Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 31, 2012


Winnipeg, Manitoba—An official grand opening ceremony was held today to celebrate improvements to the Maples Community Centre. Senator Don Plett, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification; Mohinder Saran, MLA for The Maples, on behalf of Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux;and Devi Sharma, Councillor for Old Kildonan, on behalf of Mayor Sam Katz; joined representatives from the Seven Oaks School Board and Maples Community Centre to acknowledge the efforts and contributions of those that helped to make the project possible.
Joint funding from all three levels of government went towards the construction of a new track, an all-purpose field and bleachers. The Government of Canada, through the Recreational Infrastructure Canada Program (RInC) contributed $203,797; the Province of Manitoba invested $100,000, while the City of Winnipeg provided $60,000 towards the project. The remaining project costs were covered by the Seven Oaks School Division. Additionally, the Province of Manitoba and City of Winnipeg each contributed $125,000 under the Building Communities Initiative to upgrade and improve the outdoor basketball and tennis courts.
“This project is an excellent example of our Government’s top priority to create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity,” said Senator Plett.  “We are proud to have supported these upgrades to the Maples Community Centre track and field which will benefit the community and athletes of all ages for years to come.”
“Thanks to this partnership, athletes of all skill levels and students of all ages will be able to enjoy these new and improved facilities as it will encourage participation and enjoyment of healthy recreational activities,” said MLA Saran.
“The Maples Community Centre is the heart of the community, providing a safe and welcoming gathering place for people of all ages,” said Mayor Katz. “The City of Winnipeg is pleased to support athletes, and their friends and families, with facilities like the new track, playing field and outdoor courts.”
“These community improvements are the result of active, caring community members working in partnership with all levels of government and interested stakeholders,” said Kirk Baldwin, Divisional Principal, Seven Oaks School Division.
The Maples Community Centreis an important facility to the Maples neighborhood. As a result of the funding provided the Centre’s amenities have been restored to safety and are again fully functional, allowing local athletes to participate in the sport of their choice, in their own community.
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Premier Greg Selinger joined Elder Stella Blackbird (seated) at the official opening ceremony for project Makoonsag (Many Little Bears) child care and intergenerational learning centre on Selkirk Avenue.
Premier Greg Selinger joined Elder Stella Blackbird (seated) at the official opening ceremony for project Makoonsag (Many Little Bears) child care and intergenerational learning centre on Selkirk Avenue
May 31, 2012


– – –
Makoonsag (Many LIttle Bears) Provides a Positive Start for Infants, Parents and Families
The Honourable Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba; the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development; and Councillor Dan Vandal, on behalf of Mayor Sam Katz; today joined founder and director of development Eleanor Thompson, elders and community members at the official opening of Makoonsag (Many Little Bears), the new child‑care and intergenerational learning centre on Selkirk Avenue.
Services at the centre are directed to Aboriginal and new immigrant families, providing positive reinforcement and educational support that will help improve the future for children and families in Winnipeg.
“An investment in child care is an investment in healthy, vibrant neighbourhoods,” said Premier Selinger. “Quality child care provides a safe and caring atmosphere for children, allowing parents to support their families and thrive in their communities. This facility will also benefit adults by offering education and training supports to improve employment qualifications and help with the challenges of cultural adaptation for new Canadians.”
“Through the Urban Aboriginal Strategy, our government is working with partners to improve economic opportunities for urban Aboriginal people,” said Minister Duncan. “The urban Aboriginal population is young and growing and we continue to look for ways to remove barriers to their success through education, training and other measures.”
“I am proud of the City of Winnipeg contribution to this important, new facility. Investments in our youth ensure the City of Winnipeg is laying a solid foundation to build a stronger tomorrow,” said Mayor Katz.  “My council colleagues and I are committed to building a better future with our Aboriginal Youth Strategy, Oshki Annishinabe Nigaaniwak (Young Aboriginal People Leading).”
As part of the Urban Circle Training Centre Inc., Makoonsag includes:
  • a 52-space child-care facility, with 12 infant and 40 preschool spaces, to serve over 330 Selkirk Avenue students as well as families in the North End/William Whyte communities;
  • an early learning and child-care centre, which will provide a unique demonstration site for teaching early childhood education with a focus on intergenerational learning;
  • the delivery of a two-year Early Childhood Education Diploma Training Program and a new introductory course for child-care assistants in partnership with Red River College;
  • an intergenerational learning centre that features space for cultural and cross-cultural teachings and ceremonies, visual and performing arts, disease prevention education, and safety and gang awareness, among others; and
  • the development of a green space behind the property; Makoonsag is a sustainable facility with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver target that demonstrates a living ecology for children with an urban forest and eco-garden. 
The $2.6-million project received over $1.2 million from the Province of Manitoba, $118,134 from the City of Winnipeg and $500,608 from the Government of Canada through the Urban Aboriginal Strategy (
The provincial contribution supports efforts under Manitoba’s Winnipeg Regeneration Strategy to renew and strengthen the economic and social vitality of the inner city.
Other funding partners include the Winnipeg Foundation, Bill and Shirley Loewen, Prairie Architects Inc., the Thomas Sill Foundation, United Way, Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, Great West Life, Investors Group, Manitoba Hydro, Maxim Truck and Trailer, North West Company, Shelter Canadian Properties Ltd., Vector Construction, Métis Economic Development Organization, University of Manitoba Students Union, National Leasing and other corporate and individual donors.
“We know that contributing to early child development is the most cost effective way to reduce poverty and to foster economic growth,” said Thompson. “Many single parents are women who are challenged with the multiple roles of child-care provider, family organizer and breadwinner. Successful parents are role models for successful children and as families succeed so do our neighbourhoods. We all reap the benefits of vibrant, stable communities.”
“Long ago our people were always together and the children learned from their parents and grandparents,” said Stella Blackbird, elder with the Urban Circle Training Centre Inc. “This is the vision for Makoonsag – families learning together.”
The child-care and intergenerational learning centre employs 12 child-care workers and two instructors in early childhood education.
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 29, 2012


Province Continues Commitment to Cleaner Air, Active Transportation: Ministers
All Manitobans are urged to recommit themselves to a healthier environment and active lifestyle by taking part in the 2012 Commuter Challenge June 3 to 9, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh and Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau said today.

“The Commuter Challenge reminds Manitobans how important it is to find more environmentally friendly ways to get around,” Mackintosh said during the launch at the new Fort Rouge rapid transit terminal. “Provincial government employees have enthusiastically supported this week-long event for more than a decade and our goal is to increase the number of Manitobans taking part this year.”

The annual event challenges Manitobans to walk, run, take a bus, form a car pool, or use bikes or roller blades to get to work.

“We need to think about better ways to get around this week and all year long,” said Rondeau. “Increasing physical activity is a key priority of healthy living and you don’t have to start out with something major. Even little changes will make a difference to your health, your wallet and the environment.”
Manitobans earned top marks in last year’s challenge, logging more than one million green kilometres during the week, Mackintosh said. More than 7,300 employees at 241 workplaces helped save 71,500 litres of fuel and reduced greenhouse-gas emissions by 167,000 kilograms, Rondeau noted.

“We know that Manitobans love a challenge,” said Green Action Centre executive director Randall McQuaker. “This is one that is not only great for the environment, it’s also great for health, fun and fitness. The Commuter Challenge is a positive way to get people thinking about their travel choices.”

In keeping with its commitment to a cleaner environment, the Manitoba government has introduced amendments to the Highway Traffic Act that would support more active transportation across the province. The proposed changes would expand the definition of traffic to include bicycles and would allow municipalities to pass bylaws that regulate bike traffic in their communities.
The Manitoba government is also a contributing partner (with the federal government and the City of Winnipeg) to the rapid transit initiative in Winnipeg.

