29 April 2011There are huge opportunities for banks to get involved in the transformation of South Africa’s agricultural sector by providing finance to small-holder farmers and farm workers, and advice to established farmers seeking black economic empowerment (BEE) partners.This is according to Standard Bank, which foresees an increase in BEE activity in the country’s agricultural sector in the medium term as large-scale farmers come under more pressure to comply with transformation requirements.“[The] government’s Agri-BEE policy includes a target that calls for 50% of South Africa’s agricultural produce sold by retailers to be procured from previously disadvantaged producers, partly as a means of improving market access for previously disadvantaged producers,” Standard Bank’s Diale Mokgojwa said in a statement this month.“Most big farmers produce for the local market, especially large retailers, who are now insisting on their suppliers being more compliant with BEE requirements.”He said Standard Bank was considering financing farm worker equity stakes, especially in the Western Cape province, where “there is a huge appetite” among existing large-scale farmers to have black equity partners.Ring-fenced credit linesMokgojwa added that the bank was on track to advance the R500-million ring-fenced credit line it announced last year as part of its strategy to assist small-holder farmers, with a number of funding projects nearing completion.The fund forms part of the bank’s strategy to empower black farmers to become part of mainstream agriculture, and its broader transformation plan.“We aim to be a leading bank in the transformation of agriculture,” he said. “But no single sector or organisation can achieve transformation in agriculture on its own.“It’s critical that sector partners such as [the] government, commercial farmers, suppliers and communities work together with each doing what they’re best at.”Standard Bank has under consideration projects in the sugar, citrus, livestock and grain production sectors, and should have more news on some of these projects over the rest of 2011.“The overarching goal with the ring-fenced credit line is to make finance accessible to the right entrepreneurs,” Mokgojwa said. “We are hoping to provide banking services and financing to more black farmers or black consortiums buying stakes in existing entities.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
15 July 2015The government still has to negotiate the price for the procurement of nuclear power in South Africa, according to the Department of Energy.It had completed various technical studies, including in depth studies into the cost of nuclear power, funding and financing models and economic impact of localisation, among others, deputy director-general for nuclear energy Zizamele Mbambo said yesterday.“It is important to note that government is still to negotiate the price tag in the procurement process which is why exact figures for the study cannot be made available to the public at this stage. These studies were done to ensure that South Africa is a knowledgeable customer,” Mbambo said at a press briefing in Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal on the status of the country’s new build nuclear energy programme.The procurement process would start in the second quarter and be completed by the end of the 2015 financial year with the selection of either a single or a group of strategic partners, he added.Six to eight nuclear power plantsThe first new nuclear power station would come on line in 2023. The government intended to build between six and eight nuclear power plants, and the bid invitation specification and related evaluation criteria would be finalised by the end of July, Mbambo said.“It is important to note that government is still to negotiate the price tag in the procurement process which is why exact figures. cannot be made available to the public at this stage.”Mbambo gave examples of the current world experience, saying the current world experience for quoted numbers for real export would indicate an overnight cost of about $5-billion per 1 200 megawatts, which is equivalent to $4 200 per kilowatt per reactor in new comer states.“In countries with established domestic construction programmes, such as China, South Korea and India, the prices in order of $2 500 per kilowatts are being quoted. Among the 70-plus reactors in the world, there are a number of projects where because of the local market and political conditions the project costs are higher than these figures.”The government was expected to complete its financing arrangements for the new build programme shortly.Mixed energy planIn March 2011, the Cabinet approved and promulgated a 20-year Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2010-30), which is the government’s electricity plan. It has a mixed energy agenda that puts nuclear at 23% (9 600 MW) of energy source by 2030.The briefing followed the submission of the Inter-Government Framework Agreements on nuclear co-operation to Parliament.These agreements laid a foundation for co-operation, trade and exchange of nuclear technology