time charter approach to manage through the drybulk shipping cycle.”The terms of the restructuring include, among other things: The 2007 Facility Lenders will convert all of their prepetition senior secured debt into 81.1% of the equity of the reorganized company;The entirety of the company’s obligations under the $253 million and $100 million facilities will be replaced by new senior facilities with extended maturity dates through August 2019 and certain other covenant modifications;The company’s obligations under the Convertible Senior Notes will be converted into 8.4% of the equity of the reorganized company;The reinstatement of all other general unsecured claims, which will be paid in the ordinary course of business;last_img read more

First Session of 62nd General Assembly Speech from the Throne

first_img On October 8th, Nova Scotians voted for change and that change is underway. It means a new beginning for our province: a new beginning for all Nova Scotians. Change begins with respecting Nova Scotians. Change begins with putting Nova Scotians first, from one end of the province to the other. Change begins with trust — our government’s trust in its citizens and their trust in government. My government will be diligent in its desire to bring governance back to the people. Elected representatives are the citizens’ trustees, but that does not mean Nova Scotians should be excluded from the decision-making processes. Democracy can only thrive when citizens are included in governing our great province. This begins with an open and accountable government. This begins with respecting Nova Scotians’ tax dollars. This begins with creating a province where education and health care are recognized as requirements for societal well-being. But none of this begins by leaving any Nova Scotian behind. Our government has started to implement the mandate for change that Nova Scotians asked for in October. Our government — with the help of all Nova Scotians — will continue that change. God bless Nova Scotia. God bless Canada. God save the Queen. An Act to Amend Chapter 155 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Executive Council Act and Chapter 376 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Public Service Act An Act to Ensure Accountability in Providing Economic Development Assistance in Nova Scotia An Act to Amend Chapter 1 (1992 Supplement) of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the House of Assembly Act An Act to Amend Chapter 7 of the Acts of 1996, the Occupational Health and Safety Act An Act to Amend Chapter 475 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Trade Union Act An Act to Establish a Holiday in February An Act to Amend Chapter 25 of the Acts of 2004, the Electricity Act, Respecting the Sale of Renewable Electricity An Act to Amend Chapter 376 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Public Service Act, Respecting the Office of Communications Nova Scotia An Act to Ban the Importation of Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater An Act to Amend Chapter 244 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Justices of the Peace Act, and Chapter 238 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Provincial Court Act The following is the speech from the throne read today, November 28, 2013, by Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant at the resumption of the first session of the 62st General Assembly of Nova Scotia: PUTTING NOVA SCOTIANS FIRST It is my great honour and privilege to welcome you to the First Session of the 62nd General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature. For some of you, it’s a “Welcome back.” For others, this is one of the first opportunities you’ve had to take your place in this chamber. For all, it is an occasion to be proud of, an occasion to be enjoyed by you, your families, and those who worked so diligently in your name. Congratulations and best wishes. THE 2013 PROVINCIAL ELECTION In October of 2013, Nova Scotians voted for change. Government is deeply aware of the confidence that has been placed in its program for change, and will work with unwavering purpose to achieve and implement its plan on behalf of all Nova Scotians. Elections are a fundamental element of a proud and mature democracy, and the willingness of so many citizens to engage in the public affairs of our province is a source of confidence and optimism in Nova Scotia’s future. However, the reluctance of many others to participate in the electoral process is a source of real concern. During the course of my government’s mandate, steps will be taken to address this erosion in voter participation. These steps will be based on engaging with Nova Scotians in a discussion about our electoral process. In keeping with that goal, government understands the need to strive for a collegial and co-operative tone in the Legislative Assembly. It is important for all members to remember that initiatives should not be rejected solely on the basis of source. Of course, vigorous and informed debate is both expected and desired. In essence, my government believes that open and decorous debate will contribute to enhanced public trust in the Legislative Assembly. In turn, my government is confident that such constructive debates will be an important contributing factor for increasing the participation of Nova Scotians in the electoral process. GOVERNMENT’S STRATEGIC PRIORITIES My government believes in the determination and optimism of Nova Scotians. Therefore, my government will provide strong, clear leadership and a path forward that will be built upon the idea of harnessing the potential of our province and its people. Nova Scotians are working hard — to create jobs, to find solutions, to make life better in their own communities. But for too long, the day-to-day priorities of Nova Scotians have been neglected in many areas of our province’s affairs. My government will seek to redefine its role and relationship with Nova Scotians, and it will do so by always placing the needs and aspirations of citizens at the foundation of its decision-making. The following priorities will guide my government: Within government’s statutory authority over the provision of electricity, specific steps will be taken to ensure true consumer choice and fairness. The needs of Nova Scotia’s entrepreneurs will be met through appropriate forms of assistance, and there will be enhanced support for employee