Blogs list

Ashley Fitzpatrick - Of Rock & Sea

Fragments on Fracking - The Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project aside, hydraulic fracturing - fracking - is a topic that would be difficult to escape on the Natural Resources beat. Even outgoing premier Tom Marshall is reading up on the topic these days, as mentioned in a recent 20 Questions special interview. The province currently has a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing in the onshore hunt for oil. It was announced in November 2013. In August 2014, Minister of Natural Resources Derrick Dalley said there would be an independent panel created, tasked with a review of the use of hydraulic fracturing in the province. Dalley has referred to an internal review already completed. Of course, I asked for the report under the province’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. On Friday, I received a response. Please note that the formal reports associated with the internal review on fracking have not been provided as they will soon be made public, was the reply. Under the Act, a record or part of a record that is to be published or released to the public within 45 days after the applicant's request is received can be withheld. Fair enough. I was not the only one to request the report. Mike Connors at NTV news has reported he is looking for the same. I doubt he’s the only other. And so- I expect it won't be long now. Meanwhile, the provincial government has provided slides from a presentation that was given to the minister on the subject of fracking, on…

Photo : Ashley Fitzpatrick September 22, 2014

Jackie McCann-Scott - Invested Mama

Being Schooled by CRA Isn’t So Bad...True Story. - In the span of a week, I’ve had two clients in my office seeking financial advice on going back to school. Both are currently employed in well-paying and – by all accounts – “fulfilling” careers. One is seeking additional certification in his chosen field. The other is looking to follow her dreams. Both of them need money to make it happen. The Good News If you have an RRSP, Revenue Canada will let you borrow up to $20,000 from it interest and tax free (no, that’s not a typo) to help fund your post-secondary aspirations. If you don’t have any money (or very little) in your own RRSP, your spouse or common law partner can borrow from theirs to help pay your back to school bills. You can also take a little from your own as well as your spouse’s (with their permission, of course…there are forms to fill out…this is still the government we’re talking about) or you could both decide to withdraw at the same time and go all “Old School“ on the system. That was such a great movie. But I digress. This little known gem is called the Lifelong Learning Program (LLP) and for “mature” students, it’s the best thing since sliced bread. It Gets Better It really does. You can withdraw a total of $20,000 ($10,000 per calendar year) each time you use the Lifelong Learning Program. That’s right. You can use the LLP more than once in your lifetime. In fact, you can use this program as often as…

Photo : Jackie McCann-Scott September 25, 2014
Photo : Telegram Photographers June 26, 2014

James McLeod - Briefing Note

U of C says Manning didn’t graduate from grad school - Questions continue to swirl about newly minted Public Safety Minister Judy Manning, her qualifications, how she got the job, and why she refuses to run in one of the upcoming byelections. I reported on a bunch of that stuff for today’s paper (story here) but this morning, I started looking into another angle. Manning graduated from MUN in 2001, and then graduated from law school at Dalhousie in 2004 before being called to the bar in 2005. Then, according to Manning’s official bio published by the provincial government on Tuesday, “Ms. Manning left private practice in Toronto in 2011 to pursue graduate studies in natural resources, energy and environment Law at the University of Calgary. Having returned to legal practice in her home province in 2013, Ms. Manning now enjoys working as a sole practitioner in St. John’s.” Given the provincial government’s involvement in natural resources and energy issues, her studies at the University of Calgary seem interesting. It’s also interesting that the U of C law school lists a 2011 paper from Manning entitled, “Is it within the power of the federal government to facilitate the development of hydroelectric power from Labrador to markets in Canada and the United States using the existing infrastructure of Hydro-Québec for transmission? You can see that here: That website lists bibliographies only. You can’t actually read the article, because apparently the University of Calgary doesn’t have a copy of it. I emailed the media relations rep at the University of Calgary asking for a copy of it,…

Photo : James McLeod October 02, 2014

Geoff Meeker - Geoff Meeker (Meeker on Media) Blog

Herald in Hot Water - The Herald has landed itself in a cauldron of scalding hot water, over its publication of a rather detestable letter in its August 3-9 edition. The letter, written by Matt Barber, a far-right extremist in the United States, is as mean and intolerant as Christianity can be. It’s the kind of thing you see shared on Tea Party web sites in the United States. Indeed, it’s as if someone trolled a hook through the depths of the Internet, pulled up something ugly and slapped it on the pages of The Herald. If you want to read the text, here’s a link: Western Pride in Corner Brook has filed a human rights complaint with the police about the letter and LGBTQ activist Pamela Sheaves has indicated that she plans to do the same, while St. John’s Pride issued a letter saying they will not pursue legal remedies at this time, planning instead to “work closely with the Herald and the media at large to establish a forthcoming LBGTQ Style Guide for Journalists.” I am an atheist so the column offends me on a number of levels – especially Barber’s accusation that the “secular left” is at war Christianity. I don’t agree with this. I think secular society in the western world is quite tolerant of various religious beliefs. If anything, it’s Christianity that has a hard time with changing societal mores. And that’s the whole point of Barber’s letter: the suggestion that Christianity is under attack. This paragraph pretty much captures the gist of it:…

Photo : Geoff Meeker August 09, 2014