Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - July 6, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
StatsCan blames domestic travel slump on economy, Sept. 11
OTTAWA — The domestic travel sector slumped last year, hit by an economic slowdown, low consumer confidence and Sept. ll fallout, Statistics Canada said yesterday.
The statistics agency said the estimated number of trips taken by Canadians within Canada dropped 11 per cent to 144.2 million in 2001 from 162.1 million in 2000. That followed a healthy 3 .1-per-cent increase in 1999.
“Several factors contributed to this reduction: the economic slowdown in Canada for the first three quarters of 2001; a drop in consumer confidence that occurred, according to the Conference Board of Canada, from January to September 2001; and the events of Sept. 11,” the report said.
Domestic travel expenditures reached a peak of $25.3 billion in 2000, in part because of jumps in the price of gasoline.
Expenditures fell 2.9 per cent to an estimated $24.6 billion in 2001. In constant dollars, domestic tourism expenditures dropped 4.4 per cent in 2001 from 2000.
Kingston drug busts yield huge amounts of cocaine, marijuana oil
KINGSTON, Ont. — International authorities, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and municipal forces have concluded two major projects that led to some of the largest seizures of cocaine and marijuana oil in Canada.
With help from authorities in Costa Rica, Trinidad, Colombia, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Panama, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, approximately 590 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana oil were seized.
The two cases, named projects Oilcrew and Oilsheik, represent a significant dent in the availability of drugs on the streets of Canadian communities, police said.
The six-month Oilcrew investigation, resulted in the seizure of cocaine which was allegedly destined for the Ottawa-Gatineau region.
Police said the huge bust represents half of all the cocaine that was seized in Canada last year.
Project Oilsheik began with the seizure of marijuana oil in the Kingston area in July of 1999 but arrests weren’t made until June 21 of this year.
Police said it was the largest ever seizure of marijuana oil in Canada.
Russian space agency proposes Mars mission
MOSCOW — Russian space officials proposed an ambitious project on yesterday to send a six-person team to Mars by the year 2015, a trip that would mark a milestone in space travel and international space co-oper-ation.
Russia’s space program hopes to work closely with the American agency NASA and the European Space Agency to build two spaceships capable of transporting the crew to Mars, supporting them on the planet for up to two months and safely bringing them home, said Nikolai Anfimov, head of the Central Research Institute of Machine-Building.
The roughly 440-day trip is expected to cost about $20 billion US, with Russia suggesting it would contribute 30 per cent.
Giuliani divorce trial set for next week
NEW YORK — A panel of judges has rejected a bid to delay the divorce tnal of former mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Donna Hanover, cleanng the way for court proceedings to begin next week.
In a ruling yesterday, the five-judge panel denied a delay sought by Hanover last month. The trial is scheduled for Wednesday.Marijuana growhouses gobbling $500 M in power
By Colin Perkel
TORONTO — A growing plague of electricity-gobbling illegal marijuana growhouses is costing Ontario’s hydro utilities upwards of $500 million a year, an amount ultimately paid by all energy consumers, power distribute irs say.
Fuelled by massive marijuana-generated profits, the operations, which have sprouted by the thousands in the past few years, also carry a huge social cost, they say.
“The days where a grove of marijuana would be masked up north in a field are over,” said Andrew Evangelista, a lawyer who represents electricity distributors.
“There has been a proliferation of residential houses hidden in residential neighbourhoods all across Ontario being used to grow marijuana.”
Worth as much as $4 billion a year, marijuana is among the most valuable cash crops in the province.
Police say Ontario is fast catching up with British Columbia as Canada’s pot-growing capital with
• Estimated power theft in Ontario: $500 million a year.
• Estimated number of growhouses in Toronto area: 10,000
• Average power cost per growhouse: $2,000 per month.
• Estimated value of Ontario pot crop: $4 billion.
• Estimated value of B.C. pot crop: $6 billion.
SIGNS A HOME IS BEING USED FOR POT GROWING:
• No one ever appears to be home.
• House only appears occupied for a few hours at a time but no one lives there.