as well as procurement, according to the department.Going forward, Mbambo said, the government planned to follow the approved procurement process that would include a competitive, transparent bidding process that was cost effective and in line with legislation.Infrastructure reviewWork already done towards the nuclear build programme was extensive. Over and above the inter-governmental agreements, the International Atomic Energy Agency has conducted an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission, which is an assessment of the country’s infrastructure as it relates to readiness to start purchasing, constructing, and operating nuclear power plants.Of the 10 recommendations made by the panel, several have been completed; others are being reviewed. Strategies have been drawn up in line with the recommendations.The department has also undertaken study tours to various nuclear vendor countries to learn about the technologies they use and the lessons they have learned in using nuclear energy.Vendor parades have been held, with South Africa professionals from government departments, state-owned entities and universities interrogating the vendors’ technological offerings.“The vendor parade workshops provided a platform for South Africa professionals to exchange views with their peers on the nuclear new build programme.”Skills developmentIn addition, in preparing for the nuclear new build programme, national skills development is being undertaken.Mbambo said 50 trainees from the government, entities and industry were sent to China for Phase 1 nuclear training in April. “Plans are under way to send an additional 250 trainees to China this year. Additionally, a memorandum of agreement on skills development was entered into between Necsa [South African Nuclear Energy Corporation] and State Nuclear Power Technology Co-operation of China.”Russia had offered 10 scholarships for Master’s degrees in nuclear technology. A memorandum of understanding had also been signed covering the training and development of 200 South Africans at Russian universities and educational organisations.South Korea had an existing programme to train South African students for Master’s degrees in nuclear engineering; already three students had graduated.Finally, France had put in place 14 bursaries for young people from previously disadvantaged groups to study a four-year engineering programme at various universities.“The negotiations on Nuclear Skills Development with the French government are at an advance stage that could see an establishment of a nuclear campus in South Africa,” Mbambo added.“Government remains committed to ensure energy security for the country, through the roll out of the nuclear new build programme as an integral part of the energy mix. Government remains committed to ensuring the provision of reliable and sustainable electricity supply, as part of mitigating the risk of carbon emissions,” he said.The nuclear new build programme would enable the country “to create jobs, develop skills, create industries, and catapult the country into a knowledge economy”.SAinfo reporter
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 41:04 — 33.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSOne of the most fundamental but overlooked pieces of any sales presentation is being confident in what to say to your prospect. It’s not about product features, though that’s necessary. It’s about understanding the way human beings work, how they listen, and how they naturally respond to specific language. Anthony’s guest on this episode is Phil M. Jones, author of “Exactly What To Say” – an incredibly practical book for salespeople that shows you the nuanced changes you can make to the things you say in order to turn negative or cold responses into positive and warm ones. You’ll be amazed at how insightful and helpful the book is. It’s one you could spend a few hours reading and apply immediately. You’ll get a taste for why the book is so practical by listening to this conversation.Phil M. Jones on Knowing Exactly What To Say in Your Sales Conversations – Ep 91Click To TweetMany people don’t have what they want because they are not doing the basics.Phil M. Jones is an experienced sales leader who has worked hard to get where he is. He learned early on in his sales career that, in his words, he needed to “Do what he was told.” What he means is that many of the things he was being told by his sales trainers were tried and true fundamentals that would set him up for success. Phil says that in order to attain success in any field, you need to be brilliant at the basics, then get up and do it again tomorrow. Then do it again the next day. And the next. Phil has done that and in so doing has developed a keen understanding of how the words he says to prospects make a HUGE difference. He unpacks a small taste of how you can shift what you say to get better results, on this episode of In The Arena.The sales decision takes a microsecond. Knowing what to say to get past it is key.For many sales professionals, the most intimidating part of the sales presentation is asking for the sale. Will the prospect