Thursday, January 29, 2009

Get off the stage

Is anyone else getting a bit fed up with his antics?

It's not even original. He staged a sit-in to try and get the legislature to sit more often a few years back. At least get some new material.

If he's not complaining about where he is sitting in the legislature, he's wasting time at the McDonald's drive thru.

And I'm still waiting for him to resign.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And the award goes to

I thought it might be a good time to make a movie of the life of Hugh MacFadyen. Obviously it would be a made for TV movie and maybe I could get CKY to play it like they did the Elijah Harper movie a while back. So I started thinking of who might play the leading man and Paul Reiser of Mad About You came to mind. For titles, I’m not that creative but how about “The Invisible Man” (I’m still open to suggestions if anyone has any ideas). Also, the where is Hugh watch of 2009 is up to 21 days (in the Freep anyway).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Will the real Hugh please stand up

On the upper right side is opposition leader Hugh McFadyen. On the lower left side we have Paul Plakas, host of the TV show X-Weighted. I was thinking we can use Paul as a stand-in when Hugh McFadyen disappears like he is apt to do. On a few occasions, he has been completely invisible. For example, I don’t think he’s been quoted in the Free Press once this year. Paul, you’re in…let’s see if you can do any better.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Details, details

I know I'm being picky here but we have two different headlines, two different amounts.

Looks like rounding up is the culprit here but some of the other numbers in the stories also don’t make sense.

FP: “The report found Ottawa is owed $7.9 million from Manitoba Hydro related to construction of a northern transmission line”.

Later in the story, “Ottawa is owed $7.6 million from Manitoba Hydro as part of a northern transmission line”.

Well which one is it? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, probably just a typo.

CP: "Among the problems, the audit found that the Crown was shortchanged almost $8 million as part of a northern transmission deal with Manitoba Hydro which was intended to bring remote First Nations onto the provincial power grid. Senior managers also failed to maintain proper books and wrote off a "recoverable" $2.7 million in the deal".

"Auditors also found the department overpaid the Fairford First Nation $1.2 million in a land-claim settlement because it wasn't made clear that the money had to be repaid. In another case, a senior manager signed a deal for a First Nations project in Winnipeg worth almost $500,000. That figure far exceeded the manager's authority".

$8 + $2.7 + $1.2 + $500,000 = at least $10 million or should that be at least $12 million. Is the $2.7 counted already in the $8 million figure. Probably, but hard to tell by this story.

I guess I'll have to read the report myself.

From City Hall

"I would invite the public to look at Coun. Smith and I (Coun Steeves) and decide who is and is not an idiot,” said Steeves after Smith called him an idiot.

This is just too easy…

Can we throw Wyatt's name into the mix as well?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Now I can’t criticise the media all the time

I think the reporter has done a pretty good job with this story. The new ridings will mostly make it tougher for the NDP in Winnipeg including for Erin Selby as she loses the NDP friendly Windsor Park portion of her riding and for Marilyn Brick which also loses some good NDP turf. It will also be interesting to see what will happen with Fort-Garry Riverview and Fort Richmond. There has been some talk of Diane McGifford retiring including here. If that happened I would anticipate Kerri Irvin-Ross wanting to represent Fort-Garry Riverview which would leave Fort Richmond wide open.

It’s not all bad news for the NDP. The boundary changes do help Ron Lemieux in Dawson Trail as it removes the more conservative part of the riding and give the NDP a better chance at knocking off Lamoureux…again.

Enough already please

Winnipeg media and especially the Free Press has been infatuated with this story. Ok, I get it..we have a fun rivalry with Ottawa...but the amount of coverage dedicated to this story has gone too far. I have counted at least 13 stories in the Freep over the last 2 years and I just fail to see the newsworthyness of most of these articles. To compare, the Ottawa Citizen which has also written about the friendly feud has kept the coverage to a respectable 5 stories. Please Winnipeg Free Press move on to something else already…

Saturday, January 10, 2009


The CBC has often criticized government for its lack of openness. In 2007, the mother corp became subject to the federal Access to Information Act. And where did the CBC rank in the recently released Canadian Newspaper Association's annual audit for openness? Pretty much at the bottom of the list with a grade of D. BTW, the Manitoba government ranked fourth with a B+.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The province strikes back

Good news on the payday loan file. The province is in no mood to let this get bogged down by the courts.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A kick in the ass to "Johny lunch bucket" and "Suzie six pack"

This story is bad news for the average joe.