• Cannabis or masking odour.
• Windows boarded or covered.
• Tenants pay only cash or offer to pay more than agreed rent.
• Tenants discourage landlord visits. — CP
that province’s $6-billion-a-year market.
It’s a powerful lure for organized criminals, they say.
Police estimate a single hydroponic growhouse can churn out plants worth a street value of more than $ I million a year and much of it ends up in the United States.
Growing marijuana indoors requires powerful lights and ventilation, consuming about $2,000 in electricity a month, but hydro
thieves simply bypass the meters to avoid the overhead and make tracing the operations harder.
“The demands on the system are enormous,” Evangelista said.
York Region Det.-Sgt. Gary Miner said authorities in Markham, just north of Toronto, have been shutting down up to IO such operations a week.
“It’s out of control, it’s an epidemic, it’s a virus,” he said.
“This year we’ve done 107 war
rants and the more we do, the more we find.”
In a recent one-day national crackdown, police scooped up $47 million worth of pot plants, picked up 136 suspects and found 28 children in the houses, some booby-trapped to discourage intrusion.
Ontario Liberal member Michael Bryant said the illegal operations hurt everyone.
“While they’re being asked to conserve electricity, some pot-growing energy thief next door is toking up all the electricity, causing brownouts and blackouts, driving up electricity prices, and sending the neighbourhood up in smoke,” said Bryant.
Ontario’s public safety minister, Bob Runciman, called on the federal government to implement tough minimum penalties for convicted growers because current sentences are no deterrent.
“This is a scandal,” Runciman said.
“This is a very lucrative, very low-risk business, so that’s why we’re seeing the growth” he said.
The costs of the illegal cultivation go well beyond the estimated $5 a month extra consumers pay on their hydro bills.
Dr. Jay T. Winburn Dr. Jeffrey Bales
en OMI »iuu
Official Playing Piece
Fill out your playing piece and enter at one of these locations:
Participating Heritage Co-op Locations
646 - 6th Street, Brandon 1300 - 18th Street, Brandon 120 Main Street. Minnedosa 221 Main Street. Wawanesa 48 Main Street, Erickson
Participating ic, Crosse
661 - 1st Avenue, Rivers Little Chief’s Place, 2025 Lyndale Drive. Brandon
'Free gas for a year if you are a home subscriber to The Brandon Sun and have a Co-op number. Based on 30 litres a week for 52 weeks. $500 worth of gas if you are not a home subscriber to The Brandon Sun or do not have a Co-op number.
OFFICIAL PLAYING RULES IN SUNDAY’S CLASSIFIED SECTION OF THE BRANDON SUN
Postal Code e-mail
viiy 0 Pi
WEEKLY DRAWS OF UP TO SIOU WORTH OF CAS
if you are a home subscriber and have a Co-op
Do you have a Co-op #? No__
You can enquire about a Co-op number at each gas baf.
<n v vv wiw
ful,” said Raoul Felder, Giuliani’s attorney. “Hopefully we’ll settle. If it goes to trial we’re ready.”
Hanover’s lawyer did not immediately return a call.
Giuliani and his wife of nearly two decades have been at odds for years, long before they separated in May 2000, when the ex-mayor went public about his relationship with girlfriend Judith Nathan.
Giuliani, 58, filed for divorce on Oct 20, 2000, charging Hanover, a television personality and actress, with cruel and unusual punishment. Hanover, 52, rejected that claim, instead blaming the exmayor’s affair with Nathan.
APPLICANT: CENTRA GAS MANITOBA INC.
PRIMARY GAS RATE CHANGE EFFECTIVE AUGUST I, 2002
Centra Gas Manitoba Inc. ( “Centra ”) has applied to The Public Utilities Board of Manitoba (“Board"), pursuant to The Public Utilities Board Act, for approval of interim sales rates as a result of changes in the cost of Primary Gas. The requested interim Primary Gas sales rates are to be effective August 1, 2002 and will remain in effect until confirmed or amended by a further Order of the Board.
