Beer Bottles to Books: Remaking Merchants Corner

By Jim Silver

Merchants Hotel; Photo: North End Community Renewal Corporation

Photo: North End Community Renewal Corporation

Young North End activists hailed it as the latest example of “North End Rising.” That was the response when Premier Selinger announced on June 24 that the Provincial Government is investing more than $9 million in the redevelopment of the old Merchants Hotel and six adjoining lots on Selkirk and Pritchard Avenues. At the heart of what will be called Merchants Corner is an innovative educational strategy, prompting Minister of Children and Youth Opportunities, Kevin Chief, to use the phrase “beer bottles to books.” Whatever slogan is used, this is an exciting initiative. Continue reading

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Filed under Aboriginal issues, activism, education, housing, Inner City

Seeds Planted for Green Economy in Manitoba

By Tony Clarke

Photo: BUILD Inc.

Photo: BUILD Inc.

Last week, I was in Winnipeg and elsewhere in southern Manitoba for a roundtable and a series of field visits. Representing the Green Economy Network [GEN] — a national alliance of civil society organizations committed to transforming our economy in response to environmental challenges, notably climate change — I was blown away by what I saw and experienced. Here’s why. Continue reading

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Filed under economic well-being, economy, environment

The Bigger Picture on Food Safety Regulations

By Colin Anderson

We all want healthy food for our neighbors, we all want to promote as many farms as possible growing that food and we want to inspire as many young people as possible and, how can we do this together?
-David Neufeld, farmer

This question was prompted by the controversial and well-publicized raid by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development’s (MAFRD) on Harborside Farms in August 2013. As a result, citizens are calling on government to better support Manitoba’s local food system in support of family-scale farmers, fishers, hunters and processors. Continue reading

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Filed under agriculture, farming, health, Manitoba

Manitoba’s Proactive Enforcement of Temporary Foreign Worker’s Rights is a model for Canada

By Julie Guard

Photo: Migrant Worker Solidarity Network

Photo: Migrant Worker Solidarity Network

Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) has become a hot potato for the federal government, which is frantically attempting to quell widespread outrage sparked by revelations of Canadians fired to be replaced by cheaper, more vulnerable and thus more compliant migrants, abusive working conditions, illegal fees charged to foreign job-seekers, and the importation of low-skilled workers while unemployment remains unacceptably high. The TFWP includes several sub-programs such as the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) – the first TFWP; the Live-in Caregiver Program; the Stream for Lower-skilled Occupations; and, the Stream for Higher-skilled Occupations. Some programs allow for consideration of permanent residency. The SAWP does not. Continue reading

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Filed under agriculture, immigration, inequality, Labour, WorkLife

Outsourcing Under Scrutiny

By Lynne Fernandez

Winnipeg's_City_Hall_building

Source: Wikimedia.org

There has been a greater tendency for governments to outsource, and the City of Winnipeg is no exception. Outsourcing can be complex and lack transparency, particularly when public-private partnerships (P3s) are used. Under a P3, a for-profit company does any combination of: designing, building, financing, operating and even owning public infrastructure. Contracts range from years to decades. Continue reading

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Filed under budgets, city planning, public sector, Winnipeg

The High Cost of Low Taxes and Urban Sprawl

By Lynne Fernandez

Photo: Green Action Centre

Photo: Green Action Centre

Much of Winnipeg’s infrastructure is in desperate need of repair or replacement. The City’s 2009 administrative report found that just to maintain our existing infrastructure in its current state required $2.1 billion be spent over the next 10 years. Bringing the existing infrastructure to an adequate level of repair required a further $1.7 billion and the amount needed to invest on new infrastructure was around $3.6 billion. Accordingly, our total infrastructure deficit was $7.4 billion (2009 dollars). Continue reading

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Filed under budgets, CCPA-MB, CCPA-MB Reports, infrastructure, Winnipeg

Fast Facts: Graduate Studies and Continuing Fees

Graduate enrolment is steadily increasing in Manitoba, with more students electing to pursue post-graduate programs at both the Master’s and PhD level. The growth in graduate student population contributes much to the diversity and breadth of research done on university campuses. Additionally, once graduate students complete their course of study they contribute to the overall economic vitality of the province. Despite increased enrolment, tuition and continuation fees prevent some students from accessing graduate programs. Continue reading

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Filed under education, Fast Facts, Manitoba