Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Check out this video

Ready for 2014

Are you ready to kick your heels up in 2014?

Look at me - I am ready to bring in the New Year!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Reminder Greenhouse-gas emissions ban takes effect in the New Year

December 23, 2013 REMINDER THAT COAL, PETROLEUM COKE HEATING BAN TAKES EFFECT JAN. 1 – – – Ban Designed to Cut Greenhouse-gas Emissions Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship reminds Manitobans that, earlier this year, the provincial government introduced North America’s first petroleum coke and coal heating ban. Because coal burning is a significant contributor to climate change, Manitoba is banning the use of coal for space heating. Other fuel, such as locally available biomass or other forms of green heat like geothermal energy, can be substituted for coal to help the environment and the economy. Petroleum coke is derived from oil refining and, while it has been used as an alternative to coal, it is also a significant contributor to climate change. It is being banned as well. Key elements of the ban include: •as of Jan. 1, coal and petroleum coke will be prohibited from being used as space-heating fuels; •North America’s first coal heating ban will be phased in beginning Jan. 1, with a grace period up to July 1, 2017, if an approved conversion plan is filed by June 30, 2014; •anyone who has not submitted conversion plans by June 30, 2014, or does not implement their plans by June 30, 2017, may face a fine; and •conversion plans must identify the new energy source, provide details on new equipment or modification to existing equipment, set out proposed timelines for conversion and provide details on the amount of coal or petroleum coke used in previous years. To help people move from coal to other heating sources, Manitoba has introduced the Biomass Energy Support Program. The program provides financial assistance to coal users and biomass processors as they transition towards bio-based energy systems and supply chains. Manitoba has three to five million tonnes of biomass available annually. Since the emissions tax on coal was announced in 2011 and the pending ban on coal heating was introduced, many small coal users have already made the switch to alternatives or have plans to do so. It is expected that the ban will reduce emissions by 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes, the equivalent of taking between 10,000 and 20,000 cars off the road. For more information, the Coal and Petroleum Coke Ban for Space Heating Regulation can be viewed at This initiative is part of Tomorrow Now – Manitoba’s Green Plan, designed to build a green economy while protecting the environment. More information on Tomorrow Now is available at: - 30 -

Friday, December 20, 2013

December 17, 2013 PROVINCE ANNOUNCES 'BUY MANITOBA' SALES ON THE RISE, SUPPORT LOCALLY PRODUCED PRODUCTS, PRODUCERS Manitoba’s economy is getting a boost from the Buy Manitoba campaign, as sales of products grown or processed in Manitoba are on the rise, Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn said today. From May 1, 2012, to April 30, 2013, sales of marked Buy Manitoba products in Safeway stores throughout the province grew 2.4 per cent over the previous year. Total product sales among participating Manitoba companies increased by approximately $1.5 million. “Manitobans want to buy food products that are grown or produced right here in our province,” said Minister Kostyshyn. “The local food industry thrives on entrepreneurs who aren’t afraid to compete with the world market. We are pleased to see local producers creating new food products, good jobs and new economic opportunities.” Preliminary data shows eight companies participating in the Buy Manitoba program have added 38 new jobs over the past year. There are now 81 Manitoba food producers and processors registered as participants in the program and participating companies have achieved a 5.4 per cent increase in the number of new products for a total of over 60 new Manitoba products listed in grocery and food service outlets in the province. Safeway, the program’s official retail launch partner, has placed Buy Manitoba signs and shelf markers throughout its 33 Manitoba stores. “Buy Manitoba is a highly visible symbol that celebrates the incredible local selection available at Safeway,” said John Graham, director, public affairs and government relations, Safeway. “Manitoba companies, both smaller vendors and nationally known, are directly benefiting from this added profile as customers are showing their support for local options. The Buy Manitoba program provides a valuable method of educating our customers on the availability of local product and ultimately strengthens Manitoba’s economy through the purchase of that product.” “I am very encouraged by the results we have achieved in running this program for the food industry,” said Dave Shambrock, executive director, Manitoba Food Processors Association. “Buy Manitoba promotes and supports a range of companies from small vendors that sell their artisanal products at farmers’ markets to large companies whose products are available at many retailers. For Manitoba’s artisanal food producers, the program provides ways to connect with more customers seeking unique quality foods.” Consumers are encouraged to look for the Buy Manitoba logo this holiday season while dining out. There are many food producers who have storefronts with dining areas featuring the freshest-possible product. “Much has changed since we first started selling homemade cheesecakes out of a small Winnipeg pizzeria to restaurants in the city,” said Darlene Landino, owner, Double D’s Cheesecake and Coffee House in St. Vital. “Now we have a large production facility and an18-seat coffee house, and it happened because our clients trusted the quality and freshness of our product and they wanted to support a local producer and fellow Manitoban.” Buy Manitoba will be expanding its retail presence and has designed new signage to be featured at specialty retailers throughout the province. The program will expand to smaller independent retailers, such as Bernstein’s Deli, Calderwood’s Country Store in Dominion City, Generation Green at The Forks, Downtown Family Foods and well-known Manitoba chains such as Vita Health and Food Fare. For more information on Buy Manitoba and the companies participating in the program, visit - 30 -

