Canada’s Ontario province to try basic income scheme in three-year pilot

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s province of Ontario said on Monday it will launch a pilot program offering a basic wage to those who are out of work or have low incomes, the latest region to experiment with providing a guaranteed income amid worries that advances in technology are leaving workers behind.

The idea of a basic income, where governments give money to cover living costs with no strings attached, has been attempted in other parts of the world recently. This year, Finland began mailing out basic income checks, while cities in the Netherlands are exploring similar programs.

The Ontario government said it wants to see if the scheme can help those who have low incomes or are facing employment without job security or benefits.

“With some of the changes we’re seeing in the labor market, such as workers being displaced by globalization and technical change, it’s leading to questions about how we can do a better job supporting workers who are displaced,” said Craig Alexander, chief economist at the Conference Board of Canada.

In Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, up to 4,000 people between the ages of 18 to 64 will be able to participate in the three-year pilot project, though a control group will not receive payments.

The provincial government will pay up to C$16,989 ($12,584) a year to a low-income single person, while couples will receive up to C$24,027 a year. Half of any income earned will be deducted from the payout.

Ontario is home to the country’s manufacturing sector, which has shrunk over the years, taking jobs with it.

Pointing to pressures from increasing automation and uncertainty surrounding trade policy between Canada and the United States, Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne said the government must respond.

“We are entering a new and very different era. From technology to Trump, it is a time of greater uncertainty and change,” Wynne said.

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Trump slaps first tariffs on Canadian lumber

NAFTA explained

NAFTA explained

The Trump administration is hitting Canada with stiff tariffs of up to 24% on lumber shipped into the United States.

These are the first tariffs imposed by President Trump, who during his election campaign threatened to use them on imports from both China and Mexico. The decision on Monday is bound to lead to a standoff and could stoke fears of a trade war between the US and Canada, two of the world’s largest trade powers.

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Ahead of NAFTA talks, U.S. sets 20 pct duties on Canadian softwood lumber

By David Lawder

The United States will impose preliminary anti-subsidy duties averaging 20 percent on imports of Canadian softwood lumber, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday, escalating a long-running trade dispute between the two neighbors.

The move, which affects some $5.66 billion worth of imports of the construction material, sets a tense tone as the two countries and Mexico prepare to renegotiate the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.

Canada denounced the U.S. action and vowed to protect its lumber interests through litigation.

News of the tariffs sent the U.S. dollar sharply up against the Canadian dollar in Asian trading to hit an almost four-month high. The Canadian currency sank to C$1.3559 to the greenback, or 73.75 U.S. cents, down from its North American close of C$1.3516, or 73.99 U.S. cents.

Ross told Reuters in a telephone interview that Canada was “already retaliating” against the United States well ahead of the lumber duties by restricting imports of U.S. highly filtered milk protein products used by cheesemakers.

President Donald Trump last week called Canada’s dairy protections “unfair.”

Ross said some Wisconsin dairy producers were now “losing their farms” because of the restrictions. “Apparently Canadians now are coming down and saying: ‘Since you can’t do it anymore, I’ll buy your equipment for 5 cents on the dollar,'” he said.

U.S. lumber producers asked the Commerce Department last November under President Barack Obama to investigate what they viewed as unfair subsidies to Canadian competitors who procure their timber from government lands at cheaper rates. U.S. lumber producers generally cut timber grown on private land.

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a joint statement that Commerce’s accusations “are baseless and unfounded” and would raise U.S. home construction and renovation costs.

Ross said the duties collected would total about $1 billion a year. In a statement, he said the need for the lumber duties and Canada’s dairy restriction were “not our idea of a properly functioning free trade agreement.”

NAFTA never addressed the softwood lumber issue or Canada’s largely closed dairy market. The Trump administration has vowed to renegotiate NAFTA on terms that would reduce U.S. goods trade deficits of $63 billion with Mexico and $11 billion with Canada last year.


Ross said NAFTA’s dispute resolution system needed to be changed because it had worked against the United States in the lumber dispute.

NAFTA talks are expected to begin later this summer after a 90-day legal consultation period.

