By 250 News
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Just because you are on a budget, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style in your home. If it’s time to refresh your décor but you don’t think you have the necessary funds, think again. Here are a few ways you can add a touch of luxury to any room of your home without breaking the bank:
Start with the walls
No room of your home can ever feel luxurious if the paintwork is shabby or wallpaper looks dull or weathered. A new coat of paint or wallpaper is the fastest, and easiest way to a fresh new look. If painting, consider a suede, satin or cashmere finish in a neutral colour for a look of elegance. If wallpapering, consider rich colours, textures or traditional patterns. Use good quality products for best results.
Liven up the living room
Add an instant touch of lavishness with one or two large cushions in rich embroidered fabric, velvet or faux fur. Add warmth to your wood floors with a shag rug for modern décor, Turkish or Oriental style for more traditional tastes. No need to splurge on new lamps, simply update the shades with linen or silk-like material. Give a favourite piece of furniture a makeover with updated sleek metal hardware or repaint with an attractive gloss paint.
Beautify bedrooms & bathrooms
Buy beautiful bed linen when it is on sale. Billowy comforters or duvets with plenty of plump pillows make the whole room look luxurious and inviting. A plush rug for stepping in and out of bed gives a sumptuous start and end to your day. Add plenty of thick fresh towels and large pillar candles in the bathroom to set a pampered scene. Invest in light switch dimmers to create the ambiance you desire.
Get chic in the kitchen
Freshen up cabinetry with new paint or modern hardware and update lighting fixtures. Buy a beautiful tablecloth or table runner and top it off with a potted orchid in an attractive pot. Rather than using every day chipped or stained mugs, treat yourself to a couple of fine china tea cups from a thrift store or good quality coffee mugs for your favourite brew. Then sit back, enjoy tea for two with a friend, and truly savour the moment.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
We had lots of good news on the economic front this past week. Great export numbers, an approval for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports and all of this coming hard on the heels of the new employment numbers.
Next week we are back in the Legislature debating bills and setting the framework for our economy to grow.
Have a great week!
Pat Bell - (MLA Prince George North) http://www.patbellmla.bc.ca/
1. Establishing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry in British Columbia moved a major step closer to reality with the National Energy Board (NEB) approving a 20-year export licence for the Kitimat LNG facility – the first license of its kind in Canada.
With the capacity to supply B.C.’s natural gas to new markets, demand will increase for the province’s energy resources and investment will be secured for ongoing development. Long-term jobs and business opportunities will be available for northeast communities. The Kitimat LNG facility itself will create approximately 1,500 person-years of work during its construction phase and 120-140 permanent positions once the terminal is in operation. The facility will be supplied natural gas from through the Pacific Trail Pipeline (PTP) (Summit Lake to Kitimat), which is expected to create another 1,500 construction jobs.
2. We are taking steps to further encourage business immigrants to invest in communities in regional B.C. through the BC Provincial Nominee Program. This is one of a series of steps as part of a commitment in ‘Canada Starts Here - The BC Jobs Plan’ to attract more entrepreneurs from other countries to help create jobs regionally. The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) provides accelerated permanent resident status to entrepreneurs and qualified workers based on labour market and economic development priorities. Among the changes, a new online investment matching service will link potential business immigrants to business opportunities in regions, with a focus on small business succession, an area of concern identified by the small business sector. In some cases, small business owners in smaller rural communities are facing challenges in finding people to buy their companies when they are ready to retire. The service is scheduled to launch in November.
3. As I said earlier positive export numbers again for the month of August B.C.’s exports were worth $2.874 billion, an increase of $423 million or 17.3% compared with August 2011. The big winners were coal, energy, agriculture and equipment and machinery.
4. Another great month as well for lumber exports to China with our first 8 months of exports surpassing 3 billion board feet! This represents a 107% increase year to date over last year and a year to date value of ¾ of a billion dollars!
5. Korea and Taiwan are also looking very good with year over year growth of 26% and 37% respectively. In fact at this pace the combination of these 2 countries will represent about ½ billion board feet or the production of 2 sawmills.
6. British Columbia has the lowest smoking rate in Canada for the 12th year in a row at 14.3 per cent, says the 2010 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS). B.C.’s overall smoking rate fell to 14.3 per cent in 2010 from 14.9 per cent in 2009, according to the CTUMS. Overall in Canada, smoking rates are 17 per cent. Ontario has the second-lowest rate at 15 per cent, with Saskatchewan the highest at 21 per cent.
Most positively, B.C.’s smoking rate for youth aged 15 to 19 years decreased from 13 per cent in 2009 to 8.9 per cent in 2010. This is the lowest rate achieved since 1999. The national rate is 12 per cent.
7. Applications are now being accepted to help local sport, municipalities, Aboriginal and community organizations increase sport opportunities for British Columbians of all ages and abilities.
The Local Sport Program Development Fund provides grants of up to $2,000 for sport programs that aim to increase access to British Columbians. This could include opportunities such as clubs establishing a youth division; a new sport program that requires specialized equipment or coach training; or a club that wants to introduce their sport to local schools.
8. Mining is returning to the Princeton region as the Copper Mountain Mine celebrates its grand opening today. The mine brings jobs to the area and benefits the entire province. Having started production in June 2011, Copper Mountain is the third-largest copper mine in Canada and the first major-metals mine to open in British Columbia since 1998. The 7,285-hectare (18,000-acre) site is located 20 km south of the town of Princeton and is expected to produce approximately 2.27 billion kilograms (five billion pounds) of copper over its life. When fully operating, the mine will provide about 270 mining jobs in the Princeton area. The B.C. mining sector hit $7.9 billion dollars in gross revenues in 2010, returning to 2008 historic levels after rebounding in recent years.
