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Old Posted Jan 12, 2008, 3:35 PM
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Economic and political issues in NS

Report forecasts boost for N.S. print this article
Economy should see growth in 2008-09: RBC

ECONOMY
ANDREA MACDONALD
The Daily News

EnCana's Deep Panuke project has been guaranteed by the company to create 1.35 million hours of work for Nova Scotians.
EnCana's Deep Panuke project has been guaranteed by the company to create 1.35 million hours of work for Nova Scotians.

Two major capital projects in the works should boost Nova Scotia's economy by about three per cent in 2008 and 2009 respectively, a new report suggests.

That would give this province the third highest economic growth in Canada, trailing only Alberta and Saskatchewan.

RBC released its latest provincial economic forecast yesterday, which predicts key economic benefits from the Deep Panuke natural-gas project and the Keltic petrochemical plant. The projections are based on such factors as housing starts, unemployment rates and the Consumer Price Index.

Deep Panuke, located 175 kilometres offshore Nova Scotia, finally got the go-ahead in 2007 and recently awarded its first major contract. Smaller contracts are coming onstream and there'll be more in 2008, as supplies and services are put in place to make the project happen.

The pipeline to transport the gas from the project site to shore will be installed next year, with the first gas still pegged for late 2010. EnCana Corp., the Calgary company behind the $700-million project, has guaranteed Nova Scotia more than 1.35 million person-hours of work.

"It's an indication of the business activity and new opportunities created by a project of this nature," EnCana's Halifax spokeswoman Lori MacLean said about RBC's report.

Derek Holt, assistant chief economist with RBC, said Deep Panuke should translate into well-paying construction jobs and strong retail sales. It's not just mega-projects like Deep Panuke and Keltic, however, behind the projected average growth of 3 to 3.5 per cent in 2008 and 2009.

"There's been a fair amount of strength in the domestic economy beyond capital projects that's been lifting Nova Scotia's prospects over the past year, and we expect more of that to continue," Holt said.

RBC also notes that construction activity is down eight per cent and the increase in resale home prices is modest, undoubtedly causing a further cooldown in housing starts and resales. An uptick in non-residential construction activity thus provides opportunities for firms and trades to diversify away from softening housing markets.

Holt noted that Deep Panuke is coming in at a time when natural gas prices are on the low side.

"Commodities are always a significant risk to evaluate in doing a forecast like this, but we're expecting natural-gas prices to hang in at around the $7 range, which would still mean decent margins, still mean that the different options along the engineering and construction phases of Deep Panuke will remain attractive and they'll still pursue it."

The $4.5-billion petrochemical plant has a planned startup of 2011 in Goldboro, Guysborough Co. When it's finished, it will be the largest industrial project Nova Scotia has ever seen.
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Old Posted Mar 19, 2010, 1:53 PM
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I wasn't sure where to post this. The retail sales for Nova Scotia was up 8.8% for the one year period of January 2009 to January 2010. Only Newfoundland had a stronger increase in retail sales, which is likely due to the strong energy sector.

Retail sales is one indicator of a strong economy since it indicates that people have money to spend. The data table is here: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quoti...0319b1-eng.htm
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2010, 5:09 PM
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There is news today about a major joint hydroelectric project between NFLD and NS - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle1804039/ .

There is a thread in the Atlantic section of skyscraperpage.com - http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=186629 .

Not only will this improve the Atlantic power grid, it will create thousands of jobs for Newfoundlanders and Nova Scotians. Improving the grid could also make Fundy Tidal power more feasible.
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2010, 5:50 PM
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This is very good news. It could change the economic landscape of Atlantic Canada. Also between Tidal, wind and hydo NS could be almost entirely be on renewbale energy in the the not to distance future.
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2010, 5:53 PM
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According to the articles I read, the goal is to reduce coil/oil fired generation in NS from 90% to 60% by 2020.
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2010, 5:58 PM
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the atlantic provinces are becoming more and more green. NS seems to be leading the charge with this. hopefully we can keep this going
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2010, 7:35 PM
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Originally Posted by beyeas View Post
According to the articles I read, the goal is to reduce coil/oil fired generation in NS from 90% to 60% by 2020.
Currently we're at 10-15% renewables, 10ish % natural gas and 70-75% coal and petroleum coke.

Government has legislated that we be at a solid 25% renewables by 2015 and has set a not-as-of-yet-legislated goal of 40% by 2020, meaning we'd be down to 50% coal at that time. The other 10% would come from either natural gas or fuel oil - whatever is cheaper.