The Commerce Department said West Fraser Mills would pay the highest duty rate at 24.12 percent, followed by Canfor Corp at 20.26 percent.

Resolute FP Canada Ltd will pay a 12.82 percent duty, while Tolko Marketing and Sales and Tolko Industries will pay a 19.50 percent duty and J.D. Irving Ltd will pay 3.02 percent.

All other Canadian producers face a 19.88 percent duty, according to the document.

The preliminary determination directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to require cash deposits on all softwood products imports starting 90 days ago.

To remain in effect, the duties need to be finalized by Commerce and then confirmed by the U.S. International Trade Commission after an investigation that includes testimony from both sides.

(Additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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‘Another bad act on the part of the Canadians:’ Trump administration launches punitive tariffs on Canadian lumber

President Trump on April 20 said Canada’s trade practices on dairy, lumber, and energy are unfair to the United States. “We’re going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada very, very quickly,” Trump said. (The Washington Post)

The Trump administration announced on Monday that it is planning to impose a roughly 20 percent tariff on softwood lumber imported from Canada, a new escalation of trade tensions with America’s northern neighbor.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an interview that his department had reached a preliminary decision to impose the tax, the administration’s first major trade action against Canada. Ross portrayed the action as a tough measure to punish Canada after President Trump declared last week that “we can’t let Canada or anybody else take advantage and do what they did to our workers and to our farmers.”

“What we are doing is dealing with another bad act on the part of the Canadians,” Ross said.

The Obama administration began the review of trade in softwood lumber last year out of concern that Canada was subsidizing its wood industry in a way that hurt U.S. rivals. The decision to impose what are known as “countervailing duties” in retaliation for Canada’s wood subsidies, which will be announced Tuesday, is subject to a final review by the International Trade Commission, an independent federal agency that advises the government on trade policy.

Yet the decision allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection to begin collecting the funds from Canadian importers immediately. Five Canadian companies were a part of the investigation, and the United States will seek to collect money from four of them retroactively for actions taken in the past 90 days, Ross said.

Ross said this could amount to $1 billion in new tariffs, as well as $250 million in retroactive collections. All other Canadian softwood lumber companies will face the same tariff of 19.88 percent going forward.

Softwood lumber is a major export of Canada, which sold $5.8 billion in lumber to the United States last year, giving it about 31.5 percent of the U.S. market. It’s the fourth largest export from Canada to the United States after oil, gas and cars.

After spending much of his presidential campaign attacking China and Mexico for their trade practices, Trump has shifted his ire toward Canada in the past week.

Trump blasted Canada’s recent decision to impose import taxes on ultra-filtered milk, a move he said was “very, very unfair” to the U.S. dairy industry. Ross said that Trump saw how hard this was hitting U.S. farmers during a recent trip to Wisconsin and was moved by their reaction. But Ross also added that the softwood lumber action was decided on its own “merits.”

The ruling is the latest salvo in a decades-long battle between Canadian and American lumber producers. U.S. lumber producers, who are mostly based in the Northwest, have long complained that Canada unfairly subsidizes its lumber by selling wood from government land at low rates to Canadian lumber producers, leading to a loss of jobs in the United States.

The Canadians have argued that, despite decades of investigations and litigation, U.S. claims about Canada’s unfair practices in the lumber trade have not stood up to scrutiny at the World Trade Organization.

Canada’s minister of natural resources and minister of foreign affairs jointly issued a statement Monday calling the U.S. accusations against Canadian lumber “baseless and unfounded.”

“The Government of Canada will vigorously defend the interests of the Canadian softwood lumber industry, including through litigation… We have prevailed in the past and we will do so again,” the statement said.

Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, predicted that the dispute would not escalate into something much bigger.

“I don’t think it will be a trade war with Canada,” Bown said. “This is an irritant that is always there between these two countries, and Canada knows that.”

Jeffrey Schott, a former Treasury official and trade negotiator, said the tariff would likely translate into higher costs for U.S. consumers.

“This will put upward pressure on prices for the main consumer of softwood lumber, and that would be the housing industry. So the cost of housing will go up to some extent,” he said.