Here's a short recap:
-The federal criminal rate of interest is 60 %.
-Payday loan companies were charging way higher than that on an annualized basis (in the thousands of percent) and were getting away with it (this just wasn't a priority for police and you can't really blame them).
-The province is trying to step in.
-They got Ottawa to agree to let them set the rate and regulate the industry.
-The PUB set rates which on an annualized basis are still higher than 60 % but at least way lower than what the companies were charging.
-The court struck it down on some technicality, allowing payday loan companies to continue to screw those who have to use this service.

And let's get one thing straight, the rates set in Manitoba by the PUB are much higher than the rates set in many U.S. states and pay day loan companies there continue to stay profitable so let's not feel too sorry for these crooks.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Liquor, I don't even know her

The Free Press editors want to privatize this Crown Corporation because stores were closed at 6:00 on New Year’s Eve. On the same day they have this story on the many problems with the private sector selling booze. This bar also came to mind, as did this one. My question is would the private sector do this to reduce the abuse of alcohol. I doubt it.

Poor little Porky and Miss Piggy too

Now where have I seen this story before? Oh yeah. Here it is (see below). Six months later and still nothing. You better get on that Fire Commissionner.

Hog barn blaze the last straw
Winnipeg Free Press
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Byline: Lindsey Wiebe

Manitoba's fire commissioner says the province will finally move ahead with plans to develop farm building safety codes, on the heels of a hog barn blaze that killed 6,500 pigs in the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie Wednesday.

"There's now finally an agreement by all parties involved that we do need to have something ... some type of building regulation," said provincial fire commissioner Doug Popowich.

Animal advocates have long called for building codes to apply to farm buildings, most of which are not required to have safety measures like sprinklers or smoke detectors. The province has discussed changing the rules in the past, but never went forward with plans.

Wednesday's fire at the Maple Leaf Agri-Farms Seine River sow operation was the third hog barn blaze this year, killing about 3,000 sows and 3,500 piglets, said Maple Leaf spokeswoman Jeanette Jones.

She said the barn had a digital alarm to monitor temperature changes, which went off at around 3:30 a.m. The barn manager got to the scene half an hour later, around the time a passing feed-truck driver called 911.

"By the time the barn manager did arrive on-site, it was very well entrenched and the barn was engulfed in flames," Jones said.

The barn was located roughly eight kilometres east of the community of Zhoda, south of Steinbach.

By mid-afternoon, fire crews from La Broquerie and Vita had the blaze under control, said La Broquerie fire chief Alain Nadeau, who described the barn as "a total loss."

Jones could not say whether there were sprinklers in the barn. She said no injuries were reported and no employees were on-site at the time of the fire.

The cause has yet to be determined.

The year is less than half over, but 2008 already has the highest number of livestock fatalities from hog barn fires in recent years. Nearly 28,000 hogs died in three barn fires this year, compared with 3,700 hogs last year.

The Maple Leaf barn fire is the second in less than a month in the R.M. of La Broquerie. A fire at the end of May destroyed two barns at the Hytek-owned Silverado Barns, seven kilometres south of Sarto, killing thousands of hogs and in April, roughly 8,700 pigs died in a fire at the Netley Hutterite Colony.

Popowich said the lack of a building code for barns goes back to the 1970s, when the definition of a farm building was based on smaller family farms.

"These are now industries," he said. "They're no longer the typical family farm building."

Popowich said he expects consultations to start in the coming months. "The whole process will take a year, by the time it's put together," he said.

Former Winnipeg Humane Society executive director Vicki Burns said advocates have been pushing for farm building codes for at least six years.

"It's way past the time that we should really be requiring some kind of fire code for these large barns," she said.