Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In honour of the proclamation of the first Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week in Manitoba, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn today met with students at Westgrove School in Winnipeg and encouraged them to learn more about how agriculture impacts their lives.
In honour of the proclamation of the first Canadian Agriculture Literacy Week in Manitoba, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn today met with students at Westgrove School in Winnipeg and encouraged them to learn more about how agriculture impacts their lives.READ MORE

Of Interest to Parents and Teachers

February 28, 2012


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Project Gives Students Tools for Lifelong Success: Premier
Manitoba has launched a first-of-its-kind, provincewide pilot project giving Grade 1 teachers the training and tools to help thousands of young children develop social, emotional and self-discipline skills by playing the PAX Good Behaviour Game, Premier Greg Selinger announced here today.
“Research has shown that when children play the PAX Good Behaviour Game in class for a few minutes a day, every day throughout the year, it strengthens the skills they need throughout their lives,” said Selinger.  “It helps them stay focused, make healthy choices and learn better.”
Originally created by an elementary school teacher, PAX has proven to immediately improve the classroom environment by reducing disruptions and allowing for more effective and focused learning, Selinger said.  Long-term studies have shown that, after playing PAX just in Grade 1, students do better in school and need fewer special education services.
“The great thing about PAX is that it maximizes the potential of our young people right from the start,” said Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief, chair of the Healthy Child Committee of Cabinet.  “When we give kids the tools they need from a young age – tools that teach them self-discipline and team-building – we have seen that they are more likely to stay in school and graduate, they’re more likely to avoid drug and alcohol addictions, and they’re less likely to be involved in crime.  That’s exactly what we want for Manitoba’s children.”
The Seine River School Division did a trial with PAX last year and found an immediate 45 per cent decrease in the number of interruptions in Grade 1 classrooms.  Based on that, and the long-term research, the province, school divisions, and the Central Regional Health Authority are moving quickly to launch a two-year, $1.3-million pilot project in schools across Manitoba, the premier said.
The provincial pilot and evaluation involves 200 schools from nearly every school division in Manitoba including First Nation and independent schools.  Half of the classrooms will start using PAX in this school year and the other half will start in the 2012-13 school year.  The project will involve about 5,000 students and their teachers, with short- and long-term outcomes to be measured over time. 
The premier noted PAX was discussed as a positive approach to mental-health promotion and mental-illness prevention at the Mental Health Summit he recently hosted for mental-health professionals, educators, researchers and policy makers from across the country.
Established in 2000 and legislated in 2007, the Healthy Child Committee of Cabinet includes the ministers of children and youth opportunities; aboriginal and northern affairs; culture, heritage and tourism; education; family services and labour; health; healthy living, seniors and consumer affairs; housing and community development; immigration and multiculturalism; and justice.  The Healthy Child Manitoba strategy continues to focus on evidence-based prevention and early intervention from the prenatal period through the school years, in partnership with communities.
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Friday, February 24, 2012

February 24, 2012


Premier Greg Selinger will induct the Jeff Stoughton curling rink into Manitoba’s Order of the Buffalo Hunt during the Hit and Roll Bonspiel and Gala in support of the Manitoba Lung Association at the Victoria Inn at 1808 Wellington Ave. tomorrow night.
“Team Stoughton has committed over 24 years to one of Manitoba’s most cherished sports.  The dedication of the members of the Stoughton rink to their team, families and careers make them very deserving recipients of the Order of the Buffalo Hunt,” said Selinger.
Team Stoughton plays for the Charleswood Curling Club and includes Jeff Stoughton, Jon Mead, Reid Carruthers and Steve Gould.  Stoughton alone has won over 24 titles and is a nine-time Manitoba provincial men’s champion.  In 2011, Team Stoughton earned numerous titles and brought home gold from the Safeway Championship in Dauphin, the Tim Hortons Brier in London and the World Curling Championships in Regina. The team was awarded the Maurice Smith Memorial trophy as the 2011 provincial team of the year by the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association and team of the year at the 39th Canadian Sports Awards.
“I would like to congratulate the members of the Stoughton rink on their accomplishments as they move forward in the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials.  I wish them the best in their quest to earn a spot at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.”
The Order of the Buffalo Hunt was founded in 1957 to recognize the outstanding and distinctive contributions of leaders in areas such as politics, business, sports and entertainment.
Stoughton now joins many other notable athletes inducted into the order including NHL star Jonathan Toews and CFL great Milt Stegall.
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February 24, 2012


Winnipeg, Manitoba –Federal, provincial and municipal representatives gathered today in Winnipeg to celebrate the grand opening of the recently expanded Southdale Community Centre.
The centre now boasts a new hockey arena, a 3,800-square-foot recreational rink and change rooms -welcome additions to an important facility that supports one of the fastest-growing areas of Winnipeg. This project has significantly increased available ice time for hockey players, figure skaters and the general public.
“Centres like these bring people together to share activities and strengthen the bonds of the community,” said Erin Selby, Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy. “Expanding this beautiful facility will meet the needs of area families now and in the years ahead. The province is proud to invest in keeping families and communities active.”
“Projects like the expanded Southdale Community Centre are what help build strong and vibrant communities across Manitoba,” said Shelly Glover, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and MP for Saint‑Boniface, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.  “I’m happy to see federal investment support important infrastructure projects such as this one, which created jobs and economic growth and will benefit the residents of Southdale and the surrounding area for many years to come.”
“This facility has received new life and, as Mayor, I am proud the City has played a leading role in its rebirth,” said Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz. “Between the major commitment by the City and the support of Qualico Developments and Tod Niblock through Sponsor Winnipeg, families of Southdale Community Centre will have a quality facility for generations to come.”
“The expansion at the Southdale Community Centre has been a fantastic addition for the families and communities of South Winnipeg and the city at large,” said Dorothy Ross, Major Fundraising Chair with the Southdale Community Centre. “We are striving to keep people, of all ages, active and healthy – with the invaluable assistance and support of all three levels of government we have been able to take a large step toward that goal.”
The total project cost was $9.4 million, with the federal and provincial governments each committing $2 million towards eligible project costs under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, managed by Infrastructure Canada. In addition, the City of Winnipeg approved a loan guarantee for $3.2 million toward the expansion. The remaining funds were provided by the City of Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba, the private sector and the community centre.
The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund is part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Thanks to Canada’s Economic Action Plan and strong economic and financial fundamentals, the Canadian economy has recovered from the global recession better than most other industrialized countries. Canada has been a leader amongst G-7 countries throughout the recovery with more than 600,000 net new jobs created since July 2009.
In Manitoba alone, close to $140 million was committed to 111 projects in communities across the province. In every corner of the province, jobs were created when the economy needed them most.
For further information on Infrastructure Canada’s projects in Manitoba, visit To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit
To learn more about Manitoba’s infrastructure projects, please visit
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Funding for Respect in Manitoba Schools

Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson, Education Minister Nancy Allan and Manitoba School Boards Association president Robert Rivard with Respect in School co-founders Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil. Minister Allan today announced $300,000 in new funding for the Respect in School program.
Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson, Education Minister Nancy Allan and Manitoba School Boards Association president Robert Rivard with Respect in School co-founders Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil. Minister Allan today announced $300,000 in new funding for the Respect in School program.

