Man charged with damaging mattress in his cell

first_imgChatham-Kent police responded to a parking lot on St. Clair Street Tuesday after reports of a suspicious man.Police found the suspect and learned he allegedly stole a Husky flashlight and batteries from Home Depot.The 27-year-old Chatham man was arrested and charged with theft under $5,000 and being in possession of property obtained by a crime under $5,000.While in custody, the man damaged the mattress in his cell, police said. He was additionally charged with mischief under $5,000 and held for bail.Failing to complyOn Feb. 26, a man was released from court with several conditions, including not to communicate with a specific Chatham woman.Earlier this week, police learned the man had reportedly been in contact with the woman sending her text messages and emails.On Tuesday morning, the 53-year-old Chatham man was arrested and charged with two counts of failing to comply. He was taken to the courthouse and released with a another court date.Failing to sign inOn March 4, a woman was released from court with several conditions, including to attend police headquarters every Thursday to sign in.The woman has only signed in twice since then, police said. On Tuesday afternoon, police found the Chatham woman and she was arrested. The 25-year-old was charged with failing to comply. She was released with a court date.Theft chargeDuring the early morning hours of April 23, an officer on patrol saw two men in a parking lot on Park Avenue East reportedly trying to load a hockey net onto the roof of a minivan.The officer found this suspicious so turned around to investigate. The officer identified the men and seized the net pending further investigation.Through investigation, the officer learned the hockey net, valued at $300, had been stolen from a Chatham residence, police said.On Tuesday, one of the men visited police headquarters to claim the hockey net seized from him by the officer. At this time, he was arrested.The 27-year-old Chatham man was charged with theft under $5,000 and being in possession of property obtained by a crime under $5,000. He was released with a court date. Police continue to look for the second man involved.Domestic-related offencesA man went to his ex-girlfriend’s home in Wallaceburg Tuesday morning and allegedly kicked the door, causing damage to the frame in an attempt to get in.The man was removed from the property by police and told not to return. Shortly after 3:30 p.m., the man reportedly returned and walked right into her home, police said.The 47-year-old man of no fixed address was arrested and charged with mischief under $5,000 and being unlawfully in a dwelling house. He has been held in custody pending a bail hearing.Break and enterSome time over the weekend, someone forced their way into a fenced compound on Riverview Drive, causing about $100 damage.Stolen were various gas-related components, including nine metres of black hose, approximately six small valves and several pipe fittings valued at $5,000.Anyone with information is asked to contact Const. Danica Quenneville at danicaq@chatham-kent.ca or 519-436-6600 ext. 87312. Anonymous callers may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) and may be eligible for a cash reward.last_img read more

Back to the Basics Series: FastPass+ at Walt Disney World – Video

first_imgShare This!New year, new series!In Back to the Basics, I cover topics for the Disney beginner.Don’t know how to buy tickets? Confused by abbreviations such as FP+ and ADR? I’ll discuss it all in this series!Today’s episode features FastPass+ (also known as FP+).Enjoy!Helpful Links:Making FastPass+ ReservationsMagic Kingdom FP+ TipsEpcot FP+ TipsHollywood Studios FP+ TipsAnimal Kingdom FP+ TipsEnjoy these videos? Subscribe to our YouTube page for more!last_img

