Nova Scotians are being asked for their input as the province updates its standards for sand and gravel pit operations. Kerry Morash, Minister of Environment and Labour, released a discussion paper today, Oct. 7, to help gather input on the appropriate standards for pit operations. In June, it was announced that operators of pits under two hectares in size no longer had to apply for an approval for their operations. At that time, the Department of Environment and Labour also promised to talk to operators, interested groups and the public about the appropriate standards for all pits and quarries, regardless of size. There are various issues surrounding pits and quarries. A number of issues are common to both excavation types, others are unique to pits or to quarries. The discussion paper focuses on pits. Future efforts will address quarries separately. To obtain a copy of the discussion paper on pit operations contact 1-800-567-7544 or visit www.gov.ns.ca/enla . If you have questions about the discussion paper, contact Julie Towers at 902-424-4155 or Darlene Fenton at 902-424-2382. The deadline for written submissions is Dec. 16.
OTTAWA — Canadian manufacturing sales fell by a wider-than-expected one per cent in January, starting off the year on a weak note.Statistics Canada reported manufacturing sales for January totalled $54.9 billion as 14 of the 21 industries moved lower, while overall manufacturing sales in volume terms declined 1.1 per cent. The decline was led by the automotive, aerospace and primary metal industries.Economists had expected a sales drop of 0.8 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.Canadian factories had a rough start to the year, said CIBC economist Royce Mendes.“The survey suggests that GDP data could look soggy to open the new year,” Mendes wrote in a brief note to clients.“Factory shipments could feel some benefit as U.S. tax cuts make their way through the American economy, but already elevated inventory levels and capacity constraints could limit the gains.”The Bank of Canada noted that fourth-quarter growth was weaker than it expected when it said it would keep its key interest rate target on hold earlier this month.The central bank also said recent trade policy developments represented a key source of uncertainty for the Canadian and global outlooks.Royal Bank senior economist Nathan Janzen said recent Canadian economic data has been more mixed compared with a year ago when the economy was growing at an unsustainably strong clip.“Reports on retail and wholesale trade sales next week will provide further clarification on the pace of early-2018 growth but for now we think the data is still consistent with further, albeit more modest, improvement at a close to two per cent rate in Q1,” Janzen said.The drop in Canadian factory sales came as sales of motor vehicles fell 8.0 per cent to $4.9 billion, following two consecutive monthly increases.Meanwhile, production in the aerospace product and parts industry fell 9.5 per cent to $1.6 billion, while the primary metal industry dropped 2.8 per cent to $4.1 billion.Offsetting the drop, sales in the petroleum and coal product industry climbed 6.5 per cent to $6.1 billion, while chemical manufacturing sales rose 6.1 per cent to $4.7 billion.