City briefs

Transgender Day of Visibility

Friday, March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility, which celebrates Two-Spirit, transgender and gender non-conforming people in communities. This day takes on even more importance in 2023, as anti-trans rhetoric and bigotry from conservative cultural forces reaches a fever pitch.

New leader for Manitoba Green Party

On Sunday, March 26, Janine Gibson became the new leader of the Manitoba Green Party. She is the first new leader of the party since James Beddome took the position in 2008, 15 years ago. In the upcoming provincial election, Gibson wants to make sure the Green Party has 57 candidates in every electoral district. She’s also advocating for a universal living wage and to work with northern and rural communities to promote environmental sustainability.

Pitching a new way to fill potholes

Arch Tree Farm and Landscaping co-owners Terry Mitchell and daughter Raye-Leigh Martin use recycled asphalt to fill in potholes. They say repurposing asphalt from roads and parking areas is a feasible, environmentally friendly and cheaper solution compared to the current process of using a short-term cold-mix compound and longer-term hot asphalt mix to fill in patches. They pitched the idea of starting a pilot project in the city, which would send street staff to test the workability of using recycled asphalt to fill in potholes and replace using the cold-mix asphalt.

2023 city budget passes

On Wednesday, March 22, city council members voted to approve the City of Winnipeg’s 2023 budget. Mayor Scott Gillingham said the financial plan focuses on funding social services and economic initiatives, such as water and sewer services, to help CentrePort South and plans to expand Chief Peguis Trail and Kenaston Boulevard. Other concerns about climate change and calls for more Community Safety Hosts at the Millennium Library were discussed, but the budget was not altered to include these needs, despite calls from community members.

Asylum seekers and irregular crossings

As of Saturday morning, refugees seeking asylum will no longer be allowed to enter Canada at irregular border crossings, such as the one at Roxham Road in Quebec or along the Manitoba-North Dakota border. This rule is an extension of the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, which requires asylum seekers to claim refugee status in the first country in which they arrive. Community advocates are concerned this rule will lead to more migrants losing their limbs traveling in cold weather, causing harm or even death.

Machines dispensing harm-reduction supplies

Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. is a First Nations-led organization working to transform health and wellness services in Indigenous communities. The organization placed two kiosk machines that dispense clean needles, naloxone kits, condoms, menstrual products and diabetes and blood pressure medications at the public washroom in downtown Winnipeg. A total of eight machine dispensaries are expected to arrive and increase access to healthcare in Winnipeg, Churchill and northern Manitoba communities.

Published in Volume 77, Number 24 of The Uniter (March 30, 2023)

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