TORONTO – Sears Canada Inc. has decided to shut its doors and is seeking approval to liquidate its roughly 130 remaining stores — leaving another 12,000 employees across the country without a job.The embattled retailer, which sought protection from its creditors in June, said Tuesday it had failed to find a buyer that would allow it to continue as a going concern.The court overseeing Sears Canada’s operations is set to hear a motion Friday seeking approval for the liquidation and wind down of the business.“The company deeply regrets this pending outcome and the resulting loss of jobs and store closures,” Sears Canada said in a statement on Tuesday.Last week, Sears received a revised bid from a buyer group led by its executive chairman Brandon Stranzl to buy the business and keep it operating. It was the latest move in a weeks-long discussion process after Stranzl stepped away from his role to launch the bid.However, on Tuesday, the retailer said that “following exhaustive efforts, no viable transaction” was received.A lawyer for Stranzl did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Mark Caiger, managing director of mergers and acquisitions at BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., says in his affidavit that he understands Stranzl “continues to have communications with certain stakeholders regarding a potential going concern transaction,” according to court documents.Sears Canada’s court-appointed monitor FTI Consulting Canada told the court last week it would consider the revised bid but the company was running out of money and time.Sears Canada currently has 74 full department store locations, eight Sears Home Stores, and roughly 49 Sears Hometown stores, facing closure, according to company spokesman Joel Shaffer.The retailer currently has approximately 12,000 employees, three-quarters of which are part-time, Shaffer added. Of the roughly 800 employees in Sears Canada’s head office, the vast majority will leave next week, he said.That tally doesn’t include the 2,900 job cuts Sears Canada previously announced in June, when it announced the closure of 20 department store locations, 15 Sears Home stores, 10 Sears Outlet and 14 Sears Hometown locations.Sears Canada plans to start the liquidation sales no later than Oct. 19, a process which is expected to continue for 10 to 14 weeks.However, Susan Ursel, a lawyer representing current and former Sears Canada employees, says a liquidation would be “extremely detrimental.”“We are dismayed to say the least that this is going in this direction,” Ursel said in an interview. “But we are working, along … with pension representative council, to pursue all avenues possible as an alternative to liquidation. So, it ain’t over yet.”She would say only that they are looking at “different forms of a going concern operation.”Litigators for a group of lenders who have provided debtor-in-possession financing to Sears Canada to keep it afloat pushed for a liquidation agreement to be entered into by Oct. 7 at the latest. The lenders pushed for approval no later than Oct. 13, in order to liquidate before the crucial holiday season and maximize value.Sears Canada has been operating under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act since June, but had been struggling for years as consumers gravitated towards e-commerce and away from big department stores.Jean Rickli, a senior adviser with retail and marketing consulting firm J.C. Williams Group, said the retailer had taken some positive steps to revitalize the brand in recent years, such as a new logo and utilizing pop-up shops.“Frankly, it was all a little, too little, too late,” he said.Sears Canada has faced a “slow and steady demise over the last 20 years,” said retail analyst Bruce Winder, the co-founder and partner of Retail Advisors Network. He pointed to sales declines, dusty shelves and a lack of investment in technology.The move towards liquidation is the latest evidence that the Canadian retail industry is in “major flux” and that companies that were safe decades ago are now “in jeopardy”, he added.Winder added that the Canadian retail landscape is much smaller now, making it tougher for the thousands of Sears Canada employees to find new jobs of similar calibre.“It’s a sad day for us in retail, in many ways,” he said. “(For) the employees, as well as losing an icon.”
