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Poor weather prompts temporary shutdown of all N.L. offshore rigs

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All Newfoundland and Labrador offshore facilities have been temporarily shut down as a safety precaution due to stormy seas and will not resume operations until the offshore industry regulator says it’s safe to do so.

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board confirmed the province-wide shutdown Saturday, in the wake an offshore spill that was one of the largest in the history of the N.L. industry.

Husky Energy reported Friday, after the storm, that a flowline to the SeaRose FPSO, a vessel stationed about 350 kilometres off the Newfoundland coast, leaked 250,000 litres of crude. The board is working “around the clock” to ensure appropriate response to the spill, spokesperson Lesley Rideout said.

Due to ongoing high swells, the spill has not yet been contained. A Husky spokesperson could not confirm whether the line has stopped leaking.

The board confirmed Saturday that the SeaRose FPSO, and other rigs including the Terra Nova FPSO and the Hebron platform, had suspended operations just before bad weather hit earlier in the week.

The SeaRose had begun preparing to resume operations Friday when they reported the spill.

“There are significant precautions taken prior to a storm like this,” said Rideout. “All workers are safe, which is our main priority.”

Offshore operators must obtain authorization from the board before they can continue production. Rideout said the board does not yet know when that will happen.

Lingering impact

A number of accidents — and near misses — at sea followed the mid-week battering.

On Thursday, smoke was reported on the Hebron platform and the crew ordered to muster. According to the board, the smoke came from a breaker fault from standby switchgear. No fire was detected.

Also on Thursday, a Panamanian bulk carrier called for Canadian Coast Guard assistance after it took on water and endured a power outage, but crew wrested control of the flooding and restored power late Thursday evening. Reports claiming crew had abandoned ship in lifeboats were unfounded.

On Sunday afternoon, a Husky spokesperson said the company has been conducting hourly sweeps of the White Rose field with no oil sheens currently in the immediate vicinity of the field, with water monitoring and aerial surveillance. Two sheens were reported Saturday.

“There is a sheen located approximately 50 kilometres south of the field. The Maersk Dispatcher is in the area for surveillance and wildlife monitoring. To date, there have been no reports of impacted wildlife,” said an email from Husky’s Colleen McConnell.

“Additional wildlife observers have been placed on vessels responding to the spill,” wrote McConnell, who added that the Skandi Vinland is en route to the White Rose field and would begin subsea inspections via remotely operated vehicles as soon as conditions permit.

McConnell said wildlife observers are aboard the Skandi Vinland, which arrived at the White Rose field Sunday night. The ship carries an underwater rover that will be dispatched when swells subside, she said.

A marine wildlife expert has told CBC News tens of thousands of seabirds could be at risk.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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The cost of renovating your bathroom in Toronto in 2021

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Home renovations can be a big task, especially bathroom renovations where you have to work with either an awkwardly shaped space, or one with lots of pipework and very little natural light.

Nonetheless, getting a bathroom renovation by Easy Renovation to change your existing bathroom layout, improve the ambience or add more natural skylights can be worth all the trouble. But determining how much a bathroom renovation would cost is important while setting a budget.

The pandemic has changed a lot of things with social distancing rules, working from home, and for some, being made redundant. Therefore, having a complete grasp of the financial implication of a bathroom innovation is very important.

Owning your dream bathroom can be made a reality and the good thing is, regardless of your financial situation, there are always available options. If you also decide to put up your property for sale in the future, a bathroom upgrade would be a great investment—as it would add significant value to the property. Your bathroom renovation project, like every home renovation, can either be very affordable or extravagant, but one thing is certain, you’re bound to have a more refreshed, stylish and modernistic space.  

Looking through detailed sketches of luxurious and expensive bathrooms can be quite tempting, especially when you’re on a budget. However, your bathroom can be equally transformed into something that looks just as modern, stylish and refreshing but without the heavy price tag.

Conducting a partial bathroom renovation means you only have to change a little part of your existing bathroom rather than tearing it down and starting from scratch. If you intend to carry out this type of bathroom renovation in Toronto, depending on the size of your bathroom, you can spend between $1,000 – $5,000. With a partial bathroom renovation, you can save money by tackling smaller problems that exist in your present bathroom—or you can just upgrade a few of its features.

