by Kaitlin Lee Posted Jun 17, 2015 10:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CNRL remains optimistic ahead of royalty review Alberta needs to remain competitive: that was the message the president of Canadian Natural Resources stressed in a conference call with investors and analysts Wednesday morning.CNRL was forced to delay its open house, after concerns about an upcoming royalty review.Steve Laut said the Calgary-based company is looking forward to participating in the review but stressed there is a high risk of getting it wrong.“We believe the Alberta government understands this complexity, and wants a strong and healthy oil and gas industry,” he said.Laut said they haven’t completely recovered from tumbling oil prices and potentially, more volatility lies ahead.However, he assured stakeholders the company is in better shape than many of its peers, with a strong balance sheet and lots of flexibility to handle any changes that might be forthcoming.
ATHENS, Greece – Tens of thousands joined anti-government protests across Greece Thursday as the country was crippled by a general strike against painful pension reforms demanded by bailout lenders.In Athens, police said some 40,000 people joined rallies that ended with a brief outbreak of violence when anarchist protesters hurled rocks and petrol bombs at police outside Parliament.The general strike presented the most widespread opposition to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ government so far, shutting down everything from schools to funeral homes, and uniting a disparate group of professions, including artists, taxi drivers, lawyers, doctors, vets, engineers and seamen.Coffee shop owners closed their stores in protest in the central city of Larissa, while farmers maintained highway blockades and drove tractors through the centre of Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki.Protests occurred in at least a dozen cities, amid mounting union anger at Tsipras’ left-wing government which has promised to spare pensioners further cuts in the short term but hike income contributions to bolster the ailing system.Despite the pledge, Athens retiree Yannis Kouvalakis said he felt let down by Tsipras’ year-old government.“They said they’d help pensioners and the unemployed and look what happened: Things got worse,” he said. “They’re fooling us.”The pension overhaul is part of Greece’s a latest 80 billion euro ($89 billion) international bailout and is currently being negotiated in Athens between the government and inspectors from Eurozone lenders and the International Monetary Fund.Adding pressure on Tsipras, a report released by the European Commission Thursday warned that pension reforms and new tax hikes would still not be enough to meet bailout targets.“Further measures will be needed in 2016 and 2017 in order to reach the program’s primary (budget) surplus targets,” it said, predicting that Greece will slip back into mild recession this year and that the national debt will climb to 185 per cent of gross domestic product.The disruption from the strike was wide-ranging. Schools and many private businesses were closed while transport, including flights and ferry services, faced delays and cancellation. The strike also stopped the flow of thousands of migrants and refugees travelling from the Greek islands where they make landfall.State-run hospitals ran on emergency staff, while farmers maintained their blockades of highways that forced motorists into lengthy detours.Police officers are planning a demonstration in central Athens Friday.___Elena Becatoros, Costas Kantouris, and Raphael Kominis contributed to this report.___Online:European Commission Economic Forecast: goo.gl/wlq9p8 Protests, EU demands add pressure on Greece’s Tsipras by Derek Gatopoulos And Nicholas Paphitis, The Associated Press Posted Feb 3, 2016 11:52 pm MDT Last Updated Feb 4, 2016 at 3:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email A protester prepares to throw a petrol bomb at riot policemen during a 24-hour nationwide general strike in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Clashes have broken out between Greek police and youths throwing fire bombs and stones, as tens of thousands of people march through central Athens to protest planned pension reforms.(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Compensation to Bombardier senior executives rose nearly 50 per cent last year by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 29, 2017 12:47 pm MDT Last Updated Mar 30, 2017 at 4:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MONTREAL – Bombardier’s senior executives saw their compensation rise by nearly 50 per cent last year at a time when it laid off thousands of workers, sought government aid and saw the first CSeries passenger jet take flight.Total compensation for the Montreal-based company’s top five executives and board chairman Pierre Beaudoin was US$32.6 million in 2016, up from US$21.9 million the year before, according to a proxy circular ahead of its May 11 annual meeting.CEO Alain Bellemare received US$9.5 million, up from US$6.4 million in 2015, including US$5.2 million in share and option-based awards and a US$1 million salary. His annual bonus almost doubled to US$2.36 million.Beaudoin’s compensation increased to US$5.25 million from US$3.85 million a year earlier.The chief financial officer and heads of business and commercial aircraft each received more than US$4 million, while the head of the railway division’s compensation increased 93 per cent to US$4.7 million. All of the men were hired at various times in 2015 as part of a corporate renewal Bellemare put in place after he started in February of that year.In the regulatory filing, Bombardier attributed the higher compensation to a number of factors, including achieving profit and cash flow targets, securing CSeries orders and completing the first flight of the Global 7000 business jet.Bellemare was also credited with achieving earnings at the high end of the company’s guidance, exceeding profit margin targets in all business segments and making significant progress on achieving the company’s plan to revive its fortunes.Company spokesman Simon Letendre added that a large portion of the compensation is not guaranteed.