In the 1980s, when my wife and I were expecting our first child, we decided it was time to give up our weekly adventure at the laundromat and buy our first clothes washer: a used Maytag. It was rugged and generally dependable despite its age, but it had a big drawback: it used about 50 gallons of water to wash a load of laundry. Our house was served by a spring that often ran dry in the late summer, so we had to watch our water use very carefully. It wasn’t too long before we decided to replace that Maytag.Even back then, I was a resource-efficiency fanatic, and I wanted to buy a high-efficiency washer that would use not only significantly less water but also a lot less energy–because most of the energy use of a clothes washer is to heat the water. I had done enough research on laundry appliances to know that front-loading (horizontal-axis or H-axis) washers were much more efficient than top-loading (vertical-axis or V-axis) model. Front-loaders were common in laundromats, and they dominated the market in Europe.In the U.S. residential appliance market, however, only one front-loader was on the market back then. It was made by White-Westinghouse and was far from a best-seller. I did some digging, though, and managed to order one through an appliance dealer in Brattleboro, Vermont.H-axis clothes washers are more efficient than V-axis models because the laundry doesn’t have to be all the way submerged in wash water to be cleaned. In an H-axis machine, the perforated drum holding the clothes sits in a watertight tub holding a relatively small amount of wash water and, as the drum rotates first in one direction then the other, the clothes are dipped into and out of the water. In a standard top-loader with vertical “agitator,” by contrast, to ensure that the clothes are cleaned, the drum has to be nearly full of water.As a result, most top-loading clothes washers use 40-50 gallons of water to wash a load of laundry (some new ones are better), compared with only about 20 gallons for a typical H-axis model–and according to most experts, they do a better job getting clothes clean. If you wash laundry in hot water, the less water you use, the more energy you save. In using less water, H-axis washers also require less laundry detergent, achieving additional savings. Most of them spin much faster, so they remove more moisture and you can save energy on clothes drying. Finally, because you don’t have to access the washer from the top, you can stack a washer and dryer, saving space in your house. The major downside is that you have to bend over to load and unload the washer.We were happy to save water and energy with our White-Westinghouse washer. But it did take some getting used to. It turns out that to support the heavy drum on a single bearing in the back, a large counterweight was required to keep the machine balanced. I mean really heavy!The machine had something like a 200-pound concrete mass built into it, and when it would go into the spin cycle, it sounded like a 737 about to take off. Visitors to our home, upon hearing it, would look around wondering if an airplane was about to crash into our back bathroom where the clothes washer was located.With all the vibration, the washer, despite being weighted down by a dryer sitting on top of it, would gradually “walk” across the bathroom, requiring us to periodically muscle it back into place—no easy task, given its weight. And all the vibration wore it out after not-too-many years.I’m glad to report that today’s H-axis washers are much more common and much better. The market share of H-axis washers in the U.S has grown from about 1% in 1995, to over 30% of sales today. As availability has increased, reliability has improved and costs have dropped.We replaced our old washer with the model that replaced it when Frigidaire acquired White-Westinghouse and infused European H-axis technology to their North American products. We used that washer quite successfully for perhaps a dozen years, and just replaced it a couple years ago with an even better Whirlpool Duet, which we have been highly satisfied with.I invite you to share your comments on this blog. You can also follow my musings on Twitter.
