Wednesday, December 31, 2008

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I hope you enjoy this modern version of a classic. I am thinking of you all and want you to know that you are daily in my thoughts and prayers. May this New Year be a blessed and joyful one for all.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

December 18, 2008


Winnipeg, MB – Mutually committed to improving public transit infrastructure in Winnipeg, the Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of John Baird, Canada’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, together with Steve Ashton, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs for Manitoba, and Acting Deputy Mayor Gord Steeves on behalf of Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz today announced that a state-of-the-art audio/video surveillance system is being installed in City buses.

The new surveillance system has already been installed on 130 buses to assist Winnipeg Transit in providing a safer environment for their customers and employees. It is anticipated that the City’s entire fleet of 535 buses will have the cameras installed by the end of 2009.

“The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the safety of Canadians,” said Minister Toews. “The investment in on-board surveillance cameras will better protect both Winnipeg transit users and city bus drivers, as well as deter potential criminal activity.”

“Public transit supports the province’s vision for a clean and green economy by providing Manitobans with alternative transportation choices,” said Minister Ashton. “The presence of cameras should help to ensure safe, quality transportation on Winnipeg’s busy transit system.”

Audio/Video surveillance on buses is part of the City of Winnipeg’s ongoing “Transit Improvement Program”.
"Winnipeggers need to have confidence in a safe and reliable transit system. With increased ridership, we must continue to improve our existing transit system to capture that increase and provide positive transportation alternatives to our citizens," said Acting Deputy Mayor Gord Steeves. "By providing our transit network with this effective tool, we can provide a safer environment for both our citizens and employees."

The audio/video surveillance system is expected to increase safety on buses by acting as a deterrent to anyone with criminal intentions. It will also aid in the investigation of incidents that may have taken place. Each bus will be equipped with up to five cameras and a digital recording device to continuously monitor on-board activities from a variety of angles. The system also has the capability to continuously record audio. Signage will be posted inside the buses to advise occupants their activities are under audio and video surveillance.
The funding of $2.9 million for the installation of the audio/video surveillance system is made possible through a federal-provincial partnership.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 16, 2008


The Province of Manitoba and City of Winnipeg will work together to accelerate the widening of Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway to meet the timelines of a proposed new Winnipeg Ikea site, Premier Gary Doer and Mayor Sam Katz said today.

The premier said the province will advance its share of capital funding to the city of up to $8 million for the projects. The widening of Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway is already included in the city’s Plan Winnipeg, but would be accelerated to accommodate Ikea’s development plans, pending a public rezoning process and open house that will take place this spring.

“Advancing already scheduled infrastructure will help this project move forward,” said Doer.

“The city has worked diligently to create an ‘open for business’ environment that attracts growth and positive developments like Ikea,” said Katz. “By accelerating existing infrastructure plans, we are encouraging smart responsible development and I am thrilled to see this major retail project transform from talk to action.

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December 16, 2008

– – –
New Online Registry Gives Physicians New Resources to Find Right Specialists for Patients: Oswald

Manitoba has launched a first-in-Canada online tool that helps physicians quickly find the right medical specialists for their patients, saving time both for doctors and Manitobans receiving care, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.

“This new resource puts up-to-date information at doctors’ fingertips, giving referring physicians new tools to connect patients with the right specialist more quickly than before,” Oswald said. “As part of our strategy to decrease wait times, this is an innovative solution that will create new efficiencies and help us deliver better care.”

Doctors will be able to quickly search the new Catalogue of Specialized Services (CSS) by areas of clinical expertise to create a short list of doctors providing specialized services such as orthopedics, psychiatric services or internal medicine. The tool will help physicians ensure they are connecting their patients with the most appropriate specialist to best meet their patient’s needs and reduce misdirected referrals. The catalogue will list all specialists in the province.

“Winnipeg is home to many of the province’s specialized medical doctors and we want to make ourselves easy to find when we’re needed,” said Dr. Jamie Boyd, medical director of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s family medicine program. “This new tool will help show the way and improve the patient’s journey.”

The new $80,000 tool was developed in partnership with the medical community to improve efficiency and co-ordination among health-care providers. It lists the doctor’s location and the medical services provided and is designed to direct patient referrals to the right clinician the first time.

“This should save time for the family doctor, the specialists and the patients, since all of the important information is pulled together in one accessible tool,” said Dr. Robyn Olson, president of the Manitoba Medical Association. “Physicians can be confident that they’re making the right referral to the right specialist.”

Every doctor and referring clinician in the province will be given a unique user name and password to access the catalogue. Doctors who provide specialized services will be able to log in and update their areas of expertise to ensure the catalogue remains an up-to-date online resource for referring physicians, especially for new Manitoba doctors and those in rural and remote parts of the province.

“This is a great tool for family physicians and their patients,” said Dr. Fran Berard, president of the Manitoba College of Family Physicians. “Finding the right specialist can be a challenge, especially for doctors who practise in rural Manitoba. This will really make the referral process much more efficient and will improve quality of care for all Manitobans.”

The development of this important resource has been made possible, in part, through a contribution from Health Canada.

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Child Find Manitoba, in partnership with the Province of Manitoba has launched the second phase of the Stop Sex with Kids public awareness campaign. Visit to take action against child sexual exploitation.

Two things you can do right now are:
Add the Stop Sex with Kids link to your Email signature as well as your organization's website. The campaign logo graphic is attached to this Email.
Forward this Email to a friend.
Every positive action is a step closer to ending child abuse.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

December 2, 2008


Manitobans are invited to attend the Sunrise Memorial scheduled at the Legislative Building Thursday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 a.m. to commemorate Canada’s Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, Labour and Immigration Minister Nancy Allan, minister responsible for the status of women, said today.

“Violence against women affects us all,” said Allan. “Each victim is someone’s daughter, mother, sister or wife; someone’s friend; someone’s loved one. Violence against women happens across our country and across our province regardless of age, race, cultural or economic background. We must not forget the women honoured here once lived, worked and walked among us. It is up to us to work together and prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.”

The Sunrise Memorial commemorates the 14 young women killed in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989, as well as all women who have died in acts of violence. The program will include drumming by the North End Women’s Centre Buffalo Gals, participation by the Manitoba Chapter of the Girl Guides of Canada and guest speaker Dr. Marilou McPhedran.

Following the program, refreshments will be provided in the Rotunda of the Legislative Building. Guests are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy which will be donated to the Immigrant Women’s Counselling Service.

More information is available at 204-945-6281 in Winnipeg.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

November 25, 2008

– – –
Initiative Produces Increased Graduation Rates, Better Attendance, Improved Motivation

Results of the police in schools initiative show increased graduation rates, improved student motivation and reduced suspension rates, Attorney General Dave Chomiak and Education, Citizenship and Youth Minister Peter Bjornson said today in announcing a three-year extension of the program.

“We know the police in schools initiative helps to keep students safe, but we are also encouraged to learn the initiative is also improving academic results for students,” Chomiak said. “The initiative has resulted in school suspensions being down 40 per cent and incidents of graffiti dramatically reduced along with loitering, vandalism, bullying and violent acts.”

“Strengthening the relationships between youth, police officers and the communities they serve has proven to be an effective tool that ultimately keeps students safe, motivated and in school,” Bjornson said. “The school resource officers are helping us meet our goal of increasing graduation rates for inner-city and Aboriginal students by supporting their efforts to finish high school and go on to post‑secondary education and training.”

