Saturday, September 29, 2012

Awesome life

Friday, September 28, 2012

September 28, 2012


The reading of the speech from the throne on Monday, Nov. 19 will open the second session of Manitoba’s 40th legislature, Government House Leader Jennifer Howard announced today.
“Our focus on what matters most to Manitoba families is getting results in the face of ongoing global economic uncertainty,” said Howard.  “In this session, our government will continue to invest in improving health care, creating better job and training opportunities, and building a better quality of life for everyone, while finding responsible ways to reduce spending.”
The session will see the introduction of legislation and initiatives to keep Manitoba moving forward through the sluggish world economic recovery, said the minister.
“Our fall session will build on the balanced plan we introduced in Budget 2012 while continuing to fulfil the commitments we have made to Manitobans.”
Highlights from the budget include:
  • providing free cancer drugs for all patients,
  • making major investments in roads and bridges including flood repair and critical infrastructure, and
  • making it easier than ever to become an apprentice in all areas of the province.
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September 28, 2012


Manitoba’s financial results showed a modest improvement over projections in last year’s third quarter report, Finance Minister Stan Struthers announced today as he released Manitoba’s public accounts for 2011-12.
“Last year was unlike any other in Manitoba’s history.  We faced a flood of unprecedented scale, saw growing pressures in the frontlines of child welfare and corrections, all in the midst of a sluggish global economic recovery, and we came through it a little better than expected,” said Struthers.  “These challenges are still with us, but this is a modest improvement.”
The minister said the final expenses are lower than third quarter forecast, as costs associated with the flood were finalized, reducing last year’s deficit to $999 million, an increase of $561 million over projections contained in Budget 2011.
 Key results from these 2011-2012 reports include:
  • a $121-million improvement on the deficit projected at the third quarter, and
  • a $333-million improvement on the Summary Net Debt projections of the third quarter.
“There remains uncertainty for economies everywhere, but we’ll tackle the challenges ahead of us, the way we always have:  with a balanced approach that’s focused on the things that matter most to families,” said Struthers.
Information on the first quarter financial report will be released on Monday.
More information can be found at
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September 28, 2012


As detailed in Budget 2012, the province will increase the minimum wage 25 cents to $10.25 an hour on Oct. 1, Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard announced today.
“We continue to boost the purchasing power of minimum-wage earners and this move can also benefit business as it helps attract and keep workers,” said Howard.  “We have one of the most robust labour markets in the country, revenues continue to rise in many sectors, including restaurant and retail, and increasing the minimum wage has not hurt employment.”
The minimum wage rate last increased 50 cents to $10 per hour on Oct. 1, 2011.  That followed an increase of 50 cents on Oct. 1, 2010.
The Labour Management Review Committee (LMRC), composed of representatives from labour and business organizations, recommended three annual increases.  However, they differed on the amount.  The latest increase places Manitoba just above the average Canadian minimum hourly wage.  Seven other jurisdictions have announced increases in their minimum wage for 2012. 
“In addition to minimum wage increases, the Manitoba government is making changes that will help keep more income in workers’ pockets,” Howard said.  “The amount of income a person can earn before they start paying income tax is being increased by $1,000 over four years, reaching $9,134 in 2014.”
More information on the changes to the minimum wage is available at:
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September 28, 2012


– – –
Skills to be Put to the Test in Riding Mountain National Park Beginning this Evening
The Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) advises that search and rescue (SAR) volunteers from across the province will gather today and tomorrow in Riding Mountain National Park for an annual exercise designed to keep their search skills sharp and allow them to work with a variety of partners that could be deployed in an emergency.
Co-ordinated by the OFC in partnership with Search and Rescue Manitoba (SARMAN), the exercise will include a night-time drill, navigation exercise, search technique training, as well as watercraft and helicopter operations.  The OFC has a long history of search and rescue training and, in addition to working with SARMAN, trains and co-ordinates Manitoba’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team.
This combined exercise will give volunteers and representatives of multiple agencies a chance to work together and hone the skills that could save a life in a real emergency.  Local police agencies have responsibility for search and rescue, but they are able to call on SARMAN volunteers if they need to expand their search or want to quickly put a large trained team on the ground.  There are about 450 SARMAN volunteers in Manitoba.
SARMAN teams have been called out many times to look for missing hikers, lost children or to assist with difficult rescues such as the group of anglers stranded on an ice flow in the Lake of the Woods earlier this spring.
People near Riding Mountain National Park may see the training activities and a number of search and rescue volunteers in the park.  The OFC advises they can be assured it is just a training exercise during which the volunteers will practise skills such as:
  • helicopter and watercraft use,
  • low-angle rope rescue,
  • first aid,
  • survival skills, and
  • search techniques.
More information about the SARMAN volunteer association or how to get involved in search and rescue in Manitoba is available at
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

September 27, 2012


New funding will support teachers in providing high-quality science education to students and encourage exploration of careers in science and technology, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today at École Lacerte.
“Scientists in the Classroom grants help teachers to develop projects in their classroom that give students the opportunity to interact with professionals in the field of science and technology,” said Allan.  “Through these projects, teachers and professionals working in the field of science provide students with leading-edge education that connects with their everyday lives.  Students are finding out that what they’re learning in the classroom is relevant and that being engaged with science can lead to exciting careers.”
Grade 7 students at École Lacerte are using the grant to analyze the water quality in the Seine River, with the help of a scientist from the Université de Saint-Boniface and members of Save Our Seine.  As part of the project, they will complete physical and chemical tests of the water, and their findings will be posted on the Adopt a River website.
Allan announced a total of $20,000 will be awarded to 22 schools across the province.  This ongoing initiative was launched in 2006 for middle-years students and, since then, a total of 99 schools across the province have received over $94,000 in Scientist in Classroom grants. Grant eligibility was broadened in 2008 to include grade 9 and 10 students, and all kindergarten to Grade 12 students in 2011.  Schools receive grants of up to $1, 000 to promote science education and scientific literacy.
“We’ve heard from parents and a lot of them are saying they want to see more lessons that get our children excited about science,” said Allan.  “That’s why we’re helping teachers develop new ways of teaching science to students and giving them a good foundation for more learning and good jobs in the future.”
More information about Scientists in the Classroom grants is available at:
More information about the Action Plan for Science Education in Manitoba is available at:
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September 27, 2012