British Airways going back to the future for its 100 years

first_imgBritish Airways going back to the future and painting four of its aircraft in colors schemes from its past as part of its 100-year birthday this year.First aircraft, a BOAC-liveried Boeing 747, reg: G-BYGC, will arrive back at Heathrow from the paint factory on February 18 to enter the airline’s flying schedule.Three more aircraft will receive popular designs from British Airways’ past over the coming months with more details to be revealed in due course.All four aircraft will fly British Airways’ routes, showcasing some of the popular designs as part of the airline’s centenary celebrations.See our Concorde special Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “So many British Airways customers and colleagues have fond memories of our previous liveries, regularly sharing their photos from across the globe. It’s incredibly exciting to be re-introducing some classic designs, and what better place to start than the iconic BOAC livery.“Our history has shaped who we are today, so our centenary is the perfect moment to revisit our heritage and the UK’s aviation landscape through these iconic designs. We’re excited to share details of the other liveries over the coming weeks.”The 747 has been deliberately chosen for the BOAC livery as it is a later variant of the same aircraft type that adorned the design when it was initially in operation.The BOAC livery will remain on the Boeing 747 until it retires in 2023. By this time, British Airways will have retired the majority of its 747 fleet, replacing them with new state-of-the-art long-haul aircraft.This includes taking delivery of 18 A350s and 12 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the next four years – which feature new cabins and are more environmentally efficient – as well as another 26 short-haul aircraft, all part of the airline’s £6.5bn investment for customers.British Airways A livery that may be used is that of BEA, which was merged with BOAC to form British Airways. Here 6 BEA Tridents await delivery at Hatfield in the 1960s. Credit BAE SystemsBrief BA history:On August 25, 1919, British Airways’ forerunner company, Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T), launched the world’s first daily international scheduled air service between London and Paris.In 1924, Britain’s four main fledgling airlines, which had by then evolved into Instone, Handley Page, Daimler Airways (a successor to AT&T), and British Air Marine Navigation Company Limited, merged to form Imperial Airways Limited.By 1925, Imperial Airways was providing services to Paris, Brussels, Basle, Cologne and Zurich. Meanwhile, a number of smaller UK air transport companies had started flights and in 1935, they merged to form the original privately-owned British Airways Limited, which became Imperial Airways’ principal UK competitor on European routes.Following a Government review, Imperial Airways and British Airways were nationalized in 1939 to form British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). Continental European and domestic flights were flown by a new airline, British European Airways (BEA) from 1946. BOAC introduced services to New York in 1946, Japan in 1948, Chicago in 1954 and the west coast of the United States in 1957. BEA developed a domestic network to various points in the United Kingdom, including Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.From 1946 until 1960, BOAC and BEA were the principal British operators of scheduled international passenger and cargo services – and they preserved Britain’s pioneering role in the industry. The 1950s saw the world enter the passenger jet era – led by BOAC, with the Comet flying to Johannesburg in 1952, halving the previous flight time.Additional airlines began to pass into BEA’s ownership and in 1967, the Government recommended a holding board be responsible for BOAC and BEA, with the establishment of a second force airline, resulting in British Caledonian being born in 1970.Two years later, the businesses of BOAC and BEA were combined under the newly formed British Airways Board, with the separate airlines coming together as British Airways in 1974.In July 1979, the Government announced its intention to sell shares in British Airways and in February 1987 British Airways was privatized.last_img read more

