Friday, April 29, 2011

Sex Offender who's likely to reoffend is being let out from Jail - Timothy Frederick Koltusky a/a Kevin Steppan

The three faces of offender
Looks pretty harmless - looks can be deceiving

WINNIPEG — A young Transcona woman has gone into hiding after learning this morning that a convicted sex offender who was stalking her from prison a year ago will be released for a second time.
Amanda Westervelt, 27, said authorities did not warn her about the pending release of Kevin Steppan, who has legally changed his name to Timothy Frederick Koltusky.
"Why did no one call me?" Westervelt asked the Free Press.
Police issued a public notice this morning, warning the public that a convicted sex offender is being released from Stony Mountain Institution and poses a serious threat to women.
Police said Timothy Frederick Koltusky, 26, who was previously known as Kevin Scott Steppan, is being released from prison Saturday and is expected to live in Winnipeg.
Koltusky has previous convictions for sexual assault with a weapon as well as many other criminal offences. Although Koltusky participated in sex offender treatment programs while in prison, he is still considered high risk to re-offend.

Test your brain test your life

Color Test 

Bet you can't get 100% on the first try! But I'm rootin' for ya...
This is pretty neat! See how you do with the colors! Have fun!

 Follow the directions!
It's harder than it seems, as it should be!  A brain waker-upper for today!

Click here to start 

Beware of scammrs and hackers


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lauryn Hill Coming to Winnipeg

Never Again - Enslavement story of Africans in the new world

The Best Government for Canada in 2011 is a Minority Government

Minority government works best for Canada. No one party has proven to be able to do the task by themselves. Canadians are obviously having some trust issues. Let us trust our guts on this and ensure that the parties are forced to work together for the good of the nation and those who can't play fairly in the sandbox will be kicked out of office.
Let us send a clear message to the parties that it is a new day and we will not be fooled and hoodwinked by red herrings thrown in our faces.  We need to hear what the parties will do for Canadians and not what the other parties will not do. This is all negative campaign that speaks to nothing but self-interest in garnering power. 

Fellow Canadians let us charge our politicians to work together, let us charge them to show us what they can do together.  It is the best way to ensure we are not taken on a joy ride to no-where.

Who says that parties need a majority to govern?  who has fed us these memes - it's just a meme. There is no truth to this. If a minority government is claiming to have kept us afloat economically, it may be just because it was a minority and not a majority.

On May 2nd Vote for a Minority Government because Minorities work best in Canada for all.
Thank you very much.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yellow Mangoes at Safeway are the Pits

If you are looking for mangoes, do not get ripped off by those delicious looking yellow mangoes they are black inside. I bought some two days ago from Safeway on Osborne and Walker and when I cut them open, I was quite disappointed. I always plan to take them back and get my money but I never do. I paid $1.29 each - that's a big rip off. I think the suppliers of these terrible fruits are ripping off Safeway who end up ripping off customers. I guess I should follow the practice of eating produce within a hundred miles of where I live. These people who import or export foreign fruits like mangoes are not doing a good job for their country's export. This is unfair.  Anyone who knows about mangoes have an idea when to pick them. The suppliers are deliberately defrauding Canadians with these horrible fruits.
The other mangoes are so-so - not the best. If you like sour mangoes they might fit the bill other wise pass on these fruits for now.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fossill-Fueled Car on the Horizon in Manitoba

Dave Chomiak, Minister of Manitoba Innovation, Energy and Mines shows off the all electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV, on the eve of Earth Day, as he launched Manitoba's Electric Vehicle Road Map to help the province adopt electric and hybrid vehicles, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and take advantage of the economic opportunities of electric transportation.
April 21, 2011


– – –
Province Partners with Mitsubishi to Study All-electric Vehicles Under Full Range of Weather Conditions
On the eve of Earth Day, Manitoba is launching an Electric Vehicle Road Map that will help it adopt electric and hybrid vehicles, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and take advantage of the economic opportunities of electric transportation, Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak said today.
“Manitoba is ideally positioned to take the first steps toward a fossil-free future,” Chomiak said.  “The road map outlines the opportunity to reduce Manitoba’s dependency on imported fossil fuel and helps showcase the significant economic opportunities available to the province as it pioneers the development, testing and use of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.”
Much of the infrastructure that will support widespread adoption of electric vehicles in Manitoba is already in place, said Chomiak.  Manitoba has more than 500,000 existing recharging outlets, it has clean, low-cost electricity and Manitobans have already shown their ability to plug in their vehicles.
To take this a step further, Manitoba today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, which enables the company to use Manitoba as a proving ground in the further development of its global i-MiEV electric vehicle.  The testing, demonstrating and publicizing of electric vehicles in Manitoba will ensure Manitobans have a better understanding of the technologies and their benefits, Chomiak said.
“Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada is pleased to be part of Manitoba's provincial electric vehicle strategy and is delighted to introduce our two i-MiEVs to the province,” said Koji Soga, president and CEO, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada.  “Today is symbolic of a cleaner, better future for Manitoba.”
The province also is committed to establishing an advisory committee on electric transportation that will identify roadblocks to the accelerated introduction of electric vehicles in Manitoba.  The committee will look at potential barriers such as insurance considerations, electric grid impacts, electricity consumption and cold-weather performance, as well as business opportunities, regulatory changes and more.
“Manitobans will gain much as early champions of adopting electrically powered  transportation,” said Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie.  “It will not only put gas savings in our pockets and reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions, but will also give us a head start in developing innovative, green, high‑tech industries that produce everything from electric buses to batteries and the products that support them.”
- 30 -

