Is Burning Biomass a Bad Idea?/End of Life Care?/ Bucks for Business
Steamed: Nova Scotia Power has been given the green light to burn wood to create electricity. The utility is partnering with the NewPage paper mill in Port Hawkesbury to burn the plant's waste wood in a steam boiler, which will then power a turbine to create electricity. NSP currently generates 70% of its electricity from imported coal & oil, and is under pressure to expand the amount of energy it gets from renewable sources. Burning "biomass" is one of the ways N-S-P will try to hit the "green energy targets" set by the province.
Raymond Plourde of the Ecology Action Centre doesn't think burning biomass is the least bit "green".
End of Life Care: For many Maritimers, the question is not IF they'll be caring for a dying family member, it's WHEN. Only a few hospitals in this region have palliative care units, and homecare is stretched to the limit. Ottawa now covers six weeks pay for caregivers who leave work in order to nurse a dying relative. But, it became clear at a recent meeting in Dartmouth that a national palliative care program is needed. Fred McGinn is the Chair of Hospice Society of Greater Halifax.
Bucks for Business: Many companies and businesses ask federal and provincial governments for financial incentives. And, in the Maritimes, tax dollars have deferred the costs of staging mega-concerts, and helped upgrade or build sports facilities. Yesterday, the Nova Scotia government pledged financial help for a new 160-million dollar convention centre in Halifax, and ACOA just announced it will give Korea's industrial giant Daewoo an additional 300-thousand dollars to help it find customers for the wind turbine parts it will produce at a new plant in Trenton. Taxpayers are already contributing $70-million dollars to that venture.
We explored the question of whether government should be in the business of helping business with Kevin Lacey, the Atlantic Canada director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and David Campbell, a New Brunswick consultant who writes a blog about regional economic development issues called, "It's the economy, stupid!"
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