For more information, go to or call 204-925-3775.
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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this release on behalf of the Government of Manitoba and the Green Action Centre.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


 Check out this very interesting video about health matters

Monday, May 28, 2012

May 25, 2012


The newly expanded Food Development Centre (FDC) in Portage la Prairie now has additional specialized equipment, can accommodate more clients and is able to provide a broader range of advisory services to established and newly emerging food companies, Premier Greg Selinger and Candice Hoeppner,Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Member of Parliament for Portage–Lisgar, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritzand Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification Lynne Yelich, announced at the grand opening today.
“Through this expansion, FDC clients will have access to more food and business specialists, and up-to-date technology that can assist with the development of new food and beverage products with improved health qualities,” said Premier Selinger. “The centre’s success with clients on the local, national and international level has raised awareness of the excellence found in Manitoba‑made food products and our skills in developing and commercializing food, and incubating food businesses.”
The $7.74-million expansion added almost 18,000 square feet to the FDC facility. The space now includes additional processing suites that allow the FDC to assist small to medium-sized enterprises, helping them implement new technologies and promoting the dynamic growth of Manitoba’s value-added, agri-food processing abilities.
Offering assistance in product research and development, and consultation in business structuring and marketing, the specialists with Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives who work at the Food Development Centre help entrepreneurs keep their products in tune with ever-changing consumer demands.
“Today’s celebration is an example of the success of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Our Government’s top priority remains creating jobs and economic prosperity here in Manitoba and across the country,” said Parliamentary Secretary Hoeppner. “We are proud to support projects like the Food Development Centre that result in a stronger Canadian economy through increased commercialization opportunities for processors resulting in long-term benefits for our farmers.” 
The FDC is an important link within the food industry infrastructure that supports Manitoba producers, entrepreneurs and rural economic development through job creation. Through this expansion process, the FDC isbuilding on its long-term strategy to strengthen the global image of Manitoba food products.
The centre is committed to the diversification and development of Manitoba’s agri-food industry, working with new, small and large food processors, adding value to Manitoba-grown ingredients to move products from the idea stage to the consumer market.

Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn (left) met with members of Manitoba 4-H clubs to launch two initiatives celebrating the centennial of 4-H. Nationally, 4-H members will be collecting donations for their local food banks, and MacDon Industries unveiled its limited-edition, self-propelled windrower decorated with 4-H images.
Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn (left) met with members of Manitoba 4-H clubs to launch two initiatives celebrating the centennial of 4-H. Nationally, 4-H members will be collecting donations for their local food banks, and MacDon Industries unveiled its limited-edition, self-propelled windrower decorated with 4-H images.
May 28, 2012


– – –
Manitobans Benefit from 100 Years of Hands-on, Agriculture-linked Education: Kostyshyn
Manitoba, the birth place of the hands-on, agriculture-related, educational 4-H program, is honoured to join past and present 4-H members in a year of celebrations that lead up to the centennial of this respected organization in 2013, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.
“Manitobans are benefiting from 100 years of 4-H programs that have provided young people with opportunities to learn and practice a variety of life skills that help them grow as individuals and contributing community members,” said Kostyshyn.  “We congratulate the Canadian 4-H Council in reaching this impressive milestone, salute the dedicated volunteers who share their time and expertise, and encourage 4-H members everywhere to carry the spirit of head, heart, hand and health forward as they set their life’s goals.”
The 4-H movement was founded in Roland, Man.  Today there are over 2,500 members throughout the province ranging in age from eight to 21 years.  More than 1,100 volunteer leaders are involved in more than 2,800 projects in the 178 clubs.
Kostyshyn noted the province provides 4-H programs with in-kind supports and funding of more than $185,000 annually.
Today’s event included participation by MacDon Industries Ltd. with the unveiling of its limited-edition, self-propelled windrower decorated with 4-H images.
4-H Canada also announced a partnership with Food Banks Canada with 4-H members and clubs to provide support to local food banks through collection and delivery of food products and generate monetary donations.
“Many successful young people with rural roots got their start in 4-H programs which gave them the confidence and encouragement to achieve their dreams,” said Kostyshyn.  “As they become adults, many will return to the program as volunteers to contribute what they have learned. As they pay it forward, we will all continue to benefit.”
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Plantations, Prisons and Profits

“Louisiana is the world’s prison capital. The state imprisons more of its people, per head, than any of its U.S. counterparts. First among Americans means first in the world. Louisiana’s incarceration rate is nearly triple Iran’s, seven times China’s and 10 times Germany’s.”
That paragraph opens a devastating eight-part series published this month by The Times-Picayune of New Orleans about how the state’s largely private prison system profits from high incarceration rates and tough sentencing, and how many with the power to curtail the system actually have a financial incentive to perpetuate it.
The picture that emerges is one of convicts as chattel and a legal system essentially based on human commodification.
First, some facts from the series:

Friday, May 25, 2012

May 24, 2012


– – –
May 20 to 26 Proclaimed as Emergency Medical Services Week to Recognize Life-saving Work: Oswald
The province is continuing to strengthen emergency medical services (EMS) to ensure EMS providers have the tools they need to provide the best pre-hospital emergency care with the best possible response time, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today at the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Celebration of Life Awards Ceremony, where she officially proclaimed May 20 to 26 Emergency Medical Services Providers Week.
“Emergency Medical Services Providers Week is a time to recognize the important life-saving work paramedics, medical first responders and dispatchers do every day,” Oswald said.  “On behalf of all Manitobans, thank you for the critical work you do, often as the first to provide health care to patients suffering from a heart attack, stroke, injury and other emergencies.”
The province is continuing to expand EMS this year with four additional firefighter-paramedics in Brandon to put a fifth ambulance on the road and maintain low response times, Oswald noted.  Work is underway for new ambulance stations in Iles de Chênes and St. Laurent, and initial planning work is underway on expanding access to advanced care paramedic training.  This builds on additional ambulances added in Winnipeg last year and other improvements to offer improved pre-hospital emergency care, Oswald said.
The minister also recognized the significant role paramedics have played in improving access to defibrillators in public places through the Defibrillator Public Access Act.  Paramedics and other experts offered advice on which types of public places should be required to have defibrillators on-site.  The public can provide feedback on the proposed requirements until the end of May by visiting
Ensuring front-line providers have the supports they need and preventing workplace injuries is an important part of Manitoba’s Plan to Protect Universal Health Care, the minister said, confirming that a new pilot is also underway in Winnipeg and central Manitoba to test the effectiveness of power-lift stretchers in reducing workplace injuries for paramedics.
“Since this time last year, we now have a permanent STARS helicopter ambulance service offering life-saving rapid transport seven days a week as well as a new air ambulance inter-facility transfer program to avoid lengthy, uncomfortable land-ambulance trips for patients between rural and urban hospitals,” Oswald said.  “Paramedics don’t just offer ambulance trips to patients anymore, but now deliver advanced emergency care before a patient arrives at a hospital.” 
Recognizing the dramatic transformation of EMS over the last 10 to 15 years, including the introduction of the Medical Transportation Co-ordination Centre, new paramedic training programs, more ambulances and full time paramedics, enhanced roles for medical first responders and the new STARS helicopter ambulance, the minister noted that an external review is now underway to determine how EMS can be strengthened for the next decade to provide the best possible pre-hospital emergency care within the best possible response times.
Oswald said EMS providers, including paramedics, aero-medical attendants, pilots, medical first responders, dispatchers, firefighters and police, respond to over 165,000 calls for emergency medical help every year in Manitoba, more than 450 calls every day.
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May 24, 2012


Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux is encouraging Manitobans to protect their homes this spring by taking advantage of the successful and newly expanded program that offers homeowners in Winnipeg and communities across Manitoba a subsidy to purchase and install sump pumps and in-line backwater valves in order to safeguard their homes from sewer backup.
“Homeowners in Winnipeg and other participating municipalities responded quickly and in large numbers when we first offered this program last year,” said Lemieux.  “To meet the demand and help people defend their homes against sewer backup, we are continuing to provide funding allocations for Winnipeg and each rural community interested in administering a sewer back-up subsidy program in 2012 and 2013 to help people install sump pumps and in-line backup water valves.”
Through this $2-million program, the province will provide matching 50-50 cost-shared funding to participating municipalities.
Through the municipality, the subsidy program pays up to 60 per cent of the cost of installing a sewer/drainage backup system to a maximum of $3,000 per household (up to $1,000 toward the installation of an approved in-line backwater valve and up to $2,000 toward the installation of a sump pump and pit-drainage system).
The program was first introduced in January 2011 to address heavy summer rainfalls in 2010 and concerns about a significant flood in 2011.  The cities of Winnipeg and Brandon were the first to access this funding opportunity.  Since that time, 20 other municipalities have committed to providing this program to their residents.
“I encourage Manitobans to take advantage of this valuable program which will give homeowners peace of mind that their homes are better protected,” said Lemieux.
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May 24, 2012


New rules requiring indoor tanning salons to post warning signs about the risks of skin cancer and requiring parental consent for young Manitobans come into effect June 15, Health Minister Theresa Oswald said today.
“These new regulations will ensure prospective clients understand the risks of indoor tanning to make informed decisions before using these services,” said Oswald.  “Under these new rules, parental consent will now be required for Manitobans under the age of 18, which will help to reduce the risk of skin cancer associated with indoor tanning as part of our plan to encourage Manitobans to live healthier lifestyles.”

The Public Health Act and the Tanning Regulation will require:
  • operators to post warning signs that advise prospective clients of the risks of indoor tanning;
  • parental consent for any Manitoban under the age of 18 years to use ultraviolet (UV) tanning equipment; and
  • the parent or guardian also must be present in the facility while the equipment is being used, if the minor is under the age of 16.
“Agencies such as the World Health Organization have made it clear that tanning equipment should be used with care and our public health officials have developed these rules with input from an expert working group including CancerCare Manitoba, the Canadian Cancer Society, medical professionals and industry representatives,” Oswald said.
Operators of commercial tanning facilities are being provided with information regarding the new regulations along with copies of the warning signs and consent forms.  Parents of under-age clients are to be provided with a fact sheet and parental consent forms.  Versions of these documents for printing by operators will be posted on the Manitoba Health website so they can also be printed by operators.
The World Health Organization has classified the UV rays from tanning beds, booths and lamps as a known cause of skin cancer.  Ultraviolet rays are invisible and come from a variety of natural and artificial sources including the tanning equipment and the sun.  Sunburns, premature skin aging, skin cancer and eye problems have been associated with exposure to UV radiation.
Manitobans are encouraged to take the appropriate precautions from all sources of UV rays, including the sun, to prevent skin damage and skin cancer.
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May 25, 2012


– – –
Chomiak Announces $1.2-million Geoscience Program Funding, Updates Orphaned/Abandoned Mine Site Rehabilitation Efforts
Manitoba’s mining and petroleum industries are two of the province’s economic drivers and through renewed funding the province will continue to support them in their future success, Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak announced today at Manitoba Rocks!, which runs until tomorrow.  The annual event is held at The Forks in Winnipeg and celebrates the importance of these industries during Mining Week.
“Manitoba’s mining and petroleum industries continue to grow, providing training for new workers and generating jobs and business opportunities for Manitobans across the province,” said Chomiak.  “The last seven years have been record breaking for the petroleum industry and we’re hoping to continue this into the future.  We’re pleased with the continued growth and the benefits that flow to the economy.”
“We are committed to our stable operating base in northern Manitoba, where we have built a strong reputation as a responsible miner and corporate citizen over an 85-year history,” said Tom Goodman, senior vice-president and CEO of Hudbay Mineral.  “Today, we are still active in Manitoba and we have two projects, Lalor and Reed, currently in construction, which will lead to future job creation and capital spending in the province.  We expect these projects to enable us to celebrate our 100th anniversary of mining in Manitoba.”
As part of Mining Week, Chomiak announced two initiatives to support Manitoba’sprimary resource industries:
  • $1.2 million for the Manitoba Geoscience Advantage Program to fund new geological mapping that will attract further exploration investment to the province, and
  • a new online Integrated Mining and Quarrying System that will streamline the processes involving mining applications.
Chomiak also provided an update on orphaned/abandoned mine sites, reporting the Manitoba government has spent more than $84 million to date on rehabilitation work and completed 21 sites.  The program is benefiting the environment as well as local and Aboriginal communities through employment and business opportunities, he said.
Manitoba’s petroleum industry is also booming, the minister said.  For 2011, it is estimated the mining and petroleum industry has generated more than $176 million in employment income.  With over 46,000 barrels a day generated, the oil industry in Manitoba experienced unprecedented success in 2011, he added.
“For over 30 years, Tundra has been exploring for, developing and producing oil and gas in southwest Manitoba.  We are proud to be a Manitoba-owned and -operated company,” said Dan MacLean, president and CEO of Tundra Oil and Gas.  “Our success is due to many factors including our unwavering commitment to safety, hiring and retaining great people, and respect for the environment and communities we work in.  We are excited about our future and for the future of the oil and gas industry in Manitoba.”
The minister noted that every year during Mining Week, more than 3,000 people come to The Forks to participate in Manitoba Rocks!.  The annual event features fun activities geared at helping Manitobans learn more about the province’s mining and petroleum industries.
More information about activities and Manitoba’s mineral resources is available at:
Also during Mining Week celebrations, Manitoba’s annual Provincial Mine Rescue Competition will be hosted by Hudbay at the 777 North Mine in Flin Flon today and tomorrow.
“The competition tests competency for emergency response personnel,” says Barrie Simoneau, director of risk management for the Mining Association of Manitoba.  “Manitoba is a global leader in emergency preparedness and response, and can be credited with refuge chamber technology used worldwide in underground mines.”
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May 25, 2012


Gimli, Manitoba -The Governments of Canada and Manitoba will invest more than $5 million in Gimli to build a 28 unit apartment complex that will provide safe and affordable housing for families in the area.
Premier Greg Selinger and James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC),made the funding announcement today.
“Finding solutions to housing needs requires the support of government and the community,” said Premier Selinger. “When we all work together, we can find those solutions that will provide housing, strengthen neighbourhoods and provide a foundation for families.”
“The Government of Canada is committed to making affordable and supportive housing available in Manitoba and across Canada for those who need it most,” said MP Bezan. “The Gimli West complex will provide low-income families with safe and suitable housing, which will enable them to build stronger futures for themselves here in Gimli.”
The Rural Municipality of Gimli will rezone, subdivide and contribute the serviced land, as well as provide a property tax grant in the amount of 80 percent of the general municipal taxes for the first 10 years of operation. The new building, to be located at the corner of Autumnwood Drive and Centennial Road in Gimli, will have three storeys and include eight one-bedroom, 16 two‑bedroom and four three-bedroom apartments. The initiative will focus on providing housing for families. Fourteen units will be supplied at rent geared to income.
The project will meet or exceed Manitoba Hydro’s Power Smart standards and may also include a geothermal system, depending on results of a feasibility study. The estimated start date for construction is July 2012.
“This housing project was a need that was identified by the rural municipality as of high importance. Due to the lack of affordable rental accommodations, families relocate elsewhere which results in a direct impact on employers in the area,” said Joann King, Gimli’s Chief Administration Officer.“This project will help alleviate these difficulties for both families and employers and will have an economic impact in the community.”
The funding comes as a result of the recently announced $62 million Investment in Affordable Housing 2011–2014 Agreement between the Governments of Canada and Manitoba. The Province of Manitoba will use the funds under the new agreement to build more affordable housing and upgrade existing housing to ensure low-income Manitobans can provide safe, stable homes for their families.
The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest more than $2 billion in housing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of almost 605,000 households living in existing social housing. In Manitoba, this represents some 40,700 households.These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people.
HOMEWorks! is Manitoba’s long-term housing strategy. Under this strategy, the province, through Manitoba Housing with the financial support of the Government of Canada, continues to make significant investments in social and affordable housing. The province has promised the delivery of 1,500 affordable housing units across the province and has already committed to the development of more than 1,000 homes. HOMEWorks! supports ALL Aboard, Manitoba’s poverty-reduction strategy, by increasing the supply of quality, affordable housing for low-income Manitobans. More information about HOMEWorks! is available at
To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit

Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux displays his design on a wood tile that will be part of a collage decorating the board room at the newly renovated Social Enterprise Centre at 726 Main Street.  The centre offers training opportunities and jobs for people disadvantaged by barriers to employment channels.
Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux displays his design on a wood tile that will be part of a collage decorating the board room at the newly renovated Social Enterprise Centre at 726 Main Street. The centre offers training opportunities and jobs for people disadvantaged by barriers to employment channels.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 22, 2012


As the Winnipeg Blue Bombers embark on a new era of football history, the province has unveiled a new Bomber licence plate, Justice Minister Andrew Swan, minister responsible for the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation (MPI), announced today.
“This new licence plate, combined with the Bombers’ new uniforms, and logo and helmet design, truly signals the beginning of a new era for the Blue Bomber organization and its loyal fans,” said Swan.
“There’s a real air of excitement surrounding the football club as it prepares to defend its Eastern Conference title and get back to the Grey Cup.  To show support of their team, Bomber fans now have the opportunity to purchase a second, unique licence plate.”
The new plate is uniquely different from the limited-edition specialty plates that quickly sold out last season.  It has a distinctive gold colour, sporting the club’s new helmet logo, the iconic white W with blue trim.
“We’re very pleased to be able to offer our fans another wave of Bomber licence plates, while also changing the look.  This, once again, gives fans another way to showcase their support for our club no matter where they are driving,” said Blue Bomber president and CEO Garth Buchko.
The new plates will cost $70 and be available May 28 at any of the province’s 300 Autopac agents.  The Bombers will receive $30 of the proceeds from every plate purchased, said Swan.
MPI worked closely with the Winnipeg Blue Bomber Football Club and other stakeholders to ensure the second licence plate reflected the proud history of the football club, said the minister.  A limited‑edition Blue Bomber plate was introduced last year with all 8,100 plates quickly purchased by fans.  That plate remains valid.
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May 23, 2012


– – –
Legislation Proposes Helmets be Mandatory for Cyclists Under 18 Years of Age
Proposed legislation introduced today would improve the safety of cyclists younger than 18 by requiring them to wear a properly fitted and fastened protective helmet, certified for use when riding a bicycle, Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau has announced.
“In the event of a crash, bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of death and serious head injury by as much as 90 per cent,” said Rondeau.  “Unfortunately, recent studies show that many children and youth are still not wearing helmets.  Our legislation sends the message that helmets are an important part of bike safety.”
From 2005 to 2009, 374 children were hospitalized for cycling-related injuries in Manitoba.  Also, during this period, 54 children were hospitalized for a cycling-related head injury.
“We know from the experience in other provinces that legislation is effective in increasing bicycle helmet use,” said Rondeau.  “The amendments introduced today are a critical step forward in protecting our children and young cyclists and preventing serious injuries and fatalities.”
Failure to wear a helmet would result in a modest fine, the minister said, adding the legislation would allow alternatives to fines.  Public consultations would take place to develop these alternatives.
There will be some exemptions such as on religious grounds.
Manitoba has promoted the use of helmets and safer bicycle riding skills, and made affordable helmets more accessible to families in Manitoba.  During the past six years, through the Low Cost Bike Helmet Initiative, more than 73,000 low cost helmets have been purchased by Manitoba families.
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HUman Rights Strengthened in Manitoba

May 23, 2012


– – –
Changes Would Further Protect Manitobans from Discrimination, Streamline Resolution Process: Swan
Changes to Manitoba’s Human Rights Code would ensure Manitobans are further protected from discrimination based on gender identity and disadvantaged social status, while improving the process by which complaints are addressed, Justice Minister Andrew Swan announced today, after introducing the amendments.
“Manitoba’s human rights legislation was ahead of its time 25 years ago when protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation was added to the code,” said Swan.  “These changes will build on that legacy and ensure the commission has the tools it needs to effectively address current and emerging challenges.”
Proposed changes to the code would specifically prohibit discrimination based on:
  • gender identity, further protecting transgender Manitobans, and
  • social disadvantage, further protecting individuals who are, or are perceived to be undereducated, underemployed, homeless or living in inadequate housing.
The minister noted the proposed change to include gender identity is similar to legislation recently introduced in the Ontario legislature.
“The Manitoba Bar Association (MBA) believes there is a need for better legal protection for transgender Manitobans.  Transgender Manitobans are a minority who can suffer discrimination,” said Josh Weinstein, president, MBA.  “In 2010, the Canadian Bar Association Council unanimously passed a resolution encouraging all provincial and territorial governments across Canada to amend human rights laws to better protect transgender individuals and I’m pleased to see the Manitoba government taking a major step forward in this regard.”
“Socially disadvantaged Manitobans should not face additional barriers when they are trying to get ahead,” said Floyd Perras, executive director of Siloam Mission.  “We welcome these changes because we’ve seen first-hand the positive contributions made by people from all walks of life.”
“This is a very progressive approach,” said Jerry Woods, chair of the Manitoba Human Rights board of commissioners.  “The Human Rights Code recognizes the individual worth and dignity of every member of the human family and the new grounds will help the commission address prejudice against some of the most vulnerable individuals and groups in this province.” 
Other changes to the Human Rights Code would improve and streamline services to the public by:
  • expanding mediation provisions,
  • allowing for joint Manitoba Human Rights Commission proceedings on similar complaints, and
  • allowing the commission to sit in smaller panels to make decisions.
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May 23, 2012


– – –
Legislation Would Allow More Flexibility for Consumers While Protecting Workers: Howard
New legislation would give retailers more flexibility in opening hours on Sundays and some statutory holidays, while protecting retail workers who would rather not work expanded hours, Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard said today after introducing the proposals.
“We are responding to consumers and businesses to find ways to make Sunday shopping in Manitoba less restrictive while respecting that some employees may prefer not to work expanded hours,” said Howard.  “We have studied what other provinces have done and plan to bring in practical changes.”
The proposed Sunday shopping changes would:
  • expand the hours retail businesses could be open on Sundays, under a municipal bylaw, by an additional three hours in the morning, widening Sunday shopping hours to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
  • apply expanded hours to Louis Riel Day, Victoria Day and Thanksgiving Day;
  • affirm that retail workers have the right to refuse work on Sundays, provided they give their employer at least 14 days notice; and
  • authorize employment standards officers to order an employer compensate or reinstate an employee penalized for exercising their right to refuse work on a Sunday.
The minister said the legislation would recognize the importance of municipalities retaining the ability to determine Sunday shopping hours within their communities.  Under the proposed changes, municipalities would not be required to pass a bylaw to establish or expand Sunday shopping hours but would have the right to do so between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Currently, the Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act does not allow retailers to open on Sundays or certain holidays unless a municipality has passed a bylaw allowing it.  If such a bylaw is in place, stores that regularly operate with four or more people can only be open from noon to 6 p.m.  Current exemptions, such as those for stores that operate with less than four employees, will remain in place.
The Manitoba government received input on the review of Sunday shopping from over 1,000 individuals, families, small and large business owners, retail workers and other employee sectors, said Howard, adding 55 per cent of those responding were in favour of expanding Sunday shopping hours.
The proposed changes to the Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act also reflect input from the Labour Management Review Committee, made up of representatives from business and labour.  The committee made recommendations to give municipalities more flexibility to establish Sunday shopping hours in their regions.  Shopping restrictions on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Canada Day, Labour Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s would remain the same.
“I would like to thank all Manitobans who provided us with their input and acknowledge the Labour Management Review Committee for their time and efforts in reaching consensus recommendations,” said Howard.
More information on the proposed legislation is at
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Premier Greg Selinger, Justice Minister Andrew Swan, Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross and Deputy Premier, Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Eric Robinson participate in the celebration of the grand opening of Kihiw Iskewock (Eagle Women) Lodge, which will provide transitional housing for Aboriginal women exiting correctional facilities.
Premier Greg Selinger, Justice Minister Andrew Swan, Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross and Deputy Premier, Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Eric Robinson participate in the celebration of the grand opening of Kihiw Iskewock (Eagle Women) Lodge, which will provide transitional housing for Aboriginal women exiting correctional facilities.
May 23, 2012


Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 23, 2012—The governments of Canada and Manitoba, along with the Native Women’s Transition Centre (NWTC), today celebrated the grand opening of Kihiw Iskewock (Eagle Women) Lodge, which will provide transitional housing for Aboriginal women exiting correctional facilities.
Premier Greg Selinger and Shelly Glover, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Federal Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, acknowledged federal and provincial support for the project of more than $4.4 million.
“Transitional housing is meant to provide a safe, supportive environment where residents can address the issues that lead to homelessness and begin to rebuild their support network,” said Premier Selinger. “Kihiw Iskewock will assist women in enhancing their freedom, independence and self-sufficiency. I am pleased we supported an initiative that helps women with limited income obtain safe, decent, affordable housing.”
“Our government is giving a hand-up to Canadians with housing needs and is helping to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty,” said Mrs. Glover. “By investing in the Native Women’s Transition Centre to address issues at a local level, we are increasing opportunities for women to move towards self-sufficiency and to secure long-term, stable housing.”
“Kihiw Iskewock is an innovative, first of its kind initiative in Manitoba. It provides Aboriginal women who have experienced homelessness and involvement with the justice system with
long-term, safe transitional housing and wrap-around cultural services and supports in an environment that nurtures their identity and sense of belonging, and promotes healing and community reintegration,” said Lucille Bruce, executive director of the NWTC. “This project is the result of the community and all our funding partners working together to address a huge service gap in our community.”
“With over 25 years of experience operating a transitional house and providing programs and services to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women and their children, the NWTC is pleased to open the doors of Kihiw Iskewock Lodge,” said Violet Nelson, board chair of the NWTC. “This new facility will help to empower families to lead positive lives and work together with the community for positive change.”
Kihiw Iskewock (Eagle Women) Lodge is located at 667 Ellice Avenue and includes 15 housing units. The facility features five one-bedroom units, five two-bedroom units, two three-bedroom units and three four-bedroom units. Half of the units are visitable and three are fully accessible.  There is programming and office space in the lower level of the building. The NWTC owns and manages the building.
The NWTC received funding of $3.6 million under the Province of Manitoba’s HOMEWorks! Een Dah Aung Rental and Co‑operative Housing Program and $850,000 in Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) funding from the Government of Canada to purchase and renovate a building for transitional housing. The facility will be used by Aboriginal women at risk of homelessness, who may be reuniting with children after leaving a correctional facility. Other project funders include the Winnipeg Foundation and the City of Winnipeg.
The NWTC is also receiving HPS funding of more than $88,000 to provide services for Aboriginal women and children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This includes access to basic needs, such as clothing and household items, mentoring and support services, including counseling and referrals, as well as life skills and cultural workshops.
Funding for the NWTC’s Kihiw Iskewock (Eagle Women) Lodge project was delivered through the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative, a partnership between the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg.
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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this release on behalf of the governments of Canada and Manitoba, and the Native Women's Transition Centre.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Consumer Alert

May 18, 2012


In the wake of a number of mortgages being registered recently in Manitoba with unusually high interest rates, the province’s Consumer Protection Office is urging caution for people when they buy a home or use their home as collateral for a loan, such as a car loan.  Consumers who want more information about their rights can contact the office to learn how to be treated fairly.
The Consumer Protection Act requires lenders to give borrowers important information about their loan or mortgage before they sign the agreement including the amount of interest, details on optional services and information on any default charges.
The Consumer Protection Office would like to remind Manitobans that:
  • Borrowers should shop around for the best deal.  Pay attention not only to the interest rates, but also the fees charged by the lender for paying off the mortgage early, documentation and mortgage registration and discharge.  All this information must be disclosed in the credit agreement.
  • Lenders must give borrowers an initial disclosure statement that can be reviewed prior to signing the credit agreement.
  • Credit agreements must also clearly state the payment amount and schedule, the cost of credit and the annual percentage rate.
  • Consumers have the right to take a copy of the initial disclosure statement away with them to review, or have a third party review, before signing on the dotted line.
Using a home as collateral for a small loan, such as a car loan, can put consumers at risk of losing their home if they cannot make payments on the loan.  Consumers can protect themselves by:
  • Never signing or initialing blank papers or papers with blank spaces.  Consumers should walk away from any business that asks them to sign blank documents;
  • Asking the lender to fully explain anything about the credit agreement they do not understand or anything in the agreement they did not agree to;
  • Ensuring they ask for and receive copies of the signed credit agreement before leaving the lender’s place of business;
  • Making sure that if there are any changes to be made to the agreement, the lender provides a new initial disclosure statement and credit agreement that reflects the changes; and
  • Not being pressured into signing any document or agreement.  If consumers are feeling pressured or confused by the process, they can take their business elsewhere.
Approximately 52,000 mortgages are registered each year in Manitoba.  According to the Bank of Canada, the average residential mortgage lending rate for a five-year mortgage in 2011 ranged from 4.35 per cent to 4.87 per cent.
In some situations, if a lender does not follow the laws by not disclosing certain information prior to a borrower signing the mortgage, the borrower may be entitled to financial relief.  In addition, anyone found guilty of having breached the Consumer Protection Act may be subject to fines up to a maximum $300,000.  They may also be ordered by the courts to pay restitution.
Borrowers and lenders interested in knowing more about credit information rules can contact the Consumer Protection Office at 204-945-3800 or 1-800-782-0067 (toll-free), or by email at
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Premier Greg Selinger officially inducted Dallas and Brandon Courchene and Vince O'Laney of Sagkeeng's Finest into Manitoba's Order of the Buffalo Hunt today. Sagkeeng's Finest took top prize on the 'Canada's Got Talent' TV show Monday for their unique fusion of traditional jigging, clogging and tap dancing.
Premier Greg Selinger officially inducted Dallas and Brandon Courchene and Vince O'Laney of Sagkeeng's Finest into Manitoba's Order of the Buffalo Hunt today. Sagkeeng's Finest took top prize on the 'Canada's Got Talent' TV show Monday for their unique fusion of traditional jigging, clogging and tap dancing.
May 17, 2012


Premier Greg Selinger officially inducted Dallas and Brandon Courchene, and Vince O’Laney of Sagkeeng’s Finest into Manitoba’s Order of the Buffalo Hunt today following a special performance by the dance group at the Legislative Building.
“Vince, Dallas and Brandon have inspired Canadians young and old with their electrifying live performances that are bringing traditional dance to an entirely new audience,” said Selinger.  “Sagkeeng’s Finest are also Manitoba’s finest and I’m pleased to recognize their achievement by inducting them into the Order of the Buffalo Hunt.”
Sagkeeng’s Finest broke into the mainstream on the TV show Canada’s Got Talent, winning the show’s top prize Monday evening for their unique fusion of traditional jigging, clogging and tap dancing.
“These young men are keeping the strong artistic traditions of Aboriginal people alive through hard work, determination and creativity,” said Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson.  “What they are doing to make traditional Aboriginal dance exciting and relevant to a contemporary mainstream Canadian audience is nothing short of remarkable.”
The minister noted Sagkeeng’s Finest will also be performing at the nationally-televised seventh annual Manito Ahbee Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards Nov. 2 at the MTS Centre.
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.  Dallas, Brandon and Vince are believed to be the youngest members ever inducted into the order.
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Court rules that Vince Li wins in court

The court has decided to grant Vince Li supervised day passes in Selkirk. Some residents say it is only a matter of time that Li would be allowed to leave the hospital and return to his old life. According to the experts Li cannot be found guilty because he was insane when he committed the horrific murder. The people in Selkirk are a bit nervous about this arrangement. I hope the Courts know what they are doing and not exposing the public to more violence from this man. Even though he is not criminally responsible, it does not change the fact that Li was not on medication when he committed the act. Is there someone who will monitor him and ensure that he takes his medicine while on his own, which will happen sooner or later.
Some illnesses are not curable and society has to acknowledge that and unfortunately those people have to spend their time in supervised environment. Maybe special housing around the hospital should be made for people like Li who may be able to help others in similar situations.
As the good Lord says, we have to forgive those who against us as we ourselves as for forgiveness.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

BC Couple awarded $8K in human rights case against Condo

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has ruled in favour of a couple who complained about second-hand smoke at their condominium complex in Langley.
Melanie and Matthew McDaniel alleged discrimination after second-hand cigarette and marijuana smoke from the balconies and patios of their neighbours wafted into the suite they purchased at Metro One in 2008.
Melanie McDaniel was pregnant at the time and allergic to smoke, while her husband suffers from diabetes and claimed he was at risk of complications because of the second hand smoke.