buy? Will they have objections? Will they have some reason they have to say “no?” Will they need to consult other decision-makers? Phil M. Jones has discovered that many times you don’t even have to ask for the sale. In fact, he says if you know what to say, many times you can assume the sale and move right past it to the follow up steps, and your prospect will happily go along because of how you’ve handled the situation. Sound too good to be true? You’ve got to hear Phil’s explanation on this episode.The sales decision takes a microsecond. Knowing what to say to get past it is keyClick To TweetAre you challenging your sales leads by the words you say? You should be.When Phil M. Jones says that you should be challenging your sales prospects, he doesn’t mean in an arrogant, heavy-handed way. He means you should be phrasing the things you say in a way that makes it a challenge for your prospect to respond, the kind of challenge they want to rise to and meet. It’s an example of one of the nuanced ways you can adjust HOW you say what you say so that the response you get is more aligned with the direction you’re going in your sales conversations. Find out more from Phil as he chats with Anthony, on this episode of the podcast.Do you know what to say in order to get referrals? Here’s a script that really works.We’ve all been taught to ask for referrals. It’s part of what keeps leads coming in and the pipeline full. But Phil M. Jones believes that from a human psychology standpoint, most of what we’ve been taught in terms of what to say is askew. During this conversation, Anthony asks Phil to explain some of the nuanced changes he’s made to traditional sales scripts in order to dig deeper and understand the “why” behind Phil’s sales effectiveness. He gives an exact referral script as an example and quickly demonstrates why his changes are so powerful. You won’t want to miss this one. It could make a difference in your day almost immediately.Do you know what to say in order to get referrals? Here’s a script that really worksClick To TweetOutline of this great episode Phil M. Jones: Anthony’s guest on this episode. Why many people don’t have what they want. Why Anthony enjoyed Phil’s book and what makes it about his readers. The way Phil discovered there are better word choices than others. Why “I don’t think this is right for you” could be a great approach. “How open minded are you?” as a great sales question. Learning how to control the sales process through the questions you ask. The power of assuming your prospect has questions for you.Our Sponsors:SAPs Digital CRM – the CRM Anthony recommendsResources & Links mentioned in this episodewww.PhilM.Jones.com06928819560671027034The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: www.Youtube.com/IannarinoFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/iannarinoTwitter: https://twitter.com/iannarinoGoogle Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarinoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarino Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Tweets you can use to share this episodeMany people don’t have what they want because they are not doing the basicsClick To TweetAre you challenging your sales leads by the words you say? You should beClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below
As many as 27 FIRs have been lodged against Samajwadi Party leader and Lok Sabha MP Azam Khan in the last one month on the allegation that he grabbed farmers’ land for his university in Rampur, police said. Khan, who was a cabinet minister in Uttar Pradesh during the Akhilesh Yadav-led regime, is the founder and Chancellor of the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University which came into being in 2006.“Since July 11, over two dozen farmers have approached the police with allegations of encroachment of their land for the university. We have registered 27 FIRs in these cases and investigations are underway,” Superintendent of Police, Rampur, Ajay Pal Sharma told PTI. Largely, he said, these cases have been registered under Indian Penal Code sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement), 447 (criminal trespass), 389 (putting a person in fear of accusation of offence, in order to commit extortion), 506 (criminal intimidation).“Some farmers have claimed of land grab of one bigha, some two, some much more. Altogether, so far, complaint for 0.349 hectare land encroachment has been lodged and necessary action is being taken,” Sharma said.“Punishment in these cases could be arrest and imprisonment up to 10 years besides monetary penalty,” the officer said. The Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, which has enrolled over 3,000 students, is spread over an area of 121 hectares, according to its website. Besides the land grab FIRs, the Rampur Police had lodged a criminal case against university authorities on June 16 on a complaint by the principal of the 250-year-old Rampur-based Oriental College, earlier known as Madrasa Aliya, that over 9,000 books were stolen and taken to the library of the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University.