CALGARY – Farmers are looking to space in the continuous push to better know what’s going on in their fields, and a growing number of public and private initiatives are helping get them there.One of the latest is a partnership between Winnipeg-based Farmers Edge and San Francisco-based Planet announced Wednesday, with the two planning to combine precision agriculture programs with what they say is the world’s largest fleet of earth imaging satellites to better monitor the health of crops.Wade Barnes, president of Farmers Edge, and a farmer himself, said the technology is one of the most exciting developments in agriculture he’s ever seen.“We’re actually going to save agriculture,” he said in an interview ahead of the announcement.“With this technology, we’re going to save crops.”The snapshots of the field, taken almost daily by Planet’s current 190 earth imaging satellites, provide what they say is a clear and regularly updated picture of the growing conditions in the field, possibly alerting a farmer to something like a growing infestation of army worms eating at their wheat field.“Suddenly now, I can look inside my fields, I can see a crop problem, and I can act on it, and remedy it,” said Barnes.For the most part, he added, farmers have had to rely on consultants to physically drive through fields to check on early conditions; once crops start to grow, they’ve been limited to seeing what’s going on from the road.Drones promised to bring an end to that problem, but Barnes said they’re proving more difficult to operate than expected.“Everyone thought drones would fix this problem of frequency, but the problem was drones are just too much work and just weren’t logistically feasible.”The challenges with drones are compounded by the increasing size of farms, said Andrew Pylypchuk, account lead for Farmers Edge at Planet, something he says satellites help address.“Growers are able, at breakfast time, to have an overview on all their fields and decide where’s the most efficient use of their time and resources and pick the fields that need the most help on that particular day.”The collaboration between the two companies is by no means the first foray into satellite-imagery farming. For years, various government agencies and private satellites have allowed farmers to access a bird’s-eye view of their field.Companies like Satshot and Gamaya have relied on this satellite data to provide their own detailed crop assessments to growers, with Gamaya and others also touting the benefits of drones for more detailed and targeted work.Planet’s satellite images are generally supplied at a quality of three metres per pixel, which allows a general view of colour patterns in the field, but not the precision that can be found on a Google map of major cities.The company has been able to launch many satellites because of their reliance on consumer technology, said Pylypchuk, making the satellites “orders of magnitude” cheaper than ones like the Landsat satellites launched by the U.S., and which makes the images available for free.Pylypchuk said the vast array of Planet satellites solve the problem of frequency for those who rely on government satellites, but space is getting increasingly crowded.Heather McNairn, a research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada who’s research focuses on crop assessments from space, said the amount of data available is constantly increasing, with more satellites and more agencies sharing the information.“We have a much more open data policy now in general with remote sensing satellites, so the data’s more available, there’s more open access.”She said the federal government has been making strides in its own crop assessment programs, which focus on radar satellites that can see through clouds to assess soil moisture and even the amount of biomass in the field.Canada plans to launch three satellites with third-generation radar technology next year, which will further boost crop monitoring frequency to near daily as well, said McNairn.She said that the different types of satellites can be complementary, with the government also making use of Planet’s satellites, and all are contributing to a better assessment of real-time ground conditions.Overall, she said she’s excited by the advancements already made in satellites and what can be done with the data, as well as by the potential that still awaits.“I’ve been just absolutely amazed with the pace of the technology,” she said.“We’re doing things with these data that I never thought possible.”