training and skills development. A re-investment in our school system will ensure that every student and educator has access to the classroom supports and modern educational curriculum required to excel in a rapidly changing world. Health care will be realigned to place the needs of patients, families, and individuals first. Investments will be made in our communities so that seniors, people with disabilities, and those in need get the services and care they require. This realignment of government’s underlying strategic priorities will require a great deal of thought, effort, and deliberate action. In pursuit of these strategic objectives, my government will rely on the lessons of the past and the hard-won successes that have guided us through our long and distinguished history as a province. MATTERS OF RECOGNITION In keeping with that sentiment, I want to recognize the valued contributions of a number of Nova Scotians who have passed since I last had the opportunity to address this chamber. Builders and entrepreneurs Ben McCrea and James Philip Dumaresq — their impacts on the skylines, streetscapes, and economy of our province continue to this day. Artists Dr. Alex Colville and Rita MacNeil, two of Nova Scotia’s most distinguished and celebrated cultural icons — while their canvases were distinct, their individual works tugged at our very identity and shaped how the world saw us and how we saw the world. Public servants Rose Marie Abraham, Dr. J. Clair Callaghan, Bertha Mantley, Dr. Vincent Audain, and The Hon. Malachi Jones — their lives and careers were dedicated to improving the well-being of our institutions, our communities, and our people. Civil rights champion and social activist Dr. Burnley (Rocky) Jones — like no other, he lent his voice to those who could not be heard, and sought justice for those long deprived. Legislator and journalist The Hon. Jane Purves — a candid and passionate member of this House, she courageously and publicly fought her own personal battles and those of her constituents. Jane always spoke honestly and openly with the public interest at heart, even when she knew it wouldn’t be popular. This was a group of remarkable Nova Scotians. Their passing is a matter of great sadness; yet simultaneously, the memory of their contributions — the legacies they have left to our province — will be a source of enduring pride for all of us. Each understood the capacity and promise of change, and that is the perspective we must embrace and maintain as we navigate this province’s fundamental shift in direction. RESPECT FOR NOVA SCOTIANS Our country was founded as a strong and vibrant liberal democracy. It is a history that makes us all proud, especially here in Nova Scotia — one of the first four provinces to join Confederation. However, we must keep pace with the expectations of citizens, and institutions must evolve in tandem with legitimate expectations. Transparency and accountability are pillars of our democracy; both must be continually protected and improved. This is why my government will: immediately begin a full and independent review of MLA salaries and benefits, pensions, living allowances, and other expenses enact legislation to increase transparency with regard to economic development assistance ensure through legislative change that taxpayers’ dollars are protected from partisan advertising and politically motivated signage FAIRNESS IN POWER RATES AND ENERGY POLICY Over the last 10 years, electricity rates in our province have climbed by nearly 30 per cent — households and businesses have been hurt by this trend, while the power monopoly has profited. My government has already taken steps to address some of the fundamental flaws in the Maritime Link agreement and shifted responsibility and risk to where they justifiably belong. Additionally, my government’s first piece of legislation will be the Electricity Reform Act — a bill that will permit consumer choice and competition while laying the groundwork for consultation with Nova Scotians on our energy future. Upon the passage of this legislation, Nova Scotians will be offered greater choice among power providers. This will allow local providers of renewable electricity to compete with Nova Scotia Power and sell directly to customers. Compelling regulated power companies to compete for your business is a solution that puts Nova Scotians first. My government’s plans for reforming the electricity market were borne out of discussions and consultations that took place in communities across Nova Scotia. As we move toward implementing those plans, we will once again be seeking input from the people of the province. My government will involve the public and experts on what our energy future will look like — and how we can best organize ourselves to take advantage of it. As our province continues its commitment to move toward cleaner and innovative energy sources, we know it is imperative that Nova Scotians are able to voice their concerns and have them addressed frankly and honestly. For instance, the practice of hydraulic fracturing is a huge concern for Nova Scotians. That’s why there is a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the province while the independent review is underway. This review, led by Dr. David Wheeler and a panel of experts, will help determine whether the practice can be done safely given Nova Scotia’s geology. During this legislative session, my government will also introduce legislation banning the importation of fracked wastewater into our province. Another important element of our energy and economic future is the activity taking place in our offshore. Our government will continue to invest in geoscience research. We will also ensure that this information is made available to companies so they have the information needed to assess the opportunities available in our offshore. AN ECONOMY BUILT ON PUTTING NOVA SCOTIANS FIRST There is no doubt that the last recession took its toll on jurisdictions throughout Canada and the world. Of course, Nova Scotia was not exempt from these global pressures and, like many other areas of Canada and the world, our province has been slow to recover from the recession’s impacts. In fact, recent economic data has clearly outlined the challenge that now faces government: Our province has shed 3,000 full-time jobs in the last year, while trailing every other province in the country in terms of economic growth for two decades. Federal