February 23, 2012


The province will dedicate $300,000 in new funding over three years to partner with former National Hockey League player Sheldon Kennedy to promote safer, more respectful schools through the new, online Respect in School program, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today.
“Respect in School is part of creating learning environments that make students and their families feel safe, valued and respected.  Such environments are essential for promoting student engagement and enhancing academic achievement and overall student well-being,” said Allan.
Respect in School is a bilingual, online program that helps support all adults working with students in a school environment to better understand and respond to incidents of bullying, abuse, harassment and neglect.  Participants receive a certificate upon completion of the program and users can continue to access the application to review course content, including curriculum updates, for up to five years.
The program builds on the Respect in Sport program co-founded by Sheldon Kennedy, the former Calgary Flames player, and Wayne McNeil, co-founder of Respect Group Inc.  Respect in Sport assists coaches in responding effectively to incidents of abuse and bullying in sport.
“We all play a role in ensuring safe, respectful environments for children and youth,” said Kennedy.  “I applaud the Province of Manitoba for adopting a proactive approach to protecting students by giving school leaders the tools they need to take action to prevent bullying or abuse of any kind.”
“Respect in School is an important tool in creating safe environments for students,” said Allan.  “I am very pleased Sheldon Kennedy will be the spokesperson for Respect in School, as he is already a champion of protecting kids in sport across Canada.”
This is the first year of the provincewide implementation of Respect in School.  The program has already been piloted in one rural and two northern school divisions.  It is currently available to all school divisions that would like their administrators, teachers and support staff, including school bus drivers, educational assistants and parent volunteers, to take advantage of the online curriculum.
“Through its support for Respect in School, the government has underlined its commitment -a commitment that is shared by school boards -to ensure that our schools are safe and welcoming places for everyone,” said Robert Rivard, president of the Manitoba School Boards Association.

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Check the forecast and be prepared for Spring

February 23, 2012


The Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation Flood Forecast Centre’s first 2012 flood outlook shows spring flood potential remains low at this time for the Red and Souris rivers, and moderate on the Pembina and Assiniboine rivers, and in the southern Interlake.
Spring flooding is likely in portions of northern Manitoba including The Pas, where there are above‑average soil-moisture conditions and there has been significant snowfall this season.
The forecast notes that significant precipitation this spring could result in localized flooding including some portions of the upper Assiniboine and Souris river basins, and in The Pas area.
The spring flood potential is still very dependent on weather conditions from now until the spring melt.  The amount of additional precipitation, the timing and rate of the spring thaw, and the timing of peak flows in Manitoba, the U.S. and other provinces will have a significant effect on flood potential.
There is a risk of significant precipitation leading to localized flooding, however, this is less likely to affect the main stems of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.
The chances of minor, localized flooding during the early part of the run-off period due to ice jams or snow blockages in drains, ditches and small streams is fairly low.  Although major ice jams are unlikely to occur, the possibility cannot be ruled out, especially in the Interlake region.
Recovery efforts for the 2011 flood are still ongoing including financial compensation programs.  To date, more than $500 million has been provided in flood recovery assistance through various programs such as disaster financial assistance, the Building and Recovery Action Plan, excess moisture insurance and AgriRecovery.
Climatic Conditions
  • Precipitation during the autumn of 2011 was well below normal in most of southern Manitoba, with the period between November and February being one of the mildest and driest on record in portions of the south. 
  • November to February precipitation has been below normal, with several locations reporting the lowest precipitation in the last 50 years.
  • Precipitation in northern Manitoba has been near normal in most areas this winter.
  • The long-term March climatic outlook calls for above-normal temperatures to continue, especially in southern Manitoba, with precipitation amounts close to normal.  Under these conditions, there is an increased risk for March precipitation to fall as rain or as rain mixed with snow and ice.
  • There is also a risk of above-normal precipitation into April and May.
Soil Conditions
  • An aerial soil-moisture survey conducted in early November 2011 shows that moisture in the top 20 centimetres of soil was generally below average in southern Manitoba and the U.S. portion of the Red River Basin.
  • An Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada survey shows general soil conditions for the prairies range from abnormally dry to exceptionally dry conditions.
  • Soil moisture at freeze-up was above average in northern Manitoba including the The Pas and northern Interlake areas.  Some portions upstream of the Souris and Assiniboine river watersheds had near-normal to above-normal soil-moisture levels.
  • Major rivers have ice cover and flows either above or close to normal for this time of year and generally below those of February 2011.
  • Soil-frost information indicates the soil is frozen to a depth of at least 60 cm (two feet) in many areas.  Wet, frozen soils impede infiltration of meltwater and increase spring run-off.
 Snow Water Content
  • A recent survey showed snow-water content was non-existent or very patchy and well below average in southern Manitoba, the U.S. portion of the Red River and in downstream areas of the Assiniboine River from St-Lazare to Brandon.
  • Some areas upstream of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba boundary had normal to near-normal snow‑water content.  Westman areas and The Pas region had near-normal to above-normal snow‑water equivalents.
  • Isolated areas on the upper Assiniboine River in Saskatchewan, northern Manitoba, Westman regions and the Interlake show near-normal to above-normal snow-water content.
Spring Run-off
  • The 2012 spring run-off is expected to be below normal in most parts of Manitoba and near normal to above normal in portions of the north Interlake, The Pas region and the Turtle Mountain area at the North Dakota-Manitoba boundary.
  • Spring run-off could change significantly if future precipitation and breakup conditions differ significantly from the average.
River Ice Conditions and Ice Jamming
  • Ice thickness varies according to the size of the river but ranges mostly between 0.56 to 0.71 metres (1.8 to 2.3 ft.) on major rivers like the Red and Assiniboine.  Spring weather in the weeks preceding spring breakup affects deterioration of ice and will be a significant factor in determining ice strength at breakup.
  • It is virtually impossible to predict the occurrence and extent of ice jamming.  However, with the relative weakness of the ice in the Selkirk area and the extensive ice cutting and breaking that is underway ice jamming and related flooding should be limited.  Brief flooding can occur in locations where ice jams develop, even with below-average river flows.
River Forecasts
  • Spring flood outlooks are based on three weather scenarios that look at additional snow, melt rates and spring rain for the past 30 to 40 years.  The three future weather scenarios are referred to as favourable, average and unfavourable.
Red River Main Stem
  • The potential for spring flooding is low due to low soil-moisture conditions in most of the watershed and below-average snow cover in the whole watershed.
  • With both favourable and average weather conditions, no flooding is expected.  For median conditions, levels would be close to those of 2008.
  • With unfavourable weather conditions, minor, localized flooding could occur in small tributaries.  Levels in the main stem would be close to those seen in 2005.  There should be sufficient protection to prevent any over-bank flooding.
  • Levels at James Avenue in Winnipeg are forecast to be 4.84, 9.18 and 14.75 ft. for favourable, average and unfavourable weather conditions, respectively, and based on these potential levels, floodway operations would not be required.
Pembina River
  • The flood potential is very low on the Pembina River due to below-average soil-moisture and snow‑cover conditions.  The average weather scenario would produce no flooding.  The unfavourable weather scenario would produce levels close to those of 1992.
 Assiniboine River Main Stem
  • With favourable and average weather from now on, no flooding along the Assiniboine River is expected this spring.
  • The unfavourable weather scenario would result in localized minor to moderate flooding of the Assiniboine River Valley in small tributaries from Shellmouth to St-Lazare, similar to 2007.
Souris River
  • The flood potential is low due to below-average winter precipitation and below- to near-normal soil moisture in the North Dakota, Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba portions of the watershed.  The unfavourable weather scenario would result in localized minor flooding with peak stages lower than those of 2005.
Interlake Region
  • Soil moisture is below normal in southern portions of the Interlake region but the subsoil is still wet based on a November survey.  With favourable to average weather from now on, no flooding is expected.  With unfavourable weather, localized minor to moderate flooding could occur.
  • With median conditions, Lake Manitoba is expected to drop from its current level of 814.5 ft. to 813.4 ft. by the end of winter, rise slightly with the spring run-off and then continue to decline.
  • Fairford River flows will remain high through the rest of winter.  Lake levels will continue to drop unless heavy spring storms develop.  No Portage Diversion flows are expected this spring.
Eastern Region
  • Both the soil-moisture and snow-water equivalent are below average at this time.
  • The favourable and normal weather scenario would not produce flooding.
  • The unfavourable weather scenario could produce minor flooding in the low areas along the Whitemouth and Brokenhead rivers and undesirably high levels on many lakes.
Westman and The Pas Regions
  • Soil moisture and snow cover is below normal in most areas apart from areas around the The Pas region.  Flooding is unlikely with normal weather conditions from now on.
  • The unfavourable weather scenario could produce localized flooding, especially if there is a rapid melt in the higher terrain, with levels similar to those of 2005 for the The Pas region.
Northern Manitoba
  • Run-off in most of far northern Manitoba (north of latitude 54) is expected to be below average to near normal.
  • Minor, localized flooding is expected.
Flood Preparations
  • The Manitoba government and municipalities are continuing to prepare for spring flooding.  This includes work with municipal emergency-management teams to review existing plans, gather information through conference calls and conduct flood-preparedness meetings, disaster financial assistance sessions and other related activities.
  • The ice-jam mitigation program north of Winnipeg is underway with ice cutters and Amphibex machines working along the Red River.  Approximately 10 km of ice-cutting is complete.  The Amphibex AE400s have broken a channel approximately three km long.
  • Provincial flood-control works such as the Red River Floodway, Portage Diversion and Red River Valley community dikes will be operational if the flood potential changes. 
Forecast Updates
  •  This forecast will be updated in late March when further precipitation and weather details are available.
  •  Detailed forecasts (text and charts) are available at
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350,000 euros in human trafficking profits

