Local News Briefs

Local restaurateur takes Katz to court over holiday party at Hu’s

A Transcona restaurateur has filed a motion before the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench insisting mayor Sam Katz either resign from office or pay back all costs associated with two holiday parties he held at Hu’s Asian Bistro - a restaurant the mayor owns. Joe Chan, who operates a Regent Avenue Chinese restaurant called the Cathay House, argues that Katz breached the trust of Winnipeg citizens by filing the two holiday parties as city expenses and by awarding a contract to a business in which he is the sole shareholder. According to city expense records, the mayor’s office spent $2,915 on a city holiday party at Hu’s in 2010. Last month, he held a similar party at the restaurant, the cost of which is still unknown.

Shoal Lake First Nation set to take city to court

A First Nations community is set to take the city to court over the extension of water and sewer pipes to the rural municipalities of West St. Paul, Rosser and the Centre Port transportation hub. Iskatewizaagegan No. 39 First Nation threatened to file a court injunction if Winnipeg refused to respond to their request for negotiations by Friday, Jan. 20. The city has refused to negotiate with the First Nation. The community, also known as Shoal Lake No. 39, argues that the city has no right to sell water to neighbouring municipalities before it resolves decades of legal claims to lake water. Shoal Lake, a water body that straddles the Ontario-Manitoba border, is the city’s primary source of water as per agreements with another First Nation, Shoal Lake No. 40, stretching back to 1914.

Chipman open to outdoor NHL game in Winnipeg

Mark Chipman, chairman of True North Sports & Entertainment, is open to hosting a Heritage Classic game in Winnipeg in the coming years, the Winnipeg Free Press has reported. The Heritage Classic is a rare outdoor NHL game that has only been held twice since 2003. Last year, Calgary hosted the event at the stadium normally reserved for the CFL’s Stampeders. The game, which pitted the Calgary Flames against the Montreal Canadiens, drew a crowd of 41,000. Chipman hopes that Winnipeg will host a similar Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field, the new Winnipeg Blue Bomber stadium, adding that Heritage Classics have been big successes wherever they’ve been held.

Manitoba MP takes plight of aboriginal women to the prime minister’s office

Rod Bruinooge, Conservative Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, attended a UN expert group conference of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City last week. A primary discussion topic was the rights of indigenous women and girls, which are guaranteed as part of a UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Bruinooge promised to take the issues raised at the forum to the prime minister at his first opportunity. Research by the Native Women’s Association of Canada demonstrated that, during the last 40 years, over 500 aboriginal women have been murdered or have gone missing in Canada. Additionally, aboriginal women are three-and-a-half times more likely to be victims of violence than non-aboriginal women and five times more likely to be murdered.

City says Guardrail safe despite out-of-date safety standards

The City of Winnipeg maintains that a guardrail on the Disraeli Bridge is safe, despite being built in accordance with safety standards that are now 52 years out of date. On Wednesday, Jan. 18, 19-year-old Kaitlyn Fraser plunged to her death after accidentally ramming into a Disraeli Bridge guardrail with her SUV. The guardrail, which was constructed in 1960, is made of steel and lacks any concrete barrier, similar to the Osborne Bridge - the only other city bridge with steel guardrails. The city has no plans to reinforce the guardrail in the wake of the tragedy, calling the accident an “isolated incident.”

Published in Volume 66, Number 17 of The Uniter (January 25, 2012)

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