transfers are not keeping pace with changing demands and demographic shifts. Our population is facing further decline which, in turn, is placing further pressure on programs and services. These realities underline the need for change. A fundamental change will require my government to direct more of its economic attention toward small- and medium-sized Nova Scotia business. In the past, too much emphasis was placed in too few areas, and our collective economic strength diminished in the process. Instead, my government will refocus its attention on small businesses — offering supports and incentives to help them grow their operations. For example, term loan guarantees under the Credit Union Small Business Loan Program will increase from 75 per cent to 90 per cent. My government fully understands that businesses must be able to prosper in Nova Scotia, but not at the expense of Nova Scotians. Therefore, while working with businesses my government will attach job guarantees to repayable loans and keep processes transparent through public reporting. Legislation will be introduced by our government in the coming days that will greatly improve the transparency and accountability of Nova Scotia’s economic assistance programs. Beyond transparency, our government is working to create a competitive economic environment focused on growing good, sustainable jobs. My government realizes it cannot solve this alone, but it can lead the way forward with a new vision of economic innovation — harnessing research, maximizing comparative advantages, eliminating barriers to competitiveness, expanding apprenticeship opportunities that will keep our skilled workers in Nova Scotia and, finally, getting government out of the way of business. There are areas, however, where government must and will play a key role. My government will continue to take steps to ensure that Nova Scotians return home to their families safely at the end of the work day. We will hire more workplace safety inspectors and, because safety is a shared responsibility, we will work with industry to ensure officers are visiting more high-risk workplaces and enforcing safety regulations. Business operators should be able to focus on growing their business, employing Nova Scotians, and giving back to their communities. With this in mind, changes to bring balance and responsibility to First Contract Arbitration will be brought forward in this session. My government will create a fair and competitive environment for business by engaging in a responsible and comprehensive review of taxes, regulations, and fees, guided by the principles of simplicity and fairness. All regulations will be tested for their efficiency and effectiveness. Regulations that protect Nova Scotians will be strengthened; wasteful and redundant regulations will be eliminated. The development of that broad review has commenced, and we will formulate a plan to simplify our regulatory regime — and leave as much money with Nova Scotians as possible. FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY Within itself, government is fully cognizant of the need to restore fiscal balance to its own affairs. Across government, a one per cent target for expenditure reduction has been set and a great deal of work is currently underway to identify appropriate areas for increased efficiency. Government remains mindful of its duty and obligation to support Nova Scotians in need. Therefore, government will maintain fiscal discipline without further burdening our most vulnerable citizens or a new generation of Nova Scotians engaged in study. To that end, the provision of health care and education has been exempted from this process. A true and accurate update on where our province stands financially will be delivered to Nova Scotians in mid-December. My government will then implement a fiscally responsible plan to deliver a balanced budget prudently. Our province is witnessing a population loss like we have never before experienced. We must reverse this trend. Our province needs talented and capable individuals if we are to have a healthy economy and improve the provincial finances. In our province newcomers have played an important role in developing our economy, and our government wants to continue to welcome newcomers to communities from one end of the province to the other. That is why my government will create the Premier’s Immigration Advisory Council, which will be made up of immigrants to Nova Scotia who have experienced the strengths and weaknesses of our immigration system. The council will bring forward concerns on immigration issues, and propose solutions to improve Nova Scotia’s attraction and retention of immigrants. The council will also help lead my government’s efforts in seeking the changes required to carve out our own future when it comes to immigration. Nova Scotia must be an active partner in national discussions and our government will engage on two fronts — building strong relationships with provinces and enhancing our collaboration with the federal government. OUR FUTURE IS EDUCATED If Nova Scotians are to be put first, my government needs a bold vision for education. There has not been a comprehensive curriculum review in this province for 25 years. My government will undertake a full review with a Blue Ribbon panel of experts to find out what is working and what isn’t. The world has changed significantly in the past 25 years, and our education system must adapt. Students need to earn achievements, see the value of their efforts, and be taught by teachers who can focus on teaching. In addition, my government is reaffirming its commitment to restore the funding removed from public education over the last four years. It will take time and deliberate action to undo the damage done by decisions of the past, but we know that educational dollars achieve some of the best return on investment of any expenditure government can make. That commitment goes beyond Grade Primary — this is why my government is investing in Early Intervention Programs. Ensuring that every child begins their public school career with the foundation for learning already in place is critical to their progress through the school system. IMPROVING HEALTH CARE THROUGH IMPROVING THE SYSTEM For too many years, our health-care system has been neglected. My government will begin to develop solutions so all Nova Scotians get the care they need, when they need it. My government