Operated in partnership with the Winnipeg Police Service and the Winnipeg School Division over the past six years, school resource officers (SROs) have worked with students in 15 north end schools to teach crime prevention, safety education and conflict resolution. Officers are based at three high schools and also work with elementary and junior high schools in the communities. Goals over the next three years include enhancing neighbourhood safety, strengthening existing partnerships and adding strategic crime prevention resources.

In addition to providing advice, counselling and mediation services, the officers have held community justice forums, started cadet programs at elementary schools and founded a hockey team at St. John’s High School.

“I was pleased to be involved with this program when it began in 2003 and am very glad to see it continue,” said Keith McCaskill, chief of the Winnipeg Police Service. “The school resource officers have been very effective in building relationships and trust with students, staff, and families in the north end.”

“The Winnipeg School Division has benefited greatly from having school resource officers in our schools. The officers act as positive role models and mentors for our school communities. The board of trustees has heard from students – how they feel safer with SROs in our buildings,” said John Orlikow, chair of the board of trustees of the Winnipeg School Division.

The Manitoba government has undertaken numerous initiatives to encourage revitalization in designated urban communities by helping local residents and community stakeholders identify and address local priorities. The police in schools initiative was expanded to downtown and south-central Winnipeg schools last year.

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November 27, 2008

Legislation Resolves Uncertainty for Health-care Professionals: Chomiak

New legislation that makes it mandatory for health-care facilities to report all gunshot wounds and certain stab wounds to police will take effect Dec. 1, Attorney General Dave Chomiak announced today.

“This act helps health-care professionals balance the need for public safety and the need to maintain patient confidentiality,” Chomiak said. “It clarifies who should report, who they should call, what they need to share and when they need to do it.”

The Gunshot and Stab Wounds Mandatory Reporting Act requires health-care facilities to notify police when they treat a patient with a gunshot wound or who appears to have been stabbed by someone else.

Health-care professionals would treat the patients’ wounds first. The facility would report the wounds as soon as possible without interfering with treatment. The act does not apply to intentional or accidental self-inflicted stab wounds.

“Informing police about gunshot and stab wounds quickly can prevent further violence, injuries and deaths,” Chomiak said. “This addresses public safety concerns by letting police make the best use of those critical first few hours in an investigation.”

Manitoba’s existing Personal Health Information Act allows some information to be disclosed to prevent or lessen a serious and immediate threat to the health or safety of an individual or the public. The new legislation adds clarity for health-care professionals.

Information provided to the police under the new legislation will be limited to the fact that an individual with a wound is being treated, their name if it is known and the name and location of the treatment facility. No other medical information would be shared.

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Oprah's Favorite Things for a Thrifty Holiday

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

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Thanksgiving Tradition
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Manitoba Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 18, 2008


Advice to help girls build self-esteem, handle the ups and downs of life, select a career and make a difference in the world are just some of the subjects covered in a new booklet for girls released today by Labour and Immigration Minister Nancy Allan, minister responsible for the status of women.

“This handbook helps girls build on an incredibly important resource – themselves,” said Allan. “Entitled 4 Girls Only, the publication helps girls with the goals they set for themselves, the decisions they make and the untapped power that lies within them.”

The booklet is especially useful for girls in grades 6 through 8, said Allan. It includes clear, straightforward information on a wide range of subjects including health issues, body image, bullying, online safety, healthy relationships, community involvement, career selection, women’s issues and diversity. It was based on a similar publication from Nova Scotia and reworked to meet the needs of young Manitobans.

A directory of web links and resources with more information on various subjects and programs is part of the book, along with a small journal tucked in a pocket in the back cover. The journal features thought-provoking questions and blank spaces for girls to record their feelings.

A wide range of parents, educators and youth were consulted in the development of the guide, which was produced by the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council and named by a student at Arthur A. Leach School in Waverley Heights.

Copies will be distributed to groups such as guidance counsellors, teen clinics, drop-in programs, crisis programs and health centres. The guide will also be available online at Printed copies can be ordered by contacting Manitoba Status of Women at 945-6281 or 1‑800‑263‑0234 (toll free).

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Trial of Oprah's Staff in South Africa

Rita Deverell's Big Ease Big Squeeze
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Shriners Vintage Car Parade: Men and Cars

Dr. Randy Pausch
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Aliens Are Here
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San Juan Puerto Rico

Cruising is Within Your Reach: Part 3

Resurgified Virgins

When to Pull the Plug

The Heart of North America
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A Man is Beheaded by Passenger on Greyhound Bus

Passing of a Hero: Alexander Solzenhitsyn

St. Thomas Virgin Islands

Election Night in Winnipeg Manitoba
Wild Polar Bear and sled dogs in peaceful relations in spite of their difference. According to reports, the bear visited the tied sled dog for a week just to play and be friends.
Why can't we get along? Let us learn from our animal brothers and sisters.
Perhaps discrimination based on colour must be a human invention to justify greed, malicious bigotry and to reinforce low-self esteem in those who want to discriminate.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ABC News: Barbara Walters Exclusive: 'Journey of a Pregnant Man'
November 12, 2008


Manitoba’s reputation as a leader in the hemp industry is being reinforced with a national hemp strategy that identifies new opportunities for farmers, processors, researchers and exporters, Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Rosann Wowchuk announced today.

“Manitoba’s farmers and processors are at the leading edge of hemp production,” said Wowchuk. “We are among the earliest adopters of this new crop and the processing technologies needed to create valuable end products. This new strategy shows how far we’ve come while also identifying the opportunities and challenges that we must tackle for sustainable growth.”

Hemp can be used in a wide range of consumer and industrial applications. The National Industrial Hemp Strategy identifies the opportunities and challenges in three categories:
· health and food,
· fibre and industrial oil, and
· production and breeding.

“In the last 10 years, the Canadian hemp industry has grown from an emerging niche market to a point where we are now being recognized as a global leader in hemp production,” said Mike Fata, chair of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA). “With the province’s support, this hemp strategy has given us a road map to new opportunities and the continued growth of the hemp industry in Canada.”

The strategy was introduced at the CHTA’s annual meeting in Winnipeg today. It focuses on the supports needed to grow the industry across Canada including:
· accessing risk capital for processing and manufacturing projects;
· researching domestic and international hemp markets and continued market access;
· quantifying the environmental and economic advantages of using hemp-based products as compared to fossil fuel-based products;
· researching hemp varieties that will meet Canadian needs, on-farm best management practices and processing technologies;
· pursuing regulatory approvals to allow hemp nutrients in animal feed and treats;
· developing commercial hemp-fibre processing;
· creating fibre grading standards to provide consistent quality;
· establishing cost-effective hemp oil processing systems; and
· creating a national industry voice to promote the interests of hemp stakeholders on these issues.

These recommendations were developed through extensive consultations with stakeholders including farmers, processors, marketers and researchers across Canada. The strategy is a joint initiative supported by the federal and provincial governments, the CHTA and the Composites Innovation Centre. Funding was provided by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative.

The market for hemp products is strong and growing in Canada and internationally. Canadian hemp seed exports increased 300 per cent from 2006 to 2007. Hemp oil exports increased 85 per cent and fibre exports increased 65 per cent over the same time frame.

Wowchuk noted this strategy will be shared between provincial governments, hemp industry groups and other stakeholders across Canada to guide future initiatives and investments.

Earlier this fall, the provincial government announced $4 million in provincial loans and grants to kick‑start the development of a world-class hemp facility in Dauphin as part of its ongoing commitment to a strong hemp industry in the province.

