Margo Goodhand

  • Taking it to the streets

    It's noon near the heart of Portage and Main, and a bunch of do-gooders is meeting once again. I'm not one of them. In fact, I've come to confess I'm leaving town for a new job, months before they complete an ambitious plan to end homelessness in Winnipeg.
  • Thompson moving on unheralded

    I've been looking for Susan Thompson, Winnipeg's first female mayor, all over the city lately. It started when I saw the sign delineating former city councillor Jae Eadie's little park on the Assiniboine River, just over a kilometre from Thompson's old home on Douglas Park Road.
  • Tour de force of community achieved en français

    A little paper held a very big birthday party last week in Winnipeg. This newspaper's readers are familiar with La Liberté -- the little French weekly which shares a column en franßais every weekend in these pages. It has a circulation of about 6,000.
  • Can't lose when ends justify means

    We tried to avoid the scruffy-looking guy on the sidewalk as we ushered the kids and my parents in for a Mother's Day dinner. But he plunked himself in front of me before we could get the whole family by, and made his pitch. "Do you have any spare change?" he asked. Of course we did.
  • We need Justin to silence bullies

    I am not a member of the Liberal party. I have voted everything from Green to NDP to Liberal, depending on the candidate in my area. But I'm watching new Liberal leader Justin Trudeau these days as he goes up against Team Harper, and I have to admit that I wish him well.
  • Bonne chance, Chez Sophie! Ignore the trolls

    It never ceases to amaze, the way some Winnipeggers balk at big ideas. Where some see opportunity -- the first national museum built outside of Ottawa, a downtown arena, a new football stadium -- others see elitist conspiracies, taxpayer boondoggles and most often, unbridled chutzpah. Call it the 'too big for your britches' perspective.
  • Pinawa's unlikely rebirth

    PINAWA -- The little town of Pinawa celebrates its 50th birthday this summer -- an unusual milestone for a place that was actually born in 1903, died in the 1950s, and reincarnated down the road in 1963. But then Pinawa is an unusual little town. Not many communities of 1,444 boast their own public swimming pool and beachfront, marina, rowing and sailing club, tennis courts, softball pitch and one of the province's top 18-hole golf courses. In the winter, there's hockey, curling, figure skating and more than 40 kilometres of groomed cross-country ski trails winding through the boreal forest, alongside frozen waterways, up and down the Precambrian Shield.
  • Winnipeg is the Winter Capital of Canada, period

    Manitoba's claim to Guinness-record fame -- the world's longest skating trail -- is a mere three kilometres these days, but it has been packed with rosy-cheeked skaters for the last month or so. Its former rival, the much more famous Rideau Canal skate trail in Ottawa, isn't even open yet. Nobody knows when it will be safe to venture on. In fact, the UNESCO world heritage site hasn't had a decent skating season in a decade, and was open for less than a month last year.
  • In defence of dingbats, showboats

    A national columnist called our 19th prime minister, Kim Campbell, a dingbat last week. OK, it was Margaret Wente of the Toronto Globe and Mail. She was writing about strong female politicians: She admires quite a few of them, including premiers Alison Redford and Pauline Marois, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • Winnipeg Now was 100 years in the making

    Heritage Minister James Moore has spent more than $28 million of taxpayers' money to commemorate the War of 1812, which doesn't mean a whole lot to people in this province. A new national monument, upgrades to historic sites in the East and cheesy historical re-enactments might enthrall Prairie tourists hungering for more detail on the dastardly invasion of Sandwich (look it up: July 12, 1812).
  • Last dispatch from the 'new' building

    I think it's funny that I call the Free Press office on Mountain Avenue the "new" building. I only spent a year in the "old" building and then a whopping 21 more out here in the North End. As a true Winnipegger, however, I tend to define things by what they once were.
  • It started in 1812 with the arrival of the Selkirk settlers

