TIM MCMILLAN STEPPING DOWN AS MINISTER AND MLA
Released on September 18, 2014
Rural and Remote Health Minister Tim McMillan today announced that he is stepping down from cabinet effective immediately and resigning as the MLA for Lloydminster effective September 30.
McMillan has accepted the position of President of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), effective October 1.
McMillan said it has been an honour to serve in the provincial government led by Premier Brad Wall.
“This province has seen such a positive change over the past seven years,” McMillan said. “I feel extremely fortunate to have been part of the government during this remarkable period of growth and progress.”
Premier Wall said McMillan will be missed and wished him all the best in his new career.
“Tim has been a great MLA and Minister and I will miss his unique perspective at the cabinet table,” Wall said. “As President of CAPP, I know Tim will continue working hard to develop our resource industry in western Canada, including here in Saskatchewan.”
McMillan noted he will be following all of the provisions of the new Saskatchewan Lobbyists Act which requires that a former minister cannot lobby the provincial government for one year after leaving cabinet.
McMillan was first elected in 2007 and was re-elected in 2011. He has held several different cabinet portfolios prior to his appointment as Minister of Rural and Remote Health in June of this year. These include Energy and Resources, Crown Investments Corporation, Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority and Tourism Saskatchewan.
Wall said for the time being, Health Minister Dustin Duncan will also handle the Rural and Remote Heath duties. He plans to appoint a new minister shortly.
A byelection must be called by the Premier within six months of the date the seat becomes vacant.
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Environmental extremism a rising threat to energy sector, RCMP warns
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Sep. 14 2014, 5:08 PM EDT
Last updated Sunday, Sep. 14 2014, 7:29 PM EDT
RCMP analysts have warned government and industry that environmental extremists pose a “clear and present criminal threat” to Canada’s energy sector, and are more likely to strike at critical infrastructure than religiously inspired terrorists, according to a report released under Access to Information.
Written by the force’s critical infrastructure intelligence team, the 22-page RCMP document argues there is a “growing criminal phenomenon” associated with environmentalism that aims to interfere with regulatory reviews and force companies to forego development.
“Environmental ideologically motivated individuals including some who are aligned with a radical, criminal extremist ideology pose a clear and present criminal threat to Canada’s energy sector,” said the report, written in March 2011. Since then, the RCMP has held regular meetings with energy companies and federal officials to review potential threats to infrastructure, and faces formal complaints that it conducted surveillance on environmental groups that oppose construction of Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway pipeline.
The paper highlighted Canada’s oil sands sector as one that has attracted considerable opposition because it is a major producer of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Law enforcement and national security officials worry about a “growing radicalized environmentalist faction” who oppose the oil sands and other energy development, it said.
The oil industry has run into vehement opposition to plans for crude oil pipelines through British Columbia and across the country to the port of Saint John, N.B. But the oil sands sector needs access to new markets – whether in the U.S. Gulf Coast, Asia Pacific, or the Atlantic basin – if it is going to meet ambitious growth plans that would see production doubling to four million barrels per day by 2025.
Some First Nations leaders warned their people may resort to whatever means necessary to block construction of the Northern Gateway pipeline. But neither First Nation leaders nor environmental groups have advocated violence.
Most of Canada’s counter-terrorism effort has been aimed at international jihadis, and there have been a number of high-profile prosecutions against Canadian residents who plotted to conduct attacks either at home or abroad.
“In reality, criminal occurrences attributed to environmentalists have and are more likely to, occur within Canada,” the report said. It added that the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency (CSIS) monitors individuals and organizations that might be involved in domestic terrorism, “including the threat or use of violence by groups advocating for issues such as the environment.”
Carleton University criminologist Jeff Monaghan, who obtained the document, said the RCMP authors constructed a trend from isolated incidents. He worries police and other security agencies are using anti-terrorism legislation to broaden their investigation and monitoring of groups who oppose development.
