Monday, January 31, 2011

Upcoming-Event - January 31, 2011 - UNIFEM

Hi everyone,
Just a reminder we will be meeting on Monday, Jan. 31st, 7:00 at the University Women's Club, 54 West Gate.

We are really happy to welcome Lisa Michell, a supporter of UNIFEM (now UN Women), who is the organizer and coordinator of the Women's Memorial March

There has been quite a bit in the news about the launch of UN Women. Let's continue to do our small bit here in Winnipeg and Manitoba - the local to global connection will continue I know with all your support!

Excerpts from a speech delivered by  Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, at the opening of the First Regular Session of the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), 24 January 2011.Vision and 100 Day Action Plan
I am determined that UN Women will be a catalyst for change, offering new energy, drawing on long-standing ideas and values, and bringing together men and women from different countries, societies and communities in a shared endeavour. I want to underline that this endeavour will be a global one, though its impact will be experienced primarily at the country level; thus UN Women's technical support and expertise will be available, on request, to all countries, developed and developing countries alike.

 UN Women will centre its work around five core principles: 1) providing demand-driven support to national partners to enhance implementation of international agreements and standards; 2) supporting intergovernmental processes to strengthen the global normative and policy framework on gender equality; 3) advocating for gender equality and women's empowerment, championing the rights of women and girls - particularly those who are most excluded; 4) leading and promoting coherence in UN system work on gender equality; and 5) acting as a global broker of knowledge and experience, aligning practice with normative guidance.

Five thematic priorities:
1) Expanding women's voice, leadership and participation, working with partners to close the gaps in women's leadership and participation in different sectors and to demonstrate the benefits of such leadership for society as a whole;

2) Ending violence against women by enabling states to set up the mechanisms needed to formulate and enforce laws, policies and services that protect women and girls, promote the involvement of men and boys, and prevent violence;

3) Strengthening implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, through women's full participation in conflict resolution and peace processes, gender-responsive early-warning, protection from sexual violence and redress for its survivors in accordance with UN resolutions;

4) Enhancing women's economic empowerment is particularly important in the context of global economic and environmental crises. UN Women will work with governments and multilateral partners to ensure the full realization of women's economic security and rights, including to productive assets and full social protection;

5) Making gender equality priorities central to national, local and sectoral planning and budgeting: working with partners, UN Women will support national capacities in evidence-based planning, budgeting and statistics.

In addition to these five priority areas, UN Women will support UN partners who are leading the response in areas such as HIV and AIDS, migration, the Rule of Law, environmental degradation and climate change, social protection, and maternal and child health.

UN Women has identified a number of actions over the next three months which are fully outlined in the Summary Vision and 100 Day Action Plan you have all received. Let me highlight just a few:

To promote UN System coherence, we will work with the UN Development Group (UNDG) to develop a UNDG coordination strategy on gender, and to adopt and implement a gender resource tracking system, building on work by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

To expand women's voice, leadership and participation, we will partner with the Global Colloquium of Universities on an initiative called "Empowering women to change the world - what Universities and the UN can do." We will continue to provide grants - US$16 million in the coming months - to government and non-governmental organization (NGO) partners to advance women's political and economic empowerment.

To combat violence against women, we will continue to work closely with other UN agencies and departments such as the UN Population Fund (UNFPA); we will link our Safe Cities for Women programme with the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Safe Cities for Children initiative, to create synergies in our combined efforts to empower local authorities, and the efforts of women's and youth groups, to combat violence against women and girls in public places.

To strengthen the women, peace and security agenda, we will lead the development of a Strategic Framework for UN system implementation of UNSCR 1325 in partnership with UN entities and support further development of indicators to measure progress. Together with the Department of Political Affairs, we will support women in peace negotiations, increase numbers of senior women mediators and gender experts, and finalize guidance for mediators. With the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), we will test innovative pre-deployment training for peacekeeping troops.

To enhance women's economic empowerment, UN Women will work closely with partners (UNDP, FAO, ILO and IFIs) to develop a transformative UN strategy to advance women's economic empowerment with a special focus on rural women. Together with the World Bank, we will also regularly produce a global "Women's Economic Opportunity Index."