John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. “Every night he’ll send me a random text, and we’re always talking. That’s extra special for me.” Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC UST averts winless season, beats UE ‘Pamana’: Mausoleum caretaker cherishes humble work for family PLAY LIST 03:06‘Pamana’: Mausoleum caretaker cherishes humble work for family02:36Archers, Eagles favorites to win UAAP Season 8000:58UE’s rookie coach Silva ‘honored’ to be in same league as champion coaches, former mentors01:37Protesters 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 LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 READ: Alejandro laments not playing more years under NU coach Jarin“My UAAP career has been fun especially my last year with coach Jamike, that’s really been my best memory,” said Alejandro, who played in his final UAAP game after NU lost to University of the Philippines, 106-81, Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.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 shutout“What made it special was I had the chance to play under coach Jamike who we all know is a multi-titled coach in the UAAP and the NCAA.”READ: Jarin takes blame for NU’s failed Final Four bid QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Read Next Jarin was an eight-time UAAP juniors champion with Ateneo and a one-time NCAA seniors champion with San Beda and that was the kind of pedigree that Alejandro admired.Another thing that drew Alejandro, who is a one-time UAAP champion back in Season 77, to Jarin was the trust the mentor gave him.“The sweetest thing was he allowed Matt (Salem) and I to be captains.”Alejandro added Jarin rarely talked to them about basketball and evoked an aura not of a coach’s, but of a father figure.“He’s like a father figure to us, we actually talk more about other things not about basketball,” said Alejandro, who finished with 16 points and eight assists.ADVERTISEMENT Jay Alejandro. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJ-Jay Alejandro played just one year for National University head coach Jamike Jarin, but the graduating Bulldog said that lone year has been the most special in his UAAP tenure.And all that was thanks to Jarin.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion View comments
‘He’s human’: Cavs coach defends LeBron after ‘weird’ loss MOST READ Golden State Warriors’ JaVale McGee, top left, Kevin Durant, top center, Stephen Curry, center right, and Draymond Green, top right, join the rest of their team as they pose with the trophy after their 129-115 win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Monday, May 22, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)SAN ANTONIO — Kevin Durant does not need to be told that Golden State should have a muted celebration after winning the Western Conference Finals.Durant is fully aware a tough challenge waits for them. It’s why Durant signed with the Warriors and why Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green embraced him at the expense of their own stats.ADVERTISEMENT Lillard, Anthony lead Blazers over Thunder 250 enrolled at phony school arrested in immigration scam Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Hornets beat Pistons for 8th straight time The biggest difference is the addition of Durant, who left Oklahoma City in the offseason to sign with Golden State.His presence has given the Warriors a deep and talented roster headlined by four All-Stars in Durant, Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. But Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said to credit talent as the sole reason behind Golden State’s current run is disrespectful.READ: Warriors adjusting to life without Durant“They’re really talented, but that’s not everything that describes them,” Popovich said. “This is maybe the best defensive team in the league on top of everything. So, they don’t just play with talent. They execute at the defensive end of the floor. On offense, no team is more unselfish finding the open man and that sort of thing.”The Warriors have shown their strength by blasting through the playoffs in the normally rugged West.Golden State is shooting 50 percent from the field while averaging 118.3 points in 12 playoff games. As good as the offense has been, it’s been the Warriors’ defense that has been key to their playoff dominance. Golden State held San Antonio, Utah and Portland to 102 points and averaged 9.2 steals per game.“I think our defensive intensity has been amazing,” Green said. “Overall, I think we’ve done a great job locking in on the defensive side, scrambling around, trying to take away team’s No. 1 option. That doesn’t necessarily mean the player, just trying to make them go to a second or third option in the set and also trying to cover that. I think we’ve been doing a great job of that.”The addition of David West and Matt Barnes has given the Warriors two more defensive-minded players off the bench to go along with Andre Iguodala and JaVale McGee.Still, Golden State coach Mike Brown knows better execution is critical in the finals.“We feel like we can play better,” said Brown, who is filling in on the sideline for an injured Steve Kerr. “To get to our ultimate goal of winning the whole thing, we’ve got to be better on both ends of the floor.” Golden State will host Game 1 of the NBA Finals on June 1 against either Cleveland or Boston. The Cavaliers hold a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, but Curry alluded the Warriors are expecting a rematch with LeBron James and company.“We all know, obviously, who we’re going to play,” Curry said. “We’ll be watching the Eastern Conference Finals to see how that unfolds. But it will be easy to start this new chapter and really just lock in on what’s in front of us.”READ: NBA: Durant powers Warriors past slumping Spurs Facing Cleveland will resurrect chatter of Golden State’s collapse in last season’s finals, which saw the Cavaliers rally from a 3-1 deficit to win the franchise’s first championship.