Niagara police are appealing for the public’s help in locating a missing 20-year-old man.Dani Joseph-Varghese was last seen in the early morning hours of Feb. 9 in the area of Dufferin Islands on the Niagara Parkway.He is described as East Indian, five-foot-five, with a slim build, black hair, and brown eyes. He was wearing a black leather jacket, black jeans, grey shoes and a grey Tommy Hilfiger sweater.Joseph-Varghese’s family and police say they are concerned for his welfare.Anyone with information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact police at 905-688-4111, ext. 2200.

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has put a conservative advocate who argues for selling off the nation’s public lands in charge of the nation’s nearly 250 million public acres.Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on Monday signed an order making William Perry Pendley acting head of the Bureau of Land Management. The move puts the lawyer and Wyoming native in charge of the nation’s public lands and their resources.Pendley contends the writers of the U.S. Constitution intended to sell off nearly all of the country’s federally owned land. Pendley accuses environmental groups of blocking ranchers and miners from profiting off publicly owned range and forest.The Wilderness Society conservation advocacy group’s spokesman Tony Iallonardo says he fears the Trump administration is positioning itself to “liquidate” the nation’s public lands and resources.The Interior Department made no immediate comment with Pendley’s appointment.The Associated Press read more

MONTREAL — Bombardier Inc. says Air Baltic Corp. has signed a deal to buy 30 CS300 aircraft with options and purchase rights for 30 more.Based on the list price, the firm order is valued at about $3.8 billion.If the options and purchase rights are exercised in full, the value of the deal will increase to about $7.7 billion.Deliveries are scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2019.The agreement builds upon an earlier order by the airline for 20 CS300 aircraft. AirBaltic is currently operating eight CS300 jets.Bombardier says the deal makes airBaltic the largest European C Series customer and the second largest customer worldwide.

OTTAWA — Dozens of experts are urging Canada to choose a surgical, sector-by-sector approach when it comes to expanding its trading relationship with China rather than a sweeping free trade deal that could risk provoking the United States, says a new report.The Public Policy Forum paper, to be released Thursday, lays out a suggested blueprint for Canadian policy-makers at a time when Ottawa has struggled in its efforts to deepen business ties with the Asian superpower.The study will also arrive after Canada recently agreed to a free trade pact with the U.S. and Mexico, a deal that includes a controversial new clause requiring the countries to notify each other if they enter into trade talks with a “non-market” economy.The clause makes no specific mention of China, but the provision is being widely viewed as an attempt by Washington to single out Beijing.Even with these new constraints, the report advises Canada to chase several targeted arrangements covering numerous sectors ranging from agri-food, to natural resources, to education.A more-focused approach was preferred by most of the experts consulted for the report — even before the North American trade deal and the clause were announced last week. Many of them believe it would help Canada avoid the long, complicated process of hammering out a far-reaching trade agreement with a country as complex as China.“We settled on a set of recommendations built off the foundation of sectoral agreements, rather than comprehensive free trade, as the best means for realizing quick and significant gains,” reads the report, which is based on input from more than 70 experts, including business executives, government officials, environmentalists, Sinologists and former prime ministers.“A sectoral approach also provides the benefit of creating a pathway to a more diversified and growing trade portfolio for Canada that does not run afoul of the virtual veto given to our North American trading partners.”The document, the culmination of consultations over the last 18 months, argues that Canada cannot afford to ignore China’s size and rapid growth.As an example, the report said in 2000 China made up just four per cent of the global economy compared to the U.S. share of 31 per cent. Today, China accounts for 15 per cent and the U.S. 24 per cent.Ottawa must engage with China if it’s truly focused on trade diversification and on moving away from its heavy dependence on the U.S. market, the study said.For instance, it noted that 75 per cent of Canada’s merchandise goods go to the U.S. In the United Kingdom, however, less than 50 per cent of its goods go to the European Union, which is about the same size of the American market.As Canada looks to diversify, Public Policy Forum President Edward Greenspon said the consultations argued Canada can do more business with China “in such a way that should not offend the United States.”Greenspon said in an interview that 4.3 per cent of Canada’s export basket goes to China. In comparison, he said 8.4 per cent of U.S. exports go to China, which means Canada could double its exports before its engaged at the same level as the U.S.“So, there’s room for growth without provocation,” he said.The document said a minority of the participants thought the sectoral approach was not ambitious enough. But they found common ground on many points.Beyond the sector-by-sector approach, the document offered about a dozen other recommendations for Canada in its engagement with China. Here are few:— Strike a new deal on a co-operation arrangement in areas of shared global interest, including environmental protection, climate change and the governance of international institutions.— Take steps to ensure more clarity, transparency and predictability when it comes to Canada’s foreign investment regime, including national security reviews.— “Radically raise Canada’s game” in understanding and interacting with China — for all levels of government, the business community, financial sector, civil society and higher education.— Direct infrastructure spending, including financing through the Canada Infrastructure Bank, to improve inadequate transport and port facilities on the Pacific coast because the country is squandering export opportunities for industries like agri-business, forestry and energy.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter read more

