Transportation and Public Works Minister Angus MacIsaac told his federal counterpart, Transport Canada Minister Lawrence Cannon, this week that he is ready to talk about how the province can take advantage of the infrastructure-related funding programs announced in the recent federal budget. Nova Scotia’s entitlement under the programs is expected to total several hundred million dollars over the next seven years. The programs include the Building Canada Program, the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund, the Equal Per Jurisdiction Funding Program and the P3 Projects Fund. Canadian provinces and territories have lobbied the government of Canada for long-term, stable and predictable infrastructure funding for many years. “Up until the recent federal budget, these appeals had fallen on deaf ears,” said Mr. MacIsaac. “These new funding programs will go a long way toward enabling Nova Scotia to achieve its full potential as an international transportation gateway, and facilitating much needed improvements to the province’s highway infrastructure.” Mr. MacIsaac said, “The province is looking forward to learning more about program parameters and to being able to put in place the agreements and protocols necessary to allow cost-shared projects to proceed as quickly as possible.” Mr. MacIsaac thanked Mr. Cannon for intervening on behalf of provinces and territories in the course of the deliberations leading up to the federal budget.
2 October 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took time off from his schedule of meeting world leaders and diplomats last night to try his hand – or rather voice – at rap at the gala 50th anniversary celebrations of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA). “Global classrooms are a cinch/With the help of Merrill Lynch,” he rapped to the distinguished audience that included UNA President Bill Luers, actor Michael Douglas, philanthropist Ted Turner and rapper Jay-Z, citing some of the organizations that have partnered the UN in many humanitarian initiatives. “When you put the org in Google/Partnerships go truly gloooobal.”Mr. Ban stressed how UNA and last night’s honorees had helped the world body in its humanitarian mission, noting Mr. Turner’s $1 billion donation more than 10 years ago. “UN stays on the front burner/Thanks to our champ Ted Turner,” his vocal chords strummed out.And Jay-Z himself, whose multimedia “Water for Life” campaign was developed jointly with the UN’s Department of Public Information (DPI) and MTV Networks, came in for special mention and a plea for indulgence.“Since one of the honorees is my man Jay-Z, I think I’ll try his language tonight. It is a foreign language to me, but one which I love, so please bear with me,” Mr. Ban said.Then he went on to rap: “With Jay-Z there’s double strife/Life for children and water for life.”