Local News Briefs

Child care expanded in Winnipeg

Manitoba’s Family Choices initiative is at it again, with over $2 million in funds to go into new and renovated child-care facilities in Winnipeg.

Since Family Choices was announced in April 2008, funding for 2,580 spaces has been announced. Recently, Premier Greg Selinger announced five new centres: Concordia Hospital, Morrow Avenue Child Care, Discovery and Horizons children’s centres, Lord Selkirk Park and an all new Urban Circle Training Centre.

“Parents need to know they have access to high-quality, affordable child care,” Selinger said in a release.

Abandoned mines to get a cleanup

Manitoba’s environment looks to get a boost from an expansive cleanup of orphaned and abandoned mines, according to the province. Premier Greg Selinger announced $42 million will be put towards cleaning out 18 abandoned mines across Manitoba. These mines are without owners and were created with old technology that was less sanitary than today’s methods.

These closures date back to 1999 when Manitoba began instigating mine closure regulations due to environmental liabilities.

“Our objective is to deal with the environmental, health and safety risks and return these sites, as close as possible, to their original condition,” Selinger said in a release.

Bus transportation to remain active

After taking major hits from both the recession and the horrific events involving Tim McLean, the bus industry in Manitoba has suffered greatly. As a result, Greyhound threatened to pull out of Manitoba by Nov. 1 if the province forced it to keep running unprofitable routes. However, the province has announced that they will work closely with Greyhound to ensure that bus transportation remains an option for Manitobans well into the future.

As a result, no buses will be cancelled in the foreseeable future, although a reduction in service will likely happen somewhere down the line.

Talks between the two parties began on Oct. 22 and it looks as though they will continue in the coming weeks.

Trades training fixes homes, helps local job market

A program that makes Winnipeg homes more efficient while giving low-income individuals the chance to enter apprenticeship programs might sound too good to be true. According to Premier Greg Selinger, however, more than 1,400 Winnipeg homes have already been worked on through the province’s Warm Up Winnipeg program, part of Building Urban Industries for Local Development (BUILD). The program retrofits homes to make them more efficient while providing low-income individuals with the opportunity to enter apprenticeship programs.

The program gets local residents to fix energy and water systems in homes, along with improving insulation, so houses can run more efficiently. Residents are trained through the program over a six-month period and are then eligible to enter a select group of apprenticeship programs.

Projected stats suggest that Warm Up Winnipeg will save citizens $3 million on utilities over the next decade.

Government legislates credit cap for criminals

Despite efforts by a Senate subcommittee to weaken a bill that strictly limits the amount of credit granted to prisoners for time served in custody, the bill passed into law after receiving royal assent on Friday, Oct. 23.

Before the legislation, the credit for this time was often two days off a sentence for every one day served in remand. Credit will now be capped at one for one, with major exceptions at 1.5 to one. Federal officials say this ensures that criminals will be spending the full amount of time in custody and gives a new level of safety to victims of crime.

Published in Volume 64, Number 10 of The Uniter (November 5, 2009)

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