Thursday, July 23, 2009

Canadians are treated to more sodium in prepackaged foods than their American or British counterparts

I was furious when I heard on CBC this morning that manufacturers put more sodium in our food than they do in other parts of the world. This is ludicrous. Salt has been shown to be a killer especially for Black and minority populations. Our dietitians have been telling us to cut back sodium but the manufacturers of such productions as cereals, lean cuisine, cheeses etc. have more sodium. This must stop and Canadians must react by boycotting products that are laced with the sodium. It is not good for our health. These fast foods and prepackaged foods are killing us slowly while robbing our pockets. Use your money to make a point
The Doctor Is Within - Happy Days Blog -
Maira Kalman - And the Pursuit of Happiness Blog -

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Two immigrant celebrate success

The Winnipeg Arts Council and IRCOM, along with artists Ervin Chartrand and Jim Agapito, will celebrate the completion of a WITH ART project with a world premiere of the documentary and rap video project Live from ‘95 on Thursday, July 30, 2009.

The evening will begin at 9 pm at Cinematheque Theatre in Artspace for the documentary screening and then move to Old Market Square at 10 pm to experience the rap video in the open-air theatre, part of the Exchange BIZ’s presentation of “Moonlight Movies.”

A project of the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Public Art Program, WITH ART brings together communities and professional artists to collaborate in giving voice to the community through art.

IRCOM (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba) is a non-profit organization located on Ellen Street in downtown Winnipeg that provides transitional housing and delivers social and recreation programs to newly arrived refugees and immigrants to Canada. Artists Jim Agapito and Ervin Chartrand have been working with the youth of IRCOM over the past year on a music video that explores life at 95 Ellen Street, written and performed by the youth themselves. The artists and the youth also worked with Winnipeg music stars to create the video including hip-hop artist Wab Kinew and choreographer Dammecia Hall.

Meanwhile the artists made a documentary about the process, capturing both the challenges and rewards experienced by the youth prior to and since arriving in Winnipeg. Together the films are a glimpse of the realities of newcomer life for young people in Winnipeg.

Monday, July 20, 2009

CNN Newsroom: Blog Archive - Louis Farrakhan on Michael Jackson « - Blogs from
Richard Burton
It's been a while since anything was said about this great Welsh actor who could charm the pants off a nun except Julie Andrews. I heard her say once that after a show together, Burton was coming on to her and she did not bite. She wanted to be friends not lovers. At the end of that private episode, he slapped her behind and she did the same to him and from that day on he appeared to have a new respect for Andrews and they remained good friends until his death.
Who could forget Burton's distinctive tone and also his torrid love affairs with the incredible Elizabeth Taylor. They provided a lot of fodder for the media back in the days. Too bad his life was cut short but so are all the great people - are you lucky you are great? I hope you enjoy reading the tid bit I have attached below. I certainly did.

Who’s Afraid of Richard Burton? - Dick Cavett Blog -
Check out my recently published content on AC:

To Catch a Rat

Friday, July 17, 2009

A wonderful evening of celebrating Women

The Provincial Council of Women of Manitoba, Inc. celebrated local inspiring women in a big way last evening at the Khartum Shrine House honouring four individual women and federate members for their service to the community. The venue was packed with women who know how to party and who know how to work hard to get what they want from the system.

According to the current President, Marilyn McGonigal, "The many advances in women's equality over the years never would have been achieved without women firmly, persistently and sometimes aggressively demanding that reluctant government change our laws and their ways. In today's global economic circumstances, advocating for elusive equality for so many excluded women, locally and worldwide is critically important."
The food was catered by Wayne's Specialty Foods - very delicious.
The evening was one of fun, education and just a great feeling of being surrounded by so many wise, wonderful women.

The four women honoured were Dianna Bussey, from the Salvation Army, Sharon Taylor, Wolseley Family Place, Beatrice Watson - Immigrant Women's Association and Valentina Val Noseworthy, Ukrainian Women's Association in Canada (Manitoba Executive).
The women were presented with crystal vases with each of their names inscribe on them.

Fornmer broadcaster Lesley Hughes did a fabulous job emceeing the evening.
Thanks to the hardworking planning committee: Maxine Balbon, Mary Scott, Maj. Karen Hoeft, Shirley Walker, Jo-Anne Yuskin and Marilyn McGonigal.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lindsay Willer Child Care Worker, Model and Role Model
Edmonton model Linsay Willier, 22, of Sucker Creek First Nation Reserve, started out strong this week on Canada's Next Top Model, earning high praise for wowing the media on the red carpet at Toronto Fashion Week.
Many of the Aboriginal girls look up to Willier and she is conscious of that and ensure that she is setting the right example. Willier is proud of her Aboriginal heritage and will do nothing to hide it.
"So proud of one of our own," Laura Makokis writes on the site's wall. "Proof to our aboriginal girls that there is more to life than shacking up, having babies early in life, welfare, drugs."

