LOS ANGELES, Calif. - If you're about to Google Jimmy Kimmel, beware.
Computer security company McAfee says the talk show host is the most dangerous celebrity to search for online.
The company said Tuesday that a search for Kimmel carries a 19 per cent chance of landing on a website that has tested positive for spyware, viruses or malware. The company has used its own site ratings to make the determination for the past eight years.
Other celebrities McAfee deems dangerous this year include Ciara, Flo Rida, Bruce Springsteen, Chelsea Handler and Christina Aguilera.
Kimmel said on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Tuesday that he can't believe a kid who played the clarinet and carried a briefcase to junior high school grew up to be the most dangerous celebrity of 2014.
WINNIPEG - Manitoba's deficit was slightly higher than expected last year, says a report that is bound to provide ammunition to the opposition parties.
The annual public accounts document released Tuesday shows the deficit for the 2013-14 fiscal year was $522 million â€” $4 million higher than budgeted. The report, approved by the auditor general, is the final verdict on the year's fiscal numbers.
Expenses were higher than expected in some areas, such as auto insurance claims at Crown-owned Manitoba Public Insurance due to a long cold winter with icy roads. On the plus side, it was a good year for crops, and retail sales were up as well.
Finance Minister Jennifer Howard said the government stayed close to its target while spending money on infrastructure and job creation.
"We have managed to stay on track by focusing our resources on jobs, infrastructure and the health and education services that families count on."
But the extra red ink may raise more concerns about the NDP government's promise to balance its budget by 2016-17, which is an election year. The province has been running deficits since 2009 and earlier pushed back a promise to be in the black by 2014.
Last month, Moody's downgraded Manitoba' fiscal outlook. The credit rating agency cited concerns the government might not meet its target.
Tuesday's report showed the provincial net debt jumped by $1.4 billion to $17.3 billion. As a percentage of GDP, it increased to 28.8 per cent from 27.3. As a percentage of government revenues, it moved up to 122 per cent from 117.
The government has defended its deficits as the best way to ride out the global economic slowdown. Howard has repeatedly said the Opposition Tories would implement deep spending cuts if elected, while the NDP believes spending has stimulated job growth and kept the provincial economy growing.
To that end, the government also released a report Tuesday to show how it has spent money raised from last year's controversial decision to raise the provincial sales tax to eight per cent from seven. The New Democrats promised to use all the extra cash for core infrastructure such as roads and bridges.
The government raised $190 million in the last fiscal year from the tax increase, the report said. Infrastructure spending increased by $115 million, but the province said the unused money will be carried forward and spent in future years.
Jon Gerrard, a Liberal member of the legislature, said the government is misleading people by saying the infrastructure money has been set aside for future use.
Given the fact the NDP ran a deficit, "all the tax revenues raised in 2013-2014 were spent. They spent the $75 million on other items," Gerrard wrote in a statement.
TORONTO - Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:
Toronto Stock Exchange (14,960.51, down 16.41 points):
B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO). Miner. Down one cent, or 0.44 per cent, to $2.28 on 11 million shares.
Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace. Up three cents, or 0.80 per cent, to $3.77 on 8.2 million shares.
Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU). Oil and gas. Up 30 cents, or 0.75 per cent, to $40.53 on 5.1 million shares.
Carlisle Goldfields Ltd. (TSX:CGJ). Miner. Down 0.5 cents, or 16.67 per cent, to 2.5 cents on 5 million shares.
Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Insurance. Down nine cents, or 0.42 per cent, to $21.54 on 3.9 million shares.
Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX:YRI). Miner. Down seven cents, or 1.03 per cent, to $6.72 on 3.9 million shares.
Companies reporting major news:
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (TSX:CP). Transportation. Up $3.85, or 1.68 per cent, to $232.43 on 586,165 shares. The Calgary-based company has received approval to more than double the amount of stock it can purchase under its 2014-15 share buyback program, having reached the maximum available under the initial plan. The company will now be able to repurchase and cancel up to 12.65 million common shares by mid-March 2015 â€” an increase of 140 per cent from the previous limit.
Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Oil and gas. Down 20 cents, or 0.37 per cent, to $53.61 on 2.1 million shares. The company is looking to diversify beyond its core North American oil shipping business, eyeing opportunities to grow its presence outside of Canada and the United States and invest in more natural gas pipelines and power generation. CEO Al Monaco told shareholders Tuesday its vast North American oil network will contribute the "lion's share" of earnings through 2018, but Enbridge will look for ways to become a bigger player in areas that only contribute about 10 per cent of its earnings today.
Sherritt International Corp. (TSX:S). Miner. Down 39 cents, or 11.17 per cent, to $3.10 on 2.4 million shares. The Toronto-based company has released new reserve and resource estimates for the Ambatovy mining project in Madagascar, showing increased economically viable tonnage but lower nickel and cobalt ore grades. Ambatovy is one of the largest holdings for the company, which co-owns the mining operation with Sumitomo of Japan, Korea Resources, and Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) Engineering. Down 15 cents, or 0.29 per cent, to $51.57 on 331,593 shares.
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Joe Scarborough's next book will be personal.
The "Morning Joe" host and former Republican congressman has a deal with Weinstein Books for a memoir scheduled to come out next fall. The publisher told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the book doesn't yet have a title.
According to Weinstein, Scarborough will focus on fatherhood, from stories about his father to reflections on being a parent himself. He will also discuss his political career and his years as a commentator.
Scarborough's previous books include "The Right Path: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered Politics â€” and Can Again" and "The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America's Promise."
MONTREAL - Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says the decline in metal prices will not stop the revival of the Liberals' northern development plan.
Couillard told a business crowd Tuesday the government should take advantage of the situation to be ready when the recovery in the market comes.
"We shouldn't stop developing our resources when the cycle is down," Couillard said. "Otherwise, we will be overtaken by our competitors."
The Plan nord development project was announced in 2011 by then premier Jean Charest, who hoped to make it a cornerstone of his political legacy.
The government estimated at the time it would generate returns of $80 billion from public and private investments during a 25-year period as well as creating 20,000 jobs.
Couillard did not indicate if he has the same goals, saying his vision of the plan is spread over the next 20 years and he did not want to risk making long-term predictions.
The government will kick in about $63 million to the Plan nord fund this year, with the total amount in the fund rising to $2 billion by 2035.
Asked later by reporters about the amount being invested while his government was tightening spending, Couillard said it's worth the effort.
"There is always a risk with industrial projects," the premier said. "But one thing is certain â€” people will always need iron ore. A cycle is a cycle. One day it is lower, another day it is higher."
He did say he believes it is possible to stimulate private-sector interest through investments in infrastructure, such as the development of roads in Quebec's north and the negotiation of hydroelectric power rates.
Couillard pointed to a partnership between the province and mining company Stornoway for the extension of Highway 167 to the site where the company operates a diamond mine. That cost the province about $300 million.
"You have to make recovery efforts but at the same time you have to send a message," Couillard said.
The price of many metals, including iron ore and gold, has hit a low point in the last five years partly because of a drop in demand in some emerging countries.
As well, in recent years China's economic growth has fallen below 10 per cent and several economic indicators point to a slowdown in demand from that country.
Couillard is optimistic that prices will rebound soon.
He took a shot at the previous Parti Quebecois government, saying it had sent an economic message that hindered the development of northern Quebec.
Charest, who was also in attendance at the Objectif nord forum, said his government had provided for price fluctuations in metals prices when the Plan nord was conceived.
"There will always be cycles," he said. Now we're in a cycle where resources are down. We knew that when we designed the Plan nord."
Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Sept. 22-28. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership.
1. NFL Football: New Orleans at Dallas, NBC, 22.68 million.
2. "The Big Bang Theory," (Monday, 8:30 p.m.), CBS, 18.24 million.
3. "NCIS," CBS, 18.23 million.
