October 2019

MONTREAL — Bombardier says it will set up its rail division as a separate publicly traded company while retaining majority ownership.Bombardier Transportation is one of the world’s largest suppliers of subway, streetcar and other rail equipment for mass transit systems and accounts for about half the parent company’s overall business.There has been public speculation for months that Bombardier Transportation could be sold as part of a strategic review announced after its Montreal-based parent installed a new leadership team.Bombardier Inc nears deal to build US$1.5 billion monorail near Cairo, EgyptChinese acquisition of Bombardier Inc Transportation would face significant oppositionTwo Chinese rail giants said to be mulling a controlling stake in Bombardier’s train businessBut the company’s new CEO said Thursday that the rail unit will continue to be controlled by Bombardier Inc.“Let me be very clear: Bombardier Transportation is not for sale,” Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare said in a statement.“We like this business and it will remain part of Bombardier Inc.”Details of the proposed initial public offering for Bombardier Transportation weren’t disclosed in Thursday’s financial report but the company said it expects the IPO to take place in the fourth quarter of this year.In the first quarter of 2015, Bombardier Transportation produced US$2.04 billion of revenue — reported in U.S. currency — down 10 per cent from $2.27 billion a year earlier, according to results issued Thursday.Overall revenue for Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B) was $4.4 billion, essentially unchanged from the first quarter of last year, as the different segments of its aerospace business showed revenue growth that offset the decline in its rail division.Bombardier Aerospace has been struggling to launch the CSeries, a new generation of passenger jet for commercial airlines that’s undergoing test flights prior to going into commercial service. First deliveries of the CS100 are slated to begin in the first half of 2016 to a subsidiary of Lufthansa.Meanwhile, Bombardier said more layoffs are likely in its business aircraft division as it plans to reduce production due to dropping demand, especially from Latin America, China and Russia. In January, the company cut 1,000 jobs in Mexico and Wichita, Kan., after pausing development of its Learjet 85.Net income for Bombardier as a whole was $100 million or five cents per share, down from $115 million or six cents per share a year earlier. Adjusted earnings rose to $170 million (nine cents per share), up from $151 million (eight cents per share) a year earlier and four cents higher than an estimate from Thomson Reuters.Bombardier shares were up in early trading Thursday, rising about 2.5 per cent from the previous close. Bombardier is the only global company to operate in both the aerospace and rail industries. read more

MONTREAL — Canada’s two largest airlines have cancelled scores of flights, affecting thousands of passengers, due to the massive hurricane that has flooded parts of Texas.Calgary-based WestJet (TSX:WJA) says 25 flights between Calgary and Houston have been cancelled since Friday, impacting travel plans for 1,400 passengers.It says aircraft are positioned to resume service when the situation on the ground has improved.Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport says on its website that it should reopen for commercial traffic on Thursday at noon local time.WestJet says it is tentatively planning to operate one flight that day and one on Friday. Extra flight segments will be added over the weekend to help transport passengers.Air Canada has cancelled several flights between Houston and airports in Montreal and Toronto. It wouldn’t provide details about the number of passengers affected.The Montreal-based carrier (TSX:AC) says in a website advisory that customers who purchased tickets directly with the airline for flights between Saturday and Sept. 5 to Houston, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and San Antonio International Airport can change their flights free of charge until Sept. 20.Passengers who purchased tickets through Aeroplan or Air Canada Vacations should contact them directly.Hurricane Harvey has dumped a record 49.32 inches of rain on Texas.America’s fourth-largest city has been paralyzed by the storm that arrived as a Category 4 hurricane. Forecasters expect it will head back inland east of Houston sometime Wednesday then head north and lose its strength. read more

US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake says Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission had laid the groundwork for continued reconciliation following Sri Lanka’s 26-year-long conflict with the LTTE.“The LLRC offers a very promising way forward to help Sri Lanka become again the Island of peace and prosperity,” Blake said. “The U.S. will support reaching those goals.” Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US Jaliya Wickramasuriya recognized the strong relations between the U.S. and Sri Lanka, as well as the positive results of the re-development policies of His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa for Sri Lanka. He said this at Sri Lanka’s Independence Day celebrations held in the US on Saturday, the Sri Lankan Embassy in the US said in a statement today. The ambassador called upon Sri Lankan-Americans to “tell the correct story of Sri Lanka’s progress,” and on Sri Lankan youth to “remember your roots.” “Sri Lankans know that the best solutions will be home-grown,” the ambassador said at the event. “We know our country, we know our people and we know the expectations of our people. We know what works, and, because we are a democracy, we know that the solutions we seek will be adopted by a representative government.“That is, after all, how the great democracies of the world have settled their internal issues, including the United States. As we look to the United States as an example of self-determination, I am happy to report that our relationship with the U.S. remains strong and is growing stronger.” read more