This is the plan as of now, and does not include any future renewable generation targets nor a potential increase in output from Lower Churchill or the commercialization of Tidal technology.
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Old Posted Nov 21, 2010, 5:20 AM
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If oil moves into the $90 range; I suspect you'll see offshore drilling activity pick up. I spoke with a guy from one of the major oil company's out here at this event I went too and he explained to me that the cost of drilling in NS was slightly higher than NFLD because the gas reserves are further down than NFLD.

So when gas is in the $70/range, NFLD can still break even, but NS can't. He said that right now NS would break even, while NFLD would make only a slight profit. Plus he believes that with the gulf oil spill there will be increased costs because of the safety and monitoring requiring in light of what happened, meaning that this time next year, if oil is at the same spot NFLD wouldn't be making any money - it might be break even and we'd be a little bit more disadvantaged (because it is slightly more expensive).

But he said regardless, since our energy needs aren't changing anytime soon, the desire to drill off both NS and NFLD will remain high. So that's at least some good news.
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Old Posted Nov 21, 2010, 3:16 PM
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Originally Posted by halifaxboyns View Post
If oil moves into the $90 range; I suspect you'll see offshore drilling activity pick up. I spoke with a guy from one of the major oil company's out here at this event I went too and he explained to me that the cost of drilling in NS was slightly higher than NFLD because the gas reserves are further down than NFLD.

So when gas is in the $70/range, NFLD can still break even, but NS can't. He said that right now NS would break even, while NFLD would make only a slight profit. Plus he believes that with the gulf oil spill there will be increased costs because of the safety and monitoring requiring in light of what happened, meaning that this time next year, if oil is at the same spot NFLD wouldn't be making any money - it might be break even and we'd be a little bit more disadvantaged (because it is slightly more expensive).

But he said regardless, since our energy needs aren't changing anytime soon, the desire to drill off both NS and NFLD will remain high. So that's at least some good news.
Are there any discoveries off the coast of Nova Scotia that are yet to be developed, or any drilling going on at the moment?
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 5:44 AM
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Are there any discoveries off the coast of Nova Scotia that are yet to be developed, or any drilling going on at the moment?
My understanding was that the latest off shore oil bid process came back with no bidders because at the time oil was too low. There were rigs off shore, but I know one came back in. Anyone else know?
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 7:08 PM
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I'm not sure if anyone noticed - but CBC had an very interesting article about how deep in the hole New Brunswick is getting. Apparently their defecit could hit 1 billion by the end of the year.
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Old Posted Nov 26, 2010, 1:03 AM
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Originally Posted by phrenic View Post
Currently we're at 10-15% renewables, 10ish % natural gas and 70-75% coal and petroleum coke.

Government has legislated that we be at a solid 25% renewables by 2015 and has set a not-as-of-yet-legislated goal of 40% by 2020, meaning we'd be down to 50% coal at that time. The other 10% would come from either natural gas or fuel oil - whatever is cheaper.

This is the plan as of now, and does not include any future renewable generation targets nor a potential increase in output from Lower Churchill or the commercialization of Tidal technology.
This could be the sort of thing Atlantic Canada needs. I'm sure I'm not the only Atlantic Canadian who generally feels we're an afterthought to the rest of the country. If we start leading the way in regards to renewable energy, an issue that is increasingly becoming important, we could be in a great spot.

I was excited for Newfoundland initially when I heard about Lower Churchill. Now I'm excited for Atlantic Canada. I was talking to a classmate of mine who works for Nalcor, and he said that talk over there wasn't nearly as hopeful. While the project is certainly promising, there are a lot of hoops that need to be jumped through before anything can really begin.

Atlantic Canada has hope, I just cross my fingers and hope that it doesn't get shut down.
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Old Posted Nov 26, 2010, 7:36 PM
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This could be the sort of thing Atlantic Canada needs. I'm sure I'm not the only Atlantic Canadian who generally feels we're an afterthought to the rest of the country. If we start leading the way in regards to renewable energy, an issue that is increasingly becoming important, we could be in a great spot.

I was excited for Newfoundland initially when I heard about Lower Churchill. Now I'm excited for Atlantic Canada. I was talking to a classmate of mine who works for Nalcor, and he said that talk over there wasn't nearly as hopeful. While the project is certainly promising, there are a lot of hoops that need to be jumped through before anything can really begin.

