Local News Briefs

Body armour ban

Attorney General Andrew Swan has introduced legislation that would restrict the sale and possession of body armour and armoured vehicles, according to the province. The proposed Body Armour and Fortified Vehicle Control Act would require distributors to be licensed by the province, and buyers to acquire a permit. The permit would require an explanation as to why the armour is needed and might include a background check into the buyer. Law enforcement, corrections officers and the Army would be excluded from the act. An armoured, or “fortified,” vehicle poses a threat to Manitobans and is akin to a weapon in the wrong hands, said Swan.

Winkler gets the nod

Mayor Sam Katz gave actor/author Henry Winkler the key to the city on Sunday, March 28 at the World of Wheels trade show, prompting Free Press reporter Bartley Kives to comment that Katz had “jumped the shark.” The phrase originates from an episode of Happy Days, starring Winkler as Fonzie, where he literally jumped over a shark in a scene that critics identify as the beginning of the show’s demise.

Kives was commenting on Katz’s willingness to pose for photos with celebrities, but also on the long string of odd recipients of Winnipeg’s key to the city. Previous luminaries, Kives wrote, include wrestler Chris Jericho, actress Shannen Doherty, and in 1977, Johnny Cash. Cash tried to return the award after the Free Press ran a review of The Carter Family.

Winkler was honoured for his contributions to children’s literature. He has written over a dozen children’s books and is an advocate of childhood literacy.

More Manitobans

Manitoba, once noted for its declining population, is bouncing back. Trade minister Peter Bjornson said the province’s population is growing faster than it has in 40 years. Statistics Canada reported that Manitoba’s population reached 1,229,000 people in 2009, which is 16,400 more people than in 2008.

Bjornson attributed the rise in part to Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), an immigration program which selects skilled workers to immigrate to Manitoba. Those who immigrate must meet the PNP eligibility requirements, which means they need to have legal status in their country of origin, an education, work experience, family or friends already in Manitoba and have enough language skills to acquire a job.

Pita push

Free-food enthusiasts lined up in the cold at Extreme Pita on Portage Avenue, some for as long as 10 hours, to qualify for a year’s worth of free pitas. Extreme Pita, across the street from the University of Winnipeg, offered free pitas for a year to the first 25 customers on Friday, March 26. The deal was part of the restaurant’s reopening celebration. They had been closed for several months after a truck collided with the building, destroying the kitchen.

The Winnipeg Free Press reported that more than a dozen people braved the weather. All were cold, but none were left hungry.

Choose your study spots carefully

Several of Winnipeg’s libraries will be temporarily closed this summer for renovations, according to the city. While the Millennium Library downtown will remain open, other busy outlets will be affected. The Osborne Library, in the Fort Rouge Leisure Centre, will be closed from the beginning of August and into September. The Louis Riel Library on Dakota Street will be closed from mid-May until June, just in time for university spring session classes.

Published in Volume 64, Number 25 of The Uniter (April 1, 2010)

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