Wednesday, February 22, 2012

LCLC in negotiating phase

The LCLC has entered the negotiation phase. Chair Paul Belliveau says they met with the project manager and architects Tuesday to discuss the results of the tender. He says the manager and architects have come up with a list of items where the price could be reduced and closer to budget. Belliveau says they have to negotiate with Bird Construction to see if they can reduce costs.
"The $24.389-million bid that came in was between $500,000 to $900,000 more than what we had budgeted for. So, we're working to get that number back, closer to our budget, so we can get the very same facility, same components, for the dollars that we have available."
Bird Construction submitted the low bid of almost $24.4-million. Belliveau says they're looking at reducing costs in items dealing with the appearance of the structure, not the functional use. He says they expect to fundraise if they can't cut costs to meet their budget. Belliveau says they would like to have work start on-site around the middle of March.

Record Year for Lunenburg's High Liner Foods

A record year of sales and profit for High Liner Foods. The Lunenburg based company reports overall sales increased by 14.3 percent to $668.6 million up from $584.7 million in 2010. It's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) increased by an impressive 15.9 percent to $54.7 million up from $47.2 million. High Liner Foods banner year was helped by the acquistions of Viking Seafoods Inc and Icelandic Group's US and Asian Operations. The US$232.7 million dollar Icelandic deal was completed in December making High Liner Foods the leading value-added seafood supplier in North America. CEO Henry Demone says the companies US operations grew in both food service and retail but sales volumes in Canada were unchanged due to a challenging retail market. However, the company did report a 4.1 percent increase in Canaidian sales.

Province commits $750,000 to Black Loyalist Centre

Design for the new Black Loyalist Heritage Centre
The province is supporting the new Black Loyalist Heritage Centre in Shelburne County. The Nova Scotia government has committed $750,000 to the Birchtown project through the Community Development Trust Fund. The Centre is expected to tell the story of the Black Loyalists, who relocated to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick after fighting for the British in the American Revolutionary War. Hundreds settled in Birchtown during the 1780s. The province also provides $250,000 annually in operational funding for the Centre. The federal government has also pledged roughly $2.6-million towards the new centre. African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Percy Paris says the Black Loyalists are a fundamental part of the province's history and the new centre will help make sure their story is told for generations to come. Construction will begin in late May, with the centre expected to be open in July 2013.

Morning Rollover on Italy Cross Road

Slippery roads are to blame for a single vehicle rollover on the Italy Cross Road this morning. RCMP say a woman in her early 50's was taken to hospital when her vehicle slid of the road and flipped into the ditch. The woman was trapped inside her car until emergency crews arrived and cut out the windshield. Police describe the woman's injuries as minor.

Plan Needed To Fight Prescription Drug Abuse: Glavine

The prescription pain killer .. OxyContin ... will not be funded anymore by the Nova Scotia government's Pharmacare Program.  The move is aimed at reducing prescription painkiller abuse.
However, Liberal health critic Leo Glavine tells us its only a half-hearted attempt to address the problem with no government strategy in place.  He says drug abuse is a fact of today's life for many people and there needs to be greater government-funded rehab to help those who need and want help.
Glavine tells us: "Its a 21 day program. I know the one at Fishermen's Memorial has a couple of tremendous counsellors in the program. But very often, 21 days is just the beginning of changing behaviours and re-equipping people with the skills and tools for better decision making and re-managing their lives."
Glavine says the government promised more than two years ago it would come up with a plan to deal with prescription drug abuse and he says nothing will change until that happens.

Finance Minister: No Tax Hikes & Budget Targets Attainable

Finance Minister Graham Steele's pre-budget consultations have reached the South Shore. Steele along with Lunenburg West MLA Gary Ramey met with select groups in the Bridgewater area last night to discuss how the upcoming fiscal plan should look. The government is projecting a $365-million deficit for this year, with a deficit of about $215 million next spring and a balanced budget the following year. In a interview with CKBW/HANK FM, Steele says the government is on track to reach those targets. "I'm happy to say as the finance minster that we are on track to do exactly that, it hasn't been easy but the plan is working," Meanwhile, Steele says Nova Scotians won't see any tax increases in the upcoming budget which he says will be delivered in early April.