Local News Briefs

Manitoba unemployment at 5.2 %

Manitoba can now boast the country’s lowest unemployment rate, according to Statistics Canada figures for December 2010. The Winnipeg Free Press reported Manitoba’s unemployment rate was 5.2 per cent in December 2010, higher than the 5.1 per cent rate a month prior, but far from the highest unemployment figure in Newfoundland – 13.7 per cent. Statistics Canada indicated youth employment increased by 26,000 and full-time employment by 38,000, although there was a decline in construction, retail and health-care and social assistance sectors.

Local inventors have block-heater cord solution

Does your block-heater cord hit and damage the side of your vehicle? Two Winnipeg inventors have the solution. Radio and TV hosts Kelly Taylor and Michael Clark invented the Cord Bug, which attaches to block-heater cords and holds them magnetically to the vehicle’s body. Cords will be kept in place, the inventors told the Winnipeg Free Press, and the $350 to $650 repairs for damaged hoods or fenders can be avoided. Visit www.thecordbug.ca for more details.

Meet you on Gandhi Avenue?

The Mahatma Gandhi Society of Canada plans to ask the city to rename the section of York Avenue between Main Street and Waterfront Drive after the human rights crusader and former leader of India. The section of road leads towards the site of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights and no businesses would be affected by the name change. Gandhi led India to independence from Britain and is known worldwide for his human rights activism. He was assassinated in 1948. City council will ultimately pass the verdict on the renaming at some point in the future, the CBC reported.

No money for flooded homes

Hundreds of people whose homes were flooded during a one-in-50-year rainstorm that drenched the city last May have been denied disaster assistance compensation. In total, 266 of 437 claims have been turned down. A spokesperson for the federal-provincial program told the CBC that some claims were refused because the program only covers overland flooding damages and not “insurable” damages like sewer backup. The province recommends everyone to get flood insurance but is also discussing program rules with the federal government. “It just seems that the disaster relief people almost don’t even care,” one affected homeowner told CBC News.

What are your budget thoughts?

The provincial government wants to know what you think about its managing of the economy and the 2011 budget. Manitobans are invited to complete a questionnaire to give finance minister Rosann Wowchuk feedback about the state of the economy. Wowchuk said the province is well on its way to meeting its five-year economic plan to eliminate the deficit, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. The current budget sits $332 million in the red according to a government report, but Wowchuk foresees the province being back in the black by 2014.

Published in Volume 65, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 13, 2011)

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