Local News Briefs

Lights out for planet Earth

Many Winnipeggers turned off their lights to honour of Earth Hour recently.

The Government of Manitoba urged everyone across the province to observe Earth Hour, a campaign started in Australia which serves as a symbol for taking action against climate change.

The campaign asked as many people as possible to turn off their lights and other electrical appliances at 8:30 p.m. on March 28.

Science, Technology, Energy, and Mines Minister Jim Rondeau said in a government press release that people should not stop at turning off their lights. The minister suggests following means to reduce our carbon footprint, including public transit and unplugging unused electrical equipment.

Province invests big in education

The provincial government has just agreed to invest $310 million in public schools over the next four years, with plans to open new facilities and upgrade existing infrastructure.

The funds will go towards 400 new projects, which include opening several new schools in rural Manitoba, retrofitting existing schools to accommodate students with disabilities, as well as roofing and infrastructure projects.

Manitoba wild lands receive protection

The Manitoba government has declared three wilderness areas in the province protected from logging, hunting, or any other kind of destructive activity in an effort to preserve their ecosystems.

The three areas are the Whitemouth Bog Ecological Reserve, Whitemouth Bog Wildlife Management Area and Observation Point Wildlife Management Area, reported the Winnipeg Free Press.

The Whitemouth area is located east of Winnipeg, and includes a large boreal forest area with many varying ecosystems spread throughout.

Unique wildlife also dwell in these areas, including the Yellow Rail, an at-risk bird species, Manitoba’s provincial bird the Great Grey Owl, and the bald eagle.

Google Maps invading privacy?

Google Maps, a popular Internet resource which provides users with well-detailed maps and routes across the world, is getting an upgrade that has some people worried about their privacy.

The new feature, called Street View, provides the user with a 360-degree view of many streets and sites in large Canadian cities.

Yet some raised concerns that people photographed by Google while collecting images for this project will have their activities displayed in the public domain forever, CBC News reported.

Google is actively working with interest groups to ensure they follow privacy laws as closely as possible.

The project is also up and running in the U.K., U.S., Japan and Spain. Google will be taking photos in 11 major Canadian cities in the next few weeks.

NDP takes provincial elections with ease

The provincial New Democratic Party was able to maintain its seats in two byelections by a fairly large margin, bringing a familiar federal face into the provincial arena.

Longtime Member of Parliament Bill Blaikie has become the newest representative for the Elmwood riding of Winnipeg, receiving more votes alone than the rest of the candidates combined, reported Canadian Press.

The election in The Pas went much the same way, echoing the 2007 byelection which saw the NDP crush the opposing parties.

Published in Volume 63, Number 26 of The Uniter (April 2, 2009)

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