Boost for Buy Manitoba

Manitoba’s economy is getting a boost from the ‘Buy Manitoba’ campaign. Left to Right: Ron Kostyshyn, Minister of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Darlene Landino, owner, Double D’s Cheesecake and Coffee House, Dave Shambrock, executive director, Manitoba Food Processors Association and John Graham, director, public affairs and government relations, Safeway.
Manitoba’s economy is getting a boost from the ‘Buy Manitoba’ campaign. Left to Right: Ron Kostyshyn, Minister of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Darlene Landino, owner, Double D’s Cheesecake and Coffee House, Dave Shambrock, executive director, Manitoba Food Processors Association and John Graham, director, public affairs and government relations, Safeway.

More legislation to protect patients

December 20, 2013 REGULATED HEALTH PROFESSIONS ACT PROCLAIMED – – – New Legislation to Focus on Accountability, Patient Safety: Minister Selby Legislation focusing on accountability, patient safety and ensuring all health professions in Manitoba are governed by consistent, uniform regulations will be proclaimed into force on Jan. 1, Health Minister Erin Selby said today. “The modern Regulated Health Professions Act will change the way health professions are regulated in Manitoba to ensure consistency and a focus on patient safety,” said Minister Selby. “Audiology and speech-language pathology will be the first two regulated health professions transitioning to regulation under the legislation with more to follow.” Currently, there are 21 statutes dealing with 22 different health professions. The Regulated Health Professions Act will replace these statutes, bringing all regulated health professions under one act. The minister said the act will: •further strengthen patient safety by ensuring all regulatory bodies establish standards of practice, codes of ethics and continuing competency requirements; •improve patient safety by regulating the performance of activities specified in the act, called reserved acts, including diagnosis, prescribing drugs, cutting into tissue and applying a form of energy for diagnosis, for example, X-rays and CT scans; •create consistent and fair complaint and disciplinary processes across all professional colleges; •increase public representation on the boards of self-governing professions; •provide improved accountability between the regulatory bodies and government; and •allow health professions to continue to be self-regulating. The new audiology and speech-language pathology regulations define the scope of practice of these professions including the reserved acts they may perform and provide a transition of the current Manitoba Speech and Hearing Association to become the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Manitoba. “The professions of audiology and speech-language pathology are pleased to have the opportunity to modernize the governing legislation under the new act to improve accountability and enhance the ability to protect the public interest,” said Laura Lenton, president of the Manitoba Speech and Hearing Association. “It is a privilege to be self-regulating and an honour to lead the movement of change for self-regulating health professions in Manitoba.” The new College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Manitoba will be responsible for administering all regulated programs including revised and modernized requirements for registration, continuing competency and advanced competency certification. It will include public representatives to ensure transparent and accountable decision-making. Members of the professions will be provided clearly-defined standards to which they must adhere in order to ensure the public receives consistent, high-quality care. Extensive consultations were undertaken to help develop the regulations including public and professional consultations, the minister said. As audiology and speech-language pathology will now be regulated under the new legislation, the Manitoba Speech and Hearing Association Act will be repealed. The minister noted the province is continuing to work with other regulatory bodies, including the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba and the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, to develop the necessary legislation to transition to regulation under the Regulated Health Professions Act. - 30 -

