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One out, but still on the ballot

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As you saw on our website and in today’s dead trees edition, candidate Evan Thompson has withdrawn from the race for the vacant Ward 1 school board seat in Winnipeg School Division.

Even though Thompson won’t be campaigning, his name remains on the Nov. 26 ballot.

"I ask that you do not publish any more information regarding me in the Free Press including but not limited to print, online, and blogs, other than the statement that I have withdrawn," Thompson told me.

Unfortunately, Thompson opened up a can of worms when he was still running, and it’s unfair to candidate Ben Shedden to accede to Thompson’s wishes.

Thompson had made public his complaint that Shedden was using illegal metal and wire signs, and allegedly moving them around to stay a step ahead of the bylaw enforcement officers.

Shedden wouldn’t respond, at least not Ben Sheddden, the candidate, who’s staying above the fray and sticking to issues. But I did hear from Mike Shedden, brother to the candidate, and his campaign manager.

Mike Shedden said they received bad advice initially, and when they found out there is a problem with metal, switched to wooden pegs. The Shedden campaign says it moves the signs around to maximize a limited budget.

Everyone clear on that?

Meanwhile, is anyone thinking of organizing all-candidates’ meetings in WSD or in Ward 2 of Louis Riel School Division? If so, would you let me know?

And time for another meanwhile.....LRSD Ward 2 candidate Brynne MacKenzie says she was sticking up for me on Sunday morning at U of M when parents on her son’s team were "getting more and more upset with some of your calls."

Yes, I did hear the father who bellowed "Come aaaawwwnnnn! Get REAL!!!"

I’ve done a dozen matches so far, six of them boys, and I’ve had at least one yellow card in each boys’ match, none for the girls so far. Yes, that includes three nine-year-old boys’ games. I don’t know what’s so hard to understand about "There is absolutely no slide-tackling allowed in indoor soccer."

Especially not in the penalty area, when the slide tackle wipes out a kid about to take a shot on goal from close range. That resulted in a yellow card and penalty kick that enraged some of the parents assembled overhead.


Last year I called a yellow in a 10-year-old boys’ game, and the coach told me in a voice loud enough for the whole building to hear, "You’ve made a little boy cry."

A little boy who was busy hitting every face and knee that couldn’t duck in time. But I digress.

Back to education stuff....

I thank the reader who’s providing me with links to negative coverage of U of M president David Barnard’s apology for the university’s role in residential schools, but I don’t check The National Post’s angle before writing my stories.

Thanks anyway.

Digressing again, in last night’s episode of The Walking Dead — and wasn’t that way beyond grim, even for this show? — one character pulled out a pack of smokes, and in the brief glimpse it looked like a pack of Morleys, which were the brand favoured by Cigarette Smoking Man, aka Cancer Man, in The X-Files.

Aren’t you glad you read right to the end?

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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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