Thursday, December 27, 2012

How are you doing today?  Did you go to work or are you still on holidays? I hope you had a great Christmas this year, everyone on their best behaviours and no big family dramas. Why is it that people like to dredge up the past while chowing down around the Christmas table? I'd like to hear about your Christmas story, good or bad.  Thank you,

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays all my friends

First of all thank you for visiting my blog and for those of you who take the time to comment or to let me know how you feel about the article.
It is my absolute pleasure to wish you a very happy holidays to you and your family. I wish you peace, prosperity and purpose today. I wish you love for your family and for mankind for with love in your heart your world is perfect and everything is as it should be. Even though I do not know you physically, we are connected because we are spirit and we are one.
My love goes out to all of you and I hope we keep our connection strong. Enjoy the treats, the conversations, the gifts and the giving.
From my family to yours.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Premier Selinger's Holiday Message

December 21, 2012


– – –
Fines Total More Than $84,000
Manitoba Family Services and Labour advises employers should be aware it is their role to ensure workplaces are safe and employees receive proper training.  When a workplace incident occurs, Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) investigates and can recommend prosecution if it is determined the employer did not have appropriate safeguards in place or employees had not been properly trained.
On March 23, 2009, a 45-year-old worker at Western Scrap Metals Inc. in Winnipeg was fatally injured on the job.  The worker was unloading bales of recycled paper from a trailer when two bales dislodged and fell on the worker.
On Dec. 11, 2012, the employer plead guilty under section 4(2)(b) of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act to charges of failing to provide the necessary information, instruction, training, supervision and facilities to reasonably ensure the safety, health and welfare at work of all its workers.
The company was ordered to pay $72,500 in fines and surcharges.
On July 13, 2010, a building with asbestos-containing material located at 123 Regent Ave. East in Winnipeg was demolished.  The owners (Nat-Al Ltd.) demolished the building, without informing WSH or the company who conducted the demolition, that it contained asbestos-containing materials.
On Dec. 13, 2012, the employer plead guilty under section 7.2(a) of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act to the charge of proceeding with the demolition of a building containing asbestos-containing material without removing the asbestos in a manner that does not create a risk to the safety and health of any person.
The company was ordered to pay $12,050 in fines and surcharges.
More information on Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health and the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act is available at
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Thursday, December 20, 2012


1.0 EFT

A Parent Coach provides home-based services to families that strengthen and empower parents in their parenting roles. They encourage the development of positive parenting practices through building communication, problem solving and conflict resolution skills. They help parents develop and understand realistic expectations of children’s development and temperament while supporting the parent’s need for taking care of their homes and themselves.


  • Post-secondary education in human services
  • Minimum of 5 years direct experience working with children and families
  • Equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered
  • Ability to use interventions that include helping skills, exploring options, problem solving, structured activities, role modeling and coaching
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and conflict resolution skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work with parents and children with conditions such as mental illness, Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome etc
  • Ability to respectfully engage children, parents and/or community members to build trust and foster the development of positive, cooperative relationships
  • Understanding and acceptance of diversity
  • Current certification in Emergency First Aid and Infant and Child C.P.R.
  • Ability to carry out the physical aspects of the job such as the ability to climb a minimum of 3 flights of stairs, to participate with children in activities that require walking, kneeling and bending, and the occasional lifting/carrying of children or other items
  • Clear Child Abuse and Criminal Record Check

Candidates must be available to work flexible hours, including three evenings per week. A vehicle and valid Driver’s license is required for travel between clients

SALARY:    $15.22 to $18.31 per hour, 40 hours per week as per Collective Agreement

Submit Resumes by December 28, 2012 to:

Carrie Potts, Manager, Human Resources

                                                                                                 POSTED:  December 10, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


POSITION TITLE:             Manager, Entry Program for Older Adult Immigrants
(1.0 EFT - 12 Month Contract)


REPORTS TO:                 Chief Executive Officer

The Manager, Entry Program for Older Adult Immigrants is responsible for providing leadership and direction to this program and its related activities.

Specifically, the incumbent is responsible for initiating and making decisions about the strategic direction, organization and evaluation of designated services and programs within the assigned portfolio including client service, human/financial/material resource management, staff development and operational planning, quality management, education, and research.

The incumbent works in collaboration with all staff, volunteers, community partners and funders to achieve harmony and to ensure the Agency’s Mission and service goals are attained.


A Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (CTESL) is required. A University degree in a relevant discipline is desirable. Must have a demonstrated understanding of the principles of adult education.

Experience, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

v Demonstrated background and experience in working with individuals from diverse backgrounds is essential. Must be eligible for registration in the discipline appropriate professional body.
v Minimum of 5 years direct experience in a related area.
v Comprehensive knowledge of professional practice standards and ability to apply skills and knowledge to routine work.
v Knowledge of issues facing older adult newcomers to Canada.
v Demonstrated ability to foster a collaborative environment.
v Demonstrated interpersonal, leadership, organizational and teaching skills including the ability to influence and motivate others.
v Ability to manage conflict including conflict reduction and resolution.
v Exemplary communication skills both verbally and in writing.
v Ability to relate to people in a friendly, courteous manner.
v Ability to work in a cross-cultural context.
v Ability to work independently and as a part of a team.
v Ability to organize and adjust to variable workloads or interruptions as required.

Please submit resume to:
Alice Perry, Business Manager
A&O: Support Services for Older Adults
200-280 Smith St.
Winnipeg, MB  R3C 1K2

CLOSING DATE:  12:00 pm, Friday, January 4, 2013

Governments of Canada and Manitoba celebrate affordable housing for newcomers in Winnipeg. L/R: Lindsay Ward, Past President of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCOM), Abdikheir Ahmed, Executive Director of IRCOM, Jeanine Nziguheba, IRCOM community member, Vic Toews, Federal, Public Safety Minister, Kerri Irvin-Ross, Manitoba Minister of Housing and Community Development and Glenn Cheater, Board President of IRCOM
Governments of Canada and Manitoba celebrate affordable housing for newcomers in Winnipeg. L/R: Lindsay Ward, Past President of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCOM), Abdikheir Ahmed, Executive Director of IRCOM, Jeanine Nziguheba, IRCOM community member, Vic Toews, Federal, Public Safety Minister, Kerri Irvin-Ross, Manitoba Minister of Housing and Community Development and Glenn Cheater, Board President of IRCOM
December 17, 2012


Winnipeg, Manitoba – The Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba announced today that renovations are underway for 60 apartment units at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM) building on Isabel Street. The redesign of a former apartment complex will enhance housing quality and accessibility for newcomers to Winnipeg.
The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety and Member of Parliament for Provencher, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); and the Honourable Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Housing and Community Development made the announcement.
“Our Government is providing a hand-up to those who need it most here in Winnipeg and in all corners of the country,” said Minister Toews. “Funding projects like this one will not only improve the overall housing conditions for low-income families, but also helps to stimulate the local economy and create jobs.”
“Affordable and adequate housing for newcomers to Canada is a fundamental requirement to begin a new and successful life,” said Minister Irvin-Ross. “As a province, Manitoba has a proud tradition of welcoming immigrants to our great province and we continue to support the development of more affordable housing for our growing communities. We are well on our way to meeting the goals of our five-year plan of creating 1,500 new affordable homes.”
The IRCOM Isabel project received an estimated $14.7 million in federal and provincial investment. Renovations to the complex will include new windows, roof, doors and landscaping with a minimum of one barrier-free apartment per floor. In addition, a new ventilation and security system will be installed. The new interiors will be designed to allow for flexible apartment sizes to accommodate multi-generational and larger families. The new floor plan will have 12 one-bedroom, 24 two-bedroom and 24 three-bedroom units. The innovative flexible designs will allow IRCOM to house family sizes from two to 10 family members.
“Over the past two decades, thousands of our fellow Manitobans got their start at our IRCOM Ellen facility and have gone on to contribute tremendously to our province,” said Glenn Cheater, chair of the IRCOM board of directors. “There is no question history will repeat itself at IRCOM Isabel. This is a hand-up, not a handout, and an investment that will pay rich dividends for the entire province in the years and decades to come.”
IRCOM offers secure, affordable apartments to newcomer families for up to three years after their arrival. In addition, the organization provides onsite supports and services including an after-school program for children and youth, a community resource program that connects community members with employment, education, and various health resources and a literacy initiative which consists of English as an additional language classes.
Funding for this project was made available through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the federal government’s plan to stimulate the economy and create jobs during the global recession. The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to this overall investment of $176 million under the amended Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Program Agreement.
The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest approximately $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, people 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 committed to the development of 1,500 affordable housing units across the province and has already approved 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
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Global Eyes Magazine

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18, 2012


Manitobans are invited to nominate a worthy group or organization for the Council of the Federation’s first-ever Excellence in Water Stewardship Award, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
“Canada’s provincial and territorial premiers have established this annual award to recognize and honour organizations that successfully demonstrate excellence, leadership and innovation in water stewardship,” said Selinger.  “There is a great deal of work underway in this province to protect and save our water resources, and I encourage Manitobans to recognize the people undertaking this work by submitting a nomination.”
The award builds on the council’s water charter, which recognizes the collective obligation of Canadians and their governments to be responsible water stewards.  The award includes a $1,000 grant, a certificate signed by the premier and a distinctive trophy, and will be presented on World Water Day on March 22. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 31.
“Here in Manitoba we are fortunate to have a number of organizations that are working hard to protect and enhance the province’s lakes, rivers and wetlands,” said Selinger.  “An award like this brings recognition and attention to the good work that takes place here and shows that individual Manitobans and organizations are working together to produce big results.”
The Council of the Federation supports collaboration and intergovernmental relations among Canada’s provinces and territories.  The Water Stewardship Council provides strategic advice on the implementation of a water charter that guides jurisdictions in their work such as water conservation, adaptation to climate change, co-operative work with municipalities and Canada’s Water Week.  More information on the water charter and the Council of the Federation is available at
The premier also noted the new award builds on work underway to raise awareness about water issues and to implement TomorrowNow – Manitoba’s Green Plan, the province’s eight-year strategic plan for protecting the environment while ensuring a prosperous and environmentally conscious economy.  For more information on the plan, visit:
To find out more about the Excellence in Water Stewardship Award and to get a copy of the nomination package, contact Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship at 204-945-3814 or visit
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Monday, December 17, 2012

Massive New RCMP Databank to Track Visitors to Canada

By Matthew Behrens

            As major changes to Canada’s immigration system come into effect, one little publicized set of regulations will significantly impact privacy rights and, potentially, the future safety of those who wish to visit this country. Disturbingly, these regulations continue the trend of assigning the  presumption of guilt to anyone from non-European and Muslim-majority countries.

            On December 8, the Canada Gazette published a notice that biometric data (photographs and fingerprints) will soon be required for visitors from a list of some 30 countries, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, territories governed by the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam and Yemen.

            Once the system is set up in the fall of 2013, it will affect as many as 300,000 people annually, impacting Canadian academic institutions, employers of so-called foreign workers, students from overseas, and the Canadian tourism industry. The cost of giving up such personal information will be $85 per person, in addition to a file held by the RCMP for at least 15 years.

            The government argues such measures are necessary to prevent the use of fraudulent documents and, in its standard canard, to maintain national security and the “integrity” of the immigration system. The list of countries was selected by immigration officials with the assistance of CSIS, the RCMP, Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (all agencies with a poor record of safeguarding individuals’ personal information, trading information with torturers, and mistreating members of Canada’s Arabic, South Asian, and Muslim communities).

Palestinians, But Not Israelis
            Notably, the regulations explain “Canadian foreign and trade policy objectives” were considered in creating this list which may explain why major trading partners such as China do not appear. Neither does Israel, whose Mossad agents have a history of using fraudulent Canadian passports to engage in assassination plots.

            Some exceptions are carved out for individuals under the age of 14 or over 79, as well as diplomatic staff and their families, refugee claimants, anyone coming to the Pan-American Games, and members of visiting armed forces.  The regulations claim this program will not affect those applying for permanent resident status, but provide no guarantee that this is where the invasion of privacy ends, for “future steps for broader implementation may be considered at a later date.”

            After two federal judicial inquiries found that the RCMP was complicit in torture for, among other things, improperly sharing information on Canadian citizens that was both false and clearly based on stereotypes arising from racial and religious profiling, critics are concerned about the agencies and countries with whom the Mounties will share this vast trove of new data. The regulations state the Mounties can share with Canadian law enforcement and the United States under a joint Canadian-U.S. declaration, “Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.” That document states “we intend to work together to establish and verify the identities of travellers and conduct screening at the earliest possible opportunity. We intend to work toward common technical standards for the collection, transmission, and matching of biometrics that enable the sharing of information on travellers in real time.”

            Will the Mounties share personal information with overseas intelligence agencies in home countries that could in turn be used to harass, detain, and interrogate those who have visited Canada? Would questions arise about who was visited while here, the political opinions of individuals befriended in Canada, which mosque one prayed at, what the imam said during Friday prayer, what opponents of the regime may have been saying in Canada, and a host of other fishing expeditions that are not at all unrealistic given the findings of the above-mentioned inquiries?

            The government claims individuals worried about such basic civil liberties issues have no need for concern, as anyone who wants to visit will be informed as to the “potential uses of their personal information.” But how? Will that not be like providing those pages of fine print one sees in a credit card application when one needs a cash advance to cover the rent? Few people who need the credit read the terms and conditions anymore than it is likely that someone desperate to get to Canada will be provided a full tutorial of what the caveats mean, much less an overview of Canada’s history of abusing such provisos.

RCMP Holds Files
             This expanding era of data collection is based on a little-noticed field trial in which the CBSA and RCMP collected biometric data on some 14,000 temporary resident visa, study and work applicants in 2006/07. With the Harper government’s unrelenting rhetoric equating immigrants to Canada with risk and insecurity, it is unsurprising that this program is now on the books.

            “The fingerprints collected abroad would be sent to the RCMP for storage and would be checked against the fingerprint records of refugee claimants, previous deportees, persons with criminal records, and previous temporary resident applicants before a visa decision is made,” the regulations state, adding that since Canada does not currently have a biometric screening system, it will become a target for “bad faith travellers.”

            Bad faith travellers (one wonders, since this is directed at Muslim-majority countries, the extent to which this is an unintended pun) include “failed refugee claimants.” It’s a sweeping generalization that fails to account for the serious decline in acceptance rates that has little to do with the validity of a person’s requirements for asylum and more to do with poor advice, lack of an effective appeal, and increasingly narrow parameters in refugee decisionmaking.

Expanding Surveillance State
            In assuming that Muslim-majority countries produce “bad faith travellers” Canada is consistent with similarly broad targetting directed at these same populations either overseas or domestically. Examples of such profiling include the New York City “create and capture” program, in which police informants would attempt to bait Muslims into making inflammatory statements that could be used to justify future arrests, as well as the annual targetting by Toronto police of over 400,000 people during “non-criminal stops,” at which largely young black and brown-skinned men are asked their names, addresses, where they’re going, and who they’re with, all of which goes into police databanks. These numbers are higher per capita than New York City, and are matched in Ottawa, where racial profiling by police has led to human rights complaints and a new study that will document the ethnicity of those drivers stopped by police. (That study will not include pedestrians or cyclists similarly stopped, and, while likely confirming what most already know, fails to get at the root of the problem.)

            Overseas, Canadian Forces now collect iris scans of individuals they detain or who “act suspiciously,” with the view to supporting the work of other governmental departments. In other words, someone wrongly detained in Afghanistan who later seeks to come to Canada is already red flagged because they had previously been deemed “suspect” or of “bad faith”.  (The U.S. military has over 2 million such scans from Iraq and Afghanistan).

            How lethal does such targetting become? It certainly justifies President Barack Obama’s signing off on drone strikes, allowing him to claim civilian “collateral damage” deaths are so low because, as the New York Times reported May 29, Obama’a policy “in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants… unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.”

            Canada’s improper use of private information has led to overseas detention and torture, and its failure to implement the Arar Inquiry’s recommendations on information sharing – among other necessary safeguards to prevent the kind of guilty-until-proven-innocent logic of racial profiling – does not bode well for those supplying their prints and pictures to a visitor program that, within a decade, will possess over 3 million files.

(this story originally appeared in the December, 2012 edition of Muslim Link)

Matthew Behrens coordinates the Homes not Bombs nonviolent direct action network, which in 2013 will celebrate its 15th anniversary of transformative justice work, from the founding and continuing work of the Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada and Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture to its work organizing sanctuary for refugees, training in nonviolence, resistance at weapons factories (including work to end Canadian construction of drone components from 2002 onwards as well as Canadian involvement in space warfare) and education on resisting the personal and institutional roots of violence in our society.

To support our ongoing work, you can send a donation to Homes not Bombs at PO Box 2020, 57 Foster Street, Perth, ON K7H 1R0

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12, 2012


Attorney General Andrew Swan today announced the appointment of Margaret Wiebe to the provincial court of Manitoba.
“Margaret Wiebe brings years of experience, dedication and skill to her new position,” said Swan.   “I’m confident the qualities that made her an exceptional lawyer will help her become a judge who will use her skills to continue making a positive contribution to society and serve all Manitobans well.”
Wiebe received her law degree from the University of Manitoba in 1990 and holds a masters in business administration from Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C.  She has practised law in Winnipeg and Brandon and for the past decade has worked for the Canadian Wheat Board, most recently serving as its director of strategic planning.
Over the years, Wiebe has demonstrated a commitment to community service through various roles on the boards of directors of Special Olympics Manitoba and Special Olympics Canada, said Swan.
The new judge was selected from a list of candidates recommended by an independent judicial nominating committee.  The committee was chaired by Ken Champagne, the chief judge of the provincial court of Manitoba and included three community representatives, representatives of the Law Society of Manitoba and the Manitoba branch of the Canadian Bar Association, and a provincial court judge.
The appointment is effective immediately and an official swearing-in ceremony will be scheduled as soon as possible.
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The Manitoba Pork Council takes the undercover video seriously

Would you eat an animal that was maltreated on its way to your table? Many people may not mind this but a growing number of people do mind about the manner in which animals are treated especially those destined to nourish their bodies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A critical examination of human rights
Museum must decide if stories are positive or negative
By: Dan Lett
A stamp honouring Viola Desmond, a figure in the fight for civil rights in Nova Scotia, was issued by Canada Post earlier this year. Is her story a positive or critical one of Canada’s human rights record? (CANADA POST HANDOUT)
It was always accepted that somewhere in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the story of Viola Desmond would be told.

Desmond, a Nova Scotia salon owner, was arrested in 1946 for refusing to leave the main floor of a New Glasgow movie theatre, which was open only to whites. She was fined $20 plus $6 in court costs after being charged with fraud by the Nova Scotia government.

As a black woman, the theatre would only sell her a balcony seat. When she insisted on sitting in a more expensive, whites-only main-floor seat, the government argued she had essentially evaded paying an additional cent of tax on the higher-priced ticket.
Desmond failed in her bid to fight the charge. She eventually left Nova Scotia for Montreal and then New York City, where she died in 1965 at the age of 50.
Barely publicized outside Nova Scotia, Desmond's case is considered one of the seminal racial-segregation stories of the 20th century. Desmond received a posthumous pardon for her crime in 2010. Although that could never erase the racism she faced, the pardon is nonetheless considered a victory by human rights activists.

That Desmond's story will be told in the CMHR is without doubt. However, to this point no one is exactly sure how it will be told. This is an important issue, for it is in the question of "how" that we will see the true nature and purpose of the museum.
This was the question at the heart of recent concerns about political manipulation of CMHR content by the board of trustees and perhaps by the federal government itself. The controversy was kicked off by a letter, written by a museum vice-president, in which it is noted the board of trustees had asked that more "positive, optimistic" Canadian stories be added to one gallery. Critics seized upon those words as evidence the board was manipulating content to be less critical.

Again, it was never clear exactly what that meant; the museum was always designed to feature more shocking or disturbing content in its lower-level galleries, with more uplifting content in the upper levels. So, while visitors may be bombarded with acts of inhumanity at lower levels, they would be inspired by stories of triumph and courage in the higher galleries. However, even with the details of the museum's design taken into account, we still have no firm definition of a "positive" and "negative" human rights story.
For example, is Viola Desmond a "positive" or a "critical" story of the Canadian human rights experience? Is her story relevant because she was a champion of black rights, because of the injustice against her, or because ultimately the government of Nova Scotia admitted that injustice?

The same conundrum arises with other prominent Canadian human rights stories. Is the museum going to document the pain and suffering inflicted on aboriginal people by the residential school system, or focus solely on the federal government's decision to formally apologize and offer compensation?

Too much emphasis on the redress, without documenting the underlying injustice, is a manipulation of content.

Moreover, is celebrating the activists who fought to bring attention to the residential school issue a "positive" story, and if so, is that a bad thing? Tough call.

Ottawa has vehemently denied any attempt to dull the edge of the content, but there is no question the Conservative government has expectations. In an interview at the Free Press News Café this fall, Heritage Minister James Moore discussed the simmering conflict between the museum and some in the Ukrainian community.

There have been allegations the museum will underplay the Holodomor, one of the world's least publicized and studied genocides, in favour of content on the Holocaust, the most publicized and studied atrocity in recorded history. The debate over content has been a long, nasty affair that remains, to this day, unresolved. Moore did not offer an opinion directly on the conflict, but he said the museum must not be divisive.
"The museum is not going to be, cannot be, a source of division for this country.
Because taxpayers are not going to pump in $21 million a year if they see it as a perpetual source of division for the people of Winnipeg, the people of Manitoba and the people of Canada. It's not going to be tolerated."

Moore's assertion -- that controversy and divisiveness are separate commodities -- raises questions about whether the museum faces a no-win situation. The CMHR will, in many instances, deal with issues that are irreconcilable. These are the very definition of divisive issues, but the museum vision has always argued confronting these issues in a fair and balanced way furthers the cause of human rights.

No one has suggested a journey of that kind would be non-divisive; only that the journey itself was worth taking.

It has always been acknowledged that all the players involved in oversight of the museum -- management, board and the political masters -- would require a certain resolve to hold firm in the face of the anger and contempt that will flow from some of the content decisions.

If the absence of divisiveness is the only measure of success, then the CMHR is headed to a difficult future.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 10, 2012 0
December 7, 2012


BRANDON-Premier Greg Selinger officially opened a new worker advocacy centre here today in partnership with members of the Brandon and District Labour Council.
“This centre will provide residents of Brandon and Westman with the information, advice and representation they need to tap into job opportunities,” said Selinger.  “The Brandon workforce is critical as we grow our economy toward our target of 75,000 more workers by 2020.  More good jobs in Westman mean more young families will choose to put down roots here and this centre will connect workers with opportunities.”
The Brandon and District Worker Advocacy Centre (BDWAC) provides a range of services including information on training opportunities through employment insurance, career counselling, access to benefits, and help with job searches and financial management.
“We’re sure our office will be of great value to the workers in the region who need help filing and presenting appeals when dealing with employment insurance or other benefits,” said Del Davidson, president, BDWAC.  “Over the years we have seen these programs become more difficult to navigate and the appeals process become more intimidating.”
The new centre is non-profit, run by a volunteer board and employs full-time worker advocate Curtis Martel.  The new office is open to the general public from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
The new, community-based initiative complements existing provincial services such as employment standards services, a worker advisor office and a large Workplace Safety and Health Division presence in Brandon, said Selinger.
In February, the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Manitoba opened a Brandon office to service workers and employers located in Brandon and Westman.  The Brandon office provides initial adjudication of claims and case management functions, and offers a range of services such as health-care examinations, vocational rehabilitation and SAFE Work services.  In the past, customers travelled to Winnipeg for these services or Winnipeg WCB staff travelled to Brandon.
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December 9, 2012


Premier Greg Selinger today pledged $100,000 in provincial support to the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC) in response to  flooding in the southern Philippines caused by typhoon Bopha.
The natural disaster is reported to have killed more than 600 people, and left hundreds more missing and an estimated 400,000 homeless.
“Our thoughts are with those who have lost family and friends as a result of typhoon Bopha,” said Selinger.  “Manitobans stand in solidarity with those in the Philippines as they rebuild and recover from this devastating natural disaster.”
The MCIC is an independent coalition of development organizations that oversees the distribution of development dollars.
“When natural disasters strike, MCIC has proven effective at getting relief to the families that need it most as quickly as possible,” said Selinger.  “With this contribution, the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation will work with its member organizations to ensure assistance is distributed where it will provide the most benefit.”
Manitoba is home base for a number of organizations that do relief and development work overseas.  The province has developed a unique arrangement that funds these organizations through the MCIC.
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December 10, 2012


– – –
Southern Health-Santé Sud Proceeding With Architectural Design: Oswald
Planning work for the new Tabor Home seniors facility in Morden, which will have 66 per cent more beds than the current facility, is moving into the design and development phase, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.
“We are committed to seeing the Tabor Home project move forward to meet the needs of a growing number of seniors in the Morden and Winkler area,” said Oswald.  “The new Tabor Home will be a modern, state-of-the-art facility and the architectural design work now getting underway will ensure the new facility offers a home-like environment that will meet the needs of seniors of years to come.”
Extensive development work has already been completed to help fine-tune the plans for the new Tabor facility, which will see 100 beds in total, 80 of which will be personal-care home beds and the other 20 created to operate as supportive housing or personal-care home beds depending on the needs of seniors in the community, Oswald said. 
Like all health capital initiatives, Manitoba Health reviews projects at key stages to ensure they remain on track to meet provincial health, financial and architectural standards for health facilities to deliver safe, quality care to Manitoba families, the minister noted.  This review is complete and the Southern Health–Santé Sud has been authorized to proceed with design and development work that will see the architectural and engineering plans finalized and a tender for construction produced.
“Much of the work to plan and design a new health facility before construction starts isn’t visible to the public, so we wanted to take the time provide an update to families in Morden, Winkler and the surrounding area on the great progress that has been made by the dedicated board and staff at Tabor Home, Southern Health–Santé Sud and Manitoba Health,” said Oswald.  “This pre-construction work is essential to ensuring a well-designed facility that meets today's standards for personal-care homes.”
The current 37,130-square-foot facility includes 60 rooms that are a combination of single and double occupancy and shared bathrooms.  The planning work to date has helped identify the need for a new facility more than twice the size of the current personal care home, likely including five connected 20-bed wings, the minister said, adding all 100 rooms will be single-occupant rooms.  The building is being planned to achieve the energy performance levels consistent with a modern, geothermal serviced building as well as Manitoba Hydro’s Powersmart Program for New Buildings, Oswald said.
“We are very pleased with progress on the new Tabor personal-care home, and we thank the province and the Tabor Home governing board for their leadership and commitment to the project,” said Kathy McPhail, chief executive officer of Southern Health–Santé Sud.  “When completed, this new, modern facility will help us provide the best possible care to our deserving seniors, and more effectively meet our region’s growing need for personal-care services.”
“Building a new, expanded Tabor Home is a priority for our board, to ensure we can continue our tradition of providing high-quality care to seniors in our community,” said Wilf Warkentin, chair of the Tabor Home board. “We are excited to see the planning and design works continue so our new personal-care home can open as soon as possible.”
Like with all capital projects, planning work helps to refine the construction timeline, the minister said. Construction is now projected to get underway in spring 2014 and is anticipated to take approximately two years to complete.
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December 10, 2012


– – –
Independent Audit Confirms Manitoba's Affordability Advantage: Struthers
A new report released by Deloitte shows that Manitoba remains the most affordable province in the country when it comes to basic utility costs, Finance Minister Stan Struthers said today.
The report shows Manitobans pay an average annual cost of $2,815 for their electricity, heating and car insurance.  The next-lowest province is British Columbia with a price of $3,368 annually.  The province with the highest cost for the same services is Ontario, which is $4,800 higher than Manitoba.
“Manitoba’s affordability advantage is one of the things that make this such a great place to live,” said Struthers.  “This report demonstrates our government’s commitment to keeping life affordable for Manitoba families as we continue to grow our economy.  We believe that keeping a competitive minimum wage and ensuring low costs for basic services on which families rely is one of the best ways to preserve our high quality of life.”
The report examines the annual comparable cost of the utility bundle in each of the 10 Canadian provinces during the year ended March 31, 2012.  The report is the first in what will become a yearly examination of utility costs across the country to ensure that Manitoba’s costs remain collectively the lowest in the country, said Struthers.
For electricity, Manitobans pay $814 on average per year compared with the countrywide average of $1,330.  For home heating, Manitobans pay $849 compared to the Canadian average of $1,500 and car insurance is $1,152 in Manitoba while the national average is $2,014.
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December 11, 2012


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About 40 Per Cent of Small, Medium-sized Business Owners Expected to Retire in Next Five Years: Premier
To help retiring entrepreneurs meet the challenges of transferring their businesses to new owners and continue driving Manitoba’s economy, the provincial government will create the Manitoba Business Succession Resource Centre, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
“Throughout Manitoba, baby boomers who own small and medium-sized business are approaching retirement and want to ensure the future success of their operations,” Selinger said.  “The Manitoba Business Succession Resource Centre will be a one-stop shop offering the assistance they need to efficiently transfer their businesses to a new generation of entrepreneurs.”
It is estimated that 40 per cent of small and medium-sized business owners plan to retire in the next five years.  This means Manitoba’s business community will undergo a significant transition with the potential transfer of millions of dollars in business assets, the premier said.
Business succession planning is one way to ensure the extensive transfer of viable enterprises takes place effectively, promoting a healthy business community and a stronger economy, said Selinger.
“The new resource centre will build on the recently introduced the Employee Share Ownership Plan tax credit, which helps existing employees transition from employee to business owner, empowering employees and strengthening businesses and the Manitoba economy,” the premier said.
The Business Succession Resource Centre will be delivered through a new single-point of contact business services organization that was announced in the province’s recent throne speech.  The resource centre will showcase resources and business information specific to business succession including offering workshops, seminars and guides, business counselling services and access to industry professionals.
Enhancements will also be made to the Manitoba business website, highlighting the resources and programming specific to business succession, Selinger said.
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Jean-Claude Bernheim Receives the 2012 Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections Award
Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:01am EST
Today, Mr. Howard Sapers, Correctional Investigator of Canada, is pleased
to announce that M. Jean-Claude Bernheim, Lecturer at Laval University,
has been presented with the 2012 Ed McIsaac Human Rights in Corrections
    In presenting the award, Mr. Sapers acknowledged M. Bernheim's
distinguished career as a leading criminologist and advocate for fair and
humane treatment of prisoners. "Jean-Claude has made a tremendous and
exemplary contribution to the advancement of human rights and corrections
in Quebec, Canada and around the world," said Mr. Sapers. "He is a
distinguished and deserving recipient of the values and service that this
award represents." 
    A Criminologist by training, M. Bernheim has devoted his career to the
advancement of human rights for prisoners on both the Canadian and world
stage. M. Bernheim has published extensively on the treatment of
prisoners in Canada - with a special focus on criminal justice issues
affecting his home province of Quebec. Affiliated with several prominent
human rights organizations and universities across Canada, he is a
well-recognized social justice advocate and scholar.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Pomme is French for Apple Celebrates 2nd anniversary

Premier Greg Selinger and Health Minister Theresa Oswald watch Diana Bayles of the Heart and Strike Foundation demonstrate a simple to use automated external defibrillator.  The province is providing more than 1,000 free defibrillators to public places to ensure the life saving devices are nearby to help cardiac arrest victims.
Premier Greg Selinger and Health Minister Theresa Oswald watch Diana Bayles of the Heart and Strike Foundation demonstrate a simple to use automated external defibrillator. The province is providing more than 1,000 free defibrillators to public places to ensure the life saving devices are nearby to help cardiac arrest victims

Upcoming Event

December 5, 2012


On behalf of the members of the legislative assembly, Premier Greg Selinger is inviting Manitobans and all visitors to the province to the annual open house at the Legislative Building on Saturday, Dec. 8.
From 1 to 3 p.m., the premier, cabinet ministers and members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) will be on hand to welcome visitors to their offices.  The Blue Room, the lieutenant-governor’s reception room, will be open for public viewing and the office of Speaker of the house will be open as well as party caucus rooms and offices, the legislative reading room and the clerk of the legislative assembly’s office.
The children’s activity centre in Room 254 will be open to children accompanied by an adult from 1 to 3 p.m.  Craft stations and colouring activities from Art City, face painting and a balloon artist will be available all afternoon.  Loonette and Molly will visit from 1:15 to 1:45 p.m. and be sure to watch for a special guest at the top of the Grand Staircase at 1:30 p.m.
Musical performances featuring choirs from Vincent Massey Collegiate, the Winnipeg Youth Chorus, Maples Collegiate, Kildonan East Collegiate and Clifton School will take place on the Grand Staircase.  The Air Command Band and VoxAir vocal quartet will be carolling throughout the building.  The longstanding tradition of the MLA choir being led by the Speaker of the legislature will take place at 3 p.m.
Complimentary festive season photos will be taken in the Rotunda from 1 to 3 p.m.  All those planning to attend are asked to bring a non-perishable food item or unwrapped toy for the Christmas Cheer Board.
“Our famous bison have been under protective covering for months while our historic Grand Staircase skylight was undergoing a much-needed refurbishment.  The work is now completed and we invite everyone to come and see how wonderful it all looks,” the premier said.  “Join us as we kick off the festive season in grand style.”
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Youth Leaders

Calling Youths Interested in Human Rights!!

Subject: FW: Seeking Youth Ages 16 - 35 for Human Rights Programs 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Global Youth Connect
Date: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 10:27 AM
Subject: Seeking Youth Ages 16 - 35 for Human Rights Programs
Dear Shayna,

I wanted to share some human rights learning and activism
opportunities with you and with your networks: Global Youth Connect's
Summer 2013 human rights programs in the USA and in Rwanda.

The application deadlines for both programs are January 7th (early
decision) and February 15, 2013 (regular deadline). The applications
are available for download at

Please see below for more details (including links to our most recent
reports from our Summer 2012 Human Rights in the USA program, and our
Human Rights in Rwanda program).

We'd greatly appreciate your support in spreading the word about
these programs to young leaders (and budding young leaders) from the
USA, Canada and around the world. To access our announcement on
Facebook, please visit:

Many thanks in advance. We would never be able to run these programs
without your support!

Happy Holidays to you and yours,

Jesse Hawkes
Executive Director
Global Youth Connect

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

December 3, 2012


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Consolidation of Court Venues to Provide More Time for Judges in Court, Less Time Travelling
The Government of Manitoba will provide swifter justice by consolidating circuit court venues around the province, Justice Minister Andrew Swan announced today.
The minister said the change is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to streamline operations and deliver services in the most cost-efficient manner.
“Manitobans expect us to maximize our resources. We want to have judges spend more time hearing cases and less time travelling,” said Swan.  “This careful consolidation of resources between neighbouring communities will allow us to maximize court time and resolve cases more quickly.”
A review of Manitoba circuit courts showed that consolidating court venues will increase scheduling flexibility.  Greater flexibility will allow cases to be heard more quickly and reduce time an individual spends on remand in or out of custody, said Swan, adding the changes will support the capacity of judges to manage full-day dockets in each location, rather than only a partial day.
The distance between locations was taken into consideration so that additional travel will not create an undue hardship on the public, the minister said.  Court services will be consolidated in the following locations:
  • Killarney court dates will be heard in Boissevain,
  • Neepawa court dates will be heard in Minnedosa,
  • Amaranth court dates will be heard in Sandy Bay,
  • Carman court dates will be heard in Morden,
  • Morris court dates will be heard in Emerson,
  • Lac du Bonnet court dates will be heard in Beausejour, and
  • Teulon court dates will be heard in Stonewall.
The changes will take effect as soon as possible, given existing court schedules, said Swan.
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(l-r) at podium, Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation Steve Ashton and Minister of Justice Andrew Swan are joined by representatives of Police, Fire and Paramedic first responders at announcement of proposed new rules to improve safety for Manitoba emergency crews and roadside workers.
(l-r) at podium, Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation Steve Ashton and Minister of Justice Andrew Swan are joined by representatives of Police, Fire and Paramedic first responders at announcement of proposed new rules to improve safety for Manitoba emergency crews and roadside workers.December 4, 2012


– – –
Motorists Would Have to Travel at Lower Speed When Passing Police, Firefighters, Paramedics, Tow Trucks When Beacons Flashing: Ashton
New rules would better protect emergency and other roadside workers by setting lower speed limits for motorists as they pass emergency or other designated vehicles stopped or working on a highway, Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton announced today.
“Emergency workers must be able to do their jobs without fear of being hit by a speeding vehicle,” Ashton said.  “It is tragic when police, paramedics, firefighters or other emergency workers are hurt or killed while helping injured people at an accident scene or when assisting stranded motorists on the roadside.”
Under this plan, there would be areduced speed limit of 40 km/h on highways where there is a normal speed limit of less than 79 km/h, when passing emergency or designated vehicles (tow trucks and vehicles used by government enforcement officers) stopped or working on the highway, with their beacons flashing, Ashton said.  Where the normal speed limit is 80 km/h or more, the reduced speed limit would be 60 km/h.
Current rules require motorists to proceed with caution when approaching emergency vehicles on their side of a highway.  The new rules would also require drivers to slow down and proceed with caution when approaching an emergency or designated vehicle working on either side of the highway, unless it is a divided highway, the minister said.
In situations where traffic is flowing in two directions on an undivided highway, the new rules would clearly improve safety as vehicles are required to slow down, regardless of their direction of travel, Ashton said.  This is similar to the requirement for motorists to stop for a school bus that has a warning device operating, regardless of direction of travel on an undivided highway.
In addition, the new rules would authorize firefighters to control traffic during emergencies and at collision scenes when the police are not at the scene, or under the direction of a police officer.
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