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Canada export bank eyes PH

As offers of development funding from China and Japan pour in, Canada also wants a bigger piece of the Philippine growth story as its export credit agency Export Development Canada (EDC) seeks more opportunities to fund infrastructure projects and other key industries.

In an e-mail interview with the Inquirer, EDC regional vice president for Asia international business development William Brown said EDC was anticipating more Canadian businesses wanting to invest and sell more products to the Philippines as Canadian exporters and investors seek opportunities in emerging markets.

The domestic sectors that EDC is most bullish about include food processing, clean technology, pulp and paper, information and communications technology and aerospace-related industries.


EDC also expects to play a bigger role in the country’s infrastructure sector given President Duterte’s ambition to bring the Philippines to a golden age of infrastructure.

“EDC’s funding is disbursed according to customer needs and opportunities for trade between Canada and the Philippines. EDC can be a valuable resource to Philippine corporations in the infrastructure sector by providing financing and introducing them to leading Canadian infrastructure companies,” Brown said.

“Rail, clean technology and power are all key industries that EDC and Canada can contribute to in the Philippines. We also have in-depth experience in financing PPP (public-private partnership) projects. This will augur well with the President’s agenda in bringing more private capital to support infrastructure development in the Philippines using the PPP model,” he said.

As funding from Asian economic giants like China and Japan flow more abundantly to the Philippines, Brown said EDC—being “one of the most progressive export credit agencies”—had many competitive advantages compared to other financiers.

“EDC’s strong capital position means that it can handle transactions of all sizes, from the very large to the small, for companies in support of transactions involving Canadian supply or services. We also like to partner with other commercial banks on their syndicated financing facilities to grow the reach of our support,” Brown said.

Brown said that apart from offering innovative and reliable financing, what would set EDC apart from other financiers was that it could serve as a supply-chain talent scout. “This unique EDC key value proposition means that EDC helps companies in the Philippines reduce costs and increase efficiency and innovation by introducing them to Canadian companies with the exact capabilities they need or want. Canadian companies are renowned for their world-class technology and services, which is an attractive feature for foreign buyers,” he said.

EDC recently opened a branch in Singapore to function as its financing hub in Asia. Brown said this meant that EDC could now bring its global-scale financing business closer to projects and companies in Southeast Asia and the Philippines by processing transactions in real Asia time, eliminating the previous 12-hour delay to connect back to the financing teams in Canada.

“EDC’s financing is now offered more quickly and effectively, which will significantly benefit both Canadian companies operating in the Philippines as well as Philippine companies seeking financing,” he said.


As an export credit agency, EDC focuses on providing financial services to companies that buy from Canadian companies or those that have Canadian supply and services in their corporate value chain. Funds from EDC can be used for capital expenditure or project finance requirements, either through bilateral or syndicated corporate facilities.

EDC has been present in Southeast Asia for a long time through a representative office in Singapore since 2007. EDC also recently opened a representative office in Jakarta, Indonesia, to complement EDC’s other representative offices in Asia: Mumbai, Delhi, Shanghai and Beijing.

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Populism is bad for business

Bessma Momani is a CIGI senior fellow and a 2015 fellow of The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. Jillian Stirk is a former Canadian ambassador and an associate with the Simon Fraser Centre for Dialogue and a mentor with The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation

Over the past year, we have all witnessed the politics of fear, division, and uncertainty rise to unprecedented prominence, and take root in governments around the world. Donald Trump`s America and various slivers of Europe, provide prime examples of this trend, and it’s a dangerous draw for populations once captivated with a different type of politics that promised inclusion, diversity and pluralism.

With the unsurprising results of the first round of French election confirmed last night – Marine Le Pen made it through to the final phase of voting – we can expect more nations to turn inwards and shut their doors to immigration and free trade. Fortunately this offers Canada a golden opportunity: Maximizing its diversity dividend.

Canada has arrived at one of the most opportune moments to make the economic case for how diversity pays dividends, and simply put, it can and should do so. Diversity is part of the Canadian story and research shows workplace diversity is good for business. Diverse hiring expands the talent pool, fosters creativity and innovation, generates new products and services, and opens up markets abroad. Diversity can be Canada’s global advantage, but only if it is fully embraced and leveraged.