Hemp is a natural fibre product from the Cannabis sativa plant and has been used for thousands of years for rope, canvas, paper, clothing and industrial products. It is an environmentally friendly choice for consumers because it is a renewable resource and creates very little waste. All parts of the hemp plant, including the fibre, seed and grain, can be used. More information about industrial hemp production is available at and

The national hemp strategy is available from the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance at or

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Surprise Visitor
What would you do if your favourite star or hero walked through your front door? Might be surreal experience for many.

John Kiernan, a Winnipeg man had such an experience recently. He was shocked out of his shoes the other day when two rugged, rather unsavory looking men jumped out of a taxi and walked up to his wife who was at the front of the yard while Kiernan was inside looking on. Kiernan was suspicious because one of the men wore a hoodie. Perhaps he thought these men looked like trouble waiting to happen.

Things are not always what they seem. Kiernan, although kind of leery, was impressed by the men's expensive cowboy boots and quality leather pants.

Kiernan was not surprised that a total stranger would walk up to him and want to look inside his home. He lives in the home of the famous Neil Young and devotees of this Winnipeg legendary musician often trek in every now and then to see their idol's abode. But this visitor was no ordinary devotee. He was Bob Dylan, who was in town to do a concert at the MTS Centre accompanied by his manager.

Kiernan thought the man had a familiar look. Then it dawned on him. He invited the men into his Grosvenor Avenue (Winnipeg) house. Dylan asked some thoughtful questions about Neil Young. Kiernan said Dylan wanted to see Young's bedroom and the view outside Young's window. Kiernan was thrilled but never let on that he recognized who Dylan was. He was too shocked and excited. He tried to signal his wife that it was Dylan but she did not catch on. strange enough the taxi driver was also a musician from India and while Dylan was inside showing the house to Dylan, the taxi driver was playing some of his songs for Kiernan's partner. The taxi driver did not know that he was taxing one of the greatest musicians of all times. What a day, what coincidence.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Safeway has gone to the dogs
Dogs other than seeing eye-dog are allowed in Safeway stores. I was in the Osbore/walker branch and there was this woman with her dog in her bosom - petting him and then handling vegetables and fruits. I find that totally unacceptable for a prominent store like safeway. This is not healthy. Dogs are not human beings.
I think it is unfair of pet owners to impose their animals on everyone. Not everyone thinks kissing a dog is cool or healthy.
People should keep their animals at home or tie them outside the store. A dog is not a human being and has no business in places where people's food are stored. Totally unacceptable. Safeway must state clearly that dogs (except seeing eye dog) are not allowed in the store. That's it. Otherwise my business is gone.
BBC NEWS | Africa | Mandela mourns icon Miriam Makeba
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Dallas stars reunite for anniversary
November 3, 2008


Schools across the province will offer activities for students to highlight links between the environment and health with a new provincial investment of more than $120,000, Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced today.

“From learning about reducing greenhouse gas emissions to conserving water, schools are helping our kids better understand how environmental issues relate to our individual health,” Irvin-Ross said. “We’re proud to provide new support to schools to help Manitoba students become more environmentally aware.”

There are two different grants available to schools to encourage a better understanding of the environment and how it affects human health, the minister noted.

“By making physical education a part of the high-school curriculum, schools and school divisions adopting smoking ban policies on all school property and banning trans fats in schools, we’re creating opportunities for students to make healthy choices that will serve them throughout their lives,” said Education, Citizenship and Youth Minister Peter Bjornson. “Now we’re strengthening our commitment to healthy schools by encouraging students to explore relationship between the environment and their health.”

Through the province’s Healthy Schools initiative, participating schools will receive $100 plus
35 cents per student to provide activities that promote awareness about the environment and how it can affect people’s heath.

Activities can touch on a wide range of environmental issues and could include such events as:
· organizing a bike safety course to help kids understand sustainable transportation options;
· encouraging litterless lunches to promote waste reduction; and
· planning environmental awareness campaigns to help educate parents, businesses and the community about environmental issues.

Applications are available online at and the deadline to apply is Nov. 14.

Healthy Schools is a partnership between Manitoba Health and Healthy Living, Manitoba Education Citizenship and Youth and Healthy Child Manitoba. Since 2002, Healthy Schools has initiated
10 campaigns with topics such as nutrition, safety, physical activity and mental health.

With each campaign, schools have an opportunity to highlight the importance and increase awareness of various health topics. More than 64 per cent of Manitoba schools participated in the previous Healthy Schools campaign, which focused on healthy relationships.

The ministers noted that an additional 15 grants of up to $2,000 each are available to schools through the Education for Sustainable Development grants initiative. Deadline for applications is Feb. 13. More information about Education for Sustainable Development initiatives in Manitoba and application forms are available online at

The Education for Sustainable Development grants are provided as a result of an ongoing partnership between the provincial government and Manitoba Hydro. Since the grants were first awarded in 2006, a total of 33 projects have been funded.

Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth also distributes Education for Sustainable Development grants to school divisions. Divisions receive $700 per school to support their efforts to enhance the teaching and learning of sustainable development principles and practices in schools.

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– – –
Province to Develop Training Initiative to Help Workplaces Recognize Abuse, Provide Links to Expert Help

Manitoba has launched Domestic Violence Prevention Month with an initial commitment of more than $100,000 to develop domestic violence awareness training for employers, Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.

“We all have a role to play in countering domestic violence and supporting victims,” said Mackintosh. “Because family violence affects the workplace with a terrible human cost and through lost productivity, we want to ensure workplaces have access to the information and tools they need to take effective action.”

The province will work with employers, chambers of commerce and unions to ensure workplaces of all sizes have access to information or training sessions beginning in the spring that will help them recognize and offer support to victims of domestic violence. That support will consist of links to community resources such as shelters, resource centres, counselling and safe housing.

“Reaching out to offer help is a difficult step, but we need to make sure people know there are things they can do that make a difference,” said Labour and Immigration Minister Nancy Allen, minister responsible for the status of women. “We want to empower the employers and co-workers of people affected by violence so they know that help is available and how to offer it respectfully.”

To mark Domestic Violence Prevention Month, Manitoba today joined governments from cities and countries around the world in the effort to end violence against women. On behalf of the province, Mackintosh and Allan formally added their names to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) online campaign Say NO to Violence Against Women.

“Manitoba has long been committed to the effort to raise awareness surrounding the issue of family violence and violence against women,” said Mackintosh. “We wholeheartedly support the international efforts of UNIFEM to make sure women around the world have a safer future.”

The online petition is available at

Manitoba is also welcoming the Winnipeg exhibit of an international poster exhibition, Eyes Wide Open, featuring domestic violence awareness posters from around the world. Posters will be on display for the public at the Union Centre, 275 Broadway in Winnipeg from Nov. 3 to 6.

While this announcement officially launches November as Domestic Violence Prevention month in Manitoba, the province recognizes it takes a continued effort to end domestic violence, said Mackintosh.

“Manitoba Justice is pleased to participate in this initiative by inviting workplaces to join in our efforts to counter domestic violence,” said Attorney General Dave Chomiak.

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November 5, 2008


CHONGQING, China—Premier Gary Doer today congratulated Barack Obama on his victory in yesterday’s United States presidential election.

“On behalf of Manitobans, I would like to congratulate Barack Obama on his success in becoming the next U.S. president,” Doer said from China, where he is participating in a Canadian premiers’ economic mission.

