Local News Briefs

School dropout age to increase

Manitoba will join Ontario and New Brunswick in raising the minimum dropout age to 18, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced Nov. 18. Allan hopes increasing the dropout age from 16 to 18 will boost high school graduation rates to 100 per cent. The proposed legislation will be introduced as soon as possible and could be in effect by next fall, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. The government would levy penalties against parents whose children drop out before they turn 18. Students who graduate from high school before turning 18, however, wouldn’t be forced to continue their studies.

Bodies… The Exhibition apologizes for permit misuse

Organizers of Bodies… The Exhibition apologized last week for kicking protesters off the sidewalk outside their downtown exhibition. The city issued True North Sports and Entertainment, the building’s owners, a special permit allowing them to control pedestrian traffic around the building. The permit allows security staff to close the sidewalk while busses unload and to keep the building’s entrance clear. But protesters outside the exhibition claimed early last week that security had asked them to leave, citing the permit. True North initially denied the allegation, but a spokesperson said a security supervisor confirmed the protesters were made to leave inappropriately. “They’re entitled to their opinions and they’re entitled to demonstrate,” the spokesperson told the Winnipeg Free Press.

Police cadets begin field training

A group of 30 Winnipeg police cadets began field training Nov. 29, Police Chief Keith McCaskill announced last Thursday. The cadets, whose training began in September, will work on the streets with police officers. To allow the cadets to enforce certain laws, the province is aiming to modify a city law to grant special constable status to those who complete their full training, CBC reports. The program allows cadets to experience police work and frees up officer time so they may return to their primary policing responsibilities. The cadets’ duties will include traffic enforcement, crime scene guarding and enforcing the Intoxicated Persons Detention Act.

Taxi shield deadline looms

Manitoba taxicab drivers may be out of work if their cabs are without protective safety shields by the fast-approaching Nov. 29 deadline, CBC reports. Cab companies can install either a wraparound shield that encases the driver’s seat or a full shield that separates the front seat from the back. Unicity Taxi and Duffy’s Taxi are both waiting on a government-commissioned safety report on the wraparound shields before deciding which to use. Both companies asked the Manitoba Taxicab Board for an extension on the deadline, but the board refused. Protective security shields will be mandatory in light of a recent string of attacks against cab drivers.

Manitoban wins Sobey Art Award

Daniel Barrow, a Winnipeg-born, Montreal-based artist, is the winner of a $50,000 award for young artists. The Sobey Art Award was announced last Thursday in Montreal, and Barrow represented the Prairies, competing against four other finalists. Barrow told the CBC his work involves taking comic narratives and transforming them into animation on an overhead projector while he narrates the action. Barrow, who studied art at the University of Manitoba, has worked throughout Canada and will have his work exhibited in Toronto throughout December. He has created a “unique, self-sustaining fictional world composed of drawing, storytelling and manual animation,” the Sobey Art Award jury wrote.

Published in Volume 65, Number 13 of The Uniter (November 25, 2010)

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