will do what it takes so that our health-care system puts patients first. My government will improve community-based decision-making by streamlining administration so Nova Scotians can access treatment faster. My government will address wait times by reinvesting in front-line health care, by reducing the number of CEOs and vice-presidents, and by reducing the District Health Authorities from 10 to two. This transformative process will not happen overnight, nor will it occur without the valuable input of all those involved in our health-care system — administrators, frontline workers, patients, volunteers, advocates and communities will have their voices heard. Nova Scotians need better access to programs, services, and a variety of health-care professionals to prevent and manage chronic diseases like arthritis and diabetes. Hospital admissions can thus be reduced, and when patients do end up in hospitals, we need to make sure they return home as quickly as possible. Far too many Nova Scotians don’t have access to a family physician, or primary care provider such as a nurse practitioner, leaving many without care and putting added strain on our emergency rooms. My government will provide up to $120,000 in tuition relief to 25 new doctors per year for four years, in exchange for a five-year commitment to practice in under-serviced communities in Nova Scotia. In addition, my government will immediately appoint an expert Physician Recruitment and Retention Action Team so that Nova Scotia is able to competitively recruit new doctors and keep the ones we have. SUPPORTING OUR SENIORS, CARING FOR OUR CITIZENS As our population ages, there will be additional pressures on our health-care system. My government will work with health-care providers and Nova Scotians to turn our challenges into solutions. My government has begun work on evaluating, updating, and implementing the Continuing Care Strategy to ensure that it meets our long-term needs, both at home and in facilities where our senior population is cared for. The increase in sexual assault and sexual violence in our province is a grave concern. Too often the organizations that work to address these issues have been asked to do far too much with too little. My government will develop a multi-year strategy that will provide services directly to victims but will also focus on prevention. OUR COMMUNITIES This government recognizes the importance of local communities in building a strong, viable province. We are committed to partnering with municipalities and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities to advance the interests of Nova Scotians through the establishment and development of effective and sustainable municipal government. To that end we will engage in open and frank discussion regarding local governance issues, support continuation of existing provincial-municipal partnerships, and seek opportunities to work collaboratively on important municipal initiatives. The relationship between the provincial government and our municipalities is one that must be repaired and strengthened if we are to meet our challenges head-on. My government is also committed to the long-term health of our valuable, traditional natural resources, as we look forward to a future in which industries can be innovative and sustainable. Our fisheries and agriculture industries are the backbone of rural economies and communities across the province. My government will work with partners in these important sectors to focus on their expansion and modernization through research and innovation, and to encourage Nova Scotians to buy local. Transportation is a critical part of strengthening communities from one end of Nova Scotia to the other. My government is committed to continuing discussions with the federal government to extend twinning on Highway 103 and to complete Highway 101. We will also improve access to Burnside Industrial Park through the completion of the Burnside connector and remove the MV Miner, an environmental liability, from the Cape Breton coastline. My government is expanding tourism opportunities by renewing our major trade and convention facilities, and restoring and enhancing our ferry connection to the United States. Another vessel — the iconic Bluenose II — has been lovingly refurbished by Nova Scotia craftspeople to the highest standards of safety and quality. My government will join them in celebrating Bluenose II’s return as Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador next spring as she helps to welcome the world to our shores. Nova Scotians know how important culture is in our provincial identity. It is the heart and soul of a sustainable future. In partnership with the cultural community, my government will develop this province’s first Culture Strategy, which will establish a new vision for culture in Nova Scotia. Together with the sector, we will identify ways that government, communities, and citizens can work together to preserve and enhance culture for the benefit of all Nova Scotians. Strong, diverse, and vibrant communities are key to creating more opportunities for Nova Scotians to live, work, and raise their families here. My government is committed to a productive and respectful relationship with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia. We look forward to working with Mi’kmaq leaders and communities to foster training and employment opportunities that will drive sustainable economic development in rural Nova Scotia. My government will continue to champion diversity and social inclusion in the province by, for example, working with the government of Canada on a new funding agreement to support the planning and delivery of French-language services. This will ensure that Acadian and francophone Nova Scotians have access to important public services that enhance the quality of life for their communities. We must make time to savour that quality of life and honour our cultural identity. That’s why my government is respecting and acknowledging hard-working Nova Scotians by providing a statutory holiday in February to enjoy our beautiful province and spend time with loved ones. LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR FALL 2013During this First Session of the 62nd General Assembly, my government will bring forward a legislative agenda designed to put Nova Scotians first. In the coming days, the following pieces of legislation will be introduced:last_img read more