Lessons from Canada’s devolution experience

first_imgThese forums were part of a broader road trip that took members of staff and the presidential team to six city regions to try to figure out what ‘devolution’ and a potential new relationship with central government might look like. The details of the tour and each specific regional issue were covered very well in a piece in Property Week, which I encourage you to read.As is usually the case for me, this represented the latest in the ongoing education of both my adopted new home and issues facing our industry, as well as providing me with another opportunity to contrast and compare with my experience in Canada. In particular, I found the devolution debate to be particularly interesting, as a similar situation occurred in the province of Ontario, where I am from, in the late 1990s. At that time, Canadian provinces were facing the similar sort of fiscal challenges being experienced today in the UK and were battling with national government. The difference was that provinces already had the ability to tax and control their own revenue, but also responsibility for big-ticket major expenditure items such as healthcare and education. Furthermore, responsibility for municipalities (local authorities) is also at the provincial-versus-national-government level, with functions such as public transport administered at municipal level, as they are here.Although this structure had started in an evolved state from where we are today in the UK, 20 years ago there were still many similarities including a lot of small local municipalities with a number of intermediate regional authorities that duplicated effort and struggled with both local and provincial government. As we are seeing here, the governments of the day engaged in fierce political debate about the merits of further devolution. Municipalities fought with the province and with each other as they tried to figure out how to divide an increasingly small pie. In the end, Ontario found itself able to push a lot of cost down to a smaller number of consolidated regional authorities with their own elected mayors and councils. Despite the significant growing pains, everyone is much better off for the effort.The BPF and our membership see regional growth as very important but also do not think it best for it to be dictated by national government, and caught up in constitutional wrangling. Local authorities should ‘stand on their own feet’, make their case, work in partnership with the development community and build on the existing framework and tools. There are many examples of where this is already happening. I have seen it work from my position at Oxford Properties in the Thames Valley, where our Green Park investment sits on the border of three different authorities and has a successful LEP. There is abundant capital that will invest outside of central London and in the regions as long as there is sufficient and sustainable scale creating liquidity and a market with pricing transparency and appropriate risk-adjusted returns. I was encouraged to read a recent FT article where a number of northern cities appeared to be abandoning local rivalries and committing themselves in principle to join together with an elected mayor as part of their bids for new powers. There was also a piece in PW by Sir Eddie Lister on how creative thinking and local knowledge will help unlock the opportunity presented by devolution. This is one of the most important issues facing both the country and our industry. Maybe in time devolution might be a base to assist with pension fund reform and the consolidation of local authority plans to provide the scale and opportunity to access global investments at superior returns and lower costs similar to the Canadian plans.Paul Brundage is executive vice-president senior managing director – Europe at Oxford Properties and junior vice-president of the BPFlast_img read more

Ritchie in record Montreal auction

first_imgThe two-day auction, which Ritchie Bros. says was the largest Montreal auction in company history, also set new site records for online sales, total number of registered bidders and number of online bidders.”We’ve seen positive pricing trends in Canada so far in 2015,” said Randy Wall, president, Canada at Ritchie Bros. “Despite concerns in the oil and energy sectors we’ve seen strong results in western Canada and now the trend has continued east with our record-breaking auction in Montreal. We had active bidder participation from across Canada and around the world, both on-site and online, with equipment selling to buyers from as far away as Italy, Singapore and Australia.”More than 2,700 trucks and items of equipment were sold in the auction, including over 110 excavators, 50 compactors, 40 wheel loaders, 35 crawler tractors, 130 truck tractors and 260 trailers.Every item was sold without minimum bids or reserve prices, with bids being made in person at the auction site, online and by proxy. A Ritchie Bros. auction in Edmonton, Canada. www.rbauction.comlast_img read more