ThP rnniin^fpd interim Primary Gaa aalpc ratoc grp calculated in accordance with the Rate Setting Methodology (“RSM’’) approved by the Board in Orders 55/00 and 99/01. Centra’s last Primary Gas rate was approved in Order 84/02 effective May 1, 2002 at a rate of $0.1956/171' (which included an embedded cost of Primary Gas of S5.09/GJ for Western Canadian Supplies). Due to a decrease in the price of natural gas, Centra is proposing to decrease the Primary Gas sales rate to $0.1850/m (including an embedded cost of Primary Gas of $4.90/GJ for Western Canadian supplies).
lf approved by the Board, the requested interim Primary Gas sales rates will result in the following range of estimated annual bill impacts depending on volumes consumed:
Decrease of approximately 2.6% to 2.9% for residential customers;
Decrease of approximately 2.7% to 3.4% for large general class customers;
Decrease of approximately 3.3% to 3.6% for high volume firm class customers;
Decrease of approximately 3.5% to 3.9% for mainline class customers; and
Decrease of approximately 3.7% to 4.0% for interruptive class customers.
The bill impact for a typical residential customer, based on an annual consumption of 113 Met or 3,201 rn3, will be a decrease of approximately 2.7% or $33 per year.
In addition to the requested change in Primary Gas Sales Rate, Centra currently has an application before
the Board requesting a change in non-primary gas sales rates and other matters, also to be effective August 1, 2002.
Upon any application to it, the Board may make an Order granting the whole or part only of the application or may grant such further or other relief in addition to or in substitution for that applied for, as fully and in all respects as if the application had been for such partial, further or other relief.
The customer’s bill for natural gas consists of six cost mmnnnpnk bping Primary Gas Plenary Gas Deferral Rider, Supplemental Gas, Transportation to Centra, Distribution to customer and a Basic Monthly Charge. This application deals only with the Primary Gas component of the bill. Primary Gas is the component of a customer’s bill that relates to natural gas provided from Western Canadian sources at the Alberta border. The RSM provides for the Primary Gas component of Centra’s rate structure to be adjusted every gas quarter as follows:
• 100% of the difference between the updated 12-month forward price curve for natural gas (weighted for the cost of gas in Storage) and the rate set in the previous quarter; and
• A rate rider to dispose of the estimated accumulated Primary Gas Purchase Gas Variance Account (Primary Gas PGVA) balance through volumes consumed over the next 12 months.
The Primary Gas Rate Setting Process that was approved in Order 55/00 provides for Centra to update the forecast cost of Primary Gas from Western Canadian Supplies 10 days before the implementation of the proposed rates. Because the market price of natural gas is subject to volatility, the Primary Gas sales rates approved by the Board, and the resulting annual bill impacts noted above, may change.
The Rate Setting Process provides for the Board to receive public comments on the application. After review of the application and the comments received from interested parties the Board will consider if there is a need for an oral hearing process.
The Board will conduct a final review of the quarterly Primary Gas rate adjustments and the Primary Gas PGVA adjustments in a subsequent annual public hearing process.
Pursuant to the above process, Centra filed an Application with the Board on June 14, 2002. Anyone desiring copies of the material filed should contact:
Manitoba Hydro Attention: Ms. M. D. Murphy 3,d Floor, 820 Taylor Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3C 2P4 Telephone: (204) 474-3468
Pax: t*u4i 474-494?
The Application and material in support of the
Application will also be available for inspection at the
Anyone wishing to provide written comments on Centra’s current Primary Gas Rate change Application should address their comments by July 19, 2002 to the Board, as follows:
Mr. H. M. Singh,
Acting Secretary Manitoba Public Utilities Board 400 - 330 Portage Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3C 0C4 Telephone: (204) 945-2638
Toll Free: 1(866)854-3698
Fax: (204) 945-2643
E-mail: [email protected]
DATED this 19th day of June, 2002.
H. M. Singh
The Public Utilities Board
Five days notice requited
Wheelchair access is available
400 - 330 Portage Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0C4
I » em