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Will we have a daily big deal?

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I’ve been keeping my schedule open today, in case Education Minister Nancy Allan decides to make this big announcement thing a daily occurrence.....

Is there anyone who thinks fining parents if a 17-year-old has dropped out will get that kid into school, especially if the kid has left home?

When I talked to Tory leader Hugh McFadyen Thursday, it was obvious that the spin doctors had told him to work desperate or desperation into every sentence that involved the NDP. But McFadyen showed a lot of resolve in resisting the temptation that must have been there to match the hyperbole of the long form census nonsensical ‘debate’.

Back to Allan’s announcement Thursday morning. reliable sources — oh wow, I love that newspaper talk — tell me that Premier Greg Selinger was supposed to handle the show, but had to make an emergency trip to Thompson over the disappearing mining jobs.

Meanwhile, I was somewhere this week where frustrated teachers were scoffing at the notion that the no-fail policy does not exist. They were making the kind of comments that I wish teachers could make for pubication, without risking their careers.

They talked about the expectation among both students and parents that kids will get whatever mark they desire, regardless whether they deserve it, whether they’ve done the work, no matter how far below standards they fall or how many assignments they turn in late or not at all. Someone who’s not a teacher talked about being threatened with a lawsuit for giving a student a poor evaluation in a workplace stint that was part of a course.


Someone who wants me to do a story updating an education situation keeps sending me and my editors links to what he calls a ‘superbly written’ story on the original issue by the CBC.

I pointed out to this individual that my own superbly written story had actually run first, and the CBC had been matching my story back then.

This is not what they teach in sucking up 101, people.


Bizarre little story reported by the Academica’s Top Ten daily roundup of postsecondary news this week. An international property developer wants to establish a university on Prince Edward Island that "would focus on research and professional training in real estate, covering topics such as real estate appraisal, finance, banking, planning, and construction."

The University of PEI is opposed to the notion — no big surprise there.

No mention of why the global corporation picked The Island for its proposed university.

Pause while we fade to black, then next scene opens with........

I was trying to get some information this week, wrote to a certain organization in English, and came the response: "Bonne chance, dis-moi si tu as besoin de mon input somehow."

No, you can’t make this stuff up.

And now for something completely different.....

When did The Moose start charging $5 per ticket for the 50-50 draw? I’ve never paid more than a buck or a toonie at the most, which is part of what makes 50-50 draws so popular for people.

As for the game last night....I’ve never understood when anyone would leave a 1-0 game with a minute or so to go, but if you’re going to leave, why would you sit there like lawn ornaments while the Moose take a time out, then, when the Moose pull their goalie, the puck drops, and the Moose are swarming all over the opposing net, you suddenly get up and shuffle out, forcing several rows of people to watch the game on the scoreboard, because they can’t see the (bad word) ice? Look up the word ‘clueless’ in the dictionary, and you’ll see your pictures.


And here’s an unsigned email that says, "Just to let you know that we sent to you some possible interesting informations, but it seems it has been discarded in undesired mails. Regards."

Oh, gosh, I should probably hit reply, it was so rude of me not to have written about these possible interesting informations. After all, what could happen if I replied?

Um, no. Delete.

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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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