Local News Briefs

Open Farm Day coming to a farm near you

Over 35 farms in Manitoba, including agri-tourism businesses, are participating in the first Open Farm Day on Sunday, Sept. 19. People are invited by Stan Struthers, minister of agriculture, food and rural initiatives (MAFRI), to visit one of these farms and learn more about farming and gain a unique experience and insight into the agriculture business. Families are encouraged to take tours, attend demonstrations and take part in other recreational activities. Steinbach’s Mennonite Heritage Village livery barn will also be hosting Supper from the Field, a dinner prepared from local foods as a celebration of Manitoba’s farming community.

Rent changes for Manitoba in the new year

Manitoba Family Services and Consumer Affairs has announced that the 2011 rent guideline will come into effect on Jan. 1. The guideline, which is determined annually, will be set at one-and-a-half per cent. The guideline is intended to take into account the cost of expenses such as utilities and property taxes. This guideline does not cover units over $1,200, non-profit housing and certain new buildings. Landlords may also apply for an increase if the increase of their expenses is more than the guideline allows. Tenants must be given a written three month notice if rent is to be increased, and tenants also have the right to object to any rent increases before it takes effect.

Province cracks down on e-waste

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, conservation minister Bill Blaikie plans to improve the handling of Manitoba’s old electronics. His proposal, which he outlined in a press release, is about ensuring that electronic waste, such as old cell phones and laptops, don’t end up in landfills, but are recycled or properly disposed of to minimize waste and prevent pollution. He cites the success of the blue box program, as well as the success of tire and oil recycling at minimizing waste in landfills as an important factor in proposing a similar program for electronic waste.

Not in my backyard

Students from Leila North Community School in Winnipeg addressed a City Hall committee about the state of their school, the CBC reported. The students at the over-crowded school are fighting to have portable classrooms placed on the grounds. Local residents, however, petitioned against the portable classrooms, reasoning that they were unsightly and would lower property values. Last year, students were forced into makeshift classes in the school library and resource rooms. The portable classrooms should have been in place before school started, according to Brian O’Leary, Seven Oaks School Division superintendent, but the appeals have pushed it back another six weeks. There are 550 students attending the school designed for 350.

Tough on crime, Katz says

Chris Kitching at the Winnipeg Sun reported that in light of the upcoming municipal election on Oct. 27, Sam Katz is promising to hire 58 new police officers and 19 new call centre operators, costing approximately $5 million. Katz will seek more money from the federal government to fund this initiative, intended to improve the response times of police and call centre operators. Katz also plans to put more police officers to work directly combating gangs in addition to an increased number of foot patrols and patrol cars.

Published in Volume 65, Number 3 of The Uniter (September 16, 2010)

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