“The United States is our closest friend and neighbour as well as our greatest trading partner. We will continue to work closely with U.S. governors and states as well as the federal governments of Canada and the U.S. for the benefit of our citizens and economies on both sides of the border.”

The Canadian Leaders’ Mission: China 2008 includes Premier Dalton McGuinty of Ontario, Premier Shawn Graham of New Brunswick, Premier Robert Ghiz of Prince Edward Island and former premier Pierre Marc Johnson of Quebec as well as more than 110 business, education and other leaders including 30 from Manitoba.

Doer is returning early from the mission to attend the funeral of long-time friend and colleague Oscar Lathlin, which is being held Saturday in The Pas.

Monday, November 03, 2008

B.C. man dies after Taser used during Calgary arrest

Man who fled garage sought after filmmaker charged with murder

Man who fled garage sought after filmmaker charged with murder

Man who fled garage sought after filmmaker charged with murder

Man who fled garage sought after filmmaker charged with murder
Manitoba cabinet minister Lathlin dies
Last Updated: Sunday, November 2, 2008 | 7:11 PM CT Comments15Recommend54CBC News
Former Cree chief Oscar Lathlin, Manitoba's minister of aboriginal and northern affairs, died in hospital early Sunday.

Lathlin, 61, was at his home in The Pas when he became ill Saturday night and was taken to The Pas Health Complex, government spokesman Jonathan Hildebrand said.

The cause of death wasn't disclosed, but Hildebrand said Lathlin had "some health difficulties and challenges."

In a news release, Federal Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl described Lathlin as "a true visionary" and a valued partner.

Manitoba Attorney General Dave Chomiak said, "Anything that had to do with First Nation education or northern education, Oscar was a champion of."

"It was his belief that education and economic development were absolutely pivotal to the North, and that's something he never gave up on."

Former Opaskwayak Cree chief
Lathlin was first elected in 1990 as NDP MLA for The Pas and was re-elected in every election since.

He was a former chief of Opaskwayak Cree Nation and worked for the federal government as well as with a number of aboriginal organizations.

Among Lathlin's proudest achievements was the University College of the North, which brought postsecondary learning to 12 far-flung communities.

He also helped establish the First Peoples Economic Growth Fund along with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, a $20-million pool of money aimed at helping aboriginal businesses start up or expand.

Throughout his career, and despite his health problems, Lathlin would return as often as possible to The Pas, driving seven hours on many weekends from Winnipeg over bumpy rural roads.

With files from the Canadian Press

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Obama says he didn't know aunt's illegal status
By NEDRA PICKLER – 1 hour ago

CHICAGO (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says he didn't know that one of his relatives was living in the United States illegally and believes the appropriate laws should be followed.

The Associated Press found that Obama's aunt had been instructed to leave the country four years ago by an immigration judge who rejected her request for asylum from her native Kenya. The woman, Zeituni Onyango (zay-TUHN on-YANG-oh), is living in public housing in Boston and is the half-sister of Obama's late father.

A statement given to the AP by Obama's campaign Saturday says, "Senator Obama has no knowledge of her status but obviously believes that any and all appropriate laws be followed."

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barack Obama's aunt, a Kenyan woman who has been quietly living in public housing in Boston, is in the United States illegally after an immigration judge rejected her request for asylum four years ago, The Associated Press has learned.

Zeituni Onyango (zay-TUHN on-YANG-oh), referred to as "Aunti Zeituni" in the Democratic presidential candidate's memoir, was instructed to leave the United States by a U.S. immigration judge who denied her asylum request, a person familiar with the matter told the AP late Friday. This person spoke on condition of anonymity because no one was authorized to discuss Onyango's case.

Onyango, 56, is Obama's late father's half-sister, the Obama campaign has confirmed. She is not a relative whom Obama, 47, has discussed in campaign appearances and, unlike Obama's father and his maternal grandmother, is not someone who has been part of the public discussion about his personal life.

The Obama campaign declined to comment late Friday night.

Information about the deportation case was disclosed and confirmed by two separate sources, one a federal law enforcement official. The information they made available is known to officials in the federal government, but the AP could not establish whether anyone at a political level in the Bush administration or in the McCain campaign had been involved in its release.

Onyango's refusal to leave the country would represent an administrative, noncriminal violation of immigration law, meaning such cases are handled outside the criminal court system. Estimates vary, but many experts believe there are more than 10 million such immigrants in the U.S.

According to Federal Election Commission documents filed by the Obama campaign, Onyango has contributed $260 to Obama over a period of time. Under federal election law, only U.S. citizens or green-card holders are legally permitted to give money to campaigns. Onyango, who listed her employer as the Boston Housing Authority, gave in small increments to the Obama campaign. Her latest contribution was $5 on Sept. 19.

The AP could not immediately reach Onyango for comment. When a reporter went to her home Friday night, no one answered the door. A neighbor said she was often not home on the weekend. Onyango did not immediately return telephone and written messages left at her home. It was unclear why her request for asylum was rejected in 2004.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Kelly Nantel, said the government does not comment on an individual's citizenship status or immigration case.

Onyango's case — coming to light just days before the presidential election — led to an unusual nationwide directive within Immigrations and Customs Enforcement requiring that any deportations before Tuesday's election be approved at least at the level of the agency's regional directors, the U.S. law enforcement official told the AP.

The unusual directive suggests that the administration is sensitive to the political implications of Onyango's case coming to light so close to the election.

The East African nation has been fractured in violence in recent years, including a period of two months of bloodshed after December 2007 that killed 1,500 people.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said Saturday that he had no idea how Onyango might have qualified for public housing with a standing deportation order. He said he's not involved in the operations of the agency, even though he appoints the head, because it runs mainly on federal and state dollars.

William McGonagle, deputy director of the Boston Housing Authority, said when contacted: "I know nothing about it and I've got no comment."

Spagat reported from New York. Associated Press writers Rodrique Ngowi and Jay Lindsay in Boston contributed to this report.

Friday, October 31, 2008

October 31, 2008


Regulations are now in place to include more workers under the Workers Compensation Board (WCB), adding over 30 industries, Labour and Immigration Minister Nancy Allan, minister responsible for the board, announced today.

“Covering additional industries provides wage replacement and health-care treatment for workers. Employers will also receive protection against lawsuits for workplace injuries and illness,” said Allan. “Once the new workers and industries are added by the WCB, an outreach effort will be launched to encourage voluntary coverage for industries not covered by the WCB.”

The province had announced earlier this summer that additional industries would be brought under the Workers Compensation Board. Today, regulations to this effect were put in place.

The additional industries join those already covered by the WCB, effective Jan. 1, 2009. An extensive review and public consultations resulted in the additional industries being covered by regulation. The consultations included a mail out of 43,000 consultation packages by the WCB.

Up to 30,000 more workers and 7,500 potential employers will now be covered by WCB. In January 2007, the Manitoba government extended compulsory WCB coverage to about 6,400 workers.

The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba had the second-lowest average assessment rate in Canada in 2006 and 2007 and the third-lowest in 2008. The time-loss injury rate has also decreased by 25 per cent since 2000.

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October 31, 2008

Committee Recommends Site North of Brandon As Best to Maximize Economic Benefits

The committee established to identify the best location for a new casino in southwest Manitoba has recommended a site just north of Brandon, Attorney General Dave Chomiak, minister responsible for the Gaming Control Act, and Grand Chief Ron Evans of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), announced today.