Ever wondered what it’s like to edit an animated feature? These professional video editors let you into their world.Editing an animated feature film is a long haul process which can take several years, as the film moves from animated storyboards (animatic), through story development, early animation and then final animation. In this recent #PostChat conversation, animation editor Christopher Murrie describes his work on stop-motion animation features such as Coraline and ParaNorman. This postchat conversation was one of the most active and detailed and you can read the entire thread here, definetly worth it. Thanks must go to @editorliam for putting the storify together and Jesse Averna for running #postchat!In this two part interview from AOTG.com you can hear how editor Ken Schretzmann handles the process of cutting a Pixar film. Ken has worked on several Pixar features including Toy Story 2, Monster’s Inc and Monster’s University. Another interview that is well worth checking out is this extensive article from Annellie Samuel over on the Canadian Cinema Editor’s blog, which brings together both a detailed description of the editorial process of editing an animated film, as well as great interviews with professional animation editors…Dan Lee: What I enjoy most about Animation Editorial is the Leica process or the “story reel”. I like to help tell the story (content, timing, jokes etc) with music and sound effects to really “nail” the scenes for the animators. The fast paced atmosphere of pre production is addictive and when the “colour” shows up months later it’s very satisfying to see the whole show come together. We can change the script, often “guiding” lines for a “pick up” later and change the direction of the show mush more easily then live action because nothing is actually “shot” yet. If a joke doesn’t play well, we can rewrite another one and board it quickly. If the camera work seems “clunky” we can re block it. A large degree of creativity exists in cartoons because if we can imagine it we can sketch it and put it in the show!UK based animation editor Judith Allen shared this excellent breakdown of what it’s like to edit an animated children’s TV series. What is especially useful about her post is the list of time-coded changes that will help you see just how many tiny details change over the course of a sequence being completed. Judith has also put together a detailed 3 part series on what her day to day work as an animation editor involves, and how that fits into whole creative process.At every stage in the edit, the considerations from previous stages should be taken into account. Blocking or animation may reveal problems with a camera angle (set during layout), while animation can fix or break the relationships between characters and objects. Ideas come forward about how to better relay a thought, and timing needs adjusting or dialogue needs replacing which was set during the animatic stage. As with all creative processes, especially those so heavily collaborative, flexibility is key.Editing Animation Part 1 – Editing the AnimaticEditing Animation Part 2 – Editing The AnimationEditing Animation Part 3 – The Final StagesAnimation Tips From Pro AnimatorsFrench animator Patrick Guisiano shared some key lessons he learned while working on Epic at Blue Sky Studios. It’s a fantastic window into the multifaceted world of a working animator’s life; having to combine personal performance, director’s notes, diverse visual references and more into one complex shot:Jeff Gabor, an animator who worked on Ice Age 4 Continental Drift, shared this ‘progression reel’ which demonstrates how much a shot can evolve from the original storyboards, low res first version to the final cinematic shot. He also worked on Epic for Blue Sky Studios and here you can see a quad view of the various stages of his work:If you’re sitting on an idea for an animated feature film, then M Dot Strange’s presentation at LACPUG should inspire you to get on with it and make something happen. M Dot Strange is a one man cinema machine, having created three full length animated feature films by himself:A Beginners Guide to AnimationLastly, if you’ve never fully understood the animation process then this short animation will take you through the process of creating an animated advert in 4 minutes.
DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers And not forgetting Serbia, who along with Gregg Popovich’s young Team USA were the favourites in China but were also surprise victims in the quarter-finals.The Tokyo Games are just over 10 months away and after some downtime following their exertions at the World Cup, teams will begin training their sights on next summer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40“It’s exactly what I knew it to be because I’ve been involved with it before and in this day and age basketball in other countries is not a secret,” Popovich said after his team’s disappointing seventh-placed finish.“So it’s not like there’s an epiphany or revelation to be made. Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Rubio described the Spain team as “a family”.In contrast, the US roster was one of the youngest in China and was thrown together at the last minute. The players were still getting to know each other as the tournament began.