OTTAWA – The federal Liberal government announced several changes this week to the controversial suite of tax-reform proposals it introduced in July. Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the changes to the tax plan following a 75-day consultation period that produced weeks of vocal opposition over the measures from small business owners, doctors, farmers and backbench Liberal MPs.Here’s a look at the tweaks to each of the three major proposals:Income sprinkling: The government intends to move ahead with its proposal to limit the ability of owners of private corporations from unfairly lowering their personal income taxes by sprinkling their earnings to family members who do not contribute to their companies. Ottawa insists businesses with family members that make meaningful contributions will not be affected. After hearing concerns about the added complexity of trying to prove the involvement of family members, the Liberals vowed to simplify the proposal. However, Ottawa has yet to give specifics on what those changes will look like. In hope of calming critics, the government decided to abandon one element of the proposal, which would have limited access to the lifetime capital gains exemption. It ditched this component to avoid negative impacts on the intergenerational transfer of family businesses, like farms. The government acknowledged this was a potential unintended consequence of its reforms.Passive investment income: Morneau has scaled back what some believe is the most contentious piece of the Trudeau government’s tax-reform plan. In hope of calming angry small business owners, Morneau narrowed the scope of his proposal on passive-investment income, so that only three per cent of the most wealthy private corporations will have to pay higher taxes. The adjustment to the original proposal will create a threshold of $50,000 on passive income per year. It will be equivalent to $1 million in savings based on a nominal five per cent rate of return, the government said. The change followed a flood of complaints that warned cracking down on passive investments could hurt middle-class entrepreneurs who use their companies to save for economic downturns, personal leaves and retirement. Morneau said the goal of the change was to enable small business owners to sock away money inside their corporations for future business-related needs, while still targeting wealthy people who use their corporate structures purely as a way to reduce their taxes. The government will release draft legislation as part of next year’s budget.Converting income into capital gains: Morneau announced he would no longer move forward with a tax change that has worried people in the agricultural community, such as farmers and fishers, who hope to pass their family businesses to the next generation. The move, he said, came in response to concerns the measure could have negative tax implications upon death and create challenges with the intergenerational transfer of businesses. Instead, he said the government would work with family businesses to make these transfers even easier.
The Lutz Creek fire closed the Alaska Highway between Coal River and the Yukon border. That fire is estimated at 5,000 hectares and has caused the community of Lower Post to evacuate.According to Fire Information Officer Ryan Turcot, the Prince George Fire Centre could experience more wildfires in the coming days as the weather is expected to become more sporadic.“There will be a higher probability of showers in Northeastern B.C. today which is expected to occur tonight and into tomorrow…” said Turcot. “There’s wind expected to blow at 20km/h with gusts up to 40km/h, so certainly in areas where we do see those gusty winds that could result in more aggressive fire behaviour.”Turcot added that the fire centre could also see lightning tonight which could lead to even more new fires.The West of Silver Lake fire is the largest active wildfire near Fort St. John, it stands at 5,963 hectares. The fire danger rating in the Peace Region is currently between high and extreme.For more information on B.C. wildfires click here. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Though Northeast B.C. hasn’t experienced the same amount of wildfires as the rest of the province, B.C. is still burning up.Since April 1st, the province has seen 1,937 wildfires which have collectively burned through 629,000 hectares worth of land. Over 3,738 personnel and 238 aircraft are currently working on 563 active wildfires across the province.In the Prince George Fire Centre, there are only five wildfires currently of note. The fires mentioned are the Chutanli Lake, Lutz Creek, Gromet Hill, North of Tezzeron Lake and Pulvis Lake fires. The Chutanli Lake fire is the largest of the four at 14,696 hectares in size.
The east landslide could also move again during the spring, but is still 200 m from the Old Fort Road and does not pose any immediate threat to other houses in the Old Fort.The PRRD will hold a community meeting on December 17 at 7 p.m. at the North Peace Cultural Centre to present the Geotechnical report to residents of the Old Fort.The Regional District is also working with the Province and consultants to establish monitoring options. There is also an option that the District creates a new position within the Regional District to help residents of the Old Fort, called the Recovery Manager. This person would be hired if the Province approves funding for an initial six month period.To full geotechnical report is included below:<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District has released the full geotechnical report on the Old Fort Landslide.The report is included in the agenda for the December 14, PRRD Board meeting. The report says the potential for the massive rockslide to move again is high, but there is no imminent danger to homes in the area that haven’t already been affected.The report from Westrek Geotechnical Services says “Both the channelized earthflow and the west landslide are expected to move again, probably during spring freshet, severely damaging the temporary access road leading to the Old Fort and continuing to impact the house at 7605 Old Fort Road.”