Condominiums are springing up like wildfire in our City but do they know the rules governing condo living? Although it might be your own home, homeowners have to understand that they are committed to a shared environment and have to be sensitive to the needs and concerns of their neighbours. Condominium corps can be held liable for discrimination or failure to make reasonable accommodation for the special needs of people with disabilities.

For example, if a Condominium corporation fails to make reasonable accommodation for a person in a wheelchair or a person who cannot push a heavy door, then they have to do something about it and not ignore the need. A simple accommodation can be installing an automatic door.

Condo owners I urge you to read the story and be informed.

Should Vince Li be given a second chance at life?

Monday, a psychiatrist who has been treating Li asked the Manitoba's Review Board to allow Li to take escorted trips into the community of Selkirk, north of Winnipeg with two escorts. Dr. Steve Kremer said Li has responded well to his treatment and understands he has schizophrenia.

We are aware that everyone deserves a second chance at life but when one person suffers from an illness like the worst kind of schizophrenia - an illness that lead him to commit one of the most heinous crimes that of beheading a human being by beheading. How do we know that Li would not suffer another psychotic break? Can the doctors guarantee society that?

Loreena McKennitt is coming home

She is one of Manitoba's pride - the sultry, haunting and beautiful singer Loreena McKennitt has a date on May 16th to speak and sing at a Big Brothers Big Sisters event in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

McKennitt was born and raised in Morden, Manitoba to parents of Irish and Scottish descent. Early on she developed a taste for Celtic music. She already had a powerful and clear soprano voice. She learned to play the Celtic harp and cut her performing teeth busking.

After moving from Manitoba to Ontario, a favourite busking venue was the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. But she also had many busking adventures in England and Ireland. She once nearly got into a fist-a-cuffs with a flower-seller on Grafton Street in Dublin

Manitoba Got Talent

Sagkeeng's First Nation  is one proud Manitoba Community as three talented clogging/tapdancing  young men from that community claimed the coveted top prize of $100,000.00 plus a Nissan GT-R sports car  worth $105,000 as well as a host of other goodies in the, May 14, on Canada's Got Talent finale.
The three brothers - Dallas and Brandon Courchene and Vince  O Laney dazzled Canadians with their joyful dance and proved that opportunities are there for those who are prepared to work hard.
  The brothers have been jigging for years and it paid off.
The last word goes to the hard working dancers, posted on the group's Facebook page just hours ago: "WE DID IT!! THANKS EVERYONE :WE LOVE YOU ALL.

Monday, May 14, 2012

May 12, 2012


Premier Greg Selinger is inviting  all Manitobans to celebrate Manitoba Day today, Saturday May 12, by enjoying some of the activities planned around the province and learning a little more about the province’s rich history.
“Whether it’s a trip to the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach, the New Iceland Heritage Museum in Gimli or the big celebrations at the Manitoba Museum on Main Street in Winnipeg, we can all take in some of the great diversity that is Manitoba,” Selinger said.
“Manitoba Day is a time to think about all our founding peoples, from First Nations and Métis to the Lord Selkirk settlers and the determined women and men who successfully campaigned for Manitoba’s rightful place in Confederation.”
Manitoba Day was first celebrated in on May 12, 1986, in commemoration of the day the Manitoba Act received royal assent in 1870 and the day in 1966 when Manitoba adopted its present flag.
The premier also noted that this year is the 100th anniversary of the final expansion of Manitoba’s border north to the 60th parallel.
“Having our north under the control of all Manitobans makes it possible for our province to develop and protect the economic, social and environmental futures of northerners,” he said.
Details on Manitoba Day activities around the province are available at
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New Landlord and Tenant

May 14, 2012


Proposed amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act would require landlords to provide tenants with an estimate of rent increases prior to doing extensive renovations, Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau announced today.
“This will bring more clarity and fairness to the landlord-tenant relationship,” Rondeau said.  “Tenants need to have full information so they can decide what to do when a landlord renovates their buildings.”
If the estimated rent is artificial and causes the tenant to move or discourages the tenant from exercising a right of first refusal, the landlord could be required to compensate the tenant for moving and other expenses, Rondeau said.
Under the proposed amendments and resulting regulations:
  • landlords would have to use prescribed forms when terminating tenancies so that tenants receive important information about their rights;
  • tenants who wish to object to a rent increase that is at, or below, the guideline increase would have a new framework to explain their reasons; 
  • the director of Residential Tenancies and the Residential Tenancies Commission would have the right to waive filing fees in certain situations; and
  • tenants would not have to pay late payment fees in some cases.
For more information,visit
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Province Announces More Than 270 Recreational, Wellness, Cultural Facilities To Be Built, Upgraded Across the Province. (Left to right: James Allum, MLA Fort Garry-Riverview, Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Housing and Community Development, Premier Greg Selinger, David Gaudreau, St. Norbert)
Province Announces More Than 270 Recreational, Wellness, Cultural Facilities To Be Built, Upgraded Across the Province. (Left to right: James Allum, MLA Fort Garry-Riverview, Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Housing and Community Development, Premier Greg Selinger, David Gaudreau, St. Norbert

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Get slum landlords out of Winnipeg

Everyone deserves to live in a decent house. If landlords receive good money then they should provide good house for people to live in.  This points to the need for more affordable housing for low income people in Winnipeg. We owe it to our people.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

How to Wake Up from this Dream Written by Jafree Ozwald

"When I look inside and see that I am nothing, that is wisdom.
When I look outside and see that I am everything, that is love.
And between these two, my life turns." ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Most of us are living our daily lives in a dream. It's either a fantasy, a nightmare or something in between the two. The mind gets wrapped up in creating scenarios and memories about your past and your future, and you're unknowingly pulled away from being here in the now. It happens more often than you may realize. If you have an important appointment a few hours in the future, the mind starts projecting all sorts of hopes, fears and assumptions about how the experience will be. The mind is constantly living in a fabricated version of reality that is generated by an overly active creative imagination.

I want every spiritual seeker to know that there is nothing wrong with this experience. It is a natural and necessary step in the awakening process. In order to have a global spiritual awakening we all have to be deeply asleep. The purpose of becoming unconscious that we are over identified with our thoughts, is so that we can experience the freedom of being conscious of them again. As the dreamer shifts its perspective it makes reality become soooo amazing and real! Without living in darkness we cannot truly know what its like to live in the light, and once your mind stops believing its inner picture show is real, then you will know without a doubt what it means to be awake.

So how will you know you've truly "awakened from the dream"? There will come a time where you won't have to try to step back from the dream. You will constantly be living as the awareness, the presence, the conscious essence that sees the play between the dream, the dreamer, and the awareness watching the dream. It will be natural, easy and effortless and feel like you're always bathing in the Light of your Being. There will no longer be any worry, struggle, or effort to make reality different than what it is. You've let go of buying into the mind's ideas about right and wrong, good and bad, and you're simply in love with life being right here, right now. You are immersed in the simplicity of what is. There's no thinking machine churning to get ahead of the game, or covering it with fancy adornments to make it better than what it is. You are submerged in the essence of pure Being, simply here feeling at peace with what shows up exactly as it is.

