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Monday, November 20, 2017

Keystone pipeline springs a 210,000-gallon leak; bad news for TransCanada Corp.

   Canada column for Sunday, Nov. 19/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   It couldn’t have come at a worse time as the original Keystone pipeline sprung a big leak in the United States.
   TransCanada Corp. said the Keystone pipeline leaked about 210,000 gallons of oil near Amherst, South Dakota.
   The incident happened just days before the Nebraska Public Service Commission is to decide the fate of an $8-billion plan to expand the pipeline network.
   The cause of the spill is not known but it is something that environmentalists have warned could happen and they continue to oppose the plans.
   TransCanada wants to route the pipeline more directly from Alberta into Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska to connect with existing lines to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.
   Nebraska’s commissioners are to vote on the project Monday as the last major regulatory hurdle since President Donald Trump gave the go-ahead to the pipeline that was rejected by then-President Barack Obama.
   A cleanup is under way and the pipeline has been closed for repairs.
   “This is exactly the kind of disaster we can expect more of if Keystone XL is approved,” said the environmental group 350.org.


   Urgent upgrades are needed to fix 275-year-old dikes to prevent the risk of Nova Scotia eventually becoming an island.
   The warning comes from Mayor David Kogon of Amherst who said sea levels are projected to rise in the Bay of Fundy over 15 to 20 years.
   This could cause flooding of the Isthmus of Chignecto, a narrow, low-lying strip of land that connects Nova Scotia to New Brunswick.
   In a letter to the provincial and federal governments seeking action, local politicians said it is “no longer a theoretical question – it is a matter of how soon it will occur.”


   News in brief:
   - The Canadian government will spend up to $327.6 million over five years and $100 million a year after that to fight gun and gang violence. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the money will finance programs to cut gun and gang activities and stop the flow of illegal firearms into communities. “Guns and gangs are everyone’s problem,” he said.
   - Canada’s inflation rate was up 1.4 percent last month compared with a year ago and up from 1.6 percent in September. Statistics Canada said prices were higher in seven of the eight major categories, notably for transportation and shelter. Gas was 6.5-percent higher in October compared with a 14.1-percent yearly jump in September.


   Facts and figures:
   Canada’s dollar has dropped to 78.29 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.277 in Canadian funds before exchange fees.
   The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3.2 percent.
   Stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto exchange index down to 15,998 points while the TSX Venture index is higher at 799 points.
   The average price for gas in Canada is lower at $1.193 a liter or $4.53 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
   Lotto 6/49: (Nov. 15) 18, 25, 29, 30, 36 and 48; bonus 47. (Nov. 11) 15, 21, 24, 31, 37 and 42; bonus 32. Lotto Max (Nov. 10) 5, 12, 18, 26, 29, 31 and 37; bonus 40.


   Regional briefs:
   - The Ontario government is planning to pass a back-to-work bill this weekend to end the five-week strike by 12,000 community college faculty and staff. Ending the strike that has affected 500,000 students is being stalled by the socialist New Democratic Party. The Liberal majority government expected to be able to pass the bill by Sunday.
   - Bombardier Inc. is hiring 1,000 additional workers over 18 months to help complete the Global 7000 business jets that will enter service late next year. The hiring by the Montreal-based company follows mass layoffs of 14,500 workers around the world in recent years. The airplane work is employing 2,500 workers in Montreal and Toronto.


Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

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