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December 18, 2013 CONTRABAND TOBACCO SEIZED BY MANITOBA FINANCE SPECIAL INVESTIGATION UNIT On Monday, Dec. 16, the Manitoba Finance Taxation Special Investigations Unit and the Winnipeg Police Service stopped a vehicle in the Transcona area of Winnipeg and found 150 cartons of contraband tobacco products in the vehicle. The 46-year-old male driver of the vehicle faces charges under the Manitoba Tobacco Tax Act and the Manitoba Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act. Subsequent to this stop, a search of a Transcona residential property was conducted and a further 481 cartons of contraband tobacco were found and seized. As a result, a 68-year-old male faces similar charges under the provincial statutes. The investigation into this matter continues. The accused each face fines of $1,000 to $10,000 and/or up to six months in jail. They also are liable to a triple tax penalty of $26,100 in relation to the tobacco found in the vehicle and $83,694 in relation to the tobacco located in the residence. Manitoba stood to lose $36,598 in tax revenues if this tobacco had reached the black market. If anyone has information on contraband tobacco, they are urged to contact: •Manitoba Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477); •the Manitoba Finance Taxation Special Investigations Unit at 204-945-1137; •the RCMP Customs and Excise Section in Winnipeg at 204-983-5423 or by e-mail at; or •the local police department. - 30 -

Is your Municipality one of them?

December 18, 2013 PROVINCE ANNOUNCES AMALGAMATION OF 14 MANITOBA MUNICIPALITIES UNDER MUNICIPAL AMALGAMATIONS ACT – – – Modernization Key to Preparing Municipalities for Manitoba's Future: Minister Struthers Fourteen Manitoba municipalities have officially amalgamated under the Municipal Amalgamations Act, Municipal Government Minister Stan Struthers announced today. “The leaders in these communities showed great dedication and worked very hard to protect the best interests of the families and businesses in their municipalities through this process,” said Minister Struthers. “These amalgamations will ensure the newly created municipalities will be more efficient, which means more money invested into the services families count on.” The newly amalgamated municipalities are: •the rural municipalities (RMs) of Strathcona and Riverside to create the RM of Prairie Lakes; •the RMs of Sifton and Oak Lake to create the RM of Sifton; •the Village of Glenboro and the RM of South Cypress to create the Municipality of Glenboro-South Cypress; •the RM of McCreary and the Village of McCreary to create the Municipality of McCreary; •the RMs of Minto and Odanah to create the RM of Minto-Odanah; •the RMs of Langford and North Cypress to create the RM of North Cypress-Langford; and •the Town of Ste. Rose Du Lac and the RM of Ste. Rose to create the Municipality of Ste. Rose. “Most of today’s municipal boundaries were established more than a century ago and we know municipal officials are looking for ways to modernize and evolve to meet today’s economic challenges,” said Minister Struthers. “Through amalgamation, communities will have increased opportunities to attract business and economic development with streamlined and simplified processes, and be better able to take advantage of infrastructure funding from the federal and provincial governments.” The minister said some of the other ways municipalities would be strengthened through amalgamation include: •reinvesting administrative savings into better services; • reducing operational costs through sharing major assets like water-treatment and recreation facilities; •helping to recruit and retain skilled municipal staff; •providing more opportunities to attract business and economic development with reduced red tape, common regional regulations, infrastructure and services; and •finding savings and efficiencies through economies of scale. A total of 85 municipalities have fewer than 1,000 residents and arerequired to submit an amalgamation plan, Minister Struthers said, adding it is anticipated that plans will result in a 30 per cent reduction in the number of municipalities outside Winnipeg.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Federal Minister James Moore raises the Ire of Social Workers

Even though people might try to hide who they are and what their true values are behind the facade of nice clothes and smooth words, the universe has a way of revealing secrets when we least expect. Take the words of Federal Industry Minister James Moore, who said he is not responsible for feeding his neighbour's children. Although we say often that it takes a village to raise a child, that principle is not entrenched in our consciousness most of the times. Many of us do believe that everyone is responsible for feeding, clothing and housing their own children on their own notwithstanding the facts that sometimes even a person's best efforts. I believe Minister Moore was not being insensitive, he was speaking his truth and everyone is entitled to his or her truth. If you do not believe in that truth, if you believe we have to help raise the children of Canada because they are our own, they are the future workforce, the future doctors, lawyers, public servants and they deserve every chance to succeed, then you use the power of your vote to speak your truth. I believe that we have to have paradigm shift when it comes to children. We must see them as belonging to the world and not to individuals whom the universe has used to express itself. They come into the world for a reason and to teach us again and again how to be a human family and not a nuclear disaster. While I disagree with Mr. Moore's position I will defend his right to speak his truth and he should not be asked to apologise for thinking the way he does. There's really no right or wrong, just energy and vibration. When Moore's vibration lifts so will his beliefs.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Breaking News - Nelson Mandella Passed Away

A giant has fallen. May his soul rest in peace. Here is a man who has lived his purpose. He deserves his rest from this physical plane. He has now ascended with his ancestors.

There is rejoicing in the other worlds.

Sunday, December 01, 2013