published today Feb 23 05:16 PM
Thai massage parlours
There are numerous Thai massage parlours on Lahti's Rautatienkatu street.
Image: YLE Lahti
Preliminary investigations into organized prostitution and human trafficking involving Thai massage parlours in Lahti have been completed. Two Finnish men are suspected of serious felonies and of making large profits off the illegal sex trade.
During the investigation, police questioned 60 people, two of whom are now suspected of organizing prostitution and of human trafficking. The suspects are a Thai massage parlour owner and another Finnish man who is thought to have supplied women from abroad for the prostitution operation.
At an earlier stage of the investigation, police also suspected the owner's Thai-born wife of involvement, but police now say that she was a victim and not a perpetrator of the crimes.
The chief suspect is in police custody. It is estimated that over a period of two years he collected a sum of around 350,000 euros from the prostitution operation.
Last November, police raided eleven Thai massage parlours and two private homes in Lahti. The eleven massage parlours were closed. Since then, many have reopened under new management.

Upcoming Event, March 21-23rd 2012


March 21st - 23rd, 2012

All Events are FREE!


• Noon to 1pm, Millennium Library, “Building a Culture of Human Rights: A Panel Discussion on Human Rights Education”.

• 7:00pm, IMAX theatre, feature film screening of “Eve and the Fire Horse”, followed by an interfaith panel discussion.


• 9:00 to 11:30am, Millennium Library, Youth Program and Workshop

• Noon to 1pm, Millennium Library, Short Film program

• 7:00pm, IMAX theatre, feature film screening of “In the Name of the Family”, followed by Q & A

• 9:00pm, IMAX theatre, feature film screening of “A Child’s Century of War”, followed by Q & A


• Noon to 1:15pm, Millennium Library, screening of the short film “The Little Black School House”.

• 7:00pm, IMAX theatre, feature film screening of “You Don’t Like the Truth”, followed by Q & A

• 9:00pm, IMAX theatre, Closing night reception, refreshments provided.

For more information check out our website at:

About the Festival:

The Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties is please to introduce the 2nd annual "March 21st: Human Rights Film Festival"! This festival was developed in 2010 to increase public awareness of the work needed for the elimination of social inequality and racial discrimination. It highlights March 21 the Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and showcases a film selection that addresses human rights issues. The festival is open to the public and all of the events are free. We invite everyone to attend, discuss and get connected with others in our community. For more detailed information check out our website at:

Health Minister Theresa Oswald welcomes the first Manitoba crew trained to provide emergency medical services with the STARS helicopter program.
Health Minister Theresa Oswald welcomes the first Manitoba crew trained to provide emergency medical services with the STARS helicopter program
February 22, 2012


A permanent Manitoba crew of 14 paramedics, nurses and pilots is now responding to emergency calls across the province with the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) helicopter ambulance, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.
“These paramedics, nurses and pilots are a critical link in patient care and their training and expertise will truly help to save lives.  We’re continuing to strengthen our emergency response services through our partnership with STARS and we are extremely pleased that we now have Manitobans, some of whom are returning home, as part of this permanent, specialized team,” said Oswald
Three registered nurses and four paramedics have completed the intensive 10-week training program through STARS including classroom instruction led by an emergency‑care physician, simulations and ride-alongs with an experienced air-medical crew, and online work.  An additional nurse and paramedic are expected to complete the training and join the Manitoba crew next week.  Seven experienced pilots are also permanently stationed in Manitoba.
“It is a privilege to partner with our colleagues in health to provide increased access to service for the critically ill and injured in Manitoba,” said Andrea Robertson, STARS president and chief operating officer.  “STARS will assist in the provision of highly specialized services, utilizing a critical-care team including nurses, paramedics, physicians and our aviation team of pilots and engineers.”
Each helicopter crew includes two pilots, a critical-care nurse and a critical-care paramedic.  An emergency physician trained in pre-hospital care and transportation is also available by telephone for every emergency response and travels in the helicopter whenever medically necessary.
The minister also noted the government has signed a 10-year service agreement with STARS to provide helicopter emergency medical services at a cost of approximately $10 million per year.  STARS is a non-profit organization that operates on a shared-funding model in which costs are paid through government funding, community fundraising, individual donors and corporate support.  Costs include the helicopter, maintenance, training and other operational costs such as night vision.
STARS has responded to more than 150 emergencies since arriving in Manitoba in April 2011.  It works in partnership with Manitoba’s air and land ambulance fleet to provide seamless emergency care, said Oswald, adding a helipad is currently under construction at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg to provide for even more rapid transportation directly to highly specialized trauma and critical care.
More information about STARS is available at
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Monday, February 20, 2012

It's Family and It's a Holiday

Many might interpret this to be the only day they should spend with their families. Don't think I like this idea of a family day. Some of us might come to think that this is the only day we should set aside for family. Every day is family day. We must give priority to our families every single day of the year. The next thing you'll see, is the commercialization of family day. Soon the persuaders would suggest we spend a lot of money buying gifts and special food for family day and everything goes downhill from there.
I would much rather see we focus on Louis Riel Day and celebrate what he stood for. He stood and fought for freedom. We may want to think of ways we can fight for freedom especially for those who cannot do so for themselves. I do not mean physical fight but, believing in nonviolence advocacy and protests, we can find a lot of opportunities to do so today. For those of you are are newcomers to Canada, take the opportunity to get to know your Aboriginal population who are the original owners of the land upon which we now live. Find out about the history of the Forks and the importance it was in early days for the Aboriginal people.
   Just take a walk down your street and see what you can find.  Support Festival Du Voyageur if you have never done so before. It celebrates Riel, take a walk down to the Forks and support an Aboriginal business, help that community to rise to the level of other Canadians in terms of financial development.
Here's an article about Louis Riel, I found it interesting and informative.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nominations Open