More people are calling Manitoba home than ever before, with the provincial population estimated at 1,267,003, according to new Statistics Canada figures released this morning, news that was welcomed by Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson.
“The provincial government has worked hard to keep Manitoba moving forward through uncertainty in the global economy and to make Manitoba an even better place for families to put down roots and build a life,” said Bjornson.  “I’m thrilled to see so many more people choosing to call Manitoba home.”
The new statistics show continued growth in the province with an increase in population of over 47,000 in the last three years.  This is over 26 per cent higher than the previous best three-year period in the early 1980s.  Manitoba’s annual growth continues to outpace the national average, with more than 15,000 new people calling the province home in the last 12 months.
Over the last three years, nearly 30,000 more individuals came to Manitoba than left for other provinces or countries, beating the last record by 50 per cent.  Immigration continues to be a large factor in the population gain.
“Within Canada and around the world, Manitoba continues to be a top destination to build a business, raise a family and make a life,” said Bjornson.  “It’s no secret to Manitobans that this is a great place to live and this continued growth in population just confirms that more and more people are finding out why.”
The minister noted the Manitoba population has increased by more than 110,000 over the last 10 years.  This trend has been driven by a net inflow to the province of over 55,000 people.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Patricia Pohrebniuk, Executive Director of the Manitoba Forestry Association, Premier Greg Selinger and Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship Gord Mackintosh plant a tree at The Forks to mark National Tree Day as part of the completion of the successful Trees for Tomorrow program.
Patricia Pohrebniuk, Executive Director of the Manitoba Forestry Association, Premier Greg Selinger and Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship Gord Mackintosh plant a tree at The Forks to mark National Tree Day as part of the completion of the successful Trees for Tomorrow program.
September 13, 2012


– – –
Photographs, Maps, Journals, Records Give Evidence of Lives Lived: Marcelino
Culture, Heritage and Tourism Minister Flor Marcelino is inviting all Manitobans to visit the Archives of Manitoba and the Legislative Library at the Manitoba Archives Building to explore historical records and original publications dating back to the establishment of the Red River Settlement and the arrival of the first wave of Selkirk settlers 200 years ago.
“People in the Red River Settlement created records and published newspapers,” Marcelino said.   “Books, photographs, maps, journals and records of church and government provide evidence of the kind of lives settlers lived 200 years ago.  Fortunately, this documentary heritage has survived and is yours to explore at the Archives of Manitoba and the Legislative Library.”
Some of the archives and library holdings featured in the exhibit include:
  • photographs of Humphrey Lloyd Hime, a surveyor and photographer who accompanied the Assiniboine and Saskatchewan Exploring Expedition in 1858 and took what are probably the first photographs of the Canadian West;
  • paintings of Peter Rindisbachers, an artist known for his depictions of the lives of settlers and Aboriginal people in the Red River Settlement; 
  • the will and testament of Saulteaux Chief Peguis, one of five chiefs who signed a treaty with Lord Selkirk to provide land for settlement;  
  • a copy of an early Red River census conducted by the Council of Assiniboia in 1828;
  • a post journal which recorded a graphic description of the great Red River flood of 1826 as told by the Upper Fort Garry Hudson’s Bay Company clerk Frances Heron;
  • records of the Matilda Davis School in St. Andrews, representing the development of Red River schools;
  • a plan of the Red River Colony surveyed in 1836 by George Taylor;
  • excerpts of baptism, marriage and death from Rupert’s Land registers sent to the governor and committee of the Hudson’s Bay Company around 1820;
  • a copy of The Nor’Wester from Feb. 14, 1860, containing an article by Chief Peguis; and
  • an image from Bishop David Anderson’s flood journal title page, Notes of The Flood at Red River, 1852.
The Archives of Manitoba, including the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives and the Legislative Library of Manitoba, are commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Red River Settlement with this exhibit of selected archival records and library materials.  Public viewing of the material is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 200 Vaughan St. (at St. Mary Avenue) in Winnipeg.  A related exhibit The Selkirk Settlement:  200 Years can also be seen at the Manitoba Museum.
Guided tours of this exhibition will be offered for a limited time.  For scheduling details, please contact the Archives of Manitoba, 204-945-7586.

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Upcoming Training - Human Rights

This message is from the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.

The Manitoba Human Rights Commission is now accepting registrations for its September 2012 to June 2013 workshops in both Winnipeg and Brandon.