Despite the hard evidence that exists in favour of diversity, public attitudes and perceptions are elsewhere, and more affixed on the abhorrent acts of xenophobia and exclusion that unfold daily. The Trump administration’s deportation of DREAMers, building of walls, refusal of refugees and revocation of visas moves everyday Americans further and further away from ever observing the possible advantages of diversity and pluralism.

The European project so successful in breaking down barriers and generating prosperity is now crumbling. European politicians play on fears and regularly dismiss the value of immigrants to society and the economy, in effect missing out on economic opportunities and the diversity dividend. A strong showing for Ms. Le Pen in the first round of the French election undermines the very principles on which the EU was founded.

What this means in not so many words is that Canada should be a model of global connectivity. Canadians trace their origins to more than 200 countries. Nearly half the population of Toronto and Vancouver is born outside of Canada, and nearly a quarter of all Canadians speak another language in addition to English or French. This puts us ahead, but does not mean in any way that Canadians are immune to populist sentiment and rhetoric.

Discrimination against Indigenous peoples, Muslims, immigrants and visible minorities is still very much present here in Canada. The challenge we face then becomes tackling the myths and fears that drive intolerance. One of the best ways to do that is to show that diversity actually contributes to economic prosperity.

Our new research, titled The Diversity Dividend: Canada’s Global Advantage, shows a strong correlation between ethno-cultural diversity and increased productivity and revenue. What this means is that businesses that welcomed diversity showed an increase in the bottom line. The study found that for every 1-per-cent increase in diversity, there is a corresponding 2.4-per-cent increase in revenue across 14 sectors of the Canadian economy. The correlation was strongest in cultural industries (6.2 per cent), transportation (4.1 per cent) and business services, which includes technology (3.6 per cent). If Canada wants to succeed in the high value-added sectors of the future, workplace diversity is a game-changer and offers Canada a global advantage.

In a highly competitive world, talent follows opportunity. As countries become increasingly isolationist, Canada can provide an alternative model and offer an an attractive destination for the world’s top talent. That means tackling barriers to employment, recognizing and valuing international experience, defining and measuring inclusion, and factoring diversity in corporate policies on everything from promotion to procurement. It also means supporting talent hubs and inclusive cities that provide not just jobs but transportation, housing, education, access to recreation and culture to attract and retain highly skilled millennials.

Ultimately, Canadians have a choice about what kind of society they want. While on the surface things may look good compared to Trump’s America – or Europe on the brink of a populist crisis – there is no cause for complacency. Canadians need to tackle discrimination head-on and seize the opportunity to use diversity to drive the economy and link to the world.

And when the demagogues fail to deliver, as they surely will, the time will be ripe for Canada to show how diversity is an opportunity that can benefit everyone.

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Globe editorial: Dear Donald Trump, please milk Canada’s sacred dairy cow

American President Donald Trump’s repeated outbursts last week about Canada’s “very unfair” treatment of Wisconsin dairy farmers is simple to explain: Someone waved a press release from the U.S. dairy lobby under his nose and gave him a whiff of something he could grandstand on.

Typical Trumpian bombast? Sure. But here’s the thing: While Mr. Trump probably has little idea of the details of the case, the issue he raised is legitimate. And on this issue, Mr. Trump is more right than wrong.

Dairy farmers in Wisconsin and New York State sent a letter to the White House earlier this month, complaining that they have been hurt by an unfair price-fixing decision from Canada’s all-powerful and highly protected milk cartel.

They have a case. The cartel’s decision, as with all its moves, benefits dairy farmers at the expense of everyone else – Canadian consumers, in particular.

The story goes like this: The Canadian Dairy Commission and provincial marketing boards set prices for milk and milk products based on production costs that aren’t grounded in market reality. Milk production is strictly controlled by quotas that guarantee farmers an annual income. At the same time, steep tariffs restrict the import of competing dairy products from outside Canada. This means there is limited market incentive to be as efficient as possible.

The supply-management system is hugely beneficial to a relatively small number of farmers, but it raises costs for millions of consumers. A C.D. Howe Institute study found that, between 2005 and 2011, the price differential between Canada and the U.S. for milk, eggs and cheese ranged from 29 to 77 per cent.