RCMP spokesman Greg Cox denied the force is targeting protesters or environmental groups in general. “The RCMP does not investigate individuals, groups or movements, but will investigate the criminal activity of any individuals who threaten the safety and security of Canadians.”
Neither Mr. Cox, nor CSIS spokeswoman Tahera Mufti would comment on formal complaints launched by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association that claim the agencies have conducted improper surveillance activities against law-abiding citizens who oppose the gateway project.
Ottawa lawyer Paul Champ filed the complaints with the RCMP’s Commission for Public Complaints and the Security Intelligence Review Committee, backed by numerous documents obtained under Access to Information, which, he said, show the two agencies were actively monitoring and even infiltrating environmental and aboriginal groups involved in Gateway hearings before the federal review panel, which wrapped up last year.
Canadian regulators seek to give targets more time in hostile takeovers
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Sep. 11 2014, 12:46 PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Sep. 11 2014, 12:46 PM EDT
Canadian securities regulators have agreed on a plan that would give hostile bid targets more time to find alternatives, and give shareholders a stronger position in any battle.
The national umbrella group for the 13 provincial and territorial regulators laid out the details Thursday, saying that the planned rules would give all targets 120 days to find alternatives to a hostile bid. That is well more than double what they get now.
Bidders would also have to convince owners of at least 50 per cent of shares (not including any stock held by the bidding side) to sell for the bid to succeed. And after reaching the 50 per cent level, the acquirer would be required to extend its bid for a further 10 days to ensure other shareholders can tender, so they don’t end up stranded as minority investors in a company that is controlled.
What’s particularly notable about this is that the provinces and territories have all come together in a harmonized plan. At the moment, the takeover timetable differs from province to province because of varying decisions in precedent-setting individual takeover cases.
What’s more, when the commissions started looking at how to update the hostile takeover rules, it was not clear a harmonized set of rules could be achieved. Quebec was a notable outlier, having proposed a different set of rules including allowing boards to “just say no” to takeovers.
This set of rules would put all the regulators on the same page, and eliminate the uncertainty caused by the differing rules.
“We have worked to develop a harmonized take-over bid regime for all Canadian jurisdictions and have been successful in achieving national agreement,” said Bill Rice, chair of the CSA and chair and CEO of the Alberta Securities Commission. “The proposed amendments are designed to provide target boards with additional time to respond to hostile bids while reserving for shareholders the ability to make voluntary, informed and co-ordinated tender decisions.”
CROP REPORT FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 2 TO 8, 2014
Released on September 11, 2014
Detailed report is here: Crop Report For September2 to 8
Another week of cool and wet weather has delayed harvest for many producers, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report.
Fourteen per cent of the provincial crop has now been combined, while 39 per cent is swathed or ready to straight-cut. The five-year average (2009-2013) for this time of year is 26 per cent combined and 32 per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut.
Harvest is furthest advanced in the southwestern region, where 23 per cent of the crop is combined. Sixteen per cent is combined in the west-central region; 15 per cent in the southeast; 11 per cent in the northeast; 10 per cent in the northwest and six per cent in the east-central region.
Provincially, 77 per cent of fall rye, 65 per cent of field peas, 53 per cent of winter wheat, 34 per cent of lentils, 16 per cent of mustard, 12 per cent of barley and 10 per cent of canola have been combined. Seventy-one per cent of canola is swathed or ready to straight-cut.
Much of the province received rain this past week, with some areas receiving several inches over the course of a day. Topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 31 per cent surplus, 68 per cent adequate and one per cent short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 22 per cent surplus, 76 per cent adequate and two per cent short.
Yields vary greatly across the province but overall are estimated to be average. The wet field conditions and continuous rain have damaged many crops and quality remains a concern with some pulses and cereals. Strong winds, hail and frost have also caused some damage.
Farmers are hoping for improved weather to help harvest progress.
Follow the 2014 Crop Report on Twitter at @SKAgriculture.
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