·       Recent Developments in Human Rights Law
·       How to Investigate a Human Rights Complaint
·       Human Rights in the Workplace
·       Harassment in the Workplace
·       Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace
·       Accommodation of Employees with Mental Disabilities (Note: Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace is a prerequisite for this workshop)
·       Opening Doors to Rental Rights

For details on workshop content, dates, location and cost, or to register online, visit You may also contact Sheilagh Hooper at 204-945-3009 in Winnipeg; toll free 1-888-884-8681.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 24, 2012


– – –
Better Generic Drug Prices to Save Over $12 Million This Year: Oswald
The province is adding 120 drugs to pharmacare, giving Manitobans greater choice and easing the burden of drug costs for patients and families, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.
“Our government is continuing to enhance and expand Manitoba’s highly regarded pharmacare program to help ensure families get the prescription drugs they need,” Oswald said.  “Today, we have added new drugs to pharmacare coverage including medications for stroke prevention, psoriasis and hepatitis C, diabetes testing supplies, as well as the first drug addition to our new Home Cancer Drug Program.”
The minister noted, since 1999, approximately 3,000 new drugs have been added to the pharmacare program.
The changes to the formulary include the addition of new, innovative drugs for Manitobans including:
  • Pradax and Xarelto for prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation;
  • Stelara for psoriasis;
  • Victrelis and Victrelis Triple for hepatitis C; and
  • Zelboraf for the treatment of skin cancer.
Coverage is also being added for an assortment of products used in the treatment of diabetes including the Accu-Chek Mobile Blood Glucose Test Cassette, Ulticare Pen Needles 32 Gauge and a variety of test strips. 
“Dozens of additional generic drugs have also been added to pharmacare today, which are available at a lower price than the brand-name alternatives, saving both pharmacare and patients money,” Oswald said.  “In addition, the province has negotiated even lower prices for many generic drugs over the last several months and this work is expected to save over $12 million this fiscal year.”
Coverage for the new drugs is effective immediately. For more information, visit:
Pharmacare is a universal, comprehensive prescription drug program for any Manitoban with benefits based on family income.  It covers 100 per cent of eligible drug costs once the income-based deductible is reached, regardless of medical condition or age.
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Should we be celebrating a day of killing animals?

Some how that sounds strange to me.  I'm not saying we should not hunt but why can't we doing it quietly and respectfully instead of celebrating. Anyway that's a vegetarian talking, not a human being.

September 21, 2012


– – –
Manitobans Encouraged to Explore Province's Hunting Tradition: Mackintosh
Manitoba families will have the opportunity celebrate and explore the province’s rich hunting tradition as part of the fourth annual Provincial Hunting Day celebration at Oak Hammock Marsh tomorrow, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh said today.
“Hunting plays a vital role in wildlife management and helps to keep populations sustainable in the long term,” said Mackintosh.  “With everything from retriever and pointer dog demonstrations to archery and atlatl spear thrower seminars, this event celebrates our province’s rich hunting tradition and the valuable role hunters play in conserving our natural resources.”
The event at Oak Hammock Marsh runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is organized by the Manitoba Wildlife Federation with representatives from the Manitoba Lodge and Outfitters Association, the Manitoba Metis Federation and the provincial government.
The fall archery seasons for white-tailed deer, non-draw moose, non-draw caribou and draw elk are underway in specific game hunting areas.
Changes for the 2012 hunting seasons include:
  • the removal of restrictions on canvasback and redhead ducks for residents of Manitoba as well as the removal of decoy restrictions with electronic calls for snow goose hunters;
  • the introduction of a woodcock season;
  • a requirement that, while hunting, all hunters carry a valid Manitoba hunter education certificate or equivalent from another jurisdiction;
  • new restrictions on wolf baiting and the use of antler traps; and
  • season changes to reduce the harvest of white-tailed deer and moose in some areas as part of a variety of efforts to maintain healthy populations.
The minister noted the hunter education program is operated by the Manitoba Wildlife Federation and is now available online at
Further information on requirements, season dates and bag limits is available in the 2012 Manitoba Hunting Guide, at all Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship offices and at
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

September 20, 2012


– – –
Students, Community will Benefit from Facility: Allan
SWAN RIVER--Education Minister Nancy Allan was on hand today at the official groundbreaking for the new heavy duty mechanic shop at Swan Valley Regional Secondary School, which will serve students from this community, the surrounding area and adults taking programs offered by the University College of the North.
“This important project will give over 500 students in grades nine through 12 and others in the area the opportunity to get hands-on experience and develop new skills that will allow them to contribute to their community and prepare them for well-paying jobs,” said Allan.
The new 7,150-square-foot shop will be adjacent to the school and will boast a drive-through bay for large equipment.  It will have four side bays for work on various equipment and vehicles in addition to ample classroom space.  The facility also will have state-of-the-art tools and ventilation with an abundance of natural light.
“This new shop will make a real difference for students and families in this community.  It was purposefully designed to address other vocational trades needs in the future without requiring a major retrofit.  When it is completed, it will help students get real-life, hands-on valuable experience,” said Allan.
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September 19, 2012


– – –
Education Minister Helps Celebrate School's Grand Opening
RESTON—Students at Reston School have started the new school year in a newly renovated, larger, energy-efficient and modern learning environment.  Education Minister Nancy Allan was on hand today to celebrate the official grand opening of the newly amalgamated kindergarten to Grade 12 school.
“A school is much more than bricks and mortar.  It’s a welcoming place where you come to learn, grow and share,” Allan said.  “This newly renovated school was designed with the students in mind, to help them receive a quality education, and achieve and succeed in a beautiful environment surrounded by natural light and abundant learning spaces.”
Reston School, formerly Reston Collegiate, now provides a total of 36,127 square feet of learning space as the result of the addition of 7,447 square feet of classroom and multi-purpose space.  As well, 2,200 square feet of renovations were completed to the new school administration area, the resource area, a staff room and a staff preparation room.
The Province of Manitoba provided $3 million toward this project that has successfully consolidated the elementary school (Reston Elementary) and the high school into one modern teaching and learning facility, the minister said.
“We are committed to giving every child a good start in life by providing them with a quality education  We want each and every one of our students to find the path to success,” said Allan.  “That’s why we have invested more than $841 million in public schools capital projects over the past 13 years.  In that time, we have built 18 new schools, 13 replacement schools and completed extensive renovations and additions to existing schools.”
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September 20, 2012