The higher prices also hurt processing companies that produce dairy-based products like cheese, frozen pizza and yogurt. They’re saddled with artificially high prices for their basic ingredients.

But then one day these processing companies found a loophole in the North American Free Trade Act that allowed them to import skim-milk solids and ultra-filtered milk “ingredients” from the U.S. at prices below those set by Canadian marketing boards.

Suddenly, New York and Wisconsin farmers had a new market in Canada that today is estimated to be worth as much as $150-million (U.S.) a year.

So what did the marketing boards do? Starting last year, in a move that began in Ontario and has spread across the country, provincial marketing boards are now letting dairy farmers sell these ingredients at the lowest available international market price.

The upshot for farmers in Mr. Trump’s country is that they have seen lucrative contracts with Canadian processing companies disappear overnight.

For Canadians consumers, however, this price-fixing adds insult to the injury already caused by supply management. Now the only people in this country who are allowed to purchase dairy products at actual market prices are those in the dairy industry. The rest of us are stuck with artificially inflated prices for the milk that we put in our coffee before going to work at jobs that aren’t conveniently located behind impregnable walls of market protection.

Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., David MacNaughton, fired off a letter of protest to the governors of Wisconsin and New York on Wednesday that squarely placed the plight of their farmers on U.S. policies. He accused U.S. farmers of overproduction that has contributed to lower prices, a claim that has some truth in it.

It’s also true that New York and Wisconsin’s biggest trading partner is Canada. The two states export about $20-billion worth of paper products, plastics, car parts, aluminum and other things to our country every year. The milk ingredients market is a very small part of that; this is not exactly the smartest issue for Mr. Trump to start a trade war over.

But Mr. MacNaughton did not address the fact that Canada has proved to be an undependable NAFTA partner by allowing its dairy marketing boards to adjust prices at a whim in order to stem competition from the U.S.

The U.S. dairy lobby has been calling on Washington to respond. Two other Canadian trading partners also fed up with Canada’s milk cartel – Australia and New Zealand – say they will support the U.S. if it takes its complaint to the World Trade Organization.

Mr. Trump is no free-trader. His only answer to the challenges of a globalized world is to build walls, regulatory and literal. It is very hard to sympathize with him on anything, let alone on trade.

But as anti-liberal and self-serving as he is, he’s got nothing on Canada’s milk cartel. Were he to imagine his perfect business model, it would no doubt look very much like our dairy industry. If his trade policies in some way help to end supply management, he will be doing Canadians a favour.

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Revenge of the comment section: Can I get a loan for a brick of cheese?

U.S. President Donald Trump denounced Canadian dairy regulations last week in a speech taking aim at NAFTA trade rules. Trump said the supply management system in Canada unfairly affects U.S. dairy producers and called the arrangement a “one-sided deal.” Many CBC commenters agreed that supply management should be done away with in favour of lower prices for consumers. 

Calling the bluff

This is a classic negotiating tactic. You publicize the worst case scenario, make it sound like you’re uninterested in keeping the deal, then negotiate giving a few things to the other party to make them happy. Canada has to play the same game to be successful, and I think despite the fact we’re up against a shrewd dealer, we’re making the right choices. We’ve got one of the original NAFTA negotiators back at the table and have publicly discussed Canada’s concerns with the same agreement. Time to call Trump’s bluff.

– Aaron Watson

Eating his cake

Trump needs to decide if he wants America to be part of the world trading system. If not, let the U.S. put up its trade walls and see how the American economy will tank. He wants to have his cake and eat it too.

– Daniel Hicks

What’s best for Canada

Time to look abroad towards Europe, Asia, and even Russia to diversify our trade. No need to make a big deal about it, and we shouldn’t approach it like Trump. Leave arrogance aside and just do what is best for Canada!

– George Duquette

Cheese is too expensive

While I don’t like Trump, I’m certainly tired of (non-rectangular) cheese costing 400 per cent more because of the protection of the industry.