The report says statements of opposition have been filed in every major segment and hearings are likely to be considered for the Fraser River crossing, Burnaby Mountain Tunnel, and areas where schools, homes and municipal water supplies could be affected. Construction of Trans Mountain pipeline still faces hurdles as landowners dig in their heels Trans Mountain pipeline faces fresh legal challenges after court allows six appeals to proceed Trans Mountain pipeline construction to restart, but prospective buyers stay on sidelines Stand.earth also says that the project needs nearly 1,200 permits from British Columbia and it notes that Indigenous groups have been granted leave to challenge the federal government’s approval of the expansion in the Federal Court of Appeal.Trans Mountain has said that it is proceeding with the project in a phased approach, starting construction where it has received permits, and that it has begun work on its terminals in Burnaby and plans to start work in the Greater Edmonton area soon. VANCOUVER — A report from environmental group Stand.earth says it expects construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to be delayed by detailed route hearings, outstanding provincial permits and Indigenous court challenges.The Canadian Energy Regulator, formerly the National Energy Board, revoked all previous route approvals in July and required Trans Mountain Corp. to file new notices of its proposed route.Residents, municipalities and Indigenous groups may then file statements of opposition and the energy regulator decides on a segment-by-segment basis whether to hold detailed route hearings. read more

Police are seeking the public’s help in locating a Simcoe teen reported missing by her family.A parent contacted Norfolk OPP on Monday concerning 16-year-old Zoe Hann (Duroche), who was last seen at a Simcoe business on Tuesday, July 9.Hann (Duroche) is described as  white, about 5’3” in height and weighing, 135 lbs. She has natural red coloured hair that has been dyed black. At the time she was last seen she was wearing shorts and a sweater with three blue stars with 70’s Star written across the front in red lettering.Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the Norfolk County OPP Detachment at 1-888-310-1122. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1 – 800 – 222 – 8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous online message at www.helpsolvecrime.com. read more

Carbon-tax-fighting governments in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba say they have no plans to follow Ontario’s lead and force gas stations to put anti-carbon tax stickers on their pumps.Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government has set Aug. 30 as a deadline for stations to have the stickers posted or face fines of up to $10,000 a day.The stickers say the federal carbon tax has added 4.4 cents a litre to the price of gasoline, which will rise to 11 cents per litre by 2022.In Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney’s office says his government is focused on a court challenge of the federal tax.A spokesman for Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says the government has no plan to make the stickers mandatory.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.And the Progressive Conservatives in Manitoba, currently in an election campaign, say they’re not considering the stickers.The federal government has imposed a carbon tax on Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick because they opted not to bring in their own carbon pricing. It plans to do so in Alberta in the new year.Ottawa has promised to rebate much of the money collected directly to taxpayers in each of those provinces.In a statement, Kenney’s office said Alberta drivers in the province already know the effects of a carbon tax on gasoline prices, because the previous NDP government had one that Kenney’s government repealed.“We are challenging the federal government’s constitutional authority to impose Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax, and are confident in our case. That is our focus at this time,” the statement said.A statement from Moe’s spokesman was brief.“Saskatchewan has no plans to mandate operators to display stickers showing the cost of the carbon tax on gas prices,” said Jim Billington.Brian Pallister in Manitoba, running to keep his job as premier, previously announced a blackout on government communications in the leadup to the Sept. 10 election. But when asked about the stickers, his PC party said in an email: “Not at this time.”Legislation making the stickers mandatory in Ontario was included in the budget bill. The cost of printing 25,000 decals was pegged at about $5,000 and does not include the price of distributing them to the province’s 3,200 gas stations.The plan has been criticized by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, which has said its members have expressed concerns regarding the political nature of the stickers.Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna blasted the stickers in a Facebook post Wednesday.“This is just par for the course for a government wasting taxpayers’ dollars to fight climate action instead of climate change,” she wrote.“And now they are impeding the free speech of small-business owners.” read more