Local News Briefs

Legislature set to resume

The Manitoba Legislature is set to resume on Monday, Nov. 30. This session is planned to last two weeks. The major focus will be weathering the global financial meltdown. Government house leader Bill Blaikie is optimistic.

“This will be the first session for a new Cabinet that reflects a great deal of experience but also includes new faces and new energy,” he said in a release.

November sun brings December clouds for local agriculture

With a surprisingly long autumn season in progress, the Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) has decided that crop burning can go on a little bit longer on local farms. Permits are required to burn crop residue and normally the province only grants the permits until Nov. 15. This year, however, thanks to a burst of warm weather in the recent weeks, the date has been pushed back to Friday, Dec. 4.

New voting machines are ready for purchase

After 15 years of using the last round of electronic ballot counters, the City of Winnipeg is ready to spend $1 million on 230 new cutting-edge ballot counters, according to CBC News. These voting machines will assist the visually impaired and cut down on voter fraud. The machines are about the size of a laptop and able to scan a ballot in a fraction of a second, according to senior elections official Mark Lemoine. Lemoine cautioned that, like vending machines with bills, it will be very difficult to slip a fake ballot into these new machines. The machines should be in use at the next civic election, which takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010.

City capital budget announced

With $430 million ready to be spent by the City of Winnipeg, the biggest boosts will come to the Assiniboine Park and Waverley West. According to CBC News, the mayor’s cabinet recently announced the scaled-back budget, which notably includes $8 million for redevelopment at Assiniboine Park and $54.7 million for a network of roads to connect the new Waverley West neighbourhood.

The city will spend less in 2010 than in 2009, when the budget was $476 million. Mayor Sam Katz said that despite the tough economic times, the city is forging ahead on major expenditures.

311 hits the web

Ten months after Winnipeg’s 311 was initiated, the telephone service’s information database is going online, according to CBC News. It can be accessed through a tab on the city’s home page and surfers can send their online requests to the appropriate city department. The new site also includes a satisfaction survey where people can voice their opinion on a number of issues going on in Winnipeg. Along with the new website, Winnipeggers with questions can still call the number at 311 or e-mail the service at 311@winnipeg.ca.

Published in Volume 64, Number 13 of The Uniter (November 26, 2009)

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