Thursday, November 27, 2008

November 25, 2008

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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.