Local News Briefs

Recession, says who?

Winnipeg is countering the national dropping trend in real estate with extensive expansion and sales.

City council approved the establishment of two new subdivisions on the border of St. Boniface and Transcona, to be built by the Waterside Development Corporation.

These 70 acres in the city’s northeast corner will eventually be the site of hundreds of single and multi-family homes.

Meanwhile, CBC reported that condominium sales, homes on the market and dollar volume of homes sold are all higher than January 2008.

Mining in Manitoba

The province is showing commitment to mining efforts with a $1.4 million contribution to 31 new mineral exploration projects.

These projects, funded through the Manitoba Exploration Assistance Program, are undertaken by 20 different speculators. Three of them are doing business in Manitoba for the first time.

The investment is expected to generate $26 million in additional mining expenditures. The province will fund up to a quarter of the investment, with a maximum ceiling of $300,000.

The mining companies usually spend $8 to $9 on exploration for each government-invested dollar.

Brits want to know how it’s done

Following heavy snows in London, British radio and newspapers needed a specialist to explain how to handle snow without the city shutting down—and they called Mayor Sam Katz.

On air with BBC Radio 4, Katz said we respond efficiently to snow because we have the equipment on hand.

London, which typically has a rainy February, should not be faulted for being caught unaware.

Katz added that other North American cities receive more snow than Winnipeg, but suspected the British media turned to Winnipeggers for information as we have the most efficient and autonomous snow clearing in the world, reported Canada.com.

So long, septic fields

In response to pressure from environmentalists and cottage owners, the province plans to stop the creation of new septic fields north of the city.

The Winnipeg Free Press reported the changes will affect the three-kilometre-wide corridor running along the Red River between Winnipeg and Selkirk. It will cover new septic fields and replacements for failed fields.

Currently, there are 20,000 to 30,000 septic fields between the city and Lake Winnipeg.

As these expire, they will have to be replaced with regularly pumped-out holding tanks.

No substations on heritage sites

Manitoba Hydro has opted to back out of a plan to convert three Exchange District buildings into a new power substation for downtown.

The original plan, which required gutting the buildings while preserving their external facades, was criticized by the public.

The lot was chosen due to its access to existing power lines; any new station will have to build expensive new underground connections, reported CBC.

The Exchange District contains the majority of Winnipeg’s heritage buildings, and was declared a National Historic Site in 1997.

Hydro has yet to choose a new location for the substation.

Published in Volume 63, Number 20 of The Uniter (February 12, 2009)

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