Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Allan takes a pass on getting involved

  • Print

An aide to Education Minister Nancy Allan told me the minister would have nothing to say on the rather Bizarro-world job search for a new high school principal in Thompson.

That’s the one for which liars need not apply, nor should people apply who intend to misrepresent themselves or Mystery Lake School Division.

You can read the story here.

Our story led to a segment on As It Happens, which was covered in detail in The Thompson Citizen, and which you can read about here.

The Thompson Citizen gave us full credit for our original story, which doesn’t happen very often.

Anyway, Allan said through her aide that hiring is entirely within a school division’s jurisdiction.

Allan has her staff working with the people in Mystery Lake, which has had a revolving door on its top administrator jobs in recent years. I quoted management experts who were skeptical that Mystery Lake would be able to attract qualified applicants to Thompson, which you would think might affect the quality of education for the 1,000 or so high school students in Thompson, but apparently, that’s none of Allan’s business.

Moving on to other stuff....

I had a senior’s moment at volleyball at Carpathia School last night. Someone had made really excellent chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, and at the water break we had some, after which the level of play fell off considerably. I wondered aloud if they were Alice B. Toklas cookies, and no one was old enough to get the reference.


Change of topic....

Every once in a while I surf the web checking out board minutes and agendas, looking for stuff all over Manitoba. I’m just wondering, why has the Manitoba Teachers’ Society not posted any executive minutes since May 25?

The most recent U of M board of governors minutes available online are from June 21.

Abrupt change....

The enormous news coverage of the child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State University has focused quite rightly in recent days on the alleged victims and the alleged perpetrator, a former assistant coach of the football team.

But has anyone noticed that amid all the initial end-of-the-world coverage of fired iconic head football coach Joe Paterno and the hand-wringing over what this will mean to the future of the Penn State football "program," that you heard virtually nothing about the university president’s having also been fired along with Paterno for the way in which they handled the emerging scandal and the alarming allegations raised over the years?

No, I’m not unaware of the one-sided power relationship in the U.S. between university presidents and iconic football and basketball coaches, but still...


It’s always nice to know you’re unique. One coach told me this past weekend that I’m the only soccer referee in the city who doesn’t allow indoor socecr players to hammer each other shoulder to shoulder.

It’s there on page eight of your rulebook, coach, and there’s a reason WYSA has put it in full caps and boldface.

And I reffed an adult match the other night, not much happened, people from 35 right up to my age out there getting some exercise and having a good time, and afterward I had one player in my face, demanding to know how I could possibly miss a player on the opposing team who tried to deliberately break her leg right in front of me.

It’s far from the first time. To hear some players in master’s women’s soccer tell it, there’s more carnage and bloodshed in their matches than in the battle scenes in Braveheart, yet we zebras all seem to miss noticing the havoc.

Back to education....

Quite the story in the Toronto Star about a suburban school board’s secret meeting to name a school after the current board chair, which you can read here.

The trustees’ decision broke all kinds of rules, including those of common sense. Meanwhile, the Star says, the board chair is feeling quite honoured and has no intention of declining, despite a public uproar.

Hang on a minute, if I read The Toronto Star online, will Mayor Rob Ford ban me from visiting the city? Ford is refusing to provide press releases and other public information to the Star because of coverage that he didn’t like, and he’s urging people not to read the paper.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

About Nick Martin

Nick Martin is the old bearded guy at the back of the newsroom, the most experienced reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, having started his career in Ontario in 1971.

He’s been covering education for the Free Press since the spring of 1997, after decades primarily covering municipal politics, including a four-year stint at the Ontario legislature for the London Free Press.

Nick moved to Manitoba in 1988 with his Winnipeg-born wife, who is a professor at the University of Manitoba. They have two kids, both of whom graduated from Grant Park High School: son Chris and daughter Gillian.

Nick has won a national journalism award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two Manitoba Human Rights Journalism awards, and the Ontario Reporters Association investigative award.

Nick is a long-distance runner, having finished and survived 18 marathons and 15 half-marathons and 30-kilometre races, and having (barely) survived 10 years as an outdoor and indoor soccer coach.

Nick became a soccer referee in 2007, delighting in his 60s in outrunning 16-year-olds and keeping his distance from obstreperous coaches and parents.

Nick and his wife have discovered a mutual love for kayaking at their Whiteshell cottage, and are both regulars at the Reh-Fit Centre. They hold season tickets to both the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Warehouse, and as empty nesters, have rediscovered the joys of an active winter vacation.

A native of Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, Nick is a member of the Toon Army as a Newcastle United supporter, and a proud citizen of Leafs Nation.

Ads by Google