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Free and quality education is a better option than cash transfers

first_imgDear Editor,Two favourite campaign promises are already being bandied about: free education and cash transfers. The former is borne of a desire to fundamentally change our society and future. The latter is an example of how to squander our oil wealth. This opinion is not influenced by any party affiliation – to me it seems pure and simple common sense.We all know that investing in our education system is an urgent and vital need. The IMF’s Article IV report found that while Guyanese children receive around 12 years of schooling, that education is only worth about 6 years compared to other countries with better education systems. That means that half of the time our children spend getting an education is wasted. Perhaps it is better to call it daycare than school?Better teachers, facilities, resources and programmes will ensure that the quality of that primary education improves. This will equip our children with the solid foundation they need to pursue further education, rather than proceeding to university unequipped for the challenge. We must also invest at the university level as well. Improving UG’s faculties and programmes will prevent Guyanese from being forced to go elsewhere in order to obtain a degree. This must be done if we are to halt our devastating brain drain.To me, all of this seems to be common sense. One of the best things a country can provide its youth is a quality education. Guyana’s system has fallen into disrepair. Now that we have happened into oil wealth, we have an opportunity to fix this mistake.Compare that to the suggestion that Guyana should begin making cash transfers. A blanket payout to all citizens cannot possibly create the same merits and values that a quality education can. Rather, it rewards Guyanese for having the good fortune to be living in this moment. It also counts on the recipient to be responsible with how they use the funds.Of course, the idea of limited or targeted cash transfers has been suggested as an alternative. And in a perfect world, our Government would impartially distribute cash to Guyanese most in need, bereft of any racial or political considerations. But we do not live in a perfect world. I fear that the idea of targeted transfers is more likely to become a mere euphemism for buying political support with oil money.It is the duty of all Guyanese to refrain from the near-sighted temptations that oil wealth will offer. Every international expert and every country that has already experienced oil wealth all urge us to look to the long term and plan ahead. Our generation is lucky to have seen the discovery of oil, but our labour is just beginning if we are to translate that into lasting prosperity and stability. We have not earned the right to take early retirement on an oil “pension.” We cannot be bribed away from our long-term goal. Let us exercise restraint and look towards policies which create a lasting foundation.Yours sincerely,Donald Singhlast_img read more

Backstreet Boys coming to Dawson Creek and the EnCana Events Centre

first_imgIn A World Like This captures the group’s voices, with five talented artists creating influential, unforgettable pop music. As one of the most successful groups in music history, with countless #1 hits, record-setting tours, and worldwide sales in excess of 130 million, Backstreet Boys are also among pop’s most influential.“Our goal is always to push ourselves as much as possible,” adds McLean. “We want Backstreet Boys to keep setting the template and raising the bar.”One of the biggest boy bands of all time, Backstreet Boys have sold over 130 million albums worldwide and scored numerous chart-toppers including the pop-R&B ballads “I Want It That Way,” “Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely” and “Quit Playing Games With My Heart.”Backstreet Boys’ latest album, “In A World Like This” is available now.Advertisement Follow more Encana Events Centre updates via social media at www.facebook.com/encanaeventscentre, www.twitter.com/EventsCentreDC and www.instagram.com/EventsCentreDC Tickets will be available for purchase on Friday, March 21 at 10 a.m. local time. Tickets are priced at $107.00, $87.00 & $67.00, plus applicable fees. Tickets may be purchased online at tigerboxofficeplus.ca, by phone at 1-877-339-8499, and in person at the 2 Tiger Box Office Plus locations in the Encana Events Centre and at Tiger Printing & Stationers. Energeticcity.ca has a special chance for you to win tickets before they go on sale.  Find out how you can win, by clicking here.Energeticcity.ca also has a chance for you to buy tickets on Thursday March 20.  All you need to do is like Energeticcity.ca on Facebook, by clicking here.  Then on Thursday before 10 a.m., we’ll post a special password and link to buy your tickets early.- Advertisement -“All five of us are thrilled to be back together and have the opportunity to play for the greatest fans in the world,” said Nick Carter.The In A World Like This album was recorded in London and Los Angeles with producers Martin Terefe, Max Martin, Morgan Reid & Prophet, Dan Muckula and Justin Trugman.“We always want to top our previous albums. That’s always our objective,” said Carter. “All five of us were determined to create an album where every song could be a single.”Advertisementlast_img read more