“We were not the tallest or most talented, or in the odds when the tournament started, but we worked hard,” said Spain’s coach Sergio Scariolo, an assistant at NBA champions the Toronto Raptors.“They didn’t lose faith in themselves, and basketball rewarded them.”Disappointment fires AustraliaAustralia brought the Americans’ run of 78 consecutive wins in major competitions and exhibition games to an end just before the World Cup, a forewarning of what was to come.The Boomers led Spain for much of their thrilling semi-final, only to lose in double overtime. They similarly ran out of gas in their bronze-medal match against France.It left Australia still searching for a medal in the worlds or Olympics — a barren run that they hope they can finally snap next summer.Mitch Creek, their forward, hopes that the Boomers will have all their players for Tokyo — they were missing Philadelphia 76ers Jonah Bolden and Ben Simmons in China.“This team is going to be a very powerful team when it comes to the Olympic Games,” he warned.The Australians are still simmering from their one-point defeat to Spain in the bronze-medal match at Rio 2016. “We haven’t forgotten about the previous Olympics, the fourth place there,” he said.“And we’re certainly not going to forget about this World Cup campaign.“So there’s a lot we can take out of this and build upon.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Becoming his own man “There are wonderful teams and wonderful coaches all over the world so there’s no surprise in any of that.”If the United States can convince the likes of double gold medallist LeBron James to play in Tokyo, they will be favourites to make it four Olympic titles in a row.But it remains to be seen whether the flak flying Team USA’s way after the China debacle scares the A-listers away or stings them into action.‘Spain not the most talented’Spain’s World Cup triumph, sealed with a comprehensive 95-75 victory over surprise finalists Argentina on Sunday in Beijing, was built on defence and teamwork honed from playing together down the years.They also had Ricky Rubio, the Phoenix Suns point guard who was named tournament MVP, and the experience and international knowhow of Marc Gasol.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue This jewelry designer is also an architect View comments UP’s Kobe Paras just relishing ‘rare’ fourth chance to play college hoops LATEST STORIES Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Spain’s players celebrate with their winning trophy on the podium at the end of the Basketball World Cup final game between Argentina and Spain in Beijing on September 15, 2019. (Photo by WANG Zhao / AFP)The Tokyo 2020 Olympics basketball suddenly looks wide open after reigning champions the United States suffered their worst World Cup, Spain triumphed and Argentina surprised.World Cup bronze medallists France, and Australia, who were edged out of the medals but pushed eventual winners Spain all the way in the semi-finals, will also be in contention.ADVERTISEMENT
Continue Reading Previous Engineering group seeks to push 1mW AI to the edgeNext GrammaTech: best practice guidelines to deliver safe and secure software systems Computers for use in vehicles must naturally be particularly robust, vibration-free and impact-resistant and designed for direct connection to the vehicle’s battery. The new vehicle controller, the POC-351VTC from Acceed, is equipped to meet precisely these criteria, additionally providing a GigE port, an integrated CAN bus as well as the option to add up to four radio modules per plug-in card in addition to two PoE ports with 25 watts’ output.The POC-351VTC is an ultra-compacter, fanless vehicle PC based on the Intel high-performance quad core Atom processor E3950 von Intel (Apollo Lake) with TDP = 12W. The controller in its robust full metal housing is equipped with three GbE ports, two of which are with PoE and can be ideally used for connecting cameras used in-vehicle. The insulated CAN bus, which is also integrated, simplifies all communication connections in the vehicle, saving time and cost-intense laying of complicated wiring harnesses.In order to easily supply devices via the vehicle battery, a wide range for input voltage is important for operation in vehicles. The POC351VTC accepts 8 to 35 V direct current. The power supply can be coupled with the ignition and can switch independently from this by setting delay times. The battery voltage is monitored simultaneously. The controller is approved for use in vehicles and meets the requirements of the standards EN 55032 and EN 55024.In addition to the three GigE interfaces (of which two are with PoE), the POC351VTC has respectively two USB 3.0 and USB2.0 ports as well as several configurable serial interfaces. Three mPCIe sockets and an M.2 socket, each with USIM support are available, in order to additionally equip the controller with corresponding modules um for communication via radio networks (4G, 3G, WLAN, GPS). The Mini PCI Express sockets can alternatively be used for other cards and tasks. With this large number of fast interfaces and expansion options, it is possible to realise the most varied vehicle applications. The housing design which was specially developed for robust use in buses, trucks or FTS ensures safe heat dissipation via the extensive aluminium comb and also enables the fanless computer to function stably, also in a wide temperature range.Two of the serial interfaces, the audio connections, the I/O