Big Cook Out - Community Vibes

Who: You and Community Vibes

What: 2nd Annual Community Vibes Cookout

Where: Central Park (downtown Winnipeg between Edmonton and Carlton)

When: June 4th, 2011 from 12pm - 6pm

Why: We all need fun!


Last year, we had an incredible time at the Cookout. There were lots of games and plenty of partnerships and supporters who made their presence felt in the park. Food Fair, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Police, Winnipeg fire department, Manitoba Hydro, Central Neighborhood Development Corporation, City of Winnipeg, The Manitoba Moose, Assiniboine Credit Union, CBC Manitoba, and Global T.V  were just a few of the partners who came out to the event.
We also provided a  free BBQ and 2000 people attended, enjoying the live entertainment and a live DJ. The atmosphere was fantastic and it was a great way to show the people in our city the countless services that are not only downtown but in our communities.

Looking Forward:

This year, we would like more in the park and I think YOU can help.
Come and be apart of the festivities; bring your signage, your tables, displays and information. Wear a smile and branch out to the public. Let's highlight our companies and local businesses and share  fun activities in sport and entertainment with the people.

What's in it for you (other than being a part of a great event):

1. This is a great way to get some advertising;

2. Networking with other businesses;

3. Reaching out to the public.

Did I mention the food was FREE?!

For more information and pictures from last year's Cookout, check out
To contact me, email

Let's have some fun,

Troy Osiname
Community Vibes
Embracing the Pulse of the Future

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Changes to Manitoba Labour Laws

April 20, 2011


– – –
Proposed Legislation Would Make it Easier for Employers to Create Flexible Work Hours: Howard
Under legislation introduced today, Manitoba businesses would be able to more easily introduce flexible work hours that would accommodate employers’ needs and allow employees to better balance their work-life schedules, Labour and Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard said after introducing the proposals.
“Businesses have told us they want a streamlined process and employees have said they want the option of more flexible hours to balance their work hours with their home and family needs,” Howard said.  “The legislation we are introducing today will do just that.”
Under the current employment standards code, the standard hours of work are eight hours in a day and 40 hours in a week.  When the needs of the business cannot be accommodated within these standards, employers may apply to the director of the Employment Standards Branch for a permit to average the standard hours of work across a specific number of weeks.
Until now, an averaging permit allowed employers to increase the daily hours in a 40-hour work week or average the hours across a longer period.  Employers who asked or allowed employees to work longer than the hours allowed in the permit had to pay 1.5 times their regular hourly wage for each hour of overtime.  Permits were not generally given for flextime or to accommodate individual employee schedules.  To ensure employees are protected, the director of the Employment Standards Branch would have the ability to cancel these agreements if the employee does not agree or is coerced.
Proposed changes to the labour code would allow for individual agreements between employers and employees to alter the standard hours of work (flextime).  This would allow employees who have home or life issues that require flex-hours the ability to fit them into their work schedule, Howard said.
“These changes will allow Manitoba businesses to quickly adapt to today’s economic challenges and provide a better work experience for their employees,” said Howard.
The minister thanked the members of the Labour Management Review Committee (LMRC) who reviewed these amendments and reached consensus.  The LMRC is made up of an equal number of employer and employee representatives.
- 30 -

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Confusion Corner turns to Cupcake Corner

Wondering what the tea-story is about? I heard that  it will be a potpourri of teas, retain and eat in food lots of teas including the Vietnamese bubble tea as well as complimentary  waffle sandwich, fresh fruit dessert waffle and many other surprise snacks They are even looking for staff. If you are looking to work in a new enterprise please direct your emails and resumes to Iris
   That corner is quite interesting and I think that the business should have come up with a name like Cupcake Corner.  I thought about it when I heard that there'll be a fundraiser that will be selling boxes of cupcakes at Confusion Corner. That would have been a cool name, don't you think?