– – –
Wheelchair Lifts Now Require Inspections
Elevating devices for people with physical disabilities, except those in private homes, are now being held to the same level of scrutiny as elevators and must have regular inspections and a valid permit, Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard, minister responsible for persons with disabilities, announced today.
“The safety and security of all Manitobans is important to our government.  We want to be sure any kind of lifting device is working properly and has been carefully inspected,” said Howard.  “A person can be injured if something goes wrong regardless of whether the lift is a few feet or a few stories off the ground.”
To ensure the safety of all types of elevating devices, the elevator regulation requires:
  • drawings and specifications be approved before an elevator is installed,
  • initial inspections be conducted prior to a permit being issued and an elevator put into service, and
  • periodic re-inspections and permit renewals based on the age and condition of the equipment be conducted.
In addition to the new rules for inspections, the province will increase permit and approval fees by about 10 per cent, the minister said, noting this is the first fee increase since 2005.  These new fees will help offset the additional workload of elevator inspectors from Inspection and Technical Services Manitoba, which is part of the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC).
Additional information on the changes to the elevator regulation is available on the OFC’s website at
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September 20, 2012


HONG KONG--Lt.-Gov. Philip Lee and Premier Greg Selinger today laid wreaths at a ceremony at Sai Wan War Cemetery to honour Manitobans who fought to defend the British Colony of Hong Kong during the Second World War.
“Despite being sent to the other side of the world unprepared for what they would encounter, the Winnipeg Grenadiers fought valiantly in defence of the freedoms all Canadians enjoy today,” said Selinger.  “Standing on the ground where so many brave Manitobans made the ultimate sacrifice is a truly humbling experience.  To all the Hong Kong war veterans who are still with us today, and to the families of all those who fought and died, thank you on behalf of all Manitobans.  We will never forget.”
The Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Quebec-based Royal Rifles of Canada were sent to Hong Kong in late 1941.  War with Japan was not considered imminent at the time.  Both battalions had limited training and had prepared mainly for non-combat duty.  In December, the Japanese military launched a series of attacks including those on Pearl Harbor, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
Approximately 290 Canadians were killed in defence of Hong Kong and 267 more died as prisoners of war in the years that followed.  Of the 1,975 Canadians who went to Hong Kong, more than 1,050 were either killed or wounded.
Lee was born in Hong Kong in May 1944, shortly before the end of the war.
“I grew up two blocks from the place where many Manitoba prisoners of war were held for years under horrendous conditions,” said the lieutenant-governor.  “My mother would tell me stories of the atrocities and hardship endured by the Canadian soldiers who fought so bravely to defend our freedom.  The sacrifices they made in the name of peace and justice will always be solemnly remembered by the people of Hong Kong.”
Lee and Selinger are in Hong Kong with Manitoba business leaders taking part in a Council of the Federation trade mission to China.
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World-renowned Speaker

Malcolm Gladwell: A Centrallia Presentation

Inline Image
October 10, 2012
Reception: 5:30 p.m.
(with light dinner)
Presentation: 7:00 p.m.
Winnipeg Convention Centre
Inspiring, brilliant and completely entertaining, Malcolm Gladwell is the best-selling author of Outliers, Blink and The Tipping Point.
Don't miss your chance to hear this world renowned speaker right here in Winnipeg.
Find outmore details at

Who doesn't like to get dressed up once in a while

Dust off the Dress! At This Friday's After-Party Event
Join us for this year's DUST OFF THE DRESS!, an opening weekend post-concert reception and wine tasting exclusively for Soundcheck members. The Soundcheck program is a fun and accessible way for those 30 and under to enjoy everything that the WSO has to offer. Dress to impress with your favorite gown or suit!

Last's years event was
so successful that we invite you to Dust Off That Dress again!

Complimentary hors d'oeuvres will be served with a free wine tasting provided by Treasury Wine Estates. A cash bar will be available and live music provided by the WSO Jazz Trio.

Friday, September 21, 2012
Concert at 8:00pm, Post-concert reception on the Piano Nobile Level, Centennial Concert Hall, 555 Main Street

This is the perfect chance to break out that gown you've been waiting to wear again, or that suit that has been gathering dust at the back of your closet. Formal Dress is a must: Ladies, gowns and dresses; Men: jacket and tie please, tuxedos are admired and encouraged, but not required. Dress to impress!  

The reception is free for Soundcheck ticket holders.  

Please RSVP* by calling the box office at 204.949.3999 to purchase your concert tickets and indicate your reception attendance.  

September 19, 2012

La version française ci-dessous

Social Workers Defending Social Programs for a Stronger Canada

Given the onslaught of legislative changes and policy  decisions impacting social programs from coast to coast to coast, the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) federation adopted “Social Workers Defending Social Programs for a Stronger Canada” as its 2012-13 theme to guide efforts in advocating for social justice.

CASW is seriously concerned at the pace in which the Government of Canada is reshaping national social programs and services as well as with the unilateral renewal of the Canadian Social Transfer at 3% with no dialogue on accountability or impact. CASW is also troubled that changes to Employment Insurance and Old Age Security in the 2012-13 federal budget will hurt the people who least can afford it: low-income Canadians and their families.

“Of particular concern to social workers is that evidence based research in policy development as well as national leadership in developing accountability and equity between the provinces and territories for delivery of social services has seemingly been abandoned by the Government of Canada” notes Morel Caissie, CASW President.