Op-Ed: Zimmer comments on Universal Child Care Benefit

first_imgSincerely,Bob ZimmerAdvertisement The Canada Child Tax Benefit has not been changed. Parents who are eligible for this benefit will continue to receive it in addition to the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit. The Canada Child Tax Benefit is a non-taxable amount and may include the national child benefit supplement and the child disability benefit.Why are you eliminating the Child Tax Credit?The Government has merged the Child Tax Credit with the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit. While the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit replaces the old Child Tax Credit, every family with children under 18 is better off because of this change.  The old Child Tax Credit was not a “$2,255 non-taxable benefit” as some have suggested, it was a tax credit. It provided up to $338 per child per year and only went to families with children under 18 that paid federal income tax. That means that individuals with no taxable income did not benefit from the Child Tax Credit. For example, families with incomes under $30,000 only received two per cent of the benefits of the Child Tax Credit, compared to around 27 per cent for theUniversal Child Care Benefit. To be clear, with the new enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit, all families are receiving more money to support the costs of raising a family. If you have children under the age of 18, there is no situation where you will be worse off than preceding years because of these changes.Are you eliminating the ability to claim an eligible dependent?Advertisement The following is an Op-Ed from MP of Prince George-Peace River Bob Zimmer. In the article he goes on to discuss the Universal Child Care Benefit and he discusses some concerns about it.On July 20th the Government of Canada sent approximately $3 billion to over 3.8 million families across Canada through the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit. Canadian families received a lump-sum payment of $520 for each child under 6 and $420 for those 6 through 17. This is the biggest, single, one-time payment to families by the Government ever.- Advertisement -I know there have been a lot of questions and misinformation surrounding the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit and how it will affect you family. I’d like to take this opportunity to address some of those concerns.What was the Universal Child Care Benefit before it was changed?In 2006, our Government introduced the Universal Child Care Benefit. It provided all eligible families with $100 per month for each child under the age of 6. The Universal Child Care Benefit provided direct federal support to approximately 1.6 million families with over 2 million young children.How has the Universal Child Care Benefit been changed?Advertisement No. Parents who are eligible to claim this amount can continue to do so.In addition to the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit, this spring families received nearly $2 billion in tax refunds through the Family Tax Cut. The Family Tax Cut allows couples with children under 18 to split their income and reduce their tax burden by as much as $2,000. We have also increased the maximum dollar limits that can be claimed under the Child Care Expense Deduction by $1,000. In addition, we have doubled the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and made it refundable.Through these initiatives we are ensuring that more money goes directly into the pockets of hard-working Canadian families.center_img Member of ParliamentPrince George-Peace RiverChair, BC/Yukon Caucus The Universal Child Care Benefit has been increased from $100 to $160 per month for each child under the age of 6 and has been expanded to include $60 per month for each child aged 6 through 17. Over the course of a full year, parents will receive almost $2,000 for each child under the age of 6 and up to $720 for each child aged 6 through 17. Approximately 4 million families are now benefiting from the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit.Is the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit taxable?Yes, the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit is a taxable benefit and is taxed in the hands of the lower-income spouse or common-law partner. For single parents, the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit can be included in the income of one of their children.What are you doing to the Canada Child Tax Benefit?Advertisementlast_img read more

Blow for Arsenal! Top target nears Serie A switch, claims agent

first_img1 Arsenal target Jackson Martinez is close to a move to AC Milan this summer, according to the Colombian star’s agent.As talkSPORT told you earlier this month, the 28-year-old is ready to leave Porto and the Portuguese giants are prepared to cash in on their prized asset if his £25m buyout clause is met.Martinez has two years left to run on his contract at the Estadio do Dragao and is viewed as hot property across Europe.The Gunners and Manchester City have been linked with the prolific striker but Martinez’s agent is “optimistic” a deal will be completed with the San Siro side in the next few days.“I am optimistic on Jackson’s move to Milan, but we’re not quite there yet,” agent Luiz Henrique Pompeo told EuroStadio.it in an interview.“There is a good possibility we’ll conclude the transfer, but we are not yet at the all-clear moment.”He added: “What I can say with certainty is that Martinez is a player worthy of a top club and Milan have history. The Rossoneri are not just a big club, but a huge one.”Martinez scored 32 goals in 42 appearances last term, helping Porto to a second place finish in the Primeira Liga – just three points behind champions Benfica. Jackson Martinez in action for Porto last_img read more

