The Halifax Convention Centre will host a Welcome Weekend open to the public Jan. 12-14, providing an opportunity to tour the new facility. “We know our state-of-the-art facility will make Nova Scotians proud,” said Carrie Cussons, president and CEO of the Halifax Convention Centre. “We can’t wait to welcome the community to our new Centre and give people a sneak peek before we begin hosting visitors from around the world.” Friday, Jan. 12, from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., there will be an after-work networking opportunity and tours of the new facility. Attendees will be encouraged to continue the evening at one of the many neighbouring restaurants and pubs downtown. Saturday, Jan. 13, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., is a family-themed event including a screening of Finding Dory, face painting, tours and light refreshments. Sunday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., there will be live music from East Coast Music Association artists Don Ross, Kim Harris and Reeny Smith, along with tours and light refreshments. All events are free and open to the public. The facility will host its first client event, the Canadian Junior Weightlifting Nationals on Jan. 20. There are 90 events in total booked for 2018, bringing an estimated 75,000 delegates and more than $50 million in new money to the province. This includes 44 national and international conventions. The Halifax Convention Centre is part of the Nova Centre, a one-million square-foot, mixed-used development including a hotel, financial towers, public plaza, retail space and parking. It is the largest integrated development project in the province’s history. The funding of the convention centre is shared between three levels of government, totalling $169.2 million. For more information, visit HalifaxConventionCentre.com/Welcome .
by Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press Posted Jun 4, 2017 6:59 am MDT Last Updated Jun 5, 2017 at 3:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Debt ceiling issue tops summer budget agenda for Congress WASHINGTON – Even members of his own party were quick to declare President Donald Trump’s budget plan dead on arrival in Congress last month. And in fact, lawmakers are facing a burst of overdue budget-related work this summer.Most of what’s on the budget agenda probably won’t bear much resemblance to Trump’s spending plan, which promised deep spending cuts on domestic programs, rapid economic growth, and a balanced federal ledger in a decade.Instead, they’re confronting an increase in the government’s borrowing cap, serious problems in advancing annual spending bills, and a smaller set of curbs on domestic benefit programsA look at what’s ahead:___DEBT DILEMMAAtop the absolute must-do list is raising the borrowing cap, or debt limit. Doing so would avert a disastrous, first-ever default on U.S. obligations.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says Congress should vote to raise the debt limit before leaving Washington for its traditional August recess. Lawmakers once thought they had until the fall to act.It would be the first increase of Trump’s presidency, and responsibility for passing it falls chiefly upon the Republicans who control Congress.Some conservatives, including White House budget director Mick Mulvaney and the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, want difficult spending cuts paired with the higher cap. If those efforts fail, it’s commonly assumed that GOP leaders would have to enlist support from Democrats to pass the legislation.Republicans secured sweeping spending cuts as the price for a 2011 debt deal with President Barack Obama. But Obama prevailed in demands for a “clean” debt increase in later rounds, most recently in late 2015. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats say they won’t go along with a debt bill if Republicans press ahead with deficit-financed tax cuts for the wealthy.Mnuchin is using a set of accounting manoeuvrs to keep the government solvent for now.___SPENDING DEADLOCKCongress is way behind on the 12 annual spending bills covering the Pentagon and other federal agencies for the upcoming 2018 budget year. Work on those measures, totalling more than $1.1 trillion, was supposed to begin last month, but Republicans have yet to even unite behind a plan of attack — much less execute it.GOP leaders and the White House must sort through the demands of numerous competing factions, including defence hawks, defenders of domestic spending, and tea party lawmakers. At the same time, they must deal with Democrats, who retain great leverage because their support is needed to advance the legislation.Trump and his allies generally agree on a big increase for the military, but disagree on corresponding cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid. Democrats are opposed to Trump’s cuts — such as those aimed at the Environmental Protection Agency, foreign aid, grants for first responders, economic development and others — and are pressing for domestic increases. A major battle again looms over money for Trump’s oft-promised wall along the Mexican border. A government shutdown can’t be ruled out when the current budget year end Sept. 30.One option: GOP and Democratic leaders forge the outlines of an overall agreement, then advance the 12 appropriations bills in a bipartisan fashion. It’s a challenging compromise to pull off and would disappoint key factions.So far the result has been drift. Some insiders predict the only solution is yet another bill that covers the entire government in one shot, but it might not pass until late this year and that may put some agencies on autopilot.___BUDGET/TAX IMBROGLIOAfter health care, the next priority for Republicans is overhauling the tax system. But to do that — at least without turning to Democrats for help — would first require the GOP to pass a blueprint known as a budget resolution. Congress cannot wrap up action on the 2018 plan, however, until efforts to repeal the Obama-era health law are complete.That resolution would allow for follow-up legislation on taxes and spending, including a recommended cap on annual appropriations bills.Republicans are eyeing this course as a way to ease passage of a tax overhaul and cuts to benefit programs such as federal employee pensions and food stamps.But the path ahead is tricky.Some defence stalwarts are demanding Pentagon increases greater than Trump’s, and the White House is pushing lower spending for domestic agency operations.There are accounting tricks used in Trump’s budget, but Republicans cannot resort to using them. That could lead to nonbinding but politically symbolic proposals to cut Medicare, a program Trump says he won’t touch.