Local News Briefs

Teen mother and infant mortality rates in province higher than national average

Almost nine per cent of newborns in Manitoba from 2007 to 2009 were born to teen mothers, according to findings from the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Health Policy, the Winnipeg Free Press reports. The national average for such births is five per cent. The report also stated that Manitoba’s infant mortality rate was 5.2 deaths per 1,000 births. The national average is four. In the study, babies were more likely to die before their first birthday if, among other factors, their mothers were younger than 25, had inadequate prenatal care, or if the babies were not breastfed.

Downtown parking rates to double Nov. 13

Parking rates are set to increase in high-demand areas beginning Nov. 13, the Winnipeg Free Press reports. City of Winnipeg officials say parking rates will double from a loonie to a toonie at 143 pay stations downtown and in the Exchange. In July, city council voted to limit on-street parking to two hours and increase rates on high-demand streets. In April 2013, the city will begin metered parking at 8 a.m. and extend it to 8:30 p.m. in selected blocks near the MTS Centre.

Athlete Clara Hughes honoured

Cyclist and speed skater Clara Hughes, who has won Olympic medals in both sports, was one of eight athletes and two sports teams inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, Nov. 3. Earlier that day, Mayor Sam Katz announced that a new recreation facility in Elmwood would bear Hughes’s name, the CBC reported. The new complex will be built on the site of the former Kelvin Community Centre, where Hughes used to play ringette and softball.

Province accused of ordering insurance funded road work

Manitoba’s NDP government denied accusations of ordering Manitoba Public Insurance to use insurance money to pay for road work. MPI is considering using some of its funds for road improvement projects including paved shoulders and wider intersections, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. The Crown corporation has considered how British Columbia’s insurance agency spent $6.9 million contributing to government-funded road work in hopes of saving each motorist $5.60 over two years through lower premiums. Provincial opposition argue that motorists already pay taxes for road work and that MPI should use surpluses to reduce premiums. MPI says the plan stemmed from a request for new road safety measures from the Public Utilities Board.

City reviews trash pick-up across Canada

On Oct. 30, city council’s public works committee voted in favour of a report to review how other Canadian cities manage waste collection, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. The report stemmed from Couns. Harvey Smith and Ross Eadie calling for inquiry into bringing collection services back under city control. The city has already signed a five-year contract with Emterra and intends to respect the agreement. However, starting Nov. 1, the city will charge Emterra $150 for each missed pickup. Mayor Katz has instructed city administration to review Winnipeg’s legal options - including offering the service to another contractor - if Emterra continues to fail to collect waste on time.

Published in Volume 67, Number 10 of The Uniter (November 7, 2012)

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