Manitoba economy showing signs of life: Pallister

The Manitoba economy is showing signs of life despite a protracted COVID-19 economic downturn that created considerable unemployment.

Based on July’s Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, Premier Brian Pallister said in a press conference on Friday that local and national economies are progressing despite COIVID-19, adding 60% of Manitobans who lost their jobs during the pandemic are back to work. He said the provincial unemployment rate is down to 8.2%, the lowest in Canada. Full time employment is up by 6,200 people, over double the national average. Continue reading “Manitoba economy showing signs of life: Pallister”

Unique cosmetics biz caters to women of all ethnicities

There’s an old saying that goes: “We do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who believe and are saved.”

The proverb is a perfect characterization of Carla De Roy, co-owner of The Beauty Box by Sheriff cosmetic boutique in Winnipeg.

Back in the 80s after being turned away from a major brand name makeup counter due to her skin colour, De Roy saw an opportunity for industry transformation. She took the act of discrimination and started The Beauty Box by Sheriff, which caters to women of all ethnicities in a diverse business model that includes retail, online, bridal service, hair service, education and children’s parties. Continue reading “Unique cosmetics biz caters to women of all ethnicities”

REOPENING CANADA: Government scraps may not be enough to save many in restaurant industry

Manitoba restaurants and pubs are on life support in the intensive care unit of Canada’s COVID-19 economic recovery.

Chris Graves, owner of the King’s Head Pub in Winnipeg’s trendy Exchange District, is one of the medics trying to resuscitate a business that flat-lined during the pandemic. Continue reading “REOPENING CANADA: Government scraps may not be enough to save many in restaurant industry”

SNELL: Stereotyping hurts no matter who it is directed toward

In 2008, my father walked into the bedroom that he shared with my stepmother and little brothers, pulled a hunting rifle from under the bed, loaded a bullet, and ended his 35-year battle with schizophrenia and major depression. A week later I painted over the blood splatter and filled the bullet hole in the ceiling with my older brother. This was the end of my father’s story, and the beginning of my career as a storyteller. Continue reading “SNELL: Stereotyping hurts no matter who it is directed toward”

IMPACT FEES: Bowman claims wins in court loss

Mayor Brian Bowman is unrepentant over a court decision requiring the city to repay $27 million in impact fees, which it levied in a tax-like manner against residential developers.

Bowman put a positive spin on the ruling, saying the court order sets a precedent in two ways.

“I’m very pleased that the court has stated that imposing an impact fee is legal,” he said. “Secondly, I’m very pleased to see the court affirm that growth in the city is not paying for growth. This has been one of the fundamental arguments that parties in this legal challenge have been making.”

Bowman said the issue in court was the manner in which the impact fee bylaw was drafted and the court’s technical reading.

“It appears that it was overly broad in how the monies were to be invested,” he said. “So then the next question becomes, what are the next steps?”

In terms of accountability for the court ruling, Bowman said city council approved the bylaw to introduce the impact fee.

“The bylaw and the manner in which it was introduced, the court took issue with,” he said. “I’m pleased that we have the roadmap, and for those property owners that have felt they have been unfairly subsidizing the cost of urban sprawl, this decision does provide a roadmap forward.”

In terms of the cost of legal fees in the case, Bowman said he couldn’t come up with a figure “off the top of my head.”

“Obviously the preference was the legal challenge wasn’t initiated — we didn’t initiate it — it was initiated by the applicants,” he said. “And so I have no doubt there will be legal fees incurred by all the parties.”

Bowman explained the city has been on the receiving end of one set of rules, while capital region partners operate under another set of rules.

“We are operating in a framework that treats the city unfairly,” he said. “And obviously we are working within the framework that is imposed on the city by the province.”

Mike Jack, chief corporate services officer for the city, said impact fees are no longer being collected as of Thursday morning. He said the move was to demonstrate good faith in light of the court ruling.

“In terms of actual administration, the decision of Justice Edmond doesn’t become officially pronounced until the parties get together to decide on an appropriate wording for the order, and then it is issued by the court,” he said. “All I can indicate is it would be premature at this stage to comment on whether refunds may in fact be occurring at some point. We do need to thoroughly examine the decision with our counsel and determine what the next steps will be.”


Multiple versions of truth threaten reconciliation: BC Opposition MLA

As blockades and protests continue across Canada over a dispute between Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, the federal government, activists and supporters of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline (CGL); indigenous leaders are polarized over different versions of the truth, which could scuttle nascent reconciliation efforts and the future of Canadian energy development.

The United Nations helped precipitate the conflict on Jan. 7, when the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Committee called on Canada to stop the development of the CGL. Nine days later, committee chair Noureddine Amir conceded that he was unaware that the CGL had broad Indigenous backing. On the same day, Karen Ogen-Toews, chair of the First Nations LNG Alliance and former Wetʼsuwetʼen elected chief, wrote an open letter to the UN asking for a retraction and immediate apology to the 20 First Nations, who are in favour of the project. Continue reading “Multiple versions of truth threaten reconciliation: BC Opposition MLA”

UCN professor participating in online misinformation workshop in Victoria this summer

Dr. Joseph Atoyebi, an assistant professor in the University College of the North (UCN) Faculty of Arts, Business and Science, is bringing his linguistics expertise to an online misinformation workshop this August at Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C. 

The workshop will provide researchers with an opportunity to explore methods of combatting online misinformation, a problem of extreme consequence in a world that is becoming more polarized through social media, says Atoyebi.

“When people don’t know the truth of the story, they begin to form groups,” he said. “People are deceived. That’s the point. And I think in the end, it will not go well with the country, especially a time like this where we have – in my point of view as an immigrant – misinformation that creates suspicion and breaks down what makes us human. It erodes what makes us human. It has potential to break down the entire nation.”  Continue reading “UCN professor participating in online misinformation workshop in Victoria this summer”