Most actively traded companies on the TSX

Companies in the news:Transat A.T. (TSX:TRZ). Down 42 cents or 2.5 per cent to $16.19. The fate of Air Canada’s $720-million takeover bid for Transat A.T. Inc. rests with regulators after shareholders overwhelmingly approved the acquisition offer Friday. In a special meeting, shareholders of the Quebec-based tour operator voted 94.77 per cent in favour of accepting the $18-per-share transaction from the country’s largest airline. The deal will narrow the field of airline competition, securing for Air Canada about 60 per cent of the Canadian transatlantic market and helping the company maintain a firm hold on Montreal air travel.TC Energy Corp. (TSX:TRP). Down 42 cents to $64.37. One of the last major hurdles for the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline was removed on Friday by the Nebraska Supreme Court which rejected an attempt to force the developer to reapply for state approval. The court upheld the decision of regulators who voted in November 2017 to greenlight a route through the state. The court’s decision was a victory for the US$8-billion project, which has been mired in lawsuits and regulatory hearings since it was proposed in 2008. The Nebraska Public Service Commission voted 3-2 in favour of an “alternative route” for Keystone XL instead of TC Energy’s preferred pathway for the pipeline.Cargojet Inc. (TSX:CJT). Up $11.66 or 12.86 per cent to $102.33. Shares in Cargojet Inc. shot to a record high Friday after the company announced a new deal with Amazon.com that could see the online retailer acquire a stake in the company that provides overnight air cargo services. Amazon already uses Cargojet’s charter aircraft services to move packages from Amazon warehouses to distribution centres for final delivery, but the deal announced Friday is designed to encourage it to use the network even more. Under the agreement, Mississauga, Ont.-based Cargojet will issue warrants to Amazon for variable voting shares that will vest based on milestones of business that Amazon gives Cargojet. The Canadian Press TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,037.58, down 215.88 points).Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Energy. Down 17 cents, or three per cent, to $5.50 on 13.4 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Down 14 cent, or 8.14 per cent, to $1.58 on 12.9 million shares.Belo Sun Mining Corp. (TSX:BSX). Materials. Down five cents, or 11.49 per cent, to 38.5 cents on 11.3 million shares.New Gold Inc. (TSX:NGD). Materials. Up four cents, or 2.56 per cent, to $1.60 on 8.4 million shares.B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO). Materials. Up 13 cents, or 2.87 per cent, to $4.66 on 7.7 million shares.OceanaGold Corp. (TSX:OGC). Materials. Up 17 cents, or 5.74 per cent, to $3.13 on 7.7 million shares. read more

UN expert urges more awareness of mercenary aspect of terrorism

In his report, UN Special Rapporteur Enrique Bernales Ballesteros said his mandate should be broadened to allow him to not only study mercenary activities as a means of impeding the right of peoples to self-determination, but to also take into account other situations in which mercenaries are involved – including illicit arms trafficking, terrorism, organized crime – and the use of mercenaries by private security companies to intervene in countries’ internal affairs.On the issue of illicit arms trafficking, the Rapporteur said mercenaries, through their experience, were able to enhance the frequency and volume of illicit weapons deals. He advocated the development of legal instruments to facilitate prosecution of that crime and the mobilization of the political will of States to suppress the illicit traffic effectively.The report also warned that more and more mercenaries are being hired by private security companies operating in the international market for deployment in armed conflicts, illicit trafficking and human rights violations. The Rapporteur said this situation underlined the need for regulation, prevention, control and oversight of such companies, and that regulatory mechanisms must be set up through national legislation, in coordination with, and with the support of, the UN. On Africa, the Special Rapporteur recommended that the Assembly reaffirm its full support for the self-determination and human rights of the continent’s peoples and condemn the mercenary activities that undermine such rights. The Assembly was also urged to alert diamond exchanges, associations of diamond merchants, States in which diamond-mining companies operate, and all others involved in the illicit trade in diamonds, to the evidence of unscrupulous business practices in the diamond trade and their role in Africa’s armed conflicts. “It is well known that mercenaries are involved in the illicit activities carried out by such firms,” the report states.Mr. Ballesteros also recommended that the General Assembly urge Member States to ratify or accede to the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, which is one ratification or accession short of entering into force. “The entry into force of the Convention would facilitate the banning of such activities and create an international climate more favourable to self-determination and defence of human rights,” the Rapporteur said. read more

Some 90 per cent of domestic workers excluded from social protection –

“Most of their work is undervalued and unprotected, when domestic workers become old or injured, they are fired, without a pension or adequate income support. This can and must be redressed,” explained Isabel Ortiz, Director of the ILO Social Protection Department in a press release on the launch of the report, Social protection for domestic workers: Key policy trends and statistics. Domestic work is considered a sector that is difficult to cover, partly because work is performed in private households and frequently for more than one employer. The occupation is also characterized by high job turnover, frequent in-kind payments, irregular wages and a lack of formal work contracts. “Given that it is predominantly a female workforce highly subject to discrimination as well as social and economic vulnerability, policies to extend social protection to domestic workers are key elements in the fight against poverty and the promotion of gender equality,” said Philippe Marcadent, Chief of the ILO’s Inclusive Labour Markets, Labour Relations and Working Conditions Branch. While the largest gaps in social security coverage for domestic work are concentrated in developing countries – with Asia and Latin America representing 68 per cent of domestic workers worldwide – the study finds that social protection deficits for domestic workers also persist in some industrialized countries. In Italy, for example, some 60 per cent of domestic workers are not registered with, or contributing to, social security systems. In Spain and France, 30 per cent of domestic workers are excluded from social security coverage.Social security is a human right for all The study underscores that “there is no justification for domestic workers to remain excluded from social security, which is a human right for all.” Senior ILO Economist Fabio Duran-Valverde stressed: “Looking at ways to improve the current coverage, there is no single protection model that works best for domestic workers everywhere. But mandatory coverage (instead of voluntary coverage) is a crucial element for achieving adequate and effective coverage under any system.” However, because of the uniquely vulnerable situation of domestic workers, mandatory coverage will not be effective alone. Strategies should include – among other measures – fiscal incentives, registration plans, awareness-raising campaigns targeting domestic workers and their employers as well as service voucher mechanisms. Domestic work should also be integrated into broader policies aimed at reducing informal work. The study also warns that migrant domestic workers – currently estimated at 11.5 million worldwide – often face even greater discrimination. Around 14 per cent of countries whose social security systems provide some type of coverage for domestic workers do not extend the same rights to migrant domestic workers. read more