February 17, 2012


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Nominations Now Open for 2012 Capturing Opportunities Awards: Kostyshyn
The province is seeking nominations for the 2012 Capturing Opportunities awards that recognize and acknowledge work done by individuals, businesses and organizations that help their communities grow and thrive, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.
“Every community has someone who can be counted on to step forward and initiate the call to action to get community projects started, rally volunteers, do the paperwork, and get local programs and projects completed,” said Kostyshyn.  “They are often unsung heroes - individuals on their own or representing an organization or business - who want to improve their community without expecting personal gain.  I encourage Manitobans to nominate these special individuals for these awards.”
The 2012 Capturing Opportunities business and community forum is scheduled for April 24 and 25 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.  The theme this year is The Local Living Economy with a variety of sessions and keynote speakers focusing on topics of interest to rural business owners and entrepreneurs.  The awards will be presented at the 2012 celebration banquet on Wednesday, April 24 in the UCT Pavilion at the centre.  Winners will receive a commemorative artistic glass award and a $1,000 donation to a community organization of their choice.
Nominations are now being accepted in the following four award categories:
  • outstanding community leadership - for an individual who has made significant and notable contributions to the betterment of their community or region, who has served as a catalyst for positive action and has exhibited the highest standard of community leadership, dedication, ability and innovation;
  • rural youth achievement - for an individual, association, business or municipality whose activities have enabled youth to take action on important issues that affect their lives, increase youth participation and involvement, or contribute positively to their community or region;
  • economic development innovation (community) - for an organization or municipality whose actions illustrate innovation in community development, build on the resources of the community, respond to challenges and/or opportunities, and demonstrate outcomes in rural economic development; and
  • economic development innovation (corporate) - for businesses whose corporate actions illustrate innovation in community economic development through co-operation with community partners, build on the resources of the community, respond to changes and challenges, and demonstrate outcomes in rural economic development.
Nominations will be accepted until noon on April 2.
“The organizations, businesses and individuals of all ages who work for the public good inspire other community members to take action and are role models to young people getting ready to take their place in their community,” said Kostyshyn.  “Their leadership proves where there is a will, there is a way to achieve community goals.”
Nomination forms are available at any Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives GO office or online at

Get in on the action - Opportunities for business

February 17, 2012


Entrepreneurs will have the chance to learn new techniques and improve their selling skills at the Capturing Opportunities 2012 rural business forum by participating in the Entrepreneur Boot Camp, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn said today.
“Both new and experienced entrepreneurs can benefit from this chance to network with successful business people then develop, practise and present their new pitch style,” said Kostyshyn.  “There is a lot of competition for the attention of the buying public and, if you want to convince them to buy your product or service, you need to wow them with your sales pitch.  This Entrepreneur Boot Camp is where you can pull it all together.  I encourage anyone wishing to improve their business skills to apply now.”
At Entrepreneur Boot Camp, participants are first drilled on how to perfect their sales pitch for a new business opportunity.  Then, like the popular CBC TV show Dragons’ Den, they are given the opportunity to present their business ideas to a panel of expert judges.  The top three presenters are awarded prize packages valued at up to $5,000 in cash and business services.
Last year’s winners were Steve Langston of Winnipeg with a business plan for Dirty T-shirt Productions, which creates video and Internet strategies for business, Shane Oliver of Brandon for his presentation on, which designs custom sports figures, and Dr. Liana Mawer of Brandon for Problem Solving for Pets, which provides behaviour modification plans to pet owners.
“Manitoba is the birthplace of many innovative business ideas for new and improved products and services, and technology has made the world an open market to current and budding entrepreneurs,” said Kostyshyn.  “Taking advantage of the opportunity to sharpen presentation and selling skills will help participants be at the top of their game when they showcase their products and services.”
To register or get more information on the Entrepreneur Boot Camp contact the nearest Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives GO office or visit  The registration deadline is April 5.
Capturing Opportunities is an annual community and business forum that inspires, engages and connects people to ideas and resources while celebrating local achievements.  The 2012 forum takes place at the Keystone Centre in Brandon on April 24 and 25.  This year’s event will focus on the Local Living Economy, featuring a variety of speakers and sessions addressing new opportunities to create and grow local businesses.
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Have a brillian idea? Will Fund?

February 17, 2012


Manitobans with a great food or beverage idea who have the desire to move their recipe from the family kitchen to the public marketplace will have the opportunity to test their products at the sixth annual Great Manitoba Food Fight during the Capturing Opportunities 2012 rural and northern business forum, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.
“New products emerge from someone’s popular family recipe, the need for a specialty item to meet a dietary requirement or a perceived missing link in the public’s food chain,” said Kostyshyn.  “There is no limit to a good cook’s imagination and we are pleased to challenge and support the entrepreneurial drive of Manitobans through this competition.”
The top 10 applications to this competition will be selected to proceed to the preparation and presentation stage.  Applications and accompanying business plans are due March 9.  Applications are available from any Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) GO office or online at
Winning products in past years have included the Edible Cup, Super Green Smoothie, Totally Organic Blackcurrant Beverage, Gorp Energy Bar, Manitobar, Maple Mead and Rawdical Chocolate Hemp Cookies.
This year’s food fight will take place April 24 at Assiniboine Community College’s Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts (MICA) in Brandon.  Participants will provide a sample of their food or beverage to contest judges and MICA students will use these products as ingredients in food items they will create and serve at the reception preceding the Capturing Opportunities banquet.
Prizes valued at $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 will be awarded and can be used for expenses such as research and development at the Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie, the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals in Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba or at other Manitoba research facilities.  Development opportunities include recipe refinement, package design, marketing and business management.
“This outstanding annual competition has been the launching pad for many exciting and innovative food and beverage products,” said Kostyshyn.  “It is helping to keep Manitoba a leader in new product development by encouraging and supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of people who live, work and raise their families here.”
Through Capturing Opportunities, the Great Manitoba Food Fight is presented by MAFRI in partnership with the Assiniboine Community College’s Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts.
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's not all bad - Alzheimer's

There is a bright side to this condition, it all depends if you can see the glass as half full instead of half empty. Check out this inspiring articles.