I think we should change the name from confusion to cupcake corner. Confusion corner makes us all look bad in Winnipeg. A visitor might think we have no sense of direction or that we're all crazy and confused. Cupcake sounds delicious.

CBC Diversity Scholarship

Help us get the word out. If you know someone who is suitable, please forward the attached.

CBC Diversity Scholarship Manitoba - May 27, 2011 Deadline

I have attached an application form in a PDF.file

Additional forms will be available for download at or picked up at CBC, 541 Portage Avenue.

The scholarship is intended for youth graduating high school with the intention of entering the field of broadcasting or journalism.

Two $1000 scholarships will be awarded to each youth who comes from an ethnic or ancestral background and is a visible minority or Aboriginal.

The application deadline is May 27, 2011.

Applicants must be in their final year of high school, present a minimum average of 70%, live in Manitoba at time of application and hold Canadian citizenship or residency. All applicants must come from an ethnic or ancestral background that is a visible minority or Aboriginal.

Applicants are required to complete an essay addressing the question, what is the role of the CBC in our community? and to provide recent high school transcripts.

"CBC is committed to representing the diversity of people and voices that make up Canada and this community," explains John Bertrand, Managing Director of English Radio and Television for CBC Manitoba. "We want talented young people to consider working here to help us do that. We've created this scholarship to support and encourage those high school students who've already made the decision to pursue a career in journalism or broadcasting. They will be the CBC journalists and programmers of the future."

The scholarship application is also available on CBC's website at

Leona Johnson
Manager, Partnerships and Communications
CBC Manitoba
Tel: 204 788 3127
Cell: 204 791 1179
Fax: 204 788 3104

Monday, April 18, 2011


April 18, 2011


Women in Manitoba have a new tool at their fingertips to help them improve their financial status, Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk announced today at the launch of the Manitoba Securities Commission I’m Worth It campaign, which features the stories of real women and their financial struggles.
“Many women who have never invested or dealt with a financial adviser before find it hard to know what to do to take the first step,” said Wowchuk.  “By having real women share their own experiences, tips and ideas in this resource, we are providing other women with a process to get them started.”
I’m Worth It includes the stories of five women from different financial backgrounds and walks of life.  It explores the role money plays in their lives.  The online program offers women a free guide, videos, iPhone mobile application and lesson plans.
The minister noted, in Manitoba, 47 per cent of women hold some sort of investment compared to 62 per cent of men.  Typically, women earn 25 per cent less than men, have less in pensions and savings, and are more likely to live in poverty after the age of 65.
“Unfortunately, statistics show women are behind the curve when it comes to independent financial management,” said Wowchuk.  “The Manitoba Securities Commission has recognized that and I’m pleased to support this campaign.”
“Grabbing hold of your finances and being in charge of where your money goes is an empowering feeling,” said Vanessa Kunderman, one of five women featured in I’m Worth It.  “It gives you the power of control and who doesn’t want to be in control of their life?”
All of the I’m Worth It materials are available in French and English and are free of charge.  They can be accessed at
The Manitoba Securities Commission is a special operating agency of the Government of Manitoba that protects investors and promotes fair and efficient investment business practices throughout the province.
- 30 -

Friday, April 15, 2011

More Houses for Downtown - Yayy!!

April 15, 2011


– – –
More Residential Units Would Draw People Downtown, Boost Economy, Improve Safety: Irvin-Ross
Additional funding of up to $20 million to support more downtown residential development and provide the option of an affordable urban lifestyle to more Winnipeggers was announced today by Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross and Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz.
“Downtown Winnipeg has a lot to offer residents and we want to continue to support successful initiatives like the Downtown Residential Development Grant program that help to revitalize the downtown,” said Irvin-Ross.  “We will continue to partner with the City of Winnipeg on this innovative program, which offers developers a flexible incentive to create a variety of housing options for people of different income levels.”
“The city is committed to building on this success and ensuring downtown is a location of choice for people excited about the opportunities of an urban lifestyle,” said Katz.  “By continuing to provide an attractive strong residential incentive, we will keep feet on the street long after the storefronts close.”
The Downtown Winnipeg Residential Development Grant Program was launched in April 2010 as a three-year program under the province’s Winnipeg Regeneration Strategy with a funding level of $20 million, cost-shared by the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba.
Most of the funding is on the verge of being committed to support more than 700 new units of housing in downtown Winnipeg.  A further $20 million will be made available to housing developers during the next three years to address the significant demand for the program.
The Downtown Residential Development Grant Program is supported by the Community Revitalization Tax Increment Financing Act.  Under this program, developers are provided a grant that is funded by the incremental property taxes on improved properties for up to 15 years.
This program calculates a maximum project grant using up to $40,000 per unit to developers for each new rental or condominium unit in Winnipeg’s downtown.  Incorporating more affordable units in an eligible project results in a higher potential project maximum grant.
A minimum of 10 per cent of the new housing units supported under this program will be for low-income individuals and families as well as people with disabilities.
“We are pleased with the positive response from the development community towards the Downtown Residential Development Grant program,” said Ross McGowan, president and CEO of CentreVenture Development Corporation.  “The DRDG program along with the commitment from the Province of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg and private sector developers will allow the Exchange District and surrounding areas to achieve the critical mass necessary to emerge as a full service, self-sufficient, urban neighborhood.”
“The Downtown Winnipeg Residential Development Grant program is the most significant tool created to stimulate the sustained development of more affordable downtown housing that the downtown business community has seen in decades,” said Stefano Grande, executive director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.  “By the city and province collaboratively working together to address the financial gap developers face in developing downtown housing, the downtown housing market will not only be strengthened, but affordable housing will be provided to many wanting to live downtown.  This strategic investment is critical for the continued revitalization of our downtown.”
The additional funding for the Downtown Residential Development Grant Program must first be approved by the City of Winnipeg’s Executive Policy Committee and Council before being made available to developers.
- 30 -