"Glad to see that there is finally an aboriginal woman making it into the industry," says another, Tahnee Elk. "You are inspiring to many girls out there, who also want to make it into modelling".
Congrats Lindsay you are a top model in my book.

Winnipeg Model Comes in Tops

Megan Waller, a Winnipeg girl, was shaken with surprise when she was declared Canada's top model. The lanky blonde impressed the judges from the get go. Congratultions Megan and best of luck in your career. Make Winnipeg proud

Acting Mayor Doug Thompson attempted to honour former Playboy playmate, and former Ottawa resident, Shannon Tweed, middle, with a day named in her honour. (Chad Pawson/CBC
Shannon Tweed Day in Ottawa
Are those people in the Nation's capital thinking or what. Acting Mayor attempted to pass a bill to declare Wednesday 14th June Shannon Tweed Day? Why? because she was a former playmate? Does the acting mayor subscribe to playboy mags. No problem but use your brain to think and make sensible decisions. I know Tweed might have the power to confuse men who are into surfacing but man oh man, good thing someone had the foresight to put a stop to this insanity.
Tweed was a good sport and not throw any kind of tantrum because of the backsies. She said she wants to be positive and that's wonderful. Let's all be positively against designating days on the fly. People have to earn such accolades by doing something to benefit the community and make the world a better place. Positive.
Winnipeg Fringe Festival
The Fringe Festival 2009 is off to a good start. You have to love Winnippeggers, in spite of the balmy, miserable weather, most of the venues were full and why not? Why let a little bad weather hold you back. The weather is doing its thing and we have to do ours and make hay while the snow is off the ground - did I say snow! - sorry. I know we do not even want that image in our imagination right now.
Listen to CBC Radio with Terry McLeod to hear your daily reviews of shows or check their website before you go. Although remember one's what is good for the goose may not be good for the gander.

Russell Peters Makes the Forbes list of successful comedians

On another note, our guy Russell Peters, the Indian with the English sounding name, is laughing all the way to the bank with his funny stuff. He cracked the $10 million mark last year! Good on him. He is funny and lovable too. I like him a lot.
Video: Young Cosmopolitan Israelis Share Their Shocking Racist Views | World | AlterNet

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Forks Market - Winnipeg's Heartbeat

Dancing under the canopy will be happening there every Thursday. Last Sunday I was out walking around the park and I bumped into men and their antique cars. They were like peacocks circling the cars and ready to answer any question a curious passerby like me had to ask. The cars were beautiful. I am not much of a car person but these babies were in mint condition and wonderful to look at. That's the beauty of checking out the Forks regularly, there is always little surprises waiting for you there.
Below are some of the cars that were shown off in the Austin Mini Antique car show at the Forks. I am partial to Austin mini because that was the first car I ever drove. I still love 'em. They are neat little cars. There were others but these tickled my fancy and so I thought I'd share what I saw with you. Enjoy - Jay Leno eat your heart out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An 11-year-old Takes His Life…Why? | Girl, Get Me Started!

An 11-year-old Takes His Life…Why? | Girl, Get Me Started!

Click on information to enlarge it
Michael Bashir a friend or a traitor?

Why is he paying tribute to a child molestor? Isn't that a bit hypocritical? If I truly believed that Michael Jackson had ever hurt a child, I do not think I could listen to his music anymore because he would have done something that I could not bear even listening to his music because it would remind me of his hideous crime. I truly believe that Michael Jackson would be vindicated one day by a child who would come forward and speak of who he truly was. He was a gentle soul who tried to live in the ways of the spirit and because he did not open up like a book to the media at their every whim, people were free to make up stories about him and to denigrate him.
After Bashir's interview, Michael goose was cooked? How can a person live with themselves if indeed through their deliberate fabrication of facts for the 40 pieces of silver, they sold a man and destroyed his life.
I hope Bashir knows that there is something called Karmic influence, I hope he keeps that in mind.