“This site is the best location to capture the market potential of this region,” Chomiak said. “It will create opportunities for economic development for the benefit of all Manitoba First Nations. As a significant entertainment attraction, it will also create economic spinoffs for the entire region.”

The site is located in the Rural Municipality of Elton, north of the Trans-Canada Highway and on the west side of PTH 10. It was proposed by a group comprised of the Keeseekoowenin First Nation, Rolling River First Nation and Waywayseecappo First Nation.

The selection of this recommendation stems from a process launched by the AMC and the province following a market study done in 2007. In response to a request for expressions of interest issued in June 2008, four proposals were submitted by First Nation site sponsors.

“The site selection committee was mandated to identify a site that will provide the most benefits for all 64 of the First Nations in Manitoba,” said Evans. “This was not an easy job to do and we commend the members of the committees for their unwavering commitment to the site selection process.”

The casino will be planned and developed under a separate process led by the AMC and will be operated on behalf of all Manitoba First Nations. The land where the new casino will be built will be converted to reserve status. The casino will operate under the same regulatory and operational framework that applies to South Beach and Aseneskak casinos.

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NOTE: The committee’s report, the 2007 Market Study and other background material are available on the AMC website at and the Manitoba Gaming Control Commission website at

The Government of Manitoba is distributing this news release on behalf of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the Government of Manitoba.

Egypt court upholds Baha'i plea in religious freedom cases

Egypt court upholds Baha'i plea in religious freedom cases

Thursday, October 30, 2008

October 30, 2008

Disadvantaged students who need added encouragement to stay in school and pursue a college or university education will receive community-based supports from the first four new initiatives funded under the province’s $1-million Bright Futures Fund, Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Diane McGifford and Education, Citizenship and Youth Minister Peter Bjornson announced today.

Besides additional encouragement and support, students participating in Bright Futures initiatives will also receive scholarships or a registered education savings plan (RESP) grant toward the cost of post-secondary education.

“Manitoba has one of the most affordable and accessible post-secondary education systems in Canada, but we still have many disadvantaged students who feel college or university isn’t an option for them. Bright Futures initiatives address specific social, educational and financial barriers that might otherwise discourage such young Manitobans from pursuing a post-secondary education,” said McGifford, who made the announcement at the site of a homework tutoring program today.

“All Manitobans deserve a quality education. By empowering low-income and disadvantaged students, Bright Futures equips students with the supports required to stay in school and the encouragement needed to continue with college or university,” said Bjornson.

The first four new initiatives under the Bright Futures Fund include:
· Power Up
This homework tutoring program is receiving $60,960 this year to expand to six Winnipeg sites. The initiative encourages at-risk secondary-school students to mentor younger peers, empowering them to succeed in school while improving the confidence, social skills and attitudes of both age groups. Each high-school teenage mentor in the program will receive a $1,000 RESP contribution for each year in which they successfully volunteer their time.
· Career Trek
This initiative, which exposes 10- and 11-year-old students to up to 80 careers in 16 fields, will be expanded in the Parkland region and established in Westman. Career Trek, which will establish a $500 RESP for each successful student in the new or expansion site, incorporates family involvement, mentors and opportunities for employment after post-secondary graduation. During 2008-09, Career Trek will receive $297,297.

· Community School Investigators’ (CSI)
Working with six‑ to 13-year-old Winnipeg inner-city students for five weeks over the summer break, students are engaged in activities that focus on literacy, numeracy, and science and field trips to keep them focused on learning. Receiving $287,162 in this fiscal year, the CSI Summer Learning Enrichment Program will contribute $400 to an RESP for each student who completes the program at any of its sites.

The Seven Oaks School Division is also working with the Winnipeg School Division, the Community Education Development Association (CEDA) and the Mount Carmel Clinic to develop an intervention program for grade 9 to 12 students that will include tutoring, mentoring and scholarship incentives to empower students to complete high school and pursue post-secondary education. This project will receive $350,000 in funding during 2008-09 and will provide $1,000 scholarships to successful students in each of the four years.

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October 30, 2008

Province Requests Declaration To Save Winnipeg's Flight Attendant Base

The Manitoba government has filed a notice of application in the Court of Queen’s Bench seeking a declaration that Air Canada’s decision to close the Winnipeg flight attendant base is in breach of the federal Air Canada Public Participation Act, which requires the corporation to maintain operational and overhaul centres in the city of Winnipeg, Competitiveness, Training, and Trade Minster Andrew Swan announced today.

“We are asking the court to clarify the legal authority under which Winnipeg’s flight attendant base is being closed,” said Swan. “When the federal government privatized Air Canada in 1988, Manitobans were assured jobs, including those of flight attendants, would be maintained in Winnipeg. We are relying on the wording of the legislation to keep that commitment.”

Swan pointed specifically to section 6(1)(d) of the Air Canada Public Participation Act, which requires “the Corporation to maintain operational and overhaul centres in the City of Winnipeg, the Montreal Urban Community and the City of Mississauga.” He also noted further assurances to this effect were provided by parliamentarians at the time this legislation was debated in the House of Commons.

“Air Canada’s decision to close the flight attendant base seems inconsistent with what was contemplated in the federal legislation and we want the court to provide clarification on this point,” said Swan.
October 30, 2008


More than $2.8 million in new funding will be invested to create teams of healthy living professionals to address chronic disease prevention and promote healthy living services across the province, Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced today.

“Chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis and asthma are leading causes of illness, disability and poor quality of life,” said Irvin-Ross. “This team-based approach will allow highly skilled wellness specialists to help Manitobans guard against disease and increase awareness of healthy living initiatives that can reduce the risk of chronic illness.”

Funding has been provided to each of Manitoba’s regional health authorities to create community teams across the province. In total, approximately 44 new health professionals will be hired across Manitoba to strengthen disease-prevention services and boost healthy living awareness.

The new teams will deliver a range of services including:
· enhancing regional and community capacity for healthy living initiatives including physical activity, healthy eating, smoking cessation and mental health;
· expanding regional diabetes assessment and treatment programs across the province including First Nation and Métis communities;
· working with high-risk groups to promote chronic disease prevention and wellness;
· supporting prevention and health promotion initiatives such as Manitoba in motion, Healthy Schools, Get Better Together! and the Chronic Disease Prevention Initiative.

“Teams of health-care providers will work with patients to provide a wide range of information about disease prevention and management,” said Kathy McPhail, chief executive officer of the Central Regional Health Authority. “I know this team will work together to help individuals and communities in our region better understand how they can make healthier choices in their lives and better maintain their health.”

The minister also noted the province is providing $300,000 over two years to the Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital to co-ordinate and support the delivery of the Get Better Together! program across the province.

“Research has shown that programs like Get Better Together! give people with a chronic disease needed information and supports so they can maintain their health and manage their condition,” said Irvin-Ross. “These kinds of programs result not only in better health outcomes but also improved quality of life for people with chronic conditions.”

“People with multiple chronic conditions face real barriers to making healthy lifestyle choices. If you are in pain or chronically fatigued, it’s that much more difficult to be physically active,” said Carrie Solmundson, chief operating officer of Seven Oaks General Hospital. “The good news for health care is that the positive steps participants of the Get Better Together! program make to take charge of their health have been shown to prevent hospitalization. That’s good for the participants and good for efficient use of health-care resources.”
October 30, 2008


Manitoba Justice reports results for the first half of Manitoba’s youth electronic monitoring pilot project are now available. The one-year project is designed to assess the effectiveness of using GPS technology to continually supervise very high-risk young auto thieves while they are in the community.