Share Your Travels With Driftr

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Product Reviews#web Related Posts Yes, Driftr is yet another travel social network – but it’s one with a lot of potential. Although there are many sites out there that can help you plan your trips, few offer you planning tools and a way to share your experiences about the places you’ve been. What Drifter offers is a community where you can track your trips, share your photos, blog, and review everything from restaurants and hotels to travel agents and airlines. Like they say, at Driftr “you are the travel writer, the photographer, and the reviewer.”The information you share then becomes a part of the Driftr community. Other travelers can use this collective, shared information to research destinations before making their travel plans.Where Driftr really stands out is its great design and the high level of usability of its website. After signing up for the service, it’s easy to get started with adding your first trip. Using drop-down menus, there are thousands of destinations to choose from, but you can also add your own if it’s not already built-in. You can either upload your photos to Driftr from your computer or, better yet, you can just import a Flickr photoset instead. Along with sharing photos, each trip also has areas where you can add your opinions about “where to stay,” “what to eat,” “what to do,” and “how to get around.” The “trip blog”, however, is very basic when compared with other blogging platforms – being nothing more than text boxes in which you can write.Image via Driftr blogAnother nice feature is Driftr’s proprietary map, that lets you highlight and track the places you’ve been – while also letting you search for content about the places you would like to go. When you click on a destination on the map, you are presented with a list of cities to select from. After clicking on the city of your choice, you are then taken to a page where the collective photos, reviews, and blog entries for that location are combined. As you find other travelers on the site whose trips you want to follow, you have the option of adding them as a friend, just like on any other social network. The sheer simplicity of navigating Driftr’s map and other areas of the website make using Driftr quite enjoyable.The only major omission I saw was that there was no way to upload video, but since the service is still so new I’m hoping that feature will arrive at some point down the road. The Driftr homepage banner reads “alpha”, but the text says it’s a “private beta,” which is a little confusing. I also received my invite almost immediately after signing up, so I’m not sure how “private” it really is anymore. This is good news, though, because the more people signing up and sharing on Driftr, the more useful it becomes. Even if you are not a major traveler, Driftr can be a fun way to research where you want to go for your next vacation. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting sarah perez A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportDonald Trump was elected president on November 8, and Republicans held on to their majority both the House and the Senate. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex., is already anticipating working on tax reform proposals that are expected to be legislated during the 115th Congress. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released three reports. The IRS warned practitioners of a new email scam. In addition, the IRS issued guidance providing additional relief to aid victims of Hurricane Matthew.White HouseThe individual and business tax proposals of President-elect Trump are similar to those previous put forth by Republican lawmakers (TAXDAY, 2016/11/10, W.1). In September, Trump outlined a consolidation of the seven current individual income tax rates that closely align with the GOP “Better Way” blueprint released in June. Trump proposed three rates: 12, 25 and 33 percent, with the top rate being significantly less than the current top rate of 39.6 percent.CongressHouse Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex., and his Republican colleagues have indicated that they are ready to move forward comprehensive tax reform under the incoming Trump administration, Brady reiterated on social media on November 10 (TAXDAY, 2016/11/11, C.1). “The blueprint the House laid out is very close to President-elect Trump’s proposal,” said Brady. “It’s really important that we redesign the way we tax so our companies can compete and win anywhere in the world, especially here at home,” he added.TreasuryVirtual Currency. TIGTA reviewed the IRS’s initiatives concerning virtual currency (Ref. No. 2016-30-083; TAXDAY, 2016/11/09, T.3).Outside Contractors. TIGTA also reviewed the IRS’s work with outside contract technology contractors (Ref. No. 2016-20-035; TAXDAY, 2016/11/09, T.2).DPADs. TIGTA also reported on IRS processes for claiming Domestic Production Activities (DPADs) (Ref. No. 2016-40-091; TAXDAY, 2016/11/10, T.1).IRSEmail Scam. The IRS warned tax professionals of new eServices email scam (IR-2016-145; TAXDAY, 2016/11/07, I.2).Debt Reporting Regs. The IRS issued final regulations removing the information reporting rule treating a 36-month nonpayment period as a reportable debt discharge (T.D. 9793; TAXDAY, 2016/11/10, I.1).Disaster Relief. The IRS has provided special relief designed to support leave-based donation programs to aid victims of Hurricane Matthew (IR-2016-146; Notice 2016-69; TAXDAY, 2016/11/11, I.1).Health Insurance Plan Fee. The IRS has provided the adjusted applicable dollar amount to be multiplied by the average number of covered lives for purposes of the fee imposed by Code Secs. 4375 and 4376 (Notice 2016-67; TAXDAY, 2016/11/07, I.3).Forms W-2 and W-3. IRS released guidance on the private printing of Forms W-2 and W-3 (Rev. Proc. 2016-54, I.R.B. 2016-45, 685; TAXDAY, 2016/11/07, I.1).Pension Equity Plans. The IRS issued guidance regarding the applicability of the market rate of return limitation rule to pension equity plans (Notice 2016-67; TAXDAY, 2016/11/07, I.3).Treasury Security Rate. The IRS has released the Treasury security rate for computing current pension plan liability (Notice 2016-68; TAXDAY, 2016/11/11, I.3).By Jessica Jeane, Chantal Mahler and Jalisa Mathis, Wolters Kluwer News Stafflast_img read more

Murray outclasses Anderson to take fourth Queen’s title

first_imgBritain’s Andy Murray won the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club by dismantling big-serving South African Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-4 in a one-sided final on Sunday.To the delight of the home crowd, the world number three showed no sign of weariness when returning to court two hours after completing his semi-final against Viktor Troicki which had been held up by rain the previous evening.He had resumed at 3-3 in the first set against the Serb and quickly established control to come through 6-3, 7-6(4). Murray was confident his return of serve would enable him to cope against the lanky Anderson, who went into the final having thundered down 96 aces in his three previous matches.So it proved, even though Anderson fired down two more aces in his first service game and soon reached three figures for the week. The top seed’s returning nevertheless enabled him to make a crucial breakthrough once in each set and his own serve never let him down.A range of drop shots and lobs also proved too subtle for Anderson, as well as suggesting that Murray is in fine fettle ahead of Wimbledon which starts a week on Monday.The first break came in the fourth game, when Murray confidently returned a 141 mile-per-hour serve, forcing his unseeded opponent to net a volley.The first set was over in just under half an hour and although Anderson again proved capable of holding his serve to love in the second, he was broken with a series of superb shots to fall 3-2 behind and was unable to recover.advertisementMurray sealed victory when the South African went wide on a service return, allowing the Briton to join John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick from the modern era as four-times winners at Queen’s.His titles have come in alternate years – 2009, 2011, 2013 and now 2015.last_img read more