Did Martin Bashir Kill Michael Jackson? | Showbiz Spy - celebrity news, rumors & gossip
Ningwanuk Meshquajese - Wings of Change
Building Cultural Bridges Sharing Circle
Hosted by: the Indian Family Centre
470 Selkirk Avenue, Wpg Mb

Friday August 14th, 2009 from 1 - 4:30 p.m.
please register ~ limited seating available
light refreshments provided

Funded by the Community Initiatives and Research Program The MFL Occupational Health Centre, Inc. is offering FREE “Building Cultural Bridges” Sharing
Circles to rural workplaces in Manitoba to help enhance safety and
health among workers.
The goal is to assist Joint Health & Safety Committees in rural workplaces build safer work environments by using Sharing Circles and traditional Aboriginal
Teachings in a way that honours the Seven Sacred Teachings and the Lessons of the Geese. It seeks to better engage Aboriginal workers with non-Aboriginal workers
when dealing with workplace health and safety issues. It will help Joint
Health & Safety Committees to enhance their capabilities to identify and resolve workplace issues and to grow in these skills over time. Priority will be given to rural workplaces with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal employees.
Workplaces will ideally have an established workplace safety and health committee, but those with small workplaces with an elected representative will also be considered.
Participating in the project will benefit your workplace by:
a) Minimizing the risk of a workplace injury
by building a strong worker participation strategy
b) Creating a positive work environment conducive to team spirit
c) Identifying and resolving concerns before they escalate
Contact us to arrange a Wings of Change Sharing Circle for your joint health
and safety committee or Workplace

Janice Greene at 926-7907
Toll Free: 1-888-843-1229

This fall, when you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in “V” formation,you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way.

Fact: As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the bird immediately following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock has at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

Lesson:1 People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.

Fact: When a goose flies out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone. It quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds immediately in front.

Lesson: 2. If we have as much common sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others. It is harder to do something alone than together.

Fact: When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation, and another goose flies to the point

Lesson:3 It is sensible to take turns doing the hard and demanding tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese,people are interdependent of each others skills, capabilities, and unique arrangements of gifts, talents, or resources.

Fact: The geese flying in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Lesson:4 We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek. We need to make sure our honking is encouraging and not discouraging.

Fact: When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two other geese will drop out of formation with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their flock.

Lesson:5 If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as in good.

Written in 1972 by Dr. Robert NcNeish of Baltimore
Exciting, Innovate Program by Age and Opportunity Winnipeg

Age & Opportunity presents a new and exciting program entitled Senior Centre Without Walls. This program offers a unique opportunity for socially isolated older adults (55+) in Winnipeg to join fun and interactive programs from the comfort of their own homes by telephone.

Each program is a half hour in length and is offered once a week for 4-8 consecutive weeks. Participants are encouraged to join one or join them all…It’s FREE!!

How does it work?

1. Interested participants contact Age & Opportunity Intake line at 956-6440 to register.

Registered participants receive a package by mail welcoming them to the session(s) and offering additional materials (i.e. informative articles, pictures, brochures, etc) including instructions about how to join the sessions by phone .

2. Participants contact Senior Centre Without Walls by phone at 1-800-669-6180 (toll free) and enter the participant code. Participants state their name and are invited into the group session.

3. A program facilitator is waiting on the phone line a few minutes before the session is set to begin and greets participants by name. As participants join the session, they are also introduced to the group by name.

4. The facilitator introduces the topic of the session and facilitates conversation between participants. Facilitator notifies participants when there is 5 minutes left in the session and wraps up discussions.

Topics include:
The Travel Talk program: is an opportunity to discuss different travel experiences.

Armchair Exercised: is a program lead by Amanda Macrae that provides a 30 minute exercise program that participants can do safely from the comfort of their chair at home.

Coping with Anxiety: is a group where the facilitator will discuss different types of anxiety and some options for coping with anxiety with participants.

Safe Sex for Older Adults: is a group that gives participants the chance to discuss safe sex practices and how to access protection such as condoms. Participants will receive a condom to practice with in their own home along with some very important information related to the importance of practicing safe sex at every age.

Introduction to Italian/Spanish: are two separate classes, each offered for four weeks, where a participant can learn and practice using these languages for common phrases like "My name is", "where is the bathroom" for example.

The gratitude group:
is offered daily and is an opportunity for participants to call in and share what they are thankful for. This could be gifts they received in the past or possibly a kindness shown to them that day, for example.