As noted in its Pre-Budget submission, CASW deems the current situation of federal restraint as an overstated crisis compounded by maintaining a schedule of corporate tax cuts that have not realized their predicated benefit. The Government of Canada has clearly chosen failed trickle-down economics over substantive investments to support the equality of opportunity for all Canadians.

“It is our hope that as the Parliament of Canada moves forward with its new fall session that any proposed changes further affecting Canada’s social programs will be dealt with outside of another unwieldy and autocratic omnibus budget bill” states Caissie. “From our perspective there is a failure of accountability on many levels, and this must be addressed if we are to build a stronger Canada.”


For more information:
Fred Phelps, MSW, RSW

Le 19 septembre 2012

Les travailleurs sociaux à la défense des programmes sociaux pour un Canada plus fort

Réagissant à la myriade des modifications législatives et des décisions stratégiques ayant une incidence sur les programmes sociaux d'un océan à l'autre, la fédération de l'Association canadienne des travailleuses et travailleurs sociaux (ACTS) s'est donné comme thème pour 2012-2013 : Les travailleurs sociaux à la défense des programmes sociaux pour un Canada plus fort. Ce thème servira à orienter les efforts de promotion et de défense de la justice sociale.

L'ACTS est gravement préoccupée par le rythme auquel le gouvernement du Canada s'affaire à réorganiser les programmes et les services sociaux nationaux, de même que par le renouvellement unilatéral du Transfert canadien en matière de programmes sociaux au taux de 3 %, sans dialogue sur la reddition de compte ou sur l'impact de cette action. L'ACTS trouve également bouleversant que les modifications apportées à l'assurance-emploi et à la Sécurité de la vieillesse dans le budget 2012-2013 feront mal aux personnes qui ont le moins de moyens : les Canadiens à faible revenu et leurs familles.

« Les travailleurs sociaux s'inquiètent particulièrement de ce que le gouvernement du Canada semble avoir fait fi de la recherche fondée sur des faits dans le processus d'élaboration des politiques, de même que de la nécessité d'assurer un leadership national dans le but de mettre au point un processus axé sur la reddition de compte et l'équité entre les provinces et les territoires au chapitre de la prestation des services sociaux », dit Morel Caissie, le président de l'ACTS.

Comme le soulignait l'ACTS dans son mémoire prébudgétaire, les restrictions budgétaires actuelles répondent à une crise exagérée, exacerbée par le maintien d'un calendrier de réduction de l'impôt sur les sociétés, qui n'a pas donné les résultats escomptés. Le gouvernement du Canada a manifestement opté pour une approche de relance économique par le haut, une approche qui a échoué, plutôt que d'investir de manière substantielle pour soutenir l'égalité des chances de tous les Canadiens.

« Nous espérons qu'au fur et à mesure que progressera la session d'automne du Parlement du Canada, toute autre modification proposée affectant les programmes sociaux du pays sera étudiée au mérite et non dans le cadre du processus trop compliqué et autocratique d'un projet de loi omnibus », affirme M. Caissie. « Selon nous, un défaut de rendre compte existe à plusieurs niveaux et il faut s'attaquer à ce problème, si nous voulons bâtir un Canada plus fort. »

Pour plus de renseignements:
Fred Phelps, M.Serv.Soc., TSI

Pioneering Initiative - Positive!

September 20, 2012


– – –
Plan is First of its Kind in Canada: Ministers
The Manitoba government has released Health and the Human Spirit, the province’s new spiritual health-care strategic plan, Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau announced today at the opening of the Hospice & Palliative Care Manitoba conference in Winnipeg.
“Our new, four-year strategic plan, the first of its kind in Canada, enhances awareness and gives direction for spiritual health care in Manitoba,” said Rondeau.  “It will promote opportunities for Manitobans to experience spiritual health through better awareness, understanding and healing.”
The new plan was informed by a spiritual health-care strategic planning session involving a wide range of community and professional stakeholders, spiritual care providers, volunteers, counsellors, physicians, psychiatrists, policy analysts and individuals who have experienced spiritual care in a health-care context, the minister said.  Research has shown that higher levels of spiritual well-being, along with a sense of inner meaning and inner peace, are associated with better health outcomes, lower levels of depression and anxiety, and a better quality of life.
“Manitoba has been a leader in Canada in consistently supporting the development of spiritual care as part of overall health care,” said Health Minister Theresa Oswald.  “We now have seven spiritual health-care co-ordinators across the province to help connect patients and families with the spiritual supports they need, a unique-in-Canada provincial spiritual health-care co-ordinator and legislation that enshrines the special role of faith-based organizations in our health-care system.”
“Manitoba has taken an important step forward with the release of this plan,” said Fr. Vince Herner, chair, Manitoba Multifaith Council.  “It sets out a vision and goals for Manitoba and recognizes the increasing awareness that spirituality is an important part of human wellness.”
The ministers noted a four-year work plan is currently under development and will enable implementation of the spiritual health-care plan.  The plan will build on previous accomplishments in spiritual health care including a provincewide spiritual health-care volunteer education course, titled The Spirit of Caring, core competencies for spiritual health-care practitioners and the incorporation of traditional Aboriginal healing space at a number of health facilities across the province.
A copy of the spiritual health-care strategic plan is available at:
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

There is a problem

Arsenic has been found in rice and rice products. Even though governments say that the low level is harmless. However scientists say that arsenic is a carcinogen and has links to skin and lung cancer. The recommendation is that we do not eat rice every day, but to vary our foods.
Rice is such a staple for many cultures I wonder what the research would show in terms of  the type of cancer most prevalent in those cultures. As a friend said, everything is harmful, what are we to do?