Pilot Phase of Electronic Tagging Coming to an End

first_img According to a release from the Security Ministry in February, some 30 inmates were selected to serve the remainder of their sentences outside of prisons, while being monitored by an electronic system. Story Highlights State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says the pilot phase of the electronic tagging/monitoring programme for low-risk inmates is coming to an end. Senator Charles said the electronic tagging/monitoring programme will assist in reducing the cost of keeping an inmate in an enclosed location. State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says the pilot phase of the electronic tagging/monitoring programme for low-risk inmates is coming to an end.Addressing a meeting of the Rotary Club of St. Andrew North at the Institute of Chartered Accountants building, Ruthven Road, on June 19, the State Minister said the Ministry is now moving to where persons who meet the criteria will have the electronic monitoring unit placed on their hands or ankles, and, wherever they go, they can be geo-fenced.According to a release from the Security Ministry in February, some 30 inmates were selected to serve the remainder of their sentences outside of prisons, while being monitored by an electronic system.The inmates were selected after the Department of Correctional Services conducted a series of interviews.Senator Charles said the electronic tagging/monitoring programme will assist in reducing the cost of keeping an inmate in an enclosed location.“It will reduce the cost to you and to me, while at the same time allow this person to keep that connection with their family and community. So, it is going to have a multiplicity of positive impacts,” he noted.“You will have less detachment of the family, but you will also have more rehabilitation, because that person will also have to be involved in a probation process. They are not going to be left out there,” Senator Charles Jr. added.The electronic tagging/monitoring system is part of the ongoing rehabilitation reform of the Department of Correctional Services and the drive to modernise the island’s security infrastructure, aimed at achieving sustainable reduction in the level of crime in Jamaica.last_img read more

Austria 1 dead 21 hurt in explosion at natural gas plant

first_imgBERLIN – An explosion Tuesday at a major natural gas facility near Austria’s border with Slovakia killed one person and left 21 others injured, and caused some gas flow disruptions to other countries, authorities said.One person was seriously injured and 20 others were slightly hurt in the morning blast at the plant in Baumgarten an der March, east of Vienna, police said. No one was in a life-threatening condition. The facility’s operator initially said all the casualties were Austrian, but later said the one with less severe injuries include employees of contractors from six other countries.The explosion set off a fire, which operator Gas Connect said was completely extinguished by mid-afternoon. The facility was “shut down in a controlled state and is offline,” the company said.Police wrote on Twitter that the explosion was triggered by a “technical cause,” but didn’t elaborate and said that local authorities are investigating. Gas Connect said it also suspects an unspecified technical fault.Gas Connect describes the Baumgarten plant, where pipelines bringing gas from Russia, Norway and other countries connect and gas is compressed and cooled, as one of Europe’s most important gas supply hubs.Officials and company experts are analyzing the situation at the facility and discussing the next steps, it said. The explosion affected a 100-meter by 100-meter (328-foot by 328-foot) area.“Austria’s natural gas supply can be covered for the foreseeable future,” the company said on its website. However, “transit through Austria to the south and southeast regions is currently negatively impacted,” it added.Neighbouring Italy’s Economic Development Ministry declared an emergency after the explosion interrupted the flow of natural gas to the country, but said Italy’s supply of gas would be ensured by existing stockpiles.Claudio Descalzi, the CEO of Italian oil and gas company Eni, said that industry operators can compensate even if the interruption continues for weeks and aren’t alarmed, although he said that if it continues for a prolonged period there could be an impact on prices.last_img read more