Superintent Devon Clunis Wades in the Debate

Police feel lack of manager support

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - Superintendent Devon Clunis. Development Support, Winnipeg Police Service. Supt. Clunis is the Chaplain and one of the highest ranking officers in the city. 10-12-23
A national study on ethics in policing says senior managers should show more support for officers who work under them.
The study, which was released by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), included feedback from more than 10,000 officers from 31 services across Canada, including the Winnipeg Police Service.
Authors Stephen Maguire and Lorraine Dyke of Carleton University found "most police officers are very familiar with their police service's values and really care about the reputation of their agency."
However, the study also suggested senior managers could learn to "demonstrate greater support for employees."
The study was done through an online survey completed by thousands of officers, from the rank of constable to staff sergeant.
"A number of questions suggest that police officers do not believe that the organization or its senior managers take an interest in their concerns. Lack of support is related to reduced trust and lower commitment to the organization's success. To enhance support, police agencies need to communicate their concern for employees' well-being, solicit employees' input on decisions affecting them and provide support for employees' goals," said the study, which is called the Professionalism in Policing Research Project.
It's billed as the first of its kind for its examination of "ethics and professionalism in Canadian police forces."
The typical respondent to the study was a white man older than 40; women made up 19 per cent of the sample. The study found ethics training for officers was "almost universal," with 93 per cent of officers who responded saying they'd received some.
Maguire also said there was a "very strong" response about organizational commitment, such as those who are "willing to do extra work and engage in helpful behaviours."
However, the study also said "over 40 per cent of respondents disagreed that the organization cares about their opinions, considers their goals and values, cares about their satisfaction or cares about their well-being" -- a finding Maguire said he found "quite surprising."
"When I was doing interviews across the country, it's quite clear to me that they do a lot for their employees. They have gyms... they have a very good response to critical incidents, they provide support and psychological counselling if it's necessary.
"They really do support people when they may be exposed to a critical incident," said Maguire, the acting director of the Centre on Values and Ethics at Carleton.
"On the other hand, in terms of just general support, do they listen to them? Do they take into account their values? Do they encourage developing their people? The responses were not as good."
Senior management can be "tied up with operational concerns," Maguire said, which can mean not "communicating very well their appreciation for what people are doing in the trenches."
Maguire didn't provide the number of Winnipeg Police Service officers involved in the study Wednesday.
Supt. Devon Clunis of the Winnipeg Police Service said city officers receive ethics training as recruits, as well as when they become field training officers or if they're promoted into supervisory roles.
The WPS is "very supportive" of its members, he said.
"I speak from personal experience that the members of our service are highly ethical individuals who serve in the best interest of the public," he said.
"No organization is perfect, but I can say with confidence that we strive for that perfection when it comes to operating in a moral and ethical framework."

Here goes the Vagina Monologues Again

Who cares whether this person has a vagina or a penis? No one except his or her partner.  We make heroes out of people like you won't believe it. For every life there is a story - even the most ordinary mundane life has something to tell and to teach but we only focus on the extremes and I am tired of being motivated by extremes.  I just like to be motivate by ordinary lives. How do you live your life authentically.
If you born with a vagina in a body that looks like what society describes as male maybe the universe is trying to teach us to be more open minded, that yes there are people who look one way and could be something else. Why do we always have to conform to society's notion of the world, who knows what is the norm, who decides what is the norm - we decide what is the norm - we come to a collective understanding and that can change. It is maybe time for us to get out of the black and white era and enter the world of colours

Anyway the U of W students will be given a lesson in motivation by this human being who has one commenter puts it caved in to society's definition of what the human person ought to be like and is making a living doing so - sometimes it all comes down to just that  - what I can get from doing this or that?

He once marketed himself as "the man with the vagina." Now transsexual educator and adult filmmaker Buck Angel tours as a motivational speaker, and he’ll be speaking at the University of Winnipeg this Friday.
Angel will give a presentation titled "The Buck Angel Effect" at Riddell Hall at 8 p.m. Admission is free.
The founder of Buck Angel Entertainment will share the story of his transition from female to male while challenging the audience’s notion of what makes someone a man or a woman and delivering a message of empowerment through self-acceptance.

Pomme is french for apple - LOL

According to this reviewer:
Pomme is French for Apple is “a fresh and irreverent look at womanhood, sex, society, and all kinda madness in between”. It’s a series of vignettes about dating, sex and society with a distinct West Indian flavour. Bahia Watson and Liza Paul wrote, produced and perform the show. They work brilliantly together.
As funny as it is Pomme is French for Apple is also thoughtful. Megan said that one of the things she appreciated was that the didactic moments weren’t painful. I asked her what didactic meant. Merriam Webster says didactic means “intended to convey instruction and information as well as pleasure and entertainment”. I would have said that they didn’t hit you over the head with a message.

Woman Jailed for operating a brothel in her home

Instead of making honest people into criminals the courts maybe out to revisit outdated laws or laws that do not make any sense in today's world.
Prostitution has been since time immemorial and no law has ever stopped people from selling sexual services to those who are willing to buy.  I am not going to go into the pros and cons of such service. In this particular case, the woman claims she wanted to provide a safe place for women to do their business. I think that is a good thing. If women do not have safe houses they will be on the streets exposed to dangerous elements of the this work.
According to reports Queen's Bench Justice Deborah McCawley said she believed the woman's motives were genuine, especially since Canadian prostitution laws are very much a source of ongoing debate and controversy.
"I agree general deterrence and denunciation are considerations in this rather unusual case, however, it is complicated by the fact that the constitutional validity of the law is in question and the reasons that (the accused) asserts she chose to break the law appear to be genuine," said McCawley.
Their ought to be some rethinking about how to keep sex trade workers safe. Many of these women are mothers, working for the upkeep of their children, women who can provide better for their children doing this work than collecting income assistance.
According to the Winnipeg Free Press the woman is now living in Vancouver and is working to help sex trade workers get off the streets.
   I think it is dehumanizing for sex trade workers to be on the streets, why can't they do their business like massage parlours and other workers in these intimate contact professions.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


A Revolution in Accountability

Preliminary ideas for the State of the Inner City Report – 2012
Two main themes were discussed at our meeting on February 7th.  The following is our attempt to capture these themes and find a way to weave them together in the 2012 State of the Inner City Report.
While the discussion included concerns about government direction and challenges with funders generally, the focus was clearly on the direction the federal government is taking. The next four years will be tough ones for community-based organizations. The coming funding cuts will affect funding for all social programs including community development programs, the social safety net (such as EIA), and provincial programs.  This will have a serious impact on the already stretched resources supporting people in the inner city. Reference was made to the following article which sums up the direction the Harper government is taking the country.
The second theme, which we think we can weave into the overarching theme, is the issue of accountability. Accountability is a buzzword in today’s world of funding grants and community development programs. Community-based organizations must be accountable to the community, accountable to funders (especially government funders), accountable to their boards of directors. But how are governments accountable to the inner-city communities – and to the organizations that serve and represent them – in Winnipeg? 
Too often, governments and other funders are interested in funding new ‘pilot’ programs for a defined period of time.  Regardless of whether these programs demonstrate effectiveness, funders are increasingly unlikely to provide long-term funding.  Instead they require that these projects find ways to be “sustainable” without government funding.  As we pointed out in the 2007 SIC Report and in the 2008 report Is participation having an impact?, community organizations are left to clean up the mess that governments have left behind as result of their neglect for those in need, yet governments don’t want to adequately support community organizations to do their work .  They prefer funding projects and programs rather than core costs, require skilled staff but won’t pay what they’re worth, and look for outputs rather than outcomes. Staff are required to manage the grant applications and reporting requirements (including audits and providing documentation to funders) rather than to do the front-line work. This does not benefit inner-city organizations or communities and creates bureaucracy rather than partnership and accountability among communities, organizations and funders.
We propose that this year’s State of the Inner City report will look at the relationship between Winnipeg’s inner-city communities, community-based organizations, and the governments that fund them. It will seek to understand these relationships of accountability, and to suggest models for partnership and mutual accountability among these three players by looking at specific examples of where governments are not being accountable for their actions.
In addition to the report and launch, a social media strategy (which could include short videos, blog posts and twitter campaigns) will promote the ideas developed through the report.
The report could begin with an overview of where we are at:
Unpacking the ideology
Too often decisions about what is funded and what is not involve assumptions and ideologies that do not support lower-income inner city communities. Decisions to create deficits to force spending cuts, to download essential services to third sector organizations, to cut social services, to increase policing or expand road networks often rely on fearmongering and racist attitudes, and little discussion of alternative approaches. How can we change the discourse to reflect a more balanced approach that accounts for the contributions of service work to the economy and upholds inner-city communities as good, empowering places to live?
The second part of the report could provide some specific examples of government actions and the disconnect or lack of accountability to community organizations and the people that they serve:
Healing and cultural reclamation programs
In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized to former students of Indian residential schools. The residential schools are only one in a long list of government policies and programs that have had profoundly negative impacts on Aboriginal people, cultures and communities. But now the Aboriginal Healing Foundation is closing its doors, and funding for programs that offer culturally-specific supports have been cut or is at risk, while the proposed omnibus Bill C-10 (the Crime Bill) is likely to have a detrimental impact on Aboriginal people, who are already disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. Where is the accountability to Aboriginal people, especially those living in Winnipeg’s inner city?
A holistic approach to crime
Bill C-10 dramatically alters the landscape of crime prevention and reduction. It moves away from understanding crime and violence to be rooted in other problems or issues, such as poverty. It reduces the potential for community prioritizing and direction in crime prevention, and does not reflect a broad-based approach to preventing crime and violence. How can the inner city address crime and violence in a comprehensive way in this context?
Education – of all kinds – continues to be an important gap for many people in the inner city. The school system is failing its students, resulting in low literacy rates among high school students and adults. This places an additional burden on community organizations who provide informal learning programs to support youth and adults in addressing life skills and other needs. There is a need to reconsider who defines/owns/validates knowledge or education, and how this can happen at a community level, and attention to this is required at all levels and in all areas of education and learning. How can we provide culturally-relevant and practical skills through formal and informal systems of education?

