Mary Agnes Welch's Gripe Juice

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  • Is Justin in trouble?

    St. Norbert Coun. Justin Swandel sure got an earful from crabby Fort Richmond residents last night at an open house about the new stadium. He was buttonholed and peppered with questions and he barely got a word in edgewise.

  • NDP leadership vote revisited

    This time last year, Bruce Owen, Larry Kusch and I were spending many a leafy night crammed into community clubs and school gyms covering the bungle that was the provincial NDP’s leadership process, the one that made Premier Greg Selinger premier. It was fun and messy and there was lots of talk about ditching the delegated voting system. A year later, that talk has fizzled.

  • Two Dan Mac bits

    I know everyone is talking about the Kory/Sam weirdness, but I have two colourful quotes from the Daniel McIntyre ward race that didn't fit in the paper  that I can't bear to waste.

  • Why press conferences don’t always suck

    I covered a routine federal-provincial back-patty press conference this morning to inaugurate a new lab at Canadian Mennonite University. It’s certainly good news for students, but it’s barely a B4 brief. I think my boss sent me in case Premier Selinger accidentally split the atom with the new Bunsen burners or something.

  • Selinger's thesis goes AWOL

    Just for fun, I’ve been trying for a few months to get a copy of Premier Greg Selinger’s doctoral thesis, the one he wrote as a student at the prestigious London School of Economics.

  • Gossipy bits....

    According to Order in Council #198, Todd Scarth, a senior mover-and-shaker in Greg Selinger’s bid for NDP leader, has been rewarded with a full-time post in the Community and Economic Development Committee of cabinet. That sounds like an obscure backroom group of wonks, but actually the CEDC is the most influential policy office in the province. It used to be headed up by Eugene Kostyra, widely seen as the second most powerful guy in the province, next to Gary Doer. Basically every public project you care about goes through CEDC.

  • LRT vs BRT

    I am loathe to weigh in to the LRT/BRT debate, partly because I did dozens of depressing stories about it the first time Sam kiboshed the existing rapid transit plan and tried to give million of dollars back to the feds. Also, I have genuinely given up hope, as a citizen, that I will ride a rapid transit system in Winnipeg in my lifetime. As

  • Evelyn, Sadie and Barbara at the TRC

    I had the pleasure of meeting three First Nations women who grew up and went to residential school near where I spent idyllic summers at my Nana’s house on the Shuswap lake in BC.

  • More on Lac du Bonnet

    Add Lac du Bonnet to the collection of troublesome rural municipalities. I didn't have enough room this morning to mention a recent hubbub in the cottage town where retired cattle rancher Dave Fournier was barred from recording council meetings on his digital recorder. Fournier sounds like a gentle soul and far from a troublemaker — he recorded meetings just like any journalist might because he has difficulty reading and writing. For the scoop, I'll just point to a far better source than me. Check out the quite awesome picture of the rancher holding up his offensive mini-recorder in front of the municipality sign.

  • Kaufmann on Veolia

    I heard yesterday that former city councillor Peter Kaufmann was a little perturbed about the city’s top-secret sewage treatment deal with Veolia. Turns out he is.

  • Judy in the sky with Air Miles

    Colin Craig at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation just put out a press release demanding to know how mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis spent more than $2 million in the last decade as an MP.

  • Viro labs, Ombudspeople and nurses

    Did anyone notice:

  • My New Hero

    It's the slightly dishevelled-looking Dr. John Milloy, the professor tasked with creating an archive of residential school history for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

  • Motley Screw

    Can we dispense with the puritanical tsk-tsking about the couple who were schtupping/lapdancing at the Motley Crue concert? I mean, it's a Motley Crue concert. What do you expect? Hasn't anyone read The Dirt?

  • Manitoba a Goth kid?

    Everyone keeps saying Manitoba is on the outs with its fellow western provinces – excluded from transportation talks and left out of a recent trade barrier deal. Manitoba keeps getting painted as the sullen Goth kid at the back of the class who gives everyone the silent treatment.

  • Wanted: Elections boss with no pride

    I know the Tories love to hold up committee meetings with their crazy political theatrics, but it makes no sense for the NDP to ignore those theatrics and hire a new elections boss without the opposition.

  • I don't want to pay for you

    I totally agreed with the sentiment in this letter from a senior citizens group angry about possible education property tax hikes, especially because most seniors haven't had kids in school for decades.

  • Love shacks and water mains

    No gripes today. Kudos, instead.

  • Pink Ink Part II

    I was thinking a little more about Manitoba's deficit over Christmas while I was in Edmonton. My hometown was all abuzz over the Alberta government's brilliant plans to tackle its $4 billion budget gap.

  • Pink Ink

    People kept calling the province’s latest financial report “a sea of red ink” yesterday.

About Mary Agnes Welch

Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first covering city hall and then the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter. Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.

Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school. She has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category.

She was a Southam journalism fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College in 2012-13, where she studied indigenous issues, urban planning and political science. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists and has served on several boards.

She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.

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