Public-Private Sector Digital Currency Experiment Releases Results of Phase II

Public-Private Sector Digital Currency Experiment Releases Results of Phase II

Canada NewsWire

Project Jasper offers promise and challenges for the future of DLT

TORONTO, May 25, 2017 /CNW/ - The Bank of Canada, along with Payments Canada, R3 and seven commercial banks, today disclosed the results of phase II of Project Jasper, an experimental wholesale interbank payment system, using digital ledger technology (DLT) – the backbone of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

First launched in 2015, the project’s work is summarized in a newly-released report on the Bank of Canada’s website. The results show that, despite progress made, underpinning an entire wholesale payments system with DLT still faces many hurdles.

While the project demonstrated the ability to settle wholesale payments on a distributed ledger, and even incorporated an innovative liquidity savings mechanism, several important gaps remain.

“The bottom line is that a stand-alone DLT wholesale system is unlikely to match the efficiency and net benefits of a centralized system,” said Carolyn Wilkins, Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada.  “At its heart, there exists a fundamental inconsistency between a centralized wholesale interbank payment system and the decentralization inherent in DLT.”

This work leaves open a host of areas for future research, such as exploring the integration between Project Jasper and other types of DLT-based financial market infrastructures. Joint efforts between the public and private sector offer a way forward to do just that.

“Perhaps the biggest lesson from Project Jasper is just how valuable public-private sector collaboration can be,” said Gerry Gaetz, President and CEO of Payments Canada. “And while DLT offers potential opportunities in years to come, the current modernization of Canada’s payments systems also require partnership between the public and private sector. Through working together, we will achieve our shared vision of a system that is fast, flexible and secure, promotes innovation and strengthens Canada’s competitive position.”

Full details of the Project Jasper phase II will be shared at the Payments Canada SUMMIT today at 3:50 p.m., The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto, Ontario or view the panel discussion via live webcast (English only).

About Project Jasper
Last year, Project Jasper made headlines when it became the first known blockchain experiment to include a central bank and the private sector.  The project, which involves The Bank of Canada, Payments Canada, R3 and Canada’s seven largest commercial banks, seeks to understand how Distributed Ledger Technology might transform the future of payments ― starting with high-value clearing and settlement.  Project Jasper has gone through two phases of experimentation to date.

About Payments Canada
Payments Canada ensures that financial transactions in Canada are carried out safely and securely each day. The organization underpins the Canadian financial system and economy by owning and operating Canada’s payment clearing and settlement infrastructure, including associated systems, bylaws, rules and standards. The value of payments cleared and settled by Payments Canada in 2016 was C$51 trillion, or C$201 billion every business day. These encompass a wide range of payments made by Canadians and businesses involving inter-bank transactions, including those made with debit cards, pre-authorized debits, direct deposits, bill payments, wire payments and cheques.

SOURCE Payments Canada

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/May2017/25/c7253.html

Heritage building to be restored thanks to funding from the governments of Canada and Quebec

Heritage building to be restored thanks to funding from the governments of Canada and Quebec

Canada NewsWire

L’ISLET, QC, May 25, 2017 /CNW/ - The governments of Canada and Quebec recognize that cultural infrastructure plays a key role in developing dynamic communities and preserving Canada’s diverse heritage. To improve access to local cultural space and protect its heritage value, the Municipality of L’Islet will receive joint funding from the two governments to restore the Salle des Habitants of L’Islet-sur-Mer.

Marc Miller, Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Norbert Morin, Member of the National Assembly for Côte-du-Sud, today announced that the governments of Canada and Quebec will each contribute more than $100,000 to the project. This financial support comes from the New Building Canada Fund, Small Communities Fund–Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component. The Municipality will also invest more than $100,000, bringing the total government and municipal investment to more than $305,000.

This project will help preserve a heritage building classified under the Cultural Heritage Act, the Salle des Habitants in l’Islet-sur-Mer. This building includes a cultural facility and the Jean-Paul-Bourque Library, associated with the Réseau Biblio du Québec. The work includes repairing the universal access ramp at the library entrance and repairs to the doors, balconies and exterior cladding.

Quotes

“Investing in cultural infrastructure helps Canada preserve the experiences of its people and places, and inspires visitors to explore and understand the world around them. The governments of Canada and Quebec recognize that strategic investments in public infrastructure—including funding for cultural projects—help support dynamic communities and the creation of job opportunities that help grow the middle class.”

Marc Miller, Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“I am delighted about this project, which will improve our cultural infrastructure, and protect and enhance a heritage building with a view to sustainable development. More broadly, we are contributing to the well-being of the entire Islet community.”