4. "The Big Bang Theory," (Monday, 8 p.m.), CBS, 18.03 million.
5. "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Game Show," NBC, 17.57 million.
6. "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 17.23 million.
7. NFL Football: N.Y. Giants at Washington, CBS, 16.29 million.
8. "How to Get Away With Murder," ABC, 14.34 million.
9. "Scorpion," CBS, 13.83 million.
10. NFL Football: Chicago at N.Y. Jets, ESPN, 13.27 million.
11. "The Voice," (Tuesday), NBC, 13.18 million.
12. "Football Night in America," NBC, 13.01 million.
13. "The Voice," (Monday), NBC, 12.95 million.
14. "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 12.76 million.
15. "Madam Secretary," CBS, 12.72 million.
16. "The Black List," NBC, 12.34 million.
17. "Scandal," ABC, 12.16 million.
18. "Modern Family," ABC, 11.38 million.
19. "The Good Wife," CBS, 11.09 million.
20. "Black-ish," ABC, 11.04 million.
ABC and ESPN are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; CBS is a division of CBS Corp.; Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox; NBC is owned by NBC Universal.
TORONTO - The Toronto stock market registered a minor loss on the last day of third quarter trading Tuesday as resource stocks suffered amid weakness in the Canadian and Chinese economies.
The S&P/TSX composite index gave back 16.41 points to 14,960.51. A string of reverses this month centred on economic worries and the timing of future rate hikes resulted in the main Toronto index chalking up a 4.26 per cent loss, its first monthly decline in four months.
The Canadian dollar was down 0.37 of a cent to a fresh, six-month low of 89.29 cents US.
Statistics Canada reported that gross domestic product was flat during July following a 0.3 per cent rise in June, below an expected gain of 0.2 per cent.
U.S. indexes were lower amid other data showing deteriorating consumer confidence. The New York-based Conference Board's index fell to 86 during September from 93.4 in August.
The Dow Jones industrials were down 28.32 points to 17,042.9, ending the month with a small loss. The Nasdaq declined 12.46 points to 4,493.39 while the S&P 500 index shed 5.51 points to 1,972.29.
HSBC Corp.â€™s monthly purchasing managersâ€™ index showed that Chinaâ€™s manufacturing activity in September held steady at the previous monthâ€™s low level, indicating the worldâ€™s second-largest economy faces risks to growth. The index came in at 50.2. Anything below 50 indicates contraction.
Other Chinese data this month reported declining industrial production, lower property prices, weaker imports and pressure on factory prices, all of which added to concerns that outside of the U.S., global growth is faltering badly.
"Without a doubt, we have slowing global economies and part of that is a deterioration in the rate of growth in China," said Tim Caulfield, co-lead manager of the Franklin Bissett Canadian Equity Fund. "And we have seen that weigh heavily on energy and materials equities in September."
Traders have also been concerned that an improving American economy could persuade the U.S. Federal Reserve to move on raising interest rates sooner than expected next year.
Positive U.S. economic data and Fed speculation have also helped strengthen the U.S. currency, which in turn have depressed commodity prices during September.
A stronger greenback makes it more expensive for holders of other currencies to buy oil and metals, which are U.S.-dollar-denominated.
The TSX is still up about 10 per cent for the year as Caulfield observed that the TSX has registered gains in 11 of the past 12 months.
"So when we do see a pullback, itâ€™s not entirely surprising given the extent of the advance that we have seen in the current bull market."
The energy sector fell 0.8 per cent while November crude in New York tumbled $3.41 to US$91.16. Lower demand and a glut of supply sent oil tumbling five per cent this month to its lowest closing price since November 2012.
The base metals sector on the TSX was down 0.6 per cent while December copper gave back five cents to US$3.01 a pound as lower demand pushed the metal, viewed as an economic barometer, down five per cent this month.
The gold sector moved down 1.35 per cent as December gold faded $7.20 to US$1,211.60, losing almost six per cent this month amid low inflation readings in most parts of the globe.