– James Smith

Free trade means competition

I can’t believe I am saying this, but Trump is right about our dairy industry. If NAFTA is about free trade or freer trade, then there’s no reason why the Canadian market is not open to U.S. dairies, providing they meet our food safety and labelling requirements.

After half a century of monopolies and high prices, wouldn’t you think it’s about time for our dairy industry to face some competition and stand on its own two feet? Canadian taxpayers are sick of subsidizing this industry through higher prices!

– Rex Yuan

Give us American prices

I’d love to see the price of cheese, milk and other dairy products drop to the same price as they are in America. Can’t afford it here.

– Bob Macdonald

Sometimes it takes a Trump card…

I have grown up in the farming industry and have worked on farms firsthand since I was young boy. I have watched how the dairy industry and the farming industry has destroyed hundreds of small family farms over the years. I have spoken against it my whole life and now finally someone is saying something. Sometimes it takes a Trump card to get people talking.

Sure you all get your dairy products in the store, but most of you have no idea how it got there. Let me tell you, it’s not a pretty sight. I have seen hundreds of litres of milk go down the drain because of dairy laws. I have seen hard working farmers go under because they cant keep up with the corporate farming demands. Milk does not come from your friendly neighbourhood farm anymore. It comes from cow factories milking over 200 cows in one place. You don’t believe me? Go visit some old-school farmers and ask them what they think. I may not be 100 per cent right on with what I wrote, but one thing I believe is that the Canadian Dairy Board is very, very unfair. No doubt in my mind.

– ​Joshua Wayne

Other exports

Does this rhetoric about “buying American” mean that electricity and natural gas from Canada will be targeted?

– Paul Beesly

A loan for a brick of cheese

I have little sympathy for the coddled dairy farmers in this country. One has to practically take out a loan to buy a brick of cheese. Having said this, I have no interest whatsoever in consuming American milk with bovine growth hormone in it.

David Novak

We need our own wall

Trump probably doesn’t see the irony that he touts buy American and then attacks Canada for protecting its own businesses. We need a wall of our own, please. With all the deregulation going on down there, who knows what will show up in their food and drink now.

– Arthur Wellesley

Battle of rhetoric

I think we’ve seen that Trump says a lot of things, but that his words often don’t match the actions of his government. Canada and the U.S. have a rather balanced trade relationship which is advantageous to both countries. Hopefully his various cabinet secretaries and negotiators are able to figure that out. In the meantime, we shouldn’t get involved in a battle of rhetoric with the U.S.

– Robert McPharson

Comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Air Canada takes off with biofuels tests

In Canada, Air Canada just revealed its participation in the Civil Aviation Alternate Fuel Contrail and Emissions Research project, a research project led by the National Research Council of Canada to test the environmental benefits of biofuel use on contrails.

A reduction in the thickness and coverage of contrails produced by the jet engines of aircraft could reduce aviation’s impact on the environment, an important beneficial effect of sustainable biofuel usage in aviation.

The contrail backstory

Contrails are produced by hot aircraft engine exhaust mixing with the cold air that is typical at cruise altitudes several miles above Earth’s surface, and are composed primarily of water in the form of ice crystals.

The emissions impact?

It has to do with particular aspect of aviation, that is the nature of the emissions and the altitude they are released at. Aircraft emissions can count for anything between 1.2 and 4.7 times their actual weight. The most recent studies we’ve seen focus in on a 1.9 figure.

And that means a double carbon bonanza for biofuels, where carbon is counted.

Impact? If fully accounted for, you could see a biofuel producer looking at making diesel or jet with the same technology — but having a potential double carbon credit. That helps under, say, Low Carbon Fuel Standards, where the carbon credit is directly related back to the emission reduction.

Do biofuels make a difference?

Using biofuels to help power jet engines reduces particle emissions in their exhaust by as much as 50 to 70 percent, a recent NASA study concluded.

Researchers are most interested in persistent contrails because they create long-lasting, and sometimes extensive, clouds that would not normally form in the atmosphere, and are believed to be a factor in influencing Earth’s environment.

