Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Every penny adds up

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Manitoba MLAs will be treading on brand-new royal blue carpet in the legislative chamber when they resume sitting March 23.

The government has just installed the new carpet at a cost of $42,500.

"The Chamber carpet had to be replaced as it was significantly frayed and worn in high traffic areas. This is a high profile location in the Legislature and replacement was required," a government spokesman said in an e-mail.

The carpet was last replaced during the Filmon years in 1992.

That was the year of Manitoba’s record deficit ($642 million).

This fiscal year, Manitoba is headed for its second highest deficit ever ($592 million).

We’re not suggesting there’s a connection here.

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About Larry Kusch and Bruce Owen

Larry Kusch has been a journalist for 30 years, the last 20 with the Winnipeg Free Press. His is one of the newspaper's two legislative bureau reporters.

Raised on a Saskatchewan farm, he received an honours journalism degree from Carleton University in 1975.

At the Free Press, Larry has also worked as a general assignment reporter, business reporter, copy editor and assistant city editor.

Bruce Owen joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1990 after four years working in other media.

He's worked in a number of positions at the Freep, including pet columnist, assistant city editor and police reporter. Right now he takes up space at the Manitoba legislature.

Bruce is one of five reporters who won a National Newspaper Award for the paper’s coverage of the 1997 Flood of the Century. He's also the recipient of the 1996 Volunteer Centre of Winnipeg Media Golden Hand Award and the 1995 Canadian Federation of Humane Societies Media Commendation Award.

In a past life Bruce worked at YMCA-YWCA Camp Stephens. He has a blog where he and others write about camp and the people who worked and played there.

You can also find Bruce on Twitter where he posts and retweets all sorts of stuff.

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