To advance gender equality priorities in development planning, budgets and statistics, working together with ILO, we will broaden the UN-European Commission Partnership focusing on Financing for Gender Equality at national level. We will partner with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to provide technical expertise where countries request help to link monitoring with actions to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
Also wanted every one to know, i'm doing a blog again this year for the meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations (UN) The theme is women and girls and education. You can read the regular updates and watch for news and photos, right from the UN at

See you Monday,

MaryMary ScottNational Committee for UN Women - Canada/Winnipeg chapter

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women

Upcoming Events - February 2011

Human Rights Letter Writing Circle
Tuesday, February 1st,  7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
27 Dundurn Place  (Off Maryland - between Wolseley and Westminster)
Join us to take action on Amnesty International human rights cases.  Feel free to bring your own letter writing actions on human right issues to share with the group.  Letter writing actions should include background information, key points to be included in the letter and the names, titles and addresses of the recipients.

Defending the Rights of Migrant Workers
Thursday – February 10th - 7:00 p.m.
University of Winnipeg – Room 1L04
(First door to your right from the Ellice Entrance)
Speakers:  Gustavo Mejicanos & Diwa Marcelino
Speakers will discuss the work of Migrant Workers Solidarity Network, Damayan Manitoba and the rights of migrant workers in Canada (including the case of the “The 3 Amigos”).
Cost:  Free
Open to the Public - Everyone Welcome
 For more information contact Louise at or 475-4565

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Environment over profits

Some big business are promoting exploitation of our natural resources in order to garner profits and undersell the more eco friendly competitions. With the power behind your dollar you have a choice to help the environment or to destroy it.  Costco - the giant retailer/wholesaler is listed as one of the offending businesses here in Winnipeg. If you are a Cosco customer, perhaps you might want to talk to someone there and express your disapproval of their practice of buying fish on the verge of extinction in bulk so that they can outsell their competitor.  In the meantime this practice is adding to our environmental crisis  - thank you

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Give your ass more break time

According to the latest reports Canadians spend too much time on our asses, watching TV, playing games or just eating hotdog and ice cream
The older generation may outlive the younger generation if we are not careful.  If it is so hard for us to go to the gym or for a walk why not get rid of the dishwasher, the vacuum cleaner, the electric lawnmower and snow blower and use the bus more often and we could easily reach athe 60 minutes of physical activity just doing work around the house. We are getting lazier and lazier and just want to sit around doing mindless stuff that adds nothing to the quality of our lives.
Canadian children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day and adults 150 minutes per week, according to new exercise guidelines.
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) announced the revised Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines on Monday.
Under the new guidelines, children ages five to 11 and youth ages 12 to 17 should:
  • Accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity daily.
  • Include vigorous-intensity activities at least three days per week.
  • Include activities that strengthen muscle and bone at least three days per week.
Adults age 18 to 64 should strive to accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more, the guidelines say.