“This year is a totally different year, different group, different journey,” Curry said.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: PH beats Indonesia, enters gold medal round in polo LATEST STORIES LOOK: Vhong Navarro’s romantic posts spark speculations he’s marrying longtime GF Man who told immigrant to go back to country asked to write essay “We have a bigger goal in mind,” Durant said.Golden State has a chance to earn their second championship in three years after sweeping the San Antonio Spurs with a 129-115 victory Monday night.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingREAD: Warriors set 12-0 record for 3rd straight trip to NBA FinalsThe Warriors became the first team in league history to open the playoffs 12-0, which provides them with a week of rest prior to their third straight finals appearance. Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo 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 Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes As a 23-year-old playing with the Thunder. Durant learned a heightened effort is needed in the Finals. Oklahoma City celebrated advancing to the 2012 Finals only to be steamrolled by Miami in five games.Experience has taught Durant that winning the West is no reason to relax or celebrate.“Yea, it’s a little different, definitely. I can’t lie,” Durant said. “I went when I was 23-years-old, and it felt like the Western Conference Finals was almost like the championship. Just getting to that point, you know how hard it is and how much work you put in to start the season. So, it’s a little different now, obviously.“I feel like we could definitely be better.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Nicolas Deslauriers didn’t even see his goal that ignited Buffalo’s comeback victory over the New York Islanders on Dec. 27.With Buffalo down 3-0 early in the third period, Deslauriers’ wrister from the slot sailed through three Islanders before beating goalie Kevin Poulin.“I heard it hit the post,” Deslauriers said. “But I saw (Drew) Stafford and (Brian) Flynn putting their hands up, so I put mine up.”The goal was the first of three third-period goals in just over 5 minutes for Buffalo, and Tyler Ennis scored in a shootout to give the Sabres a 4-3 victory and snap a four-game skid.It was Deslauriers’ fourth goal of the season, and his second in two games. He also added an assist on Zemgus Girgensons’ short-handed goal.“I’m just putting the puck on net and getting lucky odd bounces,” Deslauriers said. “I’m not a guy who looks at my stats like that. It’s more about finishing my hits and if I get a chance to bury one, I’ll do my best.”Chris Stewart also scored, and Jhonas Enroth made 17 of his 33 saves in the third period and overtime.“I thought their goalie obviously elevated,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. “I mean he was good tonight, but he made some big saves when he had to and that’s what you need to do when you win hockey games.”John Tavares scored twice, and Nick Leddy added a goal for the Islanders.Poulin was recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League on Dec. 23 after Jaroslav Halak sustained a lower-body injury. “I thought he gave us a chance to win,” Capuano said about Poulin.Buffalo overcame a 3-0, third-period deficit for just the second time in franchise history, and posted its first three-goal comeback since a 6-5 overtime win against Toronto on April 3, 2012.The Islanders scored on their second shot of the game when Leddy’s slap shot from the left point beat a partially-screened Enroth.Tavares made it 2-0 at the 11:56 mark with his 14th of the season. The New York captain stole the puck at the left circle and caught Enroth deep in the goal with a high backhand flip.Tavares added his 15th on a cross-crease pass from Josh Bailey at 15:05.Poulin made a right pad save on Cody Hodgson’s open one-time shot from the slot a minute later to keep the score 3-0.Patrick Kaleta took a diving shot about 5 minutes into the third period, but Poulin was able to push it wide with his blocker.That’s when things starting clicking for Buffalo. “A couple guys just turned it up a little bit more,” Sabres head coach Ted Nolan said. “Girgensons went to the next level, and can’t forget about Stewart.”Deslauriers ruined Poulin’s shutout bid with his shot through traffic with 6:39 gone in the third. Then, with Stafford in the penalty box on a goaltender-interference call, Girgensons scored his 10th of the season to make it 3-2.The Buffalo center took a long pass from Deslauriers and held off Johnny Boychuk with his backside before wristing a shot past Poulin for a short-handed goal at 10:01.“After the second we told ourselves in the locker room it was time to step up, pick it up and come back in the third,” Girgensons said.Stewart picked up a pass from Stafford 1:51 later, slipping the puck between Poulin’s legs to tie it a 3. The fans reaction after his goal was “for sure” the loudest Stewart’s heard them.“They were fired up,” he said. “As soon as we got that short-handed goal they were really fired up in the building and they really gave us a boost tonight.”(NICK MENDOLA)TweetPinShare0 Shares
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Fulham plot sensational triple swoop on Chelseaby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFulham are being linked with a sensational triple swoop on Chelsea.The Daily Star says Maurizio Sarri has a bloated squad with a number of first-team players on the fringes under the Italian tactician.Gary Cahill, Danny Drinkwater and Victor Moses are the three most high-profile players to have been frozen out.Cahill – out of contract at the end of the season – has been limited to seven appearances in all competitions, Drinkwater has not featured since the Community Shield defeat to Manchester City while Moses has started once all season.SW6 neighbours Fulham have been linked with the trio, who will be allowed to leave in the mid-season sales.