Up to 20 offenders can be tracked at a time and a total of 41 cases have been referred to the project since it began on April 5. Most of the youth referred to the project are still in custody and won’t be fitted with monitors until their sentences reach the point where they must be released into the community.

Twenty-two youth have been fitted with the devices since the project began. Responses have varied from resistant to compliant. Some youth have indicated the device has helped them to comply with their conditions. Others have had significant challenges, particularly with charging the devices for the correct length of time. Staff helped youth to keep the devices working properly, using reminders and cautions when needed, and no one has had to return to custody for failing to charge a device.

Of the 22 youth fitted with the device:
· Nine remain on active electronic monitoring supervision in the community.
· Six have successfully completed their terms without incident.
· One youth on the device was rearrested for auto theft. The device helped to establish where he was in relation to the crime.
· Seven youth removed their devices. One remains at large, while the other six were rearrested.
· One youth attempted to remove the device but was unsuccessful. That youth was arrested and charged.
· One youth breached probation conditions by violating curfew. Staff found the monitoring helpful in locating him and monitoring his return home.

Six cases that did not meet the project criteria were rejected and three exceptional cases that did not meet the criteria have been included.

Some youth being monitored as part of the project have also been charged for violating conditions that they not be in contact with certain other people, although that was not a direct result of using the electronic monitoring technology.

Issues around the way the technology is performing continue to be of some concern and efforts to resolve technological issues with both the software and hardware continue. The equipment has been upgraded to address intermittent location failures which are instances where the tracking system temporarily loses contact with the bracelets. Troubleshooting at the monitoring firm has helped to avoid unnecessary emergency responses by corrections staff and the police in these instances.

Evaluation of the technology will continue, with more youth being added in the coming months. The project will continue to assess the implications, challenges and potential of electronic monitoring for auto theft youth.

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Teens and Career Research: Helping Kids Discover Their Future Job Options
Attention Youths
Want to know more about your human rights? Here is a nifty website that is interactive, informative and a lot of fun too. Check it out






WINNIPEG, MB - Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Winnipeg has accepted an invitation to serve as a commissioner on the Aspen Institute's Dialogue and Commission on Arctic Climate Change. The Commission is composed of scientists, policy experts, oil company executives, and representatives from Arctic native peoples and environmental organizations including David Suzuki, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Prince Albert of Monaco and Gro Brundtland of Norway.

Recognizing that the circumpolar Arctic region is experiencing significant ecological changes, the Aspen Institute is convening a civil society Commission and Dialogue to assess the implications of global warming for the region's inhabitants and resources.

This initiative compliments Dr. Axworthy and The University of Winnipeg’s keen commitment to the north and specifically, development of a holistic and integrated sustainability plan for Churchill. On August 22, 2008, UWinnipeg and the Town of Churchill signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to identify ways to improve the ecological, economic and social conditions of Churchill, made possible by a significant and generous donation of $100,000 from OmniTRAX, Inc.

The Aspen Institute has bases in Washington, DC, Aspen, Colorado, on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and has an international network of partners.
Over the next two years, the Commission will assess the adequacy of current institutional arrangements and international policies to effectively and sustainably manage new levels of commercial and economic activities in the region. The Commission and its work groups will pay particular attention to the need for greater international cooperation in promoting conservation, sustainable development, and shared responsibility.
The Commission will ultimately recommend governance principles and actions that can assist the region's inhabitants to meet the challenges of climate change and help governments and organizations work cooperatively toward a sustainable future.
Detailed information is available at:
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Diane Poulin, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7135, C: 204.782.3279 E: - Live Your Best Life - Live Your Best Life

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Caribbean woman statue unveiled

The statue is a tribute to African-Caribbean women

London's first public statue of an African-Caribbean woman has been unveiled as a memorial to women in the Caribbean community.

The 3m (10ft) high Bronze Woman statue of a woman holding a baby has been installed in Stockwell Memorial Garden, south London.

The anonymous figure is based on a poem of the same name by Guyana-born Cecile Nobrega, who lives in Stockwell.

The statue comes after a 10-year-long campaign by Ms Nobrega.

Olmec, a community investment foundation, raised £84,000 funding and found the sculptors and a location for the statue.

The statue was unveiled by a "circle" of women of Caribbean origin including artist Anissa-Jane, Baroness Rosalind Howells OBE and Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards founder Kanya King.

Windrush anniversary

An initial model of the statue was first designed by sculptor Ian Walters, who also created the Nelson Mandela statue in Parliament Square in 2005.

Following his death in August 2006 the project was completed by Aleix Barbat, a final year sculpture student at Heatherley's School of Fine Art in London.

Olmec director Tanzeem Ahmed said the monument was "a tribute to the diverse communities that make up British society and a symbol of the potential of women everywhere".

The installation of the statue marks the 60th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush ship to Britain carrying 500 West Indian immigrants, and the 200th anniversary of the end of the transatlantic slave trade..

DIGNITARIES AND family gathered at the Tony Thwaites Wing of the University Hospital of the West Indies yesterday to witness veteran bandleader Byron Lee receive the Order of Jamaica (OJ), Jamaica's fourth highest civic honour.

The 73-year-old Lee, known as the Dragon, received the award from Governor General Sir Kenneth Hall who cited his 'contribution to the development of Jamaican music'.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding, Minister of Information Olivia Grange and Lee's wife Sheila observed the event.

Insisted on being home

Julianne Lee-Samuels, the fifth of Lee's six children, said her father insisted on being brought home to accept the award. He had been in Miami receiving treatment for transitional cell cancer at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital.

"He's fully aware, fully alert and has been vigorously fighting," Lee-Samuels told The Gleaner. Lee was diagnosed with bladder cancer two years ago.

In a separate ceremony yesterday, Lee was presented with the Knight of St George's medal by Father Frank Ryan, his football coach at St George's College.

It was at St George's College in the early 1950s that Lee started the Dragonaires band which recorded several calypso hits including 1959's Dumplings which was produced by Edward Seaga.

During the early 1960s the band hit it big with Jamaican Ska, a homage to the jazz-inspired beat that was the local rage. That decade saw him starting Dynamic Sounds, which became a leading distributor in the Caribbean for major American music companies including Atlantic Records and Columbia Records.

Record for big-name acts

Dynamic also became the place to record for big-name acts like the Rolling Stones and Paul Simon. The 'Stones' cut their 1973 album, Goat Head Soup there while Simon recorded his international hit song Mother and Child Reunion at Dynamic the previous year.

Like his contemporary, The Mighty Sparrow of Trinidad and Tobago, Lee embraced the uptempo soca beat which emerged in the Eastern Caribbean during the late 1970s. The Dragonaires had hits in that genre with Give Me Soca and Tiney Winey.

In 1990, Lee's ambition to stage a mass soca festival in Jamaica was realised with the inaugural Jamaica Carnival which celebrates its 20th anniversary next year.

Two years ago, Lee released Music That Memories are Made Of, a five-disc set of the Dragonaires' work.


Akrit Jaswal - Child Surgeon
Expat Women - Helping Expatriate Women Living Overseas - Expat Relocation Abroad - Expat Blogs
Province of Manitoba: News Releases

October 29, 2008

– – –
$8.2-Million Investment Strengthens Training For High-wage, High-skill Jobs: Swan

Building a race car to Formula One specifications, learning to use leading equipment to design commercial and passenger jets, and designing fashions that could land on international modelling runways are among the cutting-edge, new student projects that will benefit from over $8.2 million in investments from the Manitoba government, Competitiveness, Training and Trade Minister Andrew Swan announced today.

