The University of Winnipeg is part of a community that is hurting with homelessness, addiction, and crime. According to the Winnipeg Police Service, almost 10,000 crimes were reported in the area in a year (March 2023-2024), just over 2500 of them being violent crimes. Because of these statistics, the University of Winnipeg administration focuses heavily on security, using patrolling, CCTV cameras, and safe ride/ safe walk services as its main responses to these statistics. Despite these efforts, security incidents on campus prevail, the last reported incident on the website dating back to April 21st. What might result, instead, if we started to think of the safety of the whole community rather than the security of the U of W campus? What if we stopped building a fortress and started working toward building a community? 

North End Connect: Transformative Research Toward Digital Inclusion

Shauna MacKinnon with Joel Templeman and Shanleigh Chartrand

North End Connect was established during the COVID-19 pandemic by organizations situated on Selkirk Avenue. They were concerned about the pandemic’s impact on low-income households in the neighbourhood who were further disadvantaged because they did not have access to the internet. They wanted to better understand the challenges related to digital exclusion and identify potential solutions. In 2021 Joel Templeman, Executive Director of the Internet Society (Manitoba Chapter) and graduate student at the University of Calgary approached the MRA for support for the research component of this community-led project. Since then, North End Connect has moved from research to action, working in collaboration with the community toward its digital inclusion goals. 

The MRA wanted to learn more about North End Connect’s transformative research approach and the status of the project. MRA Principal Investigator Shauna MacKinnon spoke with Joel Templeman and Shanleigh Chartrand about North End Connect. Their conversation is below, edited for length.

Adult Basic Education in Manitoba: “It’s Like, Life Changing!”

What could lead people to say such things as, “I can physically, like on every level, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, feel myself changing and transforming,” and “my peers, they see a difference, they see me more open and, you know, thinking about future endeavours and what I want to do”? 

These are the voices of adult learners working to earn their mature high school diploma in Adult Learning Centres in Manitoba, as portrayed in Kevin Nikkel’s documentary short film, Live and Learn, supported by the Manitoba Research Alliance. To make the short film, which premiered at the April 19, 2024 Adult Secondary Education Council (ASEC) conference in Winnipeg, Nikkel interviewed 34 adult learners and 14 teachers in Adult Learning Centres at 12 different sites in northern Manitoba, southern Manitoba, Portage la Prairie, Brandon and Winnipeg. 

Cuts to community groups would send wrong message

Previously published in the Winnipeg Free Press June 25, 2024

Call to Action!

Half-measures not good enough

Previously published in the Winnipeg Free Press Saturday May 18, 2024

Conflict as the result of intolerable pain

By Steve Rauh

The disastrous human losses in Israel and Gaza are not the consequences of justifiable war or unjustifiable terrorism.  They are the inevitable outcome of generations of untreated trauma experienced by all the people in the region.  Untreated trauma, especially collective trauma, often results in dangerous, hurtful and thoughtless behaviours.  

Six Questions About the Future of Portage Place

Previously published in the Winnipeg Free Press April 29, 2024

True North has stated they plan to bulldoze the Edmonton Street atrium. What will become of the food court and other public gathering places between the two proposed towers?

Political pragmatism vs. poverty reduction

Previously published in the Winnipeg Free Press April 22, 2024


IN its first budget, the NDP has adhered closely to the pragmatic instincts that won them last fall’s election. The budget includes investments in health care, cuts taxes for middle income Manitobans and sets out a plan for eventually reducing the deficit.

Budget 2024 falls short in addressing Canada’s low-income housing crisis: Implications for Manitoba