Partial bathroom renovations are quite affordable and would leave your bathroom feeling new and stylish without being time-consuming or a financial burden—which is important considering the economic impact of the pandemic. Repainting the bathroom walls, replacing the tiles on the floor and in the shower area are examples of partial bathroom renovations which is the cheapest to accomplish.

A more expensive and popular bathroom renovation is the standard 3- or 4-piece renovation. This renovation type involves a lot more services that are not covered by a partial renovation budget. To execute a standard bathroom renovation in Toronto you need a budget of about $10,000 – $15,000.

Unlike with a partial renovation, you would have to make a lot more changes to various elements of your bathroom without the hassle of changing the overall design. You can easily restore your current bathroom into a modernistic and classy space that fits your existing style. Making changes to more aspects of your bathroom is quite easy since there is more room in your budget to accommodate it.

A standard 3- or 4-piece renovation includes everything in a partial renovation plus extras such as revamped baseboards, installing a new bathroom mirror, buying new lights, installing a new vanity, changing the toilet, and buying new shower fixtures.

If you’re one of those looking to make a complete overhaul of your existing bathroom, then the option of a complete bathroom remodel is for you.

Unlike a bathroom renovation, remodelling means a complete change of your current bathroom design and layout for one that is newer and completely unrecognizable. The possibilities when remodelling a bathroom are endless especially when you have a large budget of over $15,000. That way, you can get the opportunity to create the perfect bathroom for yourself.

In addition to all that’s available with a standard bathroom renovation, bathroom remodelling allows you to make bathtub to shower conversion, relocation of plumbing, relocation of the toilet, reframing the bathroom and even relocating the shower.

In conclusion, a bathroom renovation can be a very important upgrade to your home and depending on the features that you decide to include, in addition to the size of your bathroom, this would influence the total cost of the project.

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7 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers In Calgary

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Buying a house for the first time can be overwhelming to say the least. If you’re wondering what neighbourhood to go with, what you can afford, or even how to just get started on the process, let us take some stress off your hands! We’ve teamed up with Hopewell Residential to give you 7 tips to ensure the home you end up with is everything you dreamed of.

Hopewell Residential is a five-time Developer of the Year award winner, so their expertise is second-to-none in Calgary and beyond. Who better to learn home-buying tips from than the homebuilders themselves?

Create a checklist of needs & wants

This is a biggie. When you’re buying your very first home, you’ll want to weigh your needs vs. your wants. Ensuring you have what you love in your first home is a big, big deal.

What should you do? Easy. Set up a list of needs and a list of wants, but be pretty strict with yourself, and make sure you take your lifestyle into consideration. With the increase in remote work over the past year, it’s important to keep in mind that a home office or flex room might just be the key to maximizing at home happiness. Especially if you’re thinking you might be expanding your family later on, spare rooms and extra space is key (but more on that later!).

Or for instance, you might need a home in an area with a high walkability score, but you want to be close to certain amenities. Set yourself up with the right level of compromise and the number of homes that actually fit your ‘perfect’ idea will skyrocket.

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‘Don’t give up’: Ottawa Valley realtors share statistics, tips for homebuyers in ‘extreme’ sellers market

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The real estate market in the Ottawa Valley can be summed up this way: people from far and wide are in a buying frenzy, but there’s hardly anything to buy at the “store,” and the limited inventory is overpriced.

This “stampede” — as one realtor described it — will affect rural towns as residents grapple with finding affordable housing and agonize over their inability to purchase homes in their price range.

“We are seeing a lack of inventory in all price ranges,” said Laura Keller, a real estate agent from Carleton Place.

Helen Vincent, a Renfrew realtor, said she’s never seen a market like this in her 36 years of practice. “We postpone offers for four to five days in order to get all the buyers,” she said.

Multiple offers — between seven and 10 — became the norm, with cash offers and no conditions, as buyers faced bidding wars. “In Ottawa, they have up to 50 (offers),” she added.

“It’s very stressful. You’re going to get nine (people) ticked off, and one happy. So many people are disappointed,” Vincent said.

Terry Stavenow, an Arnprior realtor for 40 years, said that “the pent-up need took over with inventory going low. It made a stampede on everything that was available.“

“Brand new housing — it’s very much gone. Several building developers are rushing to get inventory. They usually don’t do construction in the winter months,” said Stavenow.

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