Heads UP

Yesterday morning I was awoken out of that last sweet half hour of sleep before you know you have to get up by this phone call. I don't why I picked up the call but I did only to hear this indecipherable Indian-accent voice telling me that there is something dreadfully wrong with my computer. I tried to tell the person that I did not have a computer but he insisted I had a laptop so I fessed up. I told him nothing is wrong with my computer. He said yes, I told him I was going to pay for it to be fixed, that I did not need his help. He said he was going to do it for free.
I said mister, look here, you woke me out of my sleep for this? What is so important . My computer is more than 5 years old and has no warranty. I knew this was a SCAM.
Someone wanted me to allow them to get into my computer to clean out all of my personal information  and then send me a bill for which I could not pay.  These SCAMMERS would stop at nothing.

One has to be very vigilant. If you can't see someone at the other end of the line, you did not phone anyone about a problem, be wary -  do not give out your information to anyone. Do not give access for anyone to get into your hard drive. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nice story of Kindness

Winnipeg Transit Drivers demonstrated a lesson in random act of kindness.  Research shows that when we witness such acts of kindness our serotonin level shoots up. We share in the good feeling.
It would be nice to see much more acts like this one.
This must be a first in Winnipeg. I can hardly believe that a bus driver would stop the bus, take his shoes off and give it to someone in  need. Check out the article
September 18, 2012


Sept. 18, 2012, Shanghai, China – CentrePort Canada Inc., SinoTrans Eastern Company Ltd., and Invent IOT Technology Inc. today signed an agreement to work together to develop new technologies, logistics and supply chain systems that will help Manitoba food producers and other businesses export high-quality products to growing consumer markets in China.
The signing was witnessed by Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, who is in Asia as part of the Council of the Federation’s 2012 mission to China. The agreement will help advance CentrePort’s recently-launched China project, which involved building a new supply platform to make it easier to export into China, and partnering with Invent IOT Technology to use radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and labels to secure and track Manitoba cargo as it is shipped overseas.
“This is about leveraging CentrePort’s advantages, such as its extensive reach into North America and strong partnerships with companies in China, to provide Manitoba and Canadian producers with new opportunities to sell and export prime, high-quality products including food,” Selinger said. “It’s a positive for our economy, particularly our agricultural sector, and will help differentiate and promote Manitoba products in a competitive, global marketplace.”
The partners in the CentrePort agreement will work towards several objectives including:
  • Increasing the number of empty shipping containers in Manitoba, which can then be used to export Manitoba products. A lack of empty containers available for export of Canadian goods is a concern throughout Western Canada.
  • Providing Manitoba agricultural and other producers with a new market to sell their goods by increasing the number of containerized exports from Manitoba to China.
  • Helping the Province of Manitoba continue to increase and diversify its trading partners. China is currently Manitoba’s second-largest trading partner ($1.8 billion in two-way trade in 2011) and the second-largest economy in the world.
  • Meeting a growing Chinese consumer demand for high-quality food products. China is a net importer of agricultural products and rising incomes as well as issues with food counterfeiting and contamination have increased demand for high-quality, safe foods.
“Today’s agreement with SinoTrans and Invent is an important next step in building on our efforts to increase Manitoba trade with China,” said Diane Gray, president and CEO of CentrePort. “Our successful soybeans shipment to China earlier this year demonstrated that there is a strong demand for secure, fully-monitored, high-quality food products, but that more work is required to connect Manitoba producers with Chinese buyers and to ensure that our cargo travels in an efficient, cost-effective way.”
SinoTrans, which is a government-owned agency with international operations, is the largest logistics and transportation company in China. As the only global land, sea and air freight‑forwarding company in the country, SinoTrans has unmatched transportation connections and capabilities which are critical in moving Manitoba export projects forward, Gray said.
In particular, efforts with SinoTrans will focus on shipping initiatives that increase the supply of containers and back-haul opportunities out of Manitoba, while utilizing Invent’s RFID technology to guarantee the cargo’s security and integrity, Gray added.
Invent has developed the RFID tags and labels, used by CentrePort, to fully track and trace Manitoba and Canadian products being shipped from Canada to China. Invent’s electronic cargo tracking system, which was successfully launched earlier this year with a pilot shipment of 250 tonnes of Manitoba soybeans to Chongqing, ensures the authenticity, quality and security of home-grown products.
CentrePort Canada is a 20,000-acre inland port and the first in the country to offer investors single-window access to Foreign Trade Zone benefits. Located in the heart of North America – in Winnipeg, Manitoba – CentrePort connects to major national and international trade gateways and corridors, and is the only inland port in Canada to offer direct access to tri-modal transportation options including road, rail and air cargo.
The provincial government is distributing this news release on behalf of CentrePort Canada and the Government of Manitoba.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Creative-Writing Skills

Finding Your Voice is a 6 week program for New Canadians at the Millennium Library. It helps newcomers to build intercultural communication and writing skills.  The group will discuss access to writing and publishing resources, provide an opportunity for networking, and help newcomers build their writing, editing and storytelling skills.

Basic English writing skills are necessary. 
Please see the attached poster for program dates and times.
Pre-registration is required. 

To register, call Chris at 204-986-6689.

Thank you,

Chris Laurie
Outreach Librarian
Winnipeg Public Library
251 Donald St.
Winnipeg, MB
R3C 3P5
ph: 204-986-6689
fax: 204-942-5671

Upcoming Event - Free Courses

Workplace Education Manitoba is pleased to announce 2 free courses that will be offered in the next few months!

