Free provincial park entry
Manitobans will be able to explore provincial parks for free in February. The provincial government announced they are waiving the fees to encourage people to explore the outdoors and participate in winter activities like snowshoeing, skating, tobogganing, cross-country skiing and more. While vehicle permits are not required for the month, snowmobiles must pay the snopass.
March for Afolabi Opaso
Dozens of people rallied at Union Station and marched to the Legislative Building on Jan. 27, demanding justice for Afolabi Stephen Opaso. Opaso, a U of M student, was killed by police officers on New Year’s Eve during a mental-health wellness check. African Communities of Manitoba Inc. (ACOMI), a Winnipeg organization focusing on providing resources and support to African newcomers, organized the march. The police watchdog is investigating the incident.
Feasibility of landfill search
A new report on the feasibility study of a landfill search for two First Nations women killed in the spring of 2022, estimates the search could cost up to $90 million – less than half of the original estimate between $84 million and $184 million. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and ISN (Investigative Solutions Network) Maskwa, an Indigenous-owned company that provides emergency-response training and services, say there is still a very high risk of asbestos. The AMC hopes the search can begin in at least six months.
River trail closes again
While the Nestaweya River Trail at The Forks opened last week for the first time this season, it has closed again for safety reasons. The ice is thick enough, but the warmer temperatures are creating puddles and slush. Typically, the trail runs about six to 10 kilometres long, but it has been cut to roughly 1.5 kilometres this winter. To reopen, Winnipeg temperatures will need to remain below the freezing mark.
Largest seizure of meth reported in Prairies
Canadian border officials seized 406 kilograms of meth on Jan. 14, the largest amount of narcotics found in Prairie history. The semi-trailer carrying the drugs was searched at the Boissevain port of entry and on its way to Winnipeg. Border officials estimated the drugs have a street value of $50.7 million and add up to about four million doses. The 29-year-old driver was arrested and taken into custody by the Manitoba RCMP.
U of W hiring more Indigenous faculty
The University of Winnipeg announced an initiative to cluster-hire nine Indigenous faculty members to increase BIPOC representation on campus and reconciliation efforts. The faculty members will be hired across the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Science, Gupta Faculty of Kinesiology, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Business and Economics and the Global College. The U of W is seeking candidates for hire.
Published in Volume 78, Number 16 of The Uniter (February 1, 2024)