Philco and Gevatrans transport transformer

first_imgPhilco International handled the logistics and transport operations for the cargo at its origin in Ris Orangis, France. The consignment comprised of three crates, the highest of which was over 4.71 m. The main body of the transformer was transported on a 40 ft flatrack, while the spare parts were transported in a 40 ft high cube container and shipped as outsize and overweight ocean freight.Philco’s scope of work included collecting the cargo from the shipper’s premises, loading, lashing and securing all of the oversized cargo, multimodal shipment by truck, and seafreight. It also handled export Customs clearance at the Port of Le Havre.Gevatrans handled the shipment upon arrival at Piraeus Port in Athens, transferring the crates to lowbed trailers for the 150 km overland transport to Agios Nikolaos Voiotias.Philco International is a member of the Connecta Airfreight Network in France, while Gevatrans is a member of the Pangea Logistics Network. www.philcointl.comwww.gevatrans.grwww.connecta-network.comwww.pangea-network.comlast_img read more

Austerity a challenge to rule of law says Nobel prizewinner

first_img Join our LinkedIn Legal Aid sub-group Nobel economics laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz yesterday urged lawyers worldwide to help safeguard access to justice in the face of deep cuts to state aid for legal representation. ‘Inequality was growing before the financial crisis and has been exacerbated by it,’ he told thousands of lawyers gathered in Dublin for this year’s International Bar Association conference. ‘In 2010, 93% of growth went to the top 1% – many of you in this room,’ he added. Median full-time male wages in the US are back to 1968 levels and ‘economic inequality leads to political inequality’. The ‘challenge for the legal profession’, said Stiglitz (pictured), alluding to legal aid cuts, is to ensure ‘the promise of justice for all’ does not become ‘justice for those that can afford it’. Stiglitz, former chief economist and vice president of the World Bank, is a prolific author and arch-critic of the management of globalisation and ‘free-market fundamentalism’. He opened this year’s event with a stark warning that governments have misdiagnosed what is wrong with Europe’s economy and that austerity will not solve the crisis. He advocates further fiscal stimulus, noting that in the US the government can borrow at negative real interest rates. ‘The only positive about Europe is that its plight makes Americans think “things could be worse”,’ he said. Europe’s debt as a percentage of GDP before the crisis was lower than the US and only Greece of the eurozone countries could rightly be accused of profligacy, he said. Because the problem was misdiagnosed as overspending, the prescription is austerity, which Stiglitz said has ‘almost never worked’. He added: ‘It was tried in 1929, the International Monetary Fund tried it in Asia and Latin America. Each time it succeeded in turning downturns into recessions, recessions into depressions.’ The eurozone is fundamentally flawed because it was based on a political not economic model, said Stiglitz. Structural change is required but he doubts the political will is there to achieve this. Calling for a common banking system with deposit guarantees and the mutualisation of debt, he stressed that at present banks are only as strong as the governments that prop them up. Money flows out where governments are weak, weakening economies such as Spain further. He said there needs to be ‘more or less Europe’, the preferred option being that Germany leaves, though he does not expect this to happen. The alternative, a disorderly breakup of the 17-nation eurozone, would lead to a ‘boom for the legal profession’, he joked, as lawyers dealt with a rash of bankruptcies and restructuring of contracts. ‘Europe is going to face turmoil whichever direction it takes,’ he concluded. last_img read more