New Delhi: The hype around Udan (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme and low entry-barrier prompted a rich farmer from Maharashtra to approach the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to launch air services on select routes. But his initial enthusiasm soon fizzled out. The much-publicised Udan or regional connectivity scheme (RCS), now in its third year, also seems to have lost steam with the latest data showing that a fourth of the routes out of 688 awarded so far getting regular flights. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraWhile 18 routes awarded to Deccan Charters and Air Odisha have been cancelled due to prolonged grounding of flights, as many as 10 routes awarded to crisis-hit Jet Airways are under review and may soon be cancelled. “We had relaxed the regulations to allow more entities to participate in the scheme. A farmer from Maharashtra came to discuss the launch of services but did not follow up. There are many issues such as availability of funds, cost of operations and weak demand preventing the spread of RCS,” said a senior official handling the flagship scheme. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysA total of 688 routes have been awarded to various air-operators in three rounds of bidding. In the first round of UDAN bidding, the government in March 2017 awarded 128 routes to five airlines for 43 un-served destinations. As many as 325 routes were awarded to 15 airline operators in January 2018 under RCS-2. The Civil Aviation Ministry in January this year awarded 235 routes, comprising 189 RCS and 46 tourism routes, across 29 states to airlines under the third phase of the scheme. The government has promised to make air travel affordable for the common man and provides subsidy by way of lower tax rates, waiver of airport charges and other concessions to airlines for cheaper air tickets. The ticket price has been capped at Rs 2,500 on RCS routes connecting smaller towns. The slow pace in growth of RCS flights, however, means lower subsidy outgo for the government. Going by the fund requirement, if all the routes awarded so far become operational, the total subsidy could go up to Rs 1,800 crore while the available funds from all sources are about Rs 1,000 crore. “The disbursement on account of subsidy has been low as not many routes have been operationalised,” the official said.
California and Ohio are two states with seemingly no connection between their different weather and lifestyles. But on the Ohio State softball team, the players embrace their differences, and as a result, have become a more cohesive unit. The Ohio State softball team currently has 19 players on their roster, 10 of which hail from the state of California. “There are a lot of players out there,” coach Linda Kalafatis said. “It is probably the best location in the world for fastpitch softball, and the competition level is pretty consistent. Not only are they able to play more, but they are able to play at a really high level.” Every team in the Big Ten has at least one California player on its roster, but Ohio State’s 10 players are the most in the conference, topping Penn State’s seven. It is no surprise that different backgrounds have forced all 19 players to adjust to each other’s lifestyles. Though change can cause problems, the team has welcomed the differences in a positive way. “There is definitely some friendly jabbing at each other here and there,” All-American catcher Sam Marder said. This was evident in the opposing views of each other’s footwear. “The California girls wear Vans and the Ohio girls wear Crocs,” Marder said. “I just think those are ridiculous shoes, but they think my Vans come from Wal-Mart.” The music scene has also caused the California players to flex their muscles in the locker room. “With music, you don’t get anything out here until four months later,” freshman pitcher Melanie Nichols said. Additionally, Columbus does not seem to exude the same excitement as Southern California. “They are probably more country, while we are fast-paced city people,” sophomore shortstop Alicia Herron said. Not only do the players have to make adjustments on the field, but changes are necessary in the wardrobe department as well. “I never owned a winter coat before I came here, so I wasn’t exactly sure what I was supposed to wear,” Marder said. While the California athletes miss their tans and tantalizing beaches, they have fallen in love with the state of Ohio. Though the cold weather can be a burden for many Ohio natives, the California women appreciate the conditions. “The biggest thing I love out here is the four seasons,” Herron said. “Along with the changing of the leaves, it’s a different wardrobe, weather and climate. I love all that about Ohio.” The biggest struggle for most of the California players is how far away they are from home. “The first couple of weeks I got here it was really hard because I am really close with my family,” Nichols said. “But, they support me in everything I do, so that makes it a lot easier, but of course I still miss them.” While the team depends on Marder most of the time to produce the big hit, she equally depends on her teammates for support off the field. “Ohio really feels like a second home to me because I have been here so long and I go to the girls’ homes for the holidays,” Marder said. “Whether we kid around with each other here and there, the girls welcome us into their home, and at the same time, let us really make it a home of our own. I will always be really grateful for that.” Though the Buckeyes are diverse in background, team chemistry is not an issue. No matter where the player is from, all 19 players have the same expectation: winning. “I think it is one of the beautiful things we do here,” Kalafatis said. “We mesh all those personalities and differences into one cooperating group.” The players have been united under the recruitment and leadership of Kalafatis. Kalafatis believes there is no connection between her alma mater, California University of Pennsylvania, and her recruiting strategy.