9. You likely know them as the happy, hardworking kids in the barns at every summer fair across British Columbia. The Province knows them as the future of agriculture, and that’s why it’s investing $85,000 in the B.C. 4-H program’s young members through a provincial grant. More than 2,350 young people between six and 21 years old participate in the B.C. 4-H program. The goal of the 4-H program, which is now more than 95 years old, is youth development, with a focus on knowledge, leadership, citizenship and personal development.
10. B.C.’s future forests will include super-trees that can shrug off attacks by pests like the mountain pine beetle – or are remarkably efficient at sequestering carbon, reducing CO2 in the atmosphere. People here and elsewhere will use a simple screening test to detect diabetes waiting to happen, so it can be prevented – and another to easily pinpoint which of many underlying conditions is causing a patient’s high blood pressure, so it can be treated successfully. There’s a link between these four projects: Christoph Borchers, one of the world’s top proteomics researchers. Borchers’ appointment as the Don and Eleanor Rix B.C. Leadership Chair in Biomedical and Environmental Proteomics.
Proteomics is the study of the structure and functions of proteins. It can be used in every area of biochemical research. Borchers, director of the UVic Genome BC Proteomics Centre at the Vancouver Island Technology Park, is focusing on health and forestry in his LEEF chair role.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
As interest rates continue to creep downward the majority of borrowers are choosing variable rate mortgages. The ones the banks make less money on but need to offer due to competition.
They hope you will lock in at some time... and you probably will. However, banks/lenders would prefer you to be in a fixed mortgage. Less risky for both borrower and lender.
Over the past few weeks lenders across the board have been tightening up these discounts:
1) make them more profitable... and
2) direct borrowers to the fixed rates.
toll free: 1-866-964-9161
#2 - 1810 Third Ave.
Prince George, BC V2M 1G4
Monday, October 3, 2011
A few weeks ago I asked for your opinions on BC’s best wines and the votes are in and tallied! For the first annual Pat Bell’s “Peoples Choice” Awards:
Best BC Winery – Hester Creek!
Best BC Wine – Hester Creek Trebiano
Best BC Wine under $15 – Gehringer Auxerrois $13.99 (and I will add their Cuvee Noire also at $13.99 for a red).
Hope you enjoy the selections.
This past week was the annual UBCM convention in Vancouver, always a busy and important week in the Province. Mayors, Councilors and Regional District Directors gather to discuss important issue that face all of the communities in the Province. I had an opportunity to do several presentations on out new Jobs Strategy as well as providing a general overview of my Ministries activities. I especially find it helpful for the very small communities that don’t always have the resources they need to travel and meet with Provincial Cabinet Ministers.
Next week we are back in the Legislature for the start of our Fall Session and a Throne Speech so stay tuned.
This week’s Top 10 is actually a “Top 8”. It is the 8 sectors that we believe we can build our economy around and the jobs that come with that. It provides you with a sense of why we have selected these sectors and what we think might be possible.
Have a great week!
Pat Bell - http://www.patbellmla.bc.ca/
B.C.’s forestry industry is on the rebound. Since 2003, when we focused on opening new markets in China and Hong Kong, exports have grown from $69 million to 687 million a year. We know our market, have an international reputation as a stable supplier of high-quality wood products, and offer timber supply security.
B.C.’s mining industry is booming: we have abundant mineral deposits, and are well positioned to meet growing global demand. More than half of Canada’s exploration companies are based here, and we employ the world’s highest concentration of mining professionals, geologists, engineers, prospectors, metallurgists, assayers, lawyers, accountants and financiers.
3. Natural Gas
More than half of the remaining natural gas in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin is in British Columbia. If natural gas prices stay where they are, this sector is on line to double production by 2020, bringing both jobs and investment opportunities.
With fertile land and abundant water, British Columbia leads Canada in sales of blueberries, cranberries, sweet cherries and raspberries. Growers produce food with strong health benefits, a low environmental footprint and an ethical approach. Emerging markets, particularly on the Pacific Rim, will drive demand for trusted and high-quality foods.
BC is home to world-class high tech companies. The demand for digital, wireless and screen based entertainment is on the rise – in 2010, India and China alone added more than 300 million wireless subscribers. China’s market for green technology is forecast to grow to $1 trillion by 2013.
British Columbia is a choice tourism destination. Global international arrivals will grow to 1.6 billion by 2020, an average of 4.5 per cent per year. Almost 18,000 tourism companies in B.C. create most of the 128,600 jobs in the industry. By 2019, we expect that to grow to 196,000 jobs.
7. International Education
British Columbia has a reputation for educational excellence. In 2010, 94,000 international students came to British Columbia to study in our Kindergarten – Grade 12, post secondary and Language Canada schools. It’s a growth industry: by 2025, global demand for international education is predicted to more than double to 7.2 million.
Companies in B.C., the U.S, and Asia look to the Pacific Gateway for quick connections across the Pacific. Vancouver, Kitimat and Prince Rupert are Asia’s closest ports of entry on the West Coast, closer than Los Angeles and Long Beach. Steady improvement to ports, rail, roads and airports is key.