Under customary international law and longstanding U.S. practice, sitting heads of state or government are considered to have immunity from civil suits in U.S. courts. This is the second human rights suit against President Rajapaksa to be dismissed this year based on a U.S. Suggestion of Immunity.In February this year Judge Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a suit filed against President Rajapaksa, based on a virtually identical Justice Department request. However a US lawyer said yesterday that on September 4, Judge Naomi Buchwald of the Southern District of New York dismissed the suit against President Rajapaksa, on the basis of a Suggestion of Immunity filed by the Justice Department, at the request of the State Department Legal Adviser. A US Court has dismissed the case filed by the wife of slain LTTE official Ramesh against the immunity provided to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by the US State Department from being arrested or tried for alleged war crimes.Ramesh’s wife Vathsala Devi had filed the argument at the US District Court in the Southern District of New York on August 23. In the latest case Judge Buchwald has said that “Here, plaintiff and Amicus seek to impose civil liability on a sitting head of state in a domestic forum, a proposition that has been soundly rejected by U.S. courts, even in the context of alleged jus cogens violations.” (Colombo Gazette) read more

India’s PMK MP Anbumani Ramadoss said he was ready to quit the BJP-led NDA alliance if his decision could help find a permanent solution to the problems of the Sri Lankan Tamils.Reacting to TNCC president E.V.K.S. Elangovan who asked why he was continuing in the NDA when India supported the “diluted” resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for a probe into the war crimes, Mr Anbumani said the Congress leader was only diverting the issue. “If it helps the Sri Lankan Tamils, I am ready to leave the NDA. India’s stand shocked me and I have returned a disappointed man,” Anbumani, who attended the UNHRC meeting in Geneva a few days ago, said, according to The Hindu newspaper. “An international inquiry will bring out the truth because the report had described the killing of Tamils as a system crime,” he said.Anbumani said even now it was not late for Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to hold an all party meeting to prevail upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to put pressure on the international community to get justice for the Sri Lankan Tamils. He said even though the UNHRC Commissioner’s report had not used the word “genocide” to describe the crime against Tamils in Sri Lanka, there was adequate evidence that pointed to genocide. read more

The CPA and its Executive Director filed the Fundamental Rights application challenging the appointment of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to fill the vacancy created by the death of Mr. M. K. A. D. S. Gunawardana, as a Member of Parliament elected in terms of Article 99A of the Constitution (the National List). A Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed against the appointment of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as a Member of Parliament was dismissed by the Supreme Court today.The petition was filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a Colombo based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO). CPA’s position is that in terms of Article 99A of the Constitution, only a person whose name was included in the district nomination papers or national list submitted by the relevant political party, is entitled to be nominated to fill such a vacancy. In its Petition, CPA stated that the appointment of a person as a Member of Parliament contrary to the provisions of the Constitution violates several rights guaranteed under the Constitution and in particular the franchise which is part of the sovereignty of the people. Furthermore, CPA argues that any attempt to interpret legislation in a manner contrary to the provisions of the Constitution would imperil the supremacy of the Constitution, which is the cornerstone of constitutional democracy. (Colombo Gazette) read more

An Iranian national was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) today with 2kg of heroin.The Customs Department said the heroin is worth Rs. 20 million.

Chinese President Xi Jinping today assured Sri Lanka development assistance as the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation drew to a close in the Chinese capital.Jinping said that while Sri Lanka is a small island it is an important country in the ports and shipping sector. The roundtable summit was part of the two-day forum held on Sunday and Monday and attended by 30 heads of state and Government leaders.The forum is the most important meeting on the Belt and Road Initiative since Xi first made the proposal in 2013. It is also the largest-scale and highest-level international gathering initiated by China. (Colombo Gazette) Participants in the Leaders Roundtable of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation adopted a joint communique and released an outcome list today. Jinping was speaking at a reception held with the participation of several world leaders, including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. read more