If you thief you don't get to drive

April 15, 2011



– – –
Proposed New Law Responds to Changes in Federal Criminal Code Called for by Manitoba: Swan
Auto thieves who are convicted under the new federal criminal offence for auto theft would immediately lose their driving licences under proposed changes to Manitoba’s Highway Traffic Act, Attorney General Andrew Swan announced today.
“The federal government responded to Manitoba’s call to make auto theft a Criminal Code offence and we are responding here at home by ensuring those convicted of this serious crime are not allowed behind the steering wheel of any vehicle,” Swan said.
The change in law would ensure the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) is consistent with current Manitoba practice where licenses are revoked when an individual is convicted of a variety of Criminal Code offences.   The four new Criminal Code offences that come into effect April 29 and would result in an individual losing their licence include:
  •  motor vehicle theft,
  •  tampering with a vehicle identification number,
  •  trafficking in property obtained by crime, and
  •  possession of property obtained by crime for the purpose of trafficking.
Under the HTA, those convicted of these offences would receive an automatic driver’s licence suspension ranging from one year to up to a lifetime suspension, depending upon the seriousness of the offence and the driving record of the offender.
Swan said that these changes in the Highway Traffic Act would provide another tool to combat auto theft.  Since 2004, auto theft has been reduced by nearly 80 per cent and is at the lowest level in nearly two decades.  In addition, the minister has announced that he will be moving forward during this legislative session to close the door on Manitoba Public Insurance benefits for auto thieves.
“We have made important progress dealing with this serious crime against people and their property,” Swan said.  “But one auto theft is too many and we will continue to ensure Manitoba is a leader in ensuring that police and prosecutors have the legal tools necessary to take swift and appropriate action against these criminals.”
- 30 -

Maple Syrup King of Foods

Recent research has shown this fruit to have a lot of good stuff in it like antioxidants, the right type of glucose to help stabilize sugar levels in people suffering from Type II diabetes. Tests are currently being done to see what are some of the health benefits of Maple syrup.  However, for now go easy on the sweet because it has calories and it's still sugar. Moderation is the key.

Sugaring-off Festival an Annual Celebration in St. Pierre Joly

 - Saturday and Sunday April 16 and 17

One of the little known secrets of Manitoba is that maple syrup has been produced in and around St-Pierre-Jolys since the 19th century. Our annual Sugaring Off Festival in April (Cabane à Sucre) on the St-Pierre Museum grounds gives residents and visitors a chance to celebrate this part of the town's heritage by sampling some of this sweet stuff, plus the cuisine and music of our French Canadian heritage.
Maple sap in this area has been collected and converted to syrup since the 19th century; however, it was in 1987 that local residents discovered that the maple trees on the grounds of their museum park yielded sap superior in quality and quantity. Tapping the trees became an annual community occasion, which evolved into a celebration. In 1998, the Sugar Shack or Cabane à Sucre was erected.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Manitoba government invests $450m in Higher Education for next-generation leaders

(Left-Right) Premier Greg Selinger and Erin Selby, Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy are joined by 'university bound' Grade 12 students at J. H. Bruns Collegiate in Winnipeg at the announcement of details of a nearly $450 million investment to ensure students can pursue a quality university education.
  • Education minister Nancy Allan, Minister Peter Bjornson and MLA Matt Wiebe watch as Beautiful Savior School performs on the violin during Music in MB schools month.
    Education minister Nancy Allan, Minister Peter Bjornson and MLA Matt Wiebe watch as Beautiful Savior School performs on the violin during Music in MB schools month. READ MORE

  • Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk delivers the provincial budget.
    Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk delivers the provincial budget. READ MORE

  • Premier Greg Selinger and Morris Mayor Gavin van der Linde discuss flooding and flood protection options for Morris.
    Premier Greg Selinger and Morris Mayor Gavin van der Linde discuss flooding and flood protection options for Morris. READ MORE

  • Premier Greg Selinger and Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross Announce Plans to Cut Red Tape and Provide Non-Profit Groups Stable Funding
    Premier Greg Selinger and Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross Announce Plans to Cut Red Tape and Provide Non-Profit Groups Stable Funding READ MORE

  • April 14, 2011


    – – –
    Investment of Nearly $450 million will Help Students Achieve Success, Ensure a Bright Future for Manitoba: Premier
    Nearly $450 million in provincial support to Manitoba universities will ensure students can pursue a quality university education and become the next generation of leaders and builders, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
    “An education is an investment in our children’s dreams and our province’s economic future and we want to help families make those dreams a reality,” said Selinger.  “People take their first steps towards success in life in campuses across Manitoba.  When they succeed, we all succeed.”
    The premier said the investment is focused in four key areas:
    • Affordable tuition fees.  As a result of financial support for universities, tuition fees will be frozen at the rate of inflation, providing predictability for students and their parents.
    • Quality of education.  Universities will receive a guaranteed five per cent increase in each of the next three years.  This support will allow universities to improve the quality of programs they offer to students.
    • Student financial assistance to improve access.  A total of $3 million in new funding is being provided to assist students who face financial and other barriers that affect access to a university education.  This includes $1 million for the Bright Futures program and an additional $2 million for the Manitoba Bursary program.
    • Support for Graduate Students.  A total of $250,000 in new funding will be provided to help students pursue their studies beyond undergraduate degrees in order to support research and innovation.
    Since 1999, the Manitoba government has increased funding for post-secondary education by nearly 90 per cent, said Selinger.
    “My education has opened doors for me and I am proud our government is opening doors for even more Manitoba students,” said Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Erin Selby.  “Our universities do an excellent job ensuring the future success of our province.  Budget 2011 provides support so they can continue to be the engines of progress for our great province.”
    - 30 -

    Congratulations to Manitoba Teachers Honoured for Excellent Teaching -

    April 14, 2011


    – – –
    Provincial Graduation Rate Rises 14 per cent Since 2001: Allan
    Recipients of the annual Celebration of Excellence in Teaching Awards were announced today by Education Minister Nancy Allan as part of national Education Week, a week-long tribute to outstanding teachers.
    “Education Week is an appropriate time to recognize Manitoba teachers who are exemplary leaders, innovators and educators,” Allan said.  “This year’s award recipients have earned the recognition of their peers, students and parents for the terrific work they do in promoting a love of learning among their students.”
    Teachers and administrators work with the provincial government to help improve graduation rates and develop innovative ways to encourage student success, said Allan.  Manitoba’s graduation rate has increased to 82.7 per cent in 2010 from 72.4 per cent in June 2001.
    Some school and community partnerships support mentoring programs, while others offer students a safe, comfortable place to do homework.  Teachers also work with immigrant, war-affected and Aboriginal students who are at risk of dropping out of school and give students the support they need to succeed.
    “This graduation rate increase reflects the hard work of teachers and administrators in creating a learning environment that is safe, innovative and relevant for students,” Allan said.  “Congratulations to students, school and divisional staff, trustees and parents for working together to improve school completion rates.  Your success is shared by all Manitobans.”
    In a special ceremony at the Manitoba Legislative Building, Allan presented six awards of excellence in four categories:
    • Teaching Excellence – Early Years:  Katherine Penner of J.R. Walkof Elementary School, Garden Valley School Division;
    • Teaching Excellence – Middle Years:  Ralph Backé of Sargent Park School, Winnipeg School Division;
    • Teaching Excellence – Senior Years:  Gregory Shedden of Sisler High School, Winnipeg School Division;
    • Outstanding New Teacher:  Pamela Doerksen of Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary School, Manitoba Federation of Independent Schools;
    • Team Collaboration:  Harold Enns, Susan George and Maria Nickel of Woodlands School, Interlake School Division; and
    • Outstanding School Leader:  Jerry Sodomlak of Donwood School, River East Transcona School Division.
    Each recipient received a minister’s award certificate of recognition and a $500 cash award at the luncheon ceremony.  The recipients’ schools also received $500 each for projects or equipment.
    “I applaud the award recipients and the example they continue to set for their students and peers,” Allan said.  “With the support of the Manitoba School Boards Association, the Manitoba Federation of Independent Schools and the Manitoba Association of Parent Councils, this awards program reflects the appreciation of an entire province for the outstanding contributions made by dedicated teachers.”
    - 30 -

