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Headlines June 24/06

Will Canada be the first cashless society?
Will Canada be the first cashless society?Canadians have long been one of the most wired nations in the world, and as a nation we’ve always been among the first to adopt new technologies and adapt our lifestyles to them.Thanks to our massive, sprawling country with several thousand miles separating some of our provinces, innovations in communication have always been one of Canada’s strong suits. But another area Canadians seem to be slightly ahead of the pack on is the realm of cashless payments.
(What Canadians are they talking about? I'm not ready to trust my money with anyone but me, thank you. A_R)

Meeting with Islamic community cancelled
A planned round-table to bring members of the Islamic community closer to the rest of Edmontonians has been cancelled over competing agendas, says the local MP planning it.
Edmonton MP Peter Goldring had been planning the discussion and had scheduled it for Saturday. He even planned to have representatives from the RCMP, city police CSIS and several members of Parliament.
But he said a leading member of the Islamic community tried to change the agenda, saying he wanted to discuss Canada’s foreign policy, civil liberties and citizenship instead of ways to include Muslims more closely with the rest of society.
(We wouldn't want Edmontonians to find out how thier own liberties are being stripped from them too. A_R)

Winnipeg to host Conservative Convention
Winnipeg will host the Conservative Party of Canada’s National Policy Convention in 2007.
The Convention, to be held during the first weekend of November 2007, is expected to bring over 2,000 delegates to Winnipeg with associated direct spending estimated at $2 million.

African, Canadian local authority organs sign pact
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) Friday signed a memorandum of understanding to formalise an ongoing joint project, which started four years ago.The memorandum, according to FCM`s regional manager for Africa and Asia, Carol Kardish, is the first between the two organizations.

Canada's Leading Call Center Company Brings Jobs to Kansas; NuComm International Set to Recruit 375 Call Center Representatives for its New U.S. Facility in Wichita
NuComm International, Canada's leading contact center management company is immediately recruiting 375 full time call center employees for its newly acquired contact center in Wichita Kansas. The Wichita facility, which will be NuComm's 13th worldwide location when its doors open this July, will serve to meet the inbound customer service and technical support needs of its growing customer base.

Canadian restaurant sees sustainability as a way of life
Vancouver Island, British Columbia - "So much is disappearing - the producers, the knowledge, the flavor. Nowadays so much tastes the same." So speaks Sinclair Philip, the leading spokesman for sustainable agriculture in Canada and an international voice.
Many would agree with him, but few have done so much about it.

Draft dodgers hold convention
American draft dodgers are planning a get-together to talk over old times. And they're going to hear from one of their icons.A four-day draft dodger's reunion starts July sixth in Castlegar, British Columbia.
In the late 1960's and 70's, thousands of Americans crossed the border to Canada to avoid being drafted in the U-S military for the Vietnam War. Many stayed and became Canadian citizens after the war ended in 1975.

Algeria continues debt repayment with Canada
Algeria Saturday agreed with Canada for early repayment of its debt totalling some 255 million dollars, the eighth such accord with creditor countries since mid-May, the state news agency reported.The APS agency said the accord to pay off the debt by June 30 was signed in Algiers by Finance Minister Mourad Medelci and Ottawa's Ambassador Robert Peck.

Government addresses coalbed methane concerns
Residents concerned with the safety of their water supply in the face of coalbed methane drilling will get a chance to hear what the government is doing at upcoming meetings.Alberta Environment has been hosting public information meetings in June throughout the province, letting landowners know what the government is doing to keep groundwater safe. “These public information sessions help ensure landowners have access to all the facts about their groundwater is protected during coalbed methane development,” said Alberta Environment Minister Guy Boutilier in a written statement.

Leadership candidates make ptich to Halton Liberals
Competing visions for the future of Canada were on display Wednesday night, as eight candidates vying for the leadership of the federal Liberal party visited Halton.
The $125 a ticket event at Milton's RattleSnake Point Golf Club, attracted about 100 people, along with candidates Joe Volpe, Carolyn Bennett, Hedy Fry, Maurizio Bevilacqua, Bob Rae, Gerard Kennedy, Stephane Dion, and Martha Hall Findlay.
Only candidates Scott Brison, Michael Ignatieff and Ken Dryden were missing.

Ontario gives international firms $18 million in loans to secure 600 new jobs
Three foreign-based companies with operations in Ontario are getting $18 million in loans from a $500-million dollar provincial fund aimed at boosting manufacturing jobs in the province, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Friday.

Canadian scheme model for Pacific labour mobility
A conference next week on labour issues in the Pacific is to consider the Canadian government’s experience in bringing in workers from the Caribbean.
New Zealand’s Pacific Co-operation Foundation is organising the event, The Future of the Pacific Labour Market in Wellington.
Its chairman, Neil Plimmer, says the PCF is bringing in speakers from the World Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Pacific Islands Forum and academics.
He says a Canadian official has been invited because that country’s methods are seen as best practice in areas such horticulture where Caribbean workers are brought in for stints of three to four months.

'Living With War' reminiscient of '60s folk
Last year, in the midst of suffering and being treated for a brain aneurysm, Neil Young managed to record "Prairie Wind," a lovely and personal album.Illness, I suspect, can affect a person's relation to time; mostly it injects a sense of urgency into one's to-do list. The aneurysm - or maybe it's just the prickly energy that has animated old Neil from the beginning - has now spurred another album, of a thoroughly different breed. "Living With War" is a protest against 21st century America, with a special venom reserved for President Bush and his War on Iraq.
(How about coming home and doing one for us Neil, we could use you. A_R)

Birla group buys Canada's largest BPO
MUMBAI: A V Birla Group has acquired Canada's largest BPO company Minacs in a deal valued at 125 million dollars (nearly Rs 562 crore). Minacs is a publicly traded company and the deal is expected to be completed by the end of August, Group Chairman Kumaramangalam Birla told reporters here.

Foot traffic ban imposed in Baghdad
Adding a new layer of confusion to the security crackdown gripping Baghdad, the Iraqi government yesterday imposed a last-minute ban on pedestrian as well as vehicular traffic throughout the city.
The government gave no explanation for the additional restrictive measures, but they followed violent clashes in several Baghdad neighborhoods. Iraqi forces battled insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, and rifles near the heavily fortified Green Zone.

World gets smaller with message from Kabul Because stuff happens and a promising column on another subject fell apart at the twelfth hour, and because follow-up in the newspaper business is always considered good form, I give you Afghanistanism: Part II.
Readers with functioning memories may recall that last weekend's bill of fare concerned "Afghanistanism," which is time-honored newspaper jargon describing the tendency for some editorial writers to write about controversies in faraway places while avoiding controversy in their own back yards.The theory is that it is a lot safer to complain about corruption in Kabul than to take on the hometown power establishment; that the writer is unlikely to ever come face to face with his Kabul target of opportunity, but is guaranteed to bump into the local ward heeler he has just maligned in print, and probably before the day is out.

Government-Lockheed Martin Team Is Notified by U.S. Army of Intent to Award U.S. Army Corps of Engineers IM/IT Contract
A team led by U.S. Government employees and supported by Lockheed Martin (NYSE:
LMT - News) has been notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intends to award the team the contract to manage Information Management and Information Technology (IM/IT) services for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers throughout the Continental United States and the Pacific Ocean Division Office, including the Alaska and Honolulu Districts.