January 24, 2011
Manitoba Water Stewardship’s first spring flood outlook indicates the 2011 spring flood potential is high for much of Manitoba including the Red, Souris, Pembina, Assiniboine, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Fisher rivers and the Interlake.  High river flows, above-normal snow-water content in the snowpack, and an expected cooler and wetter spring have increased the probabilities of significant flooding.
With average weather along the Red River, a flood the size of 2009 is anticipated while unfavourable weather could result in a flood of 1997 levels.  With average weather along other rivers and streams in Manitoba, flooding is still anticipated and, with unfavourable weather, significant flooding could occur.
However, the spring flood potential is still very dependent on weather conditions from now through to the spring melt.  The amount of additional snow and rain, plus the timing and rate of the spring thaw and the timing of peak flows in Manitoba as well as other states and provinces will have a significant effect on the flood potential.
Localized overland flooding is expected in most of central and southern Manitoba and could occur during the early part of the run-off period due to ice jams, snow blockages or frozen culverts in river channels, drains and ditches.
Climatic Conditions
  • Precipitation during the autumn of 2010 was heavy and well above normal in most of Manitoba, central and southern Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Minnesota.
  • Cold temperatures from mid-November 2010, through today have resulted in significant soil-frost penetration in most areas.
  • Widespread, heavy snow occurred from late November through early January in Manitoba, central and southern Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Minnesota.
  • Currently, a moderate La Niña in the equatorial Pacific is expected to continue through the remaining winter months of 2011, which could result in significant snowfall.  The possibility of significant spring rain due to a predicted El Niño is another concern.  However, if there is a
    cooler-than-average spring, it might result in a staggered slow melt.
Soil Conditions
  • An aerial soil moisture survey conducted between Nov. 2 and Nov. 11, 2010, showed that moisture in the top 20 centimetres (7.9 inches) of soil was well above average in much of southern Manitoba. 
  • A soil moisture index (SMI) based on weighted precipitation from May to October is commonly computed by Manitoba’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre.  This year it shows the soil moisture at freeze-up was well above normal across most of central and southern Manitoba, central and southern Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Minnesota.
  • Soil-frost information is sparse, but the data available for southern Manitoba and North Dakota suggests the soil is frozen to a depth of 10 to 50 cm (0.3 to 1.6 feet).  Wet, frozen soils do not allow meltwater to soak in and, as a result, increase spring run-off.                                                                                        
Snow Cover and Winter Precipitation
  1. An airborne snow survey was conducted over the Red, Assiniboine and Souris river watersheds Jan. 4 to 12, 2011.  The survey showed that snow-water content ranged from
    50 to 100 millimetres (two to four in.) over most areas of southern Manitoba, which is about
    110 per cent of the normal snow-water content.
Spring Run-off
  • The 2011 spring run-off is expected to be above average over most of Manitoba, south of Gillam.
  • Well-above-average run-off potential is expected over a narrow strip running from The Pas south to Brandon, the Eastern Red River Basin, the Winnipeg River Watershed and the Island Lake area.
  • This prediction is based on 2010 summer and autumn soil moisture, snowpack conditions as of mid-January and average future weather conditions for precipitation, date of breakup and melt rate.
  • Spring run-off could deviate significantly from that predicted if future precipitation and breakup conditions differ significantly from the average.
River Forecasts
  • The spring flood outlook is classified into three future weather scenarios related to additional snow, melt rates and spring rain.  These scenarios are based on available climate statistics for the past 30 to 40 years.
  • The three future weather scenarios are referred to as favourable, average and unfavourable. 
 There is a one-in-10 chance of the weather being favourable or better and there is a one-in-10 chance of it being unfavourable or worse. In addition to precipitation differences, the favourable and unfavourable conditions also assume that breakup will be slow and relatively fast respectively, while average conditions are assumed for average weather.
  • Forecasts do not include effects of possible ice jams which are generally unpredictable.  Localized and brief flooding can occur in locations where ice jams develop, even with below-average river flows.
  • Flood outlooks for international and interprovincial streams include information obtained from the U.S. National Weather Service and the Saskatchewan Water Authority.
Red RiverMain Stem
  • The soil moisture index at 2010 freeze-up is slightly lower than the record-high value prior to the 2009 flood.  However, it is the second highest since such computations began in 1948 and well above the level prior to the 1997 flood.
  • Snow cover is well above average, especially south of Grand Forks but still less than in
    mid-January 1997.  With unfavourable snowfall from now until spring, the total winter snowpack would remain well below the amount on the ground following the early April blizzard in 1997.
  • Favourable Weather
    • With little additional precipitation and a gradual snowmelt, a flood close to that of 2001 is expected.  This would cause only minor overbank flows from St. Jean Baptiste to Morris with bank-full conditions elsewhere.
  • Average Weather
    • With average weather from now through April, a flood similar to that of 2009 is expected.
    • Homes in the Red River Valley would not be flooded due to flood protection works.  However, transportation would be significantly disrupted with closure of PTH 75 near Morris and closure of many smaller roads in the flooded area.
    • Operation of the Red River Floodway would keep levels in downtown Winnipeg in a range of 6.4 to 7.01 metres (21 to 23 ft.) depending on the flows from the Assiniboine River, as compared to 7.47 m (24.5 ft.) in 1997.
  • Unfavourable Weather
    • There is a one-in-10 chance of unfavourable weather.  With unfavourable conditions, peak stages would be comparable to or slightly higher than 1997 levels at most locations.