    We've heard from a lot of readers on the 2012 series called Our City Our World. It's a monthly newsroom collaboration designed to celebrate Manitoba's immigrants, one region at a time. So far we've written about Africans, Filipinos and South Asians. The last section March 31, deftly pulled together under the direction of deputy editor Julie Carl, featured a wide range of news, entertainment, sports and business -- and many images of people who are making a difference.
  • Force of nature unheralded, unforgettable

    I was on a beach in 2002 when I came upon a Free Press article heralding the latest Order of the Buffalo Hunt honourees -- eight men, eight mugshots, neatly lined up in their business suits. I remember thinking how bizarre it was no women had been deemed worthy of the province's highest honour. They couldn't find a single female? Really? How does that happen?
  • An extended glimpse into an increasingly vital community

    They don't call us the 'heart of the continent' for nothing. Winnipeg sponsors more refugees than any other community in Canada. And Africans are our newest and fastest-growing group of refugees. Today we present the Africa edition, a Free Press editorial project designed to explore the city and province's ties to the continent.
  • Time right to look at immigrants, their legacies

    The Free Press newsroom has been working for the past few months on an ambitious editorial project. We've been talking to Africans in Manitoba (and Manitobans in Africa) for a special All-Africa edition of the paper, which you'll see Wednesday, Jan. 18, and online (at
  • Pardon our French, and pass the hors d'oeuvre

    A group of first-time acquaintances got together over lunch last week just to practise our French. Practise might be a bit of an overstatement; few of us could handle a rudimentary conversation. The rest, me included, struggled to put a sentence together.
  • Out of Africa, into your homes

    We are all immigrants. Some of us just took a little longer to get here. Free Press columnist Colleen Simard's Cree ancestors arrived here for good sometime after the great glacier covering the province finally started to recede -- between 12,000 and 10,000 BC.
  • Wisconsin's cycling secrets

    NO one can say our family’s not trendy (well, they could say it behind our backs, but not to our trendy faces). We decided to take a ‘staycation’ last fall, which, in the middle of the recession, was apparently all the rage.
  • Wide awake in Winnipeg

    I haven't attended a sleepover in a long time. The last one, as I recall, involved a lot of eyeshadow, much mockery of pyjamas, and no sleep whatsoever. So I didn't exactly jump at the chance to join another sleepover, not at my age, and definitely not at Portage and Main with a few dozen of my closest acquaintances (including my boss).
  • You want to spend $6,000 on a bandwagon?

    So I've been thinking about buying NHL season tickets, I casually told my husband. You're kidding.
  • Message received on court photos

    When the court photos entered as evidence in the trial of Col. Russell Williams started to roll in Monday evening, those of us in the Free Press newsroom experienced the same emotions as anyone else. The pictures ranged from the obsessively neat rows of purloined women's lingerie to the photos that a grim-faced Williams took of himself in them.
  • Giving democracy a helping hand

    We're kicking off a year-long project today with one simple objective. We want more Manitobans to vote in the Oct. 4, 2011 provincial election. It's a simple goal but not a simple task. As Ottawa correspondent Mia Rabson writes in today's FYI section, voter turnout is declining across the developed world.
  • Inspired to have only good and great days on my bike

    I've been inspired by a lot of people these days. Collectively, they are the reason I ride two wheels to work now instead of four. One of them, longtime Free Press colleague and cycling enthusiast Jon Thordarson, has been on my mind ever since I dragged the bike out of the basement.
  • We owe it to our children, now and forever

    IT'S a fact, sad but true. Most of the children in care in this province are aboriginal. For dec­ades, a largely non-aboriginal social welfare system took those children when it felt it had to and moved them into foster homes that were again, largely non-aboriginal. The system decreed when and if those children ever re­turned to their homes.
  • When the story won't go away

    The call came, as I expected it, first thing in the morning. The woman's voice was soft and polite and determined. She is a relative of Antonio Lanzellotti, the man who was killed two years ago by a kid driving a stolen SUV. She has called the newsroom before, asking us to stop running Mr. Lanzellotti's photo. She has always been polite, she has always spoken with intelligence and the conviction that comes from a strong moral compass.


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