Mental Health Conference

February 15, 2012


– – –
Conference to Focus on Governments, Communities, Individuals Working Together: Selinger
Manitoba is welcoming leading mental-health researchers, government representatives and other stakeholders dedicated to the many issues related to mental health and mental illness as part of a national summit, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
“Manitoba is pleased to host this important summit where we will hear the most recent scientific research on promoting mental health and preventing mental illness,” he said.  “Some of the most compelling research tells us there may be ways to prevent and reduce the incidence of mental illness, which has the potential to improve the quality of life for many individuals and families, and affect the way that we all tackle this important issue.”
The first day of the summit will include sessions on social determinants of mental health, opportunities to prevent mental illness, indigenous and cultural approaches to mental health, the economics of mental-health promotion and effective approaches for families, schools, workplaces and communities.  The second day will provide opportunities for participants to discuss ways to better improve the mental health of Canadians through promotion and prevention.
During the Council of the Federation meeting in Vancouver in the summer of 2011, the premier committed to hosting this summit as an opportunity to share experiences and expertise related to mental health.  Nearly 300 participants with backgrounds in education, child welfare, health care, addictions and social services are expected to attend, as mental health issues are addressed by many partners.
“Every jurisdiction has made important strides forward, but it’s clear the work to be done is best tackled by individuals, communities and governments working together,” noted the premier.
Keynote speakers include Dr. Lynne Friedli, who has worked on mental-health promotion with the World Health Organization and Dr. Carl Bell, an American psychiatrist who served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Prevention of Mental Disorders and Substance Abuse Among Children, Youth and Young Adults.
The summit takes place in Winnipeg today and tomorrow.
Mental-health problems and illnesses affect people of all ages, from all walks of life and touch the life of every Manitoban in one way or another; one in four Manitobans experiences at least one mental illness diagnosis over a five-year period, said Selinger.
Most mental illness begins in childhood or adolescence.  Healthy Child Manitoba provides a strategy that involves many government departments along with community partners in promoting good mental health from childhood to adolescence.  More information about Manitoba’s strategic five-year plan, focused on the mental health and well‑being of Manitobans, is available at                                
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A little Bit of Black History Fast Facts

  Black History is about the struggle for freedom and equality.  This makes all the men mentioned in the last line more relevant than all these inventions, which by and large are owned and controlled by a corporate few who use them as a source of plunder to enrich themselves, thereby maintaining unfreedom.  It is also sad/inacurate that only Black men are mentioned.    Louis

 Life Without Black People
A very humorous and revealing story is told about a group of white people who were fed up with African Americans, so they joined together and wished themselves away. They passed through a deep dark tunnel and emerged in sort of a twilight zone where there is an America without black people.
At first these white people breathed a sigh of relief.
'At last', they said, 'no more crime, drugs, violence and welfare.'
All of the blacks have gone! Then suddenly, reality set in. The 'NEW AMERICA' is not America at all - only a barren land.
1. There are very few crops that have flourished because the nation was built on a slave-supported system.
2. There are no cities with tall skyscrapers because Alexander Mils, a black man, invented the elevator, and without it, one finds great difficulty reaching higher floors.
3. There are few if any cars because Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gearshift, Joseph Gambol, also black, invented the Super Charge System for Internal Combustion Engines, and Garrett A. Morgan, a black man,
invented the traffic signals.
4. Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit system because its procurer was the electric trolley, which was invented by another black man, Albert R. Robinson.
5. Even if there were streets on which cars and a rapid transit system could operate, they were cluttered with paper because an African American, Charles Brooks, invented the street sweeper..
6. There were few if any newspapers, magazines and books because John Love invented the pencil sharpener, William Purveys invented the fountain pen, and Lee Barrage invented the Type Writing Machine and W. A. Love invented the
Advanced Printing Press. They were all, you guessed it, Black.
7. Even if Americans could write their letters, articles and books, they would not have been transported by mail because William Barry invented the Postmarking and Canceling Machine, William Purveys invented the Hand Stamp and Philip Downing invented the Letter Drop.
8. The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph Smith invented the Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr the Lawn Mower.
9. When they entered their homes, they found them to be poorly ventilated and poorly heated. You see, Frederick Jones invented the Air Conditioner and Alice Parker the Heating Furnace. Their homes were also dim. But of course, Lewis
Lattimer later invented the Electric Lamp, Michael Harvey invented the lantern, and Granville T. Woods invented the Automatic Cut off Switch. Their homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward invented the Mop and Lloyd P. Ray the Dust Pan.
10. Their children met them at the door - barefooted, shabby, motley and unkempt.  But what could one expect? Jan E. Matzelinger invented the Shoe Lasting Machine, Walter Sammons invented the Comb, Sarah Boone invented the Ironing Board, and George T. Samon invented the Clothes Dryer.
11. Finally, they were resigned to at least have dinner amidst all of this turmoil. But here again, the food had spoiled because another Black Man, John Standard invented the refrigerator.
Now, isn't that something? What would this country be like without the contributions of Blacks, as African-Americans?
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, 'by the time we leave for work, millions of Americans have depended on the inventions from the minds of Blacks.'
Black history includes more than just slavery, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Marcus Garvey & W.E.B. Dubois.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Upcoming-Event - Capturing opportunities April 24-25, 2012