Companies fret about hazy rules around pot use

first_imgTORONTO – Once recreational cannabis use becomes legal, taking a “smoke break” at work could suddenly become much more complicated.At least that’s the fear among some human resources officials who wonder if the law change will bring impairment at work, decreased productivity, poor attendance and, of course, safety issues.Many questions linger over what legal pot will mean for the average workplace, says Scott Allinson of the Human Resources Professionals Association, which outlined its concerns in a 25-page report over the summer.While some of those issues have been addressed by proposed provincial limitations on who can toke and where, Allinson says many in his field are still unclear about what constitutes impairment and when an employee can be tested for cannabis use.“Is it going to be decreased work performance? Is that going to be a huge issue? Is attendance going to be a big issue?” says Allinson, whose provincial group represents 24,000 members, most in Ontario but also some outside the province and country.“And then the disciplinary procedures of how to deal with it — (who is) going to be the test case for the first court case?”Without a clear, legal definition of impairment, many human resources officers are unsure how to revise their policies, he says, especially in sectors that are not especially safety-sensitive.The tricky part is in explicitly outlining how much is too much, detailing expectations about possible recreational use before a shift, and being able to accurately monitor job performance they suspect is affected by pot use.“There are policies in place that tell you when it comes to alcohol, you can’t drink — for pilots or for truck drivers, you can’t drink X amount before (a shift),” he says. “What is it for somebody who is consistently a user recreationally? Is that impairing him to do his job as a desk worker?”Indeed, it’s the sectors where safety issues are less concerning that might be less prepared for possible fallout of legalization, slated to take effect by July 2018, suggests human resources consultant Jan Laevens.“I worry about the systemic and the more subtle impact because the extremes are always a little more straightforward to deal with,” says Laevens, who works with the Toronto firm HirePower.“If people are going out and having a few drinks at lunch, are they coming back? And we’re seeing a productivity drop of 10, 15 per cent? Haven’t a clue. Very hard to ascertain. Very hard to measure and certainly very, very challenging to investigate.”Right now there is no reliable test for impairment. While urine and saliva tests can detect the presence of THC — the active ingredient in marijuana — that doesn’t indicate active impairment and it can take between 24 and 48 hours for THC to clear the system.It’s also possible for a worker to test positive if they’ve been exposed to second-hand smoke in a poorly ventilated room, according to a recent study at the University of Calgary.The Canadian Union of Public Employees cautions employers from using legalization as an excuse to pursue a more aggressive policy around random drug testing, which is rarely permitted and requires a high legal bar to protect workers’ human rights.The public sector union, whose members include flight attendants, paramedics, and child care workers, says there are more effective ways to manage addiction and substance abuse issues “that are constructive rather than punitive.”Nevertheless, it seems that employers are investigating their options.Employment lawyer Nadia Halum saw a spike in queries about random drug tests after a Superior Court judge allowed the Toronto Transit Commission to test its employees earlier this year.But she says the TTC had very specific criteria that earned the judgment, beyond the obvious safety concerns.“A lot of what the court decision took into consideration is that when it comes to the TTC workplace, it’s the entirety of the city of Toronto and that an accident could affect not only workers but a pedestrian, members of the general public,” says Halum, an associate at Macleod Law Firm in toronto.“There are still human rights considerations, and there are still privacy considerations and you have to show that drugs and alcohol are a problem at the workplace.”Just last week, a union that represents 3,000 oilsands workers in northeastern Alberta won a court injunction against random drug testing by Suncor Energy. The judge said the privacy rights of employees are just as important as safety concerns.The whole issue is a thorny one — Halum notes that even raising concerns with an employee about possible impairment must be handled carefully. In an office environment, the connection between substance use and a perceived drop in productivity would have to be clear. An employer would also have to rule out the possibility of addiction, which is considered a disability.Edmonton-based cannabis expert Alison McMahon says some signs of cannabis use to look for include odour, appearance and pupil dilation, as well as any change in ability to multi-task and stay focused.Even when accommodating medical use, “under no circumstances does an employer have to accommodate impairment in the workplace,” she says.But if it’s going to be a problem in the workplace, it’s likely a problem now, she says.“People who are willing to take the risk of being impaired in the workplace, they’re probably already exercising that today,” says McMahon, whose Calgary-based company Cannabis at Work educates employers and helps them comply with changing legislation.She says employers need to know there are different strains of cannabis, each with different properties and uses. Some strains are low in THC and high in cannabidiol, or CBD, which has been shown to have medicinal properties without the psychoactive effects.Unfortunately, McMahon says stigma has led a lot of employers to avoid or ignore the issue of marijuana at work — even medical marijuana, which has been legal for years.“We have been told for so long that cannabis has been an illegal substance, essentially if you use it that means that you’re a bad person. It takes a long time to shift away from those stigmas.”Another problem is that research has been slow to keep up with the demand for more information, say scientists Andrea Furlan and Nancy Carnide, who are studying existing literature to see if there’s any link between cannabis use and workplace injury, death and near-misses.Data tends to come from drug tests conducted after an accident, says Carnide, a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Work and Health. There is scant data with control groups, which would suggest the extent to which workers who did not have an accident were also using cannabis, and whether the rate of use was greater among workers who had accidents versus those who did not.And while it’s widely assumed that recreational pot use would increase when legal, that’s hard to nail down, says Carnide, whose review for the not-for profit research organization is expected to be completed in summer 2018.“We don’t have a sense right now to what degree workers are using cannabis in the workplace, or just before work. We don’t understand what their perceptions and attitudes are towards workplace use, what their intentions are and whether they understand what their obligations are in the workplace,” says Carnide.Furlan says whether cannabis affects productivity is another open question, noting there’s little data on its impact — even among medical marijuana users.Sharon Somerville says her family business in Oak Bluff, Man., has a well-defined policy about what’s allowed and not but she’s still unsure she’ll know how to adequately assess possible impairment, or know when she can legally dismiss a worker.“You as the employer have no way of knowing if somebody took it half-an-hour before they left for work that morning or if they took it the night before,” says Somerville, the human resources boss at Somerville Design Homes Ltd.“You really have to know how somebody behaves and look at their behaviour … and it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s drug-induced or not drug-induced, there could be lots of things. It’s very murky, there is no black-and-white and that’s the problem.”Although she’s consulted a lawyer on firming up company policy, she says she’s waiting for more government guidelines on how marijuana will be restricted.Allinson predicted a “painful transition period when this becomes law in July.”“In the New Year there’s going to be the, ‘Oh, my God’ sort of scenarios of, ‘We need to get on this.’”last_img read more

