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Canadian oil patch welcomes ‘level playing field’ from North American energy, climate change agreement



CALGARY – Domestic oil and gas companies are not worried about a new, North America-wide energy and climate change strategy that contains aggressive emissions reduction targets.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto committed to chopping methane gas emissions from the oil and gas industry by 40 to 45 per cent as part of a wide-ranging North American Climate, Clean Energy and Environment Partnership, announced Wednesday in Ottawa.

The deal brings Mexico into line with methane reduction targets Canada and the U.S. agreed to in March. Pena Nieto said during a press conference that “isolated national efforts are insufficient” to tackle issues like environmental protection and climate change.

The agreement also makes commitments to increase the use of “clean energy” for power across North America – which Obama said was a “bold goal but an eminently achievable goal.”

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers president and CEO Tim McMillan said the announcement would have a positive effect on the domestic energy industry because Canadian producers are already under pressure to reduce methane emissions and pay carbon levies. “Having our competitors held to a similar standard is going to be good for all of us,” he said.

“Levelling the playing field as we are competing for markets, I think we view that as an important step forward,” he said.

McMillan said he was not worried about another provision in the agreement, which could lead governments across North America to encourage the purchase of electric cars over gasoline- or diesel-burning vehicles.

He said that demand for oil is growing globally and Canadian oil companies are focused on capturing more of the global market.

Similarly, Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors president Mark Scholz said, “the fact that Mexico is entering into this, is good for the North American oil and gas industry.”

“When you look at specific reductions like this you want to make sure that all jurisdictions are participating in a fair way that doesn’t put one country, one jurisdiction, at a disadvantage,” he said.

The North American leaders’ summit in Ottawa was the first held since former prime minister Stephen Harper cancelled the meeting in 2015 over Obama’s refusal to approve TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

TransCanada spokesperson Mark Cooper said the company welcomed Wednesday’s agreement between the three countries and cited TransCanada’s growing natural gas pipeline business in Mexico and its recent acquisition of Columbia Pipelines in the U.S. as evidence of the need for an interconnected energy system.

“The integrated direction the leaders have outlined is firmly in step with TransCanada’s strategic efforts in North America to help build a stronger and more environmentally sound energy network,” he said.

The agreement was also widely praised by environmentalists, including from Environmental Defence, which called the deal a demonstration of “great leadership in the global fight against climate change.”

“It’s absolutely a step in the right direction,” Pembina Institute federal policy director Erin Flanagan said.

Right now, she said, 37 per cent of total electricity production in North America is from “clean” sources, including renewables and nuclear.

The commitment announced Wednesday would force Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to each add renewables, nuclear projects or carbon capture and storage projects on coal-fired power plants that would bring that figure up to 50 per cent.

We have responded directly and decisively to the challenge of climate change

Flangan noted however, that much of the burden for changing the energy mix would fall on the U.S. and Mexico. She said 81 per cent of Canada’s total electricity production would be considered clean by the standards agreed to in Wednesday’s deal, compared with 33 per cent of U.S. electric generation and 18 per cent of Mexican electricity.

“We have responded directly and decisively to the challenge of climate change,” Trudeau said.

Canadian Electricity Association president and CEO Sergio Marchi said in a release that he welcomed the goal of reaching 50 per cent clean power generation by 2025 and collaborating on more cross-border transmission projects.

Those cross-border transmission projects will allow Canadian companies like Manitoba Hydro and Quebec Hydro to export more of their electricity to the United States, and allow power companies in Texas to export more power to Mexico.

A spokesperson for Manitoba Hydro said that while the deal would support the construction of a new transmission line between Manitoba and Minnesota, that line “is still a work in progress” as it needs to clear regulatory reviews.

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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