February 14, 2012


– – –
Forum Provides a Prime Opportunity to See, Listen and Learn for Individual, Community Business Growth: Kostyshyn
Manitoba’s new Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn is encouraging potential, new and experienced entrepreneurs, business owners, community leaders, youth and local organizations to attend this year’s Capturing Opportunities conference scheduled for April 24 and 25 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.
“This year’s theme, the Local Living Economy, provides a lens through which we can view new opportunities for rural Manitoba,” said Kostyshyn.  “We’re excited to encourage the sharing of ideas between budding entrepreneurs and seasoned business leaders, and to provide an opportunity for rural Manitobans to network throughout the two-day event.”
Capturing Opportunities 2012 will feature information sessions and keynote speakers addressing new opportunities in grain marketing, food and the bioeconomy, growing from within and unique
co-operative business models with particular examples related to the local economy.
A variety of awards will celebrate the accomplishments of youth, entrepreneurs and communities, inspire all participants to learn from each other, and challenge new business strengths, the minister said.  Keynote speakers and session leaders will provide listen and learn opportunities for business growth and development.
The minister noted the Great Manitoba Food Fight will again be a featured event in a battle of unique recipes and fabulous food with a distinctly Manitoba flair.  This competition partners contestants with first- and second-year culinary students from the Assiniboine Community College’s Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts.  Each team prepares a savoury sample for a panel of judges and pitches their product ideas.  First-, second- and third-place finalists receive product development awards valued at $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000.
The Entrepreneur Boot Camp is an opportunity for new and experienced entrepreneurs to improve their marketing skills by learning how to perfect their business proposals and presenting them to a panel of expert judges, said Kostyshyn.  The top three presenters are awarded prize packages valued up to $2,000 in cash and business services.
Outstanding Manitobans, communities and organizations will be officially recognized through the Capturing Opportunities Awards, presented in five categories:
  • outstanding community leadership;
  • rural youth achievement;
  • economic development innovation (community);
  • economic development innovation (corporate); and
  • entrepreneurial innovation. 
Awards will be presented at the Celebration Banquet.
“Our province has an impressive track record for creating new products and promoting innovative thinking for business and community development,” said Kostyshyn.  “Encouraging creative thinking by individuals of all ages develops an environment where businesses can thrive and grow.  The annual Capturing Opportunities event is excellent fuel for our province’s economic engine.”
Watch for program information.
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Aboriginal Students Success

Education Minister Nancy Allan announces $1.3 million in new funding for the Aboriginal Academic Achievement grant at Tec-Voc High School.
Education Minister Nancy Allan announces $1.3 million in new funding for the Aboriginal Academic Achievement grant at Tec-Voc High School
February 14, 2012


New funding of $1.3 million has been dedicated to the Aboriginal Academic Achievement (AAA) grant, which will help school divisions deliver quality programs that target academic success for Aboriginal (First Nation, Métis and Inuit) students, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today at Tec Voc High School, adding this new funding will bring this year’s total funding for AAA to $8.8 million.
“Aboriginal education continues to be a priority for this government and this new funding ensures school divisions can continue to provide quality education to Aboriginal students in our schools,” Allan said.  “The Aboriginal Academic Achievement grant assists schools and teachers to help Aboriginal students stay engaged in learning, which keeps them in school.”
School divisions use the AAA grant to support Aboriginal academic achievement by hiring teachers, and providing quality programming in literacy, numeracy and in the arts to keep students involved in school, Allan said.
These activities support the development of students’ self-identity, self-worth, confidence and success, the minister said, adding the Department of Education is also working with schools to strengthen ways of enabling parents to have greater engagement in the education of their children and greater involvement in schools.
“Learning about one’s culture and connecting to one’s heritage and community helps to keep students engaged, which is critical to academic achievement and overall student well-being,” said Allan.  “This targeted investment is part of this government’s larger strategy to ensure all students get the skills they need for a successful future.”
The Aboriginal Academic Achievement grant also supports professional learning and planning among teachers, principals, specialists, support staff, parents and the community. The province has designated $600,000 of the AAA fund to the Building Student Success with Aboriginal Parents initiative which supports 45 projects in 19 school divisions that build partnerships with Aboriginal parents and communities through programs that promote Aboriginal languages and cultures.
The government has made additional investments including:
  • Investing $3 million for nine community-based education programs for at-risk youth funded through the Bright Futures program including a commitment of $425,000 for Pathways to Education Canada (October 2010).  Programs include mentoring, help with homework, career exploration, and planning for post-secondary education and apprenticeships/trades. 
  • Introducing new mandatory courses on Aboriginal perspectives for teachers in training and ensuring school curriculums include residential schools, treaties and Aboriginal history.   
  • Providing $600,000 for a pilot project on increasing student success (June 2010).
  • In partnership, Manitoba Education, the Manitoba Metis Federation and the Louis Riel Institute are working to improve education outcomes for students in Manitoba schools through projects on learning resources development. 
  • Partnering with the University of Winnipeg in the Shine On Initiative, which is intended to help increase representation of Manitoba’s Aboriginal community in post-secondary education.  The department-approved school-initiated course is delivered through the U of W Collegiate to high-school students who take the course on campus.
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New immigrants join the rank of Citizenship

February 14, 2012


Premier Greg Selinger and Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Christine Melnick today welcomed 40 new Canadians at a special Diamond Jubilee swearing-in ceremony for the nation’s newest citizens.
“Few events are more inspiring than a ceremony to welcome new Canadians,” said Selinger.  “Manitoba continues to attract skilled professionals and their families through our Provincial Nominee Program that has become a model for the country.  As these new Manitobans put down roots here, they are helping drive our economy and build a prosperous future for all Manitobans.”
The new citizens were given a provincial welcome certificate, a Diamond Jubilee pin, a flag to reflect Her Majesty’s special Diamond Jubilee year and a commemorative photo as a memento of their accomplishment.
Melnick noted that citizenship is a pivotal point in each new immigrant’s life.
“Each of you has chosen to live here and we invite you to join us in building a province where we strive to ensure all citizens are treated with respect, understanding and acceptance,” she said to the new citizens.  “The global perspective that you bring strengthens our communities in countless ways, and helps to promote the values of pride, equality and partnership; the principles on which multiculturalism in Manitoba is based.”
Since 1999, more than 70,000 new immigrants have settled in Manitoba through the Provincial Nominee Program, with approximately 12,000 in 2011.  Manitoba’s population growth rate over the last five years is the highest it has been in 50 years according to census information released earlier this month by Statistics Canada.                                                             
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Manitoba's Mental Health Programs get a Boost

February 13, 2012


Artbeat Studio Inc. will receive $20,000 from the Urban Art Centres Program to support Studio Central, a community initiative that increases arts opportunities with a focus on mental-health promotion, Culture, Heritage and Tourism Minister Flor Marcelino announced today.
“Studio Central provides a safe place where artists and residents can work together on developing art programs and projects that enhance quality of life and help build a strong sense of community,” said Marcelino.  “The program celebrates community involvement through the arts while recognizing the resilience, creativity and tremendous courage of artists living with a mental illness.”
Studio Central is a program of Artbeat Studio, which was established in 2005 following one Manitoba family’s personal experience with mental illness.  In all of its projects and operations, Artbeat provides resources and peer support to promote mental health, healing and empowerment through artistic creativity.  Studio Central is a working studio for community residents and includes artists who have completed core programming at Artbeat and are living with mental illness.
Studio Central offers numerous community art programs in a variety of mediums including painting, poetry, music, textile art, culinary arts and weaving.
“At Artbeat Studio we are pleased to receive support for the Studio Central project.  This project supports local artists and residents in the Central Park and North Portage neighbourhoods through participatory arts programming,” said Ernie Bart, board member and vice-chair at Artbeat Studio Inc.  “This program has the potential to counter entrenched social stigma and to promote positive change through mental-health awareness, equality and social inclusion.”
For more information on Artbeat, visit
The Urban Art Centres program is an initiative of Neighbourhoods Alive!