Senior US legislator dont fold to Canada on dairy in new NAFTA

first_imgWASHINGTON, United States of America – A senior senator is demanding changes that would open Canada’s dairy market as part of any new NAFTA and is urging American trade negotiators to hold the line in the final stages of bargaining.Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer has sent a letter on the issue to U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer amid some fears that his negotiating team may be softening.His request illustrates the ongoing differences between the countries, despite predictions about a deal being close, including from U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, who over the weekend said an agreement could be achieved within weeks.Schumer is urging the U.S. team to seize a rare opportunity to lower what he calls Canada’s “dairy wall” — and says opening up the market must be a top priority.“Securing meaningful and enforceable commitments that will allow U.S. dairy producers to compete with Canada’s on a level playing field should be a top priority in NAFTA renegotiations,” Schumer wrote in the letter, which he released publicly Monday.“As I have expressed to you many times, I strongly believe that we should not miss this opportunity to protect our dairy producers from Canada’s recent predatory trade practices.”Schumer isn’t the only leading legislator for whom it is a priority; the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, is from the dairy-producing state of Wisconsin and also considers it a key issue.The view of American lawmakers matters in a trade negotiation.U.S. law requires that they must eventually ratify any agreement and that they be consulted throughout the bargaining process by American trade negotiators.Lighthizer told lawmakers at a recent hearing that dairy will likely be one of the final issues to be resolved. He expressed some understanding that the topic is politically sensitive in Canada, where the dairy industry is concentrated in the two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec.Some of Lighthizer’s own colleagues are signalling the U.S. might not get the changes it wants.“I’m not as optimistic as I’d like to be,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told another congressional hearing last week when asked about dairy.“We have impressed upon Ambassador Lighthizer, almost on a weekly basis, how important it is to get the dairy situation (settled) with Canada. (But) he has some larger issues (in these negotiations).“I think we would love to have any other help in impressing upon (Lighthizer) how important it is to make sure the dairy situation in regard to Canada is also resolved.”A few days after that request, Schumer released his letter.The countries do not have free trade in dairy — and the U.S. is calling for two changes.Over the longer term, it wants the elimination of Canada’s supply-management system. The system limits competition, but guarantees stability on Canadian farms by capping imports, imposing tariffs and setting prices at the grocery store.The shorter-term U.S. objective is to get Canada to eliminate its special rule allowing byproducts for cheese-making, skimmed off milk, to be sold at market prices.The Canadian government’s view is that the U.S. also protects its dairy market in other ways, such as price-stabilization programs and counselling services when prices crash and farms face collapse.Some Canadian industry defenders point to analyses that say U.S. farmers consistently sell dairy at below-market prices, because they benefit from a patchwork of policies to keep them profitable.last_img read more