Clifford Chance scheme falls foul of tax tribunal

first_imgA tax tribunal has ruled against a stamp duty land tax (SDLT) avoidance scheme on which magic circle firm Clifford Chance advised.In the first case to test a targeted anti-avoidance rule in the SDLT legislation, developer of the Chelsea Barracks site Project Blue Ltd now faces a £50m tax bill.Project Blue, which is owned by Qatari Diar, a real estate affiliate of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, would have paid £12m less if it had not attempted to use the scheme, said HM Revenue & Customs.Project Blue entered into a series of arrangements involving a sub-sale of the freehold of Chelsea Barracks, with a sale and leaseback of the same property.The company claimed there was no SDLT payable by combining a relief which stops sub-sales being taxed twice, with rules on alternative property finance transactions.Qatari Diar’s board met in January 2008 to consider and approve the proposed financing of the acquisition of the property, said the tribunal. In addition to the transaction and financing documents requiring approval, the board was provided with a ‘tax structure paper’ and a ‘Steps Paper’ prepared by its legal advisers, Clifford Chance, it said.In February 2008, Clifford Chance submitted a ‘Disclosure of Avoidance Scheme’ in accordance with SDLT Tax Avoidance Regulations, said the tribunal.The tribunal ruled that Project Blue had failed ‘to put forward evidence of all the factors that may have been taken into account’ and failed to establish that tax avoidance was not a factor in their decision to proceed.Treasury minister David Gauke said: ‘The message is clear that entering into a tax avoidance scheme can cost more than paying the original tax bill.’The judgment affects 24 similar commercial cases, protecting a further £85m, said HMRC.Qatari Diar said: ‘We will be reviewing the tribunal’s decision in detail with our advisers and considering our next steps. Project Blue has always tried to fully comply with all UK taxation matters evidenced by a pre-payment made on account to HMRC of the full amount of the tax originally claimed prior to the hearing.’In an announcement on Wednesday, Gauke highlighted Project Blue as one of the 10 largest corporate tax avoidances tackled through the courts this year. HMRC claims to have protected a total of £1bn in tax in this way during the first six months of 2013.Clifford Chance declined to comment.last_img read more

Nigeria won’t rush reforms in petroleum industry, says Buhari

first_imgBuhari also ordered “a full investigation into the activities of the Amnesty Programme from 2015 to date, especially allegations of financial impropriety”. Image courtesy: Premium Times President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday that his administration would not rush reforms in the petroleum and gas industry, saying that reforms must be carefully thought out to serve the interests of Nigerians.Speaking specifically on the much-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill, Buhari stated that discussions on it were ongoing and that the bill would only become a reality when Nigerians were assured of getting the best of benefits from the industry.The President, who doubles as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, said this at the Presidential Villa when he played host to the recently-inaugurated executive committee members of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers.NUPENG, which was led by the National President, Williams Akporeha, had raised the issue of the PIB and how it was affecting the industry.The visit was part of the union’s 40th-anniversary celebrations and NUPENG also seized the opportunity to confer on Buhari the award of “Grand Comrade Productive Workers of Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry.”NUPENG stated that it honoured the President for his “commitment and devotion to a new Nigeria that adequately protects and provides for the citizenry and earns global respect and recognition.”However, it was Buhari’s position on industry reforms and the PIB that caught attention the more.While admitting that the bill was important and would be pursued to become an Act, he maintained that he would not do so in a hurry.The President said, “I fully agree with you that reforming the petroleum industry will unlock numerous untapped potential for the nation.“However, these reforms must be well thought out and must have the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians as its core objective. Such reforms cannot and must not be rushed if we must get it right.“We are still suffering from the effects of many legacy policies that were rushed and passed without fully appreciating the consequences the provisions embedded in them.“Whatever decision we take now will impact either negatively or positively on generations to come.”Related TALK AFRICA: NIGERIA UNDER BUHARI Nigeria’s Movie Industry Nigeria tech industry attracting venture capitalistslast_img read more

