CALGARY — Suncor Energy Inc. is making good on its promise to return cash to shareholders, announcing a 12.5 per cent increase to its dividend as it reports fourth-quarter income that beat analyst expectations.The company says it will raise its quarterly payouts to 36 cents per share, fulfilling CEO Steve Williams’ vow in November to increase dividends and share buybacks in 2018 as production rises from its new Fort Hills oilsands mine in northern Alberta and Hebron oil project off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.Canada’s largest energy company by market capitalization reported operating earnings of $1.3 billion or 79 cents per share in the last three months of 2017, compared with $636 million or 38 cents a year ago, thanks to stronger oil prices, lower upstream exploration costs, better refinery utilization and higher refinery profit margins.Net earnings of $1.382 billion or 84 cents per share were up from $531 million or 32 cents in the year-earlier period.Funds from operations reached a quarterly record of $3.0 billion, versus $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016.Suncor said its Fort Hills project has cost $17.16 billion to bring to mechanical completion, slightly higher than an estimate of between $16.5 billion and $17 billion made a year ago.“With Fort Hills and Hebron both successfully commissioned and now producing oil, the safe and steady ramp-up of production is proceeding as planned,” Williams said in a statement.
The Working People’s Alliance (WPA), one of the political parties that comprises the governing coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), has raised concerns over the Mayor and City Council’s inability to honour its over $300M debt to Cevons Waste Management and Puran Brothers and the health consequences that could entail from the improper management of Georgetown’s waste.According to the party, while the smaller contractors that the Council brought on board will suffice in the short term, “they will have great difficulty in the medium and long term continuing their operations if and when they are confronted with the same conditions which negatively impacted the operations of Cevons and Puran Brothers.”The WPA says it is calling on “Central Government to take immediate steps to ensure the safety, health and well being of citizens of Georgetown in this period of grave uncertainty engendered by the inability of the Council to deal with the problem.”See their full statement below:The WPA is deeply concerned that the Georgetown City Council’s inability to honour its financial obligations to Cevons Waste Management and Puran Brothers has the potential of endangering the health and lives of citizens.On this occasion the problem is propelled by the inability of the administration at City Hall, which is headed by Town Clerk Royston King, to effectively manage the resources of the Council. The failure of the Council to meet its financial commitments to the garbage collectors has resulted in Cevons and Puran Brothers withdrawing their services. This is not the first occasion that this course of action has been taken by these garbage collectors.WPA believes that, notwithstanding the fact that there has been an announcement from the Town Clerk’s office of an agreement with a number of small contractors who will be collaborating with the Council’s waste collection department to address the situation, residents of Georgetown and its environs are very worried about the possible negative impact to their health as a result of the approach of the Council’s administrators to payment of garbage collectors.WPA calls on Central Government to take immediate steps to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of citizens of Georgetown in this period of grave uncertainty engendered by the inability of the Council to deal with the problem.WPA uses this opportunity to warn the public that while we believe that small contractors could be effective in the short term, they will have great difficulty in the medium and long term continuing their operations if and when they are confronted with the same conditions which negatively impacted the operations of Cevons and Puran Brothers.WPA is of the view that the problems of the Georgetown City Council are partly rooted in the shortfall of revenue and the poor performance of its top administrators for a number of years. The continued existence of these factors has eliminated any chance of the Council arriving at a solution to its many problems and must be addressed. WPA strongly believes that a long term solution to the administrative shortfall in the Council is critical to a more enlightened/professional approach to addressing the problems of the Council. While we do not see this being addressed with the urgency it deserves we wish to propose that the Council adopts a three prong approach which involves(a) immediately re-engaging the large contractors, with the issue of outstanding and current payments not only talked about as being allotted a high priority but the Council must ensure that payment timelines are kept;(b) the continued employment of small contactors with payment schedules being kept; and(c) the council must move expeditiously to develop its own capacity to actively participate in the garbage collection exercise in Georgetown. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCevons, Puran Brothers to resume collection after meeting with Central Govt, M&CCDecember 8, 2018In “Business”Small contractors to step in if Puran, Cevons halt services – Solid Waste DirectorNovember 24, 2018In “Business”Owed for over 6 moths, Puran, Cevons pull services from M&CCNovember 27, 2018In “Business”