Atlantic Canada has hope, I just cross my fingers and hope that it doesn't get shut down.
Lower Churchill was Danny's dream - I think he'll make sure it goes through. Lots of hoops, but it's promising.

I've made the same point a few times myself that with Daewoo being attracted to the former rail plant in...oh wow, I just went blank here, Stelerton is it? Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, I appear to be having a seniors momment. Anyway, with the fact so much wind farms seem to be going up and Daewoo coming to actually build the turbines in NS - I see a huge green future.

I also see potential for offshore oil to a certain extent as well. The price of oil isn't quite right yet for major projects, but someone in the industry told me a sustained $90/barrell and up, it will become interesting again. Also, I dont' think the drilling ban on the south eastern part of NS will be a major hurdle, since most of the drilling is near Sable (for now).

But I'd like to suggest the government go one step further. Seeing opportunity to take advantage of New Brunswick dire economic circumstances (sorry folks from NB, but you gotta see opportunity at every turn!) and seeing a push for green energy, I think NS should implement a tax incentive for green manufacturing. That could apply to building of technology to create green power (so tidal power, wind power, solar) to manufacturing of environmentally friendly products (like cleaners all the way up to buses and cars). Why should all the car manufacturing be in Ontario? We had a Volvo plant once, I'm sure we could attract something. The only problem will be our dollar.

But if manufacturing can't work; then I think the push for green energy will be a major component. I'd love to see us build a huge green wind farm off the coast - that would be cool!
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Old Posted Nov 26, 2010, 7:45 PM
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Seeing opportunity to take advantage of New Brunswick dire economic circumstances
The biggest opportunity here is that it is a good time to start real region-building that should have happened 150 years ago.

The Maritimes or Atlantic Canada should have things like regional utilities. New Brunswickers would get a much better deal in a market of 2.5 million with a variety of resources rather than a small province of 800,000 that isn't full self-sufficient.

Eventually a lot of the redundancy in having 3/4 provincial governments could be reduced. As a long-term goal, there should be a merger of NS/NB/PEI and possible NF.
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Old Posted Nov 26, 2010, 8:12 PM
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Realisticly I don't see that happening in a million years. There is no way they will give up power in a voluntary fashion, and the federal government can't mandate anything even like that without totally opening the constitution.

The only realistic thing that I see is an expansion along the lines of Atlantic Lotto. There should be a regional power authority. There could even be a regional authority with the ability to combine purchasing power for health equipment/products.

Right now the lack of integration on that front is astounding. Take the health issue:
Right now there are PET scanners in Saint John & Halifax, and one coming on like in Moncton. Running these requires isotopes that are created in a cyclotron and have a 1.8 hour half life. Halifax has a cyclotron, but Saint flies there's in from Montreal (a flight distance of 588 kms) as opposed to Halifax (a flight distance of 208 kms). For every 1.8 hours extra it takes to transport that is 1/2 the # of patients that they are able to run, even setting aside the fact that they pay for what is shipped not what they receive (hence they are wasting money right now). Yet because NB is peeved that NS beat them to the punch on a cyclotron NB, still won't buy from NS. It is that sort of stupid crap that needs to be removed from the decisions, where politics gets ahead of sound policy.

The exact same thing is true in power policy etc. As people have noted, it is only the recent events that have been the 1st time really that all 4 provinces did something that was mutually beneficial from a power perspective. There are any number of different fronts on which the provinces should have a collective authority that acts on a regional collective basis.
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Old Posted Nov 26, 2010, 9:13 PM
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Originally Posted by beyeas View Post
Realisticly I don't see that happening in a million years. There is no way they will give up power in a voluntary fashion, and the federal government can't mandate anything even like that without totally opening the constitution.

The only realistic thing that I see is an expansion along the lines of Atlantic Lotto. There should be a regional power authority. There could even be a regional authority with the ability to combine purchasing power for health equipment/products.

Right now the lack of integration on that front is astounding. Take the health issue:
Right now there are PET scanners in Saint John & Halifax, and one coming on like in Moncton. Running these requires isotopes that are created in a cyclotron and have a 1.8 hour half life. Halifax has a cyclotron, but Saint flies there's in from Montreal (a flight distance of 588 kms) as opposed to Halifax (a flight distance of 208 kms). For every 1.8 hours extra it takes to transport that is 1/2 the # of patients that they are able to run, even setting aside the fact that they pay for what is shipped not what they receive (hence they are wasting money right now). Yet because NB is peeved that NS beat them to the punch on a cyclotron NB, still won't buy from NS. It is that sort of stupid crap that needs to be removed from the decisions, where politics gets ahead of sound policy.