Communication in the Workplace
v Are you trying to understand what your boss really wants?
v Having difficulties with a co-worker?
v Need help writing e-mails, solving problems or making presentations? 
This four session workshop is designed to reflect the Canadian workplace using everyday workplace based situations. There is no cost to participate in the course.
October 15, 16, 18 and 19, 2012.

ePortfolio Building
The course runs all day from 9am to 4pm over three days:
September 25, 27 and October 1st
October 9, 11 and 15
November 17, 24 and December 1st

The course takes place in a computer lab.  It will help you through the process of taking your resume to the next level in the age of the Internet. You will be creating your own eportfolio (also known as a Web CV), based on your resume, further details and any authentic evidence that you can bring. The process includes filming you for a brief video introduction.

For More Information about Portfolio Building check out our main page
Once there, click on:
  • “Information about the "Accelerated Essential Skills ePortfolio course” (link)
  • “Take a look at what you can do in this sample! (link)” It shows the portfolio of Rommuel, our sample person.

For more information on these courses, check the attachments to this message.  To keep up to date, check WEM’s website: and click on WEST Centres and then WEST Centre Winnipeg for our newsletter.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Phyllis Mann at

If you cannot open the attachment, contact Phyllis and she will re-send the information.

Phyllis Mann

Program Coordinator for Essential Skills for Immigrants
Workplace Education Manitoba

1000 Waverley Street                    Tel:   204-272-5044
Winnipeg, MB                                  Fax:  204-272-5031
R3T 0P3
September 17, 2012


SHANGHAI—Premier Greg Selinger today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Manitoba and Anhui Province in China to expand economic opportunities, trade and investment over the next five years, with particular focus on agriculture and bio-products.
“China is one of Manitoba’s most important trade partners and our past relationship with Anhui Province has become increasingly valuable for our producers and processors,” Selinger said.  “Our exports to China and Hong Kong in 2011 were $1.13 billion and almost one-third of that was agricultural products.”
The MOU, also signed by Anhui Gov. Li Bin, identifies a number of development priorities that will strengthen ties between the two provinces.  It is hoped that these will advance opportunities for developing and testing advanced technology in food and bio-products processing, broader trade in agricultural products, sharing knowledge and scientific research and improving access to Chinese markets, the premier said.
“Our agreement reinforces our intentions to focus on these priority areas and to encourage regular business-to-business contacts that promote trade and investment,” Selinger said.  “China’s direct investment in Canada has grown to $14 billion in 2010 from $6 billion in 2008 and we hope to keep encouraging that investment trend, especially in Manitoba.”
Manitoba and Anhui have had a cultural, business and trade relationship since 2000 when a trade mission from Anhui came to Manitoba.  The two provinces signed an MOU in 2001 and renewed it in 2005.  Signing today’s agreement will build on shared friendship and economic interests, Selinger said.
Manitoba’s overall exports to China include grains, animal feed, meat, machinery and freshwater fish.  Future opportunities with other parts of China may include potato processing, soybean and canola crushing and processing natural fibres like flax and hemp.
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Friday, September 14, 2012

September 14, 2012


BEIJING-A new tourism training initiative will help Manitoba businesses to gain better access to the growing Chinese travel market, Premier Greg Selinger announced here today.
“It is important that we position our tourism industry to understand Chinese culture, values and service expectations,” said Selinger.  “Training Manitoba tourism operators to better prepare for the growing number of visitors from China is an important step in effectively targeting this emerging market.”
Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism will invest $150,000 over three years through a partnership with the Manitoba Tourism Education Council (MTEC) to develop a new program that will help tourism operators prepare for international visits, particularly those related to the approved destination status granted by China to Canada in December 2009.
Through the initiative, MTEC will consult with industry stakeholders and Travel Manitoba to determine the needs of the industry and develop a program that will prepare tour operators to meet the Chinese market access requirements of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
More information on the approved destination status is available at the federal government’s Canada in Chinaweb portal at:
More information on tourism training initiatives is available from MTEC at 204-957-7437 or on its website at
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September 14, 2012


William Neville, senior scholar in political studies at the University of Manitoba, has been appointed as the province’s first independent allowance commissioner under the Elections Finances Act.  He is tasked with establishing a public funding process for registered political parties, to replace the previous per-vote subsidy.
“I’d like to thank William Neville for agreeing to act in this capacity,” government house leader Jennifer Howard said.  “Mr. Neville brings to the table the right mix of familiarity with the political process, as well as independence.  With his appointment, we are moving Manitoba forward towards a more fair, transparent and non-partisan process to fund registered political parties.”
William Neville is a senior scholar in the department of political studies at the University of Manitoba.  A graduate of that university and of Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar, he served as executive assistant to the president of the University of Manitoba from 1982 to 1997, and subsequently as head of the department of political studies from 1997 to 2005.  His career included two years in the 1970s as chief of staff to the late Sidney Spivak, then leader of the opposition in the Manitoba Legislature, and 10 years as member of Winnipeg City Council.
Legislative amendments introduced and passed this spring made Manitoba the first province or territory in Canada to have an independent commissioner determine the public funding process for registered political parties.
The legislation sets out the commissioner may consider factors such as the administration and operating costs of political parties before determining a fair level and method of funding.  Polling and advertising costs would not be considered, as the annual allowance is intended to help political parties defray their administration and operating costs including costs incurred in complying with their obligations under provincial statutes.  Within three months of being appointed, the allowance commissioner must submit a report to the speaker setting out their decisions, though the speaker may extend that period.
“Around the world, we know that strong democracies encourage the growth of many diverse political parties,” Howard said.  “This legislation builds on previous measures taken to ensure a level political playing field including the banning of corporate and union donations and a set election date.  It will help ensure that Manitobans continue to have a choice between many points of view when they select their legislative representatives.”
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Passing of a great leader