To unravel oneself from a lifetime of being caught in the web of the mind, the first step is being aware of the mind's habit of dreaming about the past and future. Without judgment or emotion, watch how the mind continuously returns to buying into the illusions it creates. The dreaming machine is much stronger than you think it is, yet not as powerful as you are. You'll want to get a firm grip on the mind, and this is done best through practicing meditation. Sitting silent and still as if you were a crystal statue, bring the mind to a place of deep inner calm.

Watch the thoughts pass through the mind, like clouds flying through the vast blue infinite sky, and you'll begin to realize all those super important thoughts aren't important at all. The thoughts seem very real, and you've believed them to be real your entire life, yet where are they really? They are just electrons flying through your brain, synapses firing electrical impulses in that massive space in between your ears. Once you are aware that this is what's happening, you start to pay more attention to what is real. Once you are able to still long enough you'll be deeply enjoying the experience of basking in the glorious love and light of your own being. It can take up to 48 minutes of still silent sitting before the mind quiets completely. This inner quietness is the main necessary step towards a massive awakening experience.

As you explore yourself deeper on this inner awakening journey you may begin to wonder "what is real"? Are the sensations of your taste buds firing good and bad flavors more real than these imaginary ideas about the past and future? Is your body's sense of touch, sight and smell and hearing more real because they allow you to interface with the physical world? We could invent all sorts of brilliant definitions about what is real and what is imagined, and make a varied list of degrees between these two worlds. Yet, for practical reasons in this spiritual awakening experiment, lets stick to the understanding that what is real is that which does not change.

This Universe is a vast ordered chaos of quarks, atoms and molecules flying every which direction, yet what is it that does not move and is the very center of this outrageous cyclone. You may know what the answer is intellectually, and have known this understanding for years yet find yourself still lost in the dream. It is only when you devote your entire heart and being 100% to the grounded experience of what does not change that a full spiritual awakening will occur. When you stop to ponder this thought, and dive into this understanding with deep inquiry and investigation all day long, something profound occurs. You are bound to wake up from lifetimes of dreaming. When your mind becomes obsessed and addicted to diving into the mystery of knowing that which does not change 24 hours a day, the veil begins to lift on its own accord.

The problem for most people is that they think they don't have time for this inner exploration. They feel its not practical or possible given their busy lives of children, work, bills, mortgages and traffic jams. The truth is you can continue doing the same actions you are doing, yet from a more enlightened perspective. You will show up at work and in your relationships with more lightness, smiling and a genuine peaceful interest in what their experience of life is. When you wake up from the dream, life is completely effortless no matter if you're trading millions of dollars on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. You realize a deeper enlightened truth inside, and do not allow anything to compromise the peace in brings.

It is never healthy to try and force yourself to be dedicated to something you feel you "should" do. If you want real long lasting results, there needs to be the utmost curiosity and wonder that comes naturally from within. For anyone to have a full spiritual awakening experience, they must be 100% committed to total inner freedom and be willing to experience a deep level of transmutation. When you devote your life to something 50% you can at best expect 50% success. A true spiritual awakening is no small matter for nothing in your life will be the same after it has occurred. Of course you could continue to hold the same job, family and lifestyle as before, yet the quality of each of these experiences will be is like the difference between driving a 69 VW bug and a 2012 Ferrari. Your life will be completely transformed when you're fully surrendered to living as the awareness of what is real and does not change.

My best advice to you on this profound walk through the enlightening forest of self discovery is to be gentle with yourself. Don't expect too much change in too little time. Often when progress is steady and slow, the final change is more permanent. Slow and steady wins the race, as each subtle shift creates a deeper embedded pattern making it harder for the mind to slip back into it's old unconscious habit. And if you start to hit a wall, relax, rest and be ordinary. A simple walk though the forest can become the pathway of profound realization. The ordinary things in life become absolutely extraordinary when there is nowhere to go and nothing to attain.

Now is the time to take this life changing journey into the source of self-realization. You have nothing to fear. As you enlighten your consciousness you will have more and more FUN along the way. I've created a 90 day enlightenment online program below that will teach you how to transcend all suffering in this lifetime. Follow the program as it is written and you will end up manifesting all your greatest desires, and wake up from the dreaming mind. It is quite ironic how it works, yet the program will continuously point you back to your highest Self, giving your practical techniques, exercises and habits that will assist you in transcending the most challenging problems you're facing. You'll discover that enlightening natural way of living which will liberate you from any tension you've been carrying. Its time to know yourself as the God Source itself. Instantly Download the Super Manifesting Package right now and you'll receive this life transforming enlightening experience at a discounted price for the next 24 hours...enjoy!

The Chrono Diet

Never heard of this one before but  it sounds a lot like the Atkins diet. Warning losing weight can cost you  - check out this article  - would love your feedback.

Friday, May 11, 2012

May 11, 2012


– – –
Community Gardens, Outdoor Classrooms, Playground Renewal Among Projects Made Possible by Provincial Funding: Allan
Students and staff at 16 Manitoba schools will have the opportunity to have fun while learning and contributing to the social, environmental and economic well-being of their communities through the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) grants, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today.
“Learning takes place not only within the four walls of a school.  Mother Nature is an excellent teacher and the great outdoors is an amazing classroom,” said Allan.  “I am pleased to provide these grants to help teachers develop new quality ways to teach students about how they can contribute to their community and have a sustainable future.”
Fifty-three applications were submitted from 20 school divisions this year.  Projects receiving funding include:
  • Landmark Elementary School (Hanover School Division) – The Grow and Give project will model the use of student-created compost to grow plants in the greenhouse they are constructing and then use the plants and food grown to support local gardens and provide food for community organizations.
  • École Riverside School (Mystery Lake School Division) – Students will explore the requirements of growing fruits and vegetables in the north, as they design their gardens and examine the environmental and health aspects of the food they eat.  They will share information with a partner school in Jamaica.
  • Alonsa School (Turtle River School Division) – Students will embark on a waste-reduction program that incorporates recycling and diversion of waste from landfills, as well as a comprehensive composting program in their school.
  • Nelson McIntyre Collegiate (Louis Riel School Division) –The school will create The Wolverine Garden Project, a community garden where students grow organic vegetables and share recipes from their diverse student population.
“Research shows that children engaged with nature demonstrate increased attentiveness and retention of curriculum and improved emotional and social development,” said Allan.  “Through these grants, students also develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills while learning about team work and collaboration.”
The United Nations declared 2005 to 2014 as the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.  ESD grants were first awarded in 2006, with the provincial government and Manitoba Hydro contributing a combined total of $30,000 to support education action projects across the province.  All projects promote hands-on learning approaches, Allan said.  More information about ESD awards and initiatives is available at
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Affordable Tuition Fees for Manitoba Students

May 11, 2012


A bill introduced by the provincial government May 10 would help keep university tuition fee increases in line with the rate of inflation and provide funding predictability for institutions, Advanced Education Minister Erin Selby has announced.
“Our tuition fees are already among the lowest in the country and we want to keep them that way,” Selby said.  “This new legislation ensures students will continue to have access to affordable, high‑quality education, and institutions will be able to rely on predictable funding levels.”
The bill would empower the Council on Post-Secondary Education (COPSE), the agency that plans and co-ordinates the development of the post-secondary education system, to work with universities to keep tuition fees in line with inflation.  
The new legislation would also require COPSE to ensure universities know how much money they will receive in operating grants for three-year periods, the minister said.  
“This new legislation will ensure that our universities will have the predictable financing they need to continue offering high-quality education,” said Selby.
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Province Announces More Than 270 Recreational, Wellness, Cultural Facilities To Be Built, Upgraded Across the Province. (Left to right: James Allum, MLA Fort Garry-Riverview, Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Housing and Community Development, Premier Greg Selinger, David Gaudreau, St. Norbert)
Province Announces More Than 270 Recreational, Wellness, Cultural Facilities To Be Built, Upgraded Across the Province. (Left to right: James Allum, MLA Fort Garry-Riverview, Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Housing and Community Development, Premier Greg Selinger, David Gaudreau, St. Norbert
May 11, 2012