LAPD defends Muslim `mapping’

first_imgMarayati. “That’s the concern.” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the city is committed to respecting the civil and human rights of all communities. “I believe the LAPD has good intentions here,” Villaraigosa said. “They’ve been working on this issue for some time and met with a number of groups and will continue to meet with them to ensure that whatever we do here will be done properly.” The American Civil Liberties Union and several Muslim organizations will meet Thursday with police officials to discuss the policy and actions by the Los Angeles Police Department over the past 18 months. “Our concern is the potential of this,” said Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU in Los Angeles. “It brings to mind fears from the ’40s and internment or the ’50s, when the government went after so-called communists. “Rather than doing this in secret, they could have held public meetings at schools or mosques. Our fears is that this will profile an entire community rather than people who present a real danger.” Bratton said one of the first assignments he gave to Cmdr. Mike Downing, who heads the anti-terrorism division, was to improve relations with the Muslim community, which numbers some 500,000 in the city. He said the action was due to an experience he had in New York City on his first day as commissioner when officers raided a Muslim Mosque in Harlem that was in a storefront. It resulted in a major controversy and drove home for him the need for police officials to be more familiar with the different communities that make up a city. rick.orlov@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre The reaction came after the Los Angeles Police Department revealed a plan to create a map detailing Muslim communities in the city, an effort described as a step toward thwarting radicalization. But “mapping” communities for potential Muslim terrorists is not an effective tool to help find them because there are no Muslim enclaves or neighborhoods in the United States, said Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Instead, Muslims are dispersed across America, where they tend to be economically successful, Al-Marayati said. The best way for law enforcement to track terrorists and prevent violence is through community-based policing, Al-Marayati said. “The apprehension comes when people see their civil liberties taken away when they are completely innocent,” said Al- Los Angeles officials on Friday defended a plan to identify and map the city’s Muslim community, saying it is an effort to increase understanding and knowledge and not a move to profile people based on race or religion. “I would urge people to step back and not get involved in the rhetoric,” Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton said. “We are doing a good-faith effort in a transparent way to increase understanding. We are meeting with various groups and will continue to have a dialogue. “This is about community engagement. We got hung up with one word, `mapping,’ that conjures up images of racial or religious profiling. I want us to move forward, and this is about not using the wrong words or wrong symbols.” last_img

ANGER AS RUBBISH STREWN ACROSS SCENIC FISHING VILLAGE

first_imgLOCALS have expressed their anger at those responsible for dumping rubbish alongside the pier at Burtonport.The scenic fishing village has been left decimated since the fishing industry collapsed with a number of bars and shops in the locality being forced to close.However, locals work hard to maintain the beautiful fishing village as best they can and have set-up a number of initiatives to attract tourists to the area. One of these projects was the restoration of the Old Railway which is now a scenic walkway used daily by locals and tourists.However, a group of locals were outraged when rubbish was despicably dumped outside a number of the now closed fishing factories beside the pier.A huge number of tourists get the Ferry from Burtonport pier to visit nearby Arranmore Island.However, the rubbish strewn along the pier was an eyesore and the locals gathered a Action-Group to come together and clean up the mess. They’ve also appealed to those responsible to stop dumping rubbish around the area and have encouraged them to keep the Port tidy.The Burtonport Action-Group posted images of the clean-up operation earlier on their timeline and issued the following advice, “Lots of thanks to all who showed up today to give a hand with the ‘Cleaning Up Around The Port’.“We all know the place was once a thriving fishing Port and that that changed, that there are less fishermen, boats, fish but we don’t need to see it full of rubbish either.Lets Keep The Port Tidy. 🙂ANGER AS RUBBISH STREWN ACROSS SCENIC FISHING VILLAGE was last modified: April 26th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Angerclean-updumpingFeaturesFishing Villagenewsrubbishlast_img read more