    IKEA charged with racism and exploitation

    The piece looks at racial discrimination charges against the company, airs employees' complaints of workplace mistreatment, and examines Ikea's Walton-like efforts to bust union-organizing drives. Taken together, the allegations undermine one of Ikea's unique selling propositions and, in the process, lay bare a disturbing new economic dynamic -- one that now ensnares even the companies we think are the most socially conscious of all.
    Buried in the Times report is the troubling story of why Ikea opened a plant in the United States in the first place. No, the decision wasn't made to take advantage of superior workforce skills or productivity -- positive attributes that once drove our manufacturing sector and built our middle class. Instead, it was made to exploit our decreasing wage levels and weak worker protections.
    Though company factories in Sweden produce the same bookcases as the plant in Virginia, the Times notes that "the big difference is that the Europeans enjoy a minimum wage of about $19 an hour and a government-mandated five weeks of paid vacation (while) full-time employees in Danville start at $8 an hour with 12 vacation days" -- and that doesn't count the one-third of Danville workers who are paid even less because they are deliberately subcontracted through temp agencies.

    The piece looks at racial discrimination charges against the company, airs employees' complaints of workplace mistreatment, and examines Ikea's Walton-like efforts to bust union-organizing drives. Taken together, the allegations undermine one of Ikea's unique selling propositions and, in the process, lay bare a disturbing new economic dynamic -- one that now ensnares even the companies we think are the most socially conscious of all.
    Buried in the Times report is the troubling story of why Ikea opened a plant in the United States in the first place. No, the decision wasn't made to take advantage of superior workforce skills or productivity -- positive attributes that once drove our manufacturing sector and built our middle class. Instead, it was made to exploit our decreasing wage levels and weak worker protections.
    Though company factories in Sweden produce the same bookcases as the plant in Virginia, the Times notes that "the big difference is that the Europeans enjoy a minimum wage of about $19 an hour and a government-mandated five weeks of paid vacation (while) full-time employees in Danville start at $8 an hour with 12 vacation days" -- and that doesn't count the one-third of Danville workers who are paid even less because they are deliberately subcontracted through temp agencies.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Manitoba government tables budget

    April 12, 2011


    – – –
    Major Personal, Business Taxes Either Frozen of Cut for 12 Consecutive Years
    Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk today announced $65 million in tax cuts for families and businesses, the 12th consecutive year major provincial taxes have been either frozen or cut.
    “Our government is putting money back in the pockets of Manitobans and reducing business taxes to keep our economy moving forward,” the minister said.  “These tax savings ensure our province is an affordable and attractive place to raise a family, and to create jobs and economic opportunity.”
    This year, tax-cutting measures in the budget will save a family of four $212.  That same family of four will save $374 a year by 2014, said Wowchuk.
    Budget 2011 tax reductions for families and property owners include:
    • An increase of $50 to $700 in the basic Education Property Tax Credit, saving renters and homeowners an extra $16 million this year.
    • An increase to the basic personal exemption of $1,000 over four years, starting with $250 this year.  When this measure is fully implemented, almost 22,000 more Manitobans will no longer pay provincial income tax.
    • Implementation of a new Children’s Arts and Cultural Activity Tax Credit, to help parents introduce their children to activities such as art, music, drama, language instruction, environmental activities and personal tutoring.
    • An increase in the maximum seniors’ Education Property Tax Credit of $150 to $950 in 2011 from $800.  This credit will rise by $75 to $1,025 in 2012 and by another $75 to $1,100 in 2013.
    • An increase in the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit by 25 per cent to a maximum of $1,275 to assist families caring for elderly Manitobans and other loved ones.
    • An increase in the Farmland School Tax Rebate to 80 per cent from 75 per cent, saving farmers an additional $2 million this year for a total of over $35 million annually.
    This year, Manitoba companies will benefit from the complete elimination of the provincial small business income tax and the general corporation capital tax, said the minister.  
     Budget 2011 tax reductions for business include:
    • The Green Energy Equipment Tax Credit will be increased to 15 per cent from 10 for installations of geothermal heating systems.  
    • The Research and Development Tax Credit has been improved to make it one-quarter refundable for in-house research and development in 2011.   This credit will increase to one-half refundable in 2012.
    • A new Cultural Industries Printing Tax Credit will be created to provide a 15 per cent refundable credit to support Manitoba-based printers.
    • A new Neighbourhoods Alive! Tax Credit will support partnerships between businesses and charitable community-based organizations to create jobs for people facing barriers to employment.
    • A Capital Tax Exemption for small banks to attract and encourage the expansion of small, innovative financial institutions in Manitoba.
    • The Book Publishers Tax Credit will be expanded to include eligible costs related to publishing an electronic or digital version of eligible literary works.  The bonus will be increased to 15 per cent for publications printed on recycled paper, which will save book publishers an estimated $500,000 annually. 
    Budget 2011 also extends the Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit, Mineral Exploration Tax Credit, the Community Enterprise Development Tax Credit, the Odour Control Tax Credit and the Co-op Education and Apprenticeship tax credits.
    “Our government has a strong record of providing steady and responsible tax relief for Manitoba families and businesses, and in this budget we’re sticking to that approach,” said Wowchuk.
    - 30 -