    • At most locations, it is expected that levels would be between nine and 21 cm (3.6 to 8.3 in.) above 1997.  Homes would likely not be flooded, but transportation and access to properties in the floodplain would be reduced for up to three weeks.  The crest in downtown Winnipeg would be similar to 1997, about 7.47 m (24.5 ft.).
    • Peak stages from Selkirk to Breezy Point would depend on whether ice jams develop.
      Ice-cutting and breaking operations would reduce the chance of serious ice jams.  Currently, ice buildup is slightly less than the winter average.  With favourable spring weather conditions, and ice sawing and breaking, serious ice jamming is unlikely.
    • Even without serious ice jams, flooding of low-lying properties in the Breezy Point area is likely.  Elsewhere, flooding is not expected unless serious ice jams develop.
 Red RiverTributaries
  • With favourable weather from now through the spring, flooding would be fairly localized.  This is due to current snow cover being somewhat below average.
  • If average weather conditions occur, significant overbank flows would develop on portions of most streams and there would be overland flooding in low-lying areas.
  • With unfavourable weather, extensive over-bank flows would occur on all streams, bringing them close to 1997 levels.
  • With favourable weather conditions, there is the potential for minor flooding.
  • With average weather conditions, peak water levels along the Pembina River and tributaries would still be somewhat close to those of 1979 but, with unfavourable weather
    (one-in-10-chance), flooding could exceed that of 2009.
  • With favourable weather conditions, minor flooding is expected.
  • With average weather conditions, flooding would occur at close to 2009 levels.
  • With unfavourable weather conditions, flooding would occur similar to 2002.
AssiniboineRiverMain Stem
  • Favourable Weather
    • With favourable weather, there would be minor flooding along the Assiniboine River this spring.
  • Average Weather
    • If average weather conditions occur, there will be flooding along the Assiniboine River this spring.  The drawdown of Shellmouth Reservoir that is now underway will minimize the risk of flooding while providing sufficient water supplies to meet downstream needs in 2011 and beyond.
Average weather conditions would also result in flooding from Millwood to Brandon with levels generally below those of 1995, but higher than those of 1979.
  • Unfavourable Weather
    • Unfavourable weather would result in flooding of valley lands from Shellmouth to Brandon.  Levels would be higher than that of 1976 by about 0.5 m to 0.9 m (1.5 to three ft.).
    • Shellmouth Reservoir is being drawn down this winter to provide maximum storage space for spring flood control along the Assiniboine River.  This will greatly reduce spring peak stages along the river, especially for the portion between the dam and St. Lazare, where flooding will be avoided only if favourable weather conditions occur.
    • The Portage Diversion will be operated to prevent ice jams and flooding from Portage la Prairie to Winnipeg.  Flooding could occur in this portion if unfavourable conditions occur. 
  • With average weather conditions, flooding is likely. 
  • Unfavourable weather conditions would result in significant flooding on most tributaries leading to over-bank flows.
  • The flood potential is high for the Souris River due to high soil moisture and higher-than-normal snow cover in the North Dakota portion of the watershed.  Significant flooding of agricultural lands adjacent to the river is likely.      
  • A favourable weather scenario would produce a flood similar to that of 2009.
  • With average weather conditions, a flood slightly less than that of 1974 is likely.  Low-lying portions on the south edge of Melita would require diking.
  • Unfavourable weather would result in water levels higher than those of 1974 but lower than the peak stages of the 1976 record flood.  Low-lying homes near Souris would require diking in addition to the area next to PTH 3 at Melita.
  • With average weather, flooding is likely on Souris River tributaries. 
  • Under unfavourable weather conditions, Souris River tributaries would experience significant flooding.                                                                                 
  • Soil moisture is well above normal and most small depressions are relatively full from heavy rains last summer and fall.  Snow cover is currently average to above average.
With favourable weather, flooding would be limited to low agricultural lands.  Streams would remain within their banks.
  • With average weather, flooding would occur and the Fisher River would see flood levels close to those of 2006.  Overland flooding would also occur.
  • With unfavourable weather, flooding (slightly higher than that of 1986 but lower than 2009) could develop.  There could also be difficulties due to a high water table, resulting in seepage into basements in rural areas.  The Fisher River would have levels similar to the 1986 flood.
  • Record high levels are likely on the Shoal lakes, even with average weather conditions.
Eastern Region
  • Soil moisture is currently above average but snow cover is somewhat below average to above average.
  • With favourable weather conditions, localized flooding could occur in areas like the Brokenhead, Whitemouth, Whiteshell and Winnipeg rivers.
  • If average weather conditions develop, flooding is likely to occur along streams and lake shores.
  • Unfavourable weather conditions could produce flooding of agricultural lands that would be close to previous record floods.  The Winnipeg River is expected to be below 1997 but above 1988 levels under unfavourable weather conditions.
Westlake, Dauphin and The Pas Regions
  • Soil moisture is above normal to well above normal in most areas.  Snow cover is generally near normal to above normal.
  • With average weather conditions, flooding is possible on the Whitemud, Turtle, Swan and Carrot rivers and the Saskatchewan River would be expected to see flood levels slightly higher than the 2005 flood at The Pas.
  • With unfavourable weather conditions, flooding could develop.  Brief localized flooding is also possible due to snow-blocked or ice-filled streams, drains or ditches.  If unfavourable weather conditions develop, flooding that is higher than 1974 levels is expected in the Saskatchewan River at The Pas.    
Northern Manitoba
  • Run-off in most of far northern Manitoba (north of 54 degrees north) is likely to be average.
    Run-off should be more substantial in northeastern Manitoba.
Forecast Updates