Woman Driver Rescued After Hours Missing In The Snow

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInJust after midnight on the morning of Wednesday 17th January, Galloway MRT were mobilised by Dumfries Galloway Police Division to the reports of a vehicle that had left the roadway between Glentrool and Straiton villages.With growing concerns that the female driver had not returned home after reporting her intended route to family, Galloway MRT prepared to send Galloway Lima (Land Rover) and Galloway Control (4×4 Transit) to search the road.On leaving our base we were also alerted to a vehicle off the A75. Galloway Control, a 4×4 Ambulance, diverted to that incident; which was shortly delt with before heading to join Galloway Lima.With snow from 7 inches to 6 foot in places, the road was searched by vehicle and by foot. Snow drifts were searched by probing the snow, and with our avalanche transceiver ready we were prepared for the car to be buried.However after 11 hours of searching the road and roadsides, and 19 hours since her car left the roadway, Rescue Flight 199 from HM Coastguard located the vehicle and airlifted the driver, who was alive yet extremely cold, and dropped her of at Straiton village for further assessment.Galloway MRT have been placed on standby to attend similar incidents tonight as the Amber weather warning for snow and ice continues.#FirstCalloutForGallowayControl #FarMoreThanJustMountainsStay up to date with Dumfries & Galloway Virtual Operations Support Team, and of course feed them any information you collect during the snow to share with everyone else, however the advice is DO NOT TRAVEL TONIGHT.last_img read more

Wärtsilä to Support Environmentally Sustainable Performance of Two New Cruise Ships

first_imgSea News, January 20 The technology group Wärtsilä will supply Chantiers de l‘Atlantique, France, a comprehensive package of integrated solutions designed to support and enhance the efficiency and environmental sustainability of the first two World Class cruise vessels being built for Geneva, Switzerland based MSC Cruises. The ships will operate on clean burning LNG fuel, and with optimal environmental performance. The orders with Wärtsilä were placed by Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Q3 2018 and Q1 2019. These will be the first two cruise ships to run on LNG with Wärtsilä 46DF engines, and with Wärtsilä LNGPac systems. The cruise industry’s profile in general is today very much geared towards sustainable operations. Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine vision, whereby high levels of digitalisation and connectivity are utilised to deliver greater efficiencies and better environmental performance, strongly supports this trend. “We are very familiar with Wärtsilä’s products and they have always provided us with excellent support in newbuild projects. These two new cruise ships will represent the latest thinking in minimising the environmental impact and reducing fuel consumption, which is in line with our Ecorizon plan, and Wärtsilä is playing a major role in this,” says Yves Pelpel, Technical Director, Chantiers de l’Atlantique. The full scope of Wärtsilä’s supply of fully integrated solutions includes, for each of the two vessels, five 14-cylinder Wärtsilä 46DF dual-fuel engines fitted with nitrogen oxide reduction (NOR) units, two Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel storage and supply systems, seven Wärtsilä thrusters, and two Wärtsilä fixed pitch propellers. The Wärtsilä 46DF engines are IMO Tier III compliant in gas mode, and are compliant in marine diesel oil (MDO) mode in combination with the NOR units. The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery in mid-2020 for the first ship, and in mid-2022 for the second. The steel cutting ceremony for the first of the two vessels, the ‘MSC Europa’ was held at Chantiers de l‘Atlantique in the end of October and it is scheduled to be launched in May 2022. Delivery of the second World Class vessel is scheduled for 2024. MSC Cruises is the world’s largest privately held cruise operator, and these two new ships will operate worldwide. Wärtsilä will supply a comprehensive package of integrated solutions designed to support and enhance the efficiency and environmental sustainability of two new World Class cruise vessels being built by Chantiers de l‘Atlantique for MSC Cruises (Image Courtesy: Chantiers de l‘Atlantique) “The focus of our solutions is on reducing energy and fuel consumption in order to promote efficiency. At the same time, our nitrogen oxide reduction and LNG solutions enhance environmental sustainability, which together with the higher efficiency, is very much in line with Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine strategy,” says Stefan Nysjö, Vice President, Marine Power Solutions, Wärtsilä. Author: Baibhav Mishralast_img read more

