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Premier's popularity falls

MANITOBA Premier Greg Selinger continues to watch his popularity drop, according to an Angus Reid Global poll released Monday.

The online survey of a representative national sample of 6,559 Canadian adults shows Selinger continues to struggle with voter approval attributable to his handling of the July 1 one-point increase to provincial sales tax, the national pollster said.

Selinger's rating at 26 per cent voter approval places him near the back of the pack of Canada's premiers in popularity, just ahead of Newfoundland Premier Kathy Dunderdale at 20 per cent.

The survey said 61 per cent of respondents disapproved of Selinger's performance and 13 per cent said they were unsure.

The poll also says Manitoba's Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister holds a higher voter-approval rating at 50 per cent.

Saskatchewan's Brad Wall heads premiers in popularity at 68 per cent.

The poll was taken Sept. 5 and Sept. 13 of randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists.

The margin of error -- which measures sampling variability -- is plus-or-minus 1.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Angus Reid also said mid-term approval ratings may be less indicative of electoral success. Manitobans head to the polls in April 2016.


Grocer subsidies debated

COUNCILLORS on a civic committee acknowledged the need for a full-service grocery store in the downtown area Monday and instructed the city's development agency to make the issue a priority.

But the committee did not follow the suggestion of a new report that said subsidies are needed to attract a grocery store operator downtown.

There was no formal request to the committee to implement subsidies to secure a downtown grocery store but the city's downtown development agency said other Canadian communities had such subsidies or are considering them.

And, members of the committee were divided on the need for subsidies.

Councillors Jenny Gerbasi and Mike Pagtakhan, whose wards encompass parts of the downtown, said considering some form of subsidy might be worthwhile if a potential grocery store plan is ever presented to the city.

But suburban Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) said the city shouldn't be involved in offering subsidies to businesses.

"If there is a demand (for a grocery store), the market will provide it," Browaty said.

The downtown grocery store feasibility report was presented to the downtown development committee this morning by CentreVenture Development Corp. The committee instructed the agency to report back in 60 days with an update on its search for a grocery store operator.


Menu for eating smarter

MANITOBA has a new menu for smarter eating when dining out.

Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau unveiled the province's new Informed Dining program Monday at the St. Vital Shopping Centre food court.

Rondeau said the program will provide information on calories, sodium and other nutrients in the meal they're buying.

He said the new program is based on one developed in British Columbia. It will see participating members of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association in Manitoba display the Informed Dining logo and list details about the nutritional contents of their meals.

Restaurants currently offering the program in Manitoba include Subway and Boston Pizza. Other restaurants such as Dairy Queen, McDonald's and Tim Hortons are in the process of joining the program.

During the coming months, the province will be working to bring even more restaurants into the program, Rondeau added. Restaurants do not have to be CFRA members to participate.


-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 1, 2013 B4


Updated on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 8:45 AM CDT: adds video

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