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Another painful year in Alberta but NDP government sees positive economic signs

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta’s economy shrank sharply for the second year in a row last year, but the NDP government says the outlook is improving.The province’s year-end financial statement says the provincial economy contracted by 3.5 per cent in 2016, following a 3.6 per cent reduction in 2015 brought on by the severe downturn in oil prices.The deficit for the 2016-17 fiscal year came in at $10.8 billion —in line with the government’s most recent forecasts, and $263 million higher than anticipated in the budget.Total revenues were $1 billion more than expected at $42.4 billion, thanks in part to higher resource revenues, investment income and federal transfers.But that increased cash was offset by lower personal income taxes and profits at provincial business enterprises.The government says positive economic signs began to emerge around this time last year and have continued into early 2017, including a bump in manufacturing sales and rig activity.The Fort McMurray wildfire slowed the economy by 0.6 per cent and reduced royalty and tax revenues by about $300 million. The province spent $710 million on firefighting and support during the disaster, but that was offset by $495 million it received in federal assistance.“The catastrophic tumble in oil prices took a deep toll on Alberta families last year and that was only compounded by the Wood Buffalo wildfire. But Albertans are resilient and compassionate. When times are tough, we help each other,” Finance Minister Joe Ceci said in a release.“While Alberta’s economy returns to growth and jobs continue to come back, we recognize this is not yet felt by all Albertans. That’s why we continue to work had to make life better for all Alberta families.”Expenses for 2016-17 were $53.2 billion, a $1.9 billion increase from what was expected in the budget, with part of the jump resulting from how the province accounted for future coal phaseout transition payments.Alberta’s debt incurred to fund operations and capital spending was $33.3 billion and its net assets stood at $37.7 billion.West Texas Intermediate crude prices, the key U.S. benchmark, averaged US$47.93 a barrel in 2016-17, nearly $6 higher than the budget estimate. Prices are currently around US$45 a barrel.last_img read more

Kiesslings wife helped him heat his fitness tests

first_imgThe former Nuremberg, Bayer Leverkusen, and Germany national team footballer has explained how he used to pass fitness testsGerman striker Stefan Kiessling played professionally from 2003 to 2018.And he just came out to explain how his wife used to help him cheat in his fitness tests.“I never did one hundred percent of the exercises in the preparation periods, not once,” he told The Talking Baws.Kiessling: Lewandowski’s back-up Martin Varga – November 2, 2017 The 33-year-old Bayer Leverkusen forward’s name has been associated with a January move to Bayern Munich Potential Bayern Munich transfer target Stefan Kiessling is delighted…“You get a heart rate monitor on which all runs are saved.”“As my wife is very athletic, she did some racing with the wristband according to my specs,” he explained.“She did it so well that nobody noticed.”last_img read more

From modelling to owning exotic beach clubs in Goa Sam Merchant is

first_imgSam MerchantInstagramFormer model Sam Merchant, made his dream come true by setting up one of the most groovy and go to party destinations in Goa. A winner of the Gladrags Manhunt Contest in 2002, within a short span of time, he became a prominent entrepreneur, thanks to his dedication and broader perspective towards his goals in life.A few years ago, Sam ventured into an interesting and entertaining business of opening up exotic beach clubs and hotels in Goa. The USP of these properties was the eyecatching views that one could witness making it absolutely heavenly and memorable for those who stay there.He wanted to share this experience with everyone who was an admirer of this serenity by offering up the lounge and hotels at rates that were unbelievable at the time.It takes one look at his Instagram page to realise that he he is still relative and prominent in what matters most to him. One can get to see the pictures and videos of his lounges and hotels in Goa for not only gazing but booking purposes as well.Sam Merchant himself is an avid traveller, who tries to explore new and exciting destinantions while balancing his work and personal life.last_img read more

Vice Media to Axe 10 of Staff Laying Off About 250 Employees

first_imgVice said it will grant pink-slipped employees in the U.S. severance packages with 10 weeks’ pay as well as compensation for accrued paid time-off days. Managers and HR teams will meet Friday with employees being laid off in the U.S., U.K. and Mexico, with cuts in other regions to follow in the next few weeks.Along with the restructuring news, Dubuc called out recent Vice wins. That included Vice Studios/Unbranded Pictures political thriller “The Report” starring Adam Driver, which Amazon bought for $14 million after its premiere at Sundance Film Festival, and the Vice-produced “Fyre” documentary on Netflix. She also touted double-digit traffic increases in views, watch time and subscribers in Vice’s digital business, and Virtue landing 20 big new clients in 2018.Originally started in 1994 as an alternative-culture magazine in Montreal, Vice has expanded into a multiplatform media conglomerate, spanning cable TV channel Viceland, television and film production, about a dozen website “channels,” and print magazines. The company had an eye-popping $5.7 billion valuation after it received $450 million in new funding in June 2017 from private-equity firm TPG, but that valuation has since declined — as evidenced by Disney’s $157 million write-down on its Vice ownership stake for the September 2018 quarter.Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report. Popular on Variety Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc has set plans to lay off 10% of the company’s employees — resulting in the elimination of 250 jobs across all departments — as it looks to slash costs amid a revenue slowdown.The cuts aren’t surprising: Brooklyn-based Vice last fall instituted a hiring freeze and was hoping to avoid layoffs by winnowing down its headcount through attrition. With the restructuring, Dubuc is de-emphasizing focus on Vice’s web properties and is looking to bulk up efforts in film, TV production and branded content centered on its millennial-skewing audience and counter-cultural ethos.“Having finalized the 2019 budget, our focus shifts to executing our goals and hitting our marks,” Dubuc wrote in a memo to staff Friday. “To this end, we’ve had to make hard but necessary operating decisions. Starting today, the next phase of our plan begins as we reorganize our global workforce. Unfortunately, this means we will have to say goodbye to some of our Vice colleagues.” The Vice layoffs were first reported by THR. The reorg at Vice will shift from a country-centric structure to one geared around the company’s five lines of business: studios, news, digital, TV and in-house ad agency Virtue. In her memo, Dubuc said Vice has a “significant number” of open positions in growth areas, including sales, studios, Vice News digital and Virtue in many countries.Vice isn’t alone in struggling to hit profit goals, as many digital-media players are hitting a wall in achieving growth targets. Last week, BuzzFeed announced it would cut 15% of its staff, which included the elimination of BuzzFeed News’ national news team. Verizon last month laid off 800 employees in the Verizon Media Group, or 7% of the staff in the division that combined AOL and Yahoo operations.The layoffs come as Vice’s revenue has stagnated. In 2018, the company projected revenue to be between $600 million and $650 million (flat with 2017) and was expecting to lose $50 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.One recent loss for Vice: Its weekly documentary program on HBO is ending after six years. However, the premium cabler will continue to air the half-hour “Vice News Tonight,” which runs four nights per week.Dubuc, speaking last fall at the New York Times’ DealBook conference, claimed Vice will become profitable again within the next fiscal year. She noted that Vice was profitable a few years ago, before it invested heavily in the launch of the Viceland cable channel and international expansion.Vice’s last major round of cuts was in July 2017, when it laid off around 2% of its then-3,000 employee base across multiple departments while at the same time expanding internationally and boosting video production.Dubuc, former CEO of A+E Networks, was tapped last year as CEO of Vice in the wake of a sexual-harassment scandal at the company that resulted in the exit or firing of several execs. Co-founder Shane Smith shifted into a new role as executive chairman. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more