VOICE OF IRELAND: PADDY MOLLOY THROUGH TO LIVE SEMI-FINALS

first_imgPaddy Molloy is through to the semi-finals of The VoiceDONEGAL singer Paddy Molloy shocked the judges tonight as he made it into the semi-finals.There was gasps tonight as the Glenties man got the vote from Kian Egan’s group to go through to the next round.Paddy managed to get the votes as the outsider by the public after he scored poorly among the judges. A stunned Paddy, who had huge support in the audience, clasped his mouth as the other judges looked on in shock in the RTE prime time Sunday show presented by Kathryn Thomas.Paddy had a scare last week and he promised his fans he will be upping the tempo next week on the show.However, the band appeared to drown out his dulcet tones but the votes from Donegal fans seen him through.Coach Kian Egan promised to bring a new side to Paddy next week as he faces his biggest challenge against the remaining three contestants in the semi-final.   VOICE OF IRELAND: PADDY MOLLOY THROUGH TO LIVE SEMI-FINALS was last modified: April 13th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:VOICE OF IRELAND: PADDY MOLLOY THROUGH TO LIVE SEMI-FINALSlast_img read more

MTN, Intel to push broadband in Africa

first_imgSAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Importance of industry leaders Emerging technology investment “These initiatives will contribute to the development of young people in Africa by equipping them with up to date maths and science skills as well as life skills such as critical thinking in the current knowledge economy,” MTN said in a statement this week. According to the statement, such innovations have the potential to create new industries and offer employment to Africa’s growing young population. South Africa’s MTN Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with the USA’s Intel Corporation which will see the two companies collaborating to accelerate the deployment of broadband access in Africa and the Middle East. Other areas of collaboration include joint efforts by the MTN Foundation and Intel Education’s corporate social responsibility initiatives to equip students and teachers with technology skills. “MTN recognises the strategic value of partnering with an industry player of Intel’s calibre and stature,” De Faria said. 2 August 2010 According to the statement, the memorandum also underpins the importance of industry leaders such as Intel and MTN to collaborate in order to bring sustainable ICT development to the Africa and Middle East region. Intel’s venture capital division, Intel Capital, and the MTN Group will also invest in emerging technology companies that are innovative and demonstrate a potential for advancing the ICT sector by developing products that contribute to solving typically African business and social problems. “In this way we can accelerate Africa’s entry into the 21st century knowledge and digital economy which will give its citizens economic opportunities similar to those in developed countries,” said Graylish. MTN senior vice-president for innovation Christian de Faria said the company believed the memorandum of understanding would facilitate the establishment of joint initiatives to support both their broadband strategy as well as corporate social responsibility projects. “Both companies have expertise in different aspects of ICT deployment and together we can accelerate bridging the digital divide on the continent.” The collaboration covers a wide spectrum of initiatives, including areas such as broadband access through pushing WiMax deployment, offering affordable PC bundles for ordinary African consumers and entrepreneurs, and introducing cost-effective internet browsing devices. “Strategies developed by MTN and Intel to connect the next generation of broadband users in Africa and the Middle East were a perfect fit, which is why we went into discussions to collaborate,” said Intel sales and marketing vice president Gordon Graylish. Skills developmentlast_img read more

South African export councils

first_imgVarious industry sectors have organised themselves into export councils to tackle the global marketplace as collective forces. Export councils are promoted and supported by the DTI as they help exporters develop strategies, and reach their target markets as well as meet their export targets.The DTI provides financial support to many export councils, which are run by executives appointed by participating firms.Industries with export councils include the automotive, electrotechnics, wire, stainless steel, aluminium, flower, wine, cosmetics, crafts, ceramics and textiles sectors.The export council approach is specifically tailored to facilitate access to DTI support structures by small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs). The SMME Export Council acts as an entry point for first-time exporters; while the Arts and Crafts Export Council specifically supports rural community projects, helping artists and crafters gain access to international markets.See the DTI’s directory of South Africa’s export councils, industry associations and joint action groups.The main details of the list are as follows:Export councilsNational Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA: www.naamsa.co.zaBuilt Environment Professions Export Council: www.bepec.co.zaCapital Equipment Export Council: www.saceec.comFresh Produce Exporters Forum/ Fruit South Africa: www.fpef.co.zaSA Boatbuilders Export Council: www.sabbex.co.zaSA Cosmetics Export Council: www.cecosa.co.zaSA Electrotechnical Export Council: www.saeec.org.zaSA Flower Industry Council: www.saflower.co.zaSA Footwear & Leather Export Council: www.saflec.co.zaSA International Steel Fabricators: www.isf.co.zaTextile Industry Export Council: www.satiec.co.zaSA Wire Business Council: www.sawa.co.zaWines of South Africa: www.wosa.co.zaSteel Tube Export Council: www.astpm.co.zaIndustry associationsAluminium Federation of SA: www.afsa.org.zaPlastics Federation of SA: www.plasticsinfo.co.zaSA Dairy Foundation: Tel +27 (0)12 348-5345SA Aerospace Maritime & Defence Industries Association: www.amd.org.zaSA Iron & Steel Institute: www.saisi.co.zaSA Print & Packaging Federation: www.pifsa.orgStainless Steel Business Council: www.sassda.co.zaJoint action groupsMeat Exporters of SA: www.samic.co.zaJewellery Council of SA: www.jewellery.org.zaSA.info reporterReviewed: 6 August 2012Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Fistball’s finest come to South Africa for World Cup

