CALGARY — It’s been a tough week for workers at Canada’s two biggest pipeline companies, with TransCanada the latest to hand out layoff notices.A TransCanada spokesman confirmed the cuts but declined to say how many jobs are being lost or what parts of the business are bearing the brunt.Mark Cooper says the company aims to be fair and respectful and won’t be making those details public until those affected have heard the news first from their leaders.He says the cuts aren’t related to any specific project or decision, but are rather meant to ensure the company stays competitive amid tough market conditions.TransCanada Corp pulls Keystone XL application in Nebraska after Obama rejectionSuncor to cut oilsands production next year, sets capital budgetU.S. President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada’s cross-border Keystone XL pipeline earlier this month and the company is now weighing its options.Earlier this week, fellow pipeline firm Enbridge announced it would be shedding 500 jobs and leaving 100 more vacant positions unfilled.The Enbridge cuts represent about five per cent of its workforce in the United States and Canada.According to its most recent annual report, TransCanada had 6,059 employees across North America.TransCanada eliminated 185 positions from its major projects division in June. In September, it trimmed about a fifth of its senior leadership positions at the vice-president level and above. A month later, it cut 30 positions one rung below at the director level.“These changes align with changes that we’re making to our structure to remain competitive and deliver shareholder value, as well as in response to falling oil prices and its effect on our customers,” said Cooper.“These two factors mean that we need to drive down costs and pursue our projects more efficiently and strategically. This includes having to make some difficult decisions that affect our workforce.”The Canadian Press
The guest issue of Country Life The Prince of Wales in the Northumberland countryside Credit:Getty The magazine also includes contributions from the Prince’s family and friends, from Lady Sarah Chatto on her favourite art work to an interview with Dame Judi Dench.The Duchess of Cornwall writes for the issue about the work of one of her favourite charities, Medical Detection Dogs, describing how she had been so impressed by the skills of the animals in sniffing out cancer she “ventured to ask another great dog lover, The Queen, to come and see a demonstration of their skills” earlier this year. “The Prince of Wales’s 70th birthday edition of Country Life magazine is out now. The family will today celebrate the 70th with a glamorous private evening party at Buckingham Palace, with the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall also spending the afternoon with a group of septuagenarians linked to their favourite charities for tea. The Prince and the puppets: meeting Sooty and Sweep at an ITV magic show for his birthdayCredit:WPA pool The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry at HighgroveCredit:Tim Graham/Getty Images He added: “I have spent 40 years of my life trying to warn of the dangers – let alone the waste of money – of losing a vital sense of balance, in so many areas that impact, for example, on the countryside, on the marine environment, and on the planning and design of the urban environment.“I have now lived long enough to see it all beginning to change – but at what cost?“Should we recognise the more timeless aspects of our natural and human environments , which need to be maintained for generations yet unborn?“I am not suggesting it will be easy, but we may be the last generation fortunate enough to experience the wonderful people, skills and activities of our countryside, some of which I have tried to highlight in this special edition of Country Life.” “So the question is how can we ensure that those same life-enhancing, timeless opportunities are there when future generations look for them?” “Perhaps the clearest way to understand how much is at stake, and what we might want to do as a result, is to try to think ahead to what our grandchildren will want and need,” he said.“Seventy years ago, some aspects of our lives today would have been quite simply unimaginable. Others, such as the pleasures of a walk in the country, good food from local farms, traditional craftsmanship, the beauty of the landscape, gardens and nature, and a sense of community have changed little. “My father’s passion for wildlife is something that extends from his childhood to today,” he said. “His focus on the environment is something I’ve looked up to all my life.“His unwavering commitment to rural issues and the countryside has been a big inspiration to me and something I am keen to emulate and teach my children about.“No one understands farmers or the issues they face better than my father.”In an amusing aside, he adds: “He is completely infatuated by the red squirrels that live around the estate in Scotland – to the extent that he’s given them names and is allowing them in the house.“He also has hundreds of bird tables at Highgrove and replenishes them by hand personally every day he is there. “His passion for the environment and the natural world is some I want to repeat in the way I raise George, Charlotte and Louis.”Expanding on his unexpected hobby, Prince said of his red squirrels: “They come into the house at Birkhall and we get them chasing each other round and round inside. The Prince of Wales will today celebrate the milestone of his 70th birthday with a manifesto on the future of the countryside, in which he warns his may be the last generation to enjoy the “life-enhancing, timeless opportunities” it offers.The Prince, who stars in a series of warm family photographs with his sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren released in honour of the birthday, said the landmark moment had given him pause to consider how Britain had changed since his birth.Joking that he had undergone the “the alarming realisation that I have reached the biblical threshold of three score years and 10, with all the scars that go with it”, he urged the public to look ahead in their own lives to “try to think ahead to what our grandchildren will want and need”.Guest editing an issue of Country Life magazine, the Prince has written 1,960-word letter in which he warns that the countryside and its people cannot be taken for granted.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––His elder son, the Duke of Cambridge, also contributes, disclosing how he hopes to emulate the Prince in teaching his own three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, about the natural world. On the issues facing farmers, and Britain’s place on the global stage, the Prince said: “As a relatively small island, I cannot see how our food production could ever compete within the world’s commodity markets,” he said.”Perhaps, though, we could seek to establish the United Kingdom as the most environmentally-friendly food producer with a unique ‘brand image’, as an island offering the highest standards of quality and natural goodness?” The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at Birkhall The Prince allows red squirrels to rifle through his coat pockets at Birkhall The Duke of Cambridge hopes to bring his own children up to love the countrysideCredit:AFP “If I sit there quietly, they will do so around me.”Sometimes, when I leave my jackets on a chair with nuts in the pockets, I see them with their tails sticking out, as they hunt for nuts – they are incredibly special creatures.” The issue sees the Duke of Cambridge answer a series of questions about the countryside, disclosing how he hopes to raise his own children with the same love of nature his father instilled in him. Reflecting on his birthday, the Prince writes: “Yet even as we grow older, the countryside that is such a special part of our lives somehow manages to adapt to the march of time, changing with the generations as much as with the seasons.“So perhaps this is a good moment to reflect on how rural areas have changed over the course of 70 years. What have we learnt in that time and what might the future hold?”Outlining how the “drive for ‘efficiency” has led to negative changes to Britain’s countryside, leaving “farms amalgamated, hedges torn out, ponds and wetlands drained, [and] river dredged”, he noted the social change that has seen the closure of village shops, rural railways lines and pubs.
AP Photo/Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Carli SegelsonIT’S NOT THAT body parts never wash ashore on Florida beaches. But usually it’s not an eye bigger than a tennis ball.Wildlife officials are trying to determine the species of a blue eyeball found by a man Wednesday at Pompano Beach, north of Fort Lauderdale.They put the eyeball on ice so it can be analyzed at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.Agency spokeswoman Carli Segelson says the eyeball likely came from a marine animal, since it was found on a beach. Possible candidates include a giant squid, a whale or some type of large fish. AP Photo/Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Carli SegelsonMore photos: Cliffs of Moher, meet the Milky Way>For more, follow @dailyedge on Twitter and like The Daily Edge on Facebook.