REGINA - Premier Brad Wall says Saskatchewan is looking to triple its exports to Asia by 2020 to keep in line with recommendations from a report released on Tuesday.
The Saskatchewan-Asia Advisory Council made 45 suggestions such as more Asian language studies in schools and increased recruitment of international post-secondary students from that continent.
"There are some pretty bold recommendations," said Wall, who added that the province has already increased its role in Asian markets.
"Lest anyone doubt that this is possible, consider that between 2008 and 2012, Saskatchewan exports to China grew from $1.2 billion to $2.5 billion."
The council, formed in May 2013 to provide advice on Saskatchewan's trade with Asia, reports that Asian countries have the highest demand for provincial products.
It warns that Canada is lagging behind countries such as the United States, New Zealand and Australia.
Recommendation include the province creating project proposals for at least 10 major investment opportunities for Asian entrepreneurs to consider.
Council chairman Grant Kook, who is CEO of Westcap Mgt. Ltd. based in Saskatoon, said Asia is set to account for half of the world's global domestic product by 2050. He suggests Saskatchewan can reap the economic benefits by attracting Asian investment.
"There is a lack of urgency in national efforts to enhance and transform our Asian relationships," Kook said. "We believe Saskatchewan can and should lead the nation in Asian engagement."
The report says Saskatchewan's trade in 2013 with Asia was at an all-time high of $6.6 billion in exports to major partners such as India, Indonesia, China and Japan.
It recommends Mandarin language programs in schools, starting at the primary level, and calls for efforts to double Saskatchewan's international post-secondary recruitment by 2020, with a focus on Asian students.
"We're going to be careful about any major curriculum changes," said Wall, who added that extracurricular programs are one possible option for increasing the presence of Mandarin at the grade-school level.
"This is the language of the economy and jobs and prosperity for the province as well."
The province currently is seventh in Canada in terms of international student recruitment. Kook would like to see that improved and also wants better retention of foreign students following their studies.
"As we expend those dollars, we need to be more efficient and retain them."
Saskatchewan's immigration priorities also need to be refocused, said Kook, who suggested that export-driven entrepreneurs from Asia should make up five per cent of the Saskatchewan's immigrant nominee program.
Wall said along with managing trade relationships, it's essential to prioritize the logistics of the agricultural industry to keep the province internationally competitive.
Earlier this year, western Canadian farmers faced long delays to transport grain due to a railway bottleneck.
"We saw with the grain transportation backlog this last spring what happened. We lost Japan as a customer," the premier said.
"If anybody needed to be shocked a little bit about the impact of logistics on our markets, they need look no further than that."
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar closed lower Tuesday as economic growth figures for July came in weaker than expected.
The loonie was down 0.37 of a cent to a fresh, six month low of 89.29 cents US after Statistics Canada reported that gross domestic product was flat in July following a 0.3 per cent rise in June. Economists had expected that GDP growth would come in at 0.2 per cent.
The Canadian currency was also pressured by a greenback that has steadily appreciated this month amid positive American economic data and speculation about when the U.S. Federal Reserve may start to raise interest rates.
The currency has tumbled about two U.S. cents this month, pushing it to its lowest levels since the end of March.
Markets have generally looked for the Fed to raise rates around the middle of 2015, although the U.S. central bank has said its move will depend on economic data rather than a schedule.
Traders are looking for reassurance 'hat U.S. job growth continues to strengthen.
Markets looked for the U.S. government to report Friday that the American economy created about 210,000 jobs during September. It is also possible that the disappointing August report will be revised upward.
Canadian job figures for September come out Oct. 10.
The commodity-sensitive Canadian currency has also been pressured by prices that have weakened because of the rising U.S. dollar and weak Chinese data.
A stronger greenback makes it more expensive for holders of other currencies to buy oil and metals which are U.S.-dollar-denominated.
On Tuesday, HSBC Corp.â€™s monthly purchasing managersâ€™ index showed that Chinaâ€™s manufacturing activity in September held steady at the previous monthâ€™s low level, indicating the worldâ€™s second-largest economy faces risks to growth. The index came in at 50.2. Anything below 50 indicates contraction.