“For instance, 85 per cent of the compensation of the president and CEO is at risk and 28 per cent is comprised of stock options whose value depends on the appreciation of the Bombardier stock, something that would of course benefit all shareholders,” he wrote in an email.Bombardier is in the midst of a five-year turnaround plan that has involved mass layoffs as it tries to regain its financial footing. It is eliminating 14,500 jobs around the world by the end of next year.Shares of Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) last year increased 61 per cent to $2.16 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. They gained three cents at $2.11 in Wednesday afternoon trading.The company cut its loss to US$981 million last year, down from US$5.34 billion in 2015 despite lower revenues.The federal government announced in February a $372.5-million loan for the CSeries and Global 7000 programs to be repaid over 15 years.Last year, Bombardier received a US$1-billion investment for the CSeries program from the Quebec government in exchange for a 49.5 per cent stake. The company also sold a 30 per cent stake in its railway division to pension fund manager Caisse de depot for US$1.5 billion.Bombardier also revealed Wednesday that former Quebec premier Daniel Johnson and ex-Bell and Nortel CEO Jean Monty are stepping down from its board of directors. They will be replaced by Camso CEO Pierre Marcouiller and Antony Tyler, former CEO of Cathay Pacific Airways and the International Air Transport Association.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.
Former PM Mulroney back on Parliament Hill in role as NAFTA broker by The Canadian Press Posted Apr 6, 2017 9:52 am MDT Last Updated Apr 6, 2017 at 11:14 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email OTTAWA – Brian Mulroney was back on Parliament Hill today — and he’s not mincing words about the challenges Canada faces in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.The former prime minister, a personal friend of Donald Trump and for many the grandfather of free trade in North America, has been helping Justin Trudeau’s government navigate the new U.S. administration.He was meeting with members of the Liberal cabinet to brief them on the efforts so far and how NAFTA negotiations between Canada and the U.S. are likely to proceed.“I think they’re going to be very challenging,” Mulroney said of the upcoming talks, citing the unpredictable nature of the U.S. administration and its comments on the trade file.Following Trump’s fiery anti-NAFTA rhetoric, a meeting with Trudeau at the White House appeared to cool the U.S. president, who at the time seemed “to have adopted a pretty reasonable posture,” Mulroney said.“Then the letter from the (U.S. Trade Representative) comes out with a different version of things, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”He says so-called country-of-origin rules, long a sore spot in NAFTA, are likely to be an area of discussion in the eventual negotiations, and he’s urging the government to put a strong negotiator on the file.Mulroney was asked how it felt to be a conservative prime minister in a Liberal cabinet room. “As if I never left,” he quipped.Also present at the meeting was U.S. ambassador David MacNaughton and one of his predecessors in that job, Derek Burney, Mulroney’s former chief of staff.Mulroney keeps a home in Florida and has long been friends with Trump and his incoming point man on NAFTA, Wilbur Ross.Sources say Mulroney has since had several phone chats with Trudeau, offering to establish connections, provide advice and convey one country’s perspective to the other.Mulroney wasn’t the only bridge-builder: Chrystia Freeland set up the initial meetings in New York between the Trudeau and Trump teams.He credits everyone for making the most of these new connections.“I can tell you I’ve heard from two leaders of the American administration… telling me the Canadians… were the best and the nicest people the Americans were able to deal with anyone around the world,” Mulroney said in a recent interview.“How do I know that President Trump feels that he had a very good meeting with the prime minister and he liked him a lot?… Because he told me. At dinner… They just hit it off… He liked the cut of his jib. He liked the way he spoke. He liked a lot of things.”Mulroney was equally laudatory of the opposition’s behaviour, saying Rona Ambrose and the Conservatives lowered the partisan temperature on a critical issue of national interest, and sent a letter offering help wherever possible.“This is a national challenge,” he said.“If we were ever to lose NAFTA you’d see grave challenges in Canadian society. So in something like this there’s not a Conservative, or a Liberal way to look at this. There’s only a Canadian way.” Former prime minister Brian Mulroney pauses while speaking following the announcement of the $60 million Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and Mulroney Hall at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. on Wednesday, October 26, 2016. Mulroney says the federal government may face a “rough negotiation” when it comes to NAFTA, but he believes Canada will nonetheless emerge with strong ties to the U.S. and Mexico.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese