City briefs

Winnipeg budget deficits

In an attempt to win their third consecutive Grey Cup championship, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers lost 24-23 to the Toronto Argonauts. In the final 54 seconds of the game, kicker Marc Liegghio tried a 47-yard field goal that was blocked by Toronto’s Nick Hallett.

City encampments on fire

Since Oct. 30, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service has responded to 20 fires in encampments. On Sunday, Nov. 27, a fire engulfed a West End encampment on Langside Street, between Sargent and Cumberland Avenue. At the time, 10 people were living in the camp and have since lost all their belongings. Staff from Downtown Community Safety Partnership assisted the displaced residents.

Toy drive for Ukrainian refugees

The Ukrainian National Federation is hosting a toy drive in support of Ukrainian families who have fled their home country. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Manitoba has welcomed 12,400 people. Joanne Lewandowski, the UNF Winnipeg president, is asking Winnipeggers to donate new, unopened gifts for children, as well as winter clothing such as coats, ski pants, toques, scarves and gloves.

NDP holds healthcare rally

On Sunday, Nov. 27, NDP Leader Wab Kinew held a rally at Kirkfield Park over the healthcare staffing crisis. Kinew was joined by more than 60 NDP members and frontline and labour workers. He criticized the Province for recent emergency-room closures and inadequate staffing at hospitals. Kinew pledges to introduce “family-friendly” hours at the Grace Hospital ACCESS Centre from 6 to 12 a.m.

New bill on liquor sales and cannabis tax

The provincial government has introduced a new legislative bill that would allow private wine and beer vendors the opportunity to offer a full range of alcohol, the same as government-run stores. The PCs also introduced a bill that would eliminate the social-responsibility tax, which required retailers to pay six per cent of their annual revenue. Instead, consumers would pay a higher excise tax on cannabis, which would be collected by the federal government.

Flaws in Transit Plus system

People with mobility issues who use Winnipeg Transit Plus are upset with the service’s growing wait times, which are sometimes longer than two hours. Lori Ross, a downtown resident who uses a wheelchair, told the Winnipeg Free Press she has cancelled plans and will have difficulty this winter if the sidewalks are not regularly plowed. Users call the booking queue and wait until they can speak to a representative through the City’s accessibility service. The City of Winnipeg says they are developing an online booking system to avoid delays and missed appointments.

Published in Volume 77, Number 12 of The Uniter (December 1, 2022)

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