Local News Briefs

City to review snow clearing complaints

As crews finish clearing residential streets from last weekend’s storm, city officials will review what worked and what did not, the Winnipeg Free Press reports. According to Winnipeg’s street maintenance manager Ken Boyd, the city’s recent snow clearing saw 1,850 vehicles towed. Boyd said officials are looking into what improvements could be made to the snow zone system before the next residential plow. Despite a number of businesses complaining that the 12-hour parking bans have cost them customers, no changes to the zones will be made this winter. The city planned to launch an ad campaign for a new snow zone program in mid-November, but about 25 centimetres of snow fell before it could be launched.

Métis considered in Bipole III change

Manitoba Hydro will consult with the province’s Métis population on changes to the route of the Bipole III transmission line, the Winnipeg Free Press reports. The last minute offer was made after weeks of threats by the Manitoba Métis Federation to take Hydro to court to block the transmission project, which cuts through an area where the Métis have hunted for generations. The Métis Federation argues it has been ignored in the lengthy consultation process on Bipole III. Although MMF President David Chartrand supports the development of Hydro, he has said his priority is to negotiate a deal to preserve the traditional hunting areas of the Métis.

Proposal to sell city land near The Forks defeated

Following the defeat of his proposal to negotiate a $6-million sale of city land on Nov. 14, Coun. Justin Swandel accused other council members of a lack of political courage. Swandel had hoped to sell the property across the street from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, known as Parcel 4, to The Forks North Portage Partnership, the Winnipeg Sun reports. Many councillors argued that suggesting one buyer when initiating the sale would unfairly preclude the bidding process. By skipping an open process, council feared further controversy over city real estate deals, which are currently the subject of external review.

Manitoba ranked high in charitable giving

A BMO Harris Private Banking poll, released just in time for National Philanthropy Day on Nov. 15, ranked Manitoba near the top of charitable giving, the Winnipeg Free Press reported.  According to the poll, 84 per cent of Manitoban residents donated to a charity in the last 12 months. Donations averaged $751 each. The most popular charitable causes were medical, anti-poverty, animal welfare and education. While Quebec was found to be the least generous province, the poll ranked Ontario as the most charitable.

Police call guns-for-cameras campaign successful

Winnipeg police continue to be overwhelmed by the response to Pixels for Pistols. The unusual gun amnesty program offers cameras in exchange for guns, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. Police have received 655 firearms during the first two weeks of the month-long campaign. In 2010, a 30-day amnesty program collected only 192 firearms. This year’s program is assisted by photo retailer Henry’s, which is giving away a digital camera for every working firearm turned in to the police. Police are optimistic that the program’s momentum will continue throughout November. Anyone wanting to turn in a firearm or ammunition should contact Winnipeg Police at 204-986-6222.

Published in Volume 67, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 21, 2012)

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