Ohio State women’s basketball junior guard Raven Ferguson has been suspended for the first three games of the 2013-14 regular season by head coach Kevin McGuff for a violation of team rules, according to an OSU press release.“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Raven and having the opportunity to coach her, so it makes this extremely disappointing,” McGuff said in the press release. “She is a good kid, but her actions have not been in line with what the standards of this program are and will be in the future. Hopefully she can make some behavioral changes, and after this suspension, come back and make a positive impact on our program.”Ferguson is scheduled to sit out games at West Virginia Friday, against Florida Atlantic Sunday and Virginia Commonwealth Nov. 14. She is set to be eligible to return to the court for OSU Nov. 17 in Athens, Ga., against Georgia.An OSU spokesman told The Lantern in an email that he is unable to “provide any additional information other than it was a violation of team rules.”Ferguson did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for comment.OSU is scheduled to start its 2013-14 season against the Mountaineers Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Morgantown W. Va.
Guillermo Barros Schelotto was left frustrated by Boca Juniors’ inability to take a lead over River Plate into the second leg of the Copa Libertadores finalAfter the match was postponed on Saturday due to heavy rain, both Argentine clubs put in a thrilling spectacle in Buenos Aires.River Plate’s Lucas Pratto cancelled out Ramon Abila’s opening goal for Boca before their lead was restored by Dario Benedetto.However, a Carlos Izquierdoz own goal ensured a 2-2 draw between the sides heading into the second leg at River Plate’s home ground.Match Preview: River Plate vs Boca Juniors Boro Tanchev – September 1, 2019 It is time for one of the most intense derby games in the world, as River Plate and Boca Juniors go head-to-head tonight at 22:00 (CET).“We should have won,” Schelotto told reporters, via FourFourTwo. “We wasted so many chances, too many.“I think we were the better side on the field, but River played their game, caused us some trouble on occasion and now it will be to the Monumental to settle it.“We had the opportunity to go 3-2 up at the end, but [Franco] Armani has made a great save.”The second leg of the Copa Libertadores final will be played on November 24 at the Monumental stadium in Argentina.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche says his team needed to get back to basics after they beat Brighton 1-0 to record their first win in eight league games.James Tarkowski netted just before halftime to hand Sean Dyche and Burnley a crucial victory at home.The win lifted the Clarets out of the relegation zone to 17th place in the Premier League table.“It certainly feels better than some results recently. It was a very resilient performance and more like us,” Dyche told Sky Sports.“We’ve been trying to get ourselves back to that and we need to know there is more quality to come.Pep Guardiola: “Aymeric Laporte’s injury doesn’t look good” Andrew Smyth – August 31, 2019 Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits Aymeric Laporte’s injury “does not look good” and fears the defender will be out for a long time.“We know there’s more ability to come from the players but we needed to get back to a basic framework that works for us and has worked for us so many times.“That was on show today against a side that do equally keep it tight, so we didn’t think it was going to be a flurry of goals. We thought it might be a tight game and it ended up being exactly that.“We are slowly but surely making sense of it and remodeling the mental side of the game with the players and reminding them, not just of their ability levels, but of the basics. You have to do the basics well and I think everyone outside the top six has to do that.“Three of the last four [games], we’ve looked more like ourselves. We haven’t got the results, but we’ve looked more like ourselves, and that was on show again today.”