port for respectively four digital inputs and outputs and the CAN bus port are placed on the narrow sides of the very compact housing with its dimensions of 153x108x56. In addition to the DVI/VGA socket, the further serial interfaces, all the communication interfaces and the input for the power supply are located on the long side. The SIM card plug-in, also located on a narrow side, is easily accessible. Operation with an installed SSD is permissible at an ambient temperature range from -25 to +70°C with a humidity of 10 to 90%.As matching accessories mSATA SSDs with 64 or 128GB memory and the pre-installed operating system Windows 10 IoT are available from Acceed, as are special power supplies and assembly kits. Moreover, as a special service, Acceed offers full ready assembly, also in larger quantities and provides fully equipped devices in accordance with customer requirements, ready for use.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules
Figure 2: Battery in an EV. (Source: Nissan)Smart ChargingBatteries are the key challenge for running electric vehicles. Several studies address the issue by highlighting how batteries and smart charging could also be the key to reducing energy sector emissions, thus increasing efficiency. The main problem is the simultaneous charging of electric vehicles at the same time because it is a power and network problem. Batteries have remained an elusive problem to solve for electric vehicles, as engineers try to develop a way to make them last longer and manage their end optimally (Figure 3).Figure 3: Components of an electric vehicle.“Large-scale electric vehicles can offer ample electric storage capacity, but if all users were to load their cars in the morning or evening at the same time, the power grids would be stressed,” explains Dolf Gielen, director of the Innovation Center and IRENA technology. “Charging times are therefore fundamental.”The autonomy of an electric vehicle does not depend only on the capacity of the batteries installed, but is affected by the temperature of the environment in which it operates, the consumption of the auxiliary services on board, and the type of driver’s driving.An advanced smart charging approach is vehicle-to-grid (V2G), already tested in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Denmark; the technology allows the columns to “talk” with the networks, using the car battery it is connected to like a storage system.With V2G applications, the electric car ideally becomes a large mobile battery, powered by renewable energy produced and managed in a bidirectional way. Depending on the needs, the available energy is transferred from the house to the car or the network, with an economic return for those who supply it. In these smart grids of the future, cars will also become an essential link in the clean energy value chain.The application of V2G also leads to other advantages: In addition to reducing pollution and indirect environmental protection, there will be economic advantages both for the operator and for the vehicle owner. The energy stored in the batteries can be used to satisfy part of the local energy demand — to lower the peaks of the load profile. This reduces stress on the power plants, reduces the energy present in the distribution system, and consequently reduces losses. The lowering of the peak, therefore, allows for reducing the cost of electricity during periods of maximum load. One of the critical aspects of the development of V2G is to create and spread stable, standard overtime for communication with smart grids. The electric vehicle must integrate perfectly with the electrical system, so the charging process requires excellent communication between the vehicle, the charging column, and the network.Various studies have investigated appropriate standards for communication between the vehicle and network management systems. Various projects have examined the opportunities for using IEC 62056 DLMS/COSEM, exploiting technical aspects of the protocol for forwarding information to intelligent network management systems — such as a load balancing controller.An alternative approach is to use the IEC 61850 protocol to support communications between substation automation systems for purposes such as energy flow management among renewable energy resources. A specific extension has been proposed to allow interaction with various V2G ISO/IEC 15118 interfaces. Figure 4 shows how this reference project proposes a combination of ISO/IEC 15811 and IEC 61850 protocols to implement end-to-V2G communication.Figure 4: Vehicle charging station using V2G communication. (Source: Fraunhofer)STMicroelectronics’ ST2100 STreamPlug integrates a configurable Arm9 core capable of supporting multiple HomePlug AV or HPGP ports. The device is designed to enable a single-chip solution to various smart use cases such as EV charging. The Arm core provides sufficient processing power to host intelligent charging applications and protocol stacks such as IEC 61850 or DLMS/COSEM, as proposed for communication with intelligent network management systems (Figure 5).Figure 5: Block diagram for ST2100. (Source: STMicroelectronics)The electric vehicle scenario covers many technologies. Right now, the market is dedicating its resources to infrastructure that can support network capacity, rather than increasing overall electricity production. The use of photovoltaic energy as energy harvesting to power battery-powered cars helps make car journeys much more affordable. Electric mobility creates opportunities for new products and services that include maintenance and operation of vehicles, installation, operation, maintenance, and service of recharging points, software solutions for energy management.