The exact same thing is true in power policy etc. As people have noted, it is only the recent events that have been the 1st time really that all 4 provinces did something that was mutually beneficial from a power perspective. There are any number of different fronts on which the provinces should have a collective authority that acts on a regional collective basis.
See, this is the kind of stupidity that has caused Atlantic Canada to be in the situation that we're in.

Canadian politics frustrate me. Its as if provinces feel like they need to compete. It makes no sense to me.

I say more steps like Lower Churchill.
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Old Posted Nov 26, 2010, 10:01 PM
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Realisticly I don't see that happening in a million years. There is no way they will give up power in a voluntary fashion, and the federal government can't mandate anything even like that without totally opening the constitution.
For now all that's important is pushing for more integration. If that happens I predict that the longer term perspectives will evolve faster than people think.
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Old Posted Nov 26, 2010, 10:02 PM
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I figured this article would fit into this thread. Looks like things are really looking up at the shipyard:


Quote:
Halifax Shipyard enjoys boom times
CBC News

The Irving-owned Halifax Shipyard, no stranger to boom and bust, is flourishing again with 1,300 people building new Canadian Coast Guard ships and repairing Canadian Navy frigates.

The shipyard is also employing a record 230 apprentices who are hoping their future lies in shipbuilding.

Karl Risser, who has been a pipe fitter at the yard for 22 years, is mentoring apprentice Chastity Morris, showing her how to fit a hydraulic pipe on a new ship.

Passing down skills to a generation just out of Nova Scotia Community College is part of the shipyard's strategy to grow its business well after veteran tradespeople retire.

"I get put with a journeyman, we work together all day. He teaches me what he knows, so I learn something new every day," Morris said.

Apprentices at the Halifax Shipyard start earning $20 an hour and most can count on steady work for the next 10 years.

The boom began in April 2008 when the shipyard was awarded a $549-million contract by the federal government in to refit seven Halifax-class frigates.

Then in September 2009, the federal government announced the shipyard had won a $194-million contract to build nine mid-shore coast guard patrol vessels.
Tense wait for announcement

But whether the boom times will continue, and apprentices can get full-time jobs at the shipyard, depends on whether Halifax is one of two shipyards chosen to build $35 billion worth of ships over the next 30 years.

In June, the federal government announced a national shipbuilding procurement strategy. Under it, one shipyard would be selected to build large combat vessels, and a second to build non-combat ships.

Risser, who is also president of the Marine Workers Federation union local at the Halifax shipyard, said there is some uncertainty.

"There's a lot of people waiting on those decisions in Ottawa to create good jobs, the kind of jobs we need here in Nova Scotia. So there is a bit of uncertainty with the workers," he said.

"We are a project-driven yard, so that means we have this continual bang and bust cycle. There's nothing more depressing to a worker and to the company and to the union then to get a good thing going, get a lot of momentum, and then have to lay those workers off."

For Morris, landing stable work at the shipyard would mean being able to stay in the province.

"It would be a career, something close to home. I don't have to travel anywhere," she said. "That would be our future."

Risser said winning half the government procurement would keep employment levels where they are today and create a whole new generation of shipbuilders in the province.

"If our shipyards get that work, what it means for those young workers is finally they'll be able to have a steady job that they can build a family around and stay in Nova Scotia," he said.
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2010, 1:12 AM
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I'm really crossing my fingers and anything else that the shipyard will win the contracts for some of the vessels the government needs to build. That will bring a lot of money and a lot of jobs to HRM.
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Old Posted Dec 22, 2010, 6:36 PM
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Province says $223-million deficit now a $97-million surplus

By THE CANADIAN PRESS
Wed, Dec 22 - 1:41 PM

Nova Scotia's finance minister says the $223-million deficit projected last spring for the 2010-11 fiscal year is now a $97.2-million surplus.
Graham Steele attributes the variance to higher personal income tax revenue, new pension valuations, lower interest payments and lower departmental spending.

Steele says most of the improvements are due to one-time factors that will not carry over to next year.

He says the fiscal challenges facing the province remain immense.

The spring budget is still expected to show a $370-million deficit driven largely by the way the government has been funding education.

The prepayments given universities this year will not be reflected in the books until next year.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/9019127.html


I guess the province is good now to fund our stadium and Convention Centre. I'd also like my HST back to 13%.
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