Haunted when the minutes drag

Every October, as Halloween approaches, Winnipeggers are reminded of the city’s many supposedly haunted buildings. Whether discussions of hauntings happen through word-of-mouth conversations or official ghost tours (or on page 13 of this very issue of the Uniter), engaging with Winnipeg’s ghosts is part of what it means to live here.

But Winnipeg is haunted by its past (and its present) in more ways than one. Nearly five years ago, Maclean’s magazine published its cover story that named Winnipeg “Canada’s most racist city.” The article inspired its share of detractors but spawned necessary conversations about the city’s major problems with casual and systemic racism.

Our cover feature this week focuses on diversity in Winnipeg. In the few short years since the Maclean’s cover story, we’ve made some strides. Manitoba elected its first three Black MLAs in the most recent election. Former radio personality Dave Wheeler, who managed to stay on the air despite years of open racism (and who infamously ambushed the writer of the Maclean’s story live on his show), was finally removed by Rogers.

But as our features reporter Amol Samra points out in her cover feature, the people in power still look a lot like those from five – or 50 – years ago. There are Winnipeggers working to empower the marginalized and make life in the city more equitable. But we still have plenty of ghosts to exorcise.

—Thomas Pashko

Published in Volume 74, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 10, 2019)

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