An additional $1.2 million is being invested in trades programming this year to support students who are seeking opportunities in high-wage, high-skilled jobs to meet a growing demand for workers who are trained in technical-vocational professions.

“This initiative offers not only valuable experience and knowledge, but students are also encouraged to develop innovation, imagination and ingenuity - skills that will serve them throughout their lives and qualities that will ensure Manitoba’s workforce remains a competitive player in world markets,” said Swan. “Building partnerships between our schools and world-class companies such as Boeing, our students can also develop valuable relationships that offer long-term, high-wage jobs after they graduate.”

One of the new initiatives includes the Formula 1 or F1 In Schools project. Nine secondary schools, Red River College and the University of Manitoba are participating in the international engineering design competition which will see students design, create and test F1 racers based on scientific principles such as virtual wind tunnel-tests, which are used to improve designs for greater efficiency. The first F1 time trials in Manitoba will be held in early spring at Red River Community College.

“Opportunities such as the F1 In Schools project, and aerospace and engineering careers reflect the changing face of technical vocational professions. In addition to traditional trades, such as plumbing and automotive repair, students are now exploring exciting careers computer-assisted design, automation and electronic diagnostics,” said Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Diane McGifford.

Manitoba schools will be the first province to provide state-of-the-art computer-aided three‑dimensional interactive application (CATIA) software which Boeing used to design its latest Dreamliner 787 passenger jet.

“This investment will allow students in the public school system to obtain the skills and knowledge required to help us meet our growing demand for a highly skilled workforce in an ever-increasing competitive global economy,” said Willy Geary, general manager, Boeing Winnipeg.

The initiative also has supported the purchase of major equipment such as downdraft automotive spray booths, industry-standard computer-assisted design, plasma welding and cutting equipment, diagnostic scan tools and GPS mapping systems that have applications in high-tech agriculture.

“Trades are increasingly becoming more high-tech and in responding to these advances, we must to respond with innovative approaches that allow students to use their imagination and to develop the kind of creative, outside-the-box approaches to conceptualization their professions demand,” said Bjornson.

Rapidly changing technology and economic demands require a skilled, adaptable labour force that can compete in a knowledge-based global economy. The innovations and equipment support to Manitoba’s schools and colleges through the Technical Vocational Initiative help to ensure Manitoba students are ready to compete and succeed in these challenging and changing global markets, the minister concluded.
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'Dancing' star Julianne Hough to have surgery -

'Dancing' star Julianne Hough to have surgery -
Congratulations to UNPAC for your 46 workshops on the Manitoba Budget. Great information to know.

Speaking of statistics, a CBC news article this morning reports a huge discrepancy between the city's numbers of sexual assaults and that of Stats Canada, a ten-fold plus difference! The number of sexual assaults in CrimeStat Winnipeg to date in 2008 is listed at 87 while the Stats Canada figure for Manitoba sexual assautls for 2007 was 1248, most of which were committed in Winnipeg. The reason provided is that at this point in time, the city's stats are limited to stranger assaults. Shouldn't we all who are concerned about security, peace and social justice, respond to the issue of listing the violence against women perpetrated on them by known individuals? Considering that we are fast approaching November, month for the prevention of violence against women, culminating on December 6 with the commemoration of the Montreal massacre, this is a very timely topic.

One argument presented against including the total reported incidents of sexual assaults is that it would frighten people....!!! It is estimated that 90% of the assaults being perpetrated against women by family members/ former partnwers/ "friends"/ acquaintances do not get reported at all so to report the ones that are brought forth would allegedly skew the reality....!!!!

I would argue then, in terms of homicides (femicide, really) do they extricate the cases involving a partner or former partner/family member killings from the Winnipeg statistics as well? Are they currently included or not in the city's statistics? Isn't that frightening as well? In my opinion, it is very paternalistic to make this decision unilaterally.... What is the bottom line here? Is it too great of an obstacle for Sam Katz's tourist industry to our fair city?

What about our Stolen Sisters? More than 500 unsolved "disappearances" across Canada. I agree that it is terribly frightening. But don't we have the right to know this information in order to better protect ourselves, our sisters, our children, our cousins, mothers, our friends and neighbours- in order to begin addressing this issue with the seriousness it deserves!

FYI and consideration,

Gisele Saurette Roch, Co-chair
Grassroots Women MB
-----Original Message-----
From: Jennifer deGroot []

Subject: demographic information from our gender budget project

Hi everyone,

I thought you might be interested in these stats which were included in the final report for our project to Status of Women:

The nearly 500 women who attended one of our 46 budget workshops held across the province. These women represented a wide range of backgrounds. Close to 75% of participants filled out a informal demographics questionnaire which collected some of this information
o Age: 3% of women who filled out the survey identified as teenagers,
36% as young women, 42% as being in their middle years and 18% as seniors.
o Income: 34% of participants identified as low-income, 54% as
average income and 12% as high income
o Children: Approximately 30% of participants had no children or
dependants while 70% did.
o Race: Two-thirds of participants identified as white, 17% as
Aboriginal, Métis or Inuit, 12% as people of colour and 4% as other.
o Geography: 45% of participants were from Winnipeg while the rest
were from throughout rural and Northern Manitoba.
o Language: 80% of participants were comfortable speaking English or
English and another language while the others preferred French, Cree, Ojibway or another language.
o Ability: Unfortunately we did not keep track of statistics on
ability. We did organize two workshops specifically for women living with disabilities.
Province of Manitoba: News Releases
The Food Studio - News

A celebration of Women’s History Month 2008 was hosted at the Legislative Building today by Labour and Immigration Minister Nancy Allan, minister responsible for the status of women.

Women who have taken the lead to make important social changes in Manitoba’s recent history had a special place in this year’s event, said Allan.

“Many Manitoba women have brought positive change to our world through their vision for what is possible and their ability to work toward it,” said the minister. “This year, we celebrate the inspiration they give us all. We applaud their commitment to engaging and collaborating with the community and their ability to ensure that community members’ voices are heard.”

Women’s History Month is held nationally each year in October to celebrate the advances and contributions of women in all aspects of Canadian society.

This year the celebration included the release of Taking the Lead: Women Who Have Made a Difference in Manitoba. The publication showcases the accomplishments of five Manitoba women who have worked to make the province a better place to live: Edith Regier, Diana DeLaronde‑Colombe, Dr. June Marion James, Karen Busby and Myrna Phillips. It will also be available online at

The guest speaker was Lee Newton, founder of Winnipeg Harvest and winner of a YWCA Women of Distinction Award. The event also featured a performance by singer, songwriter, pianist and guitar player Sheena Grobb, a rising musical star with a deep commitment to women’s issues.

“While we look back with pride this month on the many accomplishments of women over the years, we are also encouraged by the passion and energy of those who continue to strive to achieve social change locally, nationally and globally,” said Allan.

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Manitoba Women's Directorate | Publications
Congratulations are in order
National Council of Women of Canada Celebrates 115 Years of Service

On October 27, 1893, at a public meeting in Toronto, over 1,500 women joined forces to form the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC), knowing that by working together and speaking with a united voice, they would be much more effective. Looking back over the last 115 years, NCWC has played a pivotal role in advancing the status of women in Canada. In the 1990’s, the Government of Canada recognized NCWC as having National Historic Significance, and in 2005 Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada formally unveiled a plaque to this effect in Allan Park in Toronto, site of that first NCWC meeting.

