Vasu to seek crackdown on BBS

“Under our constitution anyone can follow any religion they want. If people feel threatened then they should complain to the police and the police must take action or they can go to Court,” he said.His comments came in the wake of the recent attack on the Fashion Bug store at Pepiliyana and hate campaigns targeting other Muslim establishments.The Bodu Bala Sena denied any involvement in the Pepiliyana incident but the monks had openly spoken against the clothes store at a public rally recently. Minister Hakeem has also contacted all the Muslim parliamentarians including Senior Minister M. H. M. Fowzie (who is currently out of the country) and Ministers Rishard Bathiutheen and A. L. M. Athaullah for the meeting in this regard.An SLMC statement on Friday said that the Minister had expressed his displeasure and had condemned the attack on a private business site. He believes that this was seemingly carried out as a sequel to the ongoing attacks on the religious places and hate campaigns against Muslims and other religious minority communities in the country.Minister Hakeem also said he was dismayed at the ineffective response of the law and order machinery in containing the spread of such violence and unrest that fuels insecurity and peace of all minority communities in Sri Lanka. Minister of National Language and Social Integration Vasudeva Nanayakara is to submit a Cabinet paper seeking a crackdown on extremist groups, including the Bodu Bala Sena, Ravana Balaya and Sinhala Ravaya.The Minister told The Sunday Leader that the Cabinet paper is being drafted and will be submitted in two weeks time. He also accused the police of failing to take action against such groups despite them openly advocating hatred.Nanayakkara also said that he had written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa regarding the hate campaigns targeting Muslims in the country. The latest incident led to Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader and Minister of Justice, Rauff Hakeem requesting President Mahinda Rajapaksa to convene a cabinet meeting to discuss the rising religious unrest and civil disturbance in the country. He said that the Cabinet paper will seek to bring in new laws to crack down on such groups in the wake of the recent religious tensions in the country. Nanayakkara accused the Bodu Bala Sena, Ravana Balaya and Sinhala Ravaya of spreading hatred and disharmony among religions and other communities. read more

Alberta energy regulator turns to Supreme Court on well abandonment ruling

by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 5, 2017 11:58 am MDT Last Updated Jul 5, 2017 at 1:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CALGARY – Alberta’s energy regulator has asked the Supreme Court of Canada to review a ruling that could allow energy companies to walk away from cleaning up abandoned oil wells and affect industrial sites across the country.In documents filed Tuesday, the regulator formally applied to the top court for leave to appeal the so-called Redwater decision.In May 2016, an Alberta Queen’s Bench judge ruled in favour of the bankruptcy trustee of Redwater Energy Corp. The court ruled the sale of assets from bankrupt energy companies should go first to creditors, not to cleaning up the mess from the company’s operations.“The decision’s resulted in unacceptable risks to Albertans and it presents an environmental risk across Canada to all industrial sectors,” said Ryan Bartlett, spokesman for the Alberta Energy Regulator.The Redwater Energy Corp trustee and its lender, ATB Financial, wanted to sell off the company’s remaining producing wells to pay creditors. They argued a bankruptcy trustee is free to pick and choose from among the company’s assets and disclaim unproductive oil and gas wells.Disclaimed wells would be abandoned and left to the Orphan Well Association, an industry-funded and government-backed group, to clean up.The regulator argued money from the sale of the productive wells must be used to cover cleanup expenses for the unproductive wells.But in a 2-1 decision released in April, Alberta’s Appeal Court backed the original judge, saying federal bankruptcy law takes precedence over provincial environmental rules.Bartlett said that position creates an incentive for producers to offload the costs of cleaning up old, declining wells — especially since the drop in oil prices over the last couple years has increased the number of bankruptcies in the oilpatch.“Disclaiming unprofitable sites allows companies to reap the benefits of natural resources while avoiding the costs to repair the land,” he said. “It can permanently impair the environment, the economy and safety of Albertans.”Legal experts have also pointed out the case exposes a conflict between federal and provincial law.“The practical effect of this decision is that the (regulator’s) authority to enforce abandonment orders at the cost of the licensee is unenforceable at precisely the time when the (regulator) most needs to be able to exercise that power — i.e. when the licensee is insolvent,” Nigel Bankes, chairman of resource law at the University of Calgary, wrote in an Alberta law blog.“The entire provincial scheme for protecting Albertans from the abandonment costs in relation to non-productive wells is seriously compromised.”The case is being watched across Canada. Both British Columbia and Saskatchewan have backed the regulator’s request for an appeal. The Farmers’ Advocate Office and Dene Tha’ First Nation also support it.The regulator said that since the Redwater decision came down, about 1,000 sites have been disclaimed with estimated liabilities of more than $56 million. The Orphan Well Association’s inventory has more than doubled from almost 1,200 to more than 3,200.In May, the growing backlog of abandoned wells prompted the Alberta government to loan the association $235 million to hasten their clean-up.— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow him on Twitter at @row1960. Alberta energy regulator turns to Supreme Court on well abandonment ruling read more