– – –
Community Places Program Supports Strong, Healthy Neighbourhoods: Selinger
More than 270 non-profit community groups will be able to create or upgrade local recreational, wellness or cultural facilities for Manitoba families this year with help from the province, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
“We know that communities and neighbourhoods thrive when they have a range of healthy options for recreation, wellness and culture,” Selinger said.  “We are providing more than $3.5 million under the Community Places program to support local groups in developing and maintaining these important facilities.”
“This year’s projects include museums, playgrounds, multi-use and recreation facilities, child-care centres, libraries, community halls and seniors’ facilities,” Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross said.  “The projects involve critical repairs, roof replacements, fresh-air ventilation, fire-safety upgrades, energy-efficiency improvements and disability access upgrades.”
Among the community groups approved for a grant this year are:
  • $50,000 for the Ryerson Association of Parent and Teachers for phase 1 of a playground development project in Winnipeg;
  • $16,500 for the Manitoba Farmers with Disabilities in Elm Creek for health and safety building renovations;
  • $3,900 for the Pinawa Players for stage lighting upgrades;
  • $20,000 for the Manitoba Paddling Association in Selkirk to install a 10-kilowatt Xzeres wind‑power electric turbine;
  • $36,603 for the Opasquia Agricultural Society in The Pas for the redevelopment of the The Pas and District Exhibition Grounds;
  • $10,000 for Recreation Centre kitchen renovations for the Waterhen community council;
  • $20,000 to the Oak Lake Beach Playground Committee for the construction of a Natural Playground - Phase I;
  • $35,000 for the Friends of Living Prairie Museum for the construction of an outdoor education shelter; and
  • $25,000 for Building Urban Industries for Local Development (B.U.I.L.D.) for upgrades to its HVAC system.
In 2012-13, more than $3.5 million in provincial support will result in more than $46 million in
community-based construction projects to upgrade existing facilities or create new ones, Selinger said.
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Walkom: Northern Gateway pipeline faces ‘unbreakable’ wall

May 09, 2012
Thomas Walkom
Protesters opposing the planned Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline assemble outside the King Edward Hotel in Toronto on Wednesday. Enbridge was holding its annual general meeting at the hotel.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper may have the legislative muscle to ram his controversial oilsands pipeline through Parliament.
But Jackie Thomas and a host of equally stubborn British Columbia Indian chiefs are here to tell him that the proposed Northern Gateway conduit is far from a done deal.
“We will be the unbreakable wall,” Thomas tells me in a Toronto coffee shop. “No, we are the unbreakable wall.”
Two other B.C. chiefs sitting at the table nod silently.
Thomas is head of the Saik’uz first nation near Prince George. She and about 50 other B.C. Indians opposing the planned Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline are in Toronto.
On Wednesday, they led a noisy demonstration on King Street outside the hotel hosting Enbridge’s annual general meeting.
It is the endpoint of what the chiefs describe as an exhilarating but exhausting cross-country railway trip aimed at publicizing native opposition to the pipeline — a pipeline that has become the central symbol of Harper’s majority Conservative government.
Technically, the Enbridge pipeline is roaring ahead. The Harper government has introduced legislation that will give it the right to approve the pipeline — regardless of what a National Energy Board environmental assessment panel studying the proposal decides.
Calling the pipeline an economic necessity, the prime minister is using his majority to ram the bill through Parliament with a minimum of debate.
His government has also made it clear that it regards anyone who opposes the pipeline as un-Canadian.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver dismisses critics of the plan to ship oil from the Alberta tar sands to China via B.C. as “radicals” funded by foreign “socialist billionaires.”
So Thomas is here to make the point that she and the roughly 6,000 members of the Yinka Dene Alliance are not enemy aliens.
They are real people living real lives in the pathway of a project they fear will ruin those lives.
“It’s about the water,” says Martin Louie, chief of the Nadleh Whut’en.
And so it is. There are two great river systems in B.C., the Fraser and the Skeena. The province’s ecology, and to a large extent its economy, are built around them.
The Yinka Dene, an alliance of five first nations in central B.C. whose lands sit along the proposed pipeline route, fear the project will foul those great water systems. Breaks in the line, Louie says, are inevitable.
Yes, he says, there is already a natural gas pipeline through Yinka Dene land. It was built before the courts ruled that aboriginals must be involved in decisions that affect their land.
“Besides,” says Thomas, “gas is different.” It doesn’t spill.
So what will these first nations do to stop the pipeline? First, says Louie, they will say no. The Yinka Dene are not taking part in what he describes as bogus pipeline hearings.
Second, they are warning those who would finance the Enbridge pipeline that the project is doomed.
“We’ve talked to the five major Canadian banks,” says Thomas “and warned of the financial risks.”
As my colleague Vanessa Lu has reported, one significant Enbridge stockholder — NEI Investments — is already worried.
Third, they are contemplating court challenges. “We want to exhaust all other options before we go to court,” says Louie. But if, in the end, nothing else works, to court the Yinka Dene will go.
That could delay matters for years.
In the end, they are sure they can wait out both Enbridge and the ruling Conservatives. They are used to waiting. They are very patient.
“It’s not going to happen,” says Thomas. “Enbridge should just accept it and save themselves some money.”
February 8th, 2012
the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, PC., B.A., M.A.
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
Dear Mr. Harper,
The National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC ), representing many thousands of members across Canada is alarmed at the potentially devastating risks to the environment posed by the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal to build a pipeline to carry tar sands bitumen from Bruderheim Alberta, to the deep water port of Kitimat British Columbia, and from there by ocean tanker to the markets of Asia.
The building of this pipeline over a 1,177 km land route will present extraordinary challenges, and the passage of hundreds of thousands of barrels of bitumen crude oil per day along its length, will create multiple opportunities for accidents which could cause irreparable ecological damage. The pipeline will pass through the unforgiving Northern Rockies and the Coast Mountains of BC, over wetlands, flood plains and bird sanctuaries; and will cross, or come very close to, more than 800 streams and rivers, 600 of which are fish spawning habitat . The bitumen will then be transported by ocean tankers which must negotiate the very treacherous and ecologically sensitive waters of the BC shoreline before heading out into the broader ocean.
In 1925, members of the National Council of Women of Canada were concerned about the leakage of crude oil from ships and placed this issue on the agenda of the International Council of Women. Then the concern was the damage to birds caught in the slicks of crude oil discharges. This remains a serious issue to-day, especially as the number and size of the oil tankers has increased. As we have noted, further challenges, and significant risks lie along the rugged and sensitive shoreline route to the ocean, where if accidents happen they are exceedingly difficult to remediate.
We expect that the established environmental Regulatory Panel will hear many voices who share our concerns, as well as the economic arguments that will be put forward by proponents of the pipeline. NCWC has always urged the government to take a "precautionary" approach. To-day, this involves a thorough examination of the life cycle of a proposal and consideration of all the probable costs in every stage and circumstance. We feel that the long term costs cleaning up an oil- spill , the environmental damages and loss to livelihoods in the event of an oil-spill, should all be considered. We are strongly of the opinion that if all these factors are included in a comparative evaluation that the Regulatory Panel will not recommend approval of the pipeline.
Should this be the case, we urge your Government to accept the Panel’s decision.
NCWC is an inclusive group of voluntary sector member groups and individuals across Canada, with no monetary interest in the issue, which adheres to democratically developed policies speaking to the health of the environment, family and society .
We respectfully urge you to keep an open mind and act in a "precautionary" manner in the best interests of all Canadians.
Denise Matok, President.