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Ottawa posts 32 billion deficit for October as new tax credits weigh

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OTTAWA — The federal government said Monday it posted a deficit of $3.2 billion in October due in large part to its new income-splitting plan for families and the doubling of the children’s fitness tax credit.The result for the month compared with a deficit of $2.5 billion in October 2013.The tax changes resulted in a $1.6-billion adjustment to revenue and, without that, Ottawa would have posted a deficit of $1.6 billion for October.The Harper government announced in October it would go ahead with income-splitting plan for couples with children as well as higher child-care benefits.The income splitting plan has been sharply criticized by the opposition who say the $2-billion-a-year program would only benefit about 15 per cent of Canadian households.For October, the Finance Department said revenue was down by $200 million or 0.9 per cent compared with a year ago due to the tax changes, partially offset by increased corporate income tax revenue.Income splitting not the only good tax news for Canadians this weekCanada’s current account deficit shrinks to six-year low in latest sign economy is picking up speedProgram spending for the month was up by $600 million or 3.1%, while public debt charges decreased by $100 million or 3.4%.In its fall economic update, the federal government said last month it expected to post a deficit of $2.9 billion for 2014-15 and a $1.6-billion surplus in the 2015-16 fiscal year.Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said the falling price of oil will reduce some federal fiscal flexibility, but that it will balance the budget next year.For the current fiscal year to date, the government posted a deficit of $4 billion, compared with  a deficit of $12.8 billion in the same period a year ago.Revenue for the period from April to October increased $5.3 billion, or 3.7%, to $150.3 billion while program spending fell $3.2 billion, or 2.3%, to $137.7 billion. Public debt charges dropped to $16.5 billion from $16.9 billion for the comparable seven-month periods. read more

Alaska singleuse plastic ban to be enforced in Anchorage

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska city officials have organized the rollout of a single-use plastic bag ban in an effort to reduce litter and waste.The Anchorage Daily News reported that the ban is scheduled to take effect Sept. 15 in Anchorage.Officials say the Anchorage Assembly approved the ordinance in August 2018 banning commercial businesses including restaurants from legally handing out disposable plastic bags.City officials say the original rollout date was scheduled for March 1, but it was delayed because business owners had large stockpiles of plastic bags to use.Officials say businesses can offer a paper bag but must charge the customer from a minimum of 10 cents to a maximum of 50 cents.Officials say an exception includes bags used for produce, meat or bulk items at grocery stores.___Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.comThe Associated Press read more

A breakthrough technology for heavy metal detection in soil

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first_imgXOS, a leading provider of materials-analysis solutions for industries and regulators, has released its latest HDXRF innovation, the HD Rocksand™. The HD Rocksand, the company explains, “is a lightweight, portable, and easy-to-use solution for heavy metal detection in soil, saving users time and money. By using patented Doubly Curved Crystal (DCC) optics, the HD Rocksand is able to deliver best-in-class limits of detection that enable users to conserve time and money by reducing the number of inconclusive samples that require validation by off-site laboratory methods.”“We’re excited about the significant time and cost savings that the HD Rocksand provides users,” XOS Product Manager, Kyle Kuwitzky said. “The ultra-low levels of detection coupled with the ease of use make the HD Rocksand a total solution for heavy metal soil analysis.”Brownfield sites are often very large and users often need to move around the entire site to collect measurements. With that in mind, XOS engineered the HD Rocksand to be highly portable, integrating a comfortable handle with a lightweight design that is conducive to easy movement and efficient soil analysis.Additionally, HD Rocksand provides flexible measurement for simple soil analysis. The analyser allows for the measurement of bagged and core samples using a hands-free, push-button feature.For samples that require the highest precision on par with results from laboratory methods, a sample cup rotation feature is included to make accurate measurements of heterogeneous samples. Additionally, pit walls and large samples that do not fit in the portable test stand can be tested using the handheld measurement option without the need to prepare a smaller portion of the sample.XOS is a leading manufacturer of application-specific X-ray analysers, offering elemental analysis solutions that improve public safety and customer efficiency in industries like petroleum, consumer products, and environmental compliance. XOS offers High Definition XRF (HDXRF©) analysers for the detection of toxic elements in areas of environmental regulation, like soil and water. XOS’s advanced optics and OEM sub-systems can increase precision, speed, and spatial resolution, while decreasing the size, complexity, and cost of the instrument.last_img read more