OTTAWA — The Canadian Forces have a new manual on how to respond to sexual misconduct, aiming to close many of the gaps identified in the military’s policies on abuse in its ranks.But some concerns remain unaddressed — including the “duty to report” regulation, which critics say discourages victims from seeking support if they aren’t ready or willing to begin a formal complaint.The information in the 100-page document was previously spread in many places, which a Defence Department assessment published in February cited as a big reason many service members were confused and uncertain about the issue.Some had only a vague understanding of what constituted inappropriate behaviour and what to do when an incident occurred, including how to support victims.The new manual, which was developed in consultation with the military’s sexual-misconduct response centre (a counselling-oriented agency outside the chain of command) and a group of outside experts, goes to great pains to address the latter question in particular.One of the first sections talks about how and why some people affected by sexual misconduct prefer to be called “victims,” others want to be referred to as “survivors,” and still others don’t like either identifier.It also spells out the roles, responsibilities and training available for every service member as well as the additional responsibilities that commanding officers have in supporting victims and investigating incidents.In a report last November, auditor general Michael Ferguson found many victims were not properly supported when they did speak up because of gaps in the services available and a lack of suitable training and policies.To that end, commanders are also being given a new handout to help them wrap their heads around how sexual-misconduct cases are to be treated step by step — with a reminder at every step to check in with victims.Those check-ins are not to be one-way updates, either, but opportunities to make sure each victim is getting the support needed and has input into how the case is handled.The sexual-misconduct response centre is also working on plans to provide case workers, or victim-liaison officers, to service members affected by sexual misconduct.But the “duty to report” regulation remains. It compels military members to report inappropriate or criminal behaviour, sexual or not, and begins a formal complaint process.Defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance has said the idea is to require anyone who learns of sexual misconduct to tell authorities so cases don’t get hidden, but the effect can be to drag them into the open against victims’ wishes. Ferguson and former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps, who conducted an explosive analysis of the extent of sexual misconduct in the Forces in 2015, have criticized the policy as actually discouraging victims from coming forward.Vance has said the military is looking at ways to maintain the requirement while better protecting victims.Ferguson also warned that military police often failed to provide information to victims about supports they can use or give them updates on cases, and there were concerns about a lack of training for chaplains and military health-care providers to help victims.The federal victims’ ombudsman has also raised concerns about proposed legislation around victims’ rights in the military justice system, specifically that it does not require military police, prosecutors and others to inform victims that they have rights.Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
HALIFAX – An ash leak at the Northern Pulp mill earlier this month prompted a cleanup directive from Nova Scotia’s Environment Department on Tuesday.The directive says the mill, located at Abercrombie Point near Pictou, must submit a plan to prevent further discharges of power boiler ash slurry into a ditch northwest of the facility’s power boiler ash pond by June 29.Environment Minister Iain Rankin said Tuesday the spill was “small” and “low risk to the environment.”“The actual material itself, the fly ash, is not toxic,” he said. “So … we were basically comfortable with the directive and happy that they self-reported it to the department.”Under the directive, the mill must also inspect its Pictou Harbour shoreline bi-weekly and clean up any boiler ash and submit bi-weekly reports on its activities.In an email, Kathy Cloutier, communications director with the mill’s parent company Paper Excellence, said a leak occurred in the mill’s ash line that sent wood ash to a ditch in front of the mill on Feb. 9.Cloutier said the cleanup began the same day and the mill also notified the Environment Department.“This line takes a mixture of wood ash and water from the power boiler to the ash pit located on the mill’s property. Immediate action was taken to remove the line from service.”Cloutier said the line had since been repaired, inspected and returned to service.“To avoid any wood ash reaching the ditch in the future, Northern Pulp will redirect the trench carrying the line under the employee parking lot directly to the ash pit when weather permits,” Cloutier said.