Local News Briefs

Taking bike paths to court

Local businesses are suing the City of Winnipeg over the construction of a bike path on Assiniboine Avenue, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. The businesses say construction slows traffic on Broadway, but the city’s lawyer attests that the case has no grounds. The case would not be heard until December, while the bike path is scheduled for completion in October. The city has countered by filing a motion to remove the legal counsel for the businesses as lawyer Joey Pollock’s business partner has provided evidence in the case previously. The bike path is part of the city’s $20.4 million transportation improvement plan, which has been publicly scrutinized. As reported, Sam Katz is now questioning whether proper consultation was carried out in planning the bike path, but plan managers insist their consultations were sufficient.

A first for Manitoba: Human trafficking charges laid

Manitoba charged its first person for human trafficking this week, as reported by CBC. Theresa Peebles is in custody for assault, human trafficking and forcible confinement. An investigation took place after a woman called the police over problems concerning Peebles. Police then learned that Peebles befriended the victim, who is originally from northern Manitoba, incarcerated and assaulted her while making her work in the sex trade. The victim tried to escape twice, but Peebles prevented her from doing so. Jason Michalyshen, constable for the Winnipeg police, noted that people often envision human trafficking as happening to immigrants rather than Canadians. “We have an individual whose human rights have been violated to an extreme,” he told CBC.

Be flu free … for free!

The flu vaccine is free for all Manitobans this year as part of the province’s initiative to encourage everyone to be immunized, as announced in a media release from provincial health minister Theresa Oswald. This season’s flu shot prevents against common types of influenza including H1N1. A new flu shot is needed annually to protect against each flu season. The flu is spread by physical contact, sneezing and coughing. Symptoms include head and muscle aches, fever, sore throat, cough and exhaustion. The flu can lead to severe illness such as pneumonia, and there are between 4,000 and 8,000 flu related deaths every year. Vaccines are available as of October at clinics and health-care centres.

Province protects animals and vets

Manitoba veterinarians are pleased with the province’s updated animal protection laws. Before these regulations, veterinarians were at risk of being sued over breaches of confidentiality if they reported suspicions of animal abuse. The new regulations mean the animals can now be the primary concern, says Erika Anseeuw, the Winnipeg Humane Society’s director of animal health. She predicts an increasing number of animal abuse reports since the changes have been carried out. “(Veterinarians don’t) need to fear that there could be legal repercussions should they divulge that they have suspicious about abuse,” Anseeuw told CBC.

Save our Seine celebrates 20 years with nearly $20,000

In honour of Save Our Seine River Environment Inc.’s 20th anniversary, Manitoba’s Water Stewardship Fund awarded the organization $19,800. The Seine River flows into the Red River in St. Boniface. Christine Melnick, Manitoba’s Water Stewardship minister, commended Save Our Seine (SOS) for “helping to change the way Manitobans look at protecting this valuable resource” and for its efforts to maintain the river’s cleanliness. SOS plans to use the money to continue improving the river and its bordering forest, the Bois des Esprits.

Published in Volume 65, Number 5 of The Uniter (September 30, 2010)

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