    How a woman escaped sex trafficking

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Govement moves to make communities safer

    April 11, 2011


    An extra 66 officers will be added to police services provincewide as part of the province’s plans to make all Manitoban communities safer, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
    “Manitobans deserve to feel safe in their communities and in their neighbourhoods,” Selinger said.  “This investment in policing provides communities with more resources to ensure those who commit crimes are brought to justice.  More police on the streets will deter criminals and protect Manitoba families.”
    “The addition of 27 officers to RCMP municipal contracts and the provincial police service agreement is an important step forward in recognizing the heavy workloads and pressures faced by our communities and members of the RCMP throughout Manitoba.  Policing roughly 99 per cent of Manitoba, the RCMP continues to look forward with innovative and proactive policing solutions.  These additional officers will add to our ability to fulfil these commitments to the citizens of Manitoba,” said Assistant Commissioner Bill Robinson, commanding officer of RCMP ‘D’ Division.
    “I appreciate the province’s commitments to adding additional resources to the Winnipeg Police Service and other policing agencies across Manitoba.  Our goal is to work with communities to provide a safer environment for the citizens of Winnipeg and additional resources will certainly help,” said Winnipeg Police Chief Keith McCaskill. 
    “The addition of these police officers is welcomed by the police community in Manitoba, particularly communities that have not received this type of funding in the past,” said Keith Atkinson, chief of the Brandon Police Service and president of the Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police.
    With this new investment, Manitoba will have funded an additional 255 police officers since 1999.  By directing a three-year commitment of federal funds, 30 more officers are also being added.  The combined provincial and federal funding has added a total of 285 police officers to services across Manitoba, Selinger said.
    Today’s announcement includes funding for police officer positions as follows:
    • RCMP provincial police service (20 officers).
    • RCMP municipal policing (seven officers):
      • Dauphin – one officer;
      • Portage la Prairie – one officer;
      • Selkirk – one officer;
      • Swan River – one officer;
      • The Pas – one officer; and
      • Thompson – two officers.
    • Independent municipal police services (37 officers):
      • Altona Police Service – one officer;
      • Brandon Police Service – one officer;
      • Morden Police Service – one officer;
      • Ste. Anne Police Department – one officer;
      • Winkler Police Service – one officer; and
      • Winnipeg Police Service – 32 officers.
    • First Nation police service (two officers):
      • Dakota Ojibway Police Service – two officers.
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    Check out the History of Maple Syrup

     Maple Syrup is something we all love. It is sweet, fresh and wholesome because it comes from a tree with no additive.  First discovered by the Aboriginal peoples of North America, today it is big business. While there are some improvement in the processing of Maple sap, it has basically remained the same. It takes the sap from a maple tree to make maple syrup.  Check out the old and the new with great background music.

    Friday, April 08, 2011

    Non-profits prayer for stable funding has been answered

    Premier Greg Selinger and Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross Announce Plans to Cut Red Tape and Provide Non-Profit Groups Stable Funding

    April 8, 2011


    Manitoba non-profit groups will see stable funding and less red tape as part of a two-year strategy, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
    “From running local recreation centres where our kids play hockey and soccer to finding ways to improve health-care services for our families, non-profit groups are everyday heroes who help improve the quality of life for Manitobans,” Selinger said.  “They should be allowed to focus on programs not paperwork.  Our plan will make it easier for our non-profit partners to dedicate more of their energy and effort to the important services they deliver and communities they serve.”
    The premier said, the four-point strategy cuts red tape and makes it easier for non-profits to provide valuable services for Manitobans by:
    • Piloting multi-year, multi-program funding with a representative group of non-profits with proven track records of success.  Additional groups will be added after the pilot is evaluated.
    • Launching an single-window application process and a target of spring 2012 for an online non‑profit web portal.
    • Eliminating duplication in reporting requirements for organizations  dealing with multiple provincial programs while strengthening accountability standards.
    • Helping organizations save money by sharing services such as legal, human resources and accounting functions with other organizations.
    Many agencies already benefit from multi-year, stable provincial funding agreements, which assist them in recruiting and retaining appropriate staff and making long-term plans, the premier said.
    This strategy builds on those successes by providing stable multi-year, multi-program funding, resulting in greater efficiencies and reduced duplication within government, he added.
    “The government’s plan allows Art City to focus our attention on quality programs for youth rather than filling out forms.  This strategy acknowledges the work we do every day -and where our time is best spent -providing constructive activities for young people,” said Wanda Koop, artist and founder of Art City.
    “This partnership improves the sector’s access to government and provides greater stability, allowing us to be more effective and make longer-term plans to build better communities for all Manitobans to enjoy,” said Martin Itzkow of the Manitoba Federation of Non-profit Organizations.
    - 30 -

