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Gas company offers $1-billion for First Nations band’s consent
The proponent of a liquefied natural gas plant on British Columbia’s north coast is offering more than $1-billion to obtain the consent of a First Nations community.
If approved by band members, the agreement between the Prince Rupert-based Lax Kw’alaams band and Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas will transfer roughly $1-billion in cash to the First Nation, Justine Hunter and Brent Jang report.
That works out to a value of roughly $320,000 per person for the 3,600 members of the community.
More about the deal:
- It would provide a number of up-front payments including more than $20-million
- The band would be entitled to annual payments that start at $12.9-million and rise over 40 years to $50-million annually.
- The B.C. government is also putting more than $100-million worth of Crown lands on the table.
In a province where resource projects have stalled and sometimes foundered over aboriginal opposition, it’s a groundbreaking proposal that could establish the new price for natural resource development in traditional First Nation territories.
The life and death of Alberta’s rainy-day fund
What happened to Alberta’s cash stash?
Alberta’s Heritage Savings Trust Fund was established by Premier Peter Lougheed in 1976 with the goal of setting aside non-renewable resource revenues. Yet while the fund grew steadily through its first decade, Justin Giovannetti reports, its value has essentially flat-lined.
Now a crash in oil prices has turned the management of the Heritage Fund into a major election issue in the province.
- Promises to double the fund’s size by 2025 by investing 25 per cent of all energy revenues starting in 2019, and 50 per cent annually once the province’s debt is paid off
- To grow the fund to $200-billion by 2035, the party would treat energy royalties as a regular source of revenue. Half of annual budgetary surpluses would be sent to the fund.
- Has no set a target for fund growth, but says it would put 100 per cent of royalty increases into the fund if a commission recommends so
If Alberta does not move toward saving more for the future, a richer Heritage Fund will probably come with a real cost for residents, who will either receive fewer services or face higher taxes.
Ontario to give workers shares in privatized Hydro One
Ontario’s Liberal government is trying to buy labour peace before the controversial privatization of Hydro One.
The province is offering power workers stock in the company, a raise and a cash payment, Adrian Morrow reports.
The Globe and Mail obtained internal Power Workers’ Union memos summarizing their terms:
- Tentative deals with Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One would give employees a 3-per-cent-wage increase over three years, plus payments equal to 3 per cent of their annual salaries
- OPG workers would also get Hydro One shares equivalent to 2.75 per cent of their salaries every year for 15 years
- Hydro One employees would get shares equivalent to 2.7 per cent of their salaries annually for 12 years.
The settlements come at a time when the province is supposed to be holding the line on its labour costs.
Privatization is also contentious, with polls showing a majority of Ontarians support keeping hydro in public hands.
The deals, which run until 2018, have not yet been ratified or made public.
Six Baltimore officers charged in Freddie Gray’s death
“No one is above the law,” said Baltimore’s state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby, when she announced criminal charges against all six police officers accused in Freddie Gray’s death.
Gray, 25, was arrested April 12 after Baltimore officers said he made eye contact with them and ran. Gray suffered a spinal injury at some point during his stay in police custody and died of his injuries on April 19.
What Mosby said:
- The Maryland chief medical examiner ruled Freddie Gray’s death a homicide
- His spinal injuries occurred while he was riding without restraints in the van
- His arrest was illegal and his treatment in custody amounted to murder and manslaughter
What we know about the officers:
- Six officers involved have been suspended with pay during the police investigation
- The toughest charge is against Officer Caeser R. Goodson, the police van's driver, who is accused of second-degree “depraved heart” murder; he also faces 10 years each for involuntary manslaughter, assault and “manslaughter by vehicle”
- The other five face charges including manslaughter, assault, false imprisonment and misconduct in office
- The police union denies the six were responsible
A consummate wedding-night letdown is far from unusual
“What was your wedding night like?”
When the intrusive question popped up on Reddit recently, married couples were quick to overshare:
- “We stayed up and watched Dumb and Dumber in the hotel room”
- “He helped me out of my dress and we drank champagne, ate a Mars bar and watched music videos until we passed [out].”
- “For the first time in my life I said, ‘Can we just cuddle tonight?’”
- “I was too drunk”
When your wedding day takes a year to plan and stretches out over 20 exhilarating hours, there can be little energy left over for the wedding night, Zosia Bielski writes.
While consummating a marriage is still very much relevant among those in orthodox religious traditions, most newlyweds have nothing remotely resembling a chastity pact, having lived (and slept) together for years.
So if you pass out in a pile of chocolate bar wrappers on the first night of your marriage, is it a bad omen? Perhaps the new wedding night rituals reflect the new realities of marriage - that it’s about two people who know each other very well becoming a team, not about anyone scoring a virgin.
Follow Kat Sieniuc on Twitter: @katsieniuc