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January 24, 2011

Program Focusing on Leadership of Young Community Volunteers This Year: Rondeau
Provincial Green Team grant applications are now available for not-for-profit organizations and rural municipal governments to hire students and youth for summer jobs in Manitoba, Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Minister Jim Rondeau announced today. 
“Many students rely on summer jobs to help them pay for their education costs,” said Rondeau.  “Green Team is helping young Manitobans with earning those funds, while they gain valuable skills and experience working on projects that benefit our communities.”
The Urban and Hometown Green Teams create summer employment opportunities for students and unemployed youth aged 16 to 24 years.  Participating employers co-ordinate a variety of community development projects that improve neighbourhoods, promote community involvement and help develop young leaders.
This year priority is being given to projects that give older students and youth the opportunity to supervise teams of younger Manitobans (10 to 15 years of age) while they are doing volunteer work to improve their communities.
“Green Team provides multiple benefits to the youth, their employers and their communities,” said Rondeau.  “By engaging young people at an early age, we foster a respect for the community and they are more likely to continue to be involved in it as they get older.”
Funding for the Urban and Hometown Green Team programs is available for not-for-profit groups, universities, colleges, school divisions, schools, hospitals and rural municipal governments.  Organizations can hire up to four youth between May 1 and Aug. 31.  The application deadline for jobs that begin in May is Feb. 16, while the deadline for jobs that begin after June 13 is April 12.
Participating employers provide a wide range of community projects that support recreation, housing rehabilitation and neighbourhood safety, as well as park and riverbank cleanups and public education related to community development projects.  Since 2000, nearly 12,000 jobs have been supported by the grants throughout the province.
More information as well as the applications for interested employers can be found at by calling 945-3556 in Winnipeg and 1‑800‑282-8069 (toll-free).
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Three levels of government announce funding for the conversion of St. Matthews Church to affordable housing. (Left to right) Mike Pagtakhan, Winnipeg City Councillor for Point Douglas, Kerri Irvin-Ross, Manitoba Minister of Housing and Community Development, Reverend Kathy Campbell, Rector of St. Matthews Church and Vice-Chair of St. Matthews Non-Profit Housing, Steven Fletcher, Federal Minister of Democratic Reform and Roger Gateson, Chair of St. Matthews Non-Profit Housing