September 14, 2012


Today, Manitobans join their friends in Alberta and across Canada in mourning the death of Peter Lougheed, premier of Alberta from 1971 to 1985.
Premier Lougheed was a province builder and a nation builder.  He understood the need to invest in education, in the environment and in the people he was elected to serve.
In later years, Mr. Lougheed continued to speak eloquently about public policy principles and goals, stressing the importance of genuine ongoing dialogue between the federal government and the provinces and territories, as well as the need to ensure that Canadians in all provinces and territories realize the maximum economic benefit from their resource heritage.
On behalf of the people of Manitoba, I extend sympathies to his widow Jeanne, his children Stephen, Andrea, Pam and Joe, and his seven grandchildren.
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I had the greatest respect of Mr. Lougheed. He is one of those PM who appeared to have his pulse on the people he served and he served them well. May his soul rest in peace.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Consumer Protection re Cellphone Contract Rules - Thank You Manitoba Government!

September 13, 2012


– – –
Companies Now Required to Disclose, Explain All Charges, Fees, Terms
A new law taking effect Sept. 15 will ensure families are better equipped to make informed decisions before, during and after signing a cellphone contract, Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau announced today.
“Today, many families depend on cellphones.  This new legislation will help Manitobans get the cellphone contract that is right for their family by ensuring service providers give them the information they need to make informed decisions,” Rondeau said.
The new legislation:
  • requires companies to provide a copy of the contract to consumers before the contract begins;
  • requires companies to fully disclose and explain all charges, fees and terms;
  • restricts companies from making unilateral changes to contract terms;
  • allows consumers to cancel contracts at any time for a reasonable cancellation fee;
  • requires the minimum monthly cost to be included in cellphone advertisements;
  • restricts automatic cellphone contract renewals; and
  • increases consumer protection for cellphone contracts not signed in person including contracts made over the Internet. 
“Manitoba now has some of the best consumer protection laws in Canada for cellphone contracts.  These new rules will make it even easier to understand the costs and terms of cellphone contracts,” said Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross, on behalf of Rondeau at an event today.
Companies will still be allowed to offer contracts that are three years or longer, and charge fees to unlock a cell phone or provide paper bills.  However, the charges, fees and terms of these services now must be clearly disclosed in the cellphone contract.
The Consumer Protection Office will be monitoring industry practices to ensure compliance with the new legislation.  Businesses that do not comply may be issued administrative penalties of up to $1,000 for the first offence, $3,000 for the second offence and $5,000 for all subsequent offences.
Fair and clear cellphone contracts are part of Manitoba’s five-year plan for stronger protection for consumers, Irvin-Ross said.  More information on the plan is available at:
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Upcoming Event - Jamaica Proclamation Ceremony Sept. 29

Hello Everyone,
SPECIAL ATTENTION: Nadia Thompson, Damyan Hemans (President, Jamaican Association), & Audrey Gordon

We now have firm confirmation from Minister, The Hon. Christine Melnick’s  office and from Benjamin Amoyaw, Coordinator for the Ministry of Multiculturalism and Immigration that September 29, 2012 is reserved for our Proclamation Ceremony.  As previously planned , it will be held at the Jamaican Cultural Centre, from 12:00 Noon to end by 3:00 PM.

The program will be finalized ASAP and will include: Welcome, The Jamaica Pledge, The Jamaican Anthem, Independence Message from Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Proclamation Message from Minister Christine Melnick,  possibility of Video depicting some of Jamaica50 recent events, Music etc. 
To everyone, please assist by inviting/phoning relatives, friends, community contacts to join us on September 29 at NOON.

Thank you! Blessings!
 Carmen Nembhardt
Honorary Consul for Jamaica
204 256 9137
Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Erin Selby announces that the interest rate for Manitoba student loans has been reduced to Prime at the University of Manitoba. Also pictured are University of Manitoba president and vice-chancellor David Barnard and Graduate Students’ Association representative RoTimi Ojo.
Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Erin Selby announces that the interest rate for Manitoba student loans has been reduced to Prime at the University of Manitoba. Also pictured are University of Manitoba president and vice-chancellor David Barnard and Graduate Students’ Association representative RoTimi Ojo
September 12, 2012


– – –
Student Loan Interest Rate Reduced to Prime
Changes under the Student Aid Act have reduced the interest rate on Manitoba student loans from prime plus 1.5 per cent to prime, Advance Education and Literacy Minister Erin Selby announced today.
“Education creates opportunities for future success and today’s announcement will make getting an education more affordable by reducing the costs of repaying loans,” said Selby.  “Our plan is working.  We’re seeing record enrolments in our college and university programs this year and this is another step forward in making post-secondary education accessible for all Manitobans.”
Just over 12,000 student borrowers are now benefitting from these new low interest rates, which came into effect Sept. 1.
“The government of Manitoba has committed to sustained, predictable funding that has allowed us to make strategic investments to enhance the outstanding education we offer at the University of Manitoba,” said president and vice-chancellor David Barnard.  “More favourable and flexible student loan options will help students as they make the most important investment in their lives, an education that is the launching point for lifelong success.”
Selby also announced that students can now earn more money during the study period without it affecting their student loan eligibility.  Previously, students could earn up to $50 per week during the study period without their income affecting their eligibility for student aid.  That amount has been raised to $100 per week.
“The Manitoba government has made significant investments in supports for university and college students to make post-secondary education within reach to more Manitobans,” said Selby.  “We will continue to find innovative ways to help students access higher learning.”
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