>> This article was originally published on our sister site, EE Times: “Smart Grid for Electric Vehicles.” Electric mobility will change the energy and automation market, contributing to significant investment in smart cities. These changes coincide with the evolution toward a cleaner, more decentralized, and digitized environment. Electric vehicle (EV) charging could create local constraints and stability problems on electricity grids and reduce the environmental benefits of electrification. Investment and infrastructure to support electric mobility will change significantly from one place to another.The infrastructure will have the objective of distributing energy — in combination with grid edge technologies, such as microgrid and intelligent buildings — and integrating it into smart grids, in order to fully exploit the flexibility of electric mobility while allowing the stability of the energy system.The battery market will make electric vehicle efficiency more convenient, and smart charging services will reduce costs. Digitization will help simplify and improve the customer experience — supporting efficient infrastructure management, as well as enabling new services such as shared mobility. And charging stations will acquire the right to become hubs for smart city services.Battery for EVOne of the main factors to take into consideration is the capacity and efficiency of the battery. The performance of the vehicle and, above all, its autonomy depend on them. The parameter that measures efficiency is given by the energy used per kilometer and is generally expressed in kWh/100 km or km/kWh. The capacity of a battery, on the other hand, expresses the amount of energy that it can hold and equals the full fuel in the tank of a traditional car; the relationship between its value and consumption indicates the average theoretical autonomy of the vehicle (Figure 1). Continue Reading Previous Logic Technology: NXP iMX8M COM board for ARM Quad-CoreNext HCC Embedded introduces SafeexFAT file system solution for failsafe data storage Figure 1: The autonomy expressed in miles varies with the capacity of the battery (kWh) for seven different efficiency values (miles/kWh) (Source: InsideEVs).The increase in battery capacity for the same size unit is the center of attention for the leading market players who want to announce greater autonomy without having to modify the vehicles substantially. A Bloomberg study, based on a survey involving 50 companies in the automotive sector and accumulators, points out that in 2010 the price of lithium batteries was well over $1,000 per kWh and that in 2025 it will reach $100 per kWh (Figure 2). Now, lithium-ion batteries guarantee to maintain an 80% efficiency for a longer duration, on average 8 years, compared to those with nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) technology. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Components, Digital
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Rating agency Moody’s has affirmed Aa1 ratings for Singapore-based port operator PSA International and PSA Corporation Limited’s Aa1 issuer rating. Additionally, the company’s outlook on all ratings is stable.The Aa1 ratings reflect PSA International’s baseline credit assessment (BCA) of a3 and the very high level of support that Moody’s believes the company’s parent Temasek Holdings will provide in the event that extraordinary financial support would be required.“PSAI’s underlying credit strengths, as reflected by its BCA, are mainly underpinned by its portfolio diversity and strong global market positions; its dominant position – via PSAC – in the Port of Singapore; as well as a track record of strong profitability and resilience to economic down-cycles,” Ray Tay, a Moody’s Vice President and Senior Credit Officer, said.“Although there are risks to throughput resulting from continued global trade tensions, PSAI and PSAC have both maintained their credit quality through past trade cycles, and we expect them to maintain resilience through the current volatility in trade.”Furthermore, PSA Corporation’s Aa1 rating reflects the company’s standalone credit assessment of a2 and uplift based on Moody’s assessment of the likelihood of a very high level of support that PSAC will receive from the Singapore Government through its parent, PSAI, in a hypothetical worst case scenario.PSAC derives considerable credit strength from its position as the dominant operator in the Port of Singapore, as well as its track record of strong profitability and resilience through past economic down-cycles, Moody’s explained.Singapore’s container port is the second-busiest globally in terms of throughput, and is strategically located on important trade routes to and from key export countries. The port is therefore an important transhipment hub for Asia.The stable outlooks reflect Moody’s expectation that PSAI’s and PSAC’s underlying businesses and financial profiles will remain steady amid current global trade headwinds and further assume the absence of any material changes to their ownership.