January 24, 2011
Winnipeg, Manitoba – The Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg today announced $2.27 million in funding for the WestEnd Commons, a 24-unit affordable housing project being developed by St. Matthews Non Profit Housing Inc. and the Grain of Wheat Church Community.
The announcement was made today by the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Honourable Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Housing and Community Development, and Mike Pagtakhan, Winnipeg City Councillor for Point Douglas, on behalf of Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz.
“The Government of Canada is committed to making affordable and supportive housing available in Manitoba and across Canada for those who need it most,” said Minister Fletcher. “The WestEnd Commons will provide low-income families and those at-risk of homelessness with safe and suitable housing that will enable them to build stronger futures for themselves here in Winnipeg.”
“Housing is a key factor in the health and well-being of all of us,” said Minister Irvin-Ross.  “This unique project will involve converting an almost 100 year old church into safe, quality housing.  We are proud to be able to work with organizers of the St. Matthews project to provide affordable housing options for people living in Winnipeg.”
“The creation of these new units offers hope and opportunity to those in our community who need additional support and a place to call home,” said Councillor Pagtakhan. “I am pleased to see that another wonderful project has become a reality under the WHHI, an initiative that is making a difference in Winnipeg.”
When complete, the WestEnd Commons will include 20 affordable rental units and four supportive housing units for individuals with mental health issues. St. Matthews Non Profit Housing Inc. and the Grain of Wheat Church Community are overseeing the development.
The projectinvolvesthe conversion of the 12,500 square foot church, originally built in 1912, into 24 one- to four-bedroom apartments over the next twelve months. St. Matthews Non Profit Housing Inc. and the Grain of Wheat Church Community are exploring alternative heat sources in an effort to reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The project received $1.8 million in funding through the amended Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Agreement. Under the Agreement, the federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to an overall investment of $176 million for affordable housing throughout Manitoba. An additional federal investment of $387,000 was provided by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy. The City of Winnipeg is also contributing $90,000 as part of a multiple family/mixed-use building grant. 
In 2008, the Government of Canada committed more than $1.9 billion over five years to improve and build new affordable housing and to help the homeless. Canada’s Economic Action Plan builds on this with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years for the construction of new and the renovation of existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.
Through Manitoba’s Long-Term Housing Strategy, HOMEWorks!, the Province of Manitoba and Government of Canada are contributing $378 million over two years for housing initiatives in Winnipeg and across the Province. HOMEWorks! supports ALLAboard, Manitoba’s Poverty Reduction strategy by increasing the supply of quality, affordable housing for low-income Manitobans.  More information about HOMEWorks!is available at
The amendment to the Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Agreement, which included funding under Canada's Economic Action Plan, signed in May2009, brought federal housing support of $88 million to the province. The Government of Manitoba is matching that commitment for a total of $176 million to assist those in housing need and, in collaboration with other levels of government and community partners, to make various types of affordable housing programs possible. In Manitoba, federal-provincial housing programs are delivered through the province’s department of Housing and Community Development.
More information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the federal government’s plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at: To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit
The WHHI housing programs are funded by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Manitoba Housing, and the City of Winnipeg, and homelessness programs are funded through the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy. 
Since 2000, the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative – a partnership between Canada, Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg – has committed almost $185 million to repair, rehabilitate, or construct over 8400 housing units as well as assist those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  The WHHI is a single-window office for community organizations to access information on government-funded housing and homelessness programs.  For more information, visit

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Good move. I wish more institutions would look around their bricks and mortar and see how they can transform it to meet their needs as well as those of the community they serve.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Poet Susana Chavez's Death Sparks Outrage in Juarez | AlterNet

suAre things going to change in Juarez with the death of an activist? How many more people have to die for justice to be had. This is an outrage - read at your own risk, this is horrific

Poet Susana Chavez's Death Sparks Outrage in Juarez AlterNet

Governments commit to healthy work environments stragegy

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Labour underscore commitment to well-being of workers and employers

