Local News Briefs

City passes $900M budget

Winnipeg’s 2012 operation budget of $900 million has been approved by city council, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. City councillors are concerned, however, that the property tax hike of 3.5 per cent, an estimated $14.8 million, will not raise enough funds to address Winnipeg’s infrastructure deficit. The city also has plans to generate funds by delaying the filling of vacant positions, which will save $13 million. Former councillor Chris Lorenc suggested that council address requesting aid from other levels of government when reviewing the operating budget for the upcoming year, as the deficit is too much for the city to handle itself.

Sinclair lawsuit can’t proceed: judge

The Court of Queen’s Bench says the family of Brian Sinclair does not hold a case and can no longer proceed with its lawsuit against the province, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. Court of Queen’s Bench master Shayne Berthaudin wrote in his decision that the Sinclair family’s lawyers have failed to provide substantial evidence to support their case. Sinclair died waiting for treatment of a bladder infection in 2008 at the Health Sciences Centre. Sinclair’s family was suing the province, alleging the government created a public nuisance by allowing emergency room treatment to deteriorate.

Richardson empire grows

Winnipeg-based Richardson International Ltd. has recently agreed to purchase $900 million in assets from agricultural giant Viterra. The additional assets to the Canadian empire include 19 country elevators, a 25 per cent hold in Vancouver’s Cascadia Terminal, as well as a Viterra terminal in Thunder Bay. Richardson International also has other purchasing plans, including the Can-Oat Milling business, which currently holds oat processing plants across Canada, and 21st Century Grain Processing, which has a plant located in Nebraska and a wheat mill in Texas, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. The large acquisition of assets across North America demonstrates the growing strength of Canada’s 155-year-old agricultural business.

Toews calls for study of James sentence

Federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is calling for the Crown to weigh Graham James’s current sentence with care. The Crown is currently reviewing junior hockey coach James’s prison sentence, and has 30 days to decide to appeal, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. James, who pled guilty to his charges of sexual abuse, was sentenced to two years for the sexual assault of two of his players in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The sentence has ignited controversy - many people believe it is too lax, as James could be eligible for full parole by November.

Bomber great Brown retires

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ defensive tackle Doug Brown has announced his retirement after 11 seasons with the team. At 37, Brown leaves with 52 quarterback sacks. Brown was named the CFL’s outstanding Canadian in 2001 and was named a divisional all-star eight times. Brown began his career in the NFL before landing with the Bombers. According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Brown came to his decision to retire after the loss of his coach Richard Harris, who died last July.

Published in Volume 66, Number 25 of The Uniter (March 28, 2012)

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