An arrest warrant has been issued on the son of Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena.The warrant was issued over the failure by Osanda Yapa to appear in court in connection to a traffic violation. (Colombo Gazette)

“You all have dedicatedly come forward to safeguard the country and also in times of national disasters all the time at the risk of your own lives, for which we are indebted to you. In the most recent past, you all stood by the nation and took the lead when national disasters, epidemics, landslides, etc struck us and I need your continued support for development of our country as we march forward as a peaceful society, rich with co-existence, reconciliation, harmony and understanding.”He emphasized that no Human Rights organization in the world be allowed to pressurize the Sri Lanka Army on whatever grounds and the UN has been informed of Sri Lanka’s capacity to find solutions to its own problems without any interference as a sovereign State. In his address to those three digit number attendees, the President thanked the Secretary of Defence and the Commander of the Army for arranging the meeting and called upon each soldier to continue with their dedicated roles for the sake of the country. President Maithripala Sirisena today asserted that Army soldiers will not be taken before war tribunals.The President gave the assurance when he addressed a gathering of more than 350 Commanding Officers (COs), Adjutants  and Regimental Sergeant Majors (RSMs) of the Army this evening at the Colombo Army Hospital auditorium. Kapila Waidyaratne, Secretary Defence and Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army extended a warm welcome to the President on his arrival at the premises and ushered him to the main auditorium. “As long as I remain the head of the country, I assure you that none of you would be allowed to testify before any war tribunals. Instead, such errant Army personnel, if any, can be produced before Courts and tried according to the existing law of the country. Disgruntled politicians and some retired Army personnel allege saying that War Heroes would be tried and punished, but I, as the President of this country would not allow anyone to be subjected to interrogation by foreign judges as such. Therefore you should not be misled by those baseless allegations and misleading statements.”“I also appeal all of you to believe in me and not to be misled by statements, rumours and our detractors. I commend all of you for the excellent services you rendered during the times of natural disasters and request you to extend your best cooperation for sustenance of reconciliation and peace in the country as a nation. I also wish to insist that unlike in the past, no War Hero’s overseas visa would be denied in future and will ensure their overseas visits are facilitated without any hindrance.”He also underlined the need for everyone to maintain the hard-earned peace for the country’s prosperity and assured that the Government would do everything possible to sustain the status-quo and make the Sri Lankan Army one of the best in the world in future. An Army live telecast of the President’s speech was transmitted to all Security Force Headquarters, Divisions and other formations simultaneously covering more than 30,000 members of the Army across the country. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Sri Lanka has offered Papua New Guinea assistance in the education sector, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said today.High Commissioner Somasundaram Skandakumar presented his credentials as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the Papua New Guinea Governor General Robert Dadae. The Governor General also highlighted the need to build on economic relations. High Commissioner Skandakumar offered Sri Lanka’s assistance in the education sector.Noting that free education and healthcare have been enjoyed by Sri Lankans throughout the country since independence, the High Commissioner highlighted that despite the protracted conflict, successive Governments have ensured that education and healthcare facilities were provided without disruption to all areas even during that period. The Governor General noted that Sri Lanka was rich in the education sector and PNG has received a large number of Sri Lankan academics as well as teachers in the past. The High Commissioner also briefed the Governor General on other developments in Sri Lanka, and noted that both countries have suffered from the devastating effects of natural disasters in recent times due to extreme climatic conditions.High Commissioner Skandakumar conveyed Sri Lanka’s condolences and empathy with the people of Papua New Guinea on the devastation caused by the earthquake in March 2018 in the remote Highlands region.The Governor General noted that sports is another potential area for future cooperation and given the High Commissioner’s own expertise in the game of cricket requested his assistance to help develop the game in Papua New Guinea where it is gaining popularity. High Commissioner Skandakumar invited the Foreign Minister to visit Sri Lanka when he is next in the region.The newly appointed Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka PNG Friendship Foundation hosted the High Commissioner to a welcome dinner where the High Commissioner was able to interact with the Sri Lankan community in Port Moresby. (Colombo Gazette) High Commissioner Skandakumar also called on Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Rimbink Pato, and Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Barbara Age. The High Commissioner requested Papua New Guinea to consider visa facilitation for Sri Lankan businesses and proposed to identify synergies through which the two countries could work towards improving trade and economic relations. Enhancing cooperation in tourism, agriculture, human resources development, SMEs, garments industry and interaction between business communities were other areas that were discussed. Following the ceremony at the Government House, the Governor General held a one to one discussion with the High Commissioner and expressed the hope that the two countries could build on the cordial relations. read more

A decision has been taken to convene Parliament tomorrow, the Speaker’s office said in a special statement.Parliament was earlier set to convene again on November 21st but the Speaker and party leaders have now decided that Parliament must meet tomorrow at 1.30PM.

