Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Warm Winnipeg welcome for new Hydro boss, wife

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Today, a test of your instinctive ability to sort fact from fiction.


The newly arrived CEO of Manitoba Hydro, Scott Thomson, and his wife, Silvia Vidas, were given a huge Winnipeg-welcome hug last week by a group of Linden Woods neighbours who organized a potluck meet and greet.

TRUE. The intimate gathering happened in the driveway of party organizers Sandra and Hans Hasenack, and the neighbours came from nearby homes and streets to say "Hi" to the 48-year-old Hydro boss and his, yes, energetic and enchanting wife. Silvia practises traditional Chinese medicine -- you know acupuncture, herbs and all that healing stuff -- and she's planning on opening her own business. The couple, who have a 14-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, had been living in Vancouver, although Scott's originally from Hamilton. Silvia is from Montreal, and they met at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont. As for how they felt about people welcoming them to the neighbourhood, Silvia said it was touching and unexpected.

"We had heard rumours before we came that Winnipeggers are warm and friendly," she said. "They're not rumours."

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The Royal Canadian Mint has struck a coin commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Selkirk settlers' arrival in Manitoba.

FALSE. The mint regularly strikes coins to commemorate significant Canadian events, but not for little old us, not this year. A mint spokesman pointed out it receives no taxpayer support -- in other words it doesn't only make money, it must make money -- and the "commercial appeal" of the Selkirk colony bicentennial was researched and found wanting. The spokesman added that "in a year with a lot of strong themes, it is also not possible to commemorate every historic milestone."

So what beat it out?

Well, the 150th anniversary of the Caribou gold rush in British Columbia for one. Plus not one but several coins commemorating the War of 1812. Hey, what's new about Ottawa not giving a plug nickel about Manitoba, even if the coin would have been minted right here?

-- -- --

The Winnipeg Police Service missing-persons unit handles 800 new files a year.

FALSE. They handle 8,000 new files a year, or at least they did in 2011. That doesn't necessarily mean 8,000 different people, but 8,000 reports, the difference being one person can be reported missing several times by several people. Still, it's a massive job for a unit of eight officers and five administrative staff members.

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Frances Russell has had a column appearing in the Free Press longer than any other contributor.

FALSE. Brian Pauls has been writing a column on bridge since Sept. 15, 1962, when he was 23. It appeared weekly until 2004 and is now published every second Saturday. Let the record also show he has never missed a deadline. Happy 50th anniversary, Brian.

-- -- --

Graham Hnatiuk, the sidewalk chalk artist who was run out Assiniboine Park for defacing public property, carrying on a commercial enterprise and trespassing, was back in the park last Friday doing his sidewalk thing again.

TRUE. And that was before his Tuesday meeting with a Assiniboine Park Conservancy executive who, according to Graham, suggested to him he wouldn't be bothered again.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 6, 2012 B1


Updated on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 1:49 PM CDT: corrects Klondike gold rush to Caribou gold rush

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