OTTAWA — A security executive for the internet browser company Mozilla says he was shocked by the recordings of his family that were collected and retained by Amazon’s popular Alexa voice-activated interactive speaker.Alan Davidson, Mozilla’s vice-president of global policy, trust and security, says the Amazon Echo device is a wonderful product but when he recently examined what his family’s had recorded and stored, he found it included conversations among his young children.He says none of that may be wrong or unlawful, but he says it highlights the problems with how consumers actively give consent to tech companies.Davidson says internet companies need to do more to give customers more “granular” consent options for how specific pieces of personal information are collected and used by high-tech companies.Mark Ryland, the chief security officer for Amazon Web Services, says Amazon makes it very clear that consent is part of the Alexa experience, and that customers can delete any collected data if they like.Davidson and Ryland were testifying in Ottawa before the international grand committee on big data, privacy and democracy, which includes politicians from Canada, Britain, and several other countries.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA – Nikkie Edwards and her boyfriend make about $31,000 a year, a sum that leaves them below the poverty line as defined by Statistics Canada — and in the company of another 4.8 million people, according to the latest census numbers released Wednesday.Of those, 1.2 million Canadians are children under 18 — including their 10-month-old daughter, Isabelle.The agency defines the so-called low-income measure, or LIM, as household earnings of less than half the national median income — $22,133 for a single person, or $38,335 for a family of three — as part of its latest glimpse into life in poverty in Canada.But the measure is not a perfect way of determining the poverty threshold, in part because it can’t take into account the often complex financial circumstances many families are forced into: Edwards, for instance, lives rent-free with her boyfriend’s parents.But the newest census data, based on tax information from 2015, the most recent year available, forms a baseline for the federal Liberal government, which has vowed to slash child poverty, reduce inequality and find a way to help parents like Edwards obtain better child care.Internal government estimates pegged this year’s child poverty rate at between 11.7 and 13 per cent, based on the LIM. Data for this year to measure the impact of the Liberal’s $23-billion-a-year child benefit program won’t be available for at least three more years.“There have been positive steps, as well as positive signals of what is planned to address child poverty, but there is unfinished business,” said Anita Khanna, national co-ordinator of Campaign 2000, which pushes governments to eradicate child poverty in Canada.“There is a path we can follow that can bring us to the point of eradication.”It has been 28 years since the House of Commons vowed in 1989 to end child poverty by the year 2000.Statistics Canada reported that in 2015, 17 per cent of Canadian children under age 18 lived in low-income households, a figure that has stayed virtually unchanged for a decade even as median incomes have steadily gone up across the country.“The fact that low income is stable means that people at the bottom of the (income) distribution are more or less keeping up with that growth,” said Andrew Heisz, assistant director in Statistics Canada’s income statistics division.“They’re not growing faster, but they’re not also falling behind.”In seven of Canada’s biggest cities, one in every five children was living in a low-income household in 2015.Moreover, children in lone-parent households were three-and-a-half times more likely to live in poverty than their counterparts in two-parent families, even as the number of low-income, single-parents has declined since the late 1990s.Meanwhile, the percentage of seniors living in poverty rose between 2005 and 2015, when 14.5 per cent of Canadians over 65 were living below the low-income measure, an increase from the 12 per cent recorded in 2005.Children living in resource-rich Alberta, where commodity prices fuelled some of the largest gains in median incomes nationwide, were less likely to live in low-income conditions than anywhere else in Canada — only 12.8 per cent of kids there were living in poverty.In Quebec, second behind Alberta at 14.3 per cent, studies show a robust child care and child benefits program has boosted the employment of women over 20 and helped cut low-income rates, despite the fact the province has among the lowest median income in the country.The Liberal government’s new child benefit was designed to slash child poverty rates further, particularly in places like Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which had the highest provincial child poverty rate at 22.2 per cent.In hard-hit Windsor, Ont., the child poverty rate topped out at 24 per cent, the highest of any Canadian municipality, as a result of a deep and persistent decline in the manufacturing sector.The situation has spurred Edwards, 23, to become politically active, joining the social activist group Acorn to lobby the federal government for better child care funding so struggling parents are better able to work and cover daycare costs.“I just believe that if I gave up and didn’t fight, nothing would be done,” she said. “If we keep walking away and turning the other cheek and ignoring it, things will never change.”