Why important, since we’ve heard those “greenhouse gas reductions of 50 percent or greater” figures many times, relating back to sustainable aviation fuels? In this case,

It sounds suspiciously like powers that are obtained by X-Men after radiation-induced mutation – but Accordingly, because of “contrail-induced cirrus clouds” and  “the contribution of black carbon, organic and sulfate aerosols that may act as cloud condensation nuclei and ice nuclei”, aviation-related contributions to what is known as radiative forcing may increase to 3–4 times the year 2000 levels.

The research backstory

During flight tests in 2013 and 2014 near NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, data was collected on the effects of alternative fuels on engine performance, emissions and aircraft-generated contrails at altitudes flown by commercial airliners.

The study sampled the exhaust of engines onboard a NASA DC‐8 aircraft laboratory as they burned conventional Jet A fuel and a 50:50 (by volume) blend of Jet A fuel and a biofuel derived from Camelina oil, on flights as high as 40,000 feet. The test series were part of the Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions Study, or ACCESS.

NASA research proves aviation biofuels reduces GHG emissions by up to 70%

The partners

This project involves six stakeholder organizations, with primary funding from the Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN), a non-profit organization funded by the Business-Led Network of Centres of Excellence of the Government of Canada and the Canadian aerospace industry.  The project has further financial support from the NRC and the enabling support of Air Canada ground and flight operations.

In addition to Air Canada, other CAAFCER partners include (alphabetical order) Boeing, National Research Council Canada (NRC), SkyNRG, University of Alberta, and Waterfall.

The project details

This project will use advanced sensing equipment mounted on a research aircraft operated by the NRC to measure the impact of biofuel blends on contrail formation by aircraft on five biofuel flights operated by Air Canada between Montreal and Toronto in the coming days weather permitting. During these flights the National Research Council of Canada will trail the Air Canada aircraft with a modified T-33 research jet to sample and test the contrail biofuel emissions. The sustainable biofuel is produced by AltAir Fuels from used cooking oil and supplied by SkyNRG.

Reaction from the stakeholders

“We are pleased to support Canada’s research on the additional benefits of aviation biofuel. This project is an important step in furthering the industry’s understanding of how biofuel reduces aviation’s carbon footprint and overall environmental impact,” said Teresa Ehman, Director, Environmental Affairs at Air Canada. “Air Canada recognizes its environmental responsibilities and the importance of understanding and integrating environmental considerations into our business decisions.”

“The National Research Council of Canada is proud to collaborate with our Canadian partners on this important research that will further reveal the viability of biofuels. By contributing our unique T-33 research aircraft specializing in contrail data collection and our expertise in emissions analysis, we hope to provide key information toward biofuel inclusion in all future flights,” said Jerzy Komorowski, General Manager of NRC’s Aerospace portfolio.

“We significantly improve airplane fuel efficiency through constant technology and operational improvements,” said Sheila Remes, vice president of strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “But additional efforts are required to achieve aviation’s ambitious carbon-reduction targets. Sustainable aviation fuels have the single greatest potential to reach those goals. Boeing is committed to supporting projects like this around the world to advance aviation’s knowledge and growing use of biofuel.”

CN plants trees, unveils plaque in honour of Canada’s 150th and Regina’s place in nation’s history

Regina event kicks off plantings across Canada

REGINA, April 23, 2017 /CNW/ – CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) board chair Robert Pace, and president and chief executive officer Luc Jobin, took part in a special tree planting ceremony Sunday celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday and Regina’s place in the nation’s history.

Pace and Jobin also unveiled a commemorative plaque marking the planting and milestone. CN, with its partner TreeCanada, is planting special Canada 150th trees and placing commemorative plaques in 150 Canadian communities this year.  

“We chose to have these special celebrations in communities across the country which have had a critical role in the history, present and future of Canada,” said Jobin. “In hundreds of Canadian communities, including Regina, the railway has been a part of life for generations. We honour that history, and here in Regina, we proudly look toward our shared future with this community celebration.” 

A sugar maple tree representing Canada was planted and a commemorative plaque unveiled in Regina’sVictoria Park today.

Through its various tree planting initiatives, CN has planted 1.2 million trees across North America since 2011.

CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network spanning Canada and mid-America. CN – Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries – serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company’s website at


© Canada Newswire, source Canada Newswire English