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Progressive in-action

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Ah. Progress.

Blog posted Monday.

Follow-up phone call to check on status of information request Tuesday.

Told the information has been compiled but is being verified and they don’t know when they will be done that step. "Soon."

I’m pretty sure their definition of "soon" and my own are worlds apart.

Wednesday I get what I asked for, as well as a statement by the departmental spokesperson that she had seen my blog.

Coincidence? You be the judge.

Of course, I emailed back to ask for clarifications (which is why getting the info by email is annoying because you can’t actually get immediate clarification if you don’t understand something). And I’m still waiting for even an acknowledgement of that email.

 

March 30, 2009:

Every time I have driven past the rows of empty houses and the deserted barracks along Kenaston Boulevard my blood would boil a little.

Prime land, in a prime part of Winnipeg, that any number of developers wants to get their hands on. And yet there it sits, almost five years after being deserted, and the only thing moving on the base are dust bunnies.

I know there is now a pending lawsuit by first nations trying to get that land designated as a treaty land entitlement but the department should have been able to get the transfer completed long before that lawsuit arrived.

The Princess Pats moved out in late 2004. The lawsuit wasn't filed until January 2008. There was plenty of time between the two for work to be done but I'm starting to understand why the land just sat there for years and nothing happened.

Why is this? Because apparently the Department of National Defence can't even pull some basic information about the land without a ridiculous delay.

Two weeks ago I asked the department for a clarification and additional information about the $673,000 it spent in 2007-08 to maintain 110 empty homes around Kapyong.

Two weeks later they have been unable to answer any of those questions.

I was told a week ago they don't know when they might be able to tell me. But they "thank me for my patience."

Gee. Thanks.

If it takes more than two weeks to get basic information about how much it is costing to maintain the homes and barracks it is far more understandable how nothing has happened to actually get something done with that land.

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About Mia Rabson

Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.

Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.

She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.

Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.

Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.

In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.

She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.

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