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Weekly earnings drop

MANITOBA was one of seven provinces to see a drop in average weekly earnings from August to September, new Statistics Canada figures show.

The agency said Wednesday the weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees -- people who work for someone, as opposed to being self-employed -- fell by 0.5 per cent to $835.53 from $839.92 in August.

They were still 3.5 per cent higher than a year earlier, when they were $807.30.

The decline left Manitoba with the sixth-highest average weekly earnings among the provinces, ahead of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Alberta continues to have the highest, at $1,085.22.

Statistics Canada said Manitoba also had 4,100 fewer payroll employees in September than in August -- 575,900 versus 580,000. Despite the 0.7 per cent decline, that was still 10,700 more workers than in September 2011, when there were 565,200.

Nationally, average weekly earnings were down 0.5 per cent from August to September -- $902.29 versus $906.77 -- but up 3.4 per cent from a year earlier, Statistics Canada said.

The number of payroll employees fell by 0.3 per cent from August to September -- 15.28 million versus 15.33 million-- but was still 1.6 per cent higher than a year ago.

Bio-firm given approval

KANE Biotech Inc., the Winnipeg company that is developing compounds that prevent and remove microbial biofilms, has received regulatory approval that should pave the way for it to launch its first two products on the market early in the new year.

Biofilms are a major cause of a number of serious medical problems including chronic infections and medical device-related infections. They develop on surfaces such as catheters, prosthetic implants, teeth, lungs and the urogenital tract.

Wednesday, Kane received approval from the Therapeutic Products Directorate of Health Canada for KBI Antibacterial Hard Surface Disinfectant for use in a wide range of commercial and industrial settings such as hospitals, food-processing plants, and institutional/industrial and barn facilities.

Last week, it received approval from the Low Risk Veterinary Health Products to launch its oral pet care product in Canada.

The granting authority is in co-operation with Health Canada and the Canadian Animal Health Institute.

Kane already has a partner lined up to manufacture and distribute the hard-surface disinfectant. Avmor Ltd. of Laval, Que., Canada's leading manufacturer of professional cleaning solutions aimed at the janitorial, sanitation and food-service markets, will launch KBI in January.

Town aims to diversify

THE Town of Snow Lake is looking to capitalize on a rise in mining activity to diversify into the research side of the industry.

At the Association of Manitoba Municipalities meetings in Winnipeg this week, Clarence Fisher, the mayor of Snow Lake, announced the town's support for the creation of a Mine Closure and Remediation Centre.

Fisher said the plans for the centre, which would be the first of its kind in the world, are still in the preliminary stages.

Fisher said Snow Lake is a mining town and probably always will be but there are other parts of the industry it could try to leverage.

"Mining is a multi-billion industry," he said. "Snow Lake has done a great job training miners and sending talented people underground but there is much more to the mining industry than that."

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 29, 2012 B7

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