Rare Collection of Hudson Bay Company history returns

Culture, Heritage and Tourism Minister Flor Marcelino reviews  Hudson Bay Company’s Archives rare collection of silent film material  with Archivist James Gorton.
Culture, Heritage and Tourism Minister Flor Marcelino reviews Hudson Bay Company’s Archives rare collection of silent film material with Archivist James Gorton
February 13, 2012


– – –
Extraordinary Film Shows Life in Northern Canada in 1920: Marcelino
A rare collection of Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) films has been returned to Canada from England and has been added to the permanent holdings of the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives (HBCA) in Winnipeg, Culture, Heritage and Tourism Minister Flor Marcelino announced today.
“These extraordinary films bring to life records already held at the Hudson's Bay Company Archives and help create a more complete picture of HBC’s long history in the Canadian North,” said Marcelino.  “The motion pictures provide a unique glimpse into Inuit and First Nations communities and HBC operations across northern Canada from 1919 to 1939.”
The bulk of the donation consists of what was once part of a two-hour silent film called Romance of the Far Fur Country.  The film was commissioned in 1920 by the Hudson’s Bay Company to celebrate its 250thanniversary.
The original full-length feature film premiered in May 1920 in Winnipeg’s Allen Theatre, known today as the Metropolitan, and was also shown in movie theatres across Western Canada.
Footage includessegments shot from the HBC supply ship the Nascopie on its voyagefrom Montreal to the eastern Arctic and Hudson’s Bay.  Along the way, HBC personnel and buildings, indigenous peoples and activities associated with the operations of the HBC were filmed.  Also included in early footage are sequences of pageants and parades in Winnipeg, Calgary, Victoria and Vancouver.
The return of the films from England was possible through funding support from the Hudson’s Bay Company History Foundation and the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives Trust Fund.
“The survival of these films is remarkable.  Only a small amount of Canada’s silent film heritage has survived due to the fragile nature of the nitratefilm base,” said Marcelino.
Until the recent transfer to the HBCA in Winnipeg, the films were preserved for the past several decades by the British Film Institute National Archive in London.
The entire collection, about 40 reels of original footage, was digitized prior to the films leaving London.  Copies will soon be available for researchers, film makers and anyone interested in Canadian history.  The fragile originals are carefully protected in the Archives of Manitoba storage specifically designed for film records.
Screenings of a selection of the footage to celebrate this new acquisition for the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives will take place on three consecutive Wednesday evenings, Feb. 15at 7 p.m. at Cinematheque, 100 Arthur St. and Feb. 22and Feb. 29at 7 p.m. at the Archives of Manitoba, 200 Vaughan St.  For more information please contact the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, Archives of Manitoba, 204-945-4949 or
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Manitoba won Labour-mobility challenge

February 13, 2012


– – –
Province Continues to Lead Improvements in Mobility: Bjornson
A dispute-resolution panel has made a precedent-setting ruling in favour of Manitoba under the national Agreement on Internal Trade on labour mobility for public accountants, Entrepreneurship Training and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson announced today.
“We continue to support the commitments of the Council of the Federation to ensure full labour mobility in Canada and felt it was important to take action to support Manitoba certified general accountants,” said Bjornson.  “The panel findings confirm the direction from Canada’s premiers that certified workers from one jurisdiction will have their certifications recognized in another jurisdiction without requiring additional training.”
The minister noted that Manitoba has been a leader in labour mobility improvements in support of workers and businesses in Manitoba, as well as the rest of Canada.  This dispute is the first to be heard under the revised labour-mobility chapter of the national Agreement on Internal Trade, which came into effect in April 2009.
In the summer of 2011, Manitoba led a formal request for a dispute-resolution panel regarding how Ontario addressed labour mobility related to public accounting.  British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan agreed with Manitoba and joined as interveners in the dispute.
The Ontario government had posted an exception to labour mobility related to public accountants.  The exception limited the right to practise public accounting in Ontario to accountants who met Ontario’s specified assessment curriculum only.  This meant that certified general accountants practising public accounting in Manitoba, or anywhere else in Canada, could notbe licensed to provide these services to clients in Ontario without completing Ontario’s specific method of curriculum and assessment.
However, the panel ruled the exception should be removed and Ontario should allow certification without any additional training. 
“We commend the Manitoba government for demonstrating the courage and integrity to lead this challenge of Ontario’s inappropriate mobility restriction,” said Grant Christensen, chief executive officer of the Certified General Accountants Association of Manitoba.  “Our professional certification and regulatory standards are second to none and they serve the public exceptionally well.”
If Ontario does not appeal this panel ruling, it will have until April 2012 to comply with the panel recommendations.  The recently revised Agreement on Internal Trade now includes financial penalties for provinces that fail to comply with panel rulings, in order to ensure dispute panel rulings are implemented.
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Children and Youth Opportunities minister Kevin Chief, Healthy Living minister Jim Rondeau and students from Polson School celebrate Innovation Grant announcement.
Children and Youth Opportunities minister Kevin Chief, Healthy Living minister Jim Rondeau and students from Polson School celebrate Innovation Grant announcement.
February 13, 2012


– – –
Youth to Learn Civic Leadership Through Engaging With Their Communities: Chief
Twenty schools from across Manitoba will each receive a $1,000 grant to fund hands-on projects that help students develop knowledge and experience about citizenship, Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief announced today.
“This grant program, now in its eighth year, is helping to create tomorrow’s leaders through projects that reflect democracy in the classroom and involve students in planning and problem solving together,” said Chief.  “The projects also provide hands-on learning through interactions with the larger community from the local to the international level.”
The 20 schools receiving grants include nine from rural Manitoba, one from northern Manitoba and 10 from Winnipeg including three from the inner city.  The names of the schools and a brief description of the projects are in the attached backgrounder.
Since the program began in 2004, grants totalling $130,000 have been provided to public and
funded independent schools across Manitoba, the minister said.

The light goes out of Star

The world mourn the loss of Whitney Houston, dead at the tender age of 48. Her death remains a mystery. We have received bits and pieces here and there. The latest word is that she drowned and that there were a lot of prescription pills in her hotel room.
It does not matter what the cause of death is, the fact is that we have lost a life that has given a lot to the world and could have given more. Whitney's voice was talked about with lamentation by those in the business. The head of Sony Records said that he had had the pleasure of working with some of the greats including Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand,  Mariah Carey but not of them could reach the level of Whitney Houston, she stood alone above the crowd.  That was her gift from the creator and we all have our own gift.
    I think she might be the first superstar to die on the eve of one of music's biggest shows - The Grammy's and she was respected. Jennifer Hudson did a great job in spite of the pressure and the circumstances, she pulled it off. The grammy started with a prayer. I don't think that ever happened before. There were a lot of firsts that happened at the Grammys for a woman who celebrated a lot of firsts in her career as well.
    Her daughter was rushed to the hospital twice with anxiety after her mother's death. Cece, Whitney's mother said she spoke to her daughter about half hour before she died and she sounded fine. It is the hardest thing for a parent to lose a child and I send my deepest sympathy to her and Bobbi Kristina, Whitney's only daughter to whom she was very close.
    It is ironical and mysterious as well that Whitney Houston's last song that she performed publicly the day before the tragic event was Jesus Loves Me. May her soul rest in peace and may her Jesus take her in her arms and comfort her soul. A short but well lived life. She has left an indelible mark on the world. Her name will be spoken in the same breath as the great ones Billy Holiday, Mahlia Jackson and others who have contributed to raising the bar of excellence.