Brock Days are coming, and it is once again time for the annual celebration known as Fine Food, Fine Wine, Fine Arts.The event, held in conjunction with Brock Days and the Niagara Wine Festival, includes top Niagara chefs such as Jan Willem Stulp, Eric Peacock and Tony de Luca. It also features award-winning wineries such as Staff Estate Winery, Jackson Triggs, Inniskillin Wines and Mike Weir Estate Winery.Suitcase in Point Theatre Company will once again bring live art in disguise for the event.The event will be Thursday, Sept. 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Pond Inlet. Tickets are $89 and available by calling the Centre for the Arts at 905-688-5550 x3257.For more information, contact Marie Reimer at 905-688-5550 x3860 or mreimer@brocku.ca read more

A Remembrance Day service is planned for Tuesday in the Ian Beddis Gymnasium.The ceremony begins at 10:45 a.m. and will include reflections from Brock president Jack Lightstone, Brock Student Union president Roland Erman and Brock Graduate Students Association president Lee Belding.

Three suspects have been arrested for attempting to rob a bank in Milton, and for robbing a bank in Guelph–all in the same day. On August 3, two men entered the Royal Bank at 55 Ontario St. in Milton with their faces concealed and attempted to rob it. The men took off on foot and entered a waiting vehicle in a near area.Later that day, the same suspects conducted another bank robbery in Guelph.“Three suspects were arrested shortly after,” according to Guelph police. It is still unclear where the arrests took place.No names have been released as the investigation is ongoing.Anyone with information into the investigation of both these crimes is asked to contact Halton police. read more

SRIHARIKOTA, India — India has called off the launch of a moon mission to explore the lunar south pole.The Chandrayaan-2 mission was aborted less than an hour before takeoff on Monday. Indian Space Research Organization spokesman B.R. Guruprasad says a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton launch-vehicle system.The agency says a new launch date would be announced.Chandrayaan, the word for “moon craft” in Sanskrit, is designed for a soft landing on the far side of the moon and to send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by a previous Indian space mission.India’s nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eager to show off the country’s security and technology prowess. If India did manage the soft landing, it would be only the fourth to do so after the U.S., Russia and China.The Associated Press read more

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index headed higher in late-morning trading, helped by the energy sector as the price of oil gained ground.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 64.76 points at 16,463.99.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 177.99 points at 26,296.01. The S&P 500 index was up 21.18 points at 2,927.45, while the Nasdaq composite was up 67.81 points at 7,941.97.The Canadian dollar traded for 75.35 cents US compared with an average of 74.95 cents US on Tuesday.The October crude contract was up US$2.03 at US$55.97 per barrel and the October natural gas contract was up 3.5 cents at US$2.393 per mmBTU.The December gold contract was down US$1.50 at US$1,554.40 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 5.75 cents at US$2.5855 a pound. The Canadian Press read more

