Prairie briefs – for Mar. 11, 2010

North West shows profit

North West Terminal of Unity, Sask., posted net profit of $1.26 million for the year ending Oct. 31, down from $2.18 million in the previous year.

Earnings were down mainly because of costs associated with opening its 25 million litre ethanol plant, the company said in a news release.

The company posted revenue of $68.1 million, up from $59.7 million the year before.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a key business measure, were $3.57 million, down from $3.66 million the previous year.

Badlands waiting on April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s Day will be no joking matter for Badlands Railway Company.

That’s when the company expects to find out from Canadian National Railway whether it will have a chance to buy and lease 286 kilometres of rail line in central Alberta.

Badlands Railway Company, established by local producers and investors, has until March 31 to come up with an offer to buy or lease the line.

The next day it plans to meet with CN, if it has raised enough money.

The Canadian Transportation Agency has established the net salvage value of the line to Lyalta from Oyen at $21 million, a figure Badlands officials have called unaffordable.

The value of the western section to Hanna from Lyalta was set at $13 million.

Badlands plans to offer to buy that section and obtain a 20-year lease for the remainder.

Sask. poultry laws axed in red tape reduction

Saskatchewan is eliminating regulations for the hatchery and poultry industries because they duplicate federal laws.

The government announced the move earlier this year in its Red Tape Reduction report.

The idea is to increase competitiveness and remove barriers to growth, including outdated, unnecessary regulations.

Associate deputy agriculture minister Nithi Govindasamy said the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for the hatchery and poultry sectors and the provincial regulations were redundant.

Commercial poultry processing operations will now be inspected and licensed only by federal regulators and will avoid the cost of a second licence.

Small-scale operations that don’t ship interprovincially or internationally will still be regulated by public health in Saskatchewan.

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