Local News Briefs

RCMP stepping up seat belt enforcement

During the month of October, Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be setting up check stops throughout the province in an effort to crack down on motorists not wearing seatbelts and not using child restraints. RCMP will be especially present during the weekend of Oct. 9 to 12.

Check stops will include traffic units from detachments across the province.

“Our aim is to remind the driving public not only that wearing a seat belt and using child restraints reduce serious injury and death, but also that it’s the law,” said assistant commissioner Bill Robinson, commanding officer, RCMP “D” Division.

Churches ban handshakes

To stop the spread of the H1N1 virus and help curb fears, Catholic churches have been advised by the Catholic archdiocese to take preventative measures during church services. Instead of shaking hands during the Rite of Peace, church goers are encouraged to give a simple “bow of the head.”

A spokesperson from the archdiocese office of Winnipeg said the changes would only be in place during the beginning of the cold and flu season. Dr. Joel Kettner from Manitoba Health said the changes were voluntary and were not recommended by Manitoba Health.

Doer to attend global climate summit

Premiere Gary Doer is attending a global climate change summit in Los Angeles, co-hosted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York Gov. David Paterson, among others. Doer will be involved in panel discussions on national and regional co-operation featuring Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Doer, along with regional leaders from all over the world, will be there to promote regional government action on climate change.

“We must continue to work together to shape global policy as we prepare for the international agreement that we hope will be completed in Copenhagen later this year,” Doer said.

Manitoba population growth best in nearly 40 years

Manitoba has experienced its best growth rate in 38 years, growing by nearly 16,000 people during the past 12 months. The driving force behind the population boom is people coming from other provinces and countries. Statistics Canada reported Manitoba’s population grew at a rate of 1.32 per cent, which is much higher than the national average of 1.24 per cent.

The Provincial Nominee Program was responsible for much of the recent growth. Three-quarters of the 13,000 individuals who came Manitoba during the last 12 months were nominees of the program.

Welcome Place gets a new home

The City of Winnipeg, the government of Manitoba and the federal governments are putting up $4.4 million for the construction of a new 25,000-square-foot apartment complex for Welcome Place. The agency provides newly arrived refugees with temporary housing until they are settled. The complex is currently under construction. Residents will be able to move in spring 2010.

“The Government of Canada is working to provide Canadians a hand up so they can one day join in the Canadian dream and own their own home,” said Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Democratic Reform).

Published in Volume 64, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 8, 2009)

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