TORONTO — When Shopify Inc. opens its first brick-and-mortar space for the public Thursday, it won’t be crammed with aisles of products that the Ottawa-based company helps its 600,000 merchants sell.The small selection of merchandise the location will showcase from primarily U.S.-based merchants — a term Shopify uses to describe the companies using its offerings — will only be available for purchase online.Instead, Satish Kanwar, Shopify’s vice-president of product, said the brand’s first physical experience in a bustling Los Angeles spot will be focused on building a community and helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses.Shopify announces $500 million presence in Toronto real estate developmentShopify CEO calls for special government treatment for hyper-scale tech companiesWhy Shopify thinks augmented reality is the future of online retailHe said Shopify intends to host workshops, talks and other events aimed at solving the biggest challenges Shopify merchants face. Merchants will be able to book in-person appointments with Shopify staff and pick up some of the hardware Shopify offers. Visiting merchants will also get access to retail consultants for product demos and hardware and software set up.On top of nurturing budding entrepreneurs at every level, Kanwar said the space at Row DTLA — a historic district filled with shops, restaurant and offices — will help Shopify to attract new merchants.The exterior of Shopify’s new store in Los Angeles. “Our focus is on building a global company and we have always had an amazing and large presence of merchants in the U.S., but there is absolutely room for us to grow and create more entrepreneurs,” he said.Already, Shopify said it has 10,000 merchants in Los Angeles alone and 80,000 in California.Shopify’s focus on physical support for retailers comes amid slowing growth. Year-over-year revenue grew by 62 per cent in the company’s second quarter, down from 68 per cent the quarter before and 75 per cent in the first quarter of 2017.Harley Finkelstein, Shopify’s chief operating officer, previously told The Canadian Press at the company’s annual Unite conference that the brick-and-mortar space wasn’t targeted at addressing slowed growth, but at aiding partners and merchants.At the time, he didn’t say whether Shopify will explore additional bricks-and-mortar spaces if the L.A. space is a success.Kanwar didn’t offer more details about whether bricks-and-mortar will figure into Shopify’s playbook in more markets moving forward, but said the company was seeing a flurry of bookings for events and workshops.“There are no confirmed plans for opening other locations right now, but we are really excited about the kind of response we have seen.” Handout/Shopify/The Canadian Press read more

Steps have been taken to speed Norfolk’s application for federal-provincial funding for a new recreation centre in Simcoe.Norfolk council  has given the county’s recreation facilities advisory board permission to hire a consultant to assist with the preparation of a funding application.Council also has empowered the board to hire an architectural firm to prepare preliminary drawings that would help senior funding authorities assess Norfolk’s application.The provincial government announced in August a major funding program for recreational facilities. The deadline for applying is Nov. 12. With similar infrastructure programs in the past, the province and federal government have given priority to projects that are “shovel-ready.”Norfolk’s delegation to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Ottawa last month came away knowing that competition for the available millions will be fierce.Port Dover Coun. Amy Martin spoke of delegates lined up in hallways with portfolios and project proposals packaged ready to hand over to senior provincial ministers and bureaucrats.“We need to be ready to check all the boxes and cover it,” Martin said at council’s Sept. 17 meeting.Mayor Kristal Chopp said Norfolk must do something  to “push the envelope” and distinguish its application from the pack.“There are a number of applications that are all going for this limited pool of money,” she said.“Whatever we can do – if it’s a matter of spending a few thousands on an architect to prepare the most competitive application possible – this would be worthwhile.”Chopp said the county needs a design for the recreation centre that speaks to Norfolk’s strengths and unique attributes.“The selection of an architect has huge implications for this project.”Council approved in 2018 a $200,000 budget for preliminary work leading to a funding application. Of this, $30,000 has been spent so far.On Sept. 17, council directed the mayor, who is a member of the recreation facilities board, to vet all invoices arising from the board’s deliberations leading to a funding application this fall.Norfolk is exploring the possibility of building a new multi-use facility because much of the county’s recreational infrastructure in Simcoe is aging and in need of costly upgrades. A design has yet to be finalized but the facility council has in mind could cost about $50 million.The previous council passed a resolution stating that Norfolk’s support for a multi-use complex is contingent on securing funding from senior levels of government.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com read more

Fitting in can be hard in high school.Strides are being made, however, to help alleviate some of that stress.Delhi District Secondary School will host the fifth annual Rainbow Ball, welcoming LGBTQ+ students and allies from across Grand Erie to the semi-formal dance.The Rainbow Ball is an evening that celebrates the diversity of the students.“For our students who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, this evening provides a vibrant space where they can be themselves and feel supported by allies, including fellow students, teachers and administration,” said Colleen Bator, teacher at Delhi District, who is overseeing the organization of this year’s event.“Events like the Rainbow Ball are important in reinforcing to all of our students that they are celebrated, supported and appreciated for being just who they are.”Grand Erie’s first Rainbow Ball took place at Simcoe Composite School in 2015. It was organized by the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). In 2016, the event moved to Haldimand County, hosted by McKinnon Park Secondary School for two years. Last spring, Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School hosted the fourth, and largest, event.The 2019 Rainbow Ball is being organized in concert with Delhi District’s GSA, which has been running at the school for nine years.The theme for this year is Disney. Those interested in attending can purchase a $10 ticket through their school’s GSAs or their main office. Complimentary transportation to Delhi District from Brant and Haldimand counties is being provided by Safe Schools. The dance is on May 2 at 6:30 p.m. read more