Norbert Morin, Member of the National Assembly for Côte-du-Sud

“I am proud of the success of this project to restore the Salle des Habitants in L’Islet-sur-Mer. The building, classified under the Cultural Heritage Act, which also houses the library, is a valuable historical legacy for our region. Residents will now have a gathering place that will greatly enhance community life in L’Islet.”

André Caron, Mayor of L’Islet

Quick Facts

  • The Small Communities Fund is a joint federal‒provincial program coordinated by Infrastructure Canada in partnership with the provinces and territories. In Quebec, the Fund is administered by the Quebec Department of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy. The goal of this program is to provide financial support to Canadian municipalities with fewer than 100,000 residents to develop infrastructure that can enhance their cultural, sports, recreational, and tourism assets or safeguard public assets.
  • The Government of Canada will provide more than $180 billion in infrastructure funding over 12 years for public transit, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, transportation that supports trade, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
  • Budget 2017 proposes $21.9 billion to support social infrastructure in Canadian communities.

Associated Links

For more information about the government of Canada’s $180-billion+ infrastructure plan in Budget 2017: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/plan/chap-02-en.html

Federal investments in infrastructure projects in Quebec: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/map-carte/index-eng.html

The New Building Canada Plan: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/nbcp-npcc-eng.html

New Building Canada Fund, Small Communities Fund: http://www.mamot.gouv.qc.ca/infrastructures/programmes-daide-financiere/nouveau-fonds-chantiers-canada-quebec-volet-fonds-des-petites-collectivites-fpc/

 

SOURCE Infrastructure Canada

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/May2017/25/c6694.html

Bee’ah and Masdar Launch Joint Venture to Develop the First Waste-to-energy Plant in the Middle East Region

Bee’ah and Masdar Launch Joint Venture to Develop the First Waste-to-energy Plant in the Middle East Region

Canada NewsWire

  • Emirates Waste to Energy Company to treat 300,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) with its first facility.

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates, May 25, 2017 /CNW/ – Bee’ah, the country’s leading environmental management company, and Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, have formally established the joint venture Emirates Waste to Energy Company (EWEC) to develop waste-to-energy plants across the Middle East region, it was announced today.

(Photo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/516341/Bee_ah_and_Masdar_Joint_venture.jpg )

(Photo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/516340/Landmark_waste_to_energy_plant.jpg )

In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, around environmental challenges and ways of maintaining a pollution free environment, the first project will be the Sharjah Multi-Fuel Waste-to-Energy Facility. The plant will be the first in the region and will treat, within its first phase, more than 300,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) each year and have a power capacity of around 30 megawatts (MW).

Bee’ah set the ambitious target for Sharjah to achieve zero waste when the company was created back in 2007. At present, the emirate diverts 70% of its waste away from landfill. With the completion of this new facility, Sharjah will soon become the first city in the Middle East to achieve the target of 100% diversion of waste from landfill.

Bee’ah and Masdar said EWEC’s first project would leverage the strengths of both companies to pave the way for further waste-to-energy facilities in the UAE and the region, delivering commercial solutions to meet the challenge of solid waste disposal and the ever-growing demand for clean energy.

Salim Al Owais, Chairman of Bee’ah, said: “As we announce this state-of-the-art facility, it is no exaggeration to say that this is a historic day, not only for Bee’ah and Masdar, but for the whole of the UAE. Together with our strategic partner Masdar, we have set the ambitious goal of making the UAE a beacon for best environmental practices in the Middle East. We also intend to set an example to the world for how a country that has traditionally been heavily reliant on fossil fuels can embrace change and become a leader in green technology, through vision, determination and hard work.”

Al Owais’s comments were echoed by Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar.

“Masdar firmly believes in industry collaboration as the most effective way of advancing the deployment of commercially viable technologies, while supporting the UAE’s goals for sustainable economic development. Our partnership with Bee’ah was first announced during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016, and it gives me great pleasure today to see that bold statement of intent being translated into the formal launch of our joint venture Emirates Waste to Energy Company.

When it comes online, the new joint venture facility in Sharjah will be able to process as much as 300,000 tonnes of solid waste every year that would otherwise have been buried in landfill sites, thus unlocking the potential of an untapped source of energy. In addition to recovering valuable materials for recycling, the new plant will incinerate up to 37.5 tonnes of solid waste per hour, generating 30MW of energy.

The new waste-to-energy plant has been designed to meet the strictest environmental standards, complying with the European Union’s Best Available Techniques which are widely recognised as setting the worldwide standard. Its construction and the ratification of these agreements will serve to raise the UAE’s profile as a world leader in sustainability and green technology, harnessing best practices and deploying them, for the benefit of its citizens and for that of the world.

SOURCE Bee’ah

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/May2017/25/c3044.html