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Double the debates

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We’ve now got two all-candidates meetings lined up for the Winnipeg School Division Ward 1 byelection.

Whoops, I should maybe be calling them town halls, since not all candidates may show up.

Thursday evening the Family Advocates for Special Needs Students in the Winnipeg School Division (the former Ellen Douglass Parent Association) will host the candidates at 7 p.m. at Grant Park High School. This one is specifically about special needs education.

A wide-open town hall goes Monday at 7 p.m. at Churchill High School.

No word on any town halls for the Ward 2 byelection in Louis Riel School Division.

Meanwhile, one political activist complained to me that voters are saying they don’t know anything about the byelection candidates running Nov. 26.

They would if they looked elsewhere on our website home page under the Spotlight heading and clicked on Winnipeg Byelections, where there is information galore, oodles of stuff about who these people are and why they’re running, along with links to their websites, Facebook pages, and blogs.

Meanwhile, I’m in an especially sunny mood today, even by my standards of exuberant cheerfulness, with word that Murdoch Mysteries will be moving to the CBC for a sixth season next year.

We’re watching the fourth season on City and eagerly awaiting the fifth, and it will be grand to finally watch this brilliant Canadian series about an 1890s Toronto police detective in sequence, on the same night each week. The fourth season, like the previous three, we watch an episode here and an episode there, relying on the episode guide to know where each fits and how many we still have to go. Although we get the local City station and the Toronto City HD station, and the show is on some bizarre channel that comes in on 888, it seems to be on a different night each week and sometimes not on at all, with episodes shown out of sequence and episodes from previous seasons interspersed regularly, so that it’s an adventure when we sit down with 10 episodes taped and watch the first minute or two, hoping to find a couple of new ones.


And huzzah.

Now, CBC, just don’t go and cancel it as you’ve done with other superb Canadian programs such as Intelligence and The Border.

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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.

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