A new place for the public sector to test ideas and develop solutions opened today, March 26, in Halifax. The Public Sector Innovation Garage, a government and IBM collaborative initiative, is the first of its kind in Canada. The province has extended an existing agreement with IBM that will see $5 million worth of projects flow through the garage over the next three years. It will be a dedicated, creative space that will enable a new approach to delivering public sector programs and services. “We are committed to developing new and better ways to meet the diverse, changing needs of the public sector and Nova Scotians,” said Patricia Arab, Minister of Internal Services. “This is not a traditional approach to innovation. The garage is a place where we can safely generate and test ideas, and explore and experiment with possible solutions.” The garage is a workspace where IBM will offer its expertise, methodologies, tools, software and processes. Technology business partners SAP, Microsoft and Apple will also participate. “Our goal is to work with the Government of Nova Scotia to build innovative solutions that will deliver improved services to the people of this province,” said Claude Guay, general manager, Global Business Services, IBM Canada. “With the innovation garage, we can quickly prove new solutions leveraging artificial intelligence, analytics, blockchain, internet of things, and IBM Cloud.” Other public sector partners can also use the garage. Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) is already discussing how it can participate and benefit from its world class advisors and graduates. “To have another outlet for our students to not only share their knowledge and skills, but to also gain vital practical experience doing so, is a tremendous opportunity for the college,” said Anna Burke, vice president, Academic, NSCC. “At the same time, the students will be contributing to NSCC’s mission by supporting our communities and local businesses through innovation and problem-solving.”
Addressing the Assembly this afternoon, Minister for Foreign Affairs for Grenada, Nickolas Steele, said climate shocks are amongst the “most terrifying” for his country and other small islands around the world and given such risks, island states need concessionary financing. The indebtedness of small islands developing States (SIDS) must be regarded among the many challenges of our time, he said, adding that the “annual cry” of small islands to make concessionary funding available should serve as an early warning system for the international community. “Let us settle the LDC [least developed country] graduation issue in favour of SIDS rather than use it as a parallel climate-negotiating tool against SIDS,” Mr. Steele said. Due to high import costs of fossil fuels, electricity in Grenada costs 4 to 5 time higher than in developed countries. He said Grenada cannot educate its people, if its school children have no access to electricity. Islands like Grenada come to the climate table, “not like hapless victims with cap-in-hand”. Renewables must be implemented in the Islands with zero subsidies.Also today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Camillo Gonsalves said that despite a tiny carbon footprint and miniscule emissions, his island has been victimised by weather anomalies partially caused by the “environmental abuse” of major emitters. Foreign Minister Camillo Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines addresses General Assembly. UN Photo/Kim Haughton“The prospects of genuine progress against climate change become increasingly remote with each passing day of diplomatic dithering, buck-passing and finger-pointing,” said Mr. Gonsalves. Yet, despite the gathering and intensifying global threat of climate change, with its real and ruinous present-day impacts, historical and major emitters continue to act as the planet has time on its side, he continued, adding that “if narrow interests and local electoral cowardice force us to retreat behind our national borders and bury our heads in the sands, we may squander a decade of effort, and our only real chance to save the planet upon which we live. The stakes are that high. We cannot afford to fail.”Last week’s Climate Summit held at UN Headquarters was an “admirable attempt” but the tangible results were less than encouraging. “The numbers just don’t add up” to anything close to what is required to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Further, the new resources raised and pledged for the financing of adaptation to climate changes effects were a drop in the bucket – “akin to having a bake sale to settle national debt.”Post-2015 goals and indicators must focus equally on targets within developing countries. A major shortcoming of the MDGs was the “nebulous nature” of the so-called Global Partnership for Development. New goals must be concrete and measurable. Taking to the podium this evening, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Patrice Nisbett, said SIDS were susceptible to economic and environmental shocks, which resulted in high indebtedness. Foreign Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Patrice Nisbett addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/Loey Felipe While Saint Kitts and Nevis has successfully reduced its debt to GDP [gross domestic product] ratio by 50 percentage points, it remains mindful that severe climate events can erase gains achieved. He called on the international community, including international financial institutions to broaden the scope of assessment of SIDS, in order to avoid the creation of measures that undermine national Governments. He reiterated his call for a strong global response to combating the high rate of non-communicable diseases in developing countries in particular saying that “a nation’s wealth lies in the health of its people.” Climate change remains more than an environmental concern for SIDS, it is regarded as a “threat to our existence,” he said. The international community must take creative initiative such as debt swap for climate adaptation and mitigation. Climate change financing and technology transfer will be pivotal to that end.
“The runway was used by lighter aircrafts throughout the day prior to this incident, and everything was fine.“Immediately after this incident, the runway taken out of use.“It took us around 20 minutes to clear debris which was thrown from the damaged runway onto another. Debris falls in the de Havilland Vampire’s wakeCredit:Graham Innes Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Astonishing footage has emerged of a rare vintage aircraft churning up concrete as it takes off from a British airport.Hundreds of onlookers watched as the de Havilland Vampire took off from a vintage air show at Wolverhampton’s Halfpenny Green Airport on Sunday.Video by Graham Innes shows the aircraft leaving a trail of debris in its wake.Mr Innes wrote: “It was quite spectacular and looks to have left a lot of damage.”Afterwards, the Vampire landed on another undamaged runway.”Airfield staff were seen clearing up debris on the runway for some time.”The aircraft taxied on to the runway and then backtracked to get the full length for departure.”Pieces of tarmac were already flying up. “The affected runway will remain sealed off until it has been repaired and thoroughly inspected.“At no point was there any danger to the crowd watching. “The Vampire was undamaged.”The aircraft was the first single-engine jet fighter to enter service in the RAF.They are now so rare the National Aviation Heritage Register lists them as ‘benchmark’ aircraft – the highest category available for preservation.Halfpenny Green opened in 1941 and was originally built as an aerodrome for the RAF.The airport, seven miles from the centre of Wolverhampton, is now used as a base for a number of aircraft and helicopter flying schools and private operators. The runway was due to be repairedCredit:Graham Innes “When he turned round for departure, he powered up and as he started the take off run, pieces began to rip up.”The aircraft has a 5 degree nose up attitude whilst on the ground, thus the jet blast is vectored more towards the ground as compared to other jets.”Seen many of these classic post war jets over the years but never seen anything like this!”The Vampire is a classic post war fighter/trainer and there are a few still flying.”The damaged runway has since been taken out of use, until repairs can be made later this month. “Mike Boot, Halfpenny Green airport manager, said: “The damage was caused by a Vampire aircraft lifting in several areas – tearing up patches of concrete which were due for repair anyway.