The province is launching a pilot program to help small businesses get started and existing businesses expand. The Nova Scotia Business Development Pilot Program will encourage business start-ups, and provide help through qualified consultants for business operators to review and assess their practices and develop new approaches to ensure success. This program will run from Nov. 1 to June 30, 2009, with an estimated budget of $600,000. “The government’s commitment to sustainable prosperity for Nova Scotia, means helping small and medium-sized businesses grow and prosper,” said Richard Hurlburt, Minister of Economic Development. “This program will provide additional help to encourage business start-ups and ensure businesses continue to thrive.” Government assistance for eligible business activity includes: training and recruitment; market research and business-plan development; advertising and promotional plans; visual-merchandising techniques and fiscal-management tools. “We are excited about this program, particularly for communities in rural Nova Scotia that have a lot of talent and expertise, but sometimes lack the necessary resources to encourage start-up business,” said Sandra Phinney, co-owner, Parnell-Phinney Productions, Yarmouth. “I expect that this program will compliment and strengthen business initiatives such as mine, across Nova Scotia.” Rebates for approved services for start-ups and existing businesses will be made at 50 per cent of total costs, to a maximum of $10,000. Special rebates of 75 per cent of total service costs, up to a maximum of $12,000 per applicant, will be made available to groups participating in the same activity. To apply for the program or for more information, visit your local Department of Economic Development office or www.gov.ns.ca/econ . Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Minister also accused the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) of attempting to divide the country by refusing to take part in the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to propose the changes to the 13th Amendment. (Colombo Gazette) Government spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella says the government will go ahead with making changes to the 13th Amendment to the constitution as planned.Speaking at an event in Kandy today the Minister said that the 13th Amendment is something forced on Sri Lanka by India through the Indo-Lanka accord. He said that while the 13th Amendment cannot be completely abolished as the provincial councils system, which is part of that amendment, is now part of Sri Lankan society, some changes need to be made to make it more meaningful. He recalled that there was once an attempt to divide the country and that threat still remains as long as the 13th Amendment is not changed.“I don’t think the 13th Amendment can be abolished. This is the government position. There are so many views in the Alliance and we respect those views. But we need to have a common approach. So since we cannot abolish the 13th Amendment we need to make changes to it. If not there is no guarantee some may try to use it to divide the country,” he said. The Minister said that the 13th Amendment and provincial councils system was introduced to solve the conflict in the north and yet that never happened.
Companies in the news:Transat A.T. (TSX:TRZ). Up $4.96 or 42.1 per cent to $16.75. Quebec’s securities tribunal has barred a developer’s offer to buy up Transat shares, halting Group Mach’s bid to block the tour operator’s sale to Air Canada. The decision comes one day after the country’s largest airline upped its takeover offer by $200 million in an effort to win shareholder support for its bid to take Transat private. The new offer would see Air Canada spend $18 per share, rather than $13, bringing the total offer to about $720 million, up 38 per cent from a previously announced bid worth $520 million.Inter Pipeline Ltd. (TSX:IPL). Down 57 cents or 2.3 per cent to $24.24. Shares in Inter Pipeline Ltd. fell after soaring late last week on news that it had rejected an unsolicited takeover from an unnamed bidder. During a conference call Friday to discuss second-quarter results, company executives refused to comment on a Globe and Mail report that cited unnamed sources regarding a $30-per-share cash offer. In mid-afternoon, however, after trading was halted, Inter issued a brief statement confirming there had been “an unsolicited, non-binding, conditional and indicative proposal,” without giving any details about the date, price or the identity of the bidder.Canfor Corp. (TSX:CFP). Up $6.46 or 73.4 per cent to $15.26. Canfor Corp. shares surged after a Jim Pattison Group company made a $16 a share bid to take the company private. Pattison’s Great Pacific Capital Corp., which already owns about 51 per cent of the lumber producer, made the all-cash offer over the weekend that was a 60-per-cent premium to the company’s 60 day average price and an 81.8-per-cent premium to Friday’s close. Great Pacific says the proposed transaction, which values Canfor at about $2 billion, will allow for the elimination of the significant costs related to maintaining a public company listing and allow for reinvestment of that money in the company’s operations.CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TSX:TRST). Down $1.17 or 27.8 to $3.04. The wild ride for CannTrust Holdings Inc. shareholders continued Monday after the company’s stock plunged on news that its manufacturing facility in Vaughan, Ont., has been rated non-compliant by Health Canada. The company says it was notified by Health Canada on Friday and added that remedial actions were underway. The share swing marks a second consecutive volatile trading session, as shares initially fell Friday morning, only to roar back late in the day to close more than 40 per cent higher. The decision by the regulator was based on an inspection in July following revelations that Health Canada had found the company’s greenhouse in Pelham, Ont., to be non-compliant.Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX). Down 16 cents to $23.80. Barrick Gold Corp. reported a second-quarter profit of US$194 million compared with a loss of US$94 million a year ago. The gold miner, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, says on an adjusted basis, Barrick says it earned $154 million or nine cents per share in the quarter, up from an adjusted profit of $81 million or seven cents per share a year ago. Analysts on average had expected a profit of nine cents per share, according to the financial markets data firm Refinitiv.The Canadian Press TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,237.77, down 103.57 points).Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Down eight cents, or 4.42 per cent, to $1.73 on 8.6 million shares.CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TSX:TRST). Health care. Down $1.17 or 27.79 per cent, to $3.04 on 6 million shares.B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO). Materials. Up three cents, or 0.62 per cent, to $4.89 on 5.5 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financials. Down 17 cents, or 0.77 per cent, to $21.99 on 5.4 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Energy. Up 10 cents, or 1.76 per cent, to $5.79 on 5.3 million shares.TSO3 Inc. (TSX:TOS). Health care. Up four cents, or 10.39 per cent, to 42.5 cents on 4.4 million shares.