One hundred and fifteen years later, our mission continues to be: “To empower all women to work together towards improving the quality of life for women, families, and society through a forum of member organizations and individuals”.

Today NCWC represents many thousands of Canadian women from extremely diverse backgrounds, through our membership which consists of 17 Local Councils, 24 Nationally Organized Societies, and 5 Provincial Councils. Some of the issues that we are currently focusing on include: advocating for a National Water Strategy and a National Energy Strategy; reform of the Employment Insurance system; and the need to maintain and strengthen one-tier universal health care.

"This is a pivotal time in history for women in our country," said President Karen Dempsey. "There is still much more work to be done, and most importantly, we have to be vigilant to ensure that what we have accomplished is not "undone.”

To commemorate this historic occasion, we have launched the NCWC Firm the Foundation Fund. Monies raised will enable the Council to continue their efforts on behalf of women, families, and society. For information, please call 1-613-232-5025, email, and visit our website at

Monday, October 27, 2008

October 27, 2008


PEGUIS FIRST NATION - Attorney General Dave Chomiak and Chief Judge Raymond Wyant joined members of the Peguis First Nation here today in officially opening a new circuit court location for sittings of the provincial court.

“When cases are heard closer to home, courts are able to better serve the communities’ needs and local residents can play a more active role in the justice system,” said Chomiak. “Many victims and witnesses will find it easier than having to travel to Fisher Branch for court.”

“This is a historic day for citizens of Peguis and neighbouring communities as well as for the provincial court,” said Wyant. “The opening of this circuit point continues the effort of the court to expand its sittings to Manitoba’s First Nations. This allows us to provide accessible and more meaningful justice for the citizens we serve and honours an important recommendation of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry.”

There are now 12 court locations outside of Winnipeg, along with 55 court circuit points. A total of 29 circuit point locations are in First Nations communities. Last year, courts outside of Winnipeg dealt with more than 25,000 new charges.

The provincial court will begin regular sittings in Peguis in January. Hearings in Peguis will also serve citizens from Fisher River and Jackhead. Regular sittings will continue to be held in Fisher Branch as well.
Want to get your upcoming events check out the Manitoba Women's Advisory Council Website for up to date information:

Manitoba Labour and Immigration
Cooking with Martha Stewart -

Friday, October 24, 2008

Manitoba's first French-language adult learning centre will prepare French-speaking students to finish high school and upgrade employment skills in their first language. Minister Diane McGifford was joined by Denis Ferré, Division scolaire franco-manitobaine, students and staff at the official opening.
October 23, 2008


Homelessness, hunger and street-life issues will be introduced to kindergarten to Grade 12 students across Canada through a new Ladybug Foundation initiative with the province’s support of $450,000 over three years, Education, Citizenship and Youth Minister Peter Bjornson announced today.

“When young Hannah Taylor decided to help homeless people in Winnipeg, she proved one person can make a profound difference in the lives of many,” Bjornson said. “This new Ladybug Foundation initiative encourages good citizenship and motivates youth to get involved in community-based social issues and we’re proud to support it.”

The new initiative, called Make Change, helps students to build awareness of the issues surrounding street life and they are also encouraged to participate in community action that will reduce the effects of poverty.

The educational resource kit includes user-friendly, age-appropriate content such as lesson plans, suggestions and actions enhanced by effective multimedia resources, teacher support and feedback. Manitoba’s support of the foundation will ensure that over the next three years Manitoba schools will receive a set of the kits free of charge, said Bjornson.

“Make Change resulted from one young person’s vision of a better world,” the minister added. “The Ladybug Foundation’s education program will help rally the energy and ideas of Manitoba students around social consciousness and compassion for others, and will extend the program to students across the country over the next three years.”

Taylor has been recognized as a social activist throughout North America and the Ladybug Foundation’s message is now being heard in various countries worldwide. More information is available on the foundation’s website at

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Immigrant Talent ShowJoin talented immigrants and refugee families at the University of Winnipeg's Bulman Centre (515 Portage Ave) as they share their cultural heritage with their new community. The 2008 Diversity Talent Show is taking place November 22 from 2 - 5 pm.

This free event is looking for entries in the following age categories: immigrant/refugee children (8-12), youth (13-17), and adults (over 18). Compete for prizes.

Presented by the International Centre, the talent show will be attended by local politicians and the media, ensuring the greater public hears these unique stories. If not participating yourself, stop by to take in the multicultural performing groups, folk singers, African drum team, and Aboriginal dance group already on the bill.

Dance, music, demonstrations and cultural displays will abound. Refreshments and snacks will be served. Prizes will be raffled off with ticket proceeds going towards the purchase of a van for the International Centre.

For more information call Si-il Park at 943-9158 ext. 300.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 22, 2008


The debt load of 4,295 low-income post-secondary students will be reduced with an investment of $18.8-million in bursaries from Manitoba and the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation this year, Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Diane McGifford announced today.

“The Manitoba government is continuing to ensure post-secondary education is accessible and affordable to as many individuals as possible and we’re proud to say that among all of the provinces participating in the Canada Student Loan Program, Manitoba has the lowest student debt levels after loan remission,” McGifford said. “Reducing debt levels helps students manage the cost of earning a diploma or degree.”

The joint loan-reduction program is funded by $10.6 million from the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation and $8.2 million from the Manitoba government. The combined loan remission reduces student debt to a maximum of $5,900 for the most recently completed academic year. A total of 2,183 students are receiving an average of $4,850 through the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation this year. As well, 2,112 more low-income students will receive an average of $3,775 from the Manitoba Bursary Program.

Funds currently being awarded are for debt incurred in the 2007-08 academic year. The bursary funds are paid directly to lenders and are applied against a student’s outstanding loan. The benefit is provided to students each year at the end of their study period. Letters will be mailed to students in the next two weeks to let them know the remission they can expect this year.

The province is also assisting military reservists who are on active duty by placing their student loans on interest- and payment-free status to align with a policy decision of the federal government. This program will be implemented in the near future.

The minister noted the most recent provincial budget further improved affordability by reducing the interest charged on student loans by one per cent to 1.5 per cent above the prime lending rate. Prime is 4.75 per cent, which means students are charged 6.25 per cent on their Manitoba student loans. Many provinces still charge 2.5 per cent above prime on their provincial student loans.

The proportion of non-repayable student aid varies significantly from province to province, from a low of 12 per cent in B.C. to a high of 48 per cent in Manitoba, producing differences in the debt burdens of students in each province.

Earlier this year, the Manitoba government conducted a student satisfaction survey. Questions included information about the loan application process to ensure information was readily available, easy to understand and user-friendly. About 1,100 students currently attending Manitoba’s public post-secondary institutions responded to the survey. In response, an overwhelming 91 per cent majority of students surveyed said they believed their education was worth the cost to complete.

“Manitobans understand the value of post-secondary education and are motivated to work hard to achieve their long-term goals,” McGifford said.

As well, more than 4,600 Manitobans have taken advantage of the province’s tuition rebate program in its first year. Of the 4,670 graduates accessing the rebate, which is intended to both retain and attract people to Manitoba, 431 were graduates from institutions outside of Manitoba. The initiative provides post-secondary graduates with a 60 per cent income tax rebate on eligible tuition fees helping recent graduates living and working in Manitoba to pay for their education.

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