first_imgCD AndersonThe little known but ancient sport of fistball is gaining popularity among South Africans looking for an active pastime that is a little different and a lot of fun. Their passion for the sport has culminated in the hosting of the fistball World Cup in Cape Town on 14 and 15 October 2016.What is fistball?Described as a faster, more aggressive version of volleyball, fistball dates back to 240AD. The sport became popular again in 16th century Italy, where the rules of the game were first officially devised and recorded.Watch and learn the game’s rules:During the late 19th century, fistball became popular in Germany, whose emigrants then spread the game to the rest of the world, including South America and West Africa.It was introduced into the United States in 1911, where it enjoyed small but enthusiastic support at some of the country’s youth summer camps.A world governing body was formed in 1960, which began holding international championship tournaments for men and women every four years. The sport is dominated by German-speaking countries such as Switzerland and Namibia (which won the 1995 championship), and South American countries such as Brazil and Argentina. Fistball is also part of the alternative, non-Olympic sports event, the World Games.By 2014, countries such as Australia, India and South Africa had started competing in the sport.The GaljoensMeet the stars of South African fistball: Dr Strangeglove, Moerfist, Mr Fistievous and the rest of team:The first South African team, and later the Fistball Association of South Africa (Fasa), was started in 2014 by Capetonian Leif Petersen, who was looking for an alternative sport to play as a way to make his mark representing his country.Petersen told the Mail & Guardian in 2015: “It’s always been every kid’s dream to play for their country, and as I gradually came to the realisation that I would never get the nod for the Proteas cricket team, I had to find a smaller pond where I could be a bigger fish.”Petersen brought together an eclectic group of local sport enthusiasts from all walks of life, including artists, business professionals, conservationists and refugees, to form the sport’s first amateur fistball team: the Galjoens, named after South Africa’s national fish.@FistballSA #MightyGaljoens Dr Strangeglove Moerfist & Mr Fistievous watch SA’s finest fistballing talent @ #FistballWorldCup 14-16Oct CTown pic.twitter.com/WM9KX3H2h1— CD Anderson (@bizarrojerri) October 13, 2016Playing in public parks with rudimentary equipment fashioned from safety barrier tape and tent poles, the sport proved to be a fun but gruelling way to bring together a variety of South Africans and combine their love of sport with good humour and ham-fisted puns.Soon other teams formed around Cape Town, including the Kaapse Fisters, the North Beach Knuckle-Dusters and Goldfister. The first annual South African championship, the aptly named Fistivus, was held in 2015.The Galjoens also took part in their first world championship, held in Argentina in November 2015. They finished last, but according to Petersen, a lot of fun was had at the tournament and the players learnt a lot about how the game was played on a global level.The Fistball World Cup8 days away before the kick-off of the @IFA_Fistball Men’s #Fistball World Cup! 14 & 15 October at Vygieskraal Sports Ground ? #faustball pic.twitter.com/N9T6V8VygP— FistballSouthAfrica (@FistballSA) October 6, 2016At the end of 2015, Petersen received approval from the fistball world governing body in Germany to hold a World Cup tournament, bringing the best fistball club teams in the world to compete in Cape Town on 14 and 15 October 2016.The event will be held at the Vygieskraal Sports Ground, Belgravia, Cape Town, and will feature visiting clubs from Germany, Brazil and Argentina. The tournament will also debut the long-awaited documentary on the unconventional story of fistball in South Africa, featuring interviews with players and highlights of all the local teams in action.For more information, visit the Fistball Association of South Africa Facebook page.Source: Mail & Guardian / Fistball Association of South AfricaSouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more