At the same time, hopes for further stimulus from the European Central Bank rose after data showed that inflation across the 18 European Union countries that use the euro dipped further toward zero in September. Eurostat says that consumer prices in the eurozone rose only 0.3 per cent in the year to September against the previous monthâ€™s 0.4 per cent.
And in the U.S., other data showed deteriorating consumer confidence. The Conference Board's index fell to 86 during September from 93.4 in August.
Commodity prices also declined Tuesday as November crude in New York tumbled $3.41 to US$91.16. Lower demand and a glut of supply sent oil tumbling five per cent this month to its lowest closing price since November 2012.
December copper gave back five cents to US$3.01 a pound as lower demand pushed the metal viewed as an economic barometer down five per cent this month.
December gold faded $7.20 to US$1,211.60, losing almost six per cent this month amid low inflation readings in most parts of the globe.
NEW YORK, N.Y. - No one watches live television anymore, right? Apparently, many people still do, judging by results from the first week of a new television season.
CBS, NBC and ABC all had more viewers last week than during the first week of the 2013. That's according to the Nielsen Company's measurement of people who watched the network's programs live or before midnight on the same evening. Only Fox saw its numbers slip among the four largest broadcast networks.
Five of the 20 most-watched programs were brand new. Three of them are on CBS and two on ABC. CBS' "NCIS" spinoff based in New Orleans led the way.
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Hollywood's carefully controlled system of movie rollouts is officially under siege.
Windowing â€” the practice of opening a movie first in theatres and then in other stages of home video, streaming and television release â€” has been under increasing pressure as smaller screens fight against the prominence of the theatrical big screen. Now, Netflix has fired the most notable missive across the bow of windowing, announcing plans to release a sequel to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" on the day it hits Imax theatres next August.
The film, produced by the Weinstein Co., isn't a studio production, so it's in many ways only marginally more significant than the plethora of independent films regularly released on video-on-demand. But the announcement constitutes the biggest move yet by a major digital outlet to blow up Hollywood's traditional release pattern.
"This is a very unique opportunity for somebody from the outside coming in to shake up what appears to be an increasingly antiquated release strategy," says Rich Greenfield, a media analyst for BTIG Research. "They had to get into the movie business to reduce windowing, and I think this is an important Step 1 for Netflix."
Exhibitors, in tandem with the major studios, have long sought to guard the theatrical window. On Tuesday, two of the country's largest theatre chains, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark, which both included some Imax theatres, promptly refused to carry the film.
"We will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3 inches wide on a smartphone," said Regal spokesman Russ Nunley. "We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear."
The same chains also declined to screen Warner Bros.' day-and-date release "Veronica Mars" earlier this year. Warner Bros. instead bought up the 270 AMC theatres it played in while it was also released on VOD.
The sequel "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend" is no sure bet despite the sensation of its 2000 precursor. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" won four Oscars, including best foreign-language film, and earned $214 million worldwide. The film's international appeal surely also motivated the ever-expanding Netflix, which has recently made inroads into Europe.
But sequels released so long after the original often struggle to keep audience interest. And, perhaps most importantly, "The Green Legend" will not be helmed by the acclaimed director of "Crouching Tiger," Ang Lee. Instead, it's directed by Yuen Wo-Ping, the martial arts choreographer of "The Matrix" and both parts of "Kill Bill." It's currently being shot in New Zealand.
Weinstein Co. co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said in a statement, "The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement."
Netflix has dabbled in releasing movies before, including distributing the 2013 documentary about the Egyptian revolution "The Square," which was nominated for a best-documentary Academy Award. And its most celebrated entry into original television, "House of Cards," too, has had a widespread effect in the movie business, alerting the industry to a new avenue for big-name talents such as Kevin Spacey and David Fincher.