Barotac Nuevo booters rule Iloilo Gov’s Cup football tilt

first_imgThe champion squad wrapped up the match for good in the second half with Joe nailing the fifth conversion of the game at the 57th minute.Also part of the winning team were Gian Carlo Abalo, Ted Baylon, Kian Bela-ong, Alwin Bretana, Agelo Dejapa, Niel Estampador, John Carlo Gomez, Ulric Latoza, Nathan Seloterio, John Lawrence Panes, Welvin Villa Castin, Hanz Ycaza, Vincent Occena and Allan Binas.Other participating squads were second runner-up Sta. Barbara Elementary School, Estancia Elementary School, Calinog Central Elementary School and Guimbal Elementary School./PN Barotac Nuevo Central Elementary School bagged the championship title in this year’s Iloilo Governor’s Cup Inter-School U-12 Football tilt. COURTESY OF EDWIN CARO LARU-AN BAROTAC Nuevo Central Elementary School emerged as the champion in the 2018 Iloilo Governor’s Cup Inter-School U-12 Football Championship held recently at the Iloilo Sports Complex.Barotac Nuevo Central Elementary claimed the championship after defeating fellow Barotacnon So-ol Elementary School in the one-sided gold medal match.Vincent Andeloso spearheaded the attack with two goals, while Vincent Seth Bagalion, Ven Nicko Cartadura and Robert Joe Jr. added a conversion each for the champion team.Barotac Nuevo Central Elementary got match going early with Bagalion and Cartadura scoring a goal each at the second and seventh minute. The lead grew to 4-0 at the half with back-to-back hits from Andeloso (18th and 27th).last_img read more

The Amazing Tickets Weekend Recap!

first_img Related TopicsBrownsCavsCleveland GladiatorsIndians Vince McKee CLEVELAND, Ohio – It was another wild weekend around the sports world and as usual NEO Sports Insiders was there to cover it every step of the way.This article is brought to you by http://amazingtickets.com/Let’s start over the pond where Henrik Stenson won the British Open. Stenson would finish 20 under par and Mickelson finished three strokes behind at 17 under. The rest of the field paled in comparison. Third place went to J. B. Holmes at 6 under. Next weekend the tour will travel to the RBC Canadian Open at Glenn Abbey GC in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.Matt Kensenth looked strong in New Hampshire this earlier today as he took home the NASCAR checkered flag. However it wasn’t all good news for the winner as Matt Kenseth’s car failed the post-race laser inspection. Kenseth and the No. 20 team will likely be penalized this week, though it’s highly doubtful the win will be taken away.In the world of boxing it was Deontay Wilder retaining his WBC Heavyweight Championship with a 8th round TKO over later replacement challenger Chris Arreola. The champ dominated throughout before finally putting the game challenger away. One sour note for Wilder however was the post fight announcement that he had torn his biceps in the fight, and will be out several months.Meanwhile back home, it was a mixed bag for Cleveland teams on the field of battle this weekend.The Cleveland Gladiators met with defeat on the road as they were beaten by the LA Kiss in a heartbreaker by a score of 63-61. QB Arvell Nelson, tossed an astonishing 8 touchdown passes. 8,069 fans packed the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif for the week 17 clash. The loss dropped Cleveland’s record to 7-8 on the season and currently sit alone in third place in the AFL’s National Conference standings. The Gladiators will stay on the road and travel to Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ next weekend to take on the Arizona Rattlers. The Cleveland Indians kicked off the second half of the season on the right note by winning their 8th Road Series of the season. An impressive mark! They took 2 out of 3 games at Target Field from the Minnesota Twins. They managed to topple the Twins twice behind the strong pitching of starters Josh Tomlin and Carlos Carassco. Even Bauer looked strong in the late night extra inning affair loss on Saturday night.The Indians moved to 54 – 37 on the season and currently sit atop of the American League Central Division. They will travel to Kansas City tomorrow where they take on the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals in a three game set. The Royals are 8 games back of the Tribe for the Central Division lead while Detroit is 6.5 games behind.Lastly, the Cavs may have a tougher time then they thought re-signing JR Smith as he is looking for an astronomical 15 million a year to re-sign. It is highly doubtful anyone would be willing to pay him that.Until next time, you can follow Vince McKee on twitter at VinceTheAuthorlast_img read more