The topics for the September/October sessions should be finalized, likely around the middle of August.
Feel free to contact Katherine Nelson (phone: 956-6440 or email: if you have any questions about this program

To register, or for more information, contact Intake at 956-6440.
Inspiring Story of a Successful Native American Women

Read her story and be inspired to live your life on your terms

Her experience, intelligence and qualifications transcended her sex and ancestry.
A Woman We Love: Kathy Hopinkah Hannan


The Great artist, Leo Mol, had a fitting send off to heaven yesterday amidst his more than 300 sculpture garden housed at the Assiniboine Park. Hundreds were on hand to bid this gentle, humble and extraordinary Jewel who lived quietly amidst the noise of Winniped and produced some of his best works here in this City.
I was fortunate to meet the man up close and personal and even shook his hand and it felt good. I felt I stood in the presence of greatness.
Leo Mol is a role model for those who might think themselves underprivileged. When you believe in yourself, follow your life's path everything becomes do-able. Leo Mol was born to do the work he did and he excelled beyond his own dreams. His works are in all the major galleries and public spaces in the world. He lived a long productive life.
He never forgot his humble Ukrainian roots and in that humility lies the man greatness. Fare thee well my fellow traveller.
Guyanese Serena Williams is on the move

Serena Williams is Sachia Vickery's role model and she is working hard to reach that goal and from the look of things yes she can.
Child of Guyanese parents, Sachia was recently in Guyana visiting relativesand Kaietur news spoke to her about her success in Tennis sports. As usual the Winnipeg Guyanese community bask in the reflection of any Guyanese who is making their dreams come through. Read the fascinating story below.

Sachia Vickery carving a name for herself : Kaieteur News

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pet Peeve re Cyclists

I walk a lot and I get frustrated by cyclists who sneak up behind you on the side walk trying to get back.

I think the Winnipeg Police need to implement a new policy with regards to cyclists using the side walk with pedestrians (I have no problem with that). However a more effective situation needs to be developed for everyone's enjoyment and peace of mind.
Two policies need to be implemented as soon as possible

1) All bicycles must have a bell which must be used to announce cyclists on the sidewalks

2) Cyclists must follow the rules of the road even on the sidewalks. They should ride in the direction facing the pedestrian not in the same direction as if they are walking. I think this will solve a lot of the problems with cyclists and pedestrians. One can get seriously hurt by a cyclist.

I hope the City of WInnipeg and the Winnipeg Police take action.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Face of Poverty in Winnipeg
(Reprinted from a email sent to me but article is from CCPA Mb)

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba (CCPA-Mb) has written extensively on issues of poverty and homelessness. Unfortunately the problem appears to be getting worse rather than better as vacancy rates in Manitoba cities reach an all-time low. The rate in Brandon is currently at 0.1%, Winnipeg at 0.9% and Thompson at 0.2%.

The demand for rental housing has resulted in rising rents as many landlords renovate their units and in accordance with The Residential Tenancy Act, are permitted to increase rents above guidelines. Because the rent allowances provided by social assistance have not kept pace with rent increases, many individuals and families must use their food allowance to cover their rent resulting in a reliance on food banks and soup kitchens.

CCPA regularly comes into contact with people living in poverty whose situations are made worse due to a lack of housing. Some of these individuals contact us wishing to have their stories told. The following is but one story of many.

In late fall of 2008, 'Joe', a resident of the West Broadway neighbourhood, received notice that his rent would increase by 60% from $330.00 to $550. Joe suffers from bi-polar disorder. He receives a total of $285.00 shelter allowance from Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) plus an additional $35.00 supplement provided to EIA recipients with disabilities. This covered the cost of his rent until the rate increase. Joe felt that the increase was far too high and he exercised his right to appeal. He lost his appeal to the Residential Tenancy Branch. The cost of rent is now far beyond what he is able to afford and he is desperately trying to find somewhere else to live. Joe's situation is fairly common in his neighbourhood where gentrification has resulted in the displacement of many long-term low-income residents.

On May 21st, The Manitoba government announced their HOMEWorks! homeless strategy that includes plans for "285 more mental -health housing units". It is not clear when the new units will be built. Hopefully very soon as they are desperately needed. In the meantime, Joe continues to search for somewhere to live.

This is what he told us about living in poverty and not having a home.

My yearly gross income is $9,667. After expenses are paid I am left with $2703. That's $225 a month to cover everything including food, bus fare, clothing, toiletries, and laundry. Everything. I have lived in my apartment for 3 years. I feel safe and comfortable there. But the rent increase is forcing me to find somewhere else to live. There is nothing available. I am told we have a 1% vacancy rate. Manitoba Housing tells me there is a one-year wait for public housing.

