Nova Scotians are invited to celebrate Groundhog Day with Shubenacadie Sam on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 8 a.m. as Sam makes his annual spring forecasting prediction from his home at the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park. Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines will join fans gathered to see if Sam will see his shadow. “Nova Scotia’s geographical location allows Sam to make his prediction an hour before his fellow famous groundhogs in Ontario and the United States check for their shadows, so you’ll hear it first from Sam,” said Mr. Hines. “Sam’s prediction party will feature family activities, displays and hot drinks, so I invite Nova Scotians to join us at the wildlife park on Groundhog Day.” Folklore says if Sam sees his shadow, winter will last for six more weeks. No shadow is a sign of an early spring. Those attending the Groundhog Day forecasting festivities can enter the park at 7 a.m. There will be free hot drinks, fun activities and displays. There will be no admission fee to see the animals. Along with Groundhog Day, Feb. 2 is also World Wetlands Day. Together, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Wildlife Park are hosting environmental partners and students for a morning of hands-on wetland education. Visitors can drop in to the Wetland Centre to get inspired by environmental experts from groups including the Clean Foundation, the departments of Natural Resources and Environment, the Canadian Wildlife Federation, Maritime Aboriginal Aquatic Resources Secretariat, the Nova Scotia Bird Society, and the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. If you are unable to attend the festivities, you can watch Sam’s prediction live at www.novascotiawebcams.com/en/webcams/shubenacadie-sam/. Sam is also on Twitter @ShubenacadieSam. During the winter, the park is open only on weekends. For Groundhog Day, the park will be open until 1 p.m. Directions to the park and park hours are online at http://wildlifepark.novascotia.ca/find_us.asp.
by The Canadian Press Posted Dec 20, 2012 3:58 pm MDT Competition Bureau accuses water heater rental companies of abuse of dominance AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The federal competition watchdog is accusing two companies of “abuse of dominance” in Ontario’s market for rental home water heaters.The Competition Bureau says it’s seeking a total of $25 million in financial penalties — $15 million from Direct Energy and $10 million from Reliance Comfort.The companies say they’ll oppose the allegations before the Competition Tribunal, the federal agency that hears cases brought by the bureau.The Competition Bureau says the companies have return policies and procedures that are designed to prevent consumers from switching to a competitor. The bureau also says customers are subjected to aggressive retention tactics when they call to return a rented water heater.It also alleges there are unwarranted fees and charges as well as restrictions on when and where water heaters can be returned.Reliance Comfort Limited Partnership said it was disappointed by the bureau’s action, saying it had been in “co-operative discussions” about its return policies.It also insisted that its return procedures are designed to protect consumers from aggressive sales tactics by its rivals, who want home owners to change suppliers.“Reliance intends to vigorously defend its current practices that it firmly believes are in best interests of its customers,” said Roger Rossi, president and CEO of Reliance Comfort.“The action taken against us today will not clean up the well-documented problem of misleading sales tactics used by competitors’ door-to-door salespeople. We believe that taking action against these unlawful practices should be the priority of the Competition Bureau.”In a separate announcement, Direct Energy also said it would “vigorously defend” its position and denied the bureau’s allegations.“Direct Energy strongly believes that all customers and homeowners deserve to have all of the necessary information for them to make informed and intelligent choices. Such practices and procedures do not inhibit competition,” it said.