Rabat – For BMI Research, Morocco’s new flexible exchange rate regime signals the government’s commitment to become an investment hub in the region, and to diversify trade away from Europe.In its latest economic analysis report, entitled “Exchange Rate Liberalization Reaffirms Long-Term Commitment to Reform,” BMI a Fitch Group firm that provides macroeconomic, industry and financial market analysis, says that Morocco’s new reform is “unlikely to prompt a sharp currency sell-off, limiting near-term risks to growth and inflation.” According to the research firm, Morocco’s decision to gradually move towards a more flexible exchange rate regime “will offer crucial economic tailwinds in the years ahead.” READ ALSO: Speculations About Dirham Devaluation ‘Overblown’On January 15, the Ministry of Finance officially widened the band in which the Moroccan dirham trades against a basket of currencies, 60 percent for the euro and 40 percent for the dollar, from ±0.3 percent to ±2.5 percent. Over a 10 to 15 years time frame, the ministry explained that it will move towards a free floating currency. For BMI, this move is “likely to help the country in its efforts to attract greater investment to the kingdom and diversify trade, while the risks of disorderly depreciation are well contained given the country’s robust financial buffers.”READ ALSO: Bank Al Maghrib Sets Dirham Prices Against US DollarThe firm maintains its view “that the risks of disorderly depreciation are limited.” This view was supported by Bank Al Maghrib’s recovery in foreign currency reserves, after the delay of the first phase of the reform initially scheduled for July 2017 resulted in a sharp rush on currency fueled by market speculation against the dirham. This time around, BMI believes “that investor uncertainty has been contained, with reserves having expanded by 20.6 percent since June 2017.”READ ALSO: Moroccan Market Worried as Dirham Liberalization ApproachesIn December 2017, foreign reserves held by Morocco’s central bank amounted to USD 25.8 billion, representing an estimated 6.9 months of import cover.“This should enable the central bank to comfortably defend the currency in the years ahead,” explains the firm. Overall, BMI believes that “the gradual reform of the exchange rate regime will have a minimal impact on growth and inflation.” Beyond the reserves held by Bank Al Maghrib, Morocco’s macroeconomic backdrop remains conducive to a gradual and smooth transition towards a more flexible exchange rate. “A strengthened fiscal position, low inflation levels, and an exchange rate broadly in line with fundamentals support our view that the modest widening in the trading band will have a limited impact on the Moroccan economy in the near term.” adds BMI.READ ALSO: How Will Bank Al Maghrib Feed Trading Rooms?Morocco’s move to liberalize its currency prompted public fears of a similar scenario to that of Egypt. In this sense, BMI came to echo Bank Al Maghrib reassurance, stating that “this contrasts with the Egyptian example, where the weak economic backdrop forced the government to sharply devalue its currency in November 2016 amid the Central Bank of Egypt’s inability to defend the peg.”For BMI, this gradual liberalization is in line with Morocco’s economic ambitions, which consist in transforming the economy into an investment and trading hub between Europe and Africa. In recent year, Morocco has eased capital controls, in a bid to become more attractive for foreign investors. “The liberalization of the dirham will enable further relaxation of these currency controls over the coming years, which will be a boost for investor sentiment,” comments BMI. At a time when Morocco is seeking to increase exposure to African markets, “this move will also prove positive for trade diversification.”