Netflix's entry into the movie business comes at a potentially fragile time for the movie industry, following a summer in which the box office was down 15 per cent from last year. But one of the summer's buzziest successes was a smaller science-fiction thriller, "Snowpiercer," released by the Weinstein Co.' boutique label, Radius. It made nearly $11 million on VOD, more than double its theatrical revenue.
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle
HALIFAX - The European Union's ambassador says she's confident a resolution is in the works for concerns raised by Romania and Bulgaria over Canada's requirement travellers from those countries have visas.
Some diplomats fear one or both of those countries could block ratification of Canada's trade agreement with the EU if the visa requirement is not lifted.
Marie-Anne Coninsx says the visa issue is also one the EU doesn't like and that's been made clear to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"We have assurances the Canadians are working on that," Coninsx said in an interview Tuesday in Halifax.
"This is an issue that's not directly linked to the agreement, but this is something where it will have to be lifted."
Coninsx was asked whether it was time Canada dropped the visa provision.
"Yes," she said. "We hope that it will be solved in a constructive and concerted way."
Last week, the office for Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said it had nothing new to add on whether visas to Romania and Bulgaria will be removed.
Coninsx's comments followed last week's visit to Ottawa by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. Both appeared with Harper in attempt to dampen fears the deal might still be scuttled by some European countries after five tough years of negotiations.
They pledged to push for a speedy final ratification of the deal in Europe and among Canada's 13 provinces and territories.
Coninsx said the earliest that might happen under Europe's complex ratification process is 2016.
Concerns have also been raised in the German parliament over the language of the investor-state dispute mechanism contained in a leaked text of the deal.
Coninsx repeated the stance taken by the European Union's leadership during the Ottawa visit, saying that all 28 EU countries support the deal.
TORONTO - Spotify signalled on Tuesday that it's finally ready to compete in Canada with the multitude of music streaming services already on the market, including CBCMusic.ca, Deezer, Google Play Music, Rara, Rdio, Slacker and Songza.
But there's a larger foe the streaming pioneer will have to fight as it tries to sell consumers on the concept of paying a monthly subscription fee for music: YouTube.
Just ask Rdio, which launched in Canada four years before Spotify with a virtually identical service.
Back in the summer of 2010, Rdio's founders believed music fans would eagerly embrace their offer: for just $10 a month â€” about the price of purchasing a single album â€” users could stream or download millions of songs to listen to on a computer or mobile device. They could have access to just about every song and album in the world â€” as long as they continued paying for a subscription.
Rdio has since appealed to thrifty consumers by offering some free versions of the service, which are subsidized by ads. But four years after it launched, Canadians are still not fully aware of what the company does, admits Rdio CEO Anthony Bay.
But he has a new sales pitch he hopes might work.
"What we found is if you say, 'It's like Netflix for music, except it has everything,' people get it. But it is clearly not as widely distributed and understood. That's been a little bit of a surprise," says Bay.
"I think once people get it, it is a remarkable value when you think you can essentially have everything on iTunes for $10 a month. The concept of Netflix caught on pretty quickly in Canada, and if you talk to Canadians about Netflix, people know what it means. If you talk to people about subscription music, in a sense they don't."
According to a telephone survey conducted for the Media Technology Monitor late last year, nearly two-thirds of the anglophone Canadians polled said they regularly streamed music online.
But only about one in five said they used a streaming service similar to Rdio or Spotify.
The most popular source for listening to music online was YouTube, with 53 per cent of the respondents saying they streamed tunes that way.
While not elegantly organized, YouTube hosts a treasure trove of videos and audio streams for music fans to access â€” and at zero cost.
"If you look globally, the largest streaming music service is YouTube and it's free with ads and people are quite happy to listen for free on YouTube," acknowledges Bay.
Given that most subscription-based streaming services offer very similar catalogues of music at the same price, Spotify is counting on its leadership position in the global market to help court Canadians.
Spotify boasts that it is the largest on-demand music streaming service in the world with 40 million active users, including 10 million paying subscribers.
The company had signalled in 2009 that it was looking to move into Canada within months but never did.
