Local News Briefs

New francophone Métis School

On Oct. 7, provincial Education Minister Nancy Allan announced the opening of École communautaire Aurèle-Lemoine, a French language school in St. Laurent, Man. According to a media release, the $9.3 million and 28, 632 square foot school serves the francophone and Métis community in St. Laurent and meets the provinces Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver building standard. The province gave $7 million to a new energy-efficient green facility, while the federal government granted $2.3 million to provide community and cultural space. The new K-12 school can serve 125 students and grew out of a bilingual school in St. Laurent.

Vote early where you shop

Advanced civic voting began at several shopping centres on Oct. 8 and will continue until Oct. 17. Election officials hope it will make voting more accessible and increase voter turnout numbers. The dates and locations of advanced polls include:
– Portage Place Shopping Centre:
Oct. 15 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
– Polo Park Shopping Centre:
Oct. 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Oct. 17 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
– Kildonan Place Shopping Centre:
Oct. 17 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Theft adds up to more than a buck or two

Darlene Appleyard, owner of A Buck or Two in Portage Place, said theft cost her $100,000 last year, as reported by CBC. Much of the theft occurred on low price items, which the shop owner claimed thieves used as a defence. “It’s a fight, every day,” Appleyeard told CBC, commenting on dealing with thieves who become combative when caught. Attributing this to a “sense of entitlement to steal,” she thinks it would be helpful for the city to eliminate the $4,200 business tax so she can invest more money for store security. Appleyard brought the issue up at the mayoral forum on downtown issues.

Daycare workers to get pensions

Family services and consumer affairs minister Gord Mackintosh announced that Manitoba will provide all full-time and home-based daycare workers with pension benefits, starting in December. According to a report by CBC, daycare workers will contribute four per cent of their salaries to the program and the province will match it. Pat Wege, executive director of the Manitoba Child Care Association, is happy that a policy her organization has lobbied for over years has been implemented. According to Wege, the benefit will make it easier to attract and retain workers, which she said was getting harder to do. The only other province with a similar program is Quebec.

Premier in Washington for Devils Lake talk

Manitoba premier Greg Selinger met with North Dakota officials in Washington to talk about a solution to the Devils Lake flood threat. The province fears that the uncontrolled discharge of water from an artificial outlet could bring foreign biota into Lake Winnipeg and the Red River Valley, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. Devils Lake is at risk of flooding due to the lack of a natural outlet. Selinger met with Senator Byron Dorgan, North Dakota’s governor and several other officials including Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., Gary Doer. There was agreement to work on the quantity and quality of water released and to develop a basin-wide nutrient management plan. Selinger and Dorgan jointly announced plans for a future meeting.

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