Blogs list

Ashley Fitzpatrick - Of Rock & Sea

Accounting for the Abitibi mill - If I lived and played in the political world, I would take the time here to encourage a wonderful (read: excruciating) and spirited (tired) exchange on the rights and wrongs of the government of Newfoundland and Labrador expropriating the former Abitibi paper mill at Grand Falls-Windsor in 2008.Instead, let’s begin with the simple fact it happened. And in 2012 — as reported by my colleague Barb Sweet — the Supreme Court of Canada decided it was up to the province to deal with the aftermath, specifically the cost of any required environmental remediation.The cleanup work has yet to get underway. And the big dollar figure on cost is undetermined.According to Department of Finance briefing materials recently released under an Access to Information request (see page 128 of 171), the province has booked an environmental liability of $2.5 million as of March 31, 2013 for the expropriated Abitibi properties, with a contingent liability of $265 million.That contingent liability represents what is considered an uncertain cost, largely dependent on a future event — like a court case or, say, negotiations around a property sale.The numbers should not be considered the total cleanup costs. That story is yet to be written.Save one report from 2008, I have seen little detailed information on the state of the properties and certainly few hard numbers in the form of even consultant estimates on the nitty-gritty of cleanup work.Also worth considering: the province may yet find a company willing to shoulder at least part of the long-term burden. That seems to, at least,…

Photo : Ashley Fitzpatrick August 18, 2014

Jackie McCann-Scott - Invested Mama

Two Ways to Ensure Your Insurance Doesn’t Expire Before You Do - If you have a term life insurance policy, there are a couple of key words you should be looking for in the fine print. When purchasing life insurance, there are a couple of initial factors to consider: determining the correct benefit amount and determining the correct coverage type. To determine the correct benefit amount, I take my clients through a comprehensive needs analysis. We first identify all their needs for cash upon death (i.e.; funeral expenses, outstanding mortgage balance, emergency fund, etc.) and compare that with the various sources of cash they already have on hand (i.e.; savings accounts, RRSP investments, other insurance in place, etc.). If completing this analysis with a couple or any one with dependents, we next take into consideration the income of all involved. What percentage of the combined family income would be needed by the survivors after the death of one income earner? People can easily identify the debts they would want paid off, but few consider how their loved ones would survive on a reduced income. I always say to my clients, “It is one thing to own your home. It’s another thing entirely to afford to keep the lights on and the fridge stocked.” For most middle aged clients with kids, the result of this needs analysis can typically generate an insurance need in excess of $1 million. Determining the correct coverage type can be less straightforward since your cash flow will inevitably factor into the equation. For example, a 35 year old, non-smoking female could purchase $1million…

Photo : Jackie McCann-Scott August 08, 2014
Photo : Telegram Photographers June 26, 2014

James McLeod - Briefing Note

ATIPPA review submission - On Thursday morning, I'll be presenting to the ATIPPA review committee chaired by former premier Clyde Wells, along with retired journalist Doug Letto and former federal privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart. I’ve already provided a written submission to the committee, and my presentation will cover the same ground. I’ve already written for the newspaper about why I feel it’s important to make a presentation to the committee, and the inherent conflict that presents as a working journalist. You can read that article here. In the interest of full disclosure, I just wanted to post my full written submission in this space, so that people can form their own opinions. You can also watch the live stream of the commission hearings at this website: I’ll be presenting at around 9:30 a.m. If you miss it, it looks like the videos are being archived so you can watch at your leisure. Anyway, here’s my full submission. If you’ve got any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me by e-mailing or leaving a comment on this post.   ATIPPA Statutory Review Submission By James Mcleod The Telegram   My experience with the ATIPPA system is primarily as a user. My job is to report on government and politics in Newfoundland and Labrador. To do that, I need reliable information about what government is doing. In theory, the most reliable source of information about government activities is the records within government which document day-to-day government operations — what happened, what information was available…

Photo : James McLeod June 25, 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