Getting the licensing rights secured for millions of songs is always a challenge for every new market, says Andres Sehr, Spotify's marketing director. But he wouldn't say exactly why it took so long for the service to launch here. Canada is Spotify's 58th market.
"I can't really say there's anything specific that stopped us (from launching in Canada earlier), obviously we're a big global business and our priorities change a little bit," Sehr said.
"The Canadian market is really important for us, it's one of the largest music markets, and I think it's more that we wanted to make sure we got it done right and back at that time as a company it wasn't right for us."
For the Media Technology Monitor's study on streaming music trends it commissioned Forum Research Inc. to speak with 4,009 anglophones by phone between Oct. 7 and Dec. 1, 2013. The survey results are considered accurate within 1.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.
CALGARY - Enbridge Inc. is eyeing new opportunities outside of its home base of North America, including early-stage plans to build a multibillion-dollar pipeline through Colombia.
The Calgary-based company (TSX:ENB) said Tuesday it's in talks with five shippers in the South American country about building a 760-kilometre pipeline from oilfields in the interior to its west coast. From there, the crude can be exported to Asia.
The pipeline could cost around $6 billion, although a final estimate has not been pinned down, CEO Al Monaco told reporters following an investor update.
"Where we are right now is we're in the process of trying to work through the environmental work and the commercial work with these five shippers that needs to be done before we can make any kind of decision and that should hopefully happen by the end of 2015 â€” could be a little bit later than that," he said.
Monaco made his remarks after laying out for investors a $44-billion slate of projects Enbridge has in the hopper through to 2018, $33 billion of which have been commercially secured.
Enbridge is keen to diversify beyond its core North American oil shipping business. In addition to seeking out new opportunities abroad, it's also looking to build its presence in natural gas pipelines and power generation.
The company used to own pipelines in Colombia and Spain, but sold those interests several years ago to fund expansion to its North American oil network.
In addition to a potential re-entry into Colombia, Enbridge also has its sights set on Australia, said Vern Yu, Enbridge's senior vice-president of corporate development.
Yu said Enbridge will be "picky" in selecting international projects.
"Really what we're looking for is to get opportunities to replicate our business model in North America where there are strong market fundamentals in the country that we're going to invest in and the projects have the same kind of risk profile that we have here in North America."
Colombia is aiming to grow its oil production by 20 to 30 per cent over the next five years.
In Australia, opportunities would likely centre around natural gas, where production is expected to triple over the next five years.
On the gas pipeline front, Monaco said Enbridge is more inclined to build new ones from scratch, though acquiring existing infrastructure is a possibility, too.
And when it comes to power generation, Yu said Enbridge aims to double the capacity it has in its portfolio by 2018 to around 3,000 megawatts. That would require an investment of around $3 billion.
Opportunities could include gas-fired capacity in Alberta, which today is reliant on coal. The market for wind power in Texas also looks good, Yu added.
During the investor presentation, executives repeatedly spoke of how difficult it has become in recent years to build new pipeline projects.
"Executing these projects today is, make no mistake, a bigger challenge, mainly permitting delays that stem from opposition to energy and the need for regulators to really demonstrate a robust review of all projects," Monaco said.
"This is not going to get easier, so a strong project management capability is absolutely essential today."
Enbridge's Sandpiper project, which would carry crude from North Dakota oilfields to eastern markets, is the latest to encounter a delay. Minnesota regulators will be reviewing the need for the project and its route separately, rather than concurrently, pushing it back by one year.
And an Enbridge executive recently said the goal of having its controversial Northern Gateway pipeline built by 2018 is quickly evaporating, as it looks to earn support from B.C. First Nations along its route from Alberta to the West Coast.
Northern Gateway would connect 525,000 barrels of oilsands crude to a tanker port at Kitimat B.C., from which the oil would be shipped to Asia. It received a federal permit to go ahead in June, subject to 209 conditions, but Enbridge has signalled it does not intend to make a final decision to break ground any time soon.
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