    Dollars poured into Construction projects in Manitoba

    Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announces Community Places Grants of $4.5 million to support community construction projects. Background left to right: Terry Wolowiec, President of Kirkfield Westwood Community Centre, Sharon Blady, MLA for Kirkfield Park, Jim Rondeau, Minister of Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors
    April 7, 2011


    Provincial funding of $4.5 million to improve and create safe recreational, wellness and cultural facilities will be distributed to 328 not-for-profit groups through Manitoba’s Community Places Program, Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced today.
    “In the 25th anniversary year of the Community Places Program, I am proud to say the province has provided more than $100 million in grants, which leveraged more than $700 million in additional infrastructure improvements during that time,” said Irvin-Ross.  “More than 6,500 community projects have been supported with these funds, providing countless Manitoba families the opportunity to participate in healthy, community-driven programs and projects.”
    “Youth in our community enjoy playing basketball,” said Terry Wolowiec, president of Kirkfield Westwood Community Centre.  “Our new outdoor basketball court is going to attract neighbouring youth to come and play the sport.  Community Places funds are helping us realize our dream.”
    In 2011-12, the $4.5 million in provincial assistance through the Community Places Program is expected to leverage more than $39 million in community-based construction projects for the upgrade of existing facilities or creation of new ones, Irvin-Ross said.
    Eligible projects receive up to 50 per cent of the first $15,000 of total project costs and up to one-third of any costs over that amount, to a maximum of $50,000.  Non-profit organizations can apply for assistance for both facility development and improvement projects.
    This year’s projects include museums, playgrounds, multi-use and recreation facilities, child-care centres, libraries, community halls and seniors’ facilities.  The projects involve critical repairs, roof replacements, fresh air ventilation, fire safety upgrades, energy-efficiency improvements and disability access upgrades.
    Community groups will start work on a diverse range of projects assisted by Community Places, such as:
    • $15,000 for Oak Valley Productions in La Rivière for the rebuilding of the outdoor theatre,
    • $9,000 for the Reynolds Community Club in Hadashville for accessibility upgrades,
    • $13,000 for the Arborg and District Multicultural Heritage Village for log restoration of two Ukrainian houses,
    • $30,000 for Kinosao-Sipi First Nation Multiplex in Norway House for energy-efficient facility upgrades,
    • $50,000 for Russell Memorial Arena for walking track and fitness centre space,
    • $18,000 for the Brandon Skateboard Plaza for installation of efficient lighting,
    • $35,000 for the Kirkfield Westwood Community Centre for the construction of an outdoor basketball court, and
    • $9,000 to the McBeth House Seniors Centre in Winnipeg for sunroom upgrades.
    The minister also announced the establishment of the Pat Done Green Facility Award.  The annual award will be presented to a non-profit community organization that provides excellence in promoting sustainable and green community projects.  The award commemorates the late Pat Done, a provincial employee who dedicated his career to furthering the goals of sustainable and green community capital projects.
    For more information on Community Places and a complete 2011-12 project list visit:
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    Sunday, April 03, 2011

    Canadians are going to the Polls again

    Believing in democracy as I do I say it is time for renewal - time for a change. The conservatives have been in power for three elections, it is time Canadians exercise their democracy and give another party a chance.
    Mr. Harper has started off his campaign with an undemocratic lslogan - Coalitions are bad for the economy - I say COALITIONS ARE GOOD FOR DEMOCRACY.

    If we are not sure about a party and their motives, why give them free reign. When we elect minority government we are saying to the politicians that we do not trust you to do the right thing. You have not convinced us that you will carry out what you promise to do or what you promise is not good enough. When we force parties to work together, the one who cannot play well in the sandbox i.e. the bully quickly shows its head.

    I urge Canadians, that we are on the right path and if any politicians think that they can scarce us into voting majority, they are wrong - it's all self-interest and not in the interest of you and me the people. Let's keep this new form of government going until the right leader emerges. 

    I believe that these minority governments have served Canadians well - why change now. 
    Let COALITIONS Reign.