When you are poor you have no choices. I hate having no choices and having to be forced to beg on the streets. Having choices gives you self-respect, dignity, self-esteem, self-control and confidence. But this is lost when you are forced to use food banks and line up at a soup kitchen every day-to be forced to eat what is served without any choices of what you would want to eat and when and where-- in the company of strangers or the privacy of your own home. Because of my mental illness, I find eating in a room of strangers creates anxiety I do not need. It makes me anxious to be in a room of absolute strangers; surrounded by religious quotes on walls and religious hymns that I don't care to know in exchange for a meal that is not of my taste and liking. I don't think that I should be subjected to other people's beliefs because I am in want of a meal. But every cent I get from Employment and Income Assistance goes to pay my rent. There is nothing left. I have no choice.

I understand that people give money to food banks and soup kitchens because they want to help. But to really help would be to ensure that I have income sufficient to give me a choice of where to live and a choice of what to eat.

Living in poverty is to live in fear and in uncertain circumstances all your live-long days. I hate poverty....I hate it. I hate it when I have to worry about where my next meal is going to come from and not being able to sleep because I dread the dawn of a new day---nothing changes.

I hate it when people stereo type me then want to change who I am and force me into a mould I cannot fit into rather than accept me and let me be.

I hate it when my family and friends ignore me and treat me like I don't belong in the world because I have a mental illness and am on social assistance.

I hate it when my dignity is undermined and my self-respect swallowed in exchange for a meal somewhere I don't want to be. I hate it when I see others suffering-- tired, worn and in pain--cheated of their basic rights to food and shelter. 'They' expect people to live were they would not live - an unsafe insecure rooming house or on the street. They expect you to spend all your energy in a transient gloom-moving from soup line to shelter and back again.

But it really isn't hate that I feel. I am hurt. Very deeply hurt. That people like me, people who are poor, are ill treated - verbally and physically and mentally mistreated and forced to live in such terrible conditions because people do not see us as deserving of more.

I just want to have a decent home. I just want to be able to buy my own food, eat what I want when I am hungry.

Joe shared this story with Shauna MacKinnon, CCPA Manitoba. Joe has lived most of his life in Winnipeg. He currently lives in the West Broadway neighbourhood.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Winnipeg one of the more interesting cities in the world that don't leave you penniless. You will alway return with some change in your pocket.
Winnipeg is a great getaway location

Poster boards designed by artists will be launched in a public celebration on Wednesday, July 8 at 12 noon in Old Market Square.
A Call to Artists was issued last summer for designs for the top portion of the boards. Thirty eight artists submitted 114 proposals and a jury selected the winning designs by Winnipeg artists Michael Carroll, Judith Panson and Laurie Green. The images range from a witty “on” light switch to a rousing crowd enjoying a stage event to a silhouette reflecting the historical buildings that the Exchange District is so well known for.This exciting new initiative is a collaboration between the Winnipeg Arts Council Public Art Program and the Exchange District BIZ.

Brian, is the Executive Director of the Exchange Biz and part of his job is to make the Exchange as attractive and welcoming as he possibly can. The Exchange district is a must for any tourist. You will be amazed by the architecture and intrigues of this area. There are lots of neat shops and eateries as well.

Winnipeg Councillor Harvey Smith congratulating Michael Carroll on his accomplishment.

One of the three artists - Judith Panson

Crowd scene

Some of the people who came for the unveiling

Artist Laurie Green

One of the artists whose work will be displayed - Michael Carroll

Carol Phillips, is the Executive Director of the Winnipeg Art Council and she is also welcoming the guests and congratulating the artists.

Tricia Wasney of the Winnipeg Art Council welcoming the lunch hour crowd who came to witness the unveiling of the 2009 public art posters that will eventually be mounted in various parts of the City. Winnipeg is fast become of the best art cities in North America. The council is highly supportive of public art to make Winnpeg even more interesting to its citizens and a tourist magnet as well.

After our long harsh winter making the most of the sun is natural. Outdoor patios are very popular in Winnipeg.

Look at the stone work up close on St. Mary's Church

Side view of St. Mary facing MTS Centre on Hargrave

Another view of St. Mary's Church - it is a beautiful church with excellent stone work

St. Mary's Catholic Church at Graham and Carlton

HOly Trinity Church in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. There are many beautiful churches in Winnipeg. People love to sit and enjoy the peace found in most church surrounding. It is across from the Millennium Library

Portage and Main now has a huge screen. It is becoming the gathering place for city dwellers. For tourists this is a must.

This is an artwork on a garbage container. This kind of beauty is everywhere in Winnipeg

This could be a symbol of Winnipeg's multicultural society. It is one of the most diverse cities in Canada

Hotdog stands and summer go together hand in hand in the summer time. A favourite summer treat

Flowers on the Boulevards are everywhere. Winnipeg is lush and green in summer.

The energy of youths in summer - these youths were using their bodies as canvas for a fee.