Under the Dome
with Larry Kusch and Bruce Owen
12/3/2013 1:20 PM
Former Morris Progressive Conservative MLA Mavis Taillieu says she never dreamt back in February when she resigned her seat that it would still be vacant nearly 10 months later.
It's been 295 days since she announced via a press release that she was leaving after nearly 10 years in elected office.
The wait to replace her ranks as the longest for any byelection in Manitoba history.
"I don't think it's right to wait as long as they have (to call a vote)," Taillieu said this week.
She said she believed when she resigned on Feb. 12 she was giving the Selinger government time to call a byelection before the spring session. In recent years, byelections have been held as quickly as 32 days following the resignation of an MLA.
Taillieu, 61, announced her resignation via a press release, citing personal and family reasons. She declined Free Press interview requests until this week.
She said she's enjoyed her political retirement and has done a fair bit of travelling. She and her husband own a successful construction business in Headingley.
In a brief telephone interview Monday, she said she had made up her mind before the October 2011 election that it would be her last as a contestant.
She said she fully expected the Tories would sweep to power after a dozen years of NDP rule. She was floored when they didn't.
After the defeat, she said, she found she lacked enthusiasm for the job.
"I just didn't feel that I could give it everything I needed to give it. And I didn't really think that that was a fair situation," she said.
"Life is kind of short and sometimes it's time to just sit back and realize that, and enjoy the things you want to do and not work forever."
Taillieu said she could have sat in the legislature "and put in my time." But she decided it was time for someone new in the safe Tory seat - someone who "would get their feet wet in Opposition and perhaps form the next government and be a representative that would be there for some length of time."
It's just taken a lot longer for that new person to get elected than she ever thought.
11/15/2013 9:54 AM
News that killer Shawn Lamb will be locked up for what most likely will be the rest of his life brings only a small degree of satisfaction to our city and province.
At least he won't hurt anyone else. At least there's that.
Now attention turns, again, to the so many other unsolved murdered and missing women cases.
The one that sticks out in my mind is Velicia Soloman. She was also known as Felicia.
The 16-year-old was last seen in March 2003 when she disappeared during a lunch break at school. Her arm and leg were recovered days apart from the Red River that June. DNA comparison identifed her.
In reporting on her case when I was a police reporter, I at times as now tried to imagine how she met her killer. Or killers.
Did she know them? Did she go with them willingly? Was she abducted?
How did she die? Why dismember her?
Lamb is where he belongs, but there is a lot more to be done.
There are other monsters still out there. And they walk among us.
11/14/2013 1:27 PM
Canadian ambassador to the United States Gary Doer, Manitoba's former premier, talks to Nicholas Kralev on whether politicians make good diplomats.
Doer is to speak Dec. 6 at the Canadian Club luncheon at the the RBC Convention Centre.
11/5/2013 9:45 AM
A quick update on what the province's Clean Environment Commission recently heard on Manitoba Hydro's Keeyask generating station project.
The CEC is currently weighing recommending the province grant an environment licence for the new northern dam. Public hearings are now skedded to go into the week of Dec. 9.
Last July the CEC slammed Manitoba Hydro for its shoddy environmental impact study for the Bipole III transmission line project. The CEC still recommended the province issue a licence for the project, but added it wanted a more detailed study into what the cumulative impact has been on the Nelson River from hydro development going back to the 1960s.
The CEC wanted that study before it considered the licensing of any additional projects, including the estimated $6.2-billion Keeyask project.
Prior to the CEC starting its hearing on Keeyask this fall a number of groups, including environment group Manitoba Wildlands, argued the CEC should live up to its own words and delay the hearing until a such a cumulative impact study is done.
It didn't happen.
What has happened is that the CEC panel has recently heard from a private consultant on the impact of the Keeyask project on the land and its wildlife.
The 160-page report is on the CEC's website.
It's a big report and depending on your computer takes a while to load.
Manitoba Wildlands says pages 33-38, 41-47 and 56-62 touch on cumulative effects.
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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