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, January 17, 2011 - Today, federal, provincial and territorial labour ministers met to discuss a wide range of current and emerging issues and took steps to protect the well-being of workers and employers and ensure safe workplaces.
The annual meeting, which began on January 16 and concluded today, was co-hosted by the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Labour Minister, and the Honourable Jennifer Howard, Minister of Labour and Immigration for Manitoba.
"Our Government's number one priority is the economy and we understand that safe and healthy workplaces boost productivity and innovation," said Minister Raitt. "As the well-being of workers and employers are key to the success and performance of Canada's economy, meetings like this one help all governments work together to ensure Canada's workforce remains the best in the world."
"Safe and healthy working environments do not just happen, they require a commitment by governments and everyone at the workplace," said Minister Howard. "Manitoba has long enjoyed a reputation as a leader in workplace health and safety issues and we want to continue to build on our successes."
Over the course of the meeting, the ministers discussed Canada's international labour activities, endorsed a renewed strategy for Canada's work in the International Labour Organization, and agreed to work together to enhance occupational health and safety of young workers using social media and other tools.
The ministers also participated in panel presentations and roundtable discussions regarding the evolving world of work and future labour policy. Specific topics included critical and emerging issues in the areas of employment standards and labour relations, as well as mental health in the workplace.
The labour ministers' meeting is an annual event which provides a forum for discussion of key public policies and exploration of opportunities for cooperation on joint projects and initiatives. Throughout the year, ongoing work continues through the Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation (CAALL). Established in 1938, CAALL is an association of federal-provincial-territorial departments of labour and heads of occupational health and safety agencies.
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This news release is available in alternative formats on request.
For further information (media only):
Ashley Kelahear
Special Assistant, Media Relations
Office of Minister Raitt
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Rachel Morgan
Press Secretary to Cabinet
Government of Manitoba

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Province of Manitoba | News Releases

Province of Manitoba News Releases

What Happened When Fundamentalist Christians Tried to "Cure" Me of Homosexuality | | AlterNet

What happens when your own family turns their back on you because of who you are. While they would not turn their back on a child born with a disability,  they do turn against a child they bore, a child who might be loving, perfect, beautiful but just because he or she was born with a different sexual orientation, they are shunned and cast aside. Fortunately, many parents have chosen to love instead of hating their own children and have embraced their children who are different.
How can one call oneself a Christian and promote hate.  How can one call oneself a Christian and judge others as if they were anointed by God to do so? When in their own lives they are not perfect they expect others to be perfect.  The hypocrisy in the promoters of hatred is palpable and I do not know how the average reasonable person cannot see that it is wrong.

What Happened When Fundamentalist Christians Tried to "Cure" Me of Homosexuality AlterNet

Store books in style |

Neat idea on how to you books in a mre decorative fashion at home.
Store books in style

Monday, January 10, 2011

Five foods that make you happy |

Feeling a little down, don't reach for a pill just yet, try natural foods to see if it does the trick of picking you up.

Five foods that make you happy

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Province of Manitoba | News Releases

January 4, 2011


Regulations that improve oversight in the security industry and streamline the licensing process under the Private Investigators and Security Guards Act are now in effect, Attorney General Andrew Swan announced today.
“It’s important to ensure that sensible and enforceable rules govern security personnel,” said Swan. “These individuals work with the public and safeguard businesses from loss and crime. These changes strengthen oversight mechanisms to provide effective consequences for non‑compliance.  At the same time, they streamline the licensing process to better meet the needs of employers and personnel in the security industry.”
Employers governed by the act are no longer required to apply for licences on behalf of their staff, but are required to employ only those individuals who are licensed as security guards or private investigators. Individuals are responsible for obtaining their own licence as a private investigator or security guard and it remains in effect if they change employers.  The streamlined process reduces red tape for employers and licensees, and ensures that licensees can start work with an employer immediately upon being hired, Swan said.
Temporary licences are issued to security guards who have completed criminal-record and
child-abuse registry checks, but have not completed training. The term for a temporary licence has been increased to six months and allows them to work while they are being trained.
An inspector function has been added to the registrar’s office. The inspector has clearly defined powers and responsibilities to ensure compliance with the legislation through inspections and audits, the minister said.
Individuals must notify the licensing body of any involvement with the criminal justice system and any changes in their personal information within 15 days.  The registrar can immediately suspend a licence if public safety is thought to be at risk.
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Province of Manitoba News Releases

Live Right Now - Challenge - Do a Family Fitness Test

Here's a quick link to CBC's fitness challenge. I am signing up, I challenge you to do the same. Let's do it.

Live Right Now - Challenge - Do a Family Fitness Test

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Derrick Ashong Experience 11/13/2010 - Hour 1 -

The Derrick Ashong Experience 11/13/2010 - Hour 1 - - Live your best Life -

OWN - Oprah's OWN is not about frivolous television, she is like an evangelist, out to change lives one person at